Having a dream is important. Striving for something better and moving towards a goal is what gives our lives meaning. Sometimes, the very life gets in the way.. We are all so busy and often, it feels like we are just trying to survive - until the weekend, the next paycheck, the next job, the vacation... Dreams sound like a luxury or a waste of time, depending on whom you ask. To survive, we must be realistic, practical and responsible. Dreaming is for those un-responsible, un-realistic and impractical types...
...These were my thoughts several years ago. At the time, I was working full time - spending a couple of hours each day in traffic, putting in my 8 hrs of work, getting my 1 hour of lunch break and waiting for the weekend (that would pass all too quickly!). Only to repeat it all over the next week, month and year. If you were to ask me what my dream was - I would have recited a list of very practical things: I would love to earn more money, to upgrade my car, to someday buy a house, to take a nice vacation, start a family, etc. All very practical, realistic things. But I would have a really hard time telling you what were my heart's desires and passions. What was my wild and amazing dream? I didn't know... I lost connection to that part of myself - I was just trying to survive and react to the circumstances in my life, as best as I could. I was trying to live a "normal' life - just like everyone else...
Everything changed when I became a mom - when I met, for the first time, this tiny little person, who, just short while ago, was part of me... Now, she was in my arms and I was 100 % responsible for and to her. My life was transformed forever. I knew that I couldn't give that responsibility to anyone else and go back to working full-time, trying to "provide" for our family and my child. What exactly would I be providing? Essentially, money and all the material things they could buy. Yet, what my baby needed was my love and attention, the security and protection, the emotional connection and trust that all is well in the world because her mom is near and she cares. There was no decision to make - I couldn't place my baby in the hands of strangers while I was going to "provide" for her. I respect other decisions - and understand there are unique circumstances for everyone. For me that was one of the best decisions of my life! It set my life on the course of transformation, growth and expansion I hadn't experienced before. Yes, I had a lot to learn, a lot to realize, a lot to sacrifice but also a lot to gain. I gained experience, wisdom and intuition, internal growth and connection to that part of myself where my passions and dreams lived. The process didn't happen overnight - in fact, it took years and I am still on that journey... There were a lot of difficult times along the way... but also many amazing experiences and wonderful moments.
On the outside - my life has slowed down considerably, going from working full time to becoming a stay-at-home mom. In reality, it was just the opposite - so much to learn about myself, about parenting, about relationships and life itself. So much to do: clean, cook, grocery shop, naps, play, walks... and time to dream...
All the while, there were major changes going on inside - deep inside...
Slowly, my soul began to wake up and give me little hints along the way. They came in the form of questions like "What should I do with my life? " "How to I become the best parent and the best person - a role model for my children?" "What is my passion?" Before, I didn't have time to think about those questions. And now my life seemed even more busy but I could no longer ignore them. Little by little, my soul was opening up to reveal tender petals that no longer could remain in a tight bud - they were bursting open!
There were many teachers along the way - my own children and family, friends and complete strangers, books, seminars, nature, life itself. They all appeared just at the right time - I am a firm believer in the saying "when the student is ready, the teacher appears". That was certainly true for me. One by one, the puzzle pieces started to come together - to reveal my true Self with Her wild dreams and heartfelt passions - Her purpose here... Each passing day, week, month and year - bringing me closer to mySelf.
After I decided to welcome and embrace change, rather then to fight it, this past year has been a culmination of all the wonderful transformations that have been taking place in my life lately.
A couple of the "teachers" stood out from the rest. First, there was a very unassuming little book called "Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success and Life" by Trevor Blake. I had heard his interview on a local radio station I listen to frequently. During the interview, Trevor mentioned 3 simple practices he has discovered when he was dealing with bullying, extreme poverty and many other struggles in his life. They were: 1) Controlling Your Mentality, 2) Taking Quiet Time and 3) Setting Intentions... That seemed simple enough - so I decided to give it a try... After a very short time of taking Quiet Time, I realized that there were great changes in my life - I felt more calm, relaxed, focused and creative. I liked what I was experiencing and I continued with the practice of the 3 simple steps.
Soon, the second "teacher" appeared - I came across a training program that sounded so fantastic that I just I knew, I had to enroll. It was the ACT - ARTbundance Certification Training with the amazingly talented mentor, coach and author Marney Makridakis. There was only one problem - finding the finances in our already reduced budget. However, were there is a will - there is a way. I applied and received an amazing scholarship, offered by Marney for those in need, that covered 40% of the cost. I was excited and scared at the same time. I was enrolling in a creativity program and I had hardly done anything "creative" in the past 20 years. Still, deep down inside - it felt right, like this is something I just needed to do. So, I jumped into the wonderful world of ARTbundance and what a wonderful journey it has been! A journey full of self-discovery, creativity, abundance and fun!
For the entire 14 weeks, I could hardly wait to join the rest of my "Tribe" on Wednesdays to learn the new, exciting tools, practices, techniques and concepts that transformed my life even more... The real highlight of each week for me was our homework assignment or "ARTsignment" because it involved all forms of creative expression, art, poetry, and even singing! I had forgotten how much I loved to draw and paint, doodle and sketch - to create art. I hadn't allowed myself to do any of those things for so long - I was "starved".
And then came a real shocker - our second-week ARTsignment was to write a poem. A poem?!!! I have never tried writing poetry. I felt it was a gift that was reserved to the few poetic souls who were endowed with this wonderful talent. To my complete surprise and shock - I sat down... read the instructions, thought for a while... and wrote my first poem. Just like that! It felt as though, heavenly inspiration has descended upon me and all I had to do was just write down the words that flowed out of me. Who knew I could write poetry! I certainly did not and, if I wasn't prompted to, I would have never even tried...
So. I am now wondering... what other unexplored, "unopened" gifts are hiding inside of so many of us, who also never tried...
I started wondering, maybe writing my first poem was a fluke - one of those unexplained things that happen once, never to repeat again. Well, I can't say that I have been writing poetry every day - but there are several poems that I have written so far ... so there's some assurance that this is not a "fluke" :)
Once I shared this new discovery with one of my mentors - his comment was. "It's your soul speaking up"... What a great experience to have! I am so grateful that my Soul is awakening and showing me the amazing gifts that lay dormant all this time. How many of us live our entire lives never discovering those treasures inside?
My ARTbundance training journey is nearing to its end - I am graduating in November. But, another journey is just starting - a journey of continued self discovery, inspiration, creativity, joy and transformation that I continue to experience in my life....
I am excited and inspired to celebrate and share everything I have learned with others and to continue on the path of learning, transformation and growth -.to be living my dreams. I hope you will join me..
Your Soul is waking up!
A compliment so high
Encouraging and insightful!
My Soul is waking up?!
I'm filled with gratitude
Inspired and delightful
I'm falling into bliss -
Abundant, deep abyss
Supported, glad and light-full
My Soul is waking up -
Enchanted and in love
With life, I'm making artful
Who gifted me this gift?
So freeing and so sweet -
Grace - which makes life so rightful
My Soul, I thank You Thee -
For leading me to be
Alive, creative, mindful...