Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Got Dreams?

By Amy Phillips-Gary

What do you dream about?

I'm not talking about those surreal images that fill your sleeping mind in the middle of the night. I'm referring to the dreams or visions you have about your own life and world.

Whether they seem unrealistic, outlandish or downright impossible, dreams are an essential part of you moving forward into the future you want. Dreaming is a powerful and creative act.

Flashback to the U.S. in the 1950s and 60s. A very famous dream was eloquently communicated to the world by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. He declared, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

This speech, as well as Dr. King's teachings and actions over the course of his life, are indisputably influential. Other brave leaders have also worked, and are working, to improve race relations in this country. These improvements have come, and continue to unfold, in response to the dreams of these visionaries.

Perhaps your dreams aren't about racial equality. That's ok. Everyone's dreams-- no matter how seemingly significant or insignificant-- are important. It is the degree to which we allow or disallow our dreams that can make a huge impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.

Do you allow yourself to dream?

I admit that I have a very practical sensibility much of the time. My habit tends to be to not go “too far” or ask for “too much.” If I am invited to declare my dream, it's usually a bit tricky for me.

I'm frequently like the kid who's set free in the proverbial “candy shop” but I seem to need to think it through and be “reasonable” about which lollipops, bon bons or chocolate kisses would be the most appropriate choices.

Choosing a path consciously and mindfully is certainly advisable. Charging impulsively forward may take you to a place you don't want to go.

However, I know first-hand that standing frozen, spinning my wheels blocks my dreaming and the future I desire along with it. I may decide on a single caramel, but close the door to so much more.

When you shut down your dreams, you close yourself off to the future you desire.

What's holding you back?
If, like me, you realize that you don't always give yourself permission to dream, it might be helpful to take a deeper look at the resistance within yourself.

You might harbor beliefs about what you think you deserve or don't deserve. Maybe you were taught the false message that you are not worthy of a particular level of happiness or abundance.

It could be you resist dreaming because, on some level, you think there is only so much of the “good stuff” to go around. To you, living frugally or denying yourself is the only way to improve other people's lives.

It doesn't matter if your tamped down dreams relate to money, happiness or health. And regardless of how compassionate you want to be, when you hold yourself back, you simply cannot uplift or inspire anyone-- yourself or others.

What are your favorites?
Take a look at your resistance to dreaming. Take steps toward healing the wounds you may be carrying from the past. Turn your old limiting beliefs around and create new ones that support you en-visioning the future you want.

When you feel more open and excited about life, make a list of your preferences and desires. Simply write down whatever comes into your mind when you ask yourself questions such as:

*“What do I want?”

*“What is my vision for my future?”

*“What do my dream life, relationship, bank account, career, and world look like?”

How do I get from here to there?
Sometimes resistance to dreaming is rooted in feeling overwhelmed or concerns about how to “make” the dream actually occur. The desired outcome of the vision seems so far away or even incomprehensible; you might feel stuck and settle back into old habits of resistance.

Make it your intention to focus mainly on the vision itself and how great it feels when you permit yourself to think about actualizing your dream. Re-read your list of preferences and desires often.

Set aside concerns about how you will literally get from where you are to where you want to be. Opportunities often exist that we simply don't allow ourselves to see. Expand your view and notice how much freer and more empowered you feel.

Pay attention to the choices you are making. Sometimes your usual habits serve you and point you toward your dream and other times choosing a different option will more effectively take you where you want to go.

Above all, give yourself permission to dream and then keep on dreaming, no matter how practical or “realistic” you tend to be. Allow yourself to play around and create a vision for how you'd like your life and world to be. Next, open up and watch it unfold...


  1. Wow! Again, another post that I feel you just wrote for me! I needed this.

  2. Yeah, I'm with you ~ I really believe that your thought informs your reality and not in just some esoteric way. You're right, giving the time to let the dream wander, it starts to create itself.