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Don’t Dabble with Your Dreams

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I had a recent conversation with a friend. I felt as awkward as a fledgling bird trying to fly for the first time. There was no grace, just bumbling. It was a…

I think I kind of like you as more than a friend but I’m not sure you like me in that way, so I’m going to tip-toe around it and that way if you don’t actually like me that way, then maybe I can just pretend this whole conversation didn’t really happen and it doesn’t really matter. But it does matter and I feel as uncomfortable as a 7th grader with knobbly knees and sticking-up hair asking the cutest boy in the school out on a date.

…kind of conversation.

There are a lot topics you could put into the awkward conversation instead of a potential relationship. And the conversation might only be in your head with your over-protective inner critic who is doing its best to keep you safe with its incessant “too risky, don’t go there” mantra.

You’ve had those. We all have.

After my awkward fumbling he said, “I’ve thought about it some too. But we’d either have to really do it and give it our best effort or we’d have to skip it all together. No dabbling.”

I’ve been mulling over his response for the past few weeks. He’s right. Dabbling is the safe way. The it doesn’t really matter way. The easy out.

Dabbling is great for trying new things: foods, sports, hobbies, and activities. For going beyond your “usual” to see if you like something. In this phase, there is no need to commit.

But once you know you want something, quit dabbling.

Don’t dabble with your dreams. Don’t dabble with your heart.

From Dabbling to Declaring

Dabbling prevents you from really going for it. From entering the arena. From playing big.

So how do you know when it is time to switch from dabbling to declaring?

Your gut knows. This is not the voice in your head, nor the one in your heart. It is the one that resonates and says, “do it” even though you’re scared it might not work.

If you’ve been ignoring the barometer in your belly, it might be a bit out of shape (flabby even?). Keep checking in. Listen. The whisper of truth might be faint, but it’ll be there. The more you pay attention, the stronger the voice will become and the message more coherent. Your belly doesn’t lie.

Declaring isn’t telling yourself you’re going to do something in your mind like it is a good idea. That won’t be enough when you encounter resistance. And you will. Proclaim your intention out loud to yourself and the people around you. Write it down. Goals written and shared with a friend are 33% more likely to be achieved.

Once you declare I’m:

    • attracted to you.
    • changing careers.
    • switching jobs.
    • ready to have children.
    • moving to a new city.
    • losing the 15 pounds.
    • getting out of debt.

All the muddiness settles and a clear message is sent to the universe. (For my felllow Trekkies, declaring allows your internal Jean Luc Picard to command, “Make it so.”). Things shift. Opportunities arise. Actions become clear.

From Declaring to Doing

Once you’ve declared your intentions and listened to your gut, you’ll have a sense of what’s next. Now it is time to implement a system for success. Create a structure or habit to support your dreams.

Habits or rituals are linked to a particular time (brushing your teeth before going to bed) or a particular place (taking your shoes off when you enter your home) or sometimes a combination of both.

I walk around the helicopter before I get in to ensure it is free from obstacles (power cords, etc.), all the latches are closed and we aren’t leaking any fluids. This habit is linked to both time and place.

In my BLAST coaching group we’re using the 5 Post-It Note method as our trigger to pause and reflect. I’ve put one on the dashboard of my car. Each time I drive, I reflect on the postiive aspects of my life as well as my intentions for the future. I smile everytime. I feel centered and alive. Focused.

The Power of a Collective Pause

On my recent trip to Morocco, each day was punctuated by the adhan or call to prayer. There are five prayers during the day: early morning, midday, midafternoon, sunset and late evening. Praying is like the heartbeat of the muslim culture, providing a structure and rhythm to the day.

The call is given by a muezzin via loudspeakers on the mosque’s minaret and it is impossible to avoid noticing. Although there are exceptions to praying, there is collective pause in the culture during prayer. The city squares empty. The shopkeepers place cloths over the entrances to their stalls.  Cab drivers stand shoulder to shoulder on the curb, cars parked for the 10-ish minutes of prayer.

But this isn’t a post about the muslim faith. Frankly, I’ve got some issues with the it. You might too. I understand. Truth is, I’ve got some issues with all religions. But I don’t have issue with taking a moment to pause and reconnect.

Pausing throughout the day allows you to recenter and realign with what really matters. It has you connect with the present moment.

Develop A System for Taking Your Own Collective Pause

A post-it note is a visual trigger designed to have you reflect on what really matters. It is designed to be my personal collective pause. My own call to prayer. I’ve put mine in my car, but you could create a visual reminder anywhere in your home or office or even create one using your phone. When your reminder fades into the background and you stop noticing it, move it.

The advantage of the muslim call to prayer is that nearly everyone is doing it. You are surrounded by it. Your reality is shaped by the company you keep and the actions you take. Be deliberate.

Let this site and the people reading it be part of your supportive community. One part of your practice to remember what really matters.

As for the guy? We didn’t go there. I don’t think we will. But I’m proud of having the conversation.  Life’s too short to dabble with your dreams. Declare. Do.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • David Knapp-Fisher July 10, 2014, 2:09 am

    Love the new site! Love it!
    We should talk – Please check out my site, because besides an AWESOME last name (okay, “half” in my case) it looks like we are on the same mission in life. Please read “My Story” and let me know if we can help each other promoting our message on each other’s blogs. Thanks and great job on the new site – it looks terrific!
    Cheers, David KNAPP-Fisher

    • Lorena July 17, 2014, 12:46 am

      Thanks David! I agree we are on the same mission. I love the Scooby Doo costume!

  • Renee July 12, 2014, 7:47 am

    Wow! Thank you for that inspirational moment! I loved it. You are an inspiration to me and every time I start feeling a bit old, you light the fire again. You go, Lorena!

    • Lorena July 17, 2014, 12:41 am

      Inspiration is contagious Renee! Glad I could spread it around. :)

  • Fayrene Sherritt July 12, 2014, 6:18 pm

    Dear Lorena, This is sooo very true and a good reminder for us all to step back and look at our lives and where we want to be. I admire and love you so very much!!!

    • Lorena July 17, 2014, 12:41 am

      Thanks Fayrene! I’ve always admired your own involvement in making your community a better place.

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