5 Practices to “Keep the Faith” When Your Dream Hasn’t Come True (Yet) – Part 1 of 2
Chances are, there’s something in your life that you really, really want—a big dream–but it hasn’t yet manifested for you.
Perhaps it’s an intimate love relationship you’ve been yearning for, a new direction in your career, greater financial abundance so you can live in deeper alignment with your values (like buying only organic food or sustainably-made products), a dream trip to Italy with your family, or an overall feeling of aliveness, ease and wellbeing in your body.
What the heck do you do—because giving up on the dream isn’t an option, right?—when something you truly want hasn’t come true yet?
Here are five of my favorite practices that keep me going when my heart really longs for a big dream:
1) Start with this practice – Be 100% peaceful with your situation or life exactly as it is now.
Just a few weeks ago I was in a low point with a particular situation in my business. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to FIX it. “Make it happen, Rebecca. Try harder,” I demanded of myself. But each time I tried, I still wasn’t getting the results I wanted. The self-induced pressure was mounting, while my body and emotions were crying out in pain.
Then, I had a moment of grace. I read an article in my email inbox where the author shared how she was facing a similar situation, and she decided the best thing she could do was to “be 100% percent peaceful” with the situation no matter what. A flood of tears came pouring out of me. I realized how much I had been pushing.
The first insight I got was to “relax and surrender,” to not resist <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>what is. And the second insight I received was to trust—trust that somehow, some way this situation will work itself out.
Eckhart Tolle, in his bestseller A New Earth says, “Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the Universe.”
So, the first step is to love what is. Accept it and claim 100% peace for yourself in the situation.
2) Praise the good.
And I mean do this FOR REAL. Everyday. Mark it in your calendar and commit to it.
How many times have you heard that gratitude is the #1 practice for increasing the flow of good in your life—whether it be money, relationships, opportunities, new clients, etc.?
Well, I’ve heard it countless times. But what I discovered with myself is that I’d start a gratitude practice, and then I would stop. I’d pick it back up again, do it for a few weeks, a few days, and then I’d stop again until the next reminder. So now I have a committed “Praise Practice” every single day. It’s in my calendar, and I have reminders that pop up to help me install this new habit in my everyday life.
The reason expressing praise or gratitude is so important is that the latest neuroscience research shows that our brains have actually evolved into having a “negativity bias.”
Rick Hanson in Hardwiring Happiness says our brains act like Velcro when negative experiences happen–and they act like Teflon for the positive ones. That means that when something negative happens in your life–someone quickly cuts you off in traffic or your spouse or partner says something that hurts your feelings or you’re in a restaurant and the waiter is rude to you, your brain will grab on to that experience, sometimes even replaying it over and over.
The research also says that when you have a positive experience–like looking into the eyes of your child or pet or someone you love, or smelling the rain, or you get a raise or a new client, your brain doesn’t naturally hold onto that experience. It quickly slips away, the way eggs easily slide off a Teflon-coated pan.
Knowing that we’re literally hardwired for negativity, for looking for what might go wrong, what do we do? This is where the practice of gratitude—or praise, as I like to call it—comes in.
Wallace Wattles in <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>The Science of Getting Rich says this about being thankful: “The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive, and the more rapidly they will come. And the reason simply is that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which the blessings come.”
So, commit to a daily Praise Practice to help lay down those new neural pathways for your brain AND stay on the frequency of what your heart truly desires vs. the negative self-talk of “Why hasn’t this happened yet? What’s wrong with me?”
Start with these practices and let me know how it goes. Add your comments here on this blog!
Part 2 to come in June. Til then, keep the faith and keep SHINING!