Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dream Seeking

As I discussed in Un-goalifying , I am moving toward my purpose by dream seeking. What does that mean? I’ll tell you.

I see four stages of dream seeking coming into play in my life. I am referring to these dream seeking aspects as stages, but it is not a step-by-step process. It is all so integrated; I’ll probably always be simultaneously engaged in all of the stages.

1 – Discovering your dream
For many years I sought my dream. I tried day dreaming, visualizing my “dream” life, thinking back to childhood hopes and considering what I admire or am jealous of in others.

Doubt was my demon. While writing this post, I found something that I wrote just 10 weeks ago. I began with “I don’t have a dream.” Interesting I proceeded to discuss a variety of dreams. However, after each idea I would analyze why I was unqualified and then concluded that surely that was not my calling. That was me denying my dream.

I thought faith was about asking God for some big specific outcome and truly believing He would do it. That never sat well in my spirit, but sometimes it feels like Christian rhetoric. God has shown me what faith means beyond that example. It took faith to accept that I had these hopes. I did not want to seriously acknowledge these aspirations for fear of failure. God is all that matters and He is gentle. The strength, wisdom and creativity come from him; I just have to sign off on being used. There is no way I can fail when I rely on Him. I have faith that He has the responsibility, that He loves me, that He is good and that He has the ability to lead me to where I need to be.

Discovering your dream is about opening your heart; the specific path and destination is up to God. 

2 – Exploring your dream
This is for the most part where I am at. This aspect of dream seeking is about just moving toward those aspirations. It has been as simple as google searches, watching videos on youtube, writing other people’s blogs, entering conversations in discussion forms and sharing my interests with friends. Although I’m boycotting goals, I see things like the 30 Day Challenge as just a fun experiment so I actually am trying out yoga in the mornings (just for a few minutes for now.)

This is where fear may hold you back. I held off on exploring for a while because of a money-complex. I’ve always felt, and still do, that having a sufficient amount of money frees you to live your purpose with less distractions. However, it was life sucking to just put my dreams on hold until I had a set amount of money.

I really think I was worried that if I started exploring with an open heart, God would tell me to do something scary, particularly something like changing careers. That transition would require faith. But I want to live with faith. If God shines a light on a certain trail, investigate. Who knows what His plans are, but you can bet that it is better to at least check it out. I’d rather be on an uncertain God-inspired trail than get stuck in a comfortable dead-end.

Exploring your dream is about moving toward your aspiration in a gentle and loving way.

3 – Defining your dream
In this stage numerous abstract thoughts integrate into a tangible objective. This process is like exploring the world; there are millions of different directions you could go and all of them have something to teach you. However, at a certain point you need to book the flight if you are going to take a trip. 

Throughout my whole life I have been anxious to book the flight. I frequently attempted to define my dream; angst followed. I became angry at myself for my lack of ambition and vision. That is not how you give yourself grace. It was not until I started grasping the concept of grace in my own life that I found my desire to help show others the same. I would not have understood the purpose of liberating people from their fear and doubt into God’s peace and joy through love and grace when at a heart level I had no idea what grace meant.

So is my dream defined? There are many layers of defining your dream. So far I’ve only seen some outer layers of mine. There are infinite possibilities for how I can be used to liberate people through grace. Really no matter what I spend my time doing, if I do it with grace and love, I am living out my purpose. However, there are particular interests and skills unique to my personal essence. When I am drawn to a certain facets of life I will explore. When the time is right, I will know which flight to choose. 

4 – Realizing your dream
When my dream has been revealed down to the details, it will be time to book the flight and start realizing the dream. Sometimes in the exploration phase of dream seeking you may take a couple road trips into realizing your dream, but the realizing dream stage is where you move from considering to committing. That takes even more faith than just exploring!

I am not at a place of commitment at the moment, but I do know that even should I commit to a particular direction, I will continue with an open flexible heart. Even when I get to my “destination”, the adventure is subject to change. I wouldn’t have it any other way; only those vacations that had some kinks and turns are really memorable.

What do you dream of? What dream-seeking stages are you in and for what aspirations? Leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!


  1. I really liked your flight-booking metaphor. It's funny because I often use that example quite literally and was just discussing that today. I hope I'm not going too far off topic here, but what often perplexes me is how people will say they want to go to France, or that is on their "bucket list." However, instead of taking steps to make it happen, they buy a new car or a swimming pool. I wonder, is it not really a priority or have they filed that dream away so far in the back of their minds as if it's "unachievable"? Personally, I feel like if there's a place that lies in the center of your heart then you owe it to yourself to get there and make it happen. I think that applies to all dreams, though some are more difficult to figure out than others. I can definitely relate to what you mean by defining an overall dream. To this day, when I try and outline my "plans" for the future I get a general picture with a few specifics sprinkled in but certainly not crystal clear. Personally, I've worked a lot on letting go and taking the pressure off. It makes the journey more fun. :)

  2. Thank you. Very true, the journey is much more fun without the pressure.

    Amen sister to the comments about filing away dreams because they are "achievable." Now that's just silly. I'm so glad I'm finally breaking through that mentality, it's hard not to do.