“I never dream for myself.”
Hearing someone tell her this in a recent conversation really stuck with a friend of mine. It’s how the two of us came to be talking about dreaming big…
I didn’t know the woman who spoke these words but they broke my heart, nonetheless. Most likely since I can relate. I think many of us can relate to this anonymous woman, but we don’t talk about it openly.
Friend: Hey, Diane how are you?
Me: Oh, great! Just getting some lunch stuff and thinking about how I can get on Saturday Night Live.
Conversations just don’t go this way, do they? If they do, let me know because I want to shop at your Kroger! (Being an SNL cast member actually was my childhood dream, second only to being an Olympic gold medalist, a la Mary Lou Retton. Alas, all I had was her hair.)
The reason its so fun to ask children what they want to be when they grow up, is because THEY KNOW NO LIMITS. Seen or or unseen – everything is available. Children are not bothered by logic, reason or even the laws of physics. This, by the way, is also why it’s so fun to ask them how the banking system works or how to bake a cake.
As we grow in our knowledge, skills and abilities, we unfortunately take on a heaping dose of limitations as well.
I can’t remember the exact time I realized I was not going to be a cast member on SNL, but I wouldn’t doubt if it coincided with very well-meaninged people beginning to answer the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question for me.
Carefully placing dreams in a separate, “that’s nice” category and slowly introducing a new “makes sense, it’s reasonable” category.
So when my friend, a doer of good and seer of dreams, heard HER friend quietly say “I never dream for myself,” she asked me to make a little something to remind her to do just that.
This is how I came to have dreams on my mind.
I’ve maintained my technique of reading the chapters as they speak to me. “See What Is Good” was just that chapter, and it had a lot to say about encouraging others and “being a noticer”. She shares this declaration:Today I will step back and let my loved ones do things their own way...in their own time...with their own flair. Today I will set back and let them be who they are. And perhaps when I do, I will see something I thought needed changing doesn't need changing at all. Perhaps I will see something courageously brave and beautiful that is worth protecting and nurturing. Perhaps I will finally see their true colors, and I will rejoice. -Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free LifeClick To Tweet
When speaking specifically about children, about a year ago on her blog, Rachel shared a wonderful story about talking to elementary school classrooms about her job. Here’s an exchange she shared. She asked the class, “What is your dream? Every single child had an answer. There were no hesitations.”
When do the hesitations start?
When did they start for you?
It’s along the same lines as securing your own oxygen mask before helping someone else secure theirs. We can model bravery, risk-taking and dream making for the little ones in our lives and I’m guessing they’ll learn more from watching us than they would hearing us tell them they can do anything they want.It becomes easier to support dreamers, preposterous idea-havers & star-reachers, when we allow ourselves the same freedom.Click To Tweet
Don’t worry, I am aware that not everyone will take enough physics to make it to the Space Station, just like not everyone has rhythm. I mean, I can’t even go underwater without plugging my nose.
But I didn’t need someone telling me I’d never be a good swimmer in order to realize that myself!
So friends, let’s do this. If any “new & frightening ideas” pop into your head this week, give it a minute.
Play the “what if” game just a little while longer.
Share it with a friend.
ENJOY THE DREAM BEFORE YOUR ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF!
Then go ask a five year old how to make a cake.