I have dreamed of being a writer since childhood. No one knew. I kept my dream bottled up and never wrote a word. Somewhere inside, the Writer waited.
I imagined myself writing. I created stories, built elaborate fictional worlds and never actually put pen to paper. I did all the "writing" in my head where there could be no proof of it, no means to be judged or rejected or ridiculed. I did not keep a journal. I did not embrace writing assignments in school. I did not foster my dream.
I did nothing to risk the reveal of my deep desires. I did not speak about my writing dream with anyone. I entrenched so fully in denial that I even disallowed the pleasure of reading other people's writing, declaring instead that I simply "didn't like to read". PURE BUNK! Rest assured, I have explored and continue to resolve these inner self-denial patterns, but that is not the point today.
Today, I want to illuminate the power of an inch. In my example, trapped by fear, I hunkered down and would not budge – not even an inch – remaining static, stagnant and miserable for a very long time. Somewhere along the way, my Writer found openings and opportunities to let glimpses of her gifts seep to the surface. She provided nudges, then pokes and eventually prodded when possibilities presented. As I slowly healed my heart in seemingly unrelated ways, writing became more of a consideration in my life.
Our dreams don't have to make sense to anyone, ourselves included, as strange as that sounds. If we can find ways to honor that the dream exists within – even in minuscule, ostensibly inconsequential ways – the dream will find ways to guide us toward: the next step, the placement of a puzzle piece or a renewed perspective. It only takes tiny regular efforts, and shifting will occur. We might find that the dream itself shifts or transforms. Or, our lives and attitudes will shift to remove obstacles and reveal support.
Using myself as an example again, I began the very simple and obvious effort of reading what most closely matched the type of stories bubbling up within me. I allowed myself to become fully engaged in and inspired by the power of the written word. I began journaling (at first sporadically) which has proven to be valuable in every aspect of my life – please hear that – every aspect of my life. I followed an internal nudge and on a whim, enrolled in creative writing classes at a local college. And, although I did nothing formally with the knowledge gleaned from those classes for years, they provided the foundation I work upon today.
This all unfolded slowly, and at the outset, I did not proclaim the end result of "being a writer". I merely allowed my inner desire (the Inner Writer) to have a voice and to cast a vote in how I spent my time and efforts. Even during my early-life denial period, in some small way, I had kept the dream alive by allowing myself to play with it in my imagination. However, when I finally took action in the physical world and moved myself an inch toward my heart's longing, the surrounding landscape of my life reached out to greet me in new ways. I gave an inch, and the positive results unfurled for miles and miles.
Some of my results:
- I launched this blog in 2009.
- I am working regularly on a fiction novel which lights me up in the very best ways.
- I am now embarking on a self-transformation book project to be a companion piece for a hypnotherapy program in my wellness business.
Does that make me a Writer? Possibly not by other people's definitions, but I AM WRITING a lot, which my grateful heart will gladly tell you, absolutely makes me a WRITER.
Have you given energy or attention to your own dreams lately? What small thing could you do this week to show support for those dreams? GET CREATIVE.
You might search for another who has blazed the same or a similar trail and let their success inspire you. Maybe you can simply get quiet and ask yourself what your dream needs, now. Then do it, or write it on a calendar as a commitment that you will do it. Perhaps you could begin to develop a new relationship with your dreams.
Jeff Brown, author of Soul Shaping says, "Don't just follow your dreams. You may lose them at a red light, or while wandering the trailways of transformation. Better yet, ingest and embody them, make them indistinguishable from you. Weave your most wondrous imaginings into the breath of your being."
I love that idea, because it entails dropping the chase and being your dreams, right now. Become the person you will be when your dreams are achieved. A paradox? Perhaps, but in some way, this is available for you, today.
Don't have a dream? Remember back to your childhood daydreams or imaginary playtime adventures, the ones we tend to consider whimsical and ridiculous now. Choose one of those and explore the energy behind it.
Did you claim you wanted to be an astronaut? Could it be that you crave the adventure of new or little known realms? You don't have to go into space to follow the desire to explore new things.
Did you pretend to be a detective? Perhaps you are inspired when puzzling things out, troubleshooting or picking up on details others easily miss. A dream could be hiding behind these elements of your character. Take a closer look.
These may seem like silly examples, but often the profound hides – right there – behind the silly.
Do you have a dream and feel daunted or dis-empowered by it's vastness? Here's an idea. Write down a list of five things you think you could/should be doing to support this dream. Then tear it to bits and toss it in the nearest trash receptacle. Whew!
Now, visualize yourself "doing and being your dream thing". Just pretend you can see it -- it's that simple -- no need to get mired down in not knowing how to visualize. Take in a full deep breath. Release it slowly and completely, inviting another list of endeavors to form. Some things from the first list may reappear, and beyond the obvious and "the shoulds", other action steps that can strengthen your dream's potential may also emerge.
This is all just food-for-thought to ignite your own personal guidance mechanisms. Ponder, imagine and ruminate, but also intend to move beyond the thought-part and into some action. Bust out - even if just an inch - and let the glow of your dreams shine a light on your path.
Loving me/rooting for you,