When we are young, although our income is little or none, our dreams are BIG. We have faith and optimism and hope. We believe. However, as we get older, we seem to shrink our dreams to fit our income and circumstances. It’s not a pleasant thought to think about shrinking dreams. How sad just the phrase is. The disappointing truth, however, is that so many of us give up on our dreams. From becoming an astronaut to backpacking across Europe to owning our own business, setbacks, unexpected life events and financial obstacles tend to chip away at our big plans. But, without big plans and grand adventures to anticipate, it is easy to lose motivation, become bored and feel disconnected. Bill McCartney said it perfectly. “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…” Big dreams challenge us, unnerve us. It can be a blessing to feel unnerved. When was the last time you felt such exhilarating unrest?
Do you still believe anything is possible or have your dreams faded after being put on hold? Have you decided you cannot afford what you really want or perhaps you don’t have time for many of the things you said you’d do? Do you remember what your last big dream was? When I was thinking about the idea of shrinking dreams, I imagined a dream being whittled and eroded away, like a shoreline consumed by the sea. I do not want to live a compromised life, one of settling and negotiations. I want to live a life full of joy, wonder and adventure.
Years ago, I made a bucket list- 100 things I wanted to do during my lifetime. The first few years, I checked items off that list like nobody’s business! I have noticed over the past few years, it has been more challenging to focus on those big dreams. At different times, I’ve gone months and months without even looking at that bucket list, much less achieving anything on it. There are so many distractions. Work, obligations, technology, just to name a few. How often we postpone our goals, not on purpose, because so much demands our attention.
Stillness helps me remember and reconnect to my dreams. However, even stillness can be unnerving. We have been conditioned to stay busy and be productive. We are not taught to be still and listen. We are not encouraged to embrace solitude or quiet spaces. Instead, we quickly feel restless and uncomfortable in such a situation. We start looking for something to do, essentially another distraction. Why do we seek distractions from our own selves? What a question to ponder.
Fall and winter both have a way of urging reflection. The cold days slow us down. We stay inside and seem to have more time to think. As the leaves die and many plants and animals retreat until warmer weather, it seems natural for us to take a look at what needs shedding to make room for our personal spring. If we never purge what no longer serves us we are like a full glass, unable to hold anymore. Although more will be added, the only way to survive will be to force something out. Unfortunately, what are forced out are often our dreams and joys. How much better it is to reflect and chose what to let go of to make more space in our hearts and lives for what we want.
My reflection has led me to a memory from childhood, reading poetry in English class. Part of a poem that has stuck with me for over a decade offers wisdom to us all. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly” (Robert Frost).
Vision Boards are such fun to create and they are a great way to give life to our dreams and help us focus. I invite you to join me for CYE's first meet-up of 2016: Holding The Vision. Come for inspiration, mingling and vision boarding. We will focus on our goals for the New Year and create our own vision boards to keep us motivated and inspired.
It is free to attend this women's gathering! All supplies will be provided plus yummy snacks and drinks. Of course, you can also bring your own images, photographs or magazine clippings. Space is limited to 15. We’ll meet at my house in Hixson, TN on Sunday, January 10, 2016 from 6:00-8:00pm. To register, simply email me at email@example.com or text me at 931.629.6694. I hope to see you there!
If you aren't local, join us from afar in creating your own vision board. Post a photo to our Facebook page so that we can all offer support and be inspired by your personal vision!