Live the Life You've Dreamed
Theresa Polley
May 27, 2021
August 16, 2023
Be Inspired

I've found the last year to be incredibly challenging, but also incredibly freeing. I resolve not to get sucked back into doing things that make me unhappy. Too much screen time makes me crazy. Working all hours of the day and night is no way to live. Spending time with people who zap my energy is exhausting. For me, my dream big at this moment is to live life on my terms - without apology or explanation. Life is short and time with my loved ones is precious. My dream is to make time and space in my life for what I love - to do that I must be consistent with my boundaries.

"Dare to live the life you've dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The possibilities seemed endless when I was young. All the hopes, dreams and possibilities of youth can quickly be crushed by the reality of making it as an adult. In the complex world of adulting, just getting through a challenging day can feel like a major accomplishment.

I'm living my dream as I continue my journey of creating and growing Retreat in the Pines. But I've realized, living my dream is just part of the equation. I must also take time for me and what I love so that I continue to move forward with hope and courage.

Turn Your Dream Into Reality

1. Find What Makes Your Heart Sing

Think back to childhood when you believed you could accomplish ANYTHING (know that you still can!), write down everything that comes up. Something on your list may spark your interest and reignite a passion. I recommend making an actual list on your phone, laptop or even a piece of paper. Having a concrete list you can reference allows you to see the possibilities.

2. Recognize Your Strengths and Limitations 

This list will give you ideas on where you can grow, as well as recognizing where you need guidance. When I realized I couldn’t do everything myself, I was able to embrace my talents and grow in ways I never thought possible. Plus I was able to let go of control which was life changing!

3. Eliminate 

– Sometimes realizing what you don’t want, is the first step to realizing what you do want. On the list of things from childhood, cross off the ideas that are no longer appealing. Then make a list of things you have no desire to do – run a marathon, pursue a career as a CPA, travel to India, etc. The more you explore your likes and dislikes the more you can hone in on what you actually want to do.

4. Look Into the Future 

– When you think about your life in one, five or ten years; what do you see? Living in a cabin in the middle of the woods writing or painting? Traveling around the world as a lifestyle – living and working in someplace new every few months? Something somewhere in between those two options? Then think about your current commitments, as well as your pets, family and friends. If your dream isn’t attainable based on your current life situation, maybe you plan for further in the future or pursue something that is more compatible with where you are now.

5. Brainstorm with a Close Friend 

Share your dreams, and while you’re at it, your fears, with someone who will support you, but who will also keep you grounded in reality. Giving voice to your hopes and dreams may spark something else in you. And with a close friend, you’ll be able to get perspective.

6. Make a (Financial) Plan 

Unfortunately, a lot of dreams need money to get off the ground. Figure out how much you need to get your dream started and work back from there, coming up with a plan for earning and saving the amount you need. Whatever you do, overestimate on the amount you’ll need. What a disappointment it would be to get to the point to live your dream and realize you don’t quite have enough cash. You’ll want to consider living expenses, as well as travel expenses, special equipment you’ll need and so on.

7. Be Honest with Yourself 

What's working in your life and what is making you crazy - eliminate the crazy. Are you settling for something out of fear? A job, a relationship or a way of living life? Only you know what will spark joy in your life. Follow the joy, knowing fear is a natural part of the process.

Know your dream is anything you want. You can go big. Choose to travel the world, go back to school, take up a new hobby or make a career change. Or perhaps start small. Take a weekend away, add a new fitness class to your schedule or start volunteering. Realize – YOU – are the only person limiting yourself. You alone give yourself the permission and the freedom to do or be anything your heart desires. Once you realize you’re in charge, watch as things start to fall into place.

Go ahead - dare to live your life on your terms, knowing you don't have to apologize or explain. This is your time!

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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