Who’s tired of “adulting” this week? This year? I’m with you. Sometimes when you’re busy doing your work in the world, it gets too easy to focus only on your to-do list and what needs to happen next. Let’s put that away for the next 5-7 minutes, shall we, and dream BIG.
I read the other day about something called an “empath.” Technically, it’s a science fiction term that means “a person with paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.” A website where I read even more about it (which had lots of dreamy-looking pinks and blues and may have been a holdover from the GeoCities days… you know the kind) told more about it. Empaths, apparently, put others’ emotional priorities above theirs and are so sensitive that they almost have to block their own feelings in order to keep life moving.
Needless to say, I’ve been convinced for the past several days that I am one, and here’s why you should care (since I know what you’re thinking and feeling and all).
To-do lists are important. Inspiration is important. Both are needed to get sh*t done and to remember and remind yourself the whole point of doing it in the first place. We’ve put some good energy into the how part of being on your grind this season. We’ve talked about when you should do more, how to measure your success, and how to get rid of fear.
We need to, this week, take it up a notch and capture some go-to ways to find and make time to dream a little bigger. I feel like we need it: whether it’s all of the election stuff or just my newfound paranormal talents doing the talking. Either way! Here are three ways to open yourself up to big thinking and bold feeling in your life.
- Steal back some time.
Unfortunately (thanks, adulting), it’s no surprise that making a living consumes most of our best waking hours. It is what it is, and we’re grateful for the opportunity and to have the chance to… (see, I couldn’t even finish that sentence). The challenge, though, is to not let those things (the tasks, the travel, the to-do’s) keep you permanently trapped on the top layer of life, where horrible things like war and conference calls happen. Don’t let your job take too much out of you. Strong ties to family, friends and faith can really help you get to a better balance on this one.
The trick is to find ways to incorporate more big thinking (or feeling) time into your routine. Breathe some fresh air during your lunch break. Take the scenic route home. Read something new that expands your mind in your off hours. Turn OFF the Real Housewives of Wherever at night. Think about what you used to like to do as a child. Work on a vision board. Share your vision board with me ([email protected]), and let’s talk about it. And Kate Moss. (She’s on yours too, right?)
2. Imagine: You win the lottery. Big league. What do you do, then?
Since work, career, success and money are so closely connected, put some time into thinking what you would do if you didn’t have to bother with any of it. It can be scary to get real about how much of our lives are driven by our financial needs and obligations, but it also makes you stronger when you can face it. What would you do with all of your free time, if money wasn’t a concern? What problem would you want to solve? If you just let your answers come, without judging them, you’ll get some great insights into where your heart is and some good ideas on big things you’re passionate about. Those are things you may be able to incorporate into your life NOW.
(Yes, I promised no Presidential talk, but I couldn’t help myself with that “big league” comment.)
3. Ask Yourself: What kind of life would make you burst with joy and gratitude?
There are a couple of important points here. First of all, it’s about making YOU burst with joy and gratitude – not your partner, not your mother, not your neighbor.
The good news here is that the weirder it is, the better. You’ve heard the success story about the woman who turned her love of pimple popping into a YouTube cash cow. Seriously. If a freak like that can find her niche and audience, so can you. Get weird with it, if that’s where your passion takes you.
The other part of this question is all about the type of life that would make you truly grateful. What would it be like? Are you working by yourself or with others? What part of the country? Indoors or outdoors? What do you talk about all day? What are you wearing? What kinds of magazines and blogs are you devouring, as you’re doing this? What lights you up?
I won’t burden you with trite, Pinterest-friendly quotes (not here, but I definitely will on social media this week), but there’s something to the idea of dreaming something before you can truly “be” something. Sometimes it’s about opening up the space so good ideas, whether they’re “big” or not, can come through. Play with these thoughts this week, and see if it helps you get out of your day-to-day and get into a space that feels BIG.
And let me know how it goes for you!