Wednesday, February 9, 2011

dreaming big

Yesterday I picked up an issue of Oprah's magazine "O" and read an article that got me thinking.(Oprah-haters, hang in there.This is a good one.)

The article was about "getting what you want out of life" or something like that. Come to think about it, aren't all the articles in this magazine about that? But anyway, this one focused on a technique that I find intriguing, and even helpful. It involves three steps.

One, think about what you want - that "Big Dream" you have convinced yourself that if realized, would make you FINALLY happy. Examples in the article included a woman who wanted to own her own business and another who longed for a baby.

I pondered my own life and realized I don't have a "Big Dream" like these. I have a wonderful family, and I like my job. I don't think climbing any particular mountain, or winning any award, or even writing a best-selling book would provide me with ultimate happiness. But that's not to say I don't dream of something. I forced myself to come up with a few things I dream of that I believe would really, really thrill me. And call me materialistic - most of what I came up doesn't deal with achievements I want to succeed at - they are things I want to be given!

The first big dream I've had since childhood, and I'm quite certain I "inherited" it from my mother. I want a house. Not just any house. Like the little girl in "Miracle on 34th Street", I want a particular kind of house. It's not so much large, as spacious and airy. It is new, clean, and organized. And most of all, it's beautiful. It has a modern, gorgeously appointed kitchen. It has durable, attractive furniture and stylish accessories. Its walls are painted all my favorite colors. The laundry room is big enough to turn around in, and it has a real floor. The carpet is unstained; the windows mildew-free. And best of all, it's mine, and I live in it with the people I love most.

The second dream is to travel - regularly - to exotic locations. On these trips I would be treated to wonderful meals in upscale restaurants. The beaches of my dreams are pristine and uncrowded, and there is always a cute cabana boy within earshot who can bring me a fresh towel or a drink with a little umbrella in it. The ocean is turquoise; I can see it clearly from my suite. My darling husband accompanies me, of course, and he enjoys every minute of making sure I'm having fun, and loves taking me out shopping for some new jewelry while we're there. The weather is warm, the breeze balmy; I am in paradise. Ahhhh.....

My third dream is the only one that involves any commitment or sacrifice on my part, although to me is seems just as impossible as the others.I dream of being thin and beautiful.I am thinner than I've been in over 30 years, and I look amazing.I can wear any type of clothes, and my closet is full of beautiful outfits. And I'm not just thin, I'm healthy and strong. And my joints don't ache!

OK, so there it is, in black and white. My impossible dreams. So now, onto the next step: I'm to put myself in the dream, and imagine it has come true. I am living my dream, touching it and feeling it. So, how do I feel? I'm told to come up with three adjectives to describe this.

In my dream home:
Successful, joyful, indulged

On vacation:
Successful, cherished, peaceful

Successful,beautiful, accepted

(Yes, I've noticed there is a common theme.)

All three also make me feel something I'm having trouble putting my finger on. I think it's something like "appreciated." As if having these things would make me feel that God really loved me, that He would be allowing me to have something I want so much, because He loves me and wants to give me pretty things and happy experiences.

I never claimed I wasn't shallow.

Anyway. Step 3: I'm to look at my life, right now, and identify in which situations I already feel these feelings. When do I feel successful? Cherished? Peaceful? Beautiful? Accepted? I'm told to realize that of course I have many current experiences that provide these feelings, and to enjoy them, and live in the moment.

The bottom line is that we don't want things or even experiences. We want to feel something. Something our lives are probably already filled with.

It's an interesting experiment. I'm now left pondering the truth that I am indeed blessed with many people and circumstances in my life that make me feel all of these wonderful things and more.

But I still want to be thin and beautiful, living in a gorgeous house in between Caribbean vacations. Sigh.

What do you dream of? What feelings are YOU longing for?


momto5minnies said...

Very good thoughts Cathy!

I think I wish for JOY and PEACE. Like you I also dream of *things* I want, but in the end I know that I believe that IF I had those things then I would feel joy and peace.

Robyn said...

I can relate to all of these! :) I'm reading a book that talks about listing your top 100 dreams, no matter how small, and working to achieve them. Of course you work on the small ones first and then move on to big ones. Interesting... :)

Sharon said...

Cathy, I thought something was wrong with me. Now I know I am not alone in not dreaming big! I too love my life and dream of having a book of inspiration book published. But the biggest dream is that this book will inspire others to believe in the power of God!

Jenny said...

I enjoyed the honesty and imagry in this post. My dream? To be all He created me to be regardless of those, self included who try to discourage.

Do Not Be Anxious said...

If I have a dream here, I first question where did the dream come from? Is it mine? If it's mine, I tend to dismiss it. I've had many dreams; I've worked many long years to achieve them. Having them, they proved to be nothing. I learned.

If my dream does not seem to be mine, then I ask if it might be His. What does He wish for me? If it seems as if it were the type of thing He might wish, then I pursue it as if it were. I've achieved some of them, and missed others, but they all turned out all right --- usually better than my dreams which I pursued.

A dream I think is his is my book. I am pursuing it now, but like its outcome is still in doubt. I'm waiting for Him to write the ending.