1. an idea or vision that is created in your imagination
2. something you have very much wanted to do, be, or have for a long time
3. a possibility you are considering
(definition adapted from Merriam-Webster)
I've had a recurring dream a few times over the years that goes something like this:
I'm in the place I know to be my home when I make a very unexpected discovery: I open the door to a vast series of rooms I've never seen before. Some of these rooms are ordinary, but are so spacious and inviting they create possibilities for me to dance or relax or celebrate in ways I previously believed I didn't have room to do. Other rooms are magical, some have windows that look out onto whales swimming in the ocean, others house a fountain that is the source of a river that runs through my whole home. In all of these discoveries, there's this incredible recognition that my life is wide-open beyond my wildest dreams.
I was lucky enough to have one of these dreams just recently and as I reflected on it I realized it was the perfect illustration of what I mean by "dream" here: to give ourselves permission to discover possibilities for our lives that previously felt impossible.
A new year provides us with the opportunity to dream big about the blank canvas that stretches out before us. 365 whole days are waiting for the artistry of our brush strokes.
It's exciting. And a little bit dauting.
What if we make a mess of things? What if our vision is too ambitious for us to execute? What if we get our hopes up only to suffer disappointment?
These "what if" doubts can sober us up before our dreams get a chance to dance in our imaginations. And the more we've experiences failures and dashed hopes, the harder it is for us to feel safe enough to desire anything that seems at all out of reach. This fearful part of us was born from past pain and is worthy of compassion, but we can also set the fear aside and search for wiser, more courageous and confident perspectives within us.
My hope for all of us this month is that we can open the door to that part of us that still believes anything is possible. Our journal prompts this month invite you to dream boldly, to find those rooms in your life you didn't know existed, so that you can experience the joy and wonder of discovering you are bigger and more magical than you previously believed.
In our prompts for this month, I'm inviting you to listen within you for your dreams, desires, and deepest longings. I'm also giving you the opportunity to notice ways you may be unintentionally interrupting your ability to dream so that you can give yourself greater permission to envision big possibilities for your life.
1) Imagine that there's a door in front of you and what lies on the other side is something you deeply want but never thought was possible. You open the door and are amazed to discover...[continue the story in your journal!]
2) What's something you dreamed about as a child that you stopped dreaming about in adulthood? Would you like to carry this dream (or a variation of this dream) forward now? Why or why not?
3) Give yourself at least five minutes to brainstorm as many dreams as you can for the year ahead, listing each briefly with a word or phrase. What did you notice about the experience of creating this list? What thoughts or feelings emerged for you in the process?
4) What's one dream you have that you're afraid to fully flesh out? What fears get in your way of dreaming big here? How would this dream expand if you could set your fears aside?
5) If you were granted three wishes with the guarantee that all would come true, no matter the obstacles, what would you wish for? What would change for you if all of these wishes came true?
Hi there, I'm Laurie, a private practice therapist and an avid journaler. I write about the intersection between journaling and therapy, helping you cultivate greater emotional and relational wellness via journaling pathways filled with self-compassion, self-nurture, self-discovery, & self-trust.