You’re a dreamer

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Coaching and talk processing help me connect the dots of my experiences and learnings with meaningful threads. And connecting dots with threads turns individual moments into useful insights, The stories that make up my life.

Here’s a thread that came to me in a recent Points of You workshop.


“You’re a dreamer”

Many years ago, one of my first serious crushes told me that I was a ‘dreamer’, and he made it sound like it was a bad thing.

I was in my early twenties or late teens, somewhere in that general age blur, and I had just told him an idea I had for myself – about taking a time-out and accepting a student job in the faraway land of the US. I remember bubbling about it to him, excited at the prospect I had been offered.
And I remember him, disparagingly, replying:

‘You’re such a dreamer!’

The statement crushed me.

I took it as a judgment, even an accusation, like I was doing something wrong. This relationship didn’t go any further. I was young, in age and in relationship, we both were, and I like to think that by now I would be able to make less assumptions about what he meant, and ask him. In this story, neither of us continued our pursuits.

Still, it broke my heart and this very statement left a bruise I didn’t remember having until recently.

Back then,
being a ‘dreamer’ sounded childish and childish sounded wrong to me.

I grew up in our society that prefers knowledge-over-curiosity, reaching-goals-over-growing, facts-over-experience, and so I gently started to be more ‘adult’, more reasonable. I did more of the ‘right things’ and attempted to be less of a naïve dreamer.

At that I failed.

And of that failure I am proud! While I did get the decent job, the mortgage, the car… I kept dreaming up ways to fill my, what felt boringly mundane to me, life with colours and sparks.
Alongside my responsible job and life, I have studied and worked abroad, travelled the globe, volunteered, woofed, and learned how to be a coach, a group facilitator, a massage therapist, a yogi and most of all, I’ve met myself and my tribes and some of my strongest allies and best friends.
Now, more than ever, I stand firm in my grand belief that:

Dreams come true and magic is real!


None of any of this is news to me, however the dots connected in a Points of You workshop I attended recently.

Points of You Faces

Points of You Faces

Join me on a processing journey.

My Potential Me

We were doing a powerful process called ‘The Potential Me’, in which we travel through our past, present and potential.

Points of You works with photos and words, and our power to create from suggestion and perspective.

We may call it random, we may call it magic. All works for me.

Connect with a moment in the past

We were invited to connect with a moment in the past that was relevant to us. The past being a minute ago or a lifetime ago, or anywhere in-between.

Pur bonheur
I went back to the first moment I remember wording ‘pur bonheur’ out loud and feeling bliss. I was with my cousin on the banks of Lake Mead, on our road trip through the US South West in our very early twenties. We had just pitched our tent, the sun was about to set, the blue colour of the lake shimmered, the rocks and canyons were turning all shades of orange and pink. The sky was that deep blue before nightfall, and the stars were beginning to appear. I remember sounds of people talking and laughing on houseboats and campsites in the distance. Martine and me were sitting on the ground of our humble home for the night after a swim in the lake and I thought to myself ‘there is no place I’d rather be in this very moment’, and saying out loud ‘pur bonheur’. I don’t know why the French came to me, but it did.
It translates to pure bliss.

Choose a photo

With this feeling, we got to choose ONE photo card of a face from the 99 cards laid out, one that resonates with the moment we’d just travelled to.

I chose a picture of a young lady who looked free and happy-go-lightly, smiling openly and straight at the camera. Innocent, and in a way bold.

Yes, she represented the life-embracing young lady I was in that very moment at the lake.

Take a reflection

The next part of the process was to choose a reflection card that contains a word; they were facedown so, here begins the serendipity process of finding messages and meaning in pretty much anything that comes our way.

My card said ‘ROCKER’, it lit up my heart.

Of course the process asks us to associate the photo, the word and the memory of who we were, and yes, there was a rocker in me back then – that nugget of a rebel who said:

‘I’ll go travel the world and do my thing, even if it is frowned upon.’

She was full of opportunity and dreams back then.

We were working in pairs, and for the next step, we exchanged photo cards with our partners, then we exchanged partners, with whom we swapped reflection cards.

The present me

Through these two new cards, now both random, and we were looking at suggestions around our present selves.

I had been handed the photo of a middle-aged man for my present me.

He looked like a Crocodile Dundee in a way, an adventurer.

In the first moment my heart skipped a beat and I went to the place of seeing these cards as ‘oracles’ announcing what’s in store for me, and:

‘YES! This means he’s there, he’s coming, the man in my life and his love, the hero of my longings. Oh he’s gorgeous and outdoorsy, how beautiful! These cards are magic!’

But with a closer look I saw he was quite scruffy, like he doesn’t take care of himself. The look in his eyes, that look that was directed at the lens, so he was looking at me, that look was doubtful, impatient… maybe patronising. He looked bored and he did not invite me to confide in him, nor lean into him, as I do in my dreams.

He actually looked shut off, scarred without having attempted to heal…

In fact, he looked a lot like my most recent crush-went-lopsided and the heartbreak I’ve been healing: handsome with a good but hidden away heart, and: not very nice to me.

The question that came up for me in conversation with my partner in the process was that my present self may be focusing on something that is not right for me.

Maybe my desire for a loving partnership or a flourishing coaching practice needs a slight clean up, readjustment and refocus?

The reflection card

open up

open up

On the other hand, the reflection I was given said the word… ‘OPTIMIST’.
And yes, my current self is very aware that she is overwhelmed with opportunity, impatience, fear and she does get herself entangled in perspectives that don’t really feel all that great.
She is also, still, a passionate optimist.

‘There is always a silver lining in any cloud.’

This is still true to me, 20 years onwards from that vibrant young girl at the lake.

My Potential Me

A new photo swap, a new partner swap, a new reflection card swap. Here I was looking at invitations to my ‘Potential Me’.

Of the extremely diverse range of portraits available in the ‘Faces’ kit, the photo I was given, through no manipulation other than chance, was that of a young woman.
There was brightness in the picture. She is delightful, plain, fresh, authentic, not wearing any make-up. She has little drops or rays painted under her eyes, a nose piercing and big earring hoops; which makes her look a little hippie, or eccentric, and they add colour and uniqueness to her pure appearance.

She’s pretty, and she’s looking straight at the camera; she’s fierce, calmly confidently fierce. She is approachable, balanced, loving and focused. I realized that she looked a lot like the young woman I had chosen for my past self.

Oh the message to me was so clear!

Back then I knew who I was and how I wanted to be. Deep down I still know when I look forward.

What if I have just gotten a bit off track in my present?
What if the vision I hold for myself  feels heavy, difficult and doubtful at the moment because maybe I am focussing on the wrong thing, or looking at the right thing through a dirty lens?

My ‘potential me’ is basically my pure me: the girl I like to remember, the woman I see in myself. She is free spirited, happy-go-lucky, fierce and focused, beautiful and compelling. She has dreams, and she believes in them.

The reflection card I was handed for my Potential Me said ‘Dreamer’.

Connecting the dots.

As I connected the dots all the way back to that quite branding event so many years ago (which I only remembered at the very end of this process), and as I noticed that twinge inside me that wanted to defend myself and justify ‘dreaming’ once again upon receiving that very ‘Dreamer’ card, the very obvious became clear:

if others see me as a dreamer
it is because that is what I put out there.

More importantly: it is not a bad thing! Actually, when people who encourage growth and authenticity tell me that I am a dreamer, they say so with an excited spark in their eyes.

It is a powerful thing!

Dreaming is a fuel that has gotten me to everyday delights and surprising places so far, and I know it will keep fuelling me if I let it!

Dreamer

Dreamer! Do your thing, believe in yourself.

To the dreamer within I say: ‘Thank you’.

To my doubts I say: ‘Bury your weapons’, it is time.

The woman within my potential I whisper: ‘Put down that resistance that holds you back and dulls your spark. Do your thing, believe in yourself.’

Be alive.

To anyone having read this far I say: Travel! Travel the perspectives, and hold your own truth and potential precious – believe in what feels right.

Follow your heart, it somehow knows the way.

Connect the dots, and see your own stories unfold.

Love,

Laura x

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‘Trust in something (…), because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even if it leads you off the well worn path… and that will make all the difference.’

– Steve Jobs

Live or endure? Is this as far as I’ll go or will I push on some more?

I don’t know about you, but pretty much every day, in one way or another, I am reminded that life is so short. and life is so precious… And with these overused ‘slapstick’ reminders, I am reminded that in this life, we have all these options.

They kinda keep summing up to: live it or endure it.


Live or endure?

It's your path and yours alone, OWN IT!

It’s your path and yours alone, OWN IT!

By ‘living’ I mean living on personal purpose and the gratification of knowing that I am doing my work and that the lessons and success I reap are mine to celebrate, no matter how big or small.

‘Enduring’, well, isn’t that dodging what comes, suffering circumstances, going through pre-set motions without questioning them – or questioning them from the backseat and staying aboard anyway… instead of grabbing the driver’s seat of your own vehicle?
And then there’s the in-between place, in which we keep going from living to enduring and back again.
 

What will you choose?

And I was reminded just this morning and once again that one of the harshest of all options is choosing to
stay where you are‘ or ‘step into the world of opportunity that awaits‘,
accept that ‘this is it‘ or ‘join the crowd of those who make things happen.’
 
Harsh, because choices like those will always mean taking a stand for yourself, for change, and committing to something.

If where you are is perfectly fine for you, then I will leave you your peace and salute you.

If, however, like in me, there is even
the tiniest spark in you, the softest voice, the gentlest of pulls or even a loud lion roar
suggesting that maybe, MAYBE there is more to the horizon for you,
that maybe, MAYBE you are done with accepting a status quo ‘just because’
and that maybe, oh MAYBE you could step into a grander version of yourself,
then by the love of god or whichever divinity or power you believe in, I encourage you to keep taking the steps.
 

Some steps are easy, many are hard as hell.

And once we start walking, they will keep positioning themselves onto our paths… and every time we get to a roadblock we get to ask ourselves again:
‘Is this as far as I will go?
or will I be that badass and push on some more?’
 
Inner courage and strength are primal and the path is ours to walk. Like Rumi said ‘No one can walk it for you, but others can walk it with you.’
We can help each other, witness each other’s challenges, we can cheer each other on in hard times and celebrate making it through another roadblock and to another milestone.

 


Join the tribe!

We’re putting this morning event on 1 December together for you personally, and also for you as a member of a community.

And we aim for it to be light and fun in all its meaningfulness 🙂
More information and registration here: Highway to the High Dream

It’s loneliness and depression season, too.

T’is the season to be holly jolly, t’is the season to be hygge and comfy, t’is the season to cuddle up and be grateful, t’is the season for togetherness, t’is the season for family and friends… and because t’is that season in our day and age, t’is also the season in which our chronic stress and fatigue and overwhelm seem to get an extra load, and t’turns into the season of more busy than ever for so many of us. And while what I am about to write is no news, it may suggest even more weight to stress levels.

Friends, I’m asking for us to take time to take time to check up on each other – for in the midst of the hustle and bustle of glühwine, present-buying, house cleaning, project finishing, trip planning and grocery shopping, I am asking for us to STOP and make some house calls, too.


Two facebook posts that reflected my current state of emotions prompted me to write this.

One reminded me today that it is the season of depression and suicide, too.

It's depression and suicide season. Please be sure to check on people.

It’s depression and suicide season. Please be sure to check on people.

A quick wiki search to remind us on SAD: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, and seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.”

This post came me to on a particularly gloomy day, so it hit a nerve.

Yes, it is Winter, it is dark and cold where I am, it is Christmas with all the above-mentioned stressors and exciters and more… and it is also Sunday as I write. A beautiful day to retreat and cocoon, to spend time with family; a sacred day for many of us, when we get to focus on the people closest to us.

The flip side of Sunday is one I personally know well; the Sunday blues, which can be harshest for those of us who live alone. Even with a life and a phone-list full of people who love us and care for us, on family-cocooning days, those people who love us will be with their family, busy and cocooning. And as supportive as loving whatsapp messages are intended, they don’t replace actual presence or hugs.

And then there was this post on elephant journal, an online journal I follow… and it made me cry.

All I Want for Christmas is my Someone.

sometimes she wondered if there'd ever be anyone who would step in because they didn't want her to keep doing it all on her own.

sometimes she wondered if there’d ever be anyone who would step in because they didn’t want her to keep doing it all on her own.

“It’s those qualities and aspects of life that I’ve never experienced, and that always seem to remain just out of reach, that would truly make my heart sing. What I want is to feel the deliciousness of having someone have my back, someone to be that partner for me, someone I know I don’t even need to call in order for them to be there in the moments I need them the most.”

Yes, these could be my words.

Sometimes we just want someone to be there without having to ask anyone to be there… because, frankly, in the moments when we really need someone we often don’t even know WHO to ask.

I also think we forget that asking for help, or sheer presence, takes a lot of energy in itself – for in the days of chronic busy and priority setting, being given lists of very understandable and totally accepted reasons as to why someone has no time to be there for you is sometimes even more painful than the initial loneliness – and not asking in the first place reduces the risk of that additional setback.

Yes, ‘fear of failure has killed more dreams than failure itself ever will‘, of course, and on stronger days we will reach out and sometimes, often, someone will show up in the moment… but on the darker days it can just be about getting through them, and being told ‘I can’t be there for you but feel hugged’ hurts more than it helps. Which shouldn’t stop us from writing it, of course, we know the intention comes from love.

What struck my nerve more than the article itself, which warmed my heart as it is always comforting to read that maybe I’m not the only one, was a comment that someone posted below which said something along the lines of ‘We need to practice more self love‘.

And this is something we keep hearing, heck, I say it! As a coach, I even make it a purpose to work with people to practice self love… yet something in that comment on that article on the day that is today enraged me. It just sounded like another one of those smug comments we get a lot when we open up to our own vulnerability.

‘Stop waiting for ‘other’ to feel complete, learn to love yourself and you’ll never be alone.’

YES! Yes to that, AND… sometimes, even those of us who have learned to bathe in self-love, all we really want is to be seen without having to show.

We all crave human connection, it is how we are built, we are social creatures who have been taught to be self-sufficient and to stand strong.

‘Be the badass, you can do it!’. YES, yes I can, and I need a hug.

Let us remember to acknowledge that human connection and touch is actually necessary for survival (one of many google finds on the topic: Eight reasons why we need human touch more than ever ).

Even the most self-loving and happy-go-lucky among us won’t survive on our own hugs alone.

 

Everybody is responsible for their own happiness and survival, for sure. And we each have our own homework to do on and for ourselves, I’ll always hold that belief.

And I know there is no way we can save everyone.

I think what I am suggesting is for us to be extra vigilant…

Just look for the unsaid in a text message. We know the people in our lives, we know what they struggle with, we know who struggles with loneliness… despite busy lives and own struggles, let’s be aware. Maybe give each other the luxury of being a priority. Maybe give each other the surprise of being there without having been reached out to.

Maybe we can make a tiny adjustment to our busy days to leave enough space and time to be there for each other, even, or especially, spontaneously.

After all, t’tis the season to be jolly and together.

Let’s be in it together!

Love xxo

‘Be in the moment’, and let go – NOW

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.

Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
― Eckhart Tolle, THE POWER OF NOW


Ha! It is so smug and almost slapstick to say to ‘be in the moment’, ‘live in the now’… and I always thought being in the moment was ‘merely‘ about cherishing what is when it is, to be present as per Tolle’s quote above, to let go of those anxieties for the future and hurts from the past.

In the past three months I have been travelling, and one of the many things I am learning as a self-named collector of moments is that it is so important to live IN the moment because sometimes moments accumulate so quickly that it is sheer impossible to process them all later! So be in the moment if you want to somehow ‘save it’. I say ‘save it’, because I have taken to writing about what is meaningful to me, in an attempt to hold it safe and in honour.

Overwhelmed by moments

Granted, this is a state I find myself in a lot and, granted, overwhelm often accompanies transformative journeys, but during the two two months I spent in India it was amplified – it was as if someone had turned the volume up and I couldn’t find earplugs! Amazing things kept happening, tiny gestures and crazy synchronicities that blew my mind in both subtle and fantastic ways, literally.
And everyone I met seemed to agree:
the spiritual and energetic resonance is so strong and so clear in India that you feel your emotions rather fiercely.
The ups and the downs hit from one moment to the next, constantly. I have gone from heartbroken tears to belly laughs to life-changing inspiration to deep down dark inner caves and back so often that I had to teach myself that there is no point in dwelling on or deciding from any of them as they are bound to be overruled very soon – and that I would miss out on what’s next if I don’t just flow with them all. The other thing is that anything but going with the flow became exhausting.
I kept being reminded of what a lady said to me within my very first hours in India ever, in 2014. Our flights were delayed, we shared a table at the only coffee shop in Mumbai’s domestic airport terminal, she was a student in Indian medicine and told me
‘The energy here is so clear that karma moves fast. You’ll feel the effects of whatever you put out there very quickly.’
Her words kept proving her right. To the point that I stopped being surprised when things like this happened: I set the intention one day to get cracking on facilitating leadership trainings – and was asked three days later by the director of an NGO whom I’d only just met to do just that: lead a team building workshop for her staff the very next day.

An attempt to process moments: stay.

It is an acclaimed leadership skill, that of ‘staying’ after acting. As is Savasana in yoga, the pose in which we are still, to catch our breath and let things settle.
So after six weeks on a yoga training, in ashrams and rickshawing around Bangalore, to put it in a tiny nutshell, I found myself ‘staying’ in Pondicherry for 10 days. I had not intentionally chosen Pondicherry, it just happened to be where I was when I felt saturated.
My intentions was simple: to do my yoga practice daily and to write, ‘save my moments’. Just that!

Moments will keep fleeting by

I failed at staying. Why? Because things kept happening, even in my ‘out’ time.
I was being given a Ganesha figurine by my airbnb host as a gift, my other airbnb host gave me a spontaneous pendulum reading and arranged for a meditation master to ‘sit with me’ to help me ‘stay’, the waiters at the restaurant I went to for my dinner every night surprised me with a desert on the house and a dear handwritten ‘thank you’ note at my last luncheon… in a nutshell, I kept being overwhelmed by more things to be grateful for, yet more events to ‘process’.

Retreating from the moment

I related it to that special energy of The India – and the time came to leave, ‘to geographically remove myself’, to catch my breath and write about it all from a safe distance. So I packed my big backpack and so many scribbles of notes and snippets of memories I intended to write down properly.
Not a chance, my next destinations took hold of me in different, just as beautiful ways…
Days and events go on, feelings keep feeling, learnings, appreciation, more questions… all ongoing ongoing ongoing!

So my new Eureka on living in the now is actually a practice of letting go.

Live in the now because you can’t ever really honour it later, and you’ll just end up schlepping the ‘to do list’ of saving the memory into your next NOWs…

Whatever moment you want to capture, whatever learning you want to process, whatever event you want to journal about, whatever it is you do to ‘keep experiences safe’… do it right now! N O W!
Not tomorrow, not afterwards and definitely not during emergency Savasana in Pondicherry, Reunion or Dubai… time keeps moving, things keep happening; take in what you can, let go of the rest.
Oh there will be memories and transformative clicks that will arise in hindsight… but the true honouring has to happen in the moment.

What an exercize of seizing and letting go at the same time.

Now. Now. Now!

'Happiness is within, it cannot be without.' - Swami Sivananda

‘Realize deeply that the present moment is all we’ll ever have’
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now


if you want to be happy, then be happy

I came across this one and it pretty much sums it up.
Picture Credit goes to POSITIVE OUTLOOKS BLOG.

make your choices

if you want to be happy, be happy.

If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose.

There are no two ways about it.

I keep running into that wall myself, of waiting-and-seeing and hoping and expecting and wishing… and it just doesn’t work. Those are all very passive stances.

If you want to be happy, you must TAKE OWNERSHIP!

If you want to have a good day, work towards MAKING it a good day!
If you want to get a project done, you have got to WORK ON IT.
If you want to be happy, you have just got to open your mind, thoughts and actions to being happy – appreciate what is around you, let yourself be delighted, glorify what makes you smile and yes, ‘pay it forward’.
And let the rest blur away, consciously choose what you pay attention to.

Make the choice, set the intention, get up and live on purpose…

– note to self as much as anyone x