I am weary of the more, more, MORE mentality … especially when it comes to perusing blogs and websites that all seem to be focused on encouraging you to live large, be more, dream big.
Lately, I am drawn more to those who are encouraging me to find the magic and mystery in living in boundaries, in being enough, in dreaming smaller. I sense a change, if not in the primary message, at least in that more people are writing to more people like me.
Being an introvert, I found myself nodding along while reading Quiet by Susan Cain. When she described attending a Tony Robbins event with all of the Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah, I was cringing into my chair. All of that cheerleading exhausts me and I am finding that even reading too many enthusiastic motivational words leaves me crumpled and ready for a nap.
A few days ago, I read Rain’s sorrowful words,
“I don’t have any dreams anymore.”
When I read those, my heart broke. Once for the struggle she was experiencing and again for the burden that we put on each other when we place so much value on dreaming big, writing goals and living a life of purpose.
Then a few days after that post, Rain wrote,
What if I were to stop dreaming? Would I bolt awake, sitting upright in my bed and shaking? Would my feet hit the floor and adrenaline flood every cell in my body? What is happening right this second? What choices can I make, this very day, to splash my life with the colors I choose?
I breathed deeply and said to myself, “Ah, yes. Dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe we need to release this idol of the dream.”
With my children coming into adulthood, I am keenly aware of how much pressure we put on people to have their lives figured out. The common question for graduating seniors is “What are you going to do with your life?”
Really? They are supposed to know what they are going to do with their life? Their WHOLE life? At eighteen? My goodness, I am forty-eight and I still don’t know what I want to do with my whole life!
I listened to a podcast some time last year that suggested an alternative question ( and I wish I could remember who I was listening to so that I could give credit.) Whoever it was said that maybe a better question to ask people is, “What do you want to do for the next six months?” His premise was that six months of living your life true to your heart will lead to another six months and then another and another. And as we all know, all too soon, the end of life comes and either we have lived an empty life or we have the possibility of living a consecutive string of six month seasons of joy.
I say we could even break this down more.
What do you want to do for the next six weeks?
or six days?
How will you live for the next six hours?
What if we do the things that make us feel whole, connected and joyful for the next six moments of time?
Maybe if we are doing that all of those moments will add up to the life of our dreams.