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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Doors-ClositerArches2The beginning of each New Year spreads out in front of us – a year of promise, of dreams, of hopes and plans. I leave resolutions for those who are so inclined, and prefer to believe that I will take those steps in exactly the right time.

Ahead are the doors opening to what we dare to dream – what we’d most like to do, our heart’s desire, and how we can get there. Ahead are the doors to our imagination – to what we can create if just given the chance … to those we’ll know, who will inspire us, and whom we can inspire. The doors that take us out and through can take us in as well.

To all who stop by, I wish you the year of your dreams and the open doors to find them.

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We all have them, right? And then something occurs in our lives and we can watch them go up in smoke. Or at least for a while.

But what I’ve found is that the phoenix can rise again from the ashes, except this time, the dreams and plans have changed, perhaps evolved. Or maybe are new altogether. In any event, they have been colored by that event and now they look quite different. Can you relate?

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I was often told as a child that I daydreamed too much. It was made out to be a bad thing. But how do you proceed in life without dreams … something to hitch our stars to? It seems to me that when we lose our dreams or when they get mired in the muck is when we get in trouble. I never minded being called a dreamer. I still am, and it’s just fine with me. When I have no dreams, I’ve lost my moorings.

Recent events caused my dream of being published in children’s books to be pushed into the background, to be, at least for a period of time, not that important in the grander scheme of things. That happens. But early, early this morning – certainly before I wished to be awake – the dream was stirring again, and as I thought about it, a next step came into view … a plan. As I lay there, a number of things fell into place, and I knew what I would soon do. A dream with a plan … that felt good!

Sometimes we just make plans that arise out of an event, in my case related to my health. OK – that happened, what will I do now? Up until this morning, I didn’t really know. Not exactly, anyway. However, it seems my unconscious has been quite busy when I wasn’t looking. A number of recent events – a conversation with someone I’d never really had a  chance to talk to, a book that crossed my path, a wanting to know what I should do – click, click, click – it all fell into place, and suddenly I had a plan. Ideas that had been more on the line of `maybe someday’ or `that seems impossible,’ suddenly seemed real and do-able.

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It’s amazing when we have a plan, how much lighter we feel. It’s as if a fog that has been swirling about us has burned off and we are standing in radiant sunshine, arms lifted in joy and anticipation. A plan, enlightened by a dream, is a wonderful thing. The path may have pebbles or rocks along the way, but it glows nonetheless.

That old Irish blessing comes to mind, and I wish a beautifully lit path of dreams and plans for you, too …

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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If you are pursuing a dream of any kind, then this post is for you. As mentioned in a previous post regarding the NJ SCBWI June Conference, it can be daunting for those of us who have full time work and/or family commitments to hang tight to the magic that occurs at events such as this or at any other inspiring event. I’m thinking of spiritual retreats, internships, especially away from home, intense volunteering experiences, educational conferences, etc. Want to keep your dream going? Here are some things that I put in motion so my dream is always an important part of my life:

* Upon return, review all notes, literature, etc to refresh your memory.

* Make lists – I’m big on lists – of what you will want to do. Make a list of things that need to be done now or in the next day or so, and one of what will need to be done in the near future and going forward.

* Make a plan for the second list – how will you accomplish it, what’s your time frame for completing what you want to do?

* Decide on how much time you can spend every day pursuing your dream. Then decide when you will do that. Early, before you need to tackle your daily work and obligations? Or late, when you can put all that aside? Decide and try to stick to it. In her talk with SCBWI Conference attendees, Kate DiCamillo said she writes 2 pages, single-spaced, every single day first thing in the morning. She does this before her critic gets up which is some time later in the morning when she attends to editing, a very different task.

* Give yourself a constant visual reminder of your goal – not an accusation, just a reminder. Mine is on my Mac where I work.

* Limit unnecessary time in e-mail and on the web, social media, etc. The web can be a huge drain on your time; do your best to do what’s important and then get off, even if it means shutting down those programs or your computer.

* Keep what you’re working on in plain sight, rather than neatly tucking it away. If you have animals or children with access to these places, figure something out. It’s important that you be able to “jump right back in” when you’re able rather than slow yourself down in set-up.

* Keep in touch with fellow travelers on your path and find time to connect with those who share and support your dream.

* Keep up with what’s going on in your “field of dreams” without spending unnecessary time on it. (‘Unnecessary’ always a key word here!) Be inspired – go to art galleries, read books, take yoga, a gardening class – whatever it is that will feed you.

* Journal daily. I have found this especially useful, and it’s recommended by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, and many others as a way of freeing up your energy. First thing in the morning is best.

* Find some time to daydream, to envision your future as having already achieved the goals you set out to accomplish. Be there.

* Be kind to yourself. Keep track of procrastination and try to chuck that, but don’t be overly hard on yourself, either.

Hopefully, these will help you in pursuing your dream and not seem too obvious. When I stick with them, they all work for me.

If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”   – Henry David Thoreau

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I know I am not alone in having dreams and goals. And just like you, I experience periods of seemingly endless challenges and/or loss in which those dreams are so far on the back burner, the stove isn’t even in the room.

There are numerous ways to find our way back, and one of them that I resurrected this morning is the book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Greater Creativity by Julia Cameron. I read the book awhile ago and did a number of the exercises, but I think, right now, checking in with artist/writer/teacher Julia will help me get back on the path to my dream. While I have never stopped being creative, I’ve not had the energy, focus or desire to pursue what I most want to do with it. I’m seeing a spark again, and I want to grow that glimmer.

Feeling stuck artistically? I recommend The Artist’s Way for any creative person who is struggling with getting their show on the road.

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