What to Do While You're Waiting for Your Dreams to Come True
If your'e anything like me, you're a BIG dreamer.
I'm such a dreamer, that I have dreams for my dreams...lol That's me. Always #teamtoomuch.
But I'm perfectly fine with that. I shoot for the stars and make no apologies about it. While I count dreaming big as one of my strengths, how I wait for those dreams to come true could be one of my weaknesses...or at least it used to be.
Even though I'm a pretty laid back kind of gal, I very much have Type A tendencies. I thrive on checklists and progress. Being organized makes me happy, while clutter and disorder make me a little cray cray.
I follow directions well, and I believe that if I follow a system to get something done, then I should see the fruits of that labor, right?
You can imagine how well this worked out for me when I began pursuing my dance career in my very early 20's.
Here's the breakdown...
I work up the nerve to ditch the field of study I took up in college in order to pursue my dance passion. I save up and head to LA. I land a great agent. I audition, get call backs, and take classes regularly. I even teach classes and perform and choreograph in local companies on the side while I'm waiting for Beyonce', Usher, and Missy to call me.
I can't help but laugh at my naivety even as I write this.
Well, you know how the story goes. I've shared it time and again. I started comparing myself to friends who were booking the jobs I wanted, started getting bitter and resentful that things weren't happening on my time table, got burnt out, and then I quit.
Yep. I. quit. dancing.
All because my career wasn't developing the way I thought it should.
What's interesting to me, is that as I talk to early career dancers now, 10 - 15 years later, they're still experiencing the same feelings I had all those years ago. They're still feeling like they're on the sidelines waiting to be put in the game.
In fact, I've talked to so many dancers who seem to feel the same way, that it got me thinking. Apparently, dancers know where to look for jobs and auditions. We know where to turn for classes. We may even know where to turn for help with taxes, insurance, etc.
But it seems to me that we don't know where to find peace to help us weather the storms.
So, what do we do?
We complain. We get depressed or anxious. We get frustrated. We work harder, until we burn out, and then we quit.
And speaking of depressed and anxious. I recently read a quote that went something like this: "Depression is when you're living in the past. Anxiety is when you're living in the future. Peace is when you're living in the present moment."
Talk about a Hallelujah moment right there, huh?
I mean, if someone had shared that quote with me way back when, it would have really helped me learn to enjoy my journey.
Which brings me to the point of it all. Action steps.
What kind of professor-coach-mama bear-big sis would I be if I didn't leave you with a way to get from point A (your frustration) to point B (your peace)?
Here are two strategies that have helped me maintain my peace while I'm waiting for my dreams to come true.
1. Practice Active Waiting
What does that even mean?
I recently heard someone explain it like this: hold true to the promise or dream, but be open to how it comes to pass. That means, keep working towards your big dreams, but be open to them manifesting in ways other than you originally hoped or planned.
Take me for example. My idea of having a professional dance career was mainly dancing back up for a major artist. However, once I took my hands off of things happening my way, new life was breathed into my career.
After "I quit", I went on to dance with several companies in Houston, I toured China teaching and performing, I choreographed dozens of musical theater productions and currently continue to do so as well, I've choreographed new artist performances and several industrials, I went to grad school and earned a MFA in dance, I'm a dance professor, and I also get to give back by sharing my wisdom with my awesome #WorkingDancer tribe.
If I hadn't opened up, I would have missed out on all of those opportunities, and I wouldn't be where I am today.
So for you, just remain open to your career manifesting in ways you may not have yet considered. Keep your eyes open for opportunities that may seem outside of your comfort zone. Say "yes" to unexpected job, class, or audition invitations. Try new dance styles. Just get rid of the tunnel vision, and breath new life into your career pursuit.
2. Learn How to Enjoy the Journey
Simply put, learn how to be present in the moment. I speak often about this very principle, and I'm mindful to always practice it in my own life. If you've read any of my blog posts, you know exactly how easy it is for me to get caught up in my feelings or in my thoughts. As a result, I've had to learn how to snap out of those moments so I can fully experience what's in front of me.
How does one do that? Plenty of ways.
Deep breaths. Affirmations. Prayer. Meditation.
You can also work out regularly. Laugh often. Engage in a hobby. Basically do things that get you out of your head and into a higher vibration of experience.
I've chosen to practice many of these regularly, even daily. In fact, I've created a "present-moment regimen", so to speak. My routine looks like something like this: Meditate for 10 - 20 mins daily, pray daily, watch at least one of my favorite sitcoms before bed daily, keep a gratitude journal, and work out at least once per week (which doesn't include all the dancing I do for a living).
Working through this regimen helps me to keep my peace and joy at the forefront of my focus. And to be honest, this routine doesn't exempt me from slipping up from time to time, but it does help me get back to where I need to be if a slip up occurs.
That's pretty much it. Just open up and work on being your best exactly where you are in this very moment. If you happen to find your way to that peace, hold on to it, and it'll lead you exactly where you want to be, which is living your dreams.
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