This post originally appeared on Audrey Press. Thank you to the amazing, inspiring Valarie Budayr for inviting me into this exploration.
How to Follow Your Dreams
What if your dreams weren’t on some distant horizon but rather your best companion, living in your heart, ready to be of service and to help you right now?
Meet Your Dream
So often we are only able to recognize our dream in its full-blown incarnation. It’s the published book, the trip to Paris, the credit at the end of the film. And we suffer so much in feeling removed from our dream. The more distance between us and the dream’s realization, the more despondent and discouraged we can be.
But know this: that little voice in your heart that says, “Write” and “Go” and “Create” is your dream.
And it’s living in your heart right now.
Make Friends with Your Dream
So get to know that yearning inside. Notice its tone, its energy, what wakes it up and what puts it to sleep. Sidle up close and make friends with your dream by simply paying attention. Slowly you can start to feed it too, little bites at a time, with coloured pencils and gathered treasures, a trip to the art gallery or the dance floor, whatever your dream is hungry for.
As you care for your dream in these early stages, you’ll start to notice it begins to grow. You might even discover that it has a name like “Me, the Dancer” or “My First Photo Exhibit” or “My Own Business”. Let yourself call it by name, that way s/he will recognize when you’re talking to him/her.
Let Your Dream Be Your Guide
As your communication grows, you’ll discover that your dream can give you all sorts of signals about what it needs next to grow, whether that’s space or challenge or gentleness or company. All you have to do is listen.
Listen to Your Dream
One way to do that is through Intuitive journaling. Begin with addressing your dream directly and then go ahead and ask questions. Try asking in one colour and letting your dream respond in another.
“Hello, my beautiful book. What are you needing from me today?”
“You know, I’m feeling really confused about why Drusilla is in the story. Could we spend some time with her today?“
“Absolutely. Is there anything else I can do to support your growth?”
“I think we need to get out more. Maybe if we worked in a coffee shop this week we could get some ideas, see some people, hear some words. I just feel like I need to be more connected to the rhythm of people, you know?”
“I love that idea. I’m super busy this week but how about we go on Monday?”
“Okay, that sounds good. But don’t forget about Drusilla!”
“You’ve got it!”
And here’s the thing. You have to actually do something about what your dream tells you. I mean, think about how you would feel if someone asked what you needed and then didn’t respond! You’d lose trust big time. The more you don’t follow up on what your dream tells you, the smaller and quieter your dream will become.
But what if your dream asks you to do something you’re afraid to do? Tell your dream that too. Have a conversation. You are in this together!
“Hey, beautiful book, I totally hear that what you need next is for me to figure out how to approach a publisher. I find that really scary so it might take me a while. Any suggestions on what might make it easier?”
“I know it’s scary, especially talking with people! Why don’t we start with doing some online research? I bet lots of people have written about how to approach a publisher. Let’s get grounded in some info and that will give us a place to start. Sound good?”
“Sure, I can do that.”
“Okay, but remember, getting to a publisher is where we’re headed. We can do it. I know you’re scared. Me, too. But I promise to believe in you if you promise to believe in me.”
Enjoy the Adventure
Take time to enjoy each day with your dream. Remember when you were a kid and you read stories about heroes and little girls and birds that went on adventures? Almost all the best bits of a story happen before they slay the dragon, get back home or find their mother! It’s the same with our dreams. Take the time to enjoy each discovery, each friend made, each challenge overcome, each skill learned, each landscape explored.
Following our dreams is the adventure of our lives. Don’t miss a single minute.