I’ve always been a dreamer.
Finding possibility in the impossible, accepting the challenge when someone tells me I can’t do something, and going to bed at night knowing that my dreams with eyes wide open will always beat the dreams I see in my sleep.
I often feel the fire burning within me, as I keep one foot on solid ground and the other leaping forward, anxious for its next big adventure.
The constant need for accomplishment, adventure, and exploration has been one of the only universal truths I’ve found in my life thus far.
As much as I love watching my passions take flight and soar higher than I could ever imagine, it has always kind of worried me.
I look around and I see so many people with two feet planted firmly on the ground: security, routine, habit, and consistency.
I have spent a lot of time battling my own thoughts as the angel on one shoulder tells me to keep flying because a mundane life would be boring and redundant, while the angel on my other shoulder tells me that at some point in my life I am going to have to decide that enough is enough and find satisfaction in exactly where I am at.
This battle is exhausting, and I never seem to reach a middle ground or come to any sort of conclusion other than deciding that something is wrong with me and I’ll probably never find true happiness.
I often feel like if I don’t keep running after my dreams, I’ll always wonder what might have been, but if I don’t stop running at some point, certain parts of my future will never have the chance to catch up.
I spent a Friday night in a guided meditation class in an attempt to silence my ego and clear my mind. I wasn’t certain if it would do any good, but I knew that I could use the relaxation regardless of the outcome.
The first few meditations were nice. I felt myself become rooted to the Earth, noticed a calmness humming from the inside out, and I silenced some of the swirling thoughts that had been consistently driving me crazy.
The guide then asked us to imagine ourselves in our purest, happiest, most successful moment. His words so effortlessly allowed my mind to drift off into a faraway utopia as all of my insecurities and worries melted down into the carpet beneath my body.
If you would have asked me 10 minutes prior to the meditation what my happiest and most successful moment would have been, I might have said winning a title in a figure competition, on stage in a bejeweled suit with a wide-eyed audience. I might have said I’d be the featured author at a book signing with a spiraling single-file line wrapping through book shelves as it made its way outside the door. I might have been elected president, starred in my own reality television show, or spent my days traveling the world until my legs couldn’t take another step.
But when the guide asked us to imagine our perfect selves, in our most pure, happy, and successful moment,
I saw myself standing in a kitchen.
I was barefoot on the hardwood wearing a woven sweater that didn’t do anything for my figure.
I held a mug of coffee in my hands.
I was gazing out the kitchen window into the backyard as I heard the laughter of my children playing on the swing set outside.
I didn’t notice anything about the scene I was viewing other than the sparkle in my eyes as I saw myself smiling while I watched the biggest accomplishment this life has to offer.
I was so happy.
I heard a noise behind me as my eyes broke their gaze and I turned toward the source of the sound. I couldn’t see anything other than my own eyes and expression as I saw whomever it was that entered the room.
I will never forget the look on my face.
The happiness radiating from my eyes and my smile came from a source that climbing Mount Everest couldn’t duplicate.
No trip around the world or presidential campaign or high achievement recognition could cause the happiness that was elicited by a single human being that I haven’t even met yet.
Before I knew it, the meditation was complete and it was time for me to continue on with my life.
Life went on, but I never forgot that moment.
Ever since that day, I’ve continued to dream big, dive headfirst into my passions, and strive to leave behind a legacy I can be proud of.
I’ve continued on with my life with the peace and comfort of knowing that some of my best days haven’t even happened yet.
That it’s okay to chase dreams but it’s also okay to stop in the moment and enjoy the dream you’re already living.
I think I was most thankful for the reminder that the truest forms of success and happiness are often found within those around us. Relationships, connections, unconditional love. Seeing your reflection in the eyes of another, and hearing the sound of your own heart beating as you fall asleep with your head pressed gently into someone else’s chest.
I learned that I don’t need to worry too much about where I’m going, but, instead, take a minute to be thankful to be exactly where I’m at. I don’t need to listen to the angel on my shoulder or the constant whirring voices around me. I don’t need to seek the validation in someone’s opinion or search anxiously for approval from the universe.
I learned that it’s amazing and almost a necessity to set goals, but I also learned that in between goals is a thing called Life and we must do our best to live it. I learned that sometimes the tiny steps between each huge goal actually mean the most in the end. That sometimes, it isn’t about finding the perfect moment, but, rather, realizing there’s something perfect about every single moment.
I learned that extraordinary is great, but when asked to picture my happiest, purest, most successful self, I wasn’t crossing a finish line or seeing my name in flashing lights,
I was standing in a kitchen staring out the window.
Some might think this is boring or redundant or failing to reach the fullest potential, but I’ll tell you one thing I know for sure,
the look on my face told me that this moment was anything but ordinary.