Dare To Dream

Do you give yourself permission to dream?

And what we want, we know we can’t believe,
We have all learned to kill our dreams.
-Twenty One Pilots; We Don’t Believe What’s On T.V

Allowing yourself to dream of what you truly want is an extremely vulnerable experience. It takes courage to let yourself invest (even in your mind and heart) in the possibility of having what you desire and being willing to acknowledge how it might not match your current reality.

The more stuck you feel in the life you are living, the more threatening dreaming will seem to you. If you feel powerless of being able to change your reality, you won’t want to let yourself dream of alternatives that feel completely out of your reach.

 

The catch, though, is that without dreaming we may just stay stuck. As scary and vulnerable as it feels, we must allow ourselves to dream. Once we dream, and connect to that dream and fall madly in love with that ideal reality, the more real and possible it will become to us. Unfortunately though, when we start, it feels impossible.

And might I add, impossible in a very different way than some “impossible” dreams we actually do let ourselves HYPOTHETICALLY connect to – like winning the lottery.

The “winning the lottery” dream is one a lot of people allow themselves to dream about because it is so absurd and so out of their control. Connecting to that dream doesn’t put them on the spot for doing ANYTHING (except maybe buying lotto tickets). It doesn’t confront their reality – because in this dream it will be something that magically happens to them, and then life will improve. It isn’t asking them to push their comfort zones, confront their ideas on what is achievable, what they are capable of, or ask them to test their courage or dedication in making it so. Investing in those type of impossible dreams keeps us off the hook for making meaningful changes in our lives; leaving that dream life to the fates of Lotto 649.

When we do let ourselves dream a bit, we have a lot of “rational thoughts” that quickly stop ourselves from dreaming, or disconnect from the ones we were dreaming of. Some of these are stories we have about society and the way the world works (“I need to work a full-time job until I’m 65, that’s just the reality of the world we live in.”). These stories limit us in having to follow the rules we have about the world. The other stories that rush in to pinch us out of our dream-state are stories we have about ourselves (“I would never be able to xyz” “Maybe if I was smarter/richer, but I’m not xyz enough”) . These stories limit us in an even more restrictive way; because EVEN IF this would be possible for “someone”, we believe WE are the reason it can’t happen for us.

If you find yourself here, I encourage you to challenge it. Stories are just stories. Once we fully embrace that; whether it’s a societal norm or our own doubts about our capabilities, we can see those stories as simply stories – and start editing.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been there; whether it was keeping myself awake or scaring the shit out of myself so that I’d wake up from a dream. It’s not an easy process to start allowing yourself to dream, and then once you do to keep letting yourself do it. To actually lean into the possibility instead of drowning it into the “in an ideal world” realm of ridiculousness. It’s not like all of a sudden you are going to let yourself believe the “impossible” is possible. It’s a process. A process that requires you to lean into things that feel impossible. A process that demands you keep giving yourself permission to do something that seems even more of a waste than buying lotto tickets. Investing in what you want, even if it seems like it will never come true.

Without dreaming you won’t connect. Without letting yourself connect and lean in, you can’t even begin the process of seeing the possibility in the impossible. And without seeing possibilities, your dream will always be impossible. When you start to see possibilities and ways you may be able to make it happen, the steps you could take to get closer to reaching your dream start to appear. Once you see steps, it’s time for action. Again, permission and courage are your anchors and propellers here.

PERMISSION AND COURAGE!! (Just in case you missed that)

If you haven’t seen the TED Talk or completed the “Drawing your Future” exercise, I encourage you to watch it and then do it!

The exercise involves drawing your current state and your desired reality; and then identifying 3 bold steps that would get you from here to there. I did this exercise about a year and a half ago for the first time. I still have this bristol board up against my wall. The thing that stands out to me the most on it now is the visible struggle I had to give myself permission and have the courage to really stick to what I knew was the bold move I really had to make.

I started one of my steps with the label “Quit current job” and then added “Reduce hours OR” and finally added “change hours” because I wasn’t even at the point that the dream was even remotely possible or reasonable (Not even the reducing hours felt doable!). I was starting to see my dream (as outlined in my desired reality) but I wasn’t allowing myself to lean into that dream enough to accept that quitting my job was an actual step I would take.

I look back on it now and laugh, as I did actually quit the job I had, and now that I’m on the other side it’s a whole different story. Now those impossible dreams are my almost everyday reality, and the steps I identified to get there (that once felt too insane to even write down) are simply parts of my story.

With practice, giving yourself permission and courage to dream does get easier. I find I am much more playful with my dreams now; allowing myself to dream of what I want without getting caught up in the HOW. I don’t need to feel like it’s realistic to let myself dream about it. Sure, not everything I dream will become true. I don’t even need to be sure it’s what I want in order to let myself dream and sit with it, and I think this is important because if we limit ourselves to dream about things we are sure about, it restricts our possibility-creator-machine!

Sure, maybe in a year from now I will decide not to buy a school bus and make it my home; however, by allowing myself to dream of these things that intrigue me that I hadn’t before considered, it opens up for more and more possibilities to be created too. Who knows what I’ll dream up if I keep allowing myself to dream!?

When I give myself permission to dream I start the path of making it happen. And the path to making it happen is all about new possibilities and creativity. It may not lead where I first thought, but no matter what it will lead me down a path of POSSIBILITY; instead of being stuck in the IMPOSSIBLE. And I am quite confident that if I keep dreaming and stay invested enough in a certain dream; one way or another, I will be living it.

It’s kind of funny that in order to stop getting stuck in IMPOSSIBLE, you need to invest in the IMPOSSIBLE. It’s by looking through the impossible that we see what’s really possible. It’s by DREAMING that we can create our new REALITY.

With permission and courage; be a dreamer, a possibility machine, and a creator of your ideal reality.

Dream. I dare you.

I’m not a duck.

I’ve been debating whether to write about this. I have decided that sharing this extremely uncomfortable thing is the most authentic way I can stay true to my values. To share my experience with those who are interested in hearing how I am coping with difficulty and being able to live my values and grow through it.

I’m letting her words be heard, just as she intended they’d be. Not for her. For me. For my readers who want to hear my experience of how I drew on the lessons and the strategies I’ve learned to help me move through this process.

Because unfortunately life involves being hurt by others, and it’s these times of deep hurt that it’s really hard to stay the course. It’s really difficult to pick yourself up and hold your worth and your knowing. It’s at this time that your values, your strength, and your grit must carry you on wards.

A few days ago there was a very hurtful, personal attack, published on my blog. Hate, ignited by a lie. A rumour that was spread throughout my former family like wild fire, resulting in flames being thrown my way from all over, including this post.

Dumbfounded!
joanhatcher@barbours.ca
156.34.108.106

How could you be such a hurtful person, the wounded little dragon rising from the ASHES, BULLSHIT! You need to live with the hurt you have caused several members of my family at a time when they were the most vulnerable. All they asked for was the TRUTH and some understanding of what was happening to them, as a result of your actions.

You talk about living your personal truth and being your authentic self through this journey you are on, well it is NOT supposed to be at the deliberate expense of another human being. You are not definitely not in the right profession, in actual fact you are making a mockery of others that take it so seriously.

Unbelievably dumbfounded by your actions over the last 6 months!!

I’m not going to pretend here. This devastated me. For someone who rarely cries, I sure made up for it that day. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t believe someone I loved, and felt so close to, could believe such cruel things about me. Believe them so completely that they decided it was even within their right to lash out at me publicly. From ‘one of my biggest fans’ to this.

Flooded with emotions. Hurt. Grief. Anger. Disbelief.

I know the best thing to do with this is to lean in and just let myself feel it. All the shitty, horrible emotions. In fact, I know this lesson so well now that even when encouraged to look on the bright side, or move on too quickly (before acknowledging all the feelings), I dismiss it. I’ve even taken the opportunity to share why it’s healthier not to do such things at this time. So I’m letting myself be what I am – heartbroken.

I don’t do well when people are mad at me. It feels unsafe. It goes against my safety map of keeping others happy in order to be worthy and safe. It’s been an opportunity for me to practice holding my own worth. But it hasn’t been easy. My body is stuck in fear response. I can tell I need to put more efforts into self-soothing. I wish I could let this roll off my back, but since it’s sitting heavy on my chest instead, I really need to be careful not to beat myself up that I can’t “shrug it off” and make sure to show myself compassion.

I’m not a duck. If you really know you’re not a duck, and someone calls you a duck, you don’t question whether you are one. And, though I find it hurtful that someone believes this about me, I am not in any way looking down and checking for feathers. I’m not questioning my actions, the love and support I gave them, or how authentic, compassionate, or true to my values I have been. You can call me a duck. I’m not a duck.

I found it interesting that one thing that I did let get to me was the remark about being a life coach. It’s very cool to me to see this reaction and understand exactly why that is. I’m a new coach, and it’s something I am deeply passionate about. That being said, it’s also something that brings up doubt and fear. If there’s any doubt lingering about whether I’m a quack (haha see what I did there?? :P), someone saying that you are is enough to throw you into a tail spin. I’m proud I didn’t go too far down this road; having the awareness to know exactly what was happening helped me stop myself from taking these hurtful remarks as some sort of truth or indication that I should question my ability to be a life coach.

It still feels absolutely maddening that she decided to personally and professionally attack me without even giving me the dignity of being heard. I wish I had been given the chance to defend myself. To ask the questions my mind keeps shouting into a void of frustration. To deal with the frustration of being accused of not sharing my truth with the very ones who wanted me to hide it. My work will be letting it go, making peace with never getting that chance or being shown that respect.

I know why they ate this gossip up like chocolate. It’s no mystery to me why relatives from all over were jumping down my throat within a few hours. People believe lies when the lie serves them.

They want, maybe even need, me to be the bad guy here. It’s easier for them to see me as some monster, someone who they’d never want in their family anyway. If I am this evil person, they don’t need to feel sad I’m gone, they can rejoice. It makes this loss easier for them. It also makes it easier if their family member is someone who they feel they can trust, support, and empathize with.

The more the lie serves someone, the more confidently they believe it – even when the truth is staring them in the face. It is this knowing that has provided me some comfort. It really didn’t matter who I was, what I did or didn’t do, and how good to their family I had been. I keep dwelling over it using logic and rational thought; wondering how they could even believe these things about me, when I had given no indication that I was ever that kind of person, and especially considering the source of the information.

Over and over in my mind it goes “I wonder why you’d be dumbfounded, perhaps because it’s UNFOUNDED?! You hear one thing that goes completely against everything of who you thought I was, and instead of questioning or even checking if this new thing was accurate, you instead use the rumour to decide my entire being of who I am is a fraud. ”

What I’ve realized is that none of that mattered because it wasn’t even factored in. They aren’t thinking rationally. They aren’t sitting there trying to make fair judgments. Their emotions are the only things in control here, and if the lie makes it easier emotionally, then there you go. It’s easier to condemn the one who isn’t there than to challenge the one in front of you. It’s easier to hate than to feel grief and loss.

I waited a couple days to see if there would be an attempt at an apology or remorse over this comment, as I know emotions can get the best of us and perhaps with reflection she may have a change of heart. I was disappointed when it didn’t happen, and yet not surprised. By making this public remark about me, she upped the ante on how much she now needs to believe this lie. She needs to believe these horrible things about me, not only because it’s easier, but now her own choices and values are all tied up in it. To see the truth now would involve facing a lot of her own stuff, and as much as it’s disappointing when people don’t own their stuff, it’s also not surprising.

So I get it. But it still hurts. It still sits in me like a knife in the gut; that people who used to be my family, that I loved so dearly and wholeheartedly, can be so cruel. That they can not only reject me so harshly, but outright attack me and try to demoralize me.

It fucking sucks.

But really when it comes down to it, that’s all it does. It just fucking sucks.

It doesn’t say anything about me. It only speaks to who they are.

Their beliefs and actions will not affect how I live or who I am. I am committed to living my values, at the best and worst of times. I will use your words and false judgments to reinforce my knowing. Not to convince others I’m this or that – but to be true to my authentic dragon self.

I will stand strong and fierce.

My heart is broken, my wings are not.