Friday, August 24, 2012

What You Look For, You Will Find

The other day, I found 4 four-leaf clovers. I probably could have found more, but I got bored with looking. A couple of months ago, I saw a shooting star with no meteor shower reported. In this world, I look for magic and wonder. I believe in long shots and serendipitous coincidences. I believe that everyone, everywhere should chase their dreams and throw their arms open to all this world has to offer. I believe that everyone is entitled to some sparkle, joy and magic in their lives.

One of my very close friends had a dream. It was a simple dream, yet huge. She wanted a baby. After trying for many years, she and her husband hadn’t conceived. For her birthday, I got her a book on natural fertility. She was so excited. A few months later, I got one of the happiest calls I’d ever received. “Bri! I’m pregnant!” She squealed over the phone. She and I squealed, together, at the joy of this news and I immediately began to brainstorm ideas to assist my friend as she joined the ranks of us mamas. As it turned out, the book I had given her helped immensely. And I am proud to say that I have been granted the honor of being in the room with her when she births her dream into this life.

It is said that The Creator assigns an angel to each blade of grass that whispers, “Grow! Grow!” In life, I attempt to be this angel for the creative dreams of those around me. And, now that this blog exists, I hope to be such an angel to my readers. It does not matter to me how big or how small your dream is. I think that this life is too short to not chase after those things that we really want to do or experience.

I am a person that people confide in. They know that, no matter what they say, I will not judge them, ridicule or make little of what they have told me. Instead, I am known as an encourager . But what makes me sad is when I hear unfulfilled dreams fall from the lips of those closest to me. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” or “When I was young, I thought I’d like to paint.” Normally my next question is something like, “When was the last time you sat down to write?” or “Watercolor, acrylic or oils?” 

I see a trend of so many people who carry around life dreams, yet take no steps (even small ones) to make them a reality. A person who wants to be a writer should write, even just for 10 minutes a day. A person who wants to paint should at least own a few brushes. Now, I’m not saying that you need to write “The Grapes of Wrath” or paint the “Mona Lisa” tomorrow. What I am saying is that big dreams are built on small steps. And what stops people from taking these small steps? Usually fear.

Fear of being criticized, fear of being laughed at, fear that they won’t be “good enough,” fear that they will die penniless if they pursue their dream. Well, dears, in truth we all die penniless. Not one cent can follow us to wherever we may go after this life. As far as being “good enough,” you don’t have to be Michelangelo or John Steinbeck. You can, however, be the best YOU possible. Afraid of being criticized or laughed at? Who says that you have to show your efforts to anyone? But you can’t learn to draw if you don’t put pencil to paper. You can’t find four-leaf clovers if you never sit down in a patch of grass to look for them and you’ll never see a shooting star if you don’t admire the night sky now and again.

In short, what you look for in this life, you will find. You will become what you do. If you believe that this world is out to get you, to sabotage you and keep you down, then it will. However, if you change your attitude and look for things that will support you in the dream life you hope to have, that support and magic will, in fact, emerge. 

Now, I know it’s hard keeping a positive attitude in this life. As someone who struggles with chronic illness and depression, I get it. I’m not advocating being an annoying PollyAnna, playing “The Glad Game” all day, but I am saying that optimism, hope and a sense of humor go a long way when life gets us down.

So, little steps at first. Believe that you can be that which you dream of. Do you want to paint? Go to a craft store and just run your fingers over the heavenly soft bristles of some brushes. Do you want to write? Experiment and find yourself a pen or some pretty paper that you really like. If you decide to invest money in your dreams and purchase that pen or those brushes, then good for you! Taking a brush home may inspire you to use it a bit with that watercolor set you bought your kids. Put whatever you invested in somewhere you can see it. (Your nightstand?) Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll get inspired to scribble out a quick poem or doodle. Baby steps.

I understand that our dreams can be fragile. You don’t have to tell others about them, right away. Let your dreams grow inside you. Let them blossom. Play with them for a bit. Hold them and be gentle with them as well as yourself, as if they were delicate butterflies. 

It’s okay. Change can be a bit scary, sometimes, even if it's a change we want. I believe you can do whatever it is that you dream of doing and be whatever you dream of being. With joy, I celebrate you. With caring, I encourage you and with love, I whisper to you, “Grow! Grow, my friend!"

Remember, dears. We’re all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel.