When you try to visualise your ‘ideal life’ or ‘ideal job’, does your inner critic jump in before you’ve even had a chance to get inspired or feel excited?
Me too. My inner critic is marvellous at pointing out helpful things like:
“You can’t do that!”
“That would never work”
“How would that EVER in a month of Sundays make money?!”
It’s very hard to tap into what would really make your heart sing if your inner critic jumps on you the second you open your mouth to say something.
What you end up with is a rather bland, toned-down version of what you THINK is possible, and what you SHOULD do/be/have, rather than what you actually, deep-down-to-the-very-tip-of-your-toes want. (I believe this is an official psychological term.)
But a few years ago, I took part in an ‘Ideas Adventure’ course run by Marianne Cantwell and Selina Barker. And one of the exercises involved visualising your dream life, but it was a little different to the norm.
WHAT’S YOUR FANTASY DREAM LIFE?
The idea is to imagine your dream life in another world; a world where ANYTHING can happen. There are no rules. You are living in a magical land. You can fly, the sea is rainbow-coloured, giant lollipops grow on trees, and owls can speak to you. That sort of thing. You name it, you can have it.
For many people, imagining a dream world where there are absolutely no limits helps them bypass their inner critic and really start to have some fun!
But there’s a serious point to this – your fantasy life is likely to contain elements of what you really want in this life. Armed with this information, you can tailor what you’re already doing so that it’s more in alignment with who you really are, or maybe set off on an exciting new path altogether – a new career, home, or hobby etc.
Here’s a simple example from the Ideas Adventure course. Let’s say that in your fantasy dream life you keep seeing yourself as a wizard who lives in trees and flies around looking for people who need help. Your subconscious may be telling you to explore a career as a coach who lives close to nature (you might also might want to learn to fly or find some other equally fun way to meet your clients 😊).
In my case, my dream life involved sitting on a cloud, writing books and painting giant Dr Seuss-like pink trees in the sky! There was an amazing play area with giant trampolines and amazing swings, which I could use whenever I wanted to move my body and take a break from creating. I was having fun bouncing with people on the trampolines – helping them to play like kids again, be creative, and be themselves.
On the face of it, this is just a fun exercise but from this happy image (which I found myself returning to over and over again), I know the basic building blocks of my dream life – writing books, creating joyful/colourful art, moving my body like a kid again, and helping other people do the same. (As they say, teach what you most need to learn yourself!)
If you fancy having a bit of fun and taking your ‘dream muscle’ out for some much-needed exercise, give the ‘fantasy dream life’ exercise a go and do let me know if it helps.