Tempted to Give up on your Dream? Read this First!
I sure hope that your late summer has been filled with toes-in-the-lake-meteor-shower-watching-gin-and-lemonade-drinking relaxation and restoration
Can you feel Autumn knock-knock-knocking? I know I can.
I’m down with it. I love all of the seasons for a little while, but fall is my special favourite.
There’s something about the colours and smells and cool evenings, big sweaters and back-to-schoolness of fall that just gets me right in the feels.
It’s with this new-beginnings-feeling in my heart that I was moved to share a story with you
It’s inspired by a dear friend of mine, actually.
This bad-ass bitch just finished a huuuuge two year (+) project which culminated in exactly the kind of successful endeavour that she had hoped for and envisioned all along.
Man, I am so proud of this chick. The sheer amount of research and sacrifice and faith that went into following this dream through to the end is the very definition of the word investment.
In response to my congratulations, she said,
“This is going to take a while to digest; the enormity of God’s grace. Truly this is a holy experience for me”
I told her that I understood what she was currently going through, and she replied, “I know you do”.
It’s the specific feeling of a long-held dream being birthed into reality
It’s the same feeling I experienced a few years ago when I finished my yoga teacher training.
I was still an insurance broker back then. Still the single mom of a precocious little girl. Still forever strapped for cash and time. Still kind of a f*ck-up.
But teaching yoga was a dream that burned in me, defying all logic
In spite of the fact that I wasn’t the strongest or bendiest or fanciest practitioner I knew, I felt deep in my belly that teaching was part of my reason for coming here.
You know that burn?
I’m a BIG proponent of following that burn. (but if it burns when you pee, you have a UTI and you need antibiotics…)
Because it is only in the following of the dream that we get to experience that specific joy that only comes from the coming true of the thing
The Holy-Shit-I-Fucking-Did-It feeling is unlike any other feeling we get to experience as human beings.
It isn’t available to us through another person (though there may be helpers, counsellors, advice-givers, support along the way of course).
Here are a few tidbits that I’ve found helpful when the going gets tough (as it inevitably will) and faith is hard to come by.
Because what you don’t want to do is give up before the pay-off of that delicious feeling of completion.
6 Tips for Making Sure your Dreams Don’t Fizzle before you can Finish:
1. Only tell people whom you know will be encouraging
Your dream is a beautiful little shoot of new grass; tender and fragile. Protect it. Don’t tell anyone about it whom you know to be a poo-pooer of dreams until you are well on your way to conquering it.
I seriously told, like, three people about my yoga teacher training until I was six months into a twelve month program
2. Take care of yo’ bidnis
If you’ve got bills to pay, make sure you have what Marie Forleo refers to as a bridge job.
I continued to work in insurance while I studied yogic philosophy and anatomy in the evenings after my daughter had gone to bed.
I kept my day job for a year after I started teaching yoga; subbing and eventually adding my own classes as my schedule allowed.
Imagine the stress I would have placed on my beautiful dream if I had tried to force it to cover my payments for me right away!
3. Research your butt off
Knowledge is power. Making informed decisions helps keep you from learning the hard way.
Take time to dream and to learn.
Before I started my teacher training, I talked to a bunch of people who’d already done it.
I emailed and called people from my school once I finally settled on the one I wanted. In the end, it was the perfect school for me.
The teaching staff were as accommodating of my life and finances and time as they were passionate about yoga and its philosophy and transformational abilities.
excited to envision and vibe at the level of the completed dream.
4. At some point, just friggin’ do it already
Don’t let your fact-gathering turn into procrastination.
There is alchemy in your decision.
There is magic in starting.
There is even more magic in continuing on.
When I made the leap, I did not feel ready.
Not even remotely. But nothing came up as a great big block, so I just kept going.
I broke the big stuff into little stuff and kept waiting to feel or see or hear a STOP that never came.
“Now I will send this email. Now I will make this payment. Now I will go to a yoga class.”
Don’t expect it to be easy. Lean on your people’s. Even if you’ve only told three of them.
Celebrate your small milestones, yes. But don’t forget to mark the big success; the cumulative effort of all of your smaller efforts resulting in the finish line being crossed.
Throw a party or hold a personal ritual to show gratitude to yourself for going all the way
After more than a year of hard (but inspired) work, the very same friend I was speaking about earlier in the post was right there as a student for my practical examination. About twenty five people came, as a matter of fact. My tiny circle of supporters had blown up.
I will never forget that class.
It was a heart-centred practice. I read aloud from Mary Oliver’s Spring.
“There is only one question// how to love this world” – Mary Oliver
My teacher sat in the back of the room, having flown in from Vancouver to proctor both my written and practical examinations.
At the end of the practice, I bowed deeply to her, the most cooperative of all the cooperative components in my journey and she told the students, “of course, she passed”
I wept openly in front of a room full of people and received hugs and flowers from my loved ones.
That is the moment I want you to hold tightly to when you’re thinking of giving up
That is a feeling that cannot be given to you by another, no matter how much you love him or her
You can only experience that particular headiness from working your ass off and achieving something through time and effort and passion
And then KEEP GOING!
With love and faith in your ability to create that feeling for yourself,
*If you enjoyed this article, I’d be forever grateful if you would share it with your fellow dreamers.
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*Want even more resources for chasing down your dream? I can help with that.