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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.’
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.
‘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.’