What are your dreams?
Go ahead. List some- two weeks in Paris? A brand new car? To put your child through college? For your child to get into college? (hahaha)
Those are really great dreams. Now go ahead. What is your real dream? The wildest, scariest and most delicious one? Would you go back to law school? Would you act in local theater? Open an art gallery?
These are probably the dreams that you don’t think about every day because they just don’t seem all that possible. They’re stuffed down under the distractions of life, but these are the dreams that are connected to your life purpose. You think about that, don’t you? Your life purpose? No? I know. I understand what it’s like to put your purpose on the shelf.
I did too, for a while. We’re all busy, we have responsibilities and commitments and bills and didn’t we say that we’d lose ten pounds and stop swearing and read more? We didn’t, so how could we ever hope to achieve bigger dreams than those?
I didn’t only stop dreaming because I was busy. After my divorce, I thought that there was no way that I could ever fulfill my life’s purpose and that I would have to let it go. I just couldn’t get over the fact that my destiny had been altered in some way. How ridiculous- nothing, absolutely nothing that happens to you can ever separate you from the purpose for which you were born.
My first words were “home builder.” From the time I was six, I wanted to build and furnish houses in Mexico for people that needed them. Growing up, I would sit with my drawing pad and the Sears catalog and look through the chain link fence that served as the border wall at the time. It was literally in my grandmother’s front yard. (“Hey, I can see Mexico from my front yard!”} Armed with graph paper and the Sears catalog, I would design and furnish homes to replace all the plywood and cardboard shacks that our neighbors across the line were living in.
I grew up, married a home builder and became an interior designer. I thought the dream would magically happen someday. Obviously though, it wasn’t X’s dream. Part of the pain of splitting up was thinking that I would have to say goodbye to what I most wanted to accomplish.
Here is the thing: a dream is sometimes just a dream, but a dream that is your purpose is not as easy to give up on. The essence of my dream is creating spaces for people to be at home. Now, I realize, that might be simply inspiring other divorced women to create a space within themselves, a home where their own dreams can flourish and grow.
And, I can certainly address housing needs in other concrete (pun intended) ways. For example, until March 31st, I’m donating 10% of my Love It Go royalties to the Navajo Stove Project to provide safe heating and cooking in homes on the reservation in Arizona.
Your mission, should you decide you’re worth it, (and you are!) is to list five dreams that are so big and crazy that you may have never even told anyone about them.
Go ahead- write them down. Write them as though they have already happened, as in, “My novel earned $100 million dollars and I moved to Hawaii.” “Well,” you say, “that is crazy.” Really? Why? Say you have a novel to write- isn’t it as good as any other novel out there?
Oh! I get it. It isn’t. You can’t write a novel because you have never written a novel and you don’t know the first thing about it. Right. Okay, so I see why your novel wouldn’t be as good as what is out there at the bookstores. Those people know how to write novels.
No. Your novel isn’t as good because it currently has zero words. Not much of a plot… You're worth more than excuses.
Look at your list of dreams again. They’re just dreams, they don’t have to scare you. Nobody is going to make you do them. Unless you do…
You’re not finished yet. Sit with that list of five dreams and imagine what your life would be like if any or all of them came true. Do you love yourself enough to try? What would the world be like if you did? There is something in that list that only you can give the world. There lies your purpose.
Your purpose is big, but so are you (in a good way…) Think about being at the ocean- when we’re on the beach, we relax; we feel peaceful. Why? People think it is because the ocean is so big and powerful; it seems limitless. But really, I think we resonate with it so much because we’re at that moment in communion with something that matches what is within us. We’re big, powerful, limitless. You are limitless potential, and you can handle it.
Which dream are you going to turn into a goal?