by Karen Millard
My friend Beth confided recently that she'd been reviewing the pages
of her old journals. Somewhere
along the way she'd stopped recording
her troubles and the mundane details of her life. Instead, she'd
begun to jot down her hopes for the future, her wishes, her dreams.
What was interesting, she said, was how many had come true.
Have you ever thought that by looking forward to the future, you
are wishing away your present? Current wisdom advises us to fully
live each moment, to remain in the here and now and enjoy each day
as if it were your last. In general, of course, that's good advice.
Life is precious. We should appreciate it for all it offers.
But it's also important to recognize that your present is a
result of thoughts you had, choices you made and actions you took in
Today's thoughts, choices and actions will affect your life
tomorrow. Are you optimistic about your future? Do you make
positive, proactive choices that will benefit you and your loved
ones? Or do you simply drift through life, accepting the default
Take a few moments, right now, to daydream about your future.
Where are you living? What does your home look like? Are you
surrounded by positive, upbeat friends and family? Are you doing
what you love to do? Do you have enough money? Are you meeting your
personal and professional goals?
In her best selling book, "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual
Path to Higher Creativity," Julia Cameron encourages readers to
literally picture the life they want to lead by creating a collage
of images torn from magazines, or sketches and paintings they've
As Beth has discovered, recording your dreams and wishes in a
journal can also help them become reality. When you give them
substance on paper you soon find yourself taking imperceptible steps
towards achieving them.
At first, you may find keeping a visualization journal
surprisingly difficult. I followed Beth's example and created a
visualization journal of my own. I'm a writer and had no trouble
whatsoever describing my wishes and dreams. The words fell from my
pen as easily as butter from a hot knife. Just like writing a story,
I thought. What startled me though, was how much trouble I had
reading those words later.
It took me a while to overcome my resistance to my own dreams.
Who knows, maybe my subconscious thought them unrealistic. Maybe,
deep down, I didn't feel as though I really deserved to live such a
fabulous life. Of course, that's all the more reason to keep at it!
Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the best-selling "Chicken
Soup For The Soul" series, and more recently co-author of
"The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way To
Wealth," advises going a step further and writing not
"of" your dreams, but "from" your dreams. As
though you're already living them. As you write, pay attention to
the sensory details. Describe the sensation of champagne bubbles
dancing on your tongue. Try and capture the fragrance of honeysuckle
or a salty ocean breeze. Listen for the sound of the wind in the
pine trees that surround your cottage, and set it down on paper.
Write down how you feel in your dreams. Express your feelings of
joy, or of relief, or of freedom. Allow your imagination to run wild
and revel in the sensations you evoke. You don't need poetry. You
don't even need perfect spelling or grammar. All you need is
heartfelt conviction and desire.
Let the pages pile up and one day, when you have a quiet moment,
you may want to curl up on the couch and read a few.
You'll be surprised how many of your dreams have come true!