Tonight, I fell into bed at about 8pm to take an hour nap but ended up sleeping until midnight when Alex came to bed. Wide awake, I talked to the dog for awhile and then decided to go out for a drive, something I’ve become accustomed to as a way to fall asleep as well as put thought to my current dreams and writing ideas.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been going into my office late at night, throwing in a movie, typically some 80’s adventure movie like Romancing the Stone, dimming the lights and begin working on whatever creative project is current. I have designed a creative lair at my office and every day I add something new. Tonight it was a colorful, beaded Buddha that watches me from the corner of the room.
I always am most creative in the middle of the night, energized by the smell of the dark hours and the taste of mystery in the air. Tonight, I had planned to work on several interviews for our website, but instead I found myself going through a box of books I had brought into the office which had been housed in my basement for over three years.
At the bottom of the box were several blank journals with flowered covers, nothing I would ever use for myself. I laughed to myself realizing they were some remnant of my mother’s “wrapping station” where she kept dollar gifts she would give out at the last minute if someone had a birthday or party and she wanted to bring something such as a candle or a bookmark.
I laughed and quickly threw them into the trash, but something pulled at me and so I pulled them out, dusted them off and put them on my desk. After walking around my dark office for a few minutes I felt pulled back to those ridiculous journals and started thumbing threw them as I sipped a cup of strong coffee. Their clean, white pages stared back at me waiting to be filled.
Sitting down, I grabbed the first journal and quickly printed GIFTED on the first page. Underneath, I wrote instructions for the book indicating that “the purpose of this book is to give back to the world. Have you ever wished you could give a gift you couldn’t afford or seemed impossible? Or change someone’s life but didn’t have the power to do it? Now you can! Be as creative as you want. It’s all yours to give. And all that positive energy of giving is a gift in return. Write anywhere, anything, as much or as little as you want. There are no rules!”
I quickly turned to the middle of the book and wrote a picture of your first kiss. I turned back to the second page and wrote four front row tickets to The Grateful Dead when Jerry Garcia was still alive. And continued to write about ten more gifts. I closed the book, smiling, and placed it in the corner of the desk.
Picking up the second journal, I grabbed another marker and wrote WISHED on the first page. Below it I wrote “Have you ever wished for something and never got it and knew no matter how hard you tried you knew you’d never get it but it didn’t make a difference? The purpose of this book is to give life to our wishes and our dreams. No matter how big or how small. Be creative. Write anywhere, anything. There are no rules!” Spinning to the next page I quickly wrote To be debt free. To own a black Porsche with tinted windows. To have one more Christmas week with my mom in a cabin in Gatlinburg. And somewhere at the back of the book I wrote to finish my book and have it published.
I closed it and placed it on top of the other journal and walked into my client office, placing the books gently on the table, waiting to be filled by my clients.
I poured another cup of coffee, a sure fire way to fall asleep quickly, and came back into my office. I sat down and opened another book I had pulled from the box. SARK’s Make Your Creative Dreams Real. I read through the first 50 pages and closed the book, yawning, even though I was awakened by my immediate excitement. I had suddenly realized that the only thing holding me back from accomplishing my dreams was me.
It’s hard being a therapist sometimes because you often give advice you rarely take yourself even though it sounds so good flowing from your lips. I inspire and motivate my clients daily to accomplish their dreams. A year ago I even published a post about a “Dream Application”, stating that I would see anyone as a client for free who had a real dream, not a life change but a dream, they wanted to accomplish. I stated that I didn’t believe I was the overall master but I could be the guide for someone’s journey and if they were willing to listen to me and my guidance they could accomplish their dreams within a year. I don’t remember receiving even one concrete dream application…still waiting(And I’ll work by phone or Skype if you don’t live in my area!)
Often, I know what needs to happen to make other people happy and fulfilled, but I don’t do those same things for myself. Alex and I run a creative business on the side and we know exactly what we need to do to be successful, but we often become lazy and think too deeply about our next move. Dreams and creativity need to flow like juice from a pear down your neck, much like the wish and gift journals had come to me tonight, quickly and without hesitation.
For years, I’ve told clients, that with the exception of our physical attributes, har har, the only thing different between Tom Cruise and myself is that he showed up for the audition. And there is a lot of truth in that statement. Those people that are most successful in accomplishing their dreams are those that put action to their dreams instead of talking about what they want. Very few of us have dreams that are too big to be accomplished.
My mother always had three dreams she talked about with regularity. She wanted to be a trial attorney living on a houseboat in San Francisco Harbor. She wanted to work on a costume design team for movies, much like Edith Head for Alfred Hitchcock. And she wanted to finish writing a book. Well, she was definitely intelligent enough to be an attorney. She was creative enough to be a costume designer. And she finished writing half of her memoir, Dear Mick or Waiting on a Friend, a personal letter to Mick Jagger about the challenges of growing older as a woman. She could have accomplished any of these dreams. Fear stopped her cold in her tracks. Fear of change. Fear of being different. Fear of lack of acceptance. Maybe even fear of success.
What stops you from accomplishing your dreams? What is your dream? First you must recognize it and begin breathing life back into it’s lungs.
Tonight I filled the wall in front of my desk with inspirational reminders of things I want to do and accomplish for myself and our business to fulfill my dreams. I no longer will allow fear and laziness to keep me grounded and quivering with nothing to look back on but the regrets of things I never attempted to accomplish.
So expect to see my book at your local bookstore soon because I’m writing with a fury. Because we’re on borrowed time as it is…