“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” -Henry David Thoreau
How we can support our dreams within everyday life?
For a long time, I put my dreams on a pedestal. I thought fulfilling them was the key to my happiness. I have learned that it is more important to create a sustainable life filled with many dreamy moments.
Living your dream is NOT a singular event. It is not a "one and done" process that has a beginning and end. It is how you actively create a life of beauty - in whatever way in which you find meaning.
I went wheels up a little bit over a month ago to backpack Europe. It has been a huge dream of mine since childhood - one that became more vast and far-reaching with age. I had never left the United States before, and had such a deep yearning to experience more of life. I expected It would ignite my passion and catapult me towards the heavens- but instead I have been grounded and humbled by everything I have learned so far. In a way, traveling has brought me home to myself. It has taught me that you don’t need to always do something extreme in order to transform.
Moving into a slower season, this is a great time to begin considering what we want for ourselves. It is important to be aware of what our desires are and how we can break through our own limits to make them happen.
Here are some helpful tips for getting clear on your dreams and how to put them into action.
Redefine Your Values
Value goes far beyond money. Often our first instinct is to gauge how much something will cost us, rather than what kind of experience it may bring. For me, I knew my international trip was going to cost a lot - but I also had to ask myself what it would cost to have regret or “what if’s” later in my life. The yoga class you are interested in trying, the book you have been thinking about, a seminar to learn a new skill, that flight .. ask yourself how it may possibly enrich your life in a deeper way.
Focus on You
How are you supposed to ever recognize what kind of life you want for yourself, if so much time is spent in other worlds? We care sometimes too much about other peoples lives. Between social media, television, and nonstop human interaction it can be hard to mentally give ourselves some separation. It's common to have feelings of selfishness. We believe we are good people when we spend time doing much and helping many. When we focus on ourselves- it is not selfish when it is rooted in seeking self-awareness. It is true that an empty cup needs to refill in order to give. The more we take time to feed our spirits with what we enjoy doing- we are more powerful and much more capable to serve the world around us. We better attract more of what we are craving. Don’t be afraid to change or cancel plans when you need to. The people in your life who truly support you will understand.
Budget For Happiness
Rather than buying insignificant things in the moment to fill our want for excitement, pulling the reigns on our spending can go a long way. Saving up for something that would improve your quality of life will bring you long-term satisfaction. Things like drinks out with friends may seem inexpensive in the moment, but when done every weekend it can really drain your earnings. Instead consider switching things up, inviting friends to your home for cocktails. When I was focusing on saving, I would often borrow items from friends rather than buying it new. Living out of my backpack the past month, I have learned how little we really need to feel happy. Making monetary choices based on internal rather than external happiness is the key to a more abundant life.
Write it Down
Organization, organization, organization! List-making! Goal-sketching! It is all so important. When we write our goals and dreams down, they become more tangible to us. Rather than living in the mind, we begin to make a blueprint of different ways to get there. It holds us accountable and is an amazing reminder that our goals are possible when energy is given to them.
Not making assumptions made a large impact on me while reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.(highly recommend!) I’ve found that before we even give many experiences a chance, we create stories around their outcome that turn us away. We obsess about the barriers or issues that may arise, when we don’t even know if they will exist when the moment comes! This keeps up from trying anyway, which leads me to my next point:
Try! (Even if it feels scary)
When I was in London, someone was talking to me about how following your dreams is terrifying because you have held it in such high regard for the longest time.
It is this untouched ideal of yours that glows in the dark.
When we bring it into reality, it can shift and become something we thought it wasn’t. This is true- but I have a secret to share: it is even scarier to not follow your dreams at all. To live a life filled with regret is, to me, the most scary. No matter what happens when you begin taking these steps towards your dreams - growth and learning is inevitable. This is the true purpose of it all.
Let it Go
It is so much easier to stay comfortable and know what is coming - to stay in our routines and not go off the beaten path. However, the funny thing about this mindset - it is delusional.
We never know what is coming.
Life can pick us up and toss us at any moment.
What if we embarked on more experiences without needing to know where they would take us? What if we opened ourselves to trusting that we are right where we need to be- even when things feel like they aren’t going as we hoped? We can sometimes let our need to be in control deflect life-changing opportunities. Instead, we can try to silence our mind, let go and give ourselves a chance to shine brighter.
Follow Your Heart
Spend more time doing what feels good rather than what feels like an obligation. Listen to your innermost desires. Go within rather than looking outside for the answers. Become okay with the unknown. Coerce more love and acceptance into your life in subtle ways, and as time passes you will see that the life before your eyes is one of incredible beauty.