The Last Five Years: Cultivating Inspiration, Realizing Dreams
I know many people waiting to be inspired. Waiting for the time to be right. Waiting, like Cinderella, for their dreams to come true. As a Disney fanboy myself and a lover of dreams, I have no problem with dreaming and searching for inspiration. What breaks my heart is thinking about how many dreams will not come true due to a simple lack of cultivation.
In 2012, I was working as a Lab Technician's Assistant at metal finishing company; meaning I worked with hazardous chemicals and a few hazardous people. On my routine bike ride to work, the dreams of my heart bubbled to the surface. My prayers for my family, my visions of the future, my desire to make a difference. Then I would get to work, do my best not to upset my boss (who was a bitter, resigned and angry man, though I hope that's changed!), and use some of my solo task time to keep the prayers and dreaming alive. I did my best to be a positive presence in that environment, and at the end of the day, I would ride home. On my ride up towards Burien, I would turn around, looking at the Seatle skyline think about those dreams, visions, and missions, then sight my sights toward home and ride up the hill. Then I would get home and do pretty much nothing. Cry sometimes. Read blogs online. Mope more than I'd care to admit.
It was a challenging time for me, to be sure. I was working in a difficult job that I didn't enjoy with people I had trouble connecting with, and it was difficult not to feel like I was stuck in that s[h]ituation. I was also experiencing the unraveling of my faith and I felt extremely isolated in that process. It was almost as though I was living two lives: The life comprised of daily work and interactions with people and the life I lived in my head, generating possibilities for what could be... Yet so little ACTION, if any, was taken to realize and mobilize what I saw in my head. It was like I was waiting to be rescued, and in a way, I guess God did rescue me. Discovering I was going to be a dad propelled me forward.
In May, 2012, I started writing in earnest. A simple Blogger page I set up the previous fall became the landing page for my heart and vision. Writing became more than a way for me to process my own thoughts, but a way to share them as well. It can seem like so little has happened in five years, when in truth so MUCH has happened. So many prayers of my heart have been answered and dreams have been realized, and I'm now just beginning to see the extent. What happened in between? Lots of little steps. Cultivating inspiration with actions, however small. The interruption of Life with having three amazing kids, opportunities like working at Collins Chiropractic, and the growing vision of who I am and what I'm doing. Often, I'm realizing dreams through surprising gifts of Life and saying yes to what came. Be • Live • Love has become an ongoing and outgoing expression of that vision, of my message, of my mission, and I get to engage people deeply on a daily basis in all these ways of "being me." I don't think we're "on our own," and I do believe the Universe conspires with us to create, yet I also see how we can routinely shake off inspiration by trying to sidestep the process of cultivation. Maintaining openness and curiosity while doing your art in whatever small way you can now is how we realize our dreams. Oftentimes we can't see much beyond the next step, so take that one, then the next one, then the next one. We've never arrived, but we can keep making relentless forward progress.
When it comes to cultivating inspiration and realizing dreams, It often starts feeling inconsequential. The truth is, though, we don't know what the extent of our small actions taken today will be.
Is there an idea you have had that you dismiss because you think of it (or yourself) as insignificant? You may be writing some of your dreams out of existence. Being faithful to the little spark you have will lead to more opportunities to create beauty around you. You already have inspiration, it just needs to be tended. The Universe may interrupt your plan with more and different opportunities than you expected, so roll with it. But don't stop cultivating inspiration. Don't give up on your dreams.
Five years ago, I didn't think my life would be what it is. In five years, it's hard to say what my life will be. In the meantime, I'm cultivating inspiration and realizing dreams. One step at a time, one action and interaction at a time, one blog at a time, one day at a time.