There’s this white hot panic I have at my back sometimes when it comes to my dreams. If you don’t get it together now (or at least soon!) the moment will pass and you will have missed your chance. Hurry, hurry, it whispers. The clock is ticking.
Everyone responds to this pressure differently. Some of us get it together and ramp up. We cover our bases, we try harder. We make sure that whatever is in our power to do, gets finished–and fast. Others of us make our foot long to do lists and immediately sink into overwhelm, declaring ourselves not-like-the-others. We’re paralyzed with fear and indecision, and wonder what “the others” have that we’re missing.
And then there are those of us whose approach is a little bit of both. We try a little, freak a little more, somehow holding on to the hope that we’re not a lost cause. We do the best we can, but there’s still those white hot panic moments–those times we feel the pressure and pray we can rise to the occasion even while we are very worried that we can’t.
What I’m realizing in my own white panic moments is that whenever I get like this, it’s usually because I’m deep into the belief that I’m in it alone. That I can’t let up for one minute, because if I don’t keep moving, nothing is going to happen. That I can’t even let myself begin, because no one has my back. It’s this state of mind that takes a red marker and draws a bold line right through possibilities like:
hope, kindness, love
community and friendship
I think in the end, it all comes down to trust. Can I trust that there is anyone else on this planet who is invested in me doing well and would love to be in it with me? Can I trust that if I stop go, go, going for one day or one hour or one minute, a kind of universal goodness will catch me when I fall? Can I trust that there’s something mysterious out there that every once in a while shows up with the magic when I need to know I’m not alone?
Sometimes my yeses are slow to these questions. I have times when I’m not always sure, and that, my friends, is when it’s time for an old-fashioned experiment. Just like the laboratory scientist established the parameters of her investigation, I set up the test.
What happens when I slow down enough for a good night’s sleep?
What happens if I ask for help to get to the next step?
What happens if I take my eye off the calendar and do what’s right in front of me right now?
This summer we’re setting up a very specific test in the Dream Lab. We’re trying to find out what will happen if we set aside our Mondo Beyondo dreams for one whole summer and let ourselves sink into rest, play and kindness to ourselves and the people around us. And we’re not just saying that. We really want to know want to know. We’re craving the kind of joy and magic that shows up whenever you know–you really know–you’re not in it alone. We’re building our hypothesis on the expectation that all kinds of good things happen when you’re willing to loosen up and let go.
It’s truly hilarious when hard-working, perfection obsessed people like me or Andrea take things like this on. Because we can’t do it halfway, and before you know it, you find yourself in your driveway, asking your eight year old and his friends to spray you with silly string while you jump rope (yes, grownups, we can still play!) while your eleven year old conducts the photo shoot. (see ridiculous picture above)
Or you can’t stop trying to rip the Bubble Yum out of your kid’s hands just in case you can blow a bigger bubble.
Or you start fantasizing about where else you could leave hope notes that would really help you keep going.
Or you get really excited because the rest you need just might be found in a summer salad next door once a week with people who love you like parents. Or you start to realize that nothing bad will happen if you sit down and write yourself a letter in a tone very different from the one you take with yourself whenever you make a mistake. Or you discover that your dreams feel more possible after such a short time of taking exquisite care of your well-intentioned, rumpled, far less-than-perfect self.
If any of this resonates with you, if you’re the kind of girl who needs more space to play and rest and a certain kind of permission to be more gentle, with yourself and others, than I hope you’ll join me for Dream Lab this summer. Everything you need to know is right here and it’s not too late ever to discover that real dreams come true whenever we dare to bet on a little bit of joy and an unexpected dose of kindness and courage.
Come play with us!