Don’t wait for your dreams to make you happy

Aah life… it’s a funny thing. Will we ever understand it? I don’t think so. I sure don’t. These days I look at life as an ever-changing, ever-flowing energy which is always on the move.

As a result, my ideas and attitudes are always evolving, shifting and transmuting.

Like that word? Me too, though I’m not entirely sure what it means.

Anyhoo, I’ve been feeling pretty lucky and very blessed lately. I’ve been thinking about the hard times and the good times; the lows and the highs. I’ve been thinking about the future and reflecting on the past, and while I do this, life goes on, always moving, shifting, transforming.

Lo-de-MarcosI have dreams.

I want to publish a book which will connect with people in some way, I want to run retreats in Bali and Mexico and I’m thinking I might want to teach yoga or meditation some day.

My dream is moving very slowly, but it is moving, and I have no doubt that whatever the result of my future, all will be well.

Which means that all is well right now, even though all my dreams have not yet manifested or come into fruition.

It scares me that I might miss out on ‘now’ in pursuit of the future. I have been doing it my whole life and it is something I really want to unlearn.

Because life is life. It is unpredictable and un-graspable (yes I made that one up). I am a part of it but not in control of it.

There is nowhere to ‘arrive’ at but rather a series of moments to experience, which thread together in a way I will never fully be able to perceive.

My moments are limited. I don’t want to miss any through distraction, worry, projection or fear.

Also, just because I have a dream, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. We hear all sorts of advice about making your dreams come true, and for the most part I do believe that if you want something, go get it, do it, be it.

It’s just that as I get older I can see that only focusing on my dreams for the future detracts from this precious moment I am experiencing right now.

grounded

It’s a constant challenge to stay grounded in the here and now.

I don’t mean I am going to abandon my dreams and meditate under a tree forever. I am not the Buddha. I do feel that there is work for me to do down here in order to transform myself and others.

I just know that it starts right now, in this moment, and continues with my ability to roll with the waves of life as they happen, rather than trying to control their trajectory.

Not everyone can make their dreams come true. Not everyone can have exactly what they want when they want it, and not everyone knows what will make them happy (I don’t). You may agree with that or disagree, but I believe that by being fully awake to this moment, anyone can experience the fullness of the flowing current of life, no matter what their external circumstances.

It requires commitment and dedication as well as the conscious action to ‘check in’ with the deepest, truest part of myself on a regular basis, lest I get lost in the noise of the outside world which always leaves me wanting. Being free of the desire for external fulfillment is not a goal I have achieved completely myself yet, but I’m practicing.

Because I know on a deep level that seeing my dreams through to fruition, while an important part of my journey here, is not the whole journey. I do not know what the future holds for me and therefore cannot place my happiness in the hands of a goal which may or may not happen.

I know that fulfillment exists here and now, by simply taking a moment to recognise that I am alive. To be grateful that I am part of this mysterious flow, that I get to experience the breeze on my skin and the breath in my lungs.

For we are one and the same, the breeze and I, always moving, ever-changing, and we have this one precious and glorious moment to dance together on earth. And if that isn’t enough to fill me with joy, then nothing else ever will be.

Sunrise

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Comments

Don’t wait for your dreams to make you happy — 27 Comments

    • Thanks Kim, that means a lot. I just know that the truth isn’t ‘out there’ it’s ‘in here’ and that making that journey toward it is the most courageous (and messy and painful and rewarding) one we will make! Xxx

  1. You are so right. We are only guaranteed THIS MOMENT in time. Dreams are lovely, and certainly worth working towards, but if we don’t appreciate now then what is the point?

    • Yes, it’s just a shift in dynamic from looking outward for fulfillment to looking inward and then co-creating with that truth we discover. I’ve searched so far and wide for fulfillment, and the only place I ever truly found it was within. We are not really taught in our cultures to seek within. It’s something we have to learn ourselves through trial and error! xxx

  2. I have such a hard time balancing achieving future goals/dreams and living in the here and now (not to mention not dwelling, too much, on the past). I love posts like this – very insightful!
    Emily recently posted..More Paris (Just Because)My Profile

    • Oh me too Emily, which is why I wrote this. I have really had to practice looking inward for answers and trusting that whatever will be, will be. Its just a slight shift in dynamic from worrying about the future (or the past), to doing our best to enjoy each day, trusting that the future will take care of itself because it always has.

  3. “It scares me that I might miss out on ‘now’ in pursuit of the future. I have been doing it my whole life and it is something I really want to unlearn.”

    I love this, Sarah, it’s one of my biggest personal issues. I’m always thinking 2 steps ahead instead of living in the moment, thinking, what’s next and then what comes after that? There have been times in my life when I’ve been able to put those “next 2 steps” on the shelf for a few years at a time, when I was busy being a mommy and a classroom teacher, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to think about next steps.

    But not surprisingly as I get older (and older) those “next 2 steps” are back in full rage. Life is so fleeting and I’m ready to just live an obligation free life, so these days my head is more like 3 or 4 steps ahead. I wish I could slow it down and live in the moment a bit more, but then again I’m so filled with anticipation for our next chapter.

    All that to say, “I hear ya!”
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    • I’m excited for your next chapter Patti! If thinking ahead brings you joy, go for it! It’s great to have plans and dreams that excite you, and I have certainly had times in my life where I wasn’t happy where I was so I didn’t want to be in the moment!!! But now, I’m in a place where I am like, well, there are things I want to do, but in reality, it doesn’t get much better than this, and if I can’t be happy now, I’ll never be.
      I’ve always been a bit of a grasper, looking for the next thing, but now is a time I want to experience the fullness of each moment.
      I’ve really learned it is an inside job, as cliched as that sounds, and I have to work hard to keep my thoughts and feelings in line with my reality. I look forward to what the next chapter brings for you, and think that with your positive attitude and great sense of humour, you will enjoy the journey as well as the destination! xxx

  4. A lot of people don’t understand that the secret to achieving your dreams is appreciating your now. For a lot of us, if we really stop and look at what we’ve got and what is happening in this current moment, we will realize that our dreams have already come true. We just need to recognise them when we see them. xx
    Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted..My Online Vision BoardMy Profile

  5. These days I often think of the life lessons my Dad did his best to pass along. One was, ” you always have what you need, you just have to be aware enough to see it.” I truly enjoy finding what I thought was in the future, in the now. It’s like getting present…and I love presents!

  6. Love this: “there is nowhere to arrive at, but rather a series of moments to experience”. Holy cow, yes! So needing that reminder these days as I’ve been thinking WAY too much about my “end” goals (like making a location-independent income work and even more pressing: moving out of the City!) and I haven’t been appreciating the now as much. Your insight always helps me pause my current thinking and try out a fresh new perspective.
    Sam recently posted..Backpacking Point ReyesMy Profile

    • I know it can be tough when you are not quite where you want to be. But if we put in the internal work while working toward our dreams, they will be realised more fully as a truer reflection of who we are. Also, there is always something to learn right now which will put us in good stead for the future. If we are too busy running full steam ahead, we may miss something on our path which is trying to teach us something. Much love to you Sam!!!! xxxx P.S This advice is just as much for ME as it is anyone else! :-)

  7. Sarah, your words are so profound, I can’t wait to buy your first book. You have grown immensely as an author since I have been following you but what inspires and humbles me the most is your growth as a human. I devour your honest and wise words and stories of growth like those that you share are what excite me the most. Jill and I have a similar dream to run retreats in some beautiful part of this globe. We just finished a life coaching course and coaching others to grow beyond their comfort zones and limiting beliefs brings me more joy than anything else. Keep living your joy and sharing it with the world. Your gift is thoroughly appreciated. Matt

    • Thank you so much Matt, I SO appreciate your kind words of encouragement and support (more than you know). This journey is so wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing but at times it can feel like a lonely road when all you have to lean on for support is yourself (and your partner). Sometimes with the writing I feel like I am banging my head against a wall, but comments like yours really do make it worthwhile, thank you.
      The inner transformation I have experienced on this journey is the one which excites me most too.
      I am excited for you guys and have loved following your journey! You are wonderful people and I know you will participate in the full expression of your dreams with peace, love and wisdom.

  8. Sarah, when did you get so wise? It really seems like in the past six months you’ve been tapped into to secrets of the universe in a serious way! 😛

    I think your advice here is sound, no matter what step of our journey we are on. I always felt it was so important when we were preparing for our Big Trip to still enjoy the lives that we were currently living, even if it meant we left with a little less money saved or had to save for a little longer. I just never saw the point in scrimping and just getting by for a few years so we could FINALLY enjoy ourselves. It seems like so much of western society is set up in this way, but the truth is, all that is certain is the moment we are currently experiencing so we might as well make each of those count as best we can.
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..For Travel’s SakeMy Profile

    • Hi Steph, it’s amazing what happens when one starts ‘practicing’ meditation rather than reading about it and talking about it, haha! Yes, I always remember you saying that, and I agree. It wasn’t really the way I did it as I was so desperate for a change and so burnt out by my old life but as I have found my center I am attempting (‘attempting’ being the operative word) to stay present and aware of each moment and not get lost in desire, projection or worry. Thanks for your thoughts as always xxx

  9. You’re absolutely right. Your dreams are not a place where you arrive – they are alive and fluid. I had to remind myself that traveling was not just an end point – it wasn’t just about the travel itself, it was about the whole process. During our savings stage, I was living my dream. During the travel, I was living my dream. Now coming home and adjusting to a new way of life, I’m still living my dream. It’s not over. It’s actually just been a jumping off point. Thanks for sharing your dreams with us.
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