Monday, February 2, 2009

Big Dreams and Small Steps

Patience is not always a virtue I hold in abundance. Our society teaches us to crave instant gratification, the polar opposite of patience; however, not everything which can be obtained instantly is really worth getting. Sometimes life demands that we put in a little effort in order to obtain what it is we truly want and need. I don't believe life should always be a struggle but I do believe we benefit most from reaching our goals when we are consciously engaged in the process of moving toward them.

I read the following quote by Goethe recently and felt inspired by it. "What ever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." I couldn't agree more. I think the best (and possibly most challenging) way to follow up any bold move is through perseverance.

It's one thing to work up the courage to leap, but it's another thing to have the courage, patience and determination to stick with your choice after you've leapt rather than running back the way you came, shouting, "Never mind! I don't want to do this any more!" when challenges arise.

A really good network of supporters is not necessarily required to do this but it certainly is helpful. I am very fortunate to have such a strong group of friends and family who, though they may occasionally shrug their shoulders at me in wonder, never cease to lend my their support. My parents, younger brother, aunts and uncles, and grandmother rally behind me in ways they may not even be aware of. Letting me know how happy I sound during a conversation, or listening to me vent when I hit a moment of frustration gives me all the support I need to keep going out there chasing my dreams.

It's sometimes a scary place when you start to feel like you've lost your way and begin to have self-doubt. But as long as you don't let yourself slip too far down into that dark pit of doubt, only stay there for a short while, then pick yourself back up again and continue on in the direction you think is correct - even if you start again carrying some of that doubt but keep moving anyway - you are on the road to progress. That is what I keep reminding myself. Keep moving, even if slowly, in any direction I think I want to go. If I head down that path and discover it's not really where I want to go, then I've learned a valuable lesson and can then choose another direction with my new knowledge.

The universe itself will support us in our endeavors, if only we let it. It's an amazing thing to just open your eyes and increase your awareness to the abundance of support that awaits our acceptance. It may not always appear where and when we expect it. Sometimes support appears through the rays of the sun shining brightly against a canyon wall, or through the wet nose of a dog against your hand. Sometimes it comes through a stranger giving up his seat so you can rest, or the willingness of a withdrawn horse to open up just a little and let you make contact. Support awaits us every day, if only we are open to receive it. Once we are aware of this universal safety net that hangs always below us, there is nothing left to hold us back from taking that bold move we have always dreamed about so we can finally discover the genius and magic that lives inside of us.

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