Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Making Our Dreams Real

How many of us in our 40s and 50s don’t spend a large amount of time talking about what we plan to do once…and you can fill in the blank here. I believe we live in a time when we have more options and more possibilities open to us than ever before, but I’ve also noted that the more options we have, the more we agonize about what we want and how to get it.

I want to segue out of my day job and write more of the time than I have the freedom to now. I know a lot of people with clear ideas about what they want to do as soon as the time is right, but what is the event or the change in mindset that has to occur to move us from the somewhat unsatisfying, but secure known to the exciting, but scary unknown?

For every one of us who has dreams but can’t quite figure out how to take the steps to reach them, there are just as many who have managed to do it. Whether the dream is to start a business after taking time off to raise children, restore navajo rugs, paint, write, become a sommelier, start a catering company, run an animal shelter, make jewelry, sculpt, make films, become an environmental activist, live as an expatriate in a sunny locale, we all have dreams.

One theme I hear pretty frequently is that you have to quit planning the path and just do it. If it’s something you truly want, the specifics about how to get there become apparent as you march toward the goal. I’m told that visualization is a powerful tool to help realize what may seem a long and difficult struggle. See yourself doing what it is that you want frequently and make commitments. I try this often and decided to visualize myself at a book signing. I figured I'd keep it modest, so there isn't a long line, but I'm there. I'm scattered with this and have a hard time really focusing on the vision. I frequently get caught up in the details of what I would be wearing, or where the fantasy book store is or what color the cover of the book is and then I'll remember I was supposed to email a quote to a customer yesterday and I'm pulled out of the vision. I wonder how many people use visualization and find it helpful.

Already, as I’ve (quite accidentally) started Eudaemonia, committed to writing a certain number of words each week and found a writing buddy I feel an internal change. I’m more energized, but also more aware that I want to do more writing and the time I spend working my current job is limiting me. I can see that the next huge leap I’ll have to make if I’m going to give this passion the dedication it needs is to leave my job and find something that requires less time and focus, but will reduce my income dramatically.

If you are living your dream, what was the turning point for you to reset your course? How big was the change in lifestyle and income and how did your passion impact your relationships? How long did you plot out the transition and how much time did it take to completely move out of your old life and into the new one?

If you have a dream and you’re not quite there yet, what’s standing in your way? Are there things you need to do to take your dream to the next level, what’s holding you back?

5 comments:

Nic said...

Hey! I, too, visualize you at the book signing... with me at the back of a very long, sinuous line (at least 3 city blocks) saying, "I know her. No, really. Seriously, I'm not kidding! C'mon, it's true! I do know her!! Hey, no need to be rude! I am NOT a stalker! Lisa! Lisa! It's Me!!...Um, honey, I've been arrested; got bail?"

LOL

Lisa said...

Nicole,

Great visualization! I promise if that happens I will bail you out ;-)

But how did YOU go from urbane Vancouver corporate gal about town to full time painter in Colorado and one with a very rapidly developing career, I might add. You've already had shows and gallery representation and a rare invitation from an internationally known artist to attend a workshop in France! How hard was it for you? Not only did you leave your lifestyle and job behind, you left the country!

Keep inspiring me!

Nic said...

If you email me questions, interview-style, I'll answer 'em...but it'll take me a week or two. :-)

I just heard of this project that you might either already know about or might want to check out if you don't.

The Happiness Project
http://www.happiness.co.uk/Default2.asp

Patry Francis said...

Lisa! So thrilled to see you blogging. Though I had been committed to my writing for a long time when I started Simply Wait, it was a life changing choice for me. It taught me and continues to teach me something new about who I am as a writer and as a human being almost every day.

I love your spirit here! You are already reaching out and inviting others to join you on your adventure. And you know what? They will!!!

Lisa said...

Patry,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Your encouragement means a lot to me and your career really is an shining example of the spirit of Eudaemonia. I appreciate that you took the time to "stop by".

Congratulations again on your continuing successes and I just noticed on Amazon that The Liar's Diary is rapidly moving up in sales and continues to garner the fabulous reviews it deserves.

Can't wait to see what comes next!

Lisa

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.


Virginia Woolf