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Your Dream Life Starts Here

An excerpt from kikki.K founder, Kristina Karlsson's debut book.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD NOT FAIL? WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE IF YOU HAD ALL THE TIME AND MONEY YOU NEEDED?
These two questions are my absolute favourites so I’m excited that we’re starting this dream journey together with them. Both have something magical about them that get you out of your head and into
your heart, where you’ll find the most amazing ideas.

If I just asked you simply to write down your dreams, without giving any context, you’re likely to write a list of dreams that feel comfortable and achievable, limited by many different factors in your life right now – things like time, money, knowledge and your current circumstances.

All too often, the beliefs we have about what is possible have also been limited by our upbringing and the expectations of others around us.

But if I ask you, ‘What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you do with your life if you had all the time and money you needed?’ this takes you to another level altogether – giving you permission to cast off the constraints of everyday life and to dream big. To reimagine what is possible for you.

There is so much freedom and power in taking time to dream like this, and these two questions are where I start every time I dream – which I do regularly, in the same way many people practise a sport, hobby or music. It helps me to forget about barriers and to let go of limitations. It takes me to places and gives me ideas I never would have without this approach. It’s literally life transforming – and it’s so, so simple.

I truly believe that dreaming is the first step to creating your dream life. There’s something so special about giving yourself the time and space just to dream – to imagine how your life could be. When dreaming becomes a part of your everyday life, it becomes life changing.

I’m convinced that a key reason everyone in the world doesn’t practise regular dreaming in a structured way is because they’re unaware of the enormous benefits it will bring their way.

I remember when, sometime not long after writing my 3am List, I attended a seminar as part of my journey to find ‘my thing’ in life. One of the speakers briefly mentioned the idea of practising dreaming without limitation. A light bulb went off in my mind. I hadn’t thought of dreaming before as a practice, like meditating or yoga, and I hadn’t contemplated the idea – or experienced the power – of regularly dreaming without limitations.

Soon after, I took time out to reflect on my 3am List and, for the first time in my life, I sat down and took time to practise dreaming completely without limitations. I asked myself the first question I asked you: What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? I began to write down a list of everything that bubbled up for me. They were big dreams, far beyond my normal thinking, and it was so exciting to see them take shape on paper – almost as if they had a life of their own.

When I scribbled on my list a dream that felt like ‘the one’, I was almost too excited to keep writing. It gave me goosebumps. My heart pumped fast.

IT WAS A DREAM SO BIG AND SO EXCITING FOR ME THAT I RUSHED HOME TO PAUL AND SQUEALED, ‘I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I’M GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE. I’M GOING TO OPEN BEAUTIFUL SWEDISH DESIGN AND STATIONERY STORES IN ALL MY FAVOURITE CITIES AROUND THE WORLD! LONDON, PARIS, TOKYO, NEW YORK, STOCKHOLM, HONG KONG…’ AS I KEPT LISTING CITIES, PAUL LOOKED AT ME WITH A TOUCH OF SHOCK, WHICH SOON TURNED INTO A KNOWING LOOK OF SHARED EXCITEMENT.

I felt so certain about that dream – more certain than I’d felt about anything before in my life. I had no idea whether or not it could be done (which turned out to be a blessing – ignorance can be bliss), but I knew I had to try. That dream, of course, was the start of kikki.K – my global stationery and design business – with the name coming later over a few glasses of wine with friends, combining my childhood nickname ‘kikki’ and ‘K’ from my surname, Karlsson.

Dreaming is something I’ve now studied and incorporated into my life on a regular basis – it’s one of the most important things I spend time on – and I want to inspire and empower you to do the same. I’m certain that, once you start, it will ignite a spark in you that will fire such a strong sense of possibility and excitement for your future that you’ll never be quite the same. A door will open that you won’t be able to close.

So, whether you’re feeling a little lost like I was, feeling like something is missing in your life, or even if you feel clear about where you want to go and you want to stretch yourself further, dreaming is the perfect place to start. It’s your first step towards shaping an amazing future for yourself and your loved ones – and creating positive ripples that will flow to your community and the world.

While dreaming is such a big part of my life, I’m always surprised by how few people make time to dream regularly. It’s not something taught in schools – as far as I know – and my experience is that most people don’t teach their children the process either. I wish this were different! What an amazing and positive impact this will have on the world when we all do it.

Once you’ve learnt how, this one habit will be something that opens new doors, changes your perspective, brings new opportunities and is, without doubt, the key to you creating your dream life, whatever that means for you now and at different times through the years ahead.

Your dreams can be big or small. They might take years or just days to achieve. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about letting your dreams come to life, and falling in love with the feelings of excitement and possibility that they create. Just starting this process will open a door in your mind and you’ll be surprised by how often possibilities and ideas will bubble up, often at unexpected times.

After going through the process of brainstorming and writing down any dreams you can think of on paper, it’s quite amazing how you’ll start to consciously and subconsciously take steps to make them come true. Dreams have such power to pull you forward. It’s even more powerful when you share them with like-minded people, who you’ll find will often help you in big and small ways to achieve those dreams.

I find it so inspiring to hear other people’s dreams, so in case you feel the same way, here’s a sneak peek at some of my 101 Dreams.

A SNEAK PEEK INTO MY 101 DREAMS JOURNAL

These aren’t all dreams that I’m working on right now, but they’re there in my 101 Dreams Journal. I glance over them often and I’ll start working towards each whenever the time is right for me. I add to my list regularly and my intention is to keep adding to it my entire life.

Soon you’ll start your own 101 Dreams List and you can add to it whenever you come up with a new dream.

You’ll need to make sure you can give yourself at least thirty minutes – preferably an hour – in a quiet and inspiring place. Choose somewhere you’ll be comfortable and won’t be interrupted. I always like to pour myself a cup of my favourite tea, light a candle, and pull out my beautiful journal and pen. I start by centring myself, taking three deep breaths and then I remind myself that I only have one life, and I want to make every day and month and year count. Then I work through the following exercise.

I’m going to ask you a series of questions and I’d love you to write whatever comes to mind on the 101 Dreams List on the following pages or in your Dream Life Journal. When you’re finished writing every dream you can think of on the page, read back through the questions again and then go back to your list and keep writing whatever comes to mind.

Write down as many dreams as you can in the time you give yourself, and come back and do this powerful exercise as often as you like over the course of your life. I’d suggest doing this every few months, but do it at least annually.

The idea is to just get as many dreams down on paper as you possibly can. Later when you reflect on them, some will totally inspire you. Some will inspire completely new dreams you hadn’t thought of before. Some you will edit. Some you may later throw away…

But somewhere on that list will be some absolute gems that will ignite your soul and inspire you to reimagine your life in ways you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Be as bold as you like. Be as silly as you like. Be as childish as you like.

You are about to start reimagining and reshaping your future. How exciting!



DREAM GUIDANCE
To help you get started, here is what I share with people about dreaming. Read through it as many times as you like as you do this practice. A good alternative is to listen to my 101 Dreams Guide as you write – many people find the verbal prompts, inspiration and guidance help them get the most from the experience and it’s really useful to play in the background if you’re dreaming with others (www.kikki-k.com/bookresources).

Immerse yourself in your inspiring space where you won’t be interrupted. When you’re ready, close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. This is your time. Open your eyes when you’re done.

Don’t worry about the doing. Don’t filter what you come up with. Don’t worry about sorting through them. Just connect with your heart, dream big and capture those dreams on paper as quickly, roughly and simply as you like. Think of this as a brainstorming exercise.

I want you to imagine your life without any limitations. You have all the money you need. Time is no limit. There is no urgency. No musts. No shoulds. And you cannot fail.

Imagine you can do whatever you want to do and have whatever you want to have. To be whoever you want to be.

You are not constrained at all by what your parents think, what your friends think, what your partner thinks, what anyone thinks. You are totally free to just be you – to be your best self and to dream without any limitations about what you want for yourself, for those you love and care about, and for the world.

I’m giving you permission to stop for a moment and just let go of everything you thought you could or couldn’t do. The world is so full of possibilities. It all starts with a dream, so this is your turn to cast all doubts and all constraints aside and give yourself the gift of dreaming. Dream away.

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