Dream Big! Lessons from Toddlers...

Make Room for Your Dreams

One of my mentors gave me a framed quotation that got me excited about my own dreams. It said, "Dreams are the book that your soul is writing about you." I don’t know who said it, but it got me thinking! I have a short cheerleader list of a few mindset shifts that might make some mental space for your dreams, goals, endeavors to blossom and more importantly to empower your soul to publish that dream book!

What do we want to accomplish in life? How big are our dreams, our goals, our endeavors?

Do you have any dreams, goals or even short-term pursuits? I do. I have a lot. It’s overwhelming sometimes. It’s not my intention to share my “bucket list” with you, but rather share a perspective that might make it easier to get to of bed in the morning. Can I be your cheerleader? If you have an insurmountable mountain of achievement ahead of you. Or maybe, you are one of those people that haven't even consciously acknowledged that you have a goal because it’s too crowded in your mind to go there. Guess what? It’s okay either way. I believe that we are all here to accomplish GREAT things.

Clear the slate. Clear your mind.

Acknowledge that you have a higher purpose in your life than where you currently are. Let’s face it; most people sadly do not realize their full potential. We hit the snooze button (metaphoric and literal) or turn the other way or dismiss thoughts of greatness and replace them with insecurity and doubt.

Fake it until you make it.

What is on your goal list that you want to do that seems impossible? Can you start small and fake it? Even if it’s just daydreaming about what it would be like to be a successful restaurant owner? BTW, that’s on my list! 

When my siblings and I were little, we used to play make believe a lot. Our parents were ahead of their time and banned us from watching television. However, the ban really didn't work! When we went to our friend’s houses, that’s all we wanted to do. As parents, they took control of our environment and got rid of television. Although I didn’t think this at the time, I will be forever grateful for my parent’s foresight. Instead of wasting our time sitting in front of the “idiot box” (my mom’s name for it) we would play restaurant, teacher, business office, race car drivers, house, and doctor (not that kind!). I remember LOVING playing teacher. Well, I still love teaching and it's my profession today. The seed was planted, the plant was grown, and I harvest and reap the rewards every school year. I can honestly say, I love my job.

Take baby steps.

Baby steps

Observing a child learn how to walk is a great example of tenacity. I share it with my yoga students regularly when we are embarking on mastering a challenging pose. Many will fall out of a challenging pose and exclaim “I can’t do it!”.What would have happened if my son decided that he couldn’t get up after the 100th time he had fallen on his face as a wobbling one year old? They don’t make child carriers big enough for him now at 6 years, 50 pounds, so so I’m sure glad he kept standing up, putting one foot in front of the other everyday, all day long until he got it. Phew! Toddlers are masters of determination and consistency. Whether they are learning how to walk, speak, or open the Nutella jar, they show us what it means to take those baby steps in the direction of your dreams/goals/endeavors.

Keep the dream alive; don’t give up!

I prefer positive statements which is why “don’t give up” is after “keeping the dream alive”. Instead of focusing on NOT giving up,think about how to keep the dream alive. There are so many fun ways to do this.

  • Make a Vision Board
    If you are a visual person, making a vision board by cutting out images from magazines that align you with your dreams/endeavors can be powerful as long as you look at with a hopeful, positive, “this is happening” feeling in your heart.
  • Write a Story
    .If writing is your forte, than try creating a “what if” story. Write about the day in the life of“ You,the choose your own title here. “ Go really big and share your writing with a close friend! A little creative writing is so much fun and really inspires the vision to get grand and exciting. 
  • Talk About Your Dreams
    Talk about your vision, dream, endeavor! This one is hard because we become vulnerable. If we can share our vision, dream and endeavor with other people, the energy around it multiplies.I think this one might be the easiest in terms of physical effort (talk is cheap and easy) but mentally we put ourselves on the line.This brings me the next one…
  • Get Uncomfortable! 
    One of my favorite motivational speakers (Mel Robbins - do your soul a favor and watch her TED talk, 'How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over') talks about our inner snooze button. She humorously and metaphorically explains that we are inherently lazy and need to choose discomfort and stop hitting the snooze button; GET OUTTA BED! It’s cold, dark and uncomfortable. What if we could use our physical bodies to experience discomfort? Would it mentally prepare us for discomfort? One of my favorite (okay, least favorite but most effective!) ways to get uncomfortable is simple….but not easy. Your skin and hair will love it and you will get uncomfortable, I promise. Simple but not easy…turn the shower on cold for as long as you can. That’s it .Try it...your mind will be blown!
  • Practice Yoga
    As a practitioner of yoga I would be doing yoga an injustice if I didn’t hail Yoga as an extremely effective practice of getting uncomfortable. Yogis are known for their ability to endure extreme conditions. It didn’t happen overnight. Pose after pose prepares us to welcome the exploration of discomfort that Yoga invites into our bodies and minds.

Boy, oh boy! That’s a lot to add to your “to do list”. As you read this, know that I truly believe that everyone has the ability to dream and achieve greatness, joy and success. I also truly believe that we need mentors and what I call “potentiators” in our lives to keep us on track. Know that your maximum potential awaits you and even acting upon it in the seemingly most insignificant way, is a step in the right direction.

Now, on to writing your dream book!