Tag Archives: dreams

Out of the Belly of the Whale


I’ve been coming to terms lately with the fact that I have big dreams. So big that I don’t even fully understand them. My spirit senses the bigness of my dreams, has always sensed it, but my mind tends to shy away from it.

Instead, I spend a great deal of time in avoidance mode. I seek jobs and opportunities that are far too narrow in scope and vision. I make myself smaller in order to fit the status quo, to conform to other people’s expectations. I downplay my accomplishments so as not to draw too much attention to myself. When glimpses of these big dreams flash in my mind, a powerful NO rises up to chase them away. I allow impossibility to call the shots.

I’m a little like the biblical Jonah, in that I keep trying to hide away inside the belly of a whale to avoid embracing a larger vision. But Jonah’s calling and purpose were larger than his fear, and the whale eventually had no choice but to vomit him out. In the same way, my big dreams are calling to me, and my whale knows I can’t languish in its belly any longer. It’s time to spit me out.

I don’t yet have the words to describe these dreams. I still don’t understand in my mind what my spirit knows to be true. For now I’m learning to curb my instinct to run from them, and to just let them rise up and take form without judgment or admonition.


I Have a Dream

I have a dream.

Well, I’m working on it, at least.

It’s big and quite different from anything I’ve allowed myself to dream about in the past. It’s bold and brash and promises to challenge me at every turn, to push me out of my comfort zone at every opportunity.

It’s a dream that will test my commitment, my faith in myself, my vision.

It’s the kind of dream that gets scoffed at, dismissed as unattainable for little people like me. I myself direct the scoffing-and-dismissing choir. Often with precision and skill.

But it’s a dream born out of the conviction that it’s time to move on. Time to leave the past in the past and create a present and future of my own making, on my own terms.

And it frightens me.

Like ripe peaches on a tree, with just a little shake the doubts and questions and uncertainties rain down on my head.

Are you sure you want this? That’s a really wide chasm between here and there—what makes you think you have what it takes to make it across? Aren’t you being presumptuous to think you can make it? You don’t have enough talent, experience, know-how, connections, or skills. Ordinary people like you don’t get to live out dreams like that. No way you can make this happen.

The chasm between here and there, reality now and reality then, seems distressingly wide. But dreams often seem that way, don’t they?

Barbara Sher points out in her book, Wishcraft, that when it comes to taking actual steps toward our dreams, we stop ourselves and hide behind all the reasons it can’t be done. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the skills. I have to take care of my family. I have debt to repay. The time’s not right.

Here’s the real truth, though: We’re not afraid we cannot fulfill our dreams. We’re afraid we can!

Why else do we go into hiding? This truth is not easy to face.

But the obstacles and reasons-it-can’t-be-done only take on the level of invincibility we assign them. We actually have more say-so than we choose to acknowledge.

If we recognize this truth, our obstacles take on the consistency of play dough: solid, but pliable. Completely within our power to shape and mold.

If we recognize this truth, we’re left with no more excuses. Only the choice to move forward or stay put. Life, or death-by-same-old-same-old.

I have a dream.

Did I mention how big and scary it feels?

If I wait for the right time, the perfect conditions, the stars to align, I may wait forever.

So, even in the face of fear and awe, doubt and uncertainty, a long list of reasons-it-can’t-be-done, I take the first step. Just one step.

But it’s one step closer to bridging that chasm, one step closer to fulfilling my dream. Woo-hoo!

What’s your dream?