August 28, 2013

What Will You be when You Grow Up? ~ Christina Zipperlen

Photo: The Spark Poets

You know those phases in life when you suddenly re-evaluate everything.

Well, I had a big birthday a little while ago and I was convinced it wouldn’t touch me at all; just another birthday. Right? But it suddenly hit me—where I thought I would be at, what I thought I would have achieved by now—the little childhood ideas attached to a certain number, a specific day.

And it made me wonder: what is it about these ideas we have in our heads regarding our age and the expectations around it? When we’re little our dreams say ‘When I grow up, I will be…’

But when is that ‘grown up’? Who makes the rules?

I invite you to shake some of the rules and beliefs we’ve set regarding our dreams. Come along on a journey to evaluate your life in a loving way…to look at all the amazing things you have achieved and all the wonders that are still to come.

Getting out of the daily grind.

We all have dreams, just think back to when you were little, that lovely’ when I’m grown up’ line, remember. Sometimes when we grow older, rather than giving us butterflies in our belly, the idea of living our dreams give us more of a headache and feelings of regret and overwhelm. There are so many ideas whirling through my head and to be completely honest; when I look at my to-do list the last thing I want is to add on—let alone big projects like my dreams.

A first step to even remember what our dreams where is to create space internally. Now I am aware that most of us are insanely busy. The other day, I came into my shop with the darkest circles under my eyes and my lovely assistant Dewi just looked at me, tilted her head and said: “You need a break”—and my friend Jocelyn agreed so Jocelyn and I took off for 2 days, laying at the beach with banana milkshakes, taking tons of naps and reading an entire book at once (haven’t done that in ages), It certainly felt like living the dream.

Taking 2 full days at the beach might be unrealistic for you and I’m not suggesting you have to. However, finding a few minutes with your legs propped up against a wall and some nice music on or giving yourself a 5-minute foot massage with Sesame oil can do similar magic.

Once we allow a bit of time for ourselves those little whispers inside of us can be heard a bit more easily.

Defining your dreams.

Do you hear the whispers of your soul? This might sound a bit abstract but I’m being serious—what happened when you allowed yourself to slow down for a moment? Does any thoughts or emotions come up? Please take a moment to yourself and think about what is really important in your life, what makes you truly happy? Is it time with your friends, children or partner? Connecting with nature or focusing on certain projects and ideas? Maybe you would like to exercise more and eat more healthily. Anything that feels right. Please write it down, it’s the first step to making it real, write an abstract list or be specific, let your imagination go wild. Once you’ve finished the list put it right next to your bed or desk…wherever you’d like a little reminder for yourself.

You’re probably already living it.

When Dewi saw my dark circles I felt so worn out by long work hours and little sleep. That’s certainly not the feeling I imagined to have when I was making my dreams come true. Then I thought about it for a moment—why did I have dark circles? Because we’d just opened the shop, we had just exhibited at the local yoga festival, we completed a stunning photo-shoot…Was this part of my dream? For sure. Was my friends acting in the most loving way as one does to family, forcing me to take some time off part of the dream? Oh yes.

It started dawning on me—living our dreams means taking baby steps towards the big picture.

Getting your vision clear, your values, what’s important to you and reminding yourself of them every morning—right before you start a completely “regular” day with its usual routine. It might not feel like it but with the intentions set you’re on your way. If you look at your “dream list”, a lot of the people, events, qualities and experiences are probably already in your life in some form of the other. You’re already living your dream right this second.

Embrace the darkness.

Now let’s go in the opposite direction for a moment. When you slowed down for a second, thinking of your dreams and desires, did any negativity come up? (I’m not suggesting it did, there might have been nothing but excitement in which case I’d like to congratulate you—keep on rocking.) In case something uncomfortable did come up though, continue reading.

When you think of your dreams are there any doubts?

Are you telling yourself a story such as I don’t have any time, I don’t have enough money, or worse, I’m too old for this? Dig a little deeper in those feelings. Are there any thoughts, believes or habits that you feel are holding you back? Is there anything you wish to release? I’m inviting you to do a small ceremony for yourself.

Take some time and write down all those believes, habits, emotions and patterns. Write it in the form ‘I am letting go of…’ and fill in the blanks. Read through your whole list. Close your eyes and pray for support to let go of any of those beliefs (if you don’t like praying you can make a wish or ask help from any power that you feel will help you).

Then burn the list in silence (please be careful, make the fire in a safe space). You can also bury the paper if you like and put a stone or flower on top as a symbol of letting go and moving on.

These practices above are just a few techniques that have helped me personally—and my hope is that they may help someone else out there to connect to their power. Please take advantage of this one precious life you have, you are so amazingly powerful, you have such precious skills and such important purpose on this planet.

And right now is the perfect time for it.


Like I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.

Asst Ed: Judith Andersson / Ed: Catherine Monkman

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