If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings…
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
Recently at a contra dance weekend, I befriended a couple from a neighboring North Georgia town. I had chatted with her before, and danced with him before, but came to know them as an extraordinary couple. Turns out they had spent 10 years of their marriage sailing aboard one of the five tall ships that he had built; combining business with pleasure as they chartered tours, educated school kids, and traveled via the coasts and Great Lakes. After retiring from that wayfaring lifestyle, they are now working together on another grand adventure building a castle.
Synchronicity strikes again as the last few books I’ve read have been on kings, queens, and how they can strong foundations together. And now here is a real life example.
This photo is of one of three entryways into the kingdom. The Great Hall will not be completed for a few more years, but the outlines are taking shape. An amphitheater will feature puppet shows and plays…MacBeth anyone? Guest rooms will accommodate tourists wanting a memorable experience, outdoor enthusiasts, or wedding parties. Fruit trees and organic gardens will grace the lawn. But more impressive than the physical structures is the mission of the owners…to honor and explore the evolution of human culture. Life sized sculptures, murals, and other art forms will depict the major philosophies and religions of the world, inviting thoughtful discussion…
More and more, I’ve been meeting inspiring folks who walk their talk. Who dream big, then work to manifest their dreams. It is affirming to witness such a grand idea as this castle complex, then see it come to life, brick by brick. We humans have the propensity and power to daydream, to move in the direction of our desires, to build extraordinary lives out of whispers of thought.
Yes, there are challenges, and life is not fair. Fortunes tumble. Innocent children become ill and die. Lovers leave. Life moves on…
And yet I find that if I have the gumption to aim for what I want, despite past defeat, that I get much closer than if I had never aimed at all. Sometimes I even score a bull’s eye. In yoga class, I continually encourage my students to take aim. For example in Warrior Two Pose, aim your feet deep into the earth, and the crown of your head towards the sky. At the same time, aim one hand towards the wall behind you, and the other hand towards the wall ahead of you. Physically extend yourself in all directions, and yet In the midst of all this external effort, surrender to where you are right now. Relax on the inside and breathe.
If your castle, dream, or hearts desire is still a figment of your imagination, take the first step by physically aiming towards making it a reality. Stretch in every direction, aim for your goal, then take stock and relax right where you are. Breathe. Then advance again…
When you inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
~ Patanjali, The Mahabhasya, 2nd century B.C.
Think: What are some of the recurring dreams for your life that keep getting tucked away? Imagine how it would look, and how you would feel if they were to come true. Really feel the emotional state you would be in when it becomes a reality. Practice feeling that emotion whenever you recall your dream.
Say: Make a list of your top three dreams, and come up with three small steps you could take towards realizing each one of them. Say out loud “I am achieving my dream of ________”.
Do: Take one action today. Take another one this week. Take at least one action every week that will bring you closer to the center of your target. Remember to make time to relax, evaluate and breathe. Then aim again.