It’s never too late to dream.

beauty of their dreams‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ – C.S. Lewis

It’s good to dream. As your mind takes you to a place of endless possibilities and infinite destinies a dream can be anything you want it to be. It can be a pleasurable reverie that you enjoy in the moment and let fade.

But the thoughts which lead you to fulfill your aspirations and visualize your future should never be allowed slip away.

Because a life without dreams is a life without hope.

‘Hope is the dream of the waking man.’ – Aristotle

Childhood trauma stole many things from me; my sense of self-esteem, my ability to trust and my capability to expect anything good. For many years my hopes for the future were never an issue because I was too busy trying to numb out the past and the demands of each day were worrying enough.

If you too have been brought up to anticipate the worst, or if your life has been continuously tough, you will understand how hard it can be to be optimistic about your prospects or to follow your desires.

For many years I believed that dreaming was frivolous and pointless. In fact my mantra was, ‘why bother it’ll never happen’. I was convinced this was the best way to protect myself from further disappointment and rejection. Deep down I wanted to envisage success, happiness and love in my life, but I was overwhelmed by my belief that I didn’t deserve any of it.

‘Faith is like a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is dark.’ – Rabindranth Tagore

One of the greatest revelations to me in my journey to recovery was discovering my self-worth. And if you don’t believe that you are worth it then it’s time to started to make that journey too.

For me it started with making the decision to embrace who I was on every level; physical, social, emotional and spiritual. It was a gradual enlightenment stemming from the love that I experienced when I chose to reclaim my faith.

Faith helped me to begin to love myself for who I was and for who I was not. Once I was able to love myself (and my imperfections), I could believe that in not only did my life have a purpose but that I had a right to pursue my passions. As my confidence increased so too did my ability to dream. For faith enabled me to believe in the unimaginable; to reach for the unattainable and to the dream the impossible.

‘Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.’ – Gloria Steinem

It’s not enough simply to have aspirations though. What has begun in the imagination has to make the transition into reality. Dreaming isn’t a passive past-time. It’s the active pursuit of your vision and the determined mind-set to see it through.

As someone who battled with depression and alcoholism for 20 years, I often dreamt of being happy and sober. But imagining such a life was futile until I made the commitment to change.

Achieving my dreams took courage, faith and determination. It wasn’t easy and of course there have been many challenges along the way, but the wonderful thing about setting your goals is that you can determine what they are and how you reach them. How long it takes is not important, as long as you keep moving forward.

‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’ – Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Know too that while some aspirations stay the same, your hopes can change too. Yesterday my dream was to reach a day when I could live without a drink. Today I strive for that same goal and it’s also what I wish for tomorrow. God willing that never change.

In sixteen years of recovery, many of my other dreams have transformed as I too have transformed.  My ‘why bother, it’ll never happen’ thinking has been replaced with the expectation for good things to transpire. My ‘barely getting by’ attitude has been renewed by anticipating abundance. My ‘I’m not good enough to deserve this’ philosophy has been superseded by the conviction that I am perfectly imperfect which is good enough and always was.

it's never too late to dreamNot every vision has to be a huge life-changing event. Little steps are just as significant. Big or small, it’s never too late to dream.

‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

Writing – The Blog Tour

Writing_-The_Blog_TourWhether or not you write well, write bravely.” ~ Bill Stout
If you enjoy the process of writing or blogging, you might also enjoy reading why and how others share their creative talents. Thanks to author Jenny Alexander I have the opportunity to share some of my own insights from The Hurt Healer as part of The Blog Tour. Jenny’s post ‘The Grand Blog Tour arrives at the House of Dreams!’ gives a wonderful snapshot of her writing inspirations, aspirations and what makes her genre unique. Do take a look and watch out for her book ‘Writing in the House of Dreams’, due out later this year.

The Blog Tour asks 4 questions that I am looking forward to answering.

What are you working on?

“A word after a word after a word is power.” ~ Margaret Atwood.

As a freelance writer I am always working on a variety of different articles, sometimes for magazines or newsletters, or for online sites covering a huge range of subjects; addiction, mental health, women, family, abuse, relationships, faith, well-being. And of course I also write The Hurt Healer.

This week I am working on some articles for an addiction organisation to help others who are seeking to recover and lead extraordinary lives and I’m also doing a guest post for a therapy website. (I receive ridiculous amounts of requests to guest blog so I do have to limit how many I agree to!)

I’m continuously working on notes for The Hurt Healer and I’m also working on some e-books and e-workshops which will be integrated into my new website later this year.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” ~ Sylvia Plath

Whether it’s for publications on a shelf or on-line, I always write from experience and that well-known advice to ‘write about what you know’ is so true for me! Essential to all my writing is that it doesn’t just come from the head but that it comes from the heart.

Although there are lots of blogs of a similar genre to mine, I think what makes The Hurt Healer different is the amount of sharing of myself that is included in each post. When you read my blog, you read the work of my authentic self and not just the facts of the subject.

Why do you write what you do?

 “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Anne Frank

If you’re familiar with The Hurt Healer you will know that my ethos is that your past doesn’t have to define your present. I have experienced many difficulties in my own life, so as I share these times I hope that the reader can be inspired and encouraged to overcome their own struggles.

I often get asked about why I share so openly, and the answer is simple. Because I can. By reclaiming my faith at the start of my emotional recovery I have been able to reclaim my life. Today I strive to live my life as the person I was meant to be, and I write so that others will see that it is possible and desirable to pursue their authentic too.

How does your writing process work?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~ Stephen King

My writing process starts with reading a lot. I’ve always several books on the go and I read online, with an e-reader and I still love a proper paper book. I have to admit my mind is constantly filling up with writing ideas and consequently I have notebooks everywhere to jot these down.

When I actually sit down to complete a piece I usually have a good idea of what I want to include, but I start with a rough draft. There’s always a great deal of editing as I inevitably write too much, so I fine-tune until I am happy with it.

Magazine articles tend to have to be quite structured and formal, so one of the nicest things about my blog is that I can allow the post to develop more organically. Sometimes it can turn out completely differently to how I envisaged at the outset. And I love that freedom!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my replies and now it’s time to introduce you to three other writers with a diversity of styles who will be joining The Blog Tour on 12th May.

In her own words Michelle Smith says that her ‘writing has kept her sober’ but she is so much more than a recovering alcoholic who writes. Expressive and innovative, her blog rising woman is a great place to start to find out more about her short-stories and novels. If you love gritty, thought-provoking writing featuring strong women then you will love what she has to offer. 

I first met  Sandra Bellamy through her blog quirky books.  Having been made redundant twice, she decided to turn her life around and pursue her two passions; writing and helping people. See how she achieves both by visiting her new site beat redundancy blues. And keep an eye out for her book due to be released on Amazon: Break Through The Barriers of Redundancy to Get Back Into Work – An A-Z ‘How to’ guide.

For full-on faith writing, Susan Schiller of Writing Ourselves to a Better World is a site that will inspire. Not only does she share her own amazing life-story, but she helps and supports others to do the same. Under the guidance of her passionate beliefs, she has a heart to help the hurting transform their lives. As well as offering the opportunity to share Heart Scribes , Susan offers an ecourse on memoir writing.

Please do visit them, and a final thank you again to Jenny Alexander for the invitation to the tour. My next post will be something completely different; ‘If you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid!’

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” Gloria Steinem 

 

 

Crossing the Bridge of Dreams.

It’s good to dream.  A dream can be anything you want it to be, as your mind takes you to a place of endless possibilities and infinite destinies.

It can be an imaginary world that you visit from time to time. You enjoy it for that moment and are happy to keep it as a pleasurable reverie.

However, your dream may involve fulfilling aspirations and visualising your future. If this is true for you, your  desire to turn the fantasy into reality needs to be strong enough to manage the transition. Change is never easy and it will involve leaving behind the familiar whilst moving towards the unknown. You have to cross the bridge of dreams.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem

What has begun in the imagination will need to be transformed into actuality. You need a plan and plenty of passion to navigate your path. Whilst the road you have come from is routine and comfortable the bridge of dreams will cross you over into new and exhilarating territory.

A word of warning – beware of those who tread on your dreams. In the past I have had my hopes crushed. It happened so much that I stopped dreaming on any level. Life was about survival and to believe that good things could come to me was delusional. It took me a long time to realise that those who’d suppressed my desires had been damaged themselves. So now, I can allow myself to dream. That’s a good place to be.

If you want to cross your bridge of dreams you don’t have to do it alone. Share your aspirations with those who can support, motivate and inspire you along the way.

Remember there is no right or wrong way of reaching the other side. Run, skip, hop, jump, fly! It doesn’t matter how you reach the other side, only that you get there.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Following your dreams isn’t a passive past time. If it was, then everyone would be living ‘happily ever after’. There may be set backs and distractions. The original short-term goal may be replaced with a long-term life plan. Whatever the vision, it can require a combination of determination, courage, faith, and strength.

But isn’t it worth the effort? I think so.

What about you? When will you be crossing the bridge of dreams?

“Crossing the Bridge of Dreams” was inspired by a comment left by Jenny Alexander on ‘Why me? Why not me?’Thank you Jenny!

Images thanks to Sascalia