LET YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS INSPIRE YOU
When I was a child growing up in the green countryside of Europe my childhood fantasy was to meet a cowboy and ride off into the sunset in the wild west, just like we saw in the Hollywood movies of the day. Now I have cattle and horses of my own and mix with people who have grown up working on the land. I found my cowboy too! It is a dream come true. Ingrid G. Outback Australia
All of us have dreams that we would like to fulfil in this lifetime. Some of those dreams are things that you conceived of as an adult, but many of them would have their foundations in what you dreamed of doing, being and having when you were young. We all had childhood dreams that have been put to one side, so now it is time to give yourself permission to properly contemplate those dreams and consider how they could be brought into reality in your adult life.
Your first reaction may be that most of your childhood dreams were more like fantasies. Nothing particularly practical or useful for your life now. Which is why you need to slow down and take the time to contemplate and go over them. As a child it is most likely that your imagination would have been much more free and active. The imagination uses metaphor and analogy to express itself, so a simple example might be that you ‘fantasised’ about being a prima ballerina, scooting across a stage in a beautiful tutu. In reality, what you may have found was that ballet lessons are hard work and it takes years of commitment and dedication to become a professional ballerina. You may have naturally given the interest up because of those factors, but the love of ballet and all its inherent beauty will most likely still be with you. Take a moment to think about what ballet and ballerinas represent to you. Is it their gracefulness, femininity, the poetry of their movements, their elusiveness, the lovely music they dance to, or the fact that they can be at the centre of everyone’s attention for a while?
Whatever feelings and longings the idea of being a ballerina stirred in you will provide clues to ways you can develop a sense of meaning in your life now. Having a strong desire to create more beauty in the world is a wonderful thing and might be just the kind of inspiration you are looking for. Maybe you work in a very left-brained, chrome and glass type of environment. Ballet can also represent romance, not just in the sense of an actual relationship, but in the more general sense of a life infused with romance and love. This may prompt you to put a vase of peonies on your desk, wear floral prints to work instead of navy or black, or take up an exercise class with an emphasis on music and movement. If you have a romantic, elegant and feminine side to your nature that hasn’t seen the light of day much lately, you will definitely enjoy giving it greater expression.
Next time some one tells you that they have no idea what to buy you for your next birthday or the coming Christmas, why not ask them for a ticket to a ballet performance near you? Join a couple of dance company mailing lists or book a ticket to a ballet in a city you are visiting on your next business trip or holiday. You have nothing to lose and may find that you can reconnect with a beautiful childhood dream, returning a source of inspiration to your life without having to go to the trouble of being a ballerina yourself.
For men you might immediately think of the childhood dream of becoming a fireman, train driver or policeman. In a more profound sense, a longing such as this can often show a quality in the man’s character that is community service orientated, with a desire to do real good and help others.
A friend of mine is a crew leader and officer with the Rural Fire Service. Anyone who has grown up or lived in Australia knows how fierce our summer bushfire season can be. So it is no small thing to offer yourself to this kind of work. It requires rigorous training during your leisure time on weekends and so on; considerable reading and awareness of safety measures, a willingness to work in a team, follow instructions well and also to lead others. In short, it requires discipline and commitment.
On chatting to my friend about this recently he also told me of the many rewards he receives by being involved. He has made friends with other volunteers, learned many skills and discovered many things about what he is capable of. It means a lot to him to make a positive contribution to his community and he feels inspired by taking part in something bigger than himself. It was very interesting to me to discover that a demonstration from the men of the local fire station was what caught his imagination and made an indelible impression on him when he was at school, at the ripe old age of twelve.
During the demonstration the fireman asked for a volunteer he could work with to act out a rescue from a burning building. My friend put his hand up and was chosen. While taking part in that demonstration he had a powerful feeling that this was a very important and worthwhile thing to do. The feeling stuck with him and has served as his motivation to be involved with volunteer fire services throughout his life.
The things that you dreamed of or that made a strong impression on you when you were young, open hearted and less prone to living life in your head, can provide important clues to what will inspire you as an adult. As you can see by the above examples you don’t need to translate the vision literally into your adult life or try to turn it into a full time career. There are so many ways that you can make it work for you.
A simple example from my own life relates to the absolute fascination I had for Egyptian art, history, religion and culture from very early on in my childhood. I would literally get goosebumps when there was a television show about the pyramids and loved to pore over books about mummies, hieroglyphics and so on. So Egypt was definitely on my list as a ‘must see’ travel destination. I went there when I was 23 and of course, it was amazing. The urge to go there had been so strong all my life and I just soaked the whole experience up like a sponge. Little did I realise at the time I had actually had a past life as an architect in Egypt way back when. So I was also reconnecting with something on a personal, karmic level. Travelling through Egypt was a wonderful realisation of a childhood dream and was certainly an inspiring experience.
That’s another thing about fulfilling childhood ideals; it brings you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I may not get to all the places in the world that I would like to explore in this lifetime, but I have been to the ones that were most alluring to me and even if I never get to those places again I have the photos and the beautiful memories to carry with me forever. I have no doubt that if I had not yet been to Egypt and kept putting it off for practical reasons I would be feeling incomplete and be harbouring a deep sense of restlessness about it.
When you were a child your natural intuitive and clairvoyant abilities were much more active. You had not yet learned the ordinary ways of operating in this world. Your imagination was not just something you used to make up stories; it was something you used to express those things about yourself that could be difficult to explain in a rational way. It is also one of the ways that your Soul and intuition communicates with your conscious mind. Words can be very clumsy and are easily misinterpreted; when you are young you don’t have a large vocabulary, so the language of intuition, imagination and Soul is often communicated in pictures (dreams and day dreams) feelings and inexplicable longings.
Perhaps you have also yearned to go to certain countries, or do certain things that have nothing to do with your nationality, family background or immediate environment. Your intuition was doing its best to show you a pathway that would be meaningful for you in some way, and if you haven’t explored many of them yet it is time to start doing so now.
Whatever it is that will have you leaping out of bed in the morning with excitement and verve will have a unique and personal hue. It is not meant to impress anyone else. Yet something magical happens when you start to explore your passions in life; you begin to attract people and circumstances to you that are compatible with your interests and needs. Soon, rather than thinking that you are a bit of an odd ball because none of your existing friends like using oracle cards, attending astrology seminars, walking dogs at the local animal shelter or making enormous patchwork quilts, you will find that some of your friends will admit to having had a similar interest all their lives and they’ll join you, or you will meet new people and make new friends.
LETTING YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS INSPIRE YOU
Requirements: your journal and a pen.Somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit down and write.
Optional: take a trip down memory lane before you start writing. Pull out and gather around you any old photo albums, scrap books, craft items or beloved possessions you have hung on to for years. Anything that will help you to remember what you loved as a child.
Time Required: a minimum of 30 minutes. Give yourself time to contemplate, remember and write.
How often should I do it? At least once, and then any time you would like to explore further.
- Take as long as you need to go through any memorabilia you may have gathered together. Allow the memories associated with them to surface and note them down in your journal. If you have trouble remembering your childhood you may even benefit by contacting relatives and friends who knew you then and could relate their memories to you. It can often be quite amazing to get this kind of feedback.
An old friend might say to you “Gee, you were always so good at XYZ, we all wished we could be more like you!” or “Yes, I remember, whenever there was a stray cat or dog, or an injured bird on the ground, you were there right away patting, feeding and caring for it. I always thought of you as someone who really loved animals.” It is incredible what we can forget about ourselves in the head long rush to grow up and survive.
Make sure you write down anything and everything that comes to you, no matter how trivial or childish it seems. You can add to your list of recollections any time you like and should re-read your list from time to time. Ask yourself “What was it that I so enjoyed about playing with that particular doll, making tea and cake for everyone, or pretending that I lived underwater amongst the fish and coral?” Let your intuition guide you to the threads that connect your passions in childhood to the things that still interest you today and let your memories unfold so that they can illustrate to you other dreams and fascinations that you may have long forgotten.
- Take action – within a week of rediscovering one thing that you were excited about and loved doing as a child, create a way to bring that feeling and experience back into your adult life. If you always wanted to be a pilot go to the local airstrip and take a scenic flight. If you always wanted to be a mountaineer go and grab a book about Sir Edmund Hilary or Lincoln Hall. If you always wanted to be a photographer go and sign up for a photography course at your local community college. If you always wanted to help others and make a difference in the world then go talk to your local charities and volunteer some of your time.
No matter where you are currently at in your life now, there is always something you can do to bring your childhood dreams back to life and create a greater sense of meaning and purpose every day.
Excerpt from ‘You are Inspired’ by BelindaGrace, published by Rockpool Publishing Australia