What’s Wrong With This Top Blog Dream Picture?

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Latest posts by Catherine Hughes (see all)

Top Blog Dream:Water Tower Leaning

This week in the land of working the top blog dream I began to push back at my fellow dreamers to create more pages on 8 Women Dream about them and their dream subject.

There are 3 reasons for making them hate me doing this:

1. Slicing your blog up into niche pages is a smart SEO strategy and it helps the readers understand what is happening on this website.

2. Niche pages help bloggers who “forget” to stick with their dream subject when writing their posts.  With niche pages the reader can easily find the dream subject they specifically came looking for on 8 Women Dream.  Blogging off topic is an all-to-common problem with bloggers.  As editor I can slap them hard about this, but I also want 8 Women Dream to be transparent so that you can see the mistakes dreamers make with their dreams.

Bloggers can be under the impression that people don’t want to hear about the same subject every week, when quite the opposite is true.  You should see the emails I get when a blogger isn’t writing about their specific dream.  Yes, you notice and are very vocal with your disappointment.  I think when dream bloggers go “off topic” it’s because they are ignoring their dream.  They hope no one will notice. Ask a blogger to do niche pages and suddenly they see how much they’ve been ignoring their dream  “off topic” they’ve been.

3. It trains me to ask for help, because being the editor-in-chief-web-master-Internet-marketing-guru-blogger for this site is a daunting, up-at-dawn everyday, time-consuming task that I do need help with.  I tend to choose “to do everything myself,” and while this may teach me a TON about running a successful website, it doesn’t leave me with much time to take care of myself.

This is how the dream process is.

We go along doing things one way until one morning we wake up and realize that we need to make some changes in our dream plan to move ourselves up to the next level of dreaming.
Top Blog Dream: Lisa's 100 Extra Ordinary Women Challenge

Each week on Monday nights, Lisa Powell Graham of 8 Women Dream has been hosting her weekly call-in series “100 Extra Ordinary Days” where each participant is asked to accomplish, or change something about themselves in 100 days.

Lisa has featured a variety of guests for the call-ins, who range from well-known nutritionists to Oprah-featured money gurus, and some amazing spiritual teachers sprinkled in-between.  Every Monday night I sit in on these calls as support for Lisa and her dreams, and because, I believe that you have to create a support group to make your dreams come true.

I’ve been working on a private issue in my 100-Day-Challenge, so Monday night when money coach Meadow DeVor shared her tips on dealing with money I was ready to just sit there and listen.

I hadn’t planned on being the topic of conversation, since money issues isn’t a part of my chosen dream here on 8 Women Dream, or at least I thought it wasn’t.  Everything I own is paid in full, I budget and deal in cash, and I don’t run up any credit-card bills, but I do (apparently) have some feelings about what the last 5 years have been like in riding the global financial tsunami.

I mean, who doesn’t . . . right?

Top Blog Dream: Meadow De VorSo I asked Meadow if money issues can stem from messages from adults given to us when we were young children.

Meadow would have none of that kind of talk from me — she pushed back saying that current money issues deal with our self-worth right now in this present moment in time, regardless of what happened to us way back “when.”


While I agree with her that change starts where we are right now, and blaming anyone else for our lives is futile, but (I think), just like dreaming, many answers to mapping our future DO lie within our childhood memories.

When I was going through my divorce and experiencing a great deal of anger and resentment, I searched for a therapist to help me come to terms with what had happened, and help me manage my new life as a single mom.  He was fabulous to say the least, and we spent time looking at my past so that I could recognize negative relationship patterns and how not to repeat them.

This type of therapy wasn’t about placing blame.  It was about looking at habits I may have picked up through experiences back when I was too young to tell myself anything different about what I was experiencing.  It’s like a part of our soul gets stuck, but we are blind to it — like a stuck right rear tire spinning over and over in the same sand.

Once I understand why I am doing something then it is easy for me to move beyond the tire-stuck-in-sand issue, and I am free not to repeat the same pattern ever again.

If I were to follow Meadow’s advice from the call and write a letter to money, I would look at it the way I tell all of you to explore your past to find your dream.

1. What do you remember about money (in dreaming it’s what you loved doing) from age 0 – 8?

In my house we had to ask for money, my mother managed it, and my brother was great at saving it (because that is what my mother always told me: “Your brother is great at saving money.”)  Somehow he had the magic touch and I didn’t (it didn’t matter that I was 4 and he was 7).  I liked sharing my piggy bank with my friends and making up a plan for a way to spend it where all of us got what we wanted. I loved money when I was this age. I especially liked small change.

My father used to lose change under his leather recliner in the living room. He’d often whisper to me to peak under his chair when my brother wasn’t looking. I’d sneak around behind him as he laid back happily in his dad chair and run my small fingers under the soft underbelly of this favorite chair and scoop up a big handful of quarters. He’d smell of aftershave and tooth paste and I’d always hug him for the surprise. To this day I still love the smell of leather.  Looking back I think he planted the money just for me.  We were close that way.  I still miss him.

2. What do you remember about money (in dreaming it’s what you loved doing) from age 8 – 16?Top Blog Dream: My living room growing up

I don’t remember thinking about money a lot during these years.  My mother was a fabulous seamstress and she made me the most amazing one-of-a-kind clothes.

I loved my clothes.  I loved by bedroom, my ballet classes, ice skating, and my ice skates.  Even though we were a middle-class family, I felt rich, safe, happy, and cared for.

My parents took my brother and me traveling every summer and I’ve seen places people rarely get to see in their lifetime.

I didn’t like school once I entered middle school, but this was because my best friend Deanna moved away to Texas.  I never really thought about money, because it felt like I didn’t need it in my perfect life.  Who needs money when you feel so loved?

3. What do you remember about money (in dreaming it’s what you loved doing) from age 16 – 24?

Money can’t buy life.  My father died from esophageal cancer when I was 18 and I remember how much was spent on his medical expenses.  You could have offered me all the money in the world and I would have turned it down for just one more day with my dad.  Money became this hassle-thing between paying for college, working, and receiving social security.  I hated money.  No surprise. I hated everyone after my father died.

Money seemed like one royal pain in the ass . . . until I met my college boyfriend who made great money.  He won me over by never giving up on asking me out.  He was a kind person who loved to travel as much as I did, so I’d like to say the relationship wasn’t  about the fact that he had money, but after losing my dad, the fact that he was good with money and had a nice amount of it made me feel safe — like my dad was still around dropping change for me under his leather chair.

4. What do you remember about money (in dreaming it’s what you loved doing) from age 24 – 32?

The person who makes the most money in a relationship has the most power.  Money is more important than what I want to give it credit for during this time in my life.  Money took me to the Olympics, Hawaii, The World’s Fair, Canada, Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, white-water rafting, Monterrey, Santa Barbara, the gold country, back to college for real estate, wedding expenses, a honeymoon, a new car, a house, and more.

Money did not prevent the break-up of my college relationship, nor my marriage.  Even divorce costs money.  Never marry anyone who isn’t half-way decent with money, or willing to learn how to save it.  I learned that it’s great to make your own money and not have to share it with anyone, well, except to take my son traveling and buy him adorable clothes.

5. What do you remember about money (in dreaming it’s what you loved doing) from age 32 – 40?

I loved making the best money of my life, working a job I loved with people who inspired me.I loved using money to travel to see my friend Elisabet on the weekends and share my love of the Pacific ocean with my son.  I bought a new vehicle and paid it off on my own.  I dated, spent my money how I wished and began setting money aside to accomplish some major goals.

My divorce finalized and I was on my own.  The buck, quite literally stopped with me.  But I did begin to notice that even though I was making good money — friends and family that were married and drawing on two incomes were moving forward in their financial goals at a faster clip than I was. I often resented their lack of understanding what it’s like to live on one income. Married people bugged me.

6. What do you remember about money (in dreaming it’s what you loved doing) from age 40 – until now?

I saw money leave the lives of good friends like wildfire through a virgin forest on a windy summer day.  I saw the collapse of not one, but two industries I loved. I watched people I cared for lose everything including their careers with no chance of making back what they spent a lifetime creating.  An industry they loved just vanished overnight and was replaced by people willing to make money knocking on doors and kicking people out of their homes, or collecting their cars in the middle of the night.

I fought to survive the tsunami that swept over those around me and threatened my own life more than once.  We all came together to survive and there were nights I went to bed without dinner so that food could be shared among those who desperately needed it. My thyroid disease suffered.  I suffered.  We all suffered.  I tried to keep it all from my son.  I’m pretty creative that way, but sometimes the truth around us forced me to have many long conversations sitting on his bed.  I hated what life had become. It felt like the times after my father died.

But instead of staring at all the misery around me, I decided to start 8 Women Dream.  In the middle of that crazy period of time I thought, “There has to be more than this — more than just the money.”

So I went on a personal search to take a chance on “do what you love and the money will follow.”

And I promised I would show the world (especially women) that they can do the same.

It’s working, but not to the degree that I would like. It feels like when I was an itty-bitty girl and I used to see all the money in my brother’s wallet (which he kept hidden in the middle of a novel that he had hollowed out just the size of that wallet) with me shaking the last quarter out of my piggy bank because I had just shared my savings with my friends so that we could have Popsicles. He’d smirk at me like I was an idiot.

And that is the feeling that I want to go away.

I was just a small child for God’s sake.

Now?  Now I want my bigger dream to come true and this bigger dream needs an infusion of cash. But I need to find a different way of looking at what I am thinking about cash and this dream of mine. I guess Meadow made me realize that.  Dammit! I hate it when another redhead is right.

And apparently the money is not coming from that old, black piggy bank.

Is this where Meadow’s advice comes in?

Or does the universe have other plans? I’ll keep you posted on this top blog dream of mine.