Living in “the Now” when our Dreams seem Far Away & Impossible to Grasp.
Settling, believing that a situation we are in can never change, or making no attempt to do anything about it, is very different to accepting and making peace with our current circumstances - whilst knowing that they will certainly change or improve in the future.
It is not always possible to snap our fingers and turn things around in one day, and we often unavoidably find ourselves in periods of stretch, heightened responsibility, compromise or difficulty, but that doesn’t mean that things will never be easier or better.
It is knowing that our situation is temporary that can support us in dealing with taxing and challenging times. Whether it’s a healthier body, thoughts of easier days and nights as the children grow more independent, a thriving and sustainable business, being able to budget for a regular gardener or weekly date night, working diligently to climb the career ladder, taking a year out to travel and find yourself or perhaps the healing of emotional wounds, they all have in common one prerequisite; time.
No matter how committed and focused we are, how happy we may be with our choices, how at peace we feel with the way things have panned out, or how rationally we see our current situation, it doesn’t dilute the fact the it will be tough, and at times, especially if we are living in the space between reality and our dream, knowing that better is possible but it is not here yet, we will feel like throwing in the towel and sometimes crying a few tears too. It can be in such times that our dreams seem so far away and can feel impossible to grasp.
It is easy to lose ourselves in the daily demands and responsibilities. To get caught up in the seeming finality of the way things are, for example a rough patch in a relationship, the commitment we have made to care for an elderly parent, or the numbers that are displayed in bank accounts. It can all seem so real and final.
Since the only thing we can count on though is that things are constantly changing, it pays to harness this idea by deliberately engineering a life that is in line with our dreams and ambitions.
Talk yourself up
Developing a positive mental attitude is key to converting our dreams to reality. When the days are long, the body is tired or there is too much month at the end of the money, your mind will be, in fact must be your power tool, like the friend who is always there to pick you up and remind you how awesome you are and that everything will be ok. Get used to observing your inner dialogue and tweaking it when it veers too far towards the negative.
If you regularly tell yourself you are tired, hopeless, angry or incapable, unfortunately, it will likely come true. Practice affirming your strength, wisdom and capabilities to yourself and remember to remind yourself how fortunate you are, for example to have the current job, the freedom to get an education or start your own business, the health to exercise or the little blessed bundles of joy who keep you awake at night.
Take this positive outlook with you through your day, as you drive to work, do the school run, stay up late to complete projects, even taking out the trash, and notice how much happier you feel along the way.
Add to your dream bank daily
If we don’t do anything different, nothing much will change. Transformation must first happen on the inside before it can manifest on the outside. Be kind to yourself and contribute daily to your future dream or goal by taking relevant action as often as is possible.
The quickest way to reignite your waning passion for life is to immerse yourself in your dream as intimately as you can, as often as you can. You can do this through visualization, by bringing to life in your mind’s eye an image of how you desire things to be and conjuring up a full body feeling as you do.
You can also generate momentum and tangible shifts by segmenting a small part of today, in service of tomorrow. By making it a priority in your day today, you will not only make positive practical progress, you will also be constantly reminding yourself that whatever is challenging or unpleasant in life will not always exist.
Adding to your dream bank daily, will increase feelings of self-empowerment, which acts as a reminder that indeed, you are the boss of your life.
Take inventory of the small stuff
Perk yourself up by noticing every success, forward step and positive change, even the tiny ones. We often get caught up in waiting for the result, we rarely give ourselves credit for or appreciate the seemingly insignificant acts like for example waking up five consecutive days at 6am to work out before starting the day, attending an evening class to further your training or working on your own online business in the evenings.
Without the repetitive reoccurring activities, it is less likely that your dreams and desires will come to light. By ‘bigging’ yourself up for showing up, you are becoming your very own cheer leader and motivator, and we all know how important encouragement and praise can be.
The more you give to yourself, the more likely you will persist, even on days when you’d rather not. As your self-respect increases, a sense of invincibility develops which can lighten heaviness and reduce overwhelm, helping you to fall in love with the journey just as much as the destination.
Accept what is but look forward to what is coming
It is easy to allow the self-righteous mind to persuade us it isn’t worth doing it, if isn’t full out. Ever heard of the all or nothing concept?
We often believe that if we can’t engage in something the way we would like to, for example, going to the gym five days a week, then there is no use in going at all, whereas even one or two visits per week will still provide valuable benefits.
Another thing I hear often is “I don’t have the budget to eat healthily”. The truth is, whatever the area of focus, we can always start somewhere, with the resources that we have and the time that we have available to us now. For example, you can simply buy fresh fruits and vegetables for now and look forward to being able to invest in organic produce if you choose to in the future.
I prefer the principle ‘something is better than nothing’. There are ways we can compromise without forfeiting our desires or aspirations completely, and by doing so we are contributing to our dream bank as we go.
It’s much easier to see restriction or limitation in a situation; it requires innovation, creativity and a big dose of willingness to design a schedule that includes meeting your needs as well as taking care of current responsibilities.
By making the best use of the time and resources we have, and persuading ourselves to feel good about it, we are enabling ourselves to feel excited about the future, making it much easier to manage the crack between the life we have - and life we not only dream of, but are creating for ourselves.
This article was first featured on Elephant Journal