It’s okay to dream

What are you dreams? It doesn’t matter how big or small our dreams are, is it just that we have one or many.

I was chatting with a good friend last night and it came up about what dreams we have, even in our forties! My words to her were “we all need a dream, even if you don’t believe it can happen immediately”.

Do you remember as a child all the dreams you had, the days and nights you spent seeing them in your mind and believing that everything is possible!? I do! Thinking back one of my loveliest fantasies was to leave an empty box beside my bed with an empty chocolate bar wrapper and when I woke in the morning the box would be full of chocolate bars, yes I know that never happened, but it still didn’t stop me from trying.

I believe that we must keep that child- like sense of belief alive in our minds and hearts, keep leaving the empty box beside us and hope that someday we will fill it. After all these years, I still remember the feeling of wanting that dream to be so real, when we give enough passion to something it eventually happens. My dream as a child of course was not going to happen with a box load of chocolate appearing by magic, but as I got older I realised that the want was more than the reality.

To keep our lives from becoming mundane and lack lustre, we must all have a dream. Think about what your dreams were as a child and try and bring that feeling back into your heart, wasn’t it an exciting feeling!? So now as my grown up self, every time I come up with an idea and would like to become a reality, when I feel that feeling (like I did as a child) I focus on it more and more, I believe that when something is right for us we will make it happen. So who’s to say all of my other dreams won’t happen too. I have thought about my dreams for a long time and many of the things I planted in my mind and heart as a tiny seed have grown and blossomed into my life. I am living my dream in so many ways. I found happiness in the simple things in life, I stopped searching for the big things to complete my life, my life is so full already and everything after that is a bonus. Gratitude is foremost in my life and I will be forever thankful for all my blessings.

I am no different to anyone else, some of my dreams I had to work really hard at, others just flowed to me when I was ready. The difference is I allowed them to come to me without trying to force them to happen. So get your thinking caps on and try to remember all the dreams you have ever had, work from there and start to create another dream in your mind. Imagine seeing it happen and feeling the excitement, see yourself living your dream. If you can see it, it can happen!

What do you do when you are feeling low?

We all have bad days and sometimes those days are harder to pull out of, you are not alone, everyone goes through them and it is okay not to feel happy all the time, it is okay to acknowledge those feelings and give yourself some space, but don’t isolate yourself. Here are a few of my own suggestions on how to help yourself on a daily basis:

1. Step back and self-reflect. Whenever I start feeling depressed, I try to stop, reflect, and get to the root of my feelings. Just taking a few minutes to stop and breathe deeply will help you become more calm, imagine where in your body you feel the ‘pain’, name the emotion if possible, give it acolour and a size and the more you breathe into it the smaller it gets.  

2. Reach out to someone. I used to bottle up my feelings out of fear that I would be judged  if I talked about them. I’ve since learned that reaching out to a loving, understanding person is one of the best things I can do. No matter who we are, we all need to share and ask for support or help at certain times in our lives. Give yourself permission to speak openly about your feelings, we all need someone to listen. If you feel you can’t speak to your family or friends, get the help of a professional, you will be so glad you reached out.

3. Go for a walk. Walking always helps me clear my head and shed negative energy. I find that the more I isolated myself, the worse I felt, getting out and about if only for a short walk-no matter the weather, I always felt much better afterwards. Try and bring some outdoor activity into your day/week and see the benefits not only in body but also in mind and spirit, get out and notice the world around you.

4. If you have pets, go out and play with them in the garden, give them lots of cuddles and just watch how your mood starts to life, animals give us unconditional love and can sense when we are not feeling good. If you don’t have a pet, go out to your local rescue centre and volunteer to walk the dogs that need so much love and support-just like us sometimes. And even better still adopt a dog or cat into your life, it will bring you years of love and friendship.

5. Prioritise. Sometimes I feel down when my priorities are out of balance. I try to make sure I’m giving a fair amount of attention to all the priorities in my life, such as work, relationships, health, and personal happiness. What is most important to you in your life right now, try to give an equal amount of time to each and spend more time doing what makes your happiest.

6. Write it down, I used to write and write when I was feeling alone in myself, I took out a pen and paper and just wrote everything down, I sometimes cried as I released all my inner feelings, but once out, I felt so much better. As I always say, it’s better out of your head and on paper than stuck in your head going round and round!

7. Play Music, If you want to lift yourself just for a few madminutes in your car or house, put on the radio, play your most favourite happiest songs, if in the car, turn up the volume and sing your heart out, if at home, dance around the kitchen. You may feel silly, but who cares, you are already feeling bad about yourself so dancing like a wild person will help loosen you up and shed the heavy feeling in your heart. Get up and dance J

8. Cultivate gratitude. Practicing genuine gratitude on a daily basis has been a major source of healing in my life. When I step back and notice everything I have to be grateful for, it makes me feel like I have everything I need and that nothing is lacking. It makes me feel whole. I wake up saying thank you for being alive again today and go to bed giving thanks for even just one thing and keep saying it over and over in my mind. I find that as I go through each day, I notice things to be grateful more and more and in turn start to feel like my life is so full of small blessings.

9. Get out of the house. I work from home, so a large majority of my time is spent indoors, planted in front of my laptop. I have to make a point to get out every now and then, whether it’s to get some fresh air or find outside jobs to do. There is always something to do outside, even if it is to clean the windows-do the outside first.    

10. Focus on what truly matters to you. Sometimes I forget what matters to me and what isn’t that important. Some things just aren’t worth getting too upset over. We all feel at times that we could do more or our lives are going to plan, but what is your life plan? I do plan weeks in advance for my work, but other than that you can’t plan life, you just live it day by day. Each day brings its own challenges and joys, it is to notice each one as it happens and not build it up over time, today is a new day, live it well.