When I was growing up, I imagined a life for myself. At the age of 6 this life was becoming a veterinarian and living on a giant farm filled with rescue animals. I can’t say this isn’t still a semi- dream of mine, but I quickly realized when I was 9 and fell in love with my very first dog of my own that I didn’t have what it took to be a vet (sensitive empath alert!) so it was around that time I decided I’d become a chef. I cooked meals for my family, made them enter the dining room like a restaurant and handed them menus while I went and got their plates ready. It was then again, when I was 14 that I decided I most definitely would not be a chef, but enjoy cooking for my family and instead become a marine biologist.
My fascination and obsession with dolphins since I was 3 when I got my stuffed animal dolphin was a real thing and this seemed like the perfect fit. That dream life lasted about a year until I realized my obsession with dolphins rivaled an equally strong terror of sharks. Not happening. And so somewhere around 16 I thought I might have a serious chance at playing volleyball long term, especially after continuing to play and come out of my debilitating arthritis diagnosis the year before. I seriously thought I could be the next Kerri Walsh. That faded though when I found my love of graphic design and writing. I decided then around 18 that my strongest dream life (meaning potential for reality) would be as a magazine editor (of course preferably, in travel or food industries!)
I pursued this intently in high school and then throughout college. But in college I learned more about myself (go figure!) and not only my love for the work I was doing but the WHY that drove it. As I worked in disability advocacy, I again began to question the current dream for an alternate reality. What would my life look like if…? Only often it was too scary to think of going off the path I had steadfastly set for myself. So for a long while I didn’t.
Fast forward, discovering new ways to fuel my body and my drive. An education in nutritional and life coaching, a yoga teacher training, moving across the country, finding myself a million times over and being brave enough to own the challenges along the way. I work as a health coach, yoga teacher, and writer. I never dreamed any of this for myself (well, except for the writer part. I did mention that right?)
My creativity allowed me all those years to imagine any of these possibilities for myself. My intuition told me that I could make them a reality, until it spoke louder about something more aligned. This is how we find who we are. The constant exploring, questioning, experimenting, moving on (or not), and taking what we value most, out along the way.
There’s one thing I know though, quite well. When I think about the enjoyment of life, it has very little to do with the exact details I might have dreamed of and instead everything to do with the nuances in between. The cracks, in the glass or the stained spots in the ceramic. In Japanese culture there is a deeply ingrained concept of the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all. It is the wabi sabi, seeing the perfect in the imperfect. The beauty in what is most real. Mostly, it’s the small things that really and truly bring me unfounded, child-like joy. The essence of my soul that is still rooted as a child. The stardust in each part of those “dreams” that still remains intact within me today.
It’s being barefoot on wet sand, running through a sprinkler, jumping in lakes, kissing in the forest, laughing until I cry, crying over sunsets, being moved by music, hearing the story’s of other’s alchemy, learning different languages, traveling to new countries, playing with animals, nurturing loved ones and supporting the growth of other people. It is the small moments of bliss that make my life (and probably yours too) a dream. No I never imagined or dreamed that I would be a health coach. But I say without reservation, that when I see the qualities of all my dreams in my current life I know that what I have created for myself is entirely a dream. Because that’s just it, we are compelled to create the life we dreamed of. Which doesn’t mean it’s perfect (e.g. wabi sabi) but it does mean that we see ourselves more clearly in it. That we find the same joy in it that we imagined we would.
My life doesn’t look how I dreamed it would, and there are reasons for this. I could have never dreamed the way my life actually is, instead I had to trust that what would show up for me in my life would be the result of my incessant exploration and curiosity. I say to go after your dreams, but before doing that, actually get to know whether your dreams align with you. Meaning, is your dream actually yours to claim or something someone else planted for you. This can be okay too, as long as it actually fits into your true desire for yourself. If not, time to reevaluate what matters most to you.
When we look at creating a life we not only love to live, but one we feel deeply connected to (purpose driven) we have to first feel connected to ourselves. Which we often at different times, will ebb and flow out of that strength in connection. It’s just a part of the process. But getting real with yourself about what you value, desire and literally dream for yourself requires deep understanding of you as a person. Your WHY behind what drives you and the values you hope to pillar your life on. Then with these, you may take bits and parts of your various life dreams over the span of your existence and may be able to see where the small dreams kind of already exist or where you want to implement them.
Keeping in mind, that the most important elements of creating the life you love, are the small things, the moments that bring you that child-like joy. The enthusiasm and excitement of riding your first bike. Highlighting and prioritizing this guarantees the initiation of loving, adoring and being enamored with your life. Only you know those specific things for you, and how they now fit into the person you’ve become or are continuing to evolve into. Because honestly, we never do stop reinventing our life. I said when I was 6 I wanted to be a vet right?
So when I introduce myself to people, I never say, “I am a health coach,” because I am so much more than that. And my life is so much more than that (insert: relationships, writing, yoga, animals, nature, laughter, joy, travel). But aside from that, I am actually not my work. I am however a compilation of characteristics and qualities of all the dreams I had of becoming a “________”. And so, I am my dreams. I am a manifestation of all my desires and goals combined and my life reflects the growth and process of that learning. My life is my dream, because I created with all these parts of myself and will continue to be as I evolve as I am even more.