If life throws so many unexpected things at us – what’s the point in dreaming?
Very good question.
Like most people, I’ve had my share of life’s knocks. How I’ve reacted and dealt with them has formed the woman I am today. Have you ever looked back on your life and seen those events and moments that ended up being signposts for learning and major decisions? That moment where if you’d made a different choice – your life would have taken a very different path?
One moment for me happened when I was 21 or 22. The man I had been living with went to Sydney from Perth to start a new job and I was to follow a few weeks later. One morning I opened a letter from him that said he didn’t want me to follow him to Sydney. That’s the last I ever heard from him (and he had cleaned out our bank account and taken everything we owned with him – including all my books – big bummer).
When I finished reading the letter I lost it for a few minutes and then realised that I had – no money, no job, no place to live and hadn’t finished my degree (oh yeh, and the man I thought loved me had disappeared into the mist) – pretty much bottomed out. That’s scarey – really scarey. It all felt way too big to deal with – just too hard. Why me?
I remember so vividly – a question rose from inside me – what do you want to do ? Stay down and find it just too hard – or – get up and take some control of your life?
From that moment on I vowed that I’d always find a way to get off the floor – find ways to live the life I wanted and not the life other people might want for me – not to just float along. I found a strength and determination that I had never really tested. I drew on the deep love and support of my family and friends; finished my degree; and got on with living.
Over the years (more than 20) I’ve done a lot of work with communities and organisations in West Australia & Ireland. I’ve worked with them to reflect and plan their futures – to define their purpose, values and needs – and translate them into real and enduring actions. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with thousands of people on 2 continents. I get to see passion, purpose and power in action – in places and with people that society has given up on.
Life Dreaming first happened as a result of a woman nagging me to do them. I was working with communities and she wanted me to translate the tools I had developed into a series of workshops for women. I’ve never had a problem saying No – and that’s what I did. She obviously never took No for an answer – so a small battle of wills happened over a few months. Obviously this woman had been sent by a persistent universe because one day I said Yes. We had the first Life Dreaming in her home in 1992.
When I develop something I start with a kind of foraging process – exploring purpose and developing a name for it. I didn’t like the name Life Planning (too harsh) and I hadn’t heard of Life Coaching (it was 1991/2 and anyway, I dislike sporting analogies). So, the name Life Dreaming was born.
If you read my Home Sweet Home blog in Jan or clicked the lizbiz button at the top of the page – you’d see how my values inform everything I do. For Life Dreaming I wanted to create spaces of beauty and relaxation where women could reflect, laugh, plan and make some choices about their next steps – about making dreams a reality and believing they could do it.
I love sensual spaces – so there were gorgeous scents, music,food, drink and colour. The kinds of spaces we all deserve.
I did a few Life Dreamings in Oz and Ireland in the early 1990’s but never really focused my work in that area. I still wanted to do the reflecting, focusing and action work with organisations and communities that I loved – and that’s the story of another of my micro social businesses – Focused Solutions.
Anyway, it was later in 2006 when I was doing my own life dreaming that I decided to make Life Dreaming more real. It felt like the right time to create beautiful spaces for women to take the time to reflect on their lives, decide what was important right now – and – make some choices about the next steps. I went into solitude for 2 days and designed the Life Dreaming sessions.I took another 2 days to write the workbook. And with the major help of my bro Marc in Singapore we designed the logo and a gorgeous workbook that women will receive as one of their presents at a Life Dreaming session.
Isn’t the logo beautiful? I think it’s delicious and begins the Life Dreaming story. Marc & I collaborated on the design of Life Dreaming and my Focused Solutions visual identities and I’ll be writing the story of those creative collaborations in a blog real soon.
Does Life Dreaming work? Well, like anything, you need to want it to work and have a certain belief/faith in yourself. Three of my life dreamings for 2007/8 have either become a reality (the lizbiz blog) or are in the process (Home Sweet Home) or so close I can taste it (Life Dreaming itself).
Will all my dreams come true? Sorry Judy, you’re back in Kansas.
Life Dreamings paradox is that in choosing to have some influence over the choices you make about your life – you also can develop a talent for attracting and thriving on the unexpected. At the core is a clarity about what drives you and what you value – and that forms the lodestone that helps you make decisions amongst a plethora (or dearth) of options.
So, Life Dreaming will happen very soon on March 31 in Dublin. I’ve been doing what I call a ‘quiet PR’ online strategy – emailing information to all forms of media; friends; women’s groups and a few online sites. As a result I’m on national radio on Feb 17 (Roitin Ingles show – Newstalk radio Dublin at 10.45am if you want to listen in online) to talk about Life Dreaming.
I hope to run Life Dreaming in places where people I love live – Singapore, Perth, Boston – and where people I’ve never met want to gather and dream.
So, if life throws us so many unexpected things – what is the point in dreaming?
For me, life without the power to dream – and achieve some of the dreams – is a life with no power, passion, purpose, meaning or celebration. As this is the only life I remember, I want it to be full of fun, beauty, generosity, and sheer delight – and I want to have a part in shaping it. It’s that simple -and yeh, that complex.
If you want to know more about Life Dreaming either leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org