Rocky Balboa had a dream. He was going to intensely train and win a fight against the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. It is an inspirational story, one that has prompted thousands of tourists (myself included) to run up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum to create our own Rocky moment.
I have a confession to make. Sometimes it feels to me that I don't even have the time to remember what my dreams are let alone live into them. Last week I was so overwhelmed with business details and the number of tasks that I had to get done that I had trouble even clarifying what I needed in a session with my business coach! My To Do list of "busywork" had completely obscured my personal vision, my dream. My coach, Les, was skillful at weaving me through the noise of my To Do list and back to the core - my center. When I did that, I rediscovered my dream.
My friend, Brenda, had always dreamed of traveling to Africa. Finally, at age 59, she decided that she had delayed the trip long enough waiting for the perfect time, the perfect travel mate, and so went ahead and booked the solo 3 week adventure of her life. (Yes, Africa was everything she had dreamed of and she can't wait to go back.)
What are you dreaming of? Or, have you settled into the world of day-to-day urgencies and forgotten your dreams? Like me, do your To Do lists all too often take over your life? Has that burning fire within died to a small ember? Before time, experience, reality or disappointments began to edit your dreams - what was there? How can you reignite your Rocky Balboa impossible dream?
5 STEPS TO DREAMING YOUR POSSIBLE DREAM
Step 1 Declutter
If you have no space in your head, or your life, then there is no room for possibility. You need to create some space for your dreams to live. Time for some spring cleaning!
Make decluttering a priority. Take a moment today to declutter at least one part of your world. That might mean finally filing that stack of papers on your desk, or it may simply mean taking out the overflowing recycling. What is in your way physically also creates mental clutter. Even if your messy desk doesn't consciously bother you - it is cluttering your subconscious. Clean it up and you will instantly feel lighter and clearer.
Step 2 Take a Day off
If, like me, you get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things you are responsible for, consider "taking a day off"; and I don't mean only from work. I mean a DAY OFF: no phone calls, no emails, no TV, no distractions, just you. (Granted, a full day may be difficult for those of you with families, but see if you can at least consciously carve out a full morning or afternoon.) Use that time to reflect and simply "be". Ask yourself when you last approached a day without a list of "to do's". If you can't remember, then this is a critical step for you. You need to stop "doing" in order to return to the "being" of yourself.
Step 3 Take Stock
In order to be able to dream about where you want to go, you have to be clear on where you are right now. Draw a circle in the middle of a blank page of paper. That circle represents everything that is your life right now. Around that circle write down all of the "facts" that describe where you are in your life right now. (eg/ I live in a 2 BR home with my husband, 2 children and dog. I work part time at the bank. I volunteer at the daycare, I am moderately fit etc.) That circle represents everything you are being, doing and feeling right now; a snapshot of your life.
Step 4 The 3 Minute Spew
Now look at all of the white space outside the circle you drew in Step 3. That white space represents your "possibilities". Ask yourself "If anything was possible for my life what would those possibilities be?" Use your 5 senses to bring those possibilities to life: What would they look like? Feel Like? Smell like? Sound like? Taste like? On the outside of the circle, give yourself time for what I call a 3 minute possibility spew. This is a brainstorming process, no thinking allowed. Just let the words and thoughts spew out and write them down. No blocking. No analyzing. Keep the dreaming going. Let your mind go. Allow yourself the space to dream without restriction. If anything was possible what would you write down?
Step 5 Keeping the dream alive
Keep those imagined possibilities front and center for yourself. Talk to your friends and your family about them. Write them out and post them on your wall, put them on a post-it note, make those dreams into your screen saver. If you are a visual person, cut out photos, use colored markers and stickers to keep your dreams present. Many of you may have already created a bucket list - a dream of the things you want to do before you die. I have my 40/60 list (forty things I want to do before I turn 60). These lists WORK if you keep them top of mind. Begin your day by reading through your list of possibilities. Read your list before you fall asleep at night. Sweet dreams!
NEXT MONTH'S FEATURE ARTICLE: How to turn those dreams into reality