The Courage To Dream Again

(adapted from a letter to a friend)

Return, Fear, and The Nature of True Dreams.

* * * * *

1. RETURN: Return to whatever dream, if it happened, would fill you up, and make you happy. But really imagine it happening. Is it the work that makes you happy in and of itself, or is it the recognition, the pay-off? What work makes you happy, all by itself? What feels good? If we don’t know what that is, that’s ok. At least we’re opening the door of wonder, to find out.

2. FEAR: We’re afraid to try again because we’re looking at it wrong. Let’s say you starred in your own film, won an Oscar, and I won a Pulitzer for my stuff. Now what? Pressure’s on. Are you a one hit wonder? Am I? There are expectations now. Let’s say we get a few successes, get used to that, but what then? Will it be a lifelong success, or will we fall out of fashion? Become has-beens? Is that less terrifying than being a never-was?

You and I are wrong to think our dreams are broken because our last efforts didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped. There is no finish line, no Destination except this moment; no ending point, except our last breath. Every time we try and hope for something, its always going to be the same risk. Doesn’t matter if the last thing failed or succeeded. The next thing will be just as risky. The same is true for everyone who tries for a dream, at any time at any age.

3. THE NATURE OF TRUE DREAMS: If our dreams are age restrictive, they’re not true dreams. You wanted to be an A-list actor before you were 30, and I wanted my novel to be a best-seller by that time. The reason these dreams weren’t real, is they had a finishline, a delusion disguised as hope that said, “When I hit THIS I’ve made it!

But like the #2 Fear paragraph says, there is no “made it!” No finishline that makes everything great, forever. Success can even increase pressure and fear. So if we still want those same things, if those really are our dreams, we need to change them up in our minds to be True Dreams. A true actor’s dream might be: I’m going to give my all to be the best actor I can be; I will devote the rest of my life to improving my craft to give all that I can.

Who can take that dream away? Who can stop us from doing that at any age? That is a dream independent of circumstance and industry, reliant only upon our Devotion. That is a lifelong mission statement. With that lifelong mission statement, whether failure or success comes, it won’t derail us.

Both success and failure are great at derailing dreamers. Look how many die at the top. Even if success lasted the rest of your life or mine, the fulfillment it brought would leave, unless the work is fulfilling, in and of itself, which takes us back to paragraph #1 RETURN.

That’s why we need to define that True dream, the work that is fulfilling all by itself, and that lifelong mission statement, that is independent of success and failure.

Success and Failure are ripples on a pond. But the True Dream, the Lifelong Mission Statement, is the Pond. We need the pond, not the ripples that come and go.

dream-quotes1

Advertisements

The Unseen Disadvantage

THE RACE 

The first runner is 100 feet ahead of almost everyone 

but the second runner is very close behind him

The third runner is 50 feet behind the first two

The last runner is a shocking 100 feet the behind the first two. 

*

Now a loudspeaker comes on revealing 

there is one last runner who has not even appeared on the horizon yet. 

An aerial view is offered of the running course, 

We now see each of the runners had a different starting point. 

*

And now we see the runner who has not yet appeared on the horizon.

The distance he has had to cross is incomparably longer

than any other runner in the race.

*

Though he is not yet in sight on the horizon, 

this view reveals 

the last runner to be miraculous. 

The greater distance he has traveled is now witnessed.

His endurance, perseverance, and relentless striving 

to conquer the disadvantage 

has revealed the true victor.  

The crowd cheers, reveling in his achievement. 

But he can’t hear them or see them. 

The distance is too great. 

He is looking ahead for the runners he can’t catch up to. 

He feels his race is lost, and begins to despair. 

*  *  *  *  * 

We can’t know another’s journey by watching the finish line. 

If we can’t see the whole picture, 

we can’t know who is in the lead, and who is falling behind

“The 10,000 things rise and fall without cease.” Lao Tzu. 

*

When we see our neighbor who lives on the street

We can consider his unseen disadvantage 

that has led to the disadvantage we can see.

Compassion may replace short-sighted judgment.

*

When we see someone doing so well 

that our own life suddenly seems insignificant

We can consider the distance 

that we have traveled

both within and externally.

*

And if after consideration

we find no justification

for the lack of tantamount achievement in our own life,  

let’s not allow comparison to the well-doer to become self annihilation. 

Let’s allow the comparison to inspire the fire to Strive; 

that it may be received with empowering Gratitude 

and never the obstacle of resentment. 

Image

 

 

Thoughts On a Dawn Not Wasted

I wish Mom was alive.

I wish Danny (my little brother) was alive.

I wish it was all sunny.

Things were darker than they needed to be.

I wish we were happier with each other, and with Life.

There is an inner Darkness

I feel I may never escape.

Yet I have escaped

In fiery passions, missions, quests,

The Burning Thing Inside.

And when these quests did not turn out as planned

The Darkness returned

And when Darkness returned,

I could not see, how very, very, very much

each one of those consuming quests had given me.

Each was transformative, and changed my life for the better.

I call upon the permanent gifts of each quest every day.

Lasting Treasures were always found, but not the ones I quested for.

Acceptance, Fame and Fortune in the way I wanted eluded capture

Instead I found only what I most needed, and will always draw from.

Only now, in my morning and my mourning, do I understand, even as I write.

My three many-yeared quests are what delivered me from the Darkness.

I have not wholly acknowledged the arrival of the Fourth, which is:

My Quest For a Mind, in Tune continuously

With the Infinite, Truth, Universe, Spirit, God, YourWordHere.

And this Quest too has delivered me from Darkness,

The Darkness that dwells in my bloodline,

That Darkness that has already taken lives too soon.

And in not wholly acknowledging this Fourth Mission,

I have not allowed its gifts to wholly (holy?) Adrenalize me, Empower me, Illumine me,

And Liberate me From the Darkness Within, as did The Previous Three,

When they had Life.

I see Lifelong that there has ever only, and shall ever only be, Two Directions:

I may run from The Darkness

Or I may run Toward The Light,

And these are very, Very, VERY Different Things,

Only one has worked.

Neither therapist, nor Sage could save my Two Lost.

To stagnate, is to allow the Dark Bloodline to overtake and kill.

What helps me run to the Light, is to See The Light

In my Obsessive Whole-Bodied Imagining of its Realization.

May My Fourth Call, enable the Previous Three

May It Not Be Too Late

May It Be my Raison Detre

May it Be an Endless Effortless Constant Wellspring of Life Motivation.

Ink and Tears on Notebook Lines

May My Ride Be Filled With Signs

May These Be The Words Of Change

May My Target Be In Range

Bless My Quest and Bless This Rider

Bless The Songstress, Bless the Writer,

Bless The Seeker, and the Striver,

May This Mission Be My Driver.

Lord help me be Free At Last 

Break My Chains To Poisoned Past!   

And in the Fourth Quest,

The Horse I get back upon is called

Sadhana.

Freudian slip

As I read aloud

I said

Asana, 

(twice.)

The Yoga mat beckons. Image

The Authentic Artist

How we admire the artists who do the work we want yet fear to do, or worse yet still, imagine we cannot do. Our fear is not of the work itself. We are intelligent enough to recognize process, and that our maiden efforts are not what is, but what is becoming.

What we fear is that our work will not be accepted by ourselves, by others, by the powers that be, which can transform an artist into an immortal legend or a worthless failure in the eyes of world-at-large. And without the approbation of these great powers, we feel our dreams will manifest as failure, unwanted.

As our art is the work dearest to our heart, a deeper fear is now unveiled: that we, as Artist, the very core of us, could potentially manifest through art, unappreciated, and therefore meaningless, to others, and to ourselves. This is why the few are living artists, and the many are but dreamers, dabblers, who do not whole-heartedly create.

To reverse this fearful restrictive lack of pursuing full potential, the dreamer/dabbler who would be Artist, must recognize the Truth that shatters the false fear, and the false paradigms that reinforce this imprisoning delusion.

No one dreams of being a poser, an imitator, a mediocre artist. It is the Authentic Artist that elicits authentic admiration and lasting contribution. The purpose of art is to be authentic, and reveal authentically that which is in the soul: the artist’s organic psyche and the Great Creator’s expression through this psyche.

When this Co-Creation is allowed/achieved, it is inspired art, and the work is a success regardless of worldly reaction, and the Artist knows it, and does not not know it, for doubt has not left the building. If the Artist can continue to recognize her own authentic work, despite inner doubts and social reaction (be it praise, condemnation, disinterest, patronizing condescension or other meaningless input) the artist will remain inspired to create, and therefore remain an Authentic Artist, which is to say, a Great, Successful Artist, in the truest sense. 

At this stage of certainty, the world’s acceptance or lack thereof, is recognized as only the world’s gain or loss. The Now Invincible Authentic Artist can henceforth only gain certainty, and further conquer the dreamer’s, the dabbler’s false fears, and all that will remain, is the Authentic in the Artist. All have the potential to live this Ideal Authentic State Of Certainty. 

The Judgment: For the Authentic Artist, it is about the Work, not the Accolades.