If you hold your hands in the prayer position, and then interlace your fingers, you will find that either your right or your left pinkie ends up on the outside. If you switch this, putting your opposite pinkie on the outside, you will feel slight discomfort, a vague, bothersome feeling of unfamiliarity.
Experts in neuroscience describe this as a your brain’s error detection mechanism. When your brain detects even the smallest change in an entrenched pattern, it will redirect you, quite vigorously, back to “normal.”
Breaking out is hard to do, because it feels exactly like breaking up (with ways of being that “work” for us).
Of course, most of us know that staying the same is the most dangerous position of all; we cannot live without change any more than a houseplant can stay healthy in its’ original container. Re-potting is stressful, and it can be very hard to adjust to a newly expanded life. Just like the older leaves on a plant, parts of us will not live through our transformation.
It is quite understandable to resist. And our dreams will gladly die in the fight to stay the same.
Getting out from under the heavy quilts of sacrifice by twisting our way through sweat damp sheets of evidence to don the itchy choke of new habits is not pleasant. Chiseling away at the planet thick core of doubt surrounding frozen dreams does NOT feel good.
But if we keep digging, avoiding the temptation to stop and rest in the cheap seats on the sunny sidelines, we will eventually arrive at the sweet spot where possibility intersects with reality.
(Once I get there, I often notice that there’s been a dramatic reversal in my physical, spiritual and mental decline. This motivates me to leave the warm bed of sameness again, as I embark on my next project.)
So, whether your dream involves physical fitness at an advanced age, a re-kindled romance with your spouse, a brand new career, or a whirlwind trip around the world, please, show us (and our children) how it’s done.
(I think the example of a dream realized, or an adult who doesn’t give up, is far more powerful than even the loudest shout from the sidelines of our children’s dreams, which really belong to them).
Thank you so much for reading.