I think I’ve always been a dreamer. I remember a specific day I was day-dreaming in class during 8th grade math class. I knew I should’ve probably been paying attention, but it was on that day I promised myself I would never stop day-dreaming about “becoming.” Looking back, I’ve always been off in dream-land; whether my head has been in a book, the clouds or especially during my time in college when I studied philosophy… I lived in my imagination and the metaphysical. I’ve always been very introspective, philosophical or busy creating my own world, and I am here to say: it’s a good thing.
As a little girl, I would play with barbies for hours. I would create their entire lives and completely live in my fictitious world with them. Thinking back on it, I think those were very powerful experiences during my formative years because I believed anything was possible; after all, I had the freedom to create anything with dolls. When we get older, our experiences usually teach us otherwise, so how do we keep that youthful, innocent outlook on life that we once had as kids? I think never leaving our imaginations behind is one of the most useful tools we can take with us as we take steps into our future. Dreaming up what we want is the first step toward getting it.
The next step is believing our dreams are actually possible. This step requires both a lot of faith and imagination, combined. Dreaming itself is a sort of faith, both in ourselves and in the Universe. We have to know our worth to believe we are worthy of our dreams, and then we have to imagine the path in order to realize it. It takes a lot of effort and hustle to get what we want, but believing in our dreams is truly the one key to attaining them. When I grow up I believe I am going to be a kick-ass yoga teacher, and an amazing writer. Since I believe I am worthy of these dreams, I am on the road to attaining them: so far, I’ve proven to myself that I can fully support myself by teaching yoga, and I have written a book that I sell to USD students. I got to this place because I imagine that this is what my life is currently; I take small steps everyday, and even more importantly I BELIEVE that this is my path, and trust in the Universe to show me the way. I ask for this everyday.
One of the most important things we can do in life is ask for what we want. Don’t be shy about it, either. It’s truly the only way to see everything you want come to life. This is exactly how I ended up with a lecture class at the University of San Diego… and I’m not even a professor, nor do I have anything above a bachelors degree. People ask me all the time how I did it: I JUST ASKED. And I believed I was worth the question. To my sheer shock of it all, my bosses agreed with me. That alone was a huge lesson for me in asking for what I want, and then trusting that I am worth my dreams of attaining it.
There is something about seeing the uniqueness in ourselves that makes us worthy of what we want. I remember when I was little, I had imaginary friends. One of them was called, “Sophia” and I used to tell my real friends about my friend Sophia, until one day my real friends figured out that Sophia only lived in my imagination and they made fun of me for it. That may have been a hard lesson in reality for the younger Sara, but this is why I think I am meant to be a fiction writer. I would always make up stories as a kid, I would play with imaginary friends and I’m not afraid to admit all this stuff now because it feels like it is very much part of who I am, and reflects my own uniqueness. We can’t be afraid to really say what’s in our hearts or share it with others if we plan to expose all parts of ourselves to ourselves in order to realize our direction. What is in our hearts– our own uniqueness, makes us worthy of our dreams. If there is one thing I know for certain, it’s that our uniqueness was/is always part of our path. I was a strange kid, and to be honest, I’m an even stranger adult, who is now super spiritual… and probably with even more invisible friends than before. Ha.. ha.. (but is she kidding?)
Exposing our hearts to ourselves is probably the one step in this whole process of dreaming that is the absolute hardest. To quote Cinderella, “A dream is a wish your heart makes”… SO TRUE. If we can’t be honest with ourselves and let our feelings about things surface, we may never realize what we really want. For example, say you “like-like” someone, but for whatever reason any time these feelings come up you push them away, you may never have a chance with that person. Not ever. And if you take away that possibility from yourself, you aren’t really following your heart. There could be reasons why your head keeps hushing those feelings away, but taking away your own chance at love, for example, means that you are hiding something from yourself— when the goal is always to expose yourself and your true feelings to yourself. It’s a process that should never be met with shame. Most people believe that being vulnerable is being weak. I’ve come to learn that being vulnerable is being brave; being vulnerable is the truest definition of strength and healing. Our dreams sit in our hearts until we expose them, and it’s only after we expose them that we can realize them and follow them. A clouded heart is one that aches to open; sometimes this leads to a painful process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we let ourselves imagine what we really want, our hearts tend to speak up, and then it’s our job to listen. Even if we don’t believe our dreams are reasonable at the moment they arrive, the truth is that we could be the only person that holds that belief. It helps to set an intention to let your heart speak what it really wants, and then when it comes up, listen instead of hushing it away. You may learn something new about yourself or your path that you hadn’t realized before. Our hearts are the most powerful tools we have: they keep us alive, and keep us dreaming.
Lastly, if you are a parent or a young adult who plans to become a parent someday, please encourage dreaming. My Mom let me dress myself all kinds of ways as a kid, multi-colored-necklace-wearing-chap-sticks and all. I had imaginary friends, dolls and all kinds of gear that helped me soothe my ever-working imagination. I needed that expression as a young girl, and it has completely shaped who I have become today. I’ll be forever grateful my parents let me pick Philosophy in college, even though they never knew what I would do with it. All of these things helped me find out who I am.
Encourage your imagination to take you places, and it will.