Some dreams take a long time to percolate. I love the idea of trusting in the divine timing of dreams– the notion that they always arrive at exactly the right time. But who has that much faith? Usually, I wonder if I’ve missed my chance, if I’m falling behind, if I didn’t strike while the iron was hot, or if it’s just too late for me.
It always makes sense looking back. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward,” Steve Jobs famously said, “only backwards.” You can see how you weren’t ready, or this needed to happen before that, or you needed to cultivate a particular skill first or meet that one person… It always makes sense looking back. Nothing is lost. No time is wasted.
Dreams pull us toward a new version of ourselves. If our aim is to fully become who we are, then our dreams are like a moon pulling the tides. Even before we achieve a dream, we are becoming the kind of person who makes those kinds of dreams come true.
What if every single thing you did, every experience you have ever had led you to this moment? I wrote a letter recently that was incredibly hard to write, but I have never been more proud of myself than I after I put my pen down. I felt peaceful. The kind of peace you feel when you’ve told the truth, with love and gentleness. I felt like my entire life (every book I have ever read, every course I have ever taken, every painful experience, an entire lifetime of dedicating myself to personal growth) prepared me to write this one letter.
How do you know when it’s time to step into your dream?
- When the signs are everywhere.
- When that nagging thought won’t leave you alone.
- When doors are opening by themselves.
- When there is serendipity in the air.
- When you ask yourself: If I only had five years to live, what would I want to do? and that dream is right there on the list.
- When you have prepared enough (you really have) and you just need to be brave and take the leap.
- When you’ve got nothing to lose.
- When you find you are jealous of others who are achieving your long-held dream. (This means you are closer than you think.)
- If these people are your friends, then you are dangerously close. Celebrate them and begin.
P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Mondo Beyondo is a great first step to take in the dreaming process. If you feel like it’s time to get clear about what your dreams are and/or take those first brave steps, I would love to have you join me in September! You can register here. OR… The Dream Lab begins on June 18th, an experiment in focusing on rest, play and kindness and what kind of magic unfolds when we gift ourselves these simple, essential gifts.
Beautifully said. I’ve wasted so much time and energy on resenting myself or feeling anxious/frustrated/impatient about how LONG some of my dreams take to percolate. But on the other side, with the longheld dreams coming to life, I see how every step led me to where I was . . . and I hadn’t been ready until that very moment.
What an interesting thought, too, about how jealousy can be a marker of GOOD progress. Never occurred to me!
soaking in these words and cradling my own very small seed of a dream that says “yes” to all your signs.
Perfect Andrea, just perfect. I am everything on that checklist right now, just trying to get my husband to agree to my dream 🙂
So true about connecting the dots backwards. You have to keep the faith. I am sure whatever dream you have just stepped into, it will unfold in amazing ways. I hope it is what I am thinking it is…..;)
wow – I KNOW I am at at least 7 of those bullet points…..thank you.
Inspirational – taking the first step is so hard sometimes. It occured to me recently that I used to be so much braver than I am now as an ‘adult.’ I think about some of the risks I took when I was younger and I can’t help but wonder what happened to that woman with all the courage and self-confidence?! She’s gotta still be here, just have to dig a little to find her again. Thanks for the encouragement!
Oh my goodness, I hope you are right about that dangerously close part… That is a juicy thing to ponder for me right now. Thanks, as always, for your blog.
I love these encouraging words! Seems like it has taken forever to define what my dream life would be. The journey getting to this point has been difficult after living most of my life in someone else’s dream. But everything is so very clear now and I feel like a pregnant mama again, waiting to give birth!
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