Be patient where you sit in the dark. The dawn is coming ~ Rumi
This is week three of my current period of unemployed life. There are days I am so happy to be free that even without a job I feel there is great purpose to my life and reason to get out of bed in the morning. Then there are days when I have no commitments and no idea of what I am going to do next. Anxiety takes over and my bed holds me tight.
Last week I had brunch with a friend. She resigned and finished from her job the same day I was effectively made redundant. As we chatted about her plans, she told me she hoped to be retired by November this year.
Retired by November. That’s a dream. A big, out there, unconventional, clearly-stated dream.
I wondered if it were really possible that she could retire in just under 5 months from now. I mean, she’s in her early thirties. Was she being realistic? Then a-ha hit me and tripped me over.
Dreams are for dreaming. It doesn’t actually matter if the dream can be achieved or not. Dreams can be as big or small and creative as we allow them to be. But we need to allow ourselves to dream first and then think about how we can achieve them later. If we qualify our dreams based on our initial assessment of how achievable we deem them to be then those dreams never make it out into the world in the first place and they never have a chance to be lived.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
These words found their way into my life when I was 8 years old. They were on a sticker along with Will the Koala dressed in green and gold tracksuit, Australia’s mascot and motto for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. I stuck it on my wardrobe much to my mother’s dismay. They are simple words but they speak a great truth. If we want the dream enough then we will find a way to make it happen. Our authentic desires are more powerful than we realize.
My conversation with my friend reminded me of my own dreams, the ones I have hidden away out of sight. Practical Me. The one who wants to keep me safe and secure and wishes I was a little more conventional than I’ve turned out to be. She put my dreams in the wardrobe. Literally.
I created a beautiful vision board earlier this year that I had on display in my bedroom for months. Then when I came home from my holiday I rolled it up and put in the wardrobe, very respectfully on the top shelf, then closed the door where it has stayed out of sight. I needed to de-clutter I told myself. What Practical Me was really trying to do was keep those wild dreams in the dark in case I actually followed them out of my comfort zone and into another unconventional, unknown world. Ah thanks Practical me. I know she cares and plays an important role in keeping me grounded and safe it’s just that she just gets a little over-zealous at times.
I am sitting with a blank page in my life. No job, no debts, no kids, no partner and my current living arrangements coming to an end. A blank, blank page I can do anything with. But where do I start? I worry about drawing the wrong picture or more to the point creating something messy and ugly and having to start again. Stuck on the idea that it needs to be perfect, I freeze, unable to decide which colour to start with or how to mark the page. I am scared that whatever I try to create will be too small and insignificant. I worry that decorating the page the way I really want to will exhaust my resources and negatively impact Future Me when I promised I would never do that to her.
But I have these dreams, big, small, specific and vague. When I think of my life without them, without trying to realize them, it feels like an empty shell. A collection of minutes spent just passing time until death comes. My dreams are waiting for me to step towards them. Their call is stronger than my fear.
I’ve had blank pages before even as blank as this one. It’s just starting that’s the hard part. Starting and letting go of preconceived ideas about what the resulting picture should look like. Trusting the process of creation. Remembering I can start over at anytime if I choose to. Remembering I can colour over the top or outside the lines if I choose to. There are no rules.
When I sit quietly and listen within, I know what to do. Start with the dream.
Right now I am reconnecting with my dreams, the feelings and desires behind the dreams. Allowing them to blossom, to give shape to their own form and call me forward to meet them. I am sitting patiently, in the semi-dark, until the dawn finally comes.
You cannot make a mistake. You can only make a decision that will be your next best step ~ Neale Donald Walsche
|The perks of unemployment, time to walk in the winter sunshine. View of Melbourne CBD from Morrell Bridge.|
|Melbourne Botanical Gardens in winter sunshine|
|Coffee and writing in a favourite cafe, BookTalk Cafe on Swan Street in Richmond.|