A lot of people operate from the limiting belief that they can’t live out their dream life NOW given their current circumstances. They [and myself included for the LONGEST time] feel like they don’t have the time, the money or the know-how. They can’t live their dream life UNTIL x, y and z falls into place, is taken care of or disappears entirely. They live in a when // then state of mind.
When the debt is gone, then I can start that business.
When I lose the weight, then I can wear that dress.
When I save $10,000, then I can stay at home with the kids.
When I make an extra $5,000, then I can go on that trip.
When I earn $75,000 a year, then I can donate to that charity I love.
When I get more followers, then I will be making an impact.
Living in a when // then mentality never brings about what we want because it keeps us in lack. It keeps us feeling like we’re not enough and that we don’t have enough - which keeps us searching and seeking instead of ACTING - and ACTING is the only way we’re going to make our dream lives a reality.
Acting is what brings Abundance.
If you’re like I was, maybe excuses and limiting beliefs around money is that thing keeping you in a when // then mentality.
Maybe you find yourself wishing you could travel more, or have that new car, or start that business, or stay at home with your kids but you keep telling yourself that you CAN’T do those things until you’re out of debt, or until you reach a certain income level, or until a certain amount is stacked in your bank account.
I want to tell you that it’s OK to have money goals - BUT - don’t let those money goals keep you from experiencing your life NOW. [However, this is not your permission to be dumb with money though…]
What we focus on, we create more of.
When we think of nothing but debt, we get more debt - maybe not in the literal sense like you start owing more and more money with each day, but we certainly extend the lifetime of that debt and make it more and more difficult to eliminate when all we focus on is having debt and how that debt is keeping us from living our dream life RIGHT NOW.
I’m going to use money as the main example in this post, because - let’s face it - money is the thing keeping the majority of us from moving forward. Focusing on a lack of money can inspire comparison, defeat, depression, self-loathing, anxiety, overwhelm and more - and the more we focus on those things, the more we spiral down that negative thought pattern, the more we create more of that for ourselves.
Here’s the GOOD NEWS - we can turn the trajectory of our life around by focusing in on what we WANT instead of focusing in on what is keeping us from what we WANT.
So, I want you to get very clear on what you want.
Don’t just say you want to travel. That’s vague. WHERE do you want to travel? WHEN do you want to travel?
If you’re dreaming of traveling around Thailand, but keep saying, “Maybe one day…” Let me tell you, that one day is never going to happen.
Decide. Right now. I am going to Thailand.
Don’t think about the fact that you still have thousands in student loan debt and that you’re scrambling every month to pay your rent. Those kinds of thoughts will only keep Thailand half-way around the world instead of becoming the very real reality that you crave and desire.
So how do you start living your dream life when you’re so far from your money goals?
By taking advantage of your five senses. Hearing, Seeing, Smelling, Tasting & Touching.
From now on, instead of listening to your regularly programmed news broadcast or morning radio show or favorite podcast on your way to and from work, start listening to the sounds of the jungle that you’ll be trekking through on your trip to Thailand.
Youtube is a wonderful thing my friends, even if you can’t find the EXACT sounds of Thailand, find a soundtrack that represents it for you. Whether that be a recording of a babbling brook, a waterfall, busy streets of a city, monkeys in the jungle - whatever - find it and listen to it.
Do you have a Thai neighborhood in your city? Schedule time to walk around that part of town and record the sounds you hear. Then play it over and over again. Close your eyes [not while you’re driving please!] and envision yourself hailing a cab in the city, hiking past a waterfall, long tail boating passed the largest, most magnificent rocks you've ever seen, laughing at the monkeys jumping on your shoulders, etc.
Create the soundtrack of your dream and listen to it as often as possible. It’s free, or at least, extremely inexpensive to create this for yourself.
Where exactly do you want to go in Thailand? Research it and print out pictures of it. Make your phone wall-paper an image of the jungle, make your desktop background an image of the long-tail boat you’ll take through the rivers in the jungle. Make a vision board of your trip and post it around your house, on every mirror, on the wall you see when you wake up and when you go to sleep.
*A used bookstore is PERFECT for this! Find some old copies of National Geographic and rip out pages that represent your dream!
That Thai neighborhood in your city? Plan weekly trips and take photos. Sit in a cafe and watch the people go by. Put the image of your trip in front of your eyes as often as you can. Maybe you envision staying in a treehouse while you’re there. Build one in your backyard and sleep in it on the weekends, or stay in one in real life. If you’re in Charlotte, you can actually stay in a Treehouse HERE.
Buy some plants, hang some lanterns and create a Thailand corner in your home. Play your soundtrack while you sit in that spot and visualize your trip to Thailand.
Whatever it is, recreate it in your life now, as close to the real experience as you can.
What are the smells of Thailand? How does the jungle smell? How does the street food smell? What are the spices they use?
Do some research and find candles, plants or foods that represent those smells and surround yourself with them daily.
They say smell is the sense most closely tied to memories. Create those memories even before they happen by engulfing yourself in the scents and aromas of your dream.
This is probably my favorite. I love me some GOOD food. Maybe you can’t imagine spending the money on a trip to Thailand, eating all of the delicious food right this moment. But chances are, you CAN go to a Thai restaurant.
Eat PB&J’s for a week if you have to, if that means you can save up the money to treat yourself to a really good and authentic Thai restaurant. Schedule a date night for yourself or for your special person or a group of friends and make a night of it. Order everything on the menu and split it. Drink the teas, taste the noodles.
Don’t have a Thai restaurant where you’re from? Look up recipes. Ask the google. Google knows all. Find a recipe and practice it until you nail it. Make Thursdays Thai Night - invite your friends over for dinner, tell them about the food that you’ve made for them, why you love Thailand and about your upcoming trip.
What kinds of things will you feel while you’re on your trip in Thailand? Will you be spending the day in a luxurious spa? Bring your plants, candles, lanterns and soundtrack in the bathroom and create a Thai spa day.
Will you be wearing crisp, linen clothing and sun hats while you trek through the jungle? Visit your local thrift shop or Goodwill and purchase an outfit you can see yourself wearing on your trip.
Take your shoes off and walk barefoot through your backyard envisioning how your feet will feel on the jungle floor. Think it’s going to be hot surrounded by the thick, lush vegetation on your hike? Feel the heat by visiting a greenhouse, a botanical garden or even the garden section at Lowe’s.
Get creative. Once you get going, you’ll be surprised by how many ideas start to come to the front of your mind.
Sampling our dreams, even on a small scale - like buying a candle that smells like your future dream, will start to reroute and re-pattern the neural pathways in your brain which will start to shift your thoughts and beliefs and ultimately your experience. Starting small and at a scale you can handle NOW will motivate you and keep you focused on your dream, which will increase the scale at which you can experience your dream until you've finally acheived it. It will spark inspired thought, that when acted upon, will cause you to act in a way that will bring your dream life into reality one step at a time.
It’s so easy to look at your dreams and think they’re SO big and unattainable when they’re just these far-off things, so completely different from the life you live now. But, when you start to implement them into your daily life, you start to experience them and believe that they are possible - that you CAN make them a reality!
Don’t write your dreams off because you don’t have the money for them. That way of thinking will never make them happen. Get specific about what you want, research the sensual qualities of your dream and start experiencing them NOW.
Did you find this post and exercise helpful? Want more tips and insight into opening yourself up to Abundance so that you can live your dream life? These are the kinds of things we can tackle together through one of my coaching programs!
I’m here to help you. I’m here to be a resource for you because MY dream is that YOU would live your dream life and become the most Abundant & Free version of yourself that you can possibly be! Learn more about what it looks like to work together by reaching out to me HERE! I can’t wait to meet you and help you uncover the Abundance in your life!
Love & Learning,