(famous warning: it’s a long one! )
It’s the last Monday of August friends. We had a WILD camping trip with a certain story that you may find hard to believe–but yes, it’s all coming to the blog and it’s all true (no Mamabloo, we did not meet Edward Cullen! ). The crazy camping story and much more is coming later but right now we need to consider, TOGETHER, for a moment that…good Lord, there is no escaping it, September starts on Wednesday!
Back to school mode is in full swing for many of you. Sack lunches are being prepped, school supplies organized, as your body dreads the early morning alarm clock that school demands. But our kids aren’t the only ones who hear the school bell ringing. I don’t know about you, but every Fall my spirit hears a powerful ringing from within. It’s as if all my senses start to awake from lazy summer afternoons of spitting out watermelon seeds, and into the cold, crisp air that beckons me into a season of new beginnings and new possibilities.
How many of you felt like your photography dreams and goals went blurry over the summer? You are not alone. If my goals went a little blurry in the summer with the welcome distractions of bbqs, day trips to the beach and long sunsets; the Fall brings an opportunity to get my goals back in focus–sharp focus. With all this in mind, I gave our three, beautiful, SOAR! Recipients a vital exercise in reaching hidden dreams. It’s an exercise that is not for the faint of heart, but I invite you to do it too. And when you do, share it in today’s comments or on our SOARORITY forum (for more privacy). Ready? In honor of our new CEO, Jeff Jochum, let’s start with Clarity!
You guessed it. The exercise is to first go deep within. Unlock the secret place where you keep your dreams hidden, and bring them into the light by writing them down on paper. What kind of dreams? The ones that you are convinced are impossible. We’re looking for the impossibles today. Number your impossible dreams from 1-3 or 1-33. But write them down with as much detail and clarity as possible. Don’t be lazy with describing them, convinced that they will never happen. Take responsibility for them. Give your dreams life by giving them total detail with bones, muscle, nerves, skin and color. How can these dreams walk, leading us into a place we dare to hope for, if they don’t have form or shape?
Some of you may read the word “alternative” and think there is a way around this exercise. Not really, just another option to get these dreams out of hiding. If you are not a writing type person, paint them, sketch them, even scribble them. Get a blank piece of white paper. Set the timer for 1 minute, and force your hand to draw out your dream as fast as you can without erasing a thing. Sketch the wide frame as if you were photographing it. Start to add the details–scribbled details. We aren’t working to become the next Rembrandt. We are working to unlock the prison door to dreams that are begging to get out. Sketch fast to stay ahead of your reasoning side brain that questions every line. Expect it to be messy. Let it spill onto paper like a pile of scribbles. Don’t stop moving your hand until the timer goes off.
Yes, your dreams have a time frame. Don’t be fooled when someone says you can do your dreams at “any time”. I don’t believe that. I believe our dreams have lives of their own, and their life span is determined. Some dreams will die away with time. New ones may take their place, but how many will we watch die first? Do you know the life span of your dream? When will it be to late for this dream to happen? For example, our dream for Me Ra Koh Media is to get me in front of every mom with a camera…to have a TV show that empowers parents to capture their beautiful kids…to even structure the dream with such clarity that I can involve my own kids in a special way that keeps our own connection as a family only growing and deepening. (Can I tell you how many people have told me that this is asking for the impossible on “several” accounts? I have come to expect that and often see those people in the front row, watching and hoping that they are wrong.) Well, my kids aren’t getting any younger. Brian and I told Jeff that we feel like we’ve got two years to make me the Rachel Ray for mommy photography. That is the time frame I’m giving this dream. And if it doesn’t work, if we put all our eggs in one basket to see the basket break, well… we will be the best damn sales people at Best Buy for Sony cameras!
Some of you may read this last part and be thinking ‘Me Ra, you could have more than two years. You don’t need to expect so much in so little time.’ And you are right. But as Jeff has taught me over the years, I’ve got to choose something. I’ve got to CHOOSE a time frame. I’ve got to CHOOSE a goal. I’ve simply got to choose something! If we move the time frame, we do. But there is no starting point unless I choose a finish line.
PUBLIC SCRUTINY RISKED
Now comes the vital step of total refinement. You must not only write or sketch your dream, but you must share it and risk public scrutiny. So let’s be smart about this next step. There is always a risk of criticism, but we can lower the risk by being wise. Let’s agree that you will share your dream(s) and their time frames with a safe group of people who will respect and not scrutinize. You are welcome to do this on my blog in the comments today. (Because if anyone criticizes your dream on my blog, I will not only delete their comment to kingdom come but personally kick their butt!) You can join the SOARORITY forum if you haven’t already, a private forum for women wanting to SOAR!, and share your dreams there. This was a forum created to provide a place of safety. Or you can share them with a couple trusted friends. If you do the third choice, I encourage you to pick at least two or three friends so that one person is solely responsible for having a good reaction. We are only human. Better to hedge your bets with three people and not one.
Once you have done all the above, exhale. You did it. You let your dreams out of a prison you have mistakenly called “safe keeping” and let them see the light of day.
Prepare yourself. Once you let your dreams out of hiding…once you give them clarity…”time frames” built on faith…and risk public scrutiny…only to wake up the next day and still believe your dreams are possible…you dreams will run. Prepare for unexpected opportunities to come your way. Prepare for conversations to start that connect to all of this. Prepare for baby steps to be made known. You are no longer hiding, and all of heaven has been waiting on the edge of their seats ready to respond!
I’m praying for each of you today. I’m praying this Fall is something you own like never before. I know this is a BIG task to undertake. I know it shakes some of you to your innermost being. I also realize we’ve talked about the topic of dreams a few times on this blog. It’s time to pick em up again, dust em off, and lead them to the light again.
I believe that you are worthy of seeing your dreams become a reality. You are worthy of living those dreams out. But I know this starts with a step of faith on your part–a risk that seems to take all the oxygen out of the room. Yet I know with all my heart that when your dreams are out of hiding, the reward of the journey itself tastes just as good as the final destination.
I remember the temple ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia and feeling like I had made the mistake of not only burying my dreams but building shrines over them within my heart. It’s time to excavate. As you bring your dreams out of hiding feel the sun’s warm glow on your face.
Close your eyes and picture me waving to you. A fellow dream traveler is always welcome!
p.s. The SOAR! Recipients don’t get the luxury of thinking about whether or not they want to do this exercise. I’m requiring them to do it. And they get to share their dreams with all of you this week on the SOAR! blog. If you have time, will you be one of their three friends this Tues, Wed, Thurs.? Much love!