I strategically picked out a spot at my daughter’s swim team practice. It was at the end of a long bench that allowed for optimal back support, unobstructed views of practice, and was isolated enough that I could read a chunk of a juicy book about the adventures walking the Camino de Santiago. Or so I thought. Fifteen minutes into practice and the woman at the other end of the bench slides down and shows me a picture on her phone. “Isn’t this the cutest?” It’s a picture of young girls wearing a beach towel made into a mermaid tail. “Yes, it is cute,” I reply. I have never seen or met this woman before. It is preseason so there are several new families trying out the team. I go back to reading my book. “I am planning a combination mermaid/pirate party for my son and daughter’s birthdays. I just love planning parties!” She continues on to tell me about her dilemma of coming up with a mermaid favor for the party. She is thinking of making these towels. I nod, and go back to reading. More Pinterest pictures appear on her phone as she reaches over to share. I shut my book. Reading seems futile at this point and, since she is a new to the team, I decide to forgo for another day discovering the wisdom that walking 500 miles brings.
My new friend tells me about the cowboy party she gave complete with a horse showing up to give the kids ride. “Everyone says I should be party planner. They all want me to plan their parties. I would love to do that, but it wouldn’t work. I wouldn’t make money.” A statement like that for me is like tossing raw meat in front of a lion…so I take the bait. I ask her some questions and, after sharing a few ideas, it is clear she is convinced she can’t have a job doing what she loves. Realizing her mind is made up—and she is not paying me to coach her—I let go. I have always been passionate about helping people manifest their dreams, but I have learned they have to have a willingness to believe it is possible.
I look out at the pool. “Yes, that is it!” I hear a coach scream as a swimmer perfects her dive. I remember watching my daughter at four being terrified to jump off the diving blocks during swim lessons. Then at five, she began swim team, learned how to dive, and competed in her first swim meet. She was scared before that first meet and almost backed out. During the 50 meter freestyle race, she dived in, turned around, and started swimming backstroke! I ran from the stands and started yelling to get her attention. It was no use. There were well over a hundred people in the pool area and the noise level was near glass shattering. Her coach was able to stop her after her first 25 and she turned around and swam freestyle the other half of the race. All the other swimmers had finished way ahead of her and the crowd applauded when she finally touched the wall. I thought she might quit after that but she didn’t give up, and is now in her fourth year on the team.
Why do we as adults give up on ourselves so easily – often before we even start? We don’t give ourselves a chance to pursue our passions. We talk ourselves right out of it. Yet, we encourage our children to go for it and not give up. We have more at stake. We have egos to bruise and fears to move through. And of course there is money! Ask yourself what is the belief about money that keeps you from pursing a vocation you are passionate about? Look at your life. Have you boxed yourself in so tightly with mortgage payments, car payments, credit card bills, etc. that you can’t see the wiggle room to pursue your dream? There is a way. When the beat of your soul comes a’ calling and your heart lights up at the thought of being embraced in what you love to do – that is no accident. That is part of your purpose. Your divine right. There is a way. Crack that door open and allow yourself to explore the possibilities. And stop saying, “ya, but.” Let go of the money and just begin the journey. What does the dream look like? What information do you need? Who can you talk to who has done what you want to do or has pieces of the passion puzzle to share? Begin. The world need you and your passion. As Martin Luther King said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Talk about your dream to those who are supportive, watch doors start to open, and people begin to appear to help you manifest your vision. Who knows, you may even have a million dollar party planning business!