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.

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Your Glorious Mind

Los Angeles

Runyon Canyon

Gorgeous Hike

Breathtaking Sunset

Awing distant city lights

Far beneath the mountain

*

Yet on that hike

Walking past

Moviestar Beauty,

Shockingly Intense,

So much so,

that these co-hiking humans

appeared to be

 another species entirely,

I found myself slipping into comparison,

and self annihilation arrived.

*

I told my hiking friend,

“I see people so gorgeous

I want to leap off the mountain!”

He laughed and said he felt the same way.

(Did that mean he wanted me to leap off the mountain?)

*

Yet moments later, my outlook changed

when  I happened upon

the most beautiful person on the mountain,

Quite possibly the most beautiful person ever.

His legs were bent in an unusual way,

he walked with two canes,

swaying from side to side,

and he was different from everyone,

because he had the Biggest Truest Smile of All.

*

He was looking around,

at all the people,

at the breath taking views,

and his lit up eyes and awesome smile irradiated,

“Isn’t this GREAT?! 

Isn’t it AMAZING we all 

get to do this?!

LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL EVERYTHING IS!”

*

He was bursting with

Joy, Wonder, Awe & Gratitude!

And as we walked past one another

His Burst of Light

leapt into my Spirit

and I felt as he felt,

whilst in his presence:

ALIVE! 

 *

Einstein once said,

“There are only two ways to live your life,

One is as though nothing is a miracle,

The other as though everything is a miracle.”

*

The most beautiful person on the mountain

saw Miracles

and he taught me to see them as well,

with only his Spirit and his Smile.

I learned from him this day, that:

True Beauty never makes you feel less than.

True Beauty makes you feel

Alive With Gratitude!

And Consumed with Aliveness

the false and fretful fear-driven

comparative little egoic mind,

has not the slightest hope of

of dashing a delightfully lovely day.

*

It  truly takes a Glorious Mind

to appreciate a Glorious Day.

And I thank you truly,

Most Beautiful Person Ever,

 for sharing with me

 Your Glorious Mind,

that birthed the smile

that gave

Such Light!

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The Hour Of The Changing Light

She teaches me

how fast it all goes,

how to savor This.

Were it not for Her

I may have spent life

not living,

only doing,

fretting and frittering

my fading hours away

in endless to-do’s

and

never

ever

ever

be.

 *

She makes me feel

a soft yet horribly deep sorrow

at the time I’ve lost

within the false state:

Alive, but not recognizing Life! 

The state of unreason

cultures are built upon.

*

She reminds me to honor

in Sacred Devotion and Gratitude

The setting Sun,

sacred in its own right,

and all it represents:

All that Enters and gives Life,

then leaves us alone in Night,

to softly find a way back in,

to lure us into Light again.

*

The cycles of Life,

of Light

of Love,

The cycles of All Creation.

*

All this She Teaches

in Her sensual adieu

To the God of The Golden Orange Light,

whose Emergence and Disappearance

Form the Magic Hour

Where yin and yang kiss,

And become one another,

And the veil between

fades to naught.

*

The realm of opposites join here:

Ra to Luna.

Birth to Death.

Light to Dark.

God to Man,

The hour in which we may

 whisper to Spirits,

And Spirits may whisper

Sacred Truths to us.

 *

She devotes Herself

to Ra’s egress

with all Her Western faces.

Her delicate, graceful fingers,

gently caressing even the last fleeting trace

of precious fading Light.

*

I feel Her yearning, reaching,

even unto the last dying sunbeam.

So glorious, to see a Tree in Prayer!

So glorious to be aware!

So glorious to have Eyes that See,

 if only in shared sunsets,

in which She helps me enter,

The Sacred Awareness.

*

She awakens me

through gentleness

through delicacy,

That I may see with Pure eyes.

*

She lures my Awareness

 into the most subtle aspects of Her Grace

That I may recognize within myself,

all I am drawn to in Her.

In the breath, in the poise, in the fingers,

in the step, in the balance, in the motion,

in the gentleness and the delicacy,

the busy noise of mind can fade

that I may discover

even the to-do’s

are better achieved

When lost in the gentleness and grace of the doing.

*

My Great Teacher,

What greater lesson could be taught,

than how to be Alive in Life?

*

Magic things happen

through the Sacred Awareness,

In the Hour of the Changing Light.

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Thanksgiving Sunrise

I am Thankful for the Many Blessings!

Thank You, Great Creator!

Gifts upon this Day:

A transcendent Sunrise

And a new verse

to an old song,

that transformed a past pain

into healing and peace.

I will not share the darkened past.

But gladly I share the new:

Lying still, I feel my breath 

Slowing down I am at rest 

 Now I feel some calm 

Painful past fades like a song 

Is it only that my thoughts were dark?

Is it me who now breaks my own heart?

 Breathing in, I feel more calm 

Breathing out those thoughts are gone 

No past lives here anymore 

I feel free when I breathe away my thoughts

a long lost smile, a sunrise in my heart 

I slipped out of the dark.

* * * * * * * * * * *

the sun as it rose today

from the view of my laptop’s camera

through my bedroom window

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My Littlest Spirit Guide

Outside my window, off my balcony, is a big bushy tree with beautiful orange flowers, tons of them. When the setting sun hits them, they are even more beautiful. The hummingbirds that frolic, fight, and fly about the tree seem to have a ritual in the time just before sunset. They are exceptionally tiny creatures with orange breasts, many the size of a bumblebee. I watch them every dusk and I know their patterns.

Having very recently separated from a nine year relationship, and only now realizing I have unprocessed grief, these tiny friends have been a great comfort.

I began to notice hummingbirds years ago, after my mother died. The day she died, one flew up and down directly outside my front window incessantly. Quite a show. I was sad, and not wanting the distraction. Rather than close the drapes, I went to a room in the back of the house. I opened the blinds, and there was another hummingbird, or the same one, flying up and down in that same crazy way. Both times this happened, I had the absurd feeling that the bird was  trying very hard to get my attention.

What was going on? At that point, I wondered if there was truth to the multicultural, multi century belief in Spirit Animals. It seemed to be saying, “Look how happy I am! Look how free I am!” Then I felt a sudden chill, and the thought came that this felt like a message from my mother.

Tonight, I’m wondering about Spirit Animals again.

My ritual in my new apartment, is to go out on my balcony every night at seven pm and watch the hummingbirds on the flowers as the sun sets. It is usually a happy time. But tonight, I felt sad. My ex (very recently separated) is meeting an online romance on this night, who is quite probably the new love. The sorrow came on very suddenly. I thought I was past that, and wasn’t at all sure why I cared so.

I decided to go back indoors. If I were to weep I would not wish be seen. But then I noticed something different. One hummingbird was not flying about. It was on a wire, the nearest one to me, directly across from me, looking in my direction. All the other little birds flew about gracefully and/or fiercely, but this one did not move. If a fierce hummingbird chased it away, it would flit up for a moment, and come right back to the same spot. It just perched right across from me, looking in my direction.

Instead of going indoors, I decided to consent to the stare-down with the little one, and I thought, I’ll sit here till the sun leaves the flowers, and all the birds go to their hideaway, as they do every night. And the sun did leave, and all the hummingbirds flew away, except this one. It remained. Directly in front of me. Did not move. At that point, I remembered the experience with my mother, and began to wonder about this little bird.

The beautiful album Anahat, by Bachan Kaur was softly playing through the window. I hadn’t noticed the music, until these words came drifting into the beginning night.

Don’t look back, open your heart
right now, is the perfect time to start
you don’t have to try, just let your self go
don’t ask why, ’cause you already know

The timing felt meant. A message to heed. At that point I knew it was time to let go, of this sunset and the past. I did let go. Then I stood up, and I bowed to my Littlest Spirit Guide, still on the wire, still staring my way, and it still did not move. As I closed the door upon the evening, I looked a final time at this little friend, and from this hummingbird I felt, “I’m not leaving you. I’m watching over you.”

How very welcome and timely.

Afterwards:

I came inside and looked up the Hummingbird as a Spirit Animal. These were the first words I found regarding the Hummingbird’s meaning in one’s life.

1. The hummingbird reminds you that you are missing the joy and sweet nectar of life by your narrow focus.

2. It might just be your departed loved one telling you that she’s watching over you so try to cheer up!

3. The Hummingbird is there to add Playfulness to your daily grind!

4. When dealing with challenges or negativity, call on the Hummingbird to bring you a positive outlook, and find your way out with optimism. 

I will, Little Friend. Thank you, muchly. I’d kiss you if I could! : )