Today's Draw Classic*: Seven of Bows from the Wildwood Tarot. Is there something you want to do, but you've never gotten around to doing it? Does life keep getting the way of your dreams? What would you be willing to do to have the thing you've always wanted?
I recently had a discussion about life dreams with a friend of mine. She's a single mom and a spiritual leader/teacher and she earns her living in a spiritual profession. She's also itching to write a book. She knows everything the book is going to say, she just has to write it. But she can't find the time.
We all know that, right? And if you make your living in a spiritual profession, then you know that the psychics, mediums, spiritual teachers, healers and other light workers who are showered with riches are few and far between. One of the ways to become one of those fortunate few is to write a book. But if you're mired in the details of paying a mortgage, raising children, promoting your business, keeping your home clean, maintaining friendships and all the other necessities of life, when do you write that book (or go back to school or hike the Himalayas or whatever your dream is)?
The Seven of Bows is about making priorities and choices in life. It's about clearing space for the things we want out of life. There comes a time when we have to make some tough decisions if we're ever going to live our dreams. And we also have to take a good hard look at what is really standing in our way. Even the busiest of moms is probably saying yes to at least one time-sucking thing that they could just say no to...being a Girl Scouts troop leader, working on the PTA, being the home all the kids go to after school. You may not WANT to give those things up, you may have reasons why you can't, but in reality, they're optional. Plenty of moms aren't doing them and you could be one of them.
What it all really comes down to is this: the biggest thing standing between us and what we want is excuses. And the excuses usually only hold water if you're the kind of person who is never going to achieve your goal. J.K. Rowling, for example, had tons of excuses why she couldn't write Harry Potter. She was a single mom living at poverty level, recovering from a failed marriage and the death of her mother, and battling depression. Rather than indulge the momentum of all those things, she wrote anyway. Everyone has excuses. And for every excuse, there's both a fear-based reason for it and a way around it.
Look at it this way—what, other than supplying the basic needs of food, shelter and love to your family, is more important than using this one chance at life to pursue your dreams? You want to be there to see every single one of your daughter's dance classes? Then you're making a choice to watch dance classes rather than pursue your goal. Your daughter may feel like you're an attentive mom and that's great. And maybe one day she'll even give up her own dreams to watch her daughter's dance classes, because that's what mother's do. Or you could use that time to pursue your dream and focus instead on the quality time when you can actually interact with her. The choices you make for your dreams are not always easy. But the people who have what you want to have made difficult choices of their own.
My pathetic excuse is that I write all day for a living. When that's done, I write a blog (waving hello to all my readers!) And when all of that is done, I frankly don't feel like writing. That's my excuse. Beneath that is, admittedly, a fear of failure/success that keeps my butt dragging, but I continue to move forward despite it. Anyway, back in January I shared my excuse with a wise woman who suggested that I write a chapter of my book a week as part of my blog. I did that in January and February and got enough of those entries to put into a book proposal. I also got a lot of positive feedback that reinforced my desire to write this book.
See, you don't have to do the whole dream at once. It helps to remind yourself of that. With book writing, you just have to write a proposal. And if a publisher says they want to publish your book, then you'll get deadlines you have to meet. And you'll meet them, because you have to.
Same thing goes with hiking the Himalayas. You don't have to hike them today. But you can start making plans...training your body, getting the money together, mapping course, making lists of things you'll need, scouting out hostles, shopping for sherpas. By the time the reality of living the dream hits, you won't have a choice but to pursue it!
But the first thing you have to do is start clearing the space for this thing in your life, whether literally or figuratively. All it took was for me to ask my single-mom friend a simple question, "is there something in your life that is taking more time and effort than it's worth...something that once used to hold value, but no longer does?" She immediately knew where to clear space. She'll probably need more space than that, but it's a start. And she'll need the discipline to use that cleared space for its intended purpose. But once that space is cleared, it will be easier to weed out some of the things that may be more difficult to let go of. Before she knows it, writing will be just as automatic as the other priorities in her life.
Clearing is a pivotal choice we make where we decide whether to walk toward our dreams or put them off. Again. Whichever choice you make is up to you and can really only be judged by you. But Clearing gives you the opportunity to really decide how important those dreams really are....or if they've changed over years and become about something else. Like making sure you're there for all your daughter's dance classes.
Whatever your choice, choose it with confidence and move forward with confidence. The only thing more painful than making a difficult choice is to spend your life looking over your shoulder at all the choices you didn't make and wish you had.
*Reposted from 6/20/12