Tag Archives: dream chaser

Dream Catcher

Is there anything more powerful we can do with our life than follow our dreams, our heart’s deepest wishes?

Is there anything more wonderful than creating good in this world from the very act of being happy?

In my humble opinion, the greatest gifts we can give to this world are those of a beaming smile and being truly, soul happy. Where does that happiness come from? I believe it comes from being the unique person that each of us is, from following a path in life that is true to who we are and from walking away from the expectations and demands placed upon us by others if they are damaging and limiting in intent. We are told from early childhood to conform, to behave, to sit down and be quiet and to follow the same life path as everyone else.

We have our magic, unique beauty and dreams educated right out of our hearts as we grow up in a world that places much importance on wealth, success and following the norm as opposed to following our dreams. It is depressing to think that so many potential dreamers, poets, storytellers, healers and weavers of incredible magical lives have their potential crushed as they are encouraged to stop dreaming and ‘get a real job’ when they grow up. As adults we are laughed at if we so much as mention the idea of one day resuming our heartfelt dreams, no matter how small or big those dreams are.

It seems to me that if each of us were allowed to grow into who we truly are from a young age, without constraints, and given the encouragement to follow our heart’s true desires this world would be a healthier, more beautiful place to be. Can you imagine how we would all co-exist if each of us were given the encouragement to be happy? Imagine if happiness was actually a priority in our societies and we were given the support to create, cherish and grow into our true potential.

The beauty of this life is that we CAN, as adults, choose to make a change and actively decide to follow our dreams. It is never too late and in one way or another each of us can follow our heart’s deepest dreams whether it is a complete life upheaval or something as simple as finally pursuing that hobby we adore. We can be who we truly wish to be if we create enough self awareness to let go of fear, quieten our judgmental mind and just do it. That alone is life changing in the peace and mental freedom it brings.

When you mention following your dreams to most people, they laugh and push it aside saying it is pointless, there is no value or gain in pursuing dreams and it is impossible because of….insert a million and one reasons. It doesn’t pay the bills, it doesn’t contribute to a pension and dreaming is a childish habit that should be forgotten. I utterly disagree. I wholeheartedly believe that if each of us commits to what truly ignites our soul and keeps practising, it will eventually all come to good. There is no instant reward or success with giving up a routine life to follow dreams but there is the journey of a lifetime and, with persistence and effort, there is reward in the long-term.

When I was about to take my leap away from a routine lifestyle, I asked myself one simple question over and over again. It never failed to help me understand my true purpose in life and if I was on the right path for me.

If money were no object, if you knew you couldn’t fail and if you had no fear….What would you do?

That simple question has taken me both within myself and across the globe. I am still in the early days of following my dreams, I am working incredibly hard to make it work but I can tell you this. I have never been so happy and that alone is worth everything to me and to those I touch with my genuine, beaming smile.
Take a moment today to consider what truly lifts and inspires you forwards in life and follow that thought. Lift your head to the sky, close your weary eyes after a week of work and fall back to your dreams. If money were no object, if you knew you couldn’t fail and if you had no fear….What would you do? May you have the courage to begin to follow those dreams.

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The path that is true to you

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This week I have been reminded of the importance of following my own path and creating a life that has meaning for me.

It is all too easy to get caught up in others expectations of what they believe to be right or wrong in life, success or failure in our endeavors, and to make life choices based more upon others than upon ourselves. I should know this, as I spent the best part of a decade living in a way that I thought I ‘ought’ to, that I ‘should’ do for the benefit of society and it wasn’t right for me. That chapter of my life didn’t contain the fulfillment of my own dreams or wishes, it contained mostly me trying to find acceptance at work, with peers and at home by conforming to their ways of life. Throughout it all I forgot one simple fact (that is true for each of us) – I am unique. I had absolutely no sense of self or belief in me and I spent my days trying to blend in as a sheep in my relationships, my career and home life. I said ‘yes’ so many times to others demands and opinions that in the end it made me miserable and I became destructive within a reality I had created and yet did not want. There was nothing wrong with that life as such, I had a lovely home and career and I met many wonderful people, but it wasn’t the path that is true to who I am. I always knew something was missing but assumed it was me being greedy and dismissed the niggle in my mind. I ignored the loneliness I felt inside.

 

I had blinkers on and I didn’t realise that there could be another way to live that would be more fulfilling for me. I had no idea that there could actually be a way in which my opinions, my likes and dislikes, my dreams and aspirations actually mattered and were worth following and voicing. No matter how wild and outrageous they seemed to my fearful mind and to those around me who laughed at my creativity and at my habit of daydreaming in meetings. I thought everything would stay the same because I didn’t know how to make a change.

 

And then I read this quote two years ago. It gave me a huge wake up call.

 

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Actually it really does matter, more than anything else, that we LOVE wholeheartedly what we do each day. There is only ever right now in life and there is absolutely no point in delaying following our dreams for some other time in an unknown future, because there never is that tomorrow. We work hard and we bank our lives for a retirement that may never happen and some of us spend years miserable at work because we hope it will be worth it. What if you die before even reaching that age? Will delaying your dreams and working so tirelessly at something you were not passionate about have been worth it? Of course not, for it never is. We only have now to take a risk and make a change, to have a positive impact, in this world. We only have now to smile, to laugh, to love and to be thankful for the incredible gift of life – and to do it justice by following a path that is true to each of us. For only then can we spread more happiness across the globe and impact positively upon society.

 

The world doesn’t need more money, more order and people worked to the bone in jobs they hate. The world desperately needs more people that have come alive.

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The death of my mother shortly after her retirement highlighted all of that for me and it is in her honour that I strive to live a life that has meaning for me every day. I was absolutely terrified when I walked away from a well paid and stable career a year and a half ago to pursue what a lot of people dismissed as a low paid, pointless adventure that would go nowhere. In my time overseas I have worked extremely hard at times, I have often felt the fear of ‘what on earth am I doing?’ and yet I have never laughed more and that is because I love the path I am on. I have learned more about myself during the past month than during the past thirty plus years of being me. I have discovered a drive and passion I didn’t know existed, found my spirituality deepen and found abilities and talents within myself that I had failed to even notice before. Oh and I have also realised that no matter how many times I work on a boat I will always get sea sick. Damn.

In spite of injuries that have left me a little bit broken and still recovering a few months down the line, I am truly excited about the future, about today, and leaping into the unknown is bringing me such joy. I may not be earning a great deal (yet) and yes I wake up in cold sweats wondering how I will make this work but I am creating my charitable cause Friends for Sharks and I am proud of that. I am writing articles and books that I hope will propel me forwards (more on that in the months to come) and that I hope will inspire others to follow their dreams fearlessly. I am living proof that, whilst it isn’t easy at times, taking a leap and following your dreams is absolutely worth it and anyone can do it.

I wouldn’t change a moment of what I have done and I urge you to take a step towards the dreams that set you free. Do it right now and smile all the way.

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Come fear. Take my hand

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As she touched the keys of the piano lightly her fingers trembled. She was painfully aware of the people around her, felt the weight of their passing conversations press down upon her hunched shoulders as she took a deep breath. She let her hair fall around her face as her eyes darted across the keys wildly. She was unsure if she could remember the piece her heart wanted to play, unsure of the depth of touch needed for the keys to sound, unsure if she had the courage to just do it. She turned her head slowly to the left and peeked through her hair, as if waiting to be caught as an imposter and told to leave. She caught site of families and couples deep in conversation and felt fear rise in her throat and quicken her pulse.

 

Fear told its familiar story of not being good enough, of it being better to give up now than expose oneself and be judged on ability or lack of

 

Fear told her it was better for the music that was deep within her soul not to be heard, for it was no good and was not worthy of listening ears. She would be laughed at. She pressed middle C lightly as her hands shook. Perhaps she could just play quietly so no-one would hear but she could at least ease the ache inside her that longed to make music. She breathed again, looked to the right and saw two smiling faces; her friends cheering her on silently with warmth in their smiles and glasses lifted in congratulation at getting this far. Little did they know her terror. Fear tightened its grip around her throat; her fingers moved away from the keys as she began to convince herself it was better to just leave it, forget her dream of performing and leave it for someone else to play.

 

But then another voice spoke; that of courage and of not giving a damn anymore about being judged

 

Just play for crying out loud, just play and set your soul free. You know this is your dream and it doesn’t matter whether you get every note wrong. Yes, stepping outside of your comfort zone is frightening, fear has a strong hold at times but it doesn’t matter.

 

It is not yours to judge yourself and your ability. It is your job to just do it and explore the magic outside of your comfort and security. The adventure is yours for the taking. Just close your eyes and play

 

So she did just that. She pulled her feet forwards and pressed the pedals with a familiar tenderness. It felt like coming home. She poised her long fingers above the keys and breathed deeply. She breathed in courage, she breathed in fear but most of all she breathed in her dreams and passion and, as she exhaled, she began. It would be a lie to say she hit every note perfectly. A lie to say she was a concert pianist when clearly she wasn’t. But she played with passion; she laughed out loud at the bum notes and giggled as her friends moved closer with their glasses of wine. They listened with smiles and kind heckles to try and distract her further. If she could have stepped back and seen herself she would have witnessed one of her greatest dreams coming true.

 

She had embraced her fear, let it sit on the stool beside her and shown just what she was capable of when her mind set her free

 

She stopped. She played again and then confessed she also had a dream to sing. She had wanted to perform all her life but had never quite found the courage to be properly heard. Never quite found the courage to be so vulnerable as to let her voice be heard.

With strength, a quiet satisfaction and pride at having played in public, she later sang her friends a song. It sounds so simple, as if it took nothing but the act of opening her mouth and letting the tune out. But it took so much more than that for her. Yet again she had to master her fears of failure, of being judged and remind herself of the beauty of play. Of how desperately she wanted to be heard. She paced the room as she considered if she could in fact sing – did she sound terrible? Should she sing quietly? Or perhaps let go, sing from the depths of her heart and pour her soul into her voice?

 

It didn’t matter how she sounded for at least she was willing to try. And so the voice of courage spoke up once more

 

She took that deep breath, closed her eyes, let her shoulders fall and sang as if there were no tomorrow. She soared to the highest notes of a soprano voice and to the lowest tones in the depths of throat; with runs and pauses she held her tune and finally let her voice be heard. The exhilaration was next to none. The freedom of expression was exquisite and when she let her last note out and opened her eyes she found her friends silent. With tears in their eyes they told her they couldn’t believe she wasn’t doing something with such a voice. And with that one performance and those kind words an evening of song and acoustic guitar took shape.

 

And so began a journey whose next chapter is unknown but will surely happen because she let herself be heard

 

As I sang those songs and played the piano during that day last week I felt incredibly vulnerable. I was reminded of how strong fear can be and how easy it is to just walk away from new experiences, walk away from that vulnerability. It is easier than trying something you believe in. I very nearly didn’t perform and I am thankful I found a voice louder than fear that stopped me from giving up. The moment I stepped outside of my comfort zone, stopped judging myself and recognised nothing mattered other than giving it a try, I set myself free. And you can do the same for whatever it is you believe in.

 

Fear will always be with us in one form or another but it doesn’t need to stop us. The key is to learn to master our fear, let it sit beside you and just be.

 

Show fear the magic that can happen when you take its hand and lead it gently towards your dream. It isn’t easy but the rewards are worth every shaky moment when your hands tremble and your pulse races. The rewards of self-belief, of courage, of just being who you want to be are incredible. Even when you hit the bum notes and have to start again, just as I did. Even when you completely forget the line to the song and make it up as you go along, just as I did on more than one occasion that day.

 

S today I encourage you to do something that is outside of your comfort zone. Go and take a deep breath and open the door to one of your dreams and just try.

No matter what happens I promise you it will be magical simply because you had the courage to try