Daring to dream AND get what you really want
By Traci Hines
Daring to dream… What happened to us women? When did dreaming become such an impractical activity? Our dreams are often packed away nicely in a box and stored in the attic of our hearts and minds… It’s nice that way… we haven’t completely given up… it’s still up there somewhere… and then our attention turns to the demands of the day… work, kids, dinner, shopping, all the activities that come with amazingly busy lives.
We have lost touch with our dreams, lost touch with our passion and soul desires… and yet not really… because after each amazing accomplishment (and there are many), there is this still small nagging voice that reminds you… and suddenly your realize that you are not happy.
The last couple of years I have run in quite a few half marathons… wanting to cross it off the bucket list and at the same time feel the satisfaction of a major accomplishment. Do you know what happened? I felt nothing. I appreciate the medals, they are hanging in my garage. I worked hard for those medals, and yet sadly, they weren’t as satisfying as I imagined they would be while training. I have countless examples of achieving great things, and feeling less than satisfied and definitely not happy.
So I dig deeper, what am I really looking for and what do I really want. It occurs to me that I really don’t know what I want. I go into my attic, grab the box and dust off my old dreams. I spend hours pouring over the dreams I once had… realizing that some need to be donated to good will, some need to be taken out and attended to, and others will need to stay in the box for another time… all of this is ok.
There is a secret ingredient to getting what you really want. It isn’t for the weak, it takes courage… but it is oh so worth the effort.
The secret to getting what you want is knowing how you want to feel. I was chasing a feeling with my half marathons, but I didn’t feel the way I had hoped and ended up feeling cheated. I wanted to feel strong and alive and part of a community… There are many ways to do this… running is one, so are a thousand others… So as I dust off my dreams that start sorting, I think about how I want to feel.
Do any of those dreams have the potential to make me feel strong? to make me feel alive? to make me feel part of a community? And as I start looking at my calendar and where I spend most of my time during the week, how do those activities make me feel? Is there room in my calendar to add a few new ideas that allow me to feel the way I want to feel? Do I need to cut back on a few obligations that really don’t serve me in hopes of allowing a more purposeful way of living, on my terms.
The typical work-life balance is a myth. I know we want to believe that we can do it all and have it all. But the “all” we are striving for may not be what we really want. It could be mixed in there with a little of what we think we “should” be doing, and what the kids want, the boss wants, the partner wants… Take some time to get really clear about how you want to feel first, then decided what you are going to do.
“If your goals aren’t synced with the substance of your heart, then achieving them won’t matter much.” Danielle Laporte.
There are three steps to really put this into practice…
- Sort through your current activities and ask these questions:
- How do I want to feel today, this week, this month?
- Looking at my calendar, is there potential for feeling this way… with those activities?
- What can I let go of? Let go of good, to make room for awesome!
This will leave you some room to add into your life what you really want…
2. Get that dream box from your attic and sort through it – asking these questions:
- Do I still get excited when I think about this goal or dream?
- Is this dream in alignment with me “now” not ten years ago, or ten years from now?
- Does this dream have the potential to make me feel like I want to?
- Is there a should, would, could anywhere in my thinking around this dream?
This will give you the ability to make really good choices about what to focus on now.
3. Finally have a dream funeral:
- Let go of dreams that just don’t fit or make you feel good. Just like jeans… who wants to wear jeans that are too tight and restrict you?
- Then again, we don’t want to wear our friends hand me down jeans that don’ fit us because they were made for someone else… if they are too big and unrealistic, we are constantly pulling up our pants and never comfortable… let them go.
Conclusion: We can have what we want, absolutely! You just have to get really clear about identifying what you want, how you want to feel and what you need to clear to make room for it. Dust off those dreams AND get what you want now!!