Tanya Younce, M.Ed., LPCC


Rediscovering Your Dreams – Part I

dreamstime_m_11951874-jpgWhat did you play when you were a kid? What did you wish for, dream about, or see yourself having? As children, we have the innocence and lack of self consciousness to put no limit to our pretend lives. We might have put on various costumes to be superheroes, built entire neighborhoods with Legos, used Barbies to play out our fantasies, or used the outdoors to find new adventures. We could look at the clouds or a painting and see a hundred different things in them! Our imaginations were in technicolor — and we lived our lives wide open!

But as we got older, the cruel faces of self-consciousness, doubt, fear, worry, and criticism appeared on our mind’s screen. They made our lives feel more reserved and confined. They worked like erasers, slowly but methodically rubbing away the pictures of our imagined futures — the futures that would otherwise have made us feel powerful, have more fun, and awaken countless new capabilities.

What a tragedy.

I’m not saying this happened to everyone. Nor can I claim that ALL our dreams were squashed as we got older. But I do know that if we didn’t have loving guides who helped us preserve our innocence, foster our imagination, or bolster the optimistic views of our futures, then they sure were at high risk of dying.

So then…how do we learn how to dream again, as adults?

You may ask “Why would we need to do that? Isn’t that kid stuff? Isn’t that silly?” No. Actually it’s not silly at all. In fact, it’s very serious stuff. If we don’t have dreams, imagining ourselves having or doing the things we love, or if we simply settle for whatever our limited lives have become, then we are not really doing our job in this lifetime. 

More people need to understand that!

We live our lives either by design or default. We can play our hand or we can fold. Prince Ea’s video “Everybody Dies, But Not Everybody Lives” is a clear message to us that, as grown ups, we have a responsibility to discover what it is that lights us up and plays out the purpose with which we were born.

Yes. We were all born to live out a dream with some kind of purpose. But not everyone knows this. So if you were allowed to go back in time and get your old dreams back, or were given full permission and opportunity to develop new ones — what would they look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like?

Would you write a book and become a famous author?
Would you become a pilot and fly all over the world?
Would you be up on a stage dancing or singing your heart out?
Would you be helping save lives in a hospital or third world country?
Would you grow award-winning chrysanthemums in a greenhouse?
Would you own an oceanfront beach house where your whole family could gather?

These are the kinds of dreams that we’ve forgotten how to not only HAVE, but to BELIEVE in. I’ve written before about achieving great things with hard work, but this has to do with the initial claiming and nurturing of the fantasies we would love to have come to fruition.

Take a moment and think about a list of the dreams you would reclaim or create. This might take a while, but it’s worth the time and effort. Save them in a journal or write them on pieces of paper to place inside a box. I don’t care how you store them, but treat them as you would any brilliant idea — with excitement, curiosity, and reverence.

I’ll share how to start making them come true in Part II, so stay tuned!

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