Dreaming Big Living Large In 2007

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

“I’m going to be an astronaut.” “I’m going to be a movie star.” “I’m going to be the President.” “I’m going to own a chocolate factory!”

What were your childhood dreams?

We still have the ability to dream big, no matter how old or young, no matter where we live, and no matter what our family believed and taught us to believe. However, most of us need to clear the cobwebs off our imagination. And that’s just what I’m going to encourage you to do.

Why is dreaming so important anyway? Dreams play a significant role in determining the expansiveness or constrictiveness of life. You’ve heard of the “glass ceiling.” Dreams are the glass ceiling we create for our own life. We can create a ceiling just above our head or somewhere out at the edge of the Milky Way!

Michelangelo said, “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.”

Your life is the marble and it holds the form of every thought you, the artist, have. If you’re thoughts are small and constrictive, your life holds small, constrictive forms. If your thoughts are grand and expansive those are the forms your life holds!

When that glass ceiling is very low, it’s often because we’ve allowed our dreams to be created for us, either by others or by our unconscious mind. Have you ever met someone who chose their career because their parents “suggested” it? I was inches away from enrolling in law school and following in the footsteps of my father.

Do you know anyone who stays at a job they hate because it pays the bills?

Think about your own life. How much space do you have to dream before you hit your glass ceiling? How big can you dream?

Your imagination needs to be used regularly or it will atrophy. In the same way that you keep your heart and lungs healthy by walking, or your biceps strong by lifting weights, you need to exercise your dream muscle to keep it in good shape. But before you can really begin working out your dream muscle, you need to know what gets in the way.

All of us carry limiting beliefs. Some we may be aware of. Others may lie hidden beneath the radar of our awareness. Read through the following list of beliefs slowly. Ask yourself if any of them seem familiar. Notice how you feel when you read each one. If your body reacts with anxiety or fear – fast heart-rate, shallow breathing, tightness in the chest or solar plexus, etc. – you may have discovered a limiting belief that has been hidden within you.

  • I don’t have enough money to do. . .
  • I don’t have enough education.
  • I don’t have the credentials
  • I’m not smart enough.
  • It will never pay the bills.
  • It’s never been done before so it probably can’t be done.
  • It’s greedy, or selfish.
  • It’s not spiritual enough.
  • It’s too risky.
  • People will think I’m crazy.
  • I don’t have any extra time.
  • Some people might be hurt if I do it.
  • I might mess it up, or do it wrong.

This is just a small sampling of the limiting beliefs available for our use. There are hundreds of them, and thousands of variations. Whatever they sound like, whatever form they take, whatever specific words they use, limiting beliefs have but one purpose and that is to keep you small, to prevent you from dreaming big.

Now that you’re aware of some of the limiting beliefs that hold you back, for at least the next few minutes – and hopefully a lot longer than that – I’m going to encourage you to let go of those beliefs and allow yourself to imagine the biggest dream you possibly can.

Let go of all the “yeah buts.” Let yourself drift back to that uninhibited dreaming space you had as a child. We’re not concerned about whether or not these dreams ever come true. Right now we just want to rekindle the dreaming ability.

Take a moment now and enter your dream world and begin to imagine your life in 5-years. Let go of the rationalizations. Remember, you’re dreaming, tapping into your imagination, creating a vision of your ideal life. So if you want to dream yourself into a vacation home in Hawaii, don’t worry about how much it will cost or where the money will come from. If you want to dream yourself into a new career, don’t worry about your lack of education, or your age, or an economic downturn. If you want to dream yourself into the perfect relationship, don’t worry that you are currently single. You are imagining, dreaming, visioning. Let go of constraints, fears doubts. Let go of limiting beliefs. Have fun. Play!

If you’re stuck, some questions to ask about your life five years from now are: Where am I living? What is my vocation? Am I married? Do I have children? What kind of car do I drive? What is my health like? What do I do for fun? Where do I travel?

As you explore this vision, make sure to bring in the feelings. In five-years, how do you feel when you wake up in the morning? How do you feel when you are working, playing, traveling. As you feel into your life, you may begin to get glimpses of what this ideal life looks like. If so, let yourself drift deeper into those glimpses. Let yourself explore the scenes that are lit up in your imagination.

And if you’re still having trouble, try creating the ideal life for a fictional character. Become the author of this character’s life. Make it a really juicy life! What would their dream life look like 5-years from now? It’s likely that parts of the life you create for them are what you would like to have in your own.

Still having trouble dreaming? Here are some other ideas: Make a dream life collage. Ask a good friend to brainstorm your ideal life with you. Look around you at other people and pick out parts of their lives that appeal to you.

The idea here is to begin exercising your dreaming and imagination muscles. Many of us have allowed these muscles to atrophy through years of focusing most of our attention on our doing muscles.

So between now and the end of the year, take some time to dream, to envision, to imagine. As you come up with details of your ideal life, write them down. And keep your notes somewhere visible so you can add to it, change it, allow it to grow and morph as you settle more fully into your ability to dream big.

And, as we all step into bigger dreams and more expansive lives, we can make 2007 the year of dreaming big and living large.

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