The Courage to Dream

A few years ago I was  jarred back to life. I was tucking my sons into bed and they were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up,  my son said, “What was your dream when you grew up?”  I was startled…my dreams? Did I have dreams just for me?  Still searching for an answer, I said, “You guys are my dream.” I couldn’t shake the question for the rest of the night. What were my dreams besides being a great mother and wife?

I was saddened to discover that I didn’t have any new dreams of my own. All my dreams were wrapped up in the “we” package, the “them” package I had put the “me” package way, way down on my list of priorities and, worse yet, I hadn’t even noticed. I was sleep walking through my own life but now I wanted to wake up and begin living and dreaming again. Don’t get me wrong, I will always dream big for my sons only now I have to remember to dream big for me too. Where to begin?  What to dream about when I have vacated my own life, lost my compass and find myself in unchartered territory?

I decided to go back to my childhood and to the dreams I had when I was little, dreams big and small. In examining my life I found that most of my dreams as a child centered on creative ventures; dancing, ballet, drawing, pottery, music, sports, books, writing and fitness. So I set about trying a few different things to see what fit me today; dance, ballet, I clearly was not destined to be a ballerina in my 40.  I discovered my love of photography, and paintings, and books, and writing and reading, reading, reading! Were those my dreams?

Those were my passions but even with my new-found dream declaration it would take me a few more years to gain courage to follow my dreams.  Then my father’s death shattered my illusions about waiting for the “perfect day” to begin my life, to start declaring my dreams and seeking them out. “Fear,” my father said, “will destroy you and you will become paralyzed.” I had become paralyzed and it was time to force myself to get up and out, to get into the game of life and to make My life, My way, with My dreams.

So I stopped putting myself last and I carved out time to run; maybe running would allow me to hear that voice in my head that seemed to always know what I should be aiming for in my life. The voice that I had almost silenced with neglect. I know, drastic measures, but I wasn’t ready to look inward at my fear so I started on the outside with the other part of myself that I had neglected…my body. So I ran almost every day for a year and a half and my body got stronger and slowly, very slowly my mind did too. It was time to do some soul-searching, and to make my intentions for my life clear to the Universe. I was done being afraid.

Artistspromendade is the culmination of my leaping off the cliff of fear and praying like crazy that a net will appear to take me to the next adventure of my life with me in the driver’s seat naming and claiming my own path, my own direction. My friend Dominiquie gave me a book, The Artist’s Way, and together we embarked on the author, Julia Cameron’s 12 week creativity course and my life was changed forever. Suddenly my dreams were clear and I knew that I had the grit, fortitude and determination to make them come true if I could push past the fear.

While I was rediscovering my own creativity I found that all around me were creative people, shy and/or bold, who were declaring their dreams and passions and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. I wanted to explore the creativity that exists in all of us and to showcase those artists to all of you, who are also braving the winter of doubt hoping to emerge into the spring of new beginnings and the excavation of old dreams, or new dreams, or far-fetched dreams, just so long as we are all remembering to dream our dreams and to reach for our dreams.

Finding our dreams, nurturing our dreams and having the courage to claim our dreams reconnects us back to the original Creator who made not just one color green or pink but hundreds of different hues and I am reminded that I can create something from nothing too. I just have to step out on faith and luckily that voice in my head is cheering me on again as I am reaching for my dreams.

Tis the season

As the holiday season approaches and I think about all the gifts that I need to purchase and all the cookies and food I’ve yet to bake, I take a moment to breathe and remember that the holidays are about family not gifts. Right?

In my family it is however about the gifts and the food. The food is our centerpiece of the Christmas day. We have decorative cookies to make for the kids and their classrooms, remember no nuts. As we make dough and pick out our favorite holiday cookie cutters we listen to holiday songs or watch my favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Carol, while it snows and all is right in my world.

This year the kids have decided to set up a camera to catch Old Saint Nick in the act of putting the presents under the tree. I didn’t want to tell them that many children have tried to catch Santa, so far little no luck. My oldest son asked me last Christmas why I was so tired since Santa does all the work. Indeed!! 🙂