Shiny Object Syndrome – by Dorena Kohrs of Breathing Room, LLC
I have really big dreams and desires. I also have shiny object syndrome. And what I’ve come to realize is that the two don’t mix so well. Kind of like oil and water.
Just as soon as my dreams and desires begin bubbling up to the surface, the shiny objects come and sit on top of them.
The shiny objects come in a variety of shapes and forms. Right now it’s rearranging my bookshelf. You see I just committed to writing to you. One of my dreams and desires. Yet two minutes after I sat down at my computer, I jumped up and rearranged the objects on my bookshelf.
The shiny objects come in other forms as well.
Calling a friend.
Doing the wash.
Taking the dog for a walk.
Delivering meals to the elderly.
Shopping online for a gift.
Helping with homework.
I know…none of these things are bad! We need clean clothes. We need to know what’s going on in the world. Our kids are important. And for goodness sake, how do you argue with volunteering for a worthy cause?
But the problem is that when we fill our lives with shiny objects, we don’t leave room for our dreams and desires.
I’d even like to go as far as to say that not only do we not leave room for our dreams and desires, but we actually don’t even give ourselves time to remember what our dreams and desires are.
But, we do have them!
We all have inner whisperings of that thing we’ve always wanted to do. That thing that starts as a tiny spark inside. A spark that leads to a flame when given attention. And a flame that makes us jump up and down in giddy anticipation of its arrival.
So why do we forget our dreams and desires? Why do we stop chasing them? Why do we think it’s okay to run from one shiny object to another? Checking off our to do lists. And then at the end of the day falling into our bed feeling unfulfilled.
I’m going to suggest, because it feels easier. It’s easier to turn our brains (and our hearts) off than to take a risk. It’s easier not to be disappointed. Or to be scared. Or to feel like a failure.
We think we’re actually protecting ourselves. We seduce ourselves into believing we’re busy doing “legitimate” and “important” and “necessary” things all the while we’re ignoring the core of who we are.
Did you know that a study done by Bronnie Ware, a nurse in a terminal palliative care unit, showed that the top regret of the dying was “I never pursued my dreams and aspirations.”
As the evangelist Frances Chan has said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
So what are your dreams + desires?
Moving across the country?
Launching a business?
Getting fit + healthy?
Writing that book?
Connecting deeply with friends + family?
Practicing radical self care?
Attracting the partner who loves you unconditionally?
Being financially stable?
Having time to dance in the rain?
Any of these sound familiar?
Your soul yearns for a change. Your dreams are crying to be seen.
Are you ready to shine a light on them? Are you ready to come and dance with them? Court them? Whisper sweet nothings in their ear?
YES! I HEARD YOU SAY YES!
Then, it’s time to make space for your dreams + desires. It’s time to make them feel welcome.
AND HERE’S HOW I PROPOSE YOU DO THAT:
1. Spend some time with them.
Make an appointment on your calendar to day dream. Journal. Creatively visualize. See yourself doing or being or having what you long for. Picture how you move through your day. Picture yourself in the physical space where your dreams and desires come to life. It doesn’t need to be long. Even 10 minutes a day. That’s shorter than the time you check social media 😉 Don’t skip this step! It’s not hokey pokey. It’s the foundation for living in your purpose.
2. Create physical space for them.
Clear your physical environment of those things that aren’t congruent with your vision. If you want to attract the hot guy, then why is your closet full of clothes that hide your figure? If you want to cut your expenses and pare down your debt, why are you spending money on a storage unit full of things you don’t love or use? If you want to be healthy, why is your pantry full of processed snacks? If you want to create artwork, then why don’t you have a space for your craft? If you want to experience radical self care, then why is your calendar full of commitments to benefit everyone else?
It’s time. No more excuses. No more shiny objects. Take that first step towards your dreams and desires. Begin visualizing and then creating the space where those dreams and desires can flourish.
I promise you that the time you take to do this will come back ten fold. And you, my dear, are too glorious to hide your beautiful self and your amazing dreams underneath a pile of shiny objects!
Dorena D. Kohrs
Space Doula @ Breathing Room
NAPO-NC Member since 2015