At the start of the year, I joined a Shamanic course online. The course consisted of a series of holistic workshops, carried a tribal tone, and was heavily themed on our human connection to the elements.
It delivered a “same, same but different” feel to the work I do already with my own life coaching and personal growth workshops. This was affirming in some ways and enlightening in others. The common thread here is the intentional setting aside of time and space to connect with who we are, what we want from life, and mapping a path to get there.
But aren’t Shamans typically male? You may ask.
Yes. But, women were welcomed to join this course, and having been literally kicked out of Men’s Circles in the past for being female, I was intrigued by the opportunity for an inside look at all things Shamanic.
While the takeaways were many, there was one provoking question ignited in my mind, one that is still burning.
The leader of the Shamanic course and I had a few moments alone in a Zoom breakout room to meet, greet and connect. The conversation spiraled quickly into the deep end, and he very pointedly asked me, “What are your big dreams?”
I have always dreamt big. I have dreamt of traveling wide and far. I have dreamt of living in medieval castles and sailing distant seas, hiking treacherous mountains, and saying yes to every adventure I could. Yes to every business opportunity that inspired me, and every firework-lit love affair. I have always dreamt big, and looking over my shoulder, I see a vivid, colorful life that those big dreams delivered – with gusto.
But what were my big dreams NOW?
His question stumped me not because I hadn’t nourished my dreams before, but because I couldn’t remember the last time I had truly allowed myself to dream BIG.
I realized I hadn’t dreamt in quite some time. Years, maybe.
Since shifting from a co-founder of a company with a all-star team into building a new company solo, I’ve been fueled by hustle and passion more than I have been fueled by dreams. The challenge of creating your own product, building out your own business, and learning about branding, finances, and the marketing of it all means my daily choices were driven more furiously by spreadsheets than by big dreams.
Owning a travel business during a global pandemic also contributed to this shift from dreaming in this life to surviving this life.
When it came to big dreams, what was possible receded from a 3D vision in the big open sky, and lowered to the flat numbers and limitations calculated by my Excel docs.
Any of you entrepreneurs who’ve been in the game long enough will nod your heads in resonation.
The Shamanic leader sparked me to wonder, is it safe to place my dreams back in the sky, and if I do, what will they look like now? After everything?
I have a close friend who once told me, maybe a dream is better off as a dream because once your dream comes true, it becomes part of your real life for a while. Then, as with all things we breathe into the real, the luster eventually begins to fade. The excitement, the desire and purpose begin to lose their power the moment the dream comes into existence.
His notion left me feeling a little despondent, perhaps because of the truth I see in it. But what are dreams for if not to inspire and motivate us into creativity and action?
What are dreams for, if not for the chasing?
Or – is it actually the chase that gives us the good feels that we believe the dream should?
Perhaps it IS this. It’s the chasing the dream that delivers, and not the dream itself. You know, “life is a journey, not a destination” – that kind of thinking.
Perhaps life is a cycle of dream-chasing, dream-crashing, and dream-catching over and over again; meaning our next big dreams are cued up when our current dream comes true.
We dream. We can look up from our screens and gaze at the big sky and we dream of how we want to feel. Do we want to feel loved, important, rich, needed? And what does that dream look like for us?
We can choose the dreams we wish to chase.
This would be an excellent place to insert an affirmation to all of us dreamers and dream-chasers. Be in the moment. Enjoy the journey. Cliché’s like that, (which hold truth, by the way).
This is where the Shamanic course sent me in my mind: My dreamscape.
When I reflect on it, many of my dreams have been realized. Many have also been shattered. But my dreams, if I look around me, I am living them now.
I encourage you to look around your own life too. Which dreams have become your joyful reality? Where do you see your “wins”?
I think if we take a minute, and then a few minutes more, we will see our dreams alive around us.
We will also see the seemingly impossible dreams, or the dreams that crash-landed, of course – but these disappointments have played their role too, and serve to redirect you to the dreams you were meant to chase.
I’ll leave you with this thought: what dreams do you have for yourself next? Are they crystal clear, and you’re already in hot pursuit?
Or are you, a little like me, realizing that it’s been a while – too long – since we let our minds roam free and envision what is possible.
If the latter resonates more, then this is the perfect place for this post to end, and allow our minds to gaze up into the vast skies. And tonight, I won’t wish you sweet dreams.
I wish you big dreams.