Are You Living The Dream?

In my world, it’s the little things that remind me that I am, in fact, living the dream. It is the movie marathons and late night Scrabble games with my wife, making vegan pesto with basil from our humble garden, and editing a few thousand images of my children’s soccer season.

Professionally, it is that divine moment when my heart is open and the actions I choose are aligned with my purpose and passions. That’s when my fears about not doing enough, or having enough — whatever the hell “enough” is — wash away. It leaves me hopeful, confident, and stunningly productive.

I only recently recognized how much time I spend cycling between two opposing states — in the flow and out of it. While both are very powerful, the latter is wildly unhelpful, except perhaps for learning what it feels like to be in or out of the flow… and I’ve spent more than enough time out of it. My need for recognition has been met.

Out of the flow — or out of alignment, as I usually say — feels like sickness, exhaustion, powerlessness, isolation, and poverty. Out leaves us creatively paralyzed, spiritually uncertain, and usually spiraling downward. Out feels like fear and it leaves us feeling stuck.In the flow is our natural state. When we are in it, we feel healthy, energized, empowered, deeply connected to a healthy support system, and abundant. We are creative and spiritual creatures. In alignment feels like love, and while we’re in that space, everything we need and desire can flow to us.

The biggest problem with being out of alignment is that every moment I’m there, I’m not living in alignment! And this is a problem not just because it feels bad, but because the fear rises up and interferes with my number one responsibility, which is living my dream.

It makes the ideas slow to a trickle, and leaves me without the energy to birth even that little bit of new life. And as I may have mentioned once or twice before, I believe wholeheartedly that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Spending more time in the flow — for me at least — is mostly about policing myself, noticing how I feel, and gently guiding myself back to the truth. And because I find it particularly challenging to feel my accomplishments (which feeds the ease with which I slip out of alignment), one of my favorite techniques is to document what actions I’ve taken.

For example, here are a few of the major actions I took this month that cognitively slipped away almost immediately… until I went back to claim them:

1. I did a complete overhaul of the Sick of Being Stuck class and the website.
2. I made minor (but essential) updates to my website.
3. I created and opened my Bold and Earthy Goods store on Etsy, which has been on my to-do list for three years.
4. My family did major household clearing and organized a yard sale, which made us a huge chunk of what we needed to take our next step!There were other things, lots of them in fact, but these were the actions that took a great deal of time, energy, and creativity (and physical and emotional strength on that last one). What I realized this month is that dismissing those huge investments of my most sacred resources is an incredibly disrespectful way to be with myself. And you may have already noticed, I’m not really into that.

And of course, as I’ve simmered on my new awareness, I’ve realized that some of my clients were suffering with the same exact thing. One woman, whose productivity can only be described as herculean, gets completely bogged down in what remains undone. She is always focused on how much there is to do that the second she completes a task, she rolls right past the “I did that!” feeling and on to the overwhelm of the next task.

It looks to me like she’s always in emergency mode, always putting out fires… and rather hysterical about how little water she has to fight them. And she’s not the only one; lots of the women I work with are highly productive but feel like they can’t possibly get where they need to be. It’s an intensity that leaves little room for feeling like you are successful and, frankly, a path that will lead you right off a cliff.

The bottom line is this: Living the dream is a feeling. If you want it, choose to be more loving, compassionate, and supportive of you… and the rest will fall in line.

Any questions?

13 comments

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

great article

Lyn Simcock
Lyn Simcock4 years ago

1st - determine what your dream is ... this step alone can push you further and faster towards what is going to make you happier.

2nd - Limit your To Do list ... only put ONE item that "must be done" on it ... then add a few items that you'd "like to do". Congratulate yourself every day on doing the one thing that had to be done and whatever you managed to do of the remaining items. Anything you didn't do is allowed to roll over until tomorrow - so there's less pressure to achieve and fewer regrets about things undone.

I found that doing both of these has helped me find a degree of peace of mind that I never thought existed and in 8 weeks I leave paid emplyment to become the Artist and Textile Designer that I've always called myself but never truly been ... that's my dream and I am going to live it!

Lyn Simcock
Lyn Simcock4 years ago

1st - determine what your dream is ... this step alone can push you further and faster towards what is going to make you happier.

2nd - Limit your To Do list ... only put ONE item that "must be done" on it ... then add a few items that you'd "like to do". Congratulate yourself every day on doing the one thing that had to be done and whatever you managed to do of the remaining items. Anything you didn't do is allowed to roll over until tomorrow - so there's less pressure to achieve and fewer regrets about things undone.

I found that doing both of these has helped me find a degree of peace of mind that I never thought existed and in 8 weeks I leave paid emplyment to become the Artist and Textile Designer that I've always called myself but never truly been ... that's my dream and I am going to live it!

june t.
june t.4 years ago

not living the "dream" but thankful for what I have

Snezana Miletic
Snezana Miletic4 years ago

Thank you

Emma Rose
Emma Rose4 years ago

what I learned in life is to do one step a time....if I feel I am overwhelm I tell myself tomorrow will be better ..I give myself time to slow down relax enjoy the sunrise and sunset....I make myself happy first....good thing my boys are older now..FREEDOM AT LAST!

Maryann S.
Maryann S.4 years ago

Wonderful and inspiring article I really needed this!!

Kirsten B.
Kirsten B.4 years ago

Great piece. It really pays to take the time to feel the feelings which come with the accomplishment of a task. It also makes it so much easier to face the next one.

I'm still feeling good at the progress we made in the basement last weekend, and right now almost hopping around in my seat at having finished my second novel about half an hour ago. Makes it much easier to face finishing unpacking the groceries and doing the dishes! ;)

Monica D.
M D.4 years ago

Very nice, thank you. I agree that it is important to celebrate accomplishments.

Lauren E.
Lauren E.4 years ago

Great article - I just checked out your Etsy shop, I love it! Thank you for sharing!