Last year, while I was working on putting my life together after my mom’s passing, my best friend and Hiruko Co-Founder, Angela Booker and I started to talk about our dreams. We realized we both had goals and major projects on our plates, but we both pondered this crazy and scary question. What do we still dream of?
Growing up in a communist country with a pragmatic, tough, single mom, hope or faith were words we didn’t use much, if at all. We hoped that the government would turn the heat on when it was brutally cold outside, or that we’d be lucky to find toilet paper at the store. We had faith in our very close friends, and trusted that we could share a political joke once in a while, without fear of being turned in.
If necessity is the mother of invention, dreams are the fuel for an indomitable spirit. Somewhere, in my childhood I started to imagine. I (crazily) dreamed of being a spy, saving the world from mean dictators. Like many girls, I dreamed of being a famous singer and dancer. I also dreamed of moving to America and living in California. In 1989, six months before the collapse of the Eastern block we did come to America, and two years after that I found myself in California.
Nine years ago, my husband and I dreamed of opening a school for youth to learn to be confident, completely unstoppable, and madly in love with their own wonder, where movement, contemplative practice, and creativity work in synch, and are celebrated as essential components of holistic wellbeing. Hiruko Wellness opened its doors in 2005.
Last Sunday my trusted life coach and friend Stacy Parson, hosted our second ever “Dream Session”. The point of this time together is to play with what’s possible, and put things out into the universe, however outrageous or simple. I always find it a bit hard to start. Like a muscle that needs to be stretched, my imagination can be stiff and is guarded carefully by protective inner critics who work hard to keep me safe. I have to start with small dreams like a monthly date with my husband or eight hours of sleep at night.
The thing about dreams is this; once you start, you can’t stop. On my dream list are things like speaking at TED, going to Costa Rica, dreaming with Luca, writing books, drinking green juice daily, becoming vegan, competing in a Tai Chi tournament, visiting China. And the list keeps going.
It really does not matter if you actually see your dream become reality. Simply allowing yourself to picture the dream being real creates unexplainable shifts in energy, motivation, commitment, focus, love, and relationships. Some dreams are like shooting stars, they delight us briefly and in passing and fade before we see them shine. Other dreams have a life of their own, and they turn out way bigger, richer, bolder than we would have ever imagined. Both are great!
For now suspend your disbelief, and dare yourself to play with your imagination. What courageous, bold, inspired, funny, wacky, totally unrealistic crazy dreams do YOU have?
2011 is the year to be “Ready”, and if that’s the case, I better hurry up! This year we decided to experiment with a new format for teaching, by using one word each month to inspire our work. We created a pinwheel with twelve intention words, one for each month, sent it out to our active members, asked them to post it, use it, and play with it. What’s become glaringly obvious is that it’s hard to be an authentic teacher and leader without making this exercise work for myself. As a result, I’ve spent the first four weeks of the month getting ready by taking a good, hard look in the mirror and decided it was time to take “walking the talk” to a whole new level.
I’ll admit I am a bit nervous about sharing some of my observations with you. And yet, just the other day, I had a conversation with one of the parents, who said she appreciated the transparency of my letters, because they offered her perspectives, and that in itself was inspiring. So here it goes …
Taking a close look in the mirror revealed what I always knew: I have a very hard time separating life from work and vice versa, and I’ve spent as long as I can remember making that wrong. If you’ve talked to Jorge, you know that I can be in the middle of a romantic date or giving our boy a bath, and I’ll bust out with a “honey, you know what I was thinking for the kids this month, or I think I found a better credit card processing company.” My boundaries around my personal time and goals can move, and do so often, at the expense of missing a workout, a meditation session, or an appointment with my soul who likes photography, writing, and painting. What’s worse is the negative, chatty troll that sits on my back and spends the next few days telling me how and what I should be doing, or should have done. What an emotional drain …
My self-reflection, however, also allowed me to rediscover what I know to be true about myself: I love to work hard and that brings me joy. I am a big picture, take-it-beyond-what-anyone’s-ever-imagined-possible kind of dreamer. My purpose in life is to bring health, joy, and peace to people, and especially kids. Most importantly though, and this is my golden nugget: I love my work so much that it is hard to separate it from my life, because I work doing something that is my personal life’s purpose. My work is my life and my life is my work. And for this I feel blessed and deeply grateful.
What does be Ready look like for me?
Did you take a close look at yourself when you set your new year’s resolutions or vision? What did you see and what does Ready look like for you, and for your family? Find an accountability partner, someone who won’t beat you up if you miss a goal or target but rather stand by, support, help, and dream with you. Better yet, make me your accountability partner; you will be fueling my life’s passion and that’s got nothing but good Karma written on it.