Saturday, March 15, 2014

Making Our Dreams Come True

"A thin line stands between dream and reality. And only the heart knows the characteristics that correspond to either side." --Linda Marks, age 16 It seems my entire life has been about living with vision and living from the heart. As a child, I wrote poems about these two topics. They were in separately interrelated. When I was 20, I wrote a song called "When Dreams Suffer," which became my signature song. And the message of this song was at the heart of my first book, Living With Vision: Reclaiming the Power of the Heart, which came out in 1988.

We all have dreams. What is often the hard part is turning dreams into reality. What can we do to make our dreams come true?

Some of the messages in "When Dreams Suffer" are:

1. When dreams suffer, there must be fear in our way.

Believing in our dreams is a magical thing. If we keep putting positive, heartful, visionary energy into our dreams, and taking actions steps one by one, we are unstoppable. When we are afraid, we freeze, stop, give up and sometimes even crumble. Finding ways to find safety, support, rooting and faith are critical to making our dreams real.

2. We need to learn to both hold on to our dreams, yet let go.

If we hold on to our dreams too tightly, we can suffocate the life blood out of them. We remove the breathing room that allows life's energies to move and flow. On the other hand, if we don't hold fast to our dreams, they can die, as a beautiful Langston Hughes poem notes. We need to hold them in our hearts, yet trust that God will be our co-pilot.

3. We must both give space, and believe, even while nothing supports our beliefs.

Perhaps this is another way to talk about having faith. Faith is a kind of heartfelt, spiritually rooted sense of belief. Yet, it also acknowledges that we do not create in a vacuum. There is a powerful creative force in the universe that gives life in many ways, including to our dreams. Having faith in that creative force is critical.

4. We can't throw our dreams away. Instead, they can be our life guidance system.

Without our dreams, our life will be can "a barren field frozen with snow," to return to Langston Hughes' poem. Our dreams enliven our days and our entire lives. Yet when we don't the steps to take to make our dreams real, or when it seems like our dreams are not manifesting soon enough, it is far too easy to abandon ship. Learning how to frame our dreams as our life guidance system makes it easier to stay with them and follow them over time.

Another important principal in bringing our dreams to life is to take immediate action. If you feel inspired, capture the energy of the moment. Take even a small action step. Every step we take moves our dreams forward. When we wait, tell ourselves we can do it later or even worse, procrastinate, we deflate the energy and fail to take advantage of the power of inspired moments. Telling someone else about your dream and inviting them to team with you are two other ways to ground your dreams. I learned early on that when another person co-held a dream with me and/or partnered with me to work on a dream, the path was easier, more unexpected doors opened, and the dream took flight much more effortlessly and faster than when I tried to do it all alone. Taking action and involving others are two ways of committing to our dreams. Commitment moves our energy forward and opens up all kinds of divine energy to support us in realizing our goals. When we fear commitment, we diffuse the very things we desire that commitment can bring.

Learning to make our dreams real is like learning dance steps. We need to get a sense of the rhythm. We need to get used to the music. We need to gain a sense of the dance floor. We need to get our footing, so we know how it feels. In many ways, we use all our senses, even if we focus on our hands or feet to take action. And the heart is the ultimate compass, at the center of the entire process.

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