Feeling open to trying something? Use your imagination with me. Take a moment and let those words flow over you. See yourself at a convention, in a ballroom, with thousands of other people cheering this to you. You won! You were chosen! You achieved it! See in your mind’s eye how pleased they all are for you. Everyone is laughing and jumping up and down. All of these people beaming with happiness for you. Now stop, close your eyes, and sit with that visualization for as long as is comfortable before you read on.
Now answer these questions without thinking, just right off the top of your head: When you hear: You won! You achieved it! You did it! For you, what is “it”? What is one of your greatest dreams that you almost don’t dare to want? Your most compelling desire? It could be concrete and specific, like ‘I want my business to make x amount of profit in the next 10 years.’ Or it could be abstract, such as ‘I want to move past my childhood junk and grow into my fullest self.’ Your desire could be: knowing you are a great parent or experiencing consistent deep intimacy with your partner. Whatever it is…own it, know it, and say it out loud.
If you are being honest with yourself, this declaration should bring you energy. If you really want something, and you declare it, you can expect to have an enlivened reaction. This could be excitement, fear, or even a sense of being moved. If you aren’t having a reaction you may have chosen something that you, or someone else, think you “should” want. Or maybe you’ve chosen something that just isn’t IT. If this is the case, go back to the drawing board and keep searching for a truly potent dream.
Next question: What was your emotional reaction to imagining that level of support with all those people cheering for you? Did you feel happy? Relieved? Scared? Some other emotion?
Now take a minute and breathe through whatever came up for you. Notice how your body feels and continue to take deep breaths. When you’re ready, imagine the scenario all over again, the room with thousands of co-conspirators…and while breathing deeply…see them cheering for you…so excited that you made it happen. That you achieved this cherished dream. Let it sink in.
If you notice resistance, the kind that feels as though you don’t deserve this type support or even to “dream the impossible dream,” keep breathing deeply. Even if it feels a little cheesy to you, I invite you to “try on” this exercise like you would a costume. Even if it doesn’t feel true…imagine it. Allow yourself to fantasize about what you really want and then envision your self after having received it. Knowing that you did it.
As a bonus question you might ask yourself what changed? In your imagination, you’re on the other side of that goal, what had to change within you to make that dream happen?
Sometimes, without consciously meaning to, we shut off to certain things we want for ourselves. It’s a way of protecting ourselves from the pain of disappointment. Unfortunately, this also blocks us from our desire, our dreams, even some basic wants. You couple this with the fact that many of us worry about what might go wrong, rather than reviewing the ways it may go right, and you have a recipe for stagnation around the things that mean the most. Just for today, and any future day you choose, I invite you to instead, plan for the best. Allow yourself to remember these desires, these dreams, and just like an Olympic athlete in training, visualize yourself after you’ve crossed that finish line. Celebrate it. Take in that state of consciousness. This is your life….stretch to it if that’s what it takes.