Friday, May 17, 2013

The Champion of Dreams

Last week I was listening to a webinar on coming into your feminine power. One of the facilitators posed a question to the listeners that really caught my attention and I want to share it with you.

Think back to a time when you were just a child or adolescent, to a time when some person or event lit a spark in you and at that moment your dream of what you wanted to do with your life was ignited. Let yourself remember what you felt like at that moment, at that age when everything and anything seemed possible and the world was filled with the excitement of discovery.

Got it? Good. Now, ask yourself what you would tell that young child now about the reality of making that dream come true from your current age and perspective. Would you applaud him or her because you are living proof of that dream fulfilled, or would you crush their spirit with the cold, harsh reality of "the real world?"

Life Coach Cheryl Richardson tells the story of how she took a picture of herself as a little girl, with her arms flung out  and her mouth opened wide in joy, and placed it on her desk where she could see it every day. Whenever she beat herself up with negative self-talk or discouragement, she would remind herself: "I would never speak to that little girl like that." That's such a powerful image. So why would we do that to ourselves now as adults? Are we no longer as worthy as that little child?

That little child is still alive and well inside us. That moment of pure joy and excitement about our dreams for the future are still there and accessible to us. All we have to do is close our eyes, remember that moment, and step into that feeling. I know, I know, you're telling yourself that it's not that easy, that I don't know all that you've gone through and what your life has been like. No, I don't know what your life has been like, but I know what your life could be like now. Try it. Close your eyes and go there, just for a few minutes.

My moment came when I was 12 years old and a wise and wonderful teacher gave me a copy of the Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay and told me to read a poem called, "Renascence," written when the poet herself was just a teenager. She saw something in me that told her my dream was already planted ... it just needed some nurturing. From the moment I turned over the last page of this epic poem, I was hooked: I wanted to be a writer. Fast forward 50 plus years. At the age of 63 I am finally a writer. After many stops and starts, a few successes and plenty of rejections, I have finally given myself the permission to be a writer, in my heart as well as on the page (or the screen as it were here in the 21st century). How sad that I had to keep that little girl waiting for so long to fulfill her dream when what I am doing now is filling my life with such joy, just like the picture of Cheryl's young self.

So the question I would like to pose to you is this: what do you have to tell that child now? Are you going to tell him/her how proud you are of them for daring to dream and support them in their quest? Or are you going to tell them why it will never come true? You can be a Dream Champion for that little child by picking up that challenge and jumping on your trusty steed called courage. Support that child with love, encouragement and faith in yourself, and when you stray off the path, just put yourself back in that moment. It will re-fuel you and remind you that you are never too old to dream.

And so it is.