I couldn’t help but smile when I walked past this building in my neighbourhood recently. There’s something beautifully absurd about a sign announcing “OFFICE” above a doorway that’s then been completely bricked-in. I wonder if they get much business…?
Yet what’s not so funny is how you might be doing this to yourself, to your life, at times. How you might be walling-off the very opportunities or happenings you’d like to take place. How you might be sending messages out there – to others, to yourself – that completely, unwittingly, contradict your dreams. And maybe even stop them from having a chance.
So let’s take a look behind the brickwork for a moment and see what’s going on…
If you let yourself just dream in secret for a second, away from the starched “sensible-ness” of the everyday, about whatever you might quietly wish for more of in your life, what comes to mind? What shape does your heart want your life to be?
Is there an innermost “you” that yearns for something? To experience something? To become something? And what does this something look like?
- Maybe part of it is simply about having more time for you (and less for work or obligation).
- Or maybe it’s about more creativity, to pursue a hidden passion or delight that “makes no sense.”
- Or maybe it’s to build a career that really nourishes you.
- Or to grow a family that’s a warm place to be.
Just let yourself drift into the “what” or the dream for a second – what is the yearning for – and forget about the “why” or the “how” for now. Just let the secret dream whisper itself to you…
It can actually be a tough thing to do sometimes. To really listen and try to quieten all the other voices clamouring for your attention:
- Like the voice that says it’s a waste of time so you might as well not even start to dream
- Or the voice that says you’ll never get there
- The voice that says happiness is for other people
- That the dream is silly – better to do something reliable instead
- That it’s too much effort
- That there’s no guarantees
- That it’ll rock the boat
- That it’s crazy or unsafe
- That it’s just not “you”
- That you’re too old to start now
- Or a voice that demands to know all the logistics and steps up front, or it just won’t approve of the dream.
And perhaps one by one, all these thoughts, all these cognitive bricks, are building the very wall that’s stopping your dream from walking on in.
And maybe these bricks aren’t just thoughts. Maybe they’re also actions, habits, ways of being that add yet another layer to the wall:
- Like just being too busy for change
- Or only wanting to feel comfortable (and shunning learning something new)
- Or just doing what you’ve always done
If you brick yourself into a life that supports only what’s currently possible, or only what’s most “sensible” or “logical”, maybe you’re also walling out other (more off-the-wall) possibilities.
So how can you stop that from happening? How will you keep the doorway in your life open enough for the dream to find you?
Well, maybe it’s the same way as the wall gets built in the first place: brick by brick. Just staying aware of each “brick” as it appears, and not letting any more wall-building thoughts and actions build up and block that doorway before you notice them.
And then maybe working on the bricks that are already there. Brick by brick, simply un-blocking the doorway and gradually allowing some space in your life might help make your dream more of a possibility.