Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio, Unsplash.com

Written by Tara Ondusky, ACC, CPC, ELI-MP, LSSBB, PMP
December 18, 2019

I recently did an activity in a small group that showed me exactly how my dreams have come true (and how I got all of those letters after my name)! I was asked to draw a house when I was in fourth grade, including who was there and what they were doing. This is an important age because it’s at about this age that we begin to decide our place in the world–including our beliefs about ourselves. The exercise connected all of the dots for me. 

I was the oldest child of an absent, alcoholic father, and a mother caring for three kids. In the fourth grade, I remember spending a lot of time in my bedroom building a dollhouse out of one of the boxes we’d used to move into this particular house. We wouldn’t be here long. We moved every nine to 12 months. We’d be homeless in less than a year but I didn’t know that yet. As you can imagine, I grew up pretty quickly.

In my dollhouse, I made furniture and drew homey scenes on the walls for the hand-me-down dolls someone gave me. I saved whatever change I found to buy a piece of real dollhouse furniture. When I finally had enough money, I really wanted the Victorian velvet couch, but couldn’t afford it . . . so I settled for the Victorian toilet. (Oh, the metaphors! I cherished that piece and kept it for years!)

Newly Forming Beliefs

That dollhouse and the purchase were a symbol of my newly forming beliefs. I was deciding that in order for me to fit in and have a happy life, I was going to have to do it myself. I’d eventually decide that I needed a great job, an education, enough money to buy a home, have a car, travel and live a grace-filled life. I would also decide that the great job would be working for a company and helping people do their best work. I had no idea what that meant but I remember knowing it by the time I was 12.

Fast forward 35 years and I’d accomplished much of what I’d set out to do. I’d created a career where I was well thought of, had great opportunities and was helping people do their best work. I’d finished college while working, married a wonderful man, created a family, bought the house, enjoyed the travel, drove the cars, and enjoyed the friends! Yet as you may have guessed, I wasn’t fulfilled. Some call it a mid-life crisis. I call it my “wait, what” moment. You know the moment. The one where you look up from that fabulous life and think “wait, what?” Is this it? 

I wallowed in it for a while. Nothing I did at work or in my free time felt fulfilling anymore. But it had at one point in time so I decided to write down all of the things I enjoyed about my life. I then spent time finding the theme and it quickly became evident. I absolutely love helping people unite purpose with their path! This became my personal mission statement and led me to begin to reacquaint myself with Me. I began a faith practice that has become my superpower–including meditation and a daily relationship with God. I also began looking for ways to enhance or even shift my work. 

Coming Back to Me

In doing so, I wanted it to be for me as much as it would be for my career growth. It was equally important that I do something that I knew would challenge my thinking. This led me to coaching. It was a big investment for me, but I knew intuitively that there’d be more in store for me than just learning to be a great coach. I received my coaching certification from iPEC; and this, coupled with my reignited faith, gave me many tools to begin to put down the task-driven, take-care-of-everything belief system, and embrace my authentic self. My coaching journey ignited my curiosity and gave me a tribe of like-minded people to walk with. However, putting aside my beliefs was easier said than done (as they can be deeply ingrained). 

I dove headlong into creating my own coaching practice while continuing to work full time. I signed clients, hired a business coach, did the work to set the business up, and began working my marketing strategy. The growth wasn’t going as fast as I thought it should. So, I created workshops in my corporate job while pursuing further certification–all of it a tremendous amount of work. I’d slipped back into the figuring it out, doing it myself system, and telling myself I should be doing more. Shoulding yourself is exhausting!

We often get stuck in our stories and this was mine. I eventually realized that I was stuck and that there was still something missing. As I became reacquainted with my fourth-grade self I began to explore. When was the last time I even dared to think of all that could be possible? I’m talking about the dreams of creative, possible, joy-filled living. I stepped outside of the story and I gave myself permission to dream again. 

I finally asked myself what I wanted. I dreamed about the perfect work for me, about where my passion was, about who and where I wanted to spend my time. I stopped worrying about what I thought life should look like, what others wanted of me, or whether I was too old to start now.

Instead, I asked how I could create a life living out my purpose. I dreamed about how to take all I’d learned in my life to serve that purpose and I engaged my curiosity. I asked people from all walks of life what they dreamed about. I wasn’t surprised by the answer I got most often, “Huh?! I don’t know! I don’t really dream.”  

You and I were meant to dream our unique vision into this world in order to create this miracle we call our lives. So, let me ask you, what would you dream about for you? The size of the dream doesn’t matter, as long as they’re your dreams for you.

Listen to Your Dream

Now, what if instead of being caught in the chase, you could experience living out a dream right this moment? What would that look like? How would it feel in the deepest parts of yourself?

I want to challenge you to open your eyes to the possibilities for your dreams no matter where you are in life. Dreaming has no age limit–nor does making them come true! This world needs your dreams and all that comes with them.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Give yourself a quiet space and sit with paper and a pen. Take a few minutes, breathe deeply and feel yourself relax. Close your eyes and ask the question, what dreams am I meant to fulfill? Sit quietly for a while and listen. Write down what comes up for you. Don’t censor a thing, just write.

Pay attention to how you feel. Are you excited about what comes up? Are you thinking “that’s crazy!” or “I can’t . . . ”? Don’t give in to the can’t, should, or don’t know how-to. What’s important is how the dream ignites something in you. Give yourself the space to consider it even if you don’t know the path forward.

To make the dream come true, the best thing you can do is say it out loud. (Yes, to someone else!) Doing this sets the dream in motion and allows you to begin to intuitively ask for guidance. It’s a way of connecting your brain to your heart. Your brain will begin looking for what your heart seeks. Keep asking how. The answers will come.

Begin, one small step at a time. Maybe it’s connecting with someone or making a decision in one direction or another. Making our dreams come true is a journey. Take steps each day and take the time to enjoy the moments in that journey. Consciously note the gratitude you have each day for the dream and what you’ve been able to accomplish. You see, it’s as much about this journey as it is the goal.

Thank you for taking part in my dreams and spending time with me. I wish you a life full of dreams come true and gratitude for the blessings along the way.

Namaste.

Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio, Unsplash.com