When’s the right time for your dream?
I spent a couple precious days with my 83-year-old mother helping her with a marketing plan for her self-published Catholic children’s book. She published it at 76 years old. She wrote the book in her late 20’s, but put it away until her 70s (when all nine children were gone!) My mother didn’t know how to merge two Word documents together, yet she pitched to publishing companies, worked with a self-publisher, researched and found an illustrator in Canada, and did numerous marketing activities on her own! She went to craft fairs, stopped in at Catholic bookstores, collected testimonials, and sent postcards to relatives. She forged her path, overcoming numerous hurdles…in her 70s! She did all of this almost 50 years after writing the book. She waited…until she had the time and energy to make her book come true. She found her right time.
I also spoke recently to someone who is working on a memoir. She’s been working on it for 10 years and really focused on it for the past year. She was almost to the point of looking for a publisher when events made it necessary to put the book on the back burner. She is grieving the loss of completion and momentum, but knows she is doing what is right for her family and believes the choice will give her more energy and optimism. She will keep taking baby steps instead of the planned leaps and bounds. She is finding her right time.
A client of mine had a dream of making movies. He kept it on the back burner…until he found out he had ALS. He made a short film to capture some of his life and how much he loved his wife and children. He wanted his children to see him playing basketball, joking around and being his full self. I remember sitting in the movie house as we watched his short film. I could have been sad that he wouldn’t be able to make more movies, and I was. But more so, I was rejoicing that he made his dream come true. He could have given up. He didn’t. He made a film, with an amazing purpose. Maybe his dream was planted for exactly that – a memory for his children. He waited until he had real energy and momentum. He found his right time.
zAmya Theater Project, the homeless theater project I founded in 2004, is celebrating 15 years. But it too, didn’t happen until 8 years after another idea I had to support people experiencing homelessness gained no traction. At the right time, the right dream came true.
Why do I share all these stories?
It’s been rumbling around in my head…when is the right time for our dreams to come true? How do we know? Should we push, push and make them happen, or should we follow our energy, our passion, our flow of time and resources?
I got thinking that perhaps our job is to stay present to what is giving us energy (spiritual, financial, emotional, physical) in a phase, a month, a week, a moment. What is really most important in the present time for my life to be full, energetic, and a forward movement? Perhaps we should just sit, quiet for a moment with our dreams, and see what we hear when we are still.
Take a little time with a dream you have. Just sit. Be still. And listen.