Finding Happiness in Recommitting to a Lifelong Dream

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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Recommitting to a Lifelong Dream: Rising from the ashes quote

This morning, I had a two-hour pow-wow session with my former life coach, Jak, which culminated in me recommitting to a lifelong dream.

I have wanted to write books ever since I was a little girl. Readers of 8womendream have walked the path with me as I wrote the first draft of a spiritual memoir tentatively titled Burning Down the House. 

Since completing that draft, I became certified as a Martha Beck Life Coach and decided to take a slightly different angle with my book. Rather than focusing on the tragedies that caused me to “burn down” and then rise again, I wanted to focus on the positive strategies that helped me to be the phoenix rising, and to create a happy life.

I renamed the book Hot for Happiness and decided it would have more of a spiritual/coaching flavor, focused on personal development and strategies for living with more passion, pleasure and purpose.

Renaming the book also coincided with going public with my burlesque dancing career, and learning fire dancing. So it all seemed to be in synch, everything aligning so that I could produce this book that captures my spirit and enables me to help other women.

That was the whole point of writing the book in the first place. I committed years ago to telling my story someday if I thought it could help others. I first had to heal enough that I felt strong enough to share the traumas I’d been through.

Making It Happen

It’s easy to let all the busy-ness of our lives take priority sometimes over what we need to do to live our dreams. Yet what is more important than keeping commitments to ourselves that we’ve made from a heart space?

There are a thousand reasons we can give about why we are not living our dreams. Really this is making excuses.

Living our dreams takes stamina and courage. And we may stop and restart a thousand times. Eventually, if we just keep at it, we’re realize the dream.

Dreams come true when we are passionate and persistent. I work with other women to help them gain clarity on their visions and dreams, and to be in action on achieving them.

Right now I have to be my own coach as well, and to follow my own advice. It’s time to recommit to completing this book and getting it out there in the world.

Letting Go of the False Need for Perfection

Sometimes along the way to live my dreams one of the traps I fall into is wanting everything to be “perfect,” whatever that means. The truth is that on the earthly plane there really is no such thing.

This book is meant to help others heal and to share an inspiring story. When it’s done it can make a difference in people’s lives.

While it’s still just a draft on my laptop, it doesn’t have the power to change lives. At some point I have to complete it and get it out there in the world for it to have a positive impact.

I have a sense in my mind of what I want the book to be. Any artist knows that it takes time for our creations to match the visions in our minds.

It’s going to require recommitting, and being willing to release the book out there into the world at some point. I can always edit and tweak it, endlessly. Yet at some point I need to let it go and hand it over to readers.

Setting New Goals

Completing the book means I will need to get on a regular writing schedule again. I need to set new goals as well in terms of what I want to complete and by when.

I operate best under deadline pressure, so I’ll have to create some deadlines for myself. Without deadlines it’s too easy to let a task expand to fill as much time as you allow.

I think this coming year really needs to be the year that I finally complete the book and get it out there in the world. I was thinking 2013 would be the year, but my burlesque dancing career and travels took precedence for a while.

Now that we’re approaching the end of the year, I want to get focused on my new goals and to be in action regularly on writing the book again.

Envisioning the Outcome

Part of what helps me when moving forward with important goals is envisioning the outcome that I want. In this case, picturing a finished book, or book readings and book signings, in my meditations will help me to move forward with the creation process. I will also envision a woman thanking me for changing her life by sharing my story.

That is part of the promise that I made to myself too years ago. I decided that if telling my my story would help even one woman, it would be worth it.

I’ll  edit and write the rest of the story with that reader in mind. I know there is a woman out there whose life will be changed by this book. Hopefully there will be hundreds if not thousands, or someday even millions, who will be impacted by it.

One Has to Dream Big! 

I decided years ago as well that one of my life’s missions is to touch, move and inspire millions with my words. I feel so lucky to have the chance to live my mission weekly here at 8womendream.

Publishing the book will be enacting the same mission, in a different way.

I think it will bring me a sense of closure too since it is a dream that I have worked on for a few years now. There’s nothing like achieving a dream that has been in your heart for a long time.

I remember how ecstatic I was when I graduated from Harvard with my Master in Public Administration degree. I had worked tirelessly for year, shutting down the library night after night.

I couldn’t believe the level of joy that I felt on graduation day. I anticipate feeling equally joyous when I complete the book and get it out there in the world.

It’s time to realize this dream!

What Are Your Lifelong Dreams? 

Are there dreams that you have set aside, waiting for the perfect moment to start? Have you too let work or family or just the flow of life in general take precedence over dreams that you hold in your heart?

Is there a dream you could resurrect this week by taking even one small action step? What could you activate by setting some new deadlines and goals?

As my life coach reminded me, the universe rewards action. Staying in a space of inaction can just cause frustration.

Eventually if we want to live our dreams we have to have the courage to take the first step. I’ve always loved the Martin Luther King quote:

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Love, Lisa

  • I know this journey all to well myself. Balancing a full life with commitments to my dreams while making a living has its challenges that’s for sure! I cannot wait to read the book. Welcome back to your dream.