“Where do you go when you get to the end of your dreams?” Dan Fogelberg crooned in his song, “Netherlands.” We don’t! More dreams keep coming! There is no end of the rainbow. The path of life keeps winding and more awesomeness appears. Life can keep getting better and better and better. If you let it.
As I reflect on this past decade of being my own boss, I raise a glass to myself and say CHEERS! At the time, going on my own was scary. I had always been an employee with a steady paycheck. Then came an opportunity to live in France. My then-husband’s job took us to Europe for a year and it was magical and transformational for me. I didn’t have a work visa so my time was spent shuttling my boys to their international school, taking a creative writing class (in English), and exploring. Most of which I now see was self-exploration.
Getting published in the French Literary Review for my short stories and poems was a thrill and a confirmation that I could do more than the weekly newspaper column I have been writing since 2001. I told my ex-spouse that when we returned home I was going to give this writing thing a real go.
He was semi-supportive. “Give it one year and you have to make as much money as you did at your job.” At the end of the next year, it was clear I could make money writing and editing, and it was clear my marriage was not going to survive.
Fast forward to now. The small dreams I had pondered (a home of books, music, and no blaring ESPN) have come true. The larger dreams (a partner who gets me, world travel, a successful career & business) have also come true. My current husband, the man referred to as my Prince Charming, is beyond my wildest dreams. My work is too. My clients are all over the globe doing amazing things, externally and internally, and I get to be a shepherd for this part of their journey. I am blessed.
I write this now to you because I used to think that life was just something we plodded through. Sure, there would be milestones and happy moments, but I didn’t really get it. I didn’t see how I had the reins and so much more power than I knew. When I embarked on the path of listening to my inner voice, and acting on – even when it seemed nuts – things changed. My life changed. It continues to do so.
There are times I fall off the path and succumb to self-doubt and the inner criticism. But the good thing is that I recover so much faster. I see that even if I misstep or misspeak or partake of an opportunity that isn’t quite the right fit, it’s not the end of the world. People are going to judge me, for better or worse, and I cannot control what anyone thinks of me ever.
When I follow my joy and delight, that’s when things click. Staying true to my inner rhythm is key. The same goes for you.
If you are thinking that the coming year is going to be the same old same old, hit the pause button. What do you want for yourself? Dare to write it down. Visualize it. Smile as you think of your dreams coming true.
Allow the possibility that life can get better and better. Choose to let life love you (tip of the hat to Louise Hay). The first step is simply to acknowledge that you want to go for your dreams – AND THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO TAKE STEPS TO GET THERE.
Some things can happen overnight and some may take time, but you may find yourself a few years from now reveling in how far you’ve come. I often state that I have been a baby stepper and it has gotten me far. Dream after dream after dream has come true and it’s fun (and weird sometimes) to realize that I get to keep dreaming.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you have accomplished so far (or not), your education, income, or status. You plunked down to this earth with the desire to expand, to explore, to experience joy.
If you are living an amazing life, give thanks, and let it become even more amazing. If you are living less than what you want, give thanks, and let it become better. Believe that it can. (It can!)
Take two minutes every morning before you get out of bed and simply breathe deeply while thinking: I KNOW THAT LIFE CAN GET BETTER AND BETTER. Calibrate yourself this way every day. And watch what unfolds. There is no end of dreams. I promise you.