Our theme for June is the Big Dream. Here Ruth explores where the idea came from and, even if you’re not sure what yours is, why having a dream is important.
My in-tray is full of all sorts of people demanding that I find my purpose or vision in life, encouraging me to focus or build my best life!
When you mix in self-development circles there are lots of people handing out advice and my old-self (and occasionally my current one) would take this all very seriously. I have a strong desire to perform that drives me on to a better version of me and this has, without doubt, helped me to create a life that I love to live.
It’s really easy to get caught up on the idea that our lives have to create something enormous or “worthy”. But that’s just not the case, every life has value whether or not we are aware of it. Simple everyday acts like saying hello to your neighbour or smiling at a baby can be enough.
For me the “Big Dream” is multifaceted. When our daughter was very ill with anorexia she saw no reason to eat, and it was only by the long, slow process of asking her what she wanted for her future that she was able to build up enough reason to want to live.
So, there is a level at which having some kind of dream or purpose is vital for our survival. It doesn’t have to be big or flashy, but having a direction can help us take steps in our daily life. This may be being there for your family, coaching the local kids’ football team or creating a lovely garden.
Considering our Big Dream – what would I be, do or have if I could be, do or have anything – also creates space for us to check in with what our heart desires. It gives an opportunity to notice if we are living our lives in a way that brings the dream closer or further away. Without time and space to check in, it’s very easy to slip into someone else’s life or expectations for us.
Finally, when we have had a chance to play around and explore what it might be, there’s an opportunity to see where we already have some of it in our lives. Fresh Air Fridays is now so much part of my life that it’s difficult to imagine a time when I didn’t have the space to notice what is going on for me. However, I know from daily conversations that this isn’t the case for everyone.
I know that giving myself some time to have fun, dream big and check out what would be fun to play with really works for me. Keeping it light, not making it mean anything, nudging gently, I am able to see and hear more clearly and take the direction I want to go, not the direction the emails in my in-tray tell me I should go.
As I write this I notice I am tuning in to one of our other themes – gratitude. I’m so grateful to have the Fresh Air Fridays community that supports me to lead the life that I want and choose to live.