How to Follow Your Dreams
The Seven of Cups is one of my favorite tarot cards. It represents dreams flowing to us. Not just those we actively pursue but those set within our destiny with no effort or exertion required.
As children we follow these passionate impulses without fear or hesitation. The world, our parents and society slowly dismiss these destinies as fanciful and set us on more productive pursuits, thus squashing that which is most innate within our hearts.
To follow your dreams is not the stuff of legend but the very purpose of life. However, you can recapture that destiny which allows you to fulfill the illustrious nature of your true being.
AN INVITATION TO REMEMBER
How do we begin to find our dreams if they have slipped from us? While some blessed souls may have it charted out with great focus, others may find dreams to be a bit elusive slowly fading from our view. Rarely do we have parents actively championing our dreams, inserting instead their own morals and issues to help us avoid their missteps. Yes, this is done from love, but rarely from awareness.
The “why,” the logic, often obfuscates the seed of the dream. “How will I get there?” or “Who will be interested in hearing what I have to say?” shades the passion. Vulnerability, fear and doubt set in.
To recapture that which has always been with us may require creative exercises of daydreaming. What was it that excited you as child? What were the longings of the innocent heart before practicality was interjected? Passion and curiosity are the surest ways to find your abandoned dreams.
We are drawn to those things that match our destiny. Like some phantom limb, we can always feel them when we seek them. Find the whisperings and this is the key to find the dreams long forgotten. Regardless of the sensibility, seize the dream and breathe life into it. Even if this is not the ultimate path, these curiosities will bring you home.
GENTLER THAN YOU EXPECT
Expectations will likely pulverize the dream. Fearless pursuit and relentless determination are no way to chase your dreams. Inherent in the chase, is the disappointment or the exhilaration, both addictive. Chasing is not the way.
Dreams do not like to be quantified and work outside of the realm of logic. Treat it with curious devotion and the nature of dreams has its own magic which will find you. Your destiny is already set, my love.
Like the blueprint of the oak within the acorn, you are sure to succeed in those pursuits you most desire.
Feed your dreams through gentle nurturing and quiet attention. It is faith – not discipline – that will bring your dreams to you. Follow the dreams; don’t set course for them with careful planning and detailed attention, for then it becomes a task. It is the process of discovery that fills us with such joy we cannot bear to let it be forgotten.
ABUNDANCE OF BLESSINGS
Once the dream has been pinpointed, the universe quickly confirms you are on the right track by sending blessings your way. Synchronictites begin appearing that confirm your path. You find things come to you easily. It is a matter of alignment after all. When we match the frequency of our destiny and follow our dreams with loving gentleness, the world conspires to help us achieve that which has been ordained for us.
You could call this fate. But fate feels firm to me – fatal – lacking in free will and with plodded course. Destiny is the blueprint. How we arrive there is the journey of each soul and the delight of being.
The energies that find us when we follow our dreams feel good. This sense of peace, contentment and excitement are sure signs we are in alignment with our dreams. When we are in rhythm with the truth of our hearts, we cannot be but lifted by the path ahead. Even if we are unable to see the outcome, the process of creation feels too fulfilling to abandon.
Following our dreams gives us life, vitality, passion and becomes the purpose of our lives. We will feel more joyful and attract more of the same to us. Without effort, with loving attention, when we find the vibration of our destiny, and tend it well, everything unfolds just as planned. It is faith, not a detailed plan, that will feed our dreams and bring us to our destiny.
PRINCIPLE OF PRIORITY
We have many demands on us on any given day. Bills, self care, family and professional obligations at times seem to fill our to do list. If we feed these necessities only, the dreams will begin to wither. The trick is that the dream is always near, waiting patiently to be nurtured. Paying attention to that which gives us passion daily is the most certain path to following our dreams.
Like a muse, the dream is always faithful to us and expression its only purpose. To come into being is its destiny and it has chosen to become through us. Our obligation is to make it a priority. Want to write a book? Commit to writing every day even if only a sentence at a time. Want to be a great artist? Buy the canvas and have the tools at the ready when inspiration does strike.
Without our due diligence we are poor stewards for dreams. Be ready, be receptive and welcome the dream to move through you. This is the path of defiant self love which emboldens us to rise to our destiny.
FOLLOW YOUR DREAM AS AN ACT OF CREATION
No great work happens overnight. The Sistine chapel did not just appear. It took devotion, love and consistent attention to complete. We are often dissuaded from our dreams because we cannot see the veracity of its final product. We look for confirmation that we are doing it “right” when the only validation is the joy it brings.
Creation is a tricky process. Sometimes it is pulsating with life ready to burst forth from us. Other times a quiet murmur that awaits breath to come back.
SET AN ALTAR FOR YOUR DREAMS
A vision board may be one expression but I like a bit more deep ritual. In my home, I have an altar to my business and my book. Both receive attention and are tended. I thank them when the muse is loud and honor them when the dream feels far off.
Faith fills me knowing the fulfillment of my dreams is coming even when I cannot possibly see how it comes into reality. Following the dream brings such delight I have no desire to stop even if I cannot grasp how the final product will reach the world.
ALL IS ATTRACTED TO YOU
When I began this path as shaman, I could not imagine where it would lead. I only knew it was the only pursuit that brought me joy. As a child, I would become excited talking about ghosts and aliens. With each step I’ve taken to honor this dream, more reveals itself. The destiny is set and my only job is to follow the clues and remain devoted. I could not have hoped to sit here now writing about such esoteric matters, moreover, that you would even read them. And yet with each unfolding, I find there is little for me to question. It seems the only “logical” next step. Follow the dreams, breathe life into the passion and all will come to you.
The converse of this is also true. In following your dreams, the fears, doubts and challenges will arise. With courage, we face these with the same gentle loving presence and the illusions which seem to block us begin to dissolve.
Rather than feeling discouraged, see the obstacles as exactly the trigger than will help us heal and overcome the doubts deep within. When these “icky” energies arise, it is only asking to be loved, acknowledged and brought back into the fold of your total whole self.
YOUR DREAMS ARE SACRED
When you treat your dreams as a holy quest, a path of sacred devotion, interesting things begin to occur. As if by magic, everything appears for you. Destiny unfolds before you requiring no stress, no effort. This is the way and is ready to remind you of your brilliance.
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Sacrifice as a Catalyst for Rebirth and Bliss in Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey
Joseph Campbell is one of the most influential writers, philosophers, and professors in history. His work on mythology has taken native stories beyond their face value and deep into the human psyche, where they resonate with the core of who we are.
Campbell’s life’s work brought countless people across the world in touch with the collective unconscious that underlies our every thought and motivates us to seek happiness. His phrase “follow your bliss” is now a household prompt, thanks to a series of interviews with celebrated journalist Bill Moyers in the early ‘90s. Gaia members can now experience this timeless discussion, listening to episodes discussing “The Hero’s Adventure”, “Sacrifice and Bliss”, and more.
Campbell’s teachings applied the lessons of heroes and metaphors of mythology to our own lives. “A myth is not a lie,” he famously said, despite this commonly misused definition. Rather, a myth is a story meant to turn the mind inward to reflect upon itself and reveal the essential truths of reality and our relationship to the transcendent.
As Campbell explains in his series of interviews with Moyers, myth is often constructed as a hero’s journey — a pivotal course of events that slowly test the story’s protagonist and push them to the next step of unfoldment — toward transcendence. Each obstacle the hero experiences is a reflection of himself, as he is moved one step closer to sacrifice the egoic sense of self to the greater good, which is total consciousness.
When we study mythology, Campbell taught, we find the theme of sacrifice to be all-important. We must let go in order to receive what is already present. Campbell said, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” The hero sacrifices his lower nature for his higher nature, and his safety for the one he rescues, or perhaps an object of desire for a noble cause.
Campbell taught that sacrifice is a theme that runs through all things natural — death (the sacrifice of a living being) gives way to new life in an ever-continuing cycle. But death is often metaphorical and may be the death of a habit, a pattern of thinking, or an attachment to something. Or, he said, “When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.”