Remember when you were a kid and you used to day dream about all the things you wanted? You could imagine these things so vividly you felt almost like you already had them.
I remember dreaming of a beautiful grey horse and all the riding gear to go with it. I imagined every minute detail. I cut pictures out of magazines and pasted them in a book to try to live the experience and make the dream feel more real for me. I used to dream at bedtime that I was riding my grey horse across the paddocks and over jumps with my friends. I could feel it almost as if I had already experienced it, until one day, I no longer needed to dream because the dream finally came true for me....Thanks Mum and Dad!
When you are a kid, your strong desire to dream and imagine the life you want, just flows so naturally. No-one tells you to do it. Something inside just inspires you, allows you to dream big and believe that if you wish hard enough, perhaps your dream will come true someday.
The funny thing about dreaming as a kid was, whether it did or didn’t come true wasn’t important really. It was the feelings dreaming evoked and the belief that anything was possible that kept you inspired and taking actions towards your dream.
Somewhere along the line, we adults sometimes start to lose that strong sense of belief. We lose touch with our capacity to dream deeply and allow ourselves to believe anything is possible. We also start to believe it when others tell us something we want or are dreaming about is a little bit crazy. We start to believe we need to focus on being 'responsible' and worst still, ‘realistic’….which is not exactly an inspiring feeling!
We are born to grow, develop and change. We thrive on it. Though, we can find immense peace through our gratitude and full appreciation of the present moment, without also pursuing our dreams of growth to balance this, we'll inevitably stagnate and perhaps become just a little depressed.
So imagine it’s time to reach deep inside, remember who you are and once again get in touch with your dreams, your passion, your free thinking and your creativity. Allow yourself that space and time to revert to your childlike mind and dreams.
What would you be dreaming about now if you were a kid again? What would be possible for you?
Perhaps you carry 'pipe' dreams for yourself which, up until now, you haven't dared to truly imagine. Or maybe you are a leader who wants to inspire and motivate others to achieve peak performance. You could be a parent wanting to jointly create a shared dream and vision for your family.
Regardless of your reasons, it can help to remember, all great human accomplishments began as merely a dream in the mind of someone who allowed themselves to imagine the possibilities!
This is not to say you should live in a dream state all the time and miss out on living in the present moment! Quite the opposite. Live fully and completely in the present. Love every moment you have and appreciate the world you already exist in first. Then, from this place of love and appreciation, allow yourself to dream!
Start to develop a vision of yourself and your future. Imagine your future unfolding. Where is it all leading? What would you like to experience and how would you like the people around you to experience this future state as well? What mark do you want to leave on the world?
So are you ready to start dreaming? Below are seven practical strategies to help you re-activate your 'child like' dreaming state.
1. Prioritise it! If you are a kid, dreaming your dreams is almost your first priority. When you are a kid, other people have to tell you to stop dreaming because you have ‘responsibilities’. This is because, as a kid, dreaming and imagining is your passion. As an adult, we tend to prioritise our ‘responsibilities’ instead.
However, in many ways dreaming is also a self-care activity. Dreaming is not just about consciously creating the future you want. It's also about having fun and building up your energy, inspiration and motivation. For this reason, it can be helpful to schedule regular dream times for yourself, at least weekly.
2. Find yourself an inspiring place to do your dreaming. To dream, find yourself a place that makes you ‘feel’ good, where your energy and self-belief rises and where your thoughts can flow freely without interruption. Avoid sitting yourself in the 'junk room' or somewhere dark and cluttered. Find or create a space for yourself that is relaxing and inspiring.
3. Allow yourself to dream ‘freely’! Have some fun with it! There is limited value in dreaming if you don’t allow yourself to get into it a little. You don’t have to take any action on anything you think is a bit silly but at this point you’re just dreaming – in your head! You can decide to be ‘realistic’ later….if you must. But for now let go of your fears, free your mind and allow your passion to flow. Allow yourself to become fully engaged as if the dream had already come true. Imagine this in your mind. Use all your senses to see it, hear it, smell it, taste it and live it. Create a vivid scene in your mind of the fulfillment of your dream. From this free thinking will spring forth a range of unlimited options and possibilities which can form the basis of your ‘rational’ and ‘realistic’ goals later. But don’t go there too quickly, as this can disconnect you from the passion behind your dream.
4. Put all your dreams down on paper. Write the stories of your dreams. Go into as much detail as you can. Or you may like pin/paste pictures on a dream board. You can do this physically or electronically in Word or Pinterest! Whatever helps you gain clarity about what you want and what it will look and feel like is useful!
5. Don’t discount anything based on the perceived ease of achievement or difficulty. Even if something seems a little out there or even a bit crazy, promise yourself you won’t discount it. New and amazing ideas are turned into reality every day. Allow yourself some time to imagine what life would be like if what you were dreaming of COULD be achieved.
6. Don’t forget to tap into the feelings. These are the things which will energise, drive and motivate you to get it all happening. Emotions are a powerful force and another thing which we live in more passionately as a kid. Get in touch with how you feel now and how you would like to feel. When you are highly motivated, you may find you have less need for a formal plan to get you taking action, because you’ll be excited and 'chomping at the bit' to get started!
7. After all your dreaming, willingly explore your fears and any barriers which could affect the achievement of your vision. Since you’re an adult, you can guarantee there will probably be a few fears (whether conscious or unconscious), which may stand in the way of the achievement of your dream! Consider how legitimate your fears and perceived barriers are and then open your mind again to brainstorm possible ways to overcome these.
Dreaming is not about putting your head in the sand and pretending everything will be smooth sailing, life is rarely this way. But try not to get stuck in your mental barriers either, because these will impact the achievement of your dreams far more than any external barriers which may come up for you. Calmly consider your options and allow yourself time to problem solve more significant challenges.
Finally have fun with it! Enjoy pretending you are a kid again. Dare to dream BIG and embrace the idea that ‘Where there is a will, there is a way!’
Emily Wilks (Rimmer)