We all have dreams. We’ve all started sentences with ‘one day I’ll…...’ Some dreams are pure escapism where you’re lying on a beach, cocktail in hand, kissing a lottery ticket. Other dreams, the ones we often bury but that never die, are the ones that merit our attention. These dreams represent the clues, the nudges, the invitations, the glimpses of a calling, the blueprints for living our best lives.
How do you distinguish between pie in the sky fantasies and your soul calling to you? Here’s what I’ve discovered when assessing the authenticity of dreams.
Wishful thinking and escapism occur when we are stressed and crave balance in our lives. It’s a knee-jerk response to overwhelm, stress and the busyness of the daily grind. Our true dreams whisper to us when our mind is quiet, when we are out of our normal routines. This might happen on holiday when you have the time and space to reflect upon and reassess what’s important to you, or when you are in deep conversation with a close, trusted friend.
Our real dreams will feel precious and authentic to us. They’re not just some banal banter that everyone mouths when feeling stressed. They feel personal, uniquely ours and we can often be reluctant to speak openly about them.
Soul-callings are ideas or ambitions that have been with us for years. It’s like they’ve been etched on our souls. Just as the potential of a mighty oak is contained in an acorn, our potential ‘best-life’ is found in the seed of our dreams. The busyness of life will distract us, but that idea, that seed will still be present, it will lie dormant until you shine light on it, create some space for it to grow and develop. Your dream will wait for you to show up and nourish it.
True callings will involve harnessing your unique skills and experiences in the service of others. It might be running your own coffee shop, painting, or writing. It will always be more than just crashing out in sunnier climes. In the words of Joy J Golliver ‘The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.’ This is how we evolve individually and collectively.
Authentic dreams will fuel your soul and by extension change your relationship with the world around you. It might be the longing to build your own house, to travel, to learn a new language. There is a richness and depth to these dreams that will have a positive impact on the world. When you contemplate the possibilities of your dream you feel connected with the essence of who you are. You feel most yourself.
I’ve always loved the inspiration and energy in the above quote. Children know the power of imagination and visualisation, but as adults, we dismiss our ‘open eye dreams’ in the same way we dismiss our night-time dreams, as mere fantasy. However, just as Walt Disney said ‘our imagination is a preview of life’s coming attractions,’ I believe that our dreams are signposts, glimpses as to what’s possible for us.
In part 2 of this article I’ll look at how we often sabotage our dreams, and most importantly, the actions you can take to start the work of transforming your dreams into your reality.
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