Dreaming Big

Hi, My name is Shirlee Williams. and I forgot how to dream.
From the outside life looked just great. I have a successful business, a great family, a husband who loves me unconditionally and tons of friends. I worked hard and took good care of my self and the people around me. However this used to be the truth for me: On most days, I felt completely alone. On most days I felt like I was  just going through the motions, like the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Can you imagine, a life where you just go through your daily tasks feeling disconnected and alone? This is where I was, for goodness sake, I am a yoga teacher, I am supposed to be living in my heart as an “enlightened human being.” It was pretty surprising to realize I was actually living a very complacent life. Looking back, I see I was stuck in a theory that mediocre was okay. It was like I didn’t know any better.
Then I met The Handel Group.A full day workshop of “yoga meets life coaching” left me realizing I actually had the same philosophy as The Handel Group. For starters I agreed that everything is connected. I nodded strongly when they explained how we are in charge of our own lives and we get to design them as we see fit and we have a say in our relationships. For once someone was speaking my language. I wanted more. Excited and inspired to figure out how I could turn the ordinary into extraordinary I signed up for The Design Your Life Weekend.

November 2012 was my weekend and in preparation I did a ton of homework. I wrote about my whole life and started to admit there was much I was blaming others for when actually it was I who needed to make some serious changes.

One of the areas I wanted to work on was my “Relationship to Self.” You see, I needed to figure out how to be more connected to me! I needed to figure out how to show sides that were scary and vulnerable. I wanted to stop and spend more quality time with me. I was tired of not making time for myself. With the course leaders we began to craft and design a dream that represented everything I loved about me.

Here was the dream I crafted:

I am my own best friend. My relationship with myself is my foundation for everything else in my life. I value myself and embrace both my strengths and weaknesses. I am dedicated to my own well being and love the life I am living. I spend quality time making sure I feed my soul and cherish each moment. I love myself unconditionally.  I am a powerful and intelligent woman who touches the world with her heart and loves the people closest to me. I wake in the morning feeling energized and ready for a new day. I design my time beautifully for myself and the people who share my space. My life is a reflection of the relationship I have with myself.

This dream represented everything I wanted in my relationship with me. Through this process I realized I had theories and excuses from my parents that I had been hanging onto for years. Theories like, “my mother worked so hard and so should I.”  I reasoned, she sacrificed everything, I don’t deserve to have it better. Years of therapy hadn’t undone that ONE! Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work to live your authentic self, it’s hard to stay present. However with a list of promises I make to myself (and consequences if I don’t follow through) it’s a lot easier stay aligned in my heart, mind and body. At, Handel they call that Personal Integrity and it really feels good when I live in accordance with it. My promises that reflected this dream went like this:

• Promise – Journal for 10 minutes a day in the morning. No coffee till I do.
• Promise -Sunday evenings schedule the week ahead with 1 hour a day of me time. No TV shows until the week is scheduled
• Promise – Exercise 1 hour a day, this included outdoor walks in nature. No treats on the days I don’t.
• Shut down by 10:00 PM. No Facebook the next day if I don’t.

Each week I followed these promises. Some weeks went better than others and promises at times were not kept. I really hated following up with my consequences. However each time I did, my internal resistance seemed to quiet down a little bit more. There were times when I did not follow through with the consequences and boy did that feel horrible. Most often I returned to the plan I designed so I could love my relationship to self–including paying my consequences. I am still loving the time that I spend alone and how it makes me feel. After almost a year of practicing, I must say that my relationship with me rocks!  The time I spend with myself fills my soul. I have way more patience with my family and friends because I have had time to regroup. I find I am more grounded in my teachings and more connected to my heart, this connection has allowed me to be more vulnerable and honest with myself and the people who surround me. The time I spend alone is invaluable. At the end of the day I feel complete. 

Now here’s the cool thing, I had the experience of this being contagious. Maybe you’ve had the experience of painting one room and looking around noticing how all the other rooms look like crap. So you start painting the other rooms. Since that magical weekend in 2012 I decided to look at other areas of my life, design dreams and move towards them. How could I not when I experienced such results? We are all worthy of living exceptional lives. We need to start consciously designing what we want. When we align ourselves in that way not only can we expect magical results, we can expect to feel great in the process. This is also why I asked one of the Handel course leaders to come and hold a weekend in my town. I want the people I interact most closely with to have this opportunity too. It has become abundantly clear that community support and camaraderie help insure my success in addition to my alone time!

For more infomation on the Design Your Life weekend check it out here! 
Date: Saturday April 12 and Sunday April 13
Time: 9-5 PM

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