“Your dreams don’t have to be lofty; they just have to be lived.”
Ah, dreams. Lovely thoughts. We lift our heads up from the grindstone periodically to gaze at them, like distant stars way out in the universe. Then we sigh and return to our to-do list of “urgent” action items.
Who invented that thought process?
What if having dreams was not so much about some perfect situation off on the distant horizon, or something we hope to achieve or experience…someday?
What if, instead, dreams were simply a guiding light, showing us how to live our lives right now, this very minute?
Aren’t dreams the embodiment of what we most value, after all? (If we latch on to our own dreams that is, not someone else’s.) Why can’t we incorporate those values into our daily lives and enjoy our dreams now, today?
Eleanor Roosevelt famously said “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I love that thought. But I’d add that the present moment does too, if we let our truest dreams guide us through our days.
Think about it. What’s the essence of your dreams?
In other words, which of your values do they serve?
Creativity, health, harmony, exploration, invention, service, abundance, connection, fun, discovery, compassion, adventure? Expressiveness, hospitality, leadership, education, mastery, originality?
Not sure what your values list looks like? Check out this list of 400 values to gain some clarity.
The dreams that tug at you again and again will spring from what you value most.
For one person, it may be a dream of traveling the world. For another, it might be going back to school, or running a marathon, or raising happy kids.
As for me, my dreams include spending plenty of time pursuing creative self-expression.
I know in my heart this doesn’t have to wait for some perfect set of circumstances; it can be a part of my life every day. So I keep my camera handy, along with something to write on, and seek out inspiration in nature and art.
But it’s easy to let it all slip when life gets too busy. Let’s face it though, it’ll always be too busy, unless I make a point of living my dreams every day.
Author Doris Lessing said: “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”
Just thinking about this post moved me to finally take out some acrylic paints, brushes, a small canvas, and an easel that have been sitting in a box for over a year.
It doesn’t really matter how long it’s been since I’ve used them, though. If we miss a day, a month, or a year, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of our dream; it just means we’re human.
We all have those days (or years) when we get tired or impatient and just want to flop on the couch and eat Cheetos. Or we get caught up in the daily demands on our time and the dust starts collecting on our dreams.
But our dreams are our dreams for a reason, and there’s no time like the present for living them. As enthusiastic speaker, author, and trainer Mike Dooley points out:
“The secret to living your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you can.” One thing leads to another, and before we know it, voila, we’re living our dream.
On that note, I’m off to buy some fresh brushes, and I plan to play with paints this weekend.
What dream will you bring into your life today?
Have fun with it!