John Lennon was one of the most famous dreamers of our time. Dreaming is awesome and important, but problems arise when we become all dreams and no action. I was so guilty of this. I was an epic dreamer. I got high speaking about all the great ideas I had, the things I was going to do, and all the fabulous places I was going to travel. When it came to actually doing something about making those dreams become a reality, I got scared and and it paralyzed me. When obstacles pop up (which they always do if you’ve got big dreams), I came up with a million and one excuses (none of which were my fault) about why that dream didn’t pan out and then quickly schemed up a new and exciting dream to talk about. All dreams and no action.
I experienced a false sense of joy and satisfaction because it wasn’t real. I was living in a fantasy world.
By being a dreamer with no action, I also experienced harsh feelings of failure and often felt lost in the world. It was much easier to float above the clouds and start dreaming again. If you are like me and are a badass rebel, you will more than likely take the road less traveled and rock it. Just like John Lennon did. You, my friend, are no different than John Lennon. John Lennon was an epic dreamer, but from what I’ve learned about him, he took action every day to accomplish his dreams.
He played music, talked about music, wrote music, and wrote poetry all the time. He had his head in the clouds, but at the same time his feet were planted firmly on the ground taking steps, big and small, toward his goals. His dreams were realized. John Lennon had bird energy. A shaman once told me all about bird energy and why it’s so important to embody it. When birds wake up, they sing and fly around playing with their friends in the sky. Eventually they have to come to the earth to ground themselves and get nourishment. Once full, they can go back up to the sky and play.
Growing up I wanted to be a dancer. My parents enrolled me in dance classes and I fell in love with dance. I went to class every day and devoted most of my free time to becoming a master of the art. I gave up weekends, evenings, going to parties with my friends, getting to hang out after school like other kids and so many other things regular kids get to do. I had big dreams of becoming a professional dancer even though I was told I was “too fat to ever become a successful dancer”. Those words really hurt me to my core and could have sent me to toss my leotards into a river, but it didn’t.
I kept at my dream and went to college to pursue dance.I won many awards and then I graduated with a degree in dance from Arizona State University, went on to dance professionally in NYC for a number of dance companies and even became a cheerleader for the New Jersey Nets and a tumbler for the New York Knicks. I was living the dream. I felt joyful everyday! I had my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground taking steps to become a better dancer every single day. Then, on a fateful day in 2005, I tore a bunch of ligaments in my knee while cheering at a NJ Nets game. The moment was caught on the jumbo-tron and the sold-out crowd all gasped as they saw me fall and not get up. I started to crawl off the court because I was about to become cheerleader roadkill. It was one of the worst moments of my life (or so I thought at the time). It was a career-ending injury. I remember calling my parents crying because I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. My dream was to be a dancer and I did it, but now I couldn’t do it anymore. I thought my world had ended.
I had made my dream come true and now it was gone. I was devastated. I was a dancer. If I can’t dance, then who am I? I didn’t know.
To protect myself, I started dreaming without putting my feet firmly on the ground. I dreamed of becoming a massage therapist. Oh. You have to go to massage school? Ahhhhh. Nevermind. I know! I’ll get my master’s in nutrition. Oh. You have to take science and math classes to do that? Ahhhhh. Nevermind. I came up with wonderful dreams and had the best intentions of making them happen, but when it came to taking action and putting in the work to make them come true, I bailed. It was much more fun to talk about my dreams than to actually do what it takes to make those dreams come true.
I had fun seeing the reactions on people’s faces when I told in vivid detail all about the dreams I had. They would get excited hearing about my big dreams and I was excited that they were excited. It seemed to the outside world that I had it going on, but when I was home alone, I would often feel like a failure. I didn’t know who I was. It was so much fun to talk about my dreams, but taking action and the roadblocks involved were too hard for me to handle (or so I thought) so I gave up too easily. I stayed safe and unfulfilled in my fantasy world.
One day it clicked. I decided I had enough with just talking about my dreams. I decided to plant my feet firmly on the ground while keeping my head in the sky dreaming big. I decided to come up with some goals and complete them. One of my goals was to write a book. Check it out! I wrote a book (How to Become a Joy Addict: The 12 Step Program coming at ya Thanksgiving 2014). To accomplish that goal I took steps everyday to achieve it. While I was writing my book, I would talk about it all the time to anyone who was willing to listen and I really put myself out there. Since I was serious and was taking steps to make it happen, all the right people surrounded me and supported me.
Like magic, it happened. But it wasn’t magic. It was the accountability I received because I asked for it. It was my drive and passion. It was my willingness to dream big while taking action at the same time. I channeled my inner John Lennon and my bird energy and rocked it.
I chose to not let the obstacles take me off course. And boy oh boy were there obstacles. I used those obstacles to fuel my fire instead of putting it out. It was that shift in perception that was a huge key in this dream coming true for me. I got hundreds of no’s from people and didn’t stop asking until I got a yes. I had un-serving past stories speak to me like “I’m not smart enough to write a book,” “Who are you to write a book?” and “No one is going to read anything I wrote.” I acknowledged the thoughts and thanked them for showing up trying to protect me. I told my thoughts you are free to go. I’ve got this! I honestly believed in my soul it was going to happen when it was supposed to happen with divine timing. And it did and it will for you too.
What big dream do you have? No dream is ever too big or too crazy. Share all your big-wild-hairy-fabulous dreams right here by leaving a comment. Let’s turn your dreams into a reality.