by Dr. Peter Borten
One day last March we got word that when we picked up our kids from school they wouldn’t be coming back for the rest of the month. A few weeks later, they told us to come clean out their cubbies and desks – there wouldn’t be school for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, we were told that our spas also had to shut down. Walking around downtown Boulder, I saw mostly dark storefronts and almost no cars or pedestrians. Sometimes I’d go into a grocery store and the shelves would be nearly bare. It was surreal … and it still is.
Life is always unpredictable. But the amplified uncertainty of the current time plus the absence of many aspects of human culture that usually provide a backdrop of consistency in our lives – restaurants, concerts, school, work, team sports, movies, etc. – results in a feeling of profound instability for many people.
I believe one of the healthiest ways to respond to this instability is to create a plan and improve personal integrity – two things we focus on in our Dreambook. When we started working on the first edition seven years ago, there was no pandemic and yet we still had dozens of friends and clients who were unsure of their vision for the future or how to move forward. At this time, it’s needed more than ever.
The first section of the Dreambook features processes to help you get clear about what matters most to you. What feeds your soul? What supports your deepest values? What brings your gifts into the world? What makes life feel playful? When you know these things about yourself, you’re better able to manage the uncertainty of life due to your own inner stability.
Then we teach you how to make plans. There’s a unique added challenge to planning when you don’t know whether you’ll be able to leave the country or if summer camp will be happening. When you have a plan, though, when something unexpected occurs you can make adjustments as needed, but you still know the direction you’re headed. Without a plan, detours and obstacles may cause you to feel totally aimless and without a compass.
Plans don’t work without integrity though. We have to honor our word, being clear and honest with ourselves about the agreements we make and always following through on them. If we don’t keep our agreements, they’re worse than meaningless. Besides not getting the result we hoped for, we end up undermining our self-trust. But if we always do what we say we’re going to do, our self-trust grows stronger. At a time when it feels there’s not much we can trust in the world, knowing we can always trust ourselves is monumental.
It’s possible for this topsy-turvy period to actually facilitate a vital reorientation in your life: where you honor and prioritize your values, gifts, and purpose, and you create effective, intelligent, soul-supporting plans to bring your dreams into reality. Thousands of people have utilized the Dreambook as a resource for making this happen.
The new 2021 edition of the Dreambook + Planner is wire bound and available now in Classic White, Greenwood, and Periwinkle.