Protecting Your Dream

I’ve only been at it seriously for about two months, but I’ve already encountered threats to my dream, and they are not coming from my “little self” this time.

Recently, I got it that I hadn’t learned all the steps required to do this thing.  That led to loads of frustration and much irrelevant advice whenever I got caught whining. Truth is, everything has steps no matter whether it’s research in something that’s never been researched before, or following a dream.  If the process has happened once, there are steps.

That scientist exploring the outer reaches of her field isn’t going into the unknown without prior experience and a wealth of information and heuristics. And even though I prepared for this new project by taking a class, searching online, and reading three books, I was not prepared.  This past week I discovered that I did not have all the steps.

Naturally, I sought out others on the same path—to see what their experience was, to learn where help could be found.  That seems appropriate, but sometimes it isn’t helpful.  What this project has shown me is that pursuing a dream is like planting a seed.  I know I have to give it time, energy, and love, or it won’t grow.  What I forgot is that, like a tender seedling, the project also requires protection against harm, and that means keeping it to myself, not talking about it, especially when the going gets rough.

From studying manifestation, I had learned that it is best to keep a desire secret—that the energy required to “bring it into physical presence now” is drained by talking about it.  Some writers hold that belief about their “work in progress.”  There’s also threat to the desire itself if we share and get criticism, irrelevant advice, or worse, no response at all.

Then rapid-fire sprays of lethal thoughts in the dark corners of our minds can feel like being machine-gunned against a brick wall.  Doubts, once raised, are hard to snuff.  We begin to question whether or not we chose the correct path, or think, “Maybe I don’t have the right stuff.”  Any of this sound familiar?

At this point, a day off might be in order.  Or even a few moments.  I chose to keep working, but to do something that wasn’t part of the project, but which supported it.  I cleaned out my Bookmarks.  Any effort whatsoever in cleaning or clearing clutter is supportive of a new project, because it gets rid of old stagnant energy, allows new energy to enter and circulate freely, and it gives the subconscious an opportunity to solve problems.

In my cheerful letting go of files that no longer served me, I ran across a few I actually had to open, because I’d forgotten what they were.  That’s when I discovered this jewel,Tribus de l’OMO.pps, a Power Point slide show with music about a tribe who decorated their bodies with “inks” found in nature. Sadly, that slide show is no longer available but I can tell you about it.  The native women painted their bodies and put flowers in their hair.  Each design was beautiful. 

Watching this again put my very serious life in perspective in a flash.  It also teased a smile for their ingenious designs incorporating natural shapes and colors to create something delightful.

Overcome with humility after watching that show again, I stopped what I was doing and took a walk in the rain on the River Trail. I thought about those natives spending perhaps days collecting the natural resources for that splendid body art.  I considered all that effort involved for something transient, lasting maybe a day of two if they were lucky.  Despite that, there was no question in my mind that their projects definitely were worth pursuing—not only because they gave them apparent joy, but also for the gift of beauty to others, like me, who might stumble across it.

But what about mine?  Is my project worth pursuing?

The answer I hear is in the form of another question, “According to whom?”  Who is the most appropriate one to judge the worth of a project an individual chooses to do?  Clearly, the one doing it!  If it brings me joy, if it fills me till overflowing, if it makes me smile, if time stops while I’m engaged, if I get out of bed earlier each day because I can’t wait to work on it, then whatever it is, is worth it, and like a river rushing toward its destiny, I will flow around whatever obstacles show up on my path like water around rocks.

All those nagging doubts about this project I’ve been pursuing since November abruptly vanished.  (Snap!)  Just like that.  I remembered that we’re all the masters of our own fates—that we get to decide how we’ll live our lives.  Jennifer Hoffman in, “Do you Lead or Follow” (1/19/11 reminds me that as the follower, I have no manifesting power. In that vein, leading or following, I realized that I get to choose whether to be the leader in my own life or not.  No one makes me do anything.  I choose to do whatever I do, all day long without exception—not because I am independently wealthy, but because I am the leader in my life.  I had chosen this project. I am the leader of my project.

Following your dream is being the leader of your life—filling it decision by decision with your choices of experience.  Protecting your dream is being a good leader.

Protecting your dream means not talking about it.  It especially means “not taking advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with.”  It means staying centered when others speak about it, and realizing that they are sharing their truth from their perspective and experience—which may or may not have anything to do with you.  It also means going the distance to learn whatever is required to do the thing.

Protecting your dream means staying positive no matter what, including allowing yourself to go at your own pace and not comparing your experience to that of others.  “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, because always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself” (Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”).

Finally, protecting the dream includes living a balanced life not only so the journey is more enjoyable, but also to take advantage of some other ways we process our experience—like solving problems by handing them over, and receiving inspiration by surrendering.  Sometimes, I get my best ideas while dancing, cooking, or spacing out while the television is on. This is only what I’ve learned so far. How about you?  What have you learned while pursuing your dream?

Till next time,

Please be kind to everyone you meet for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi (aka Dr. Pam Young, PhD)

[This was previously posted but I chose to re-post it for two reasons: a friend on Facebook asked me about it and I am in the middle of trying to find a rental I can afford in Durango and wanting to sell my house ASAP. Even though I renewed my blog, WordPress is making it difficult for me to post articles.  When I “previewed” this one, there were brackets above the photo that I could not remove.  WordPress sucks.]

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