You can indeed tell it’s summertime in my house…. there are piles of papers that need to be filed on my desk, I messed up the time on one of my coaching calls this week, and my poor blog is beginning to feel slightly bemused at my lack of writing and posting these days. That’s because I have such BIG dreams, and I want to do it all RIGHT NOW… yet the reality of my life at this time is that I have two munchkins that need their mom and who remind me to play and not take myself so seriously, and so I must surrender to this game of tug-o-war between my kiddos and my work.
I’m know I’m not alone here… I hear all the time from clients, both with and without children, about how they’re moving forward in the pursuit of their visions and dreams, and then BOOM…. life walks in. So how do we keep our momentum moving forward when there are immediate family needs, an illness, a flat tire, no more clean clothes, or our own lofty expectations? It can feel downright scary to let go of that push for even a second and tend to other things.
The thing is, after a little while, the pushing can become counter-productive… we begin to grasp, grab, and try way too hard, so that our efforts become not so dreamy anymore and we lose our steam…. and maybe even give up! It doesn’t help that we live in a land of moreness…. where if we want something, we must work our tushes off to earn it, and even when we get it, there’s always more to want, more to be, more to do. But it doesn’t have to be so all or nothing…. especially if we dare to look at our BIG visions from an even BIGGER perspective.
Y’see, too often, we look at our BIG dreams from where we are right now with our blinders on, and expect them to fall into place lickety split, just like that… all we see is the HUGENESS of what we need to do, and we try to make huge leaps to hurry up the process. The problem is that this is coming from the smallish perspective of “oh lordy, I sure have a long way to go, and if I’m going to be successful, I better do it all right now.” Then when life walks in, stress and overwhelm roll in with it, and we realize we simply can’t manage it all. Unfortunately, that’s when many throw in the cards and sink into the story of “I’ll never___”.
What if we stepped back for a moment and took a look at it all from a BIGGER perspective?
Imagine this for a moment… If you were an eagle looking down upon your life, everything on the ground would seem so small and simple and insignificant. Your perspective would span so wide that you’d be able to see the rich landscape of how far you’ve already come, and be able to marvel at the sea of possibilities before you. The hustle and bustle and messiness just beneath you would seem like one tiny patch in a 100-mile long quilt, and each small beat of your wings would alter its appearance. And if something got in your way, you’d be soaring through the skies again tomorrow.
~Begin with what you already know. Even if you’re just starting to chase your vision, your journey is unique because it’s packed full of all of your life’s experiences and adventures that are as much a part of you and your path as the horizon that stretches out before you. Who are you in this moment that is already reflecting your dream?
~Think stepping-stones rather than milestones. Baby steps are highly underrated… they can often propel us forward even more powerfully than huge, romantic leaps, simply because you have the opportunity to learn the dance as you go and take each and every step deliberately. You may be wobbly or clumsy or slow, and there might not be immediate proof that you’re headed in the right direction, but you’re learning to BE with your dream and with your life… you’re learning to trust in your own two feet. The average life span is 25,000 days… what’s the rush? What is enough or possible just for today?
~Pause…. celebrate. We all (including myself) often forget to stop and recognize what we’ve accomplished. Take time (it only takes a few minutes) atleast once a week, or even better, every evening, to check in with yourself and acknowledge what you’ve done in pursuit of your vision, even the very tiniest of steps. Write it all down, and allow yourself to swoon over the piddly little tasks like “I cleaned out one drawer of my desk today” or “I wrote an email to someone who inspires me.” What have you done today that honors your dream?
~Create rituals that breed self-trust. Much like the pausing and celebrating at the end of each day, I find it powerful to begin each day with a similar sort of practice… My favorite is to open up my front door and let the sunshine in each morning, and declare, I am here… bring it on! One of my clients made brushing her teeth before anything else in the morning an intentional practice of beginning the day with a clean slate and a clean smile. What small ritual could support you in bringing your mind and body and spirit into alignment with your deeper visions?
~Forgive the distractions, forgive yourself. Life gets messy and demanding,- it’s a part of being human. Sometimes the effort to shut out or conquer the disturbances takes far more energy than sitting with them and allowing them to pass by on their own. You might even enjoy them… what a concept, right? Sure, it might mean having some frazzled moments… but it’s time to let go of the guilt around not being perfect! Part of the work, no matter what it is you hope to do or be, is to discover the meaning that’s ingrained in EVERYTHING, to find magic in the ordinary or mundane, and to be with what is, even if it’s not quite what you signed up for. When life is “imperfect”, how do you offer yourself compassion?
The BIGGER perspective reminds me that it doesn’t have to be a tug-o-war… I can make time to write on my blog and clean up my desk without worrying whether or not it’s enough, I can giggle at my foibles, I can enjoy my children while they still love to hug and kiss me in public, and I can tango with unexpected detours… it’s all a part of growing my dream, no matter how long it takes. I’ll just keep soaring!
How about YOU???