Persevere, and flow like water

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.                                                                                                                       – Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

You’ve got dreams to realize and the obstacles have been many and difficult.

You’re doubting yourself, wondering if you’ll succeed, dreading the outcome if your dream fails to happen.

Many people let the obstacles become the journey and feel overwhelmed and defeated, giving up on their dreams and settling for less—prematurely.

That’s you right now.

That’s where my client, Sophie is right now. Her dream of moving back to the West Coast is dammed up by fear she’ll have to settle for the lifestyle she has now.

I say to Sophie and to you, when your dreams are fading, persevere and flow like water. 

Do this:

Make obstacles manageable, not catastrophic or something to avoid.

Any time you’re involved in something dream-related, knowing what you want, there will be setbacks. Expect it. That’s a part of the ride towards living your dream. It’s normal.

And while we all wish bad things didn’t happen to good people, they do.

Sophie’s husband had a health scare last year which halted their momentum to move. Her dream of relocating to the West Coast was so close to fulfillment. They had just signed paperwork to secure a property. (Properties are hard to find in their chosen area.)

They pulled out of the agreement and paid the penalty. It was the right thing to do.

Fortunately the health scare was resolved quickly. The results had been a false positive.

Now, a year later they are eager to find housing so they can make the dream to relocate happen.

So you can imagine how the emotional upheaval surfaced again last week when they listened to an alarming message from her husband’s doctor regarding his current treatment and something he thought could be potentially life threatening.

Must-Do #1: Sophie insisted on managing this health news and the scary feelings surrounding it by taking action and asking for a second medical opinion. Her husband is scheduled with another specialist who comes highly recommended. They aren’t avoiding the medical issue.They are facing it head-on.

It’s the water flowing, not resisting.

Say no to unwarranted emotional upset.

This is a great time to say no to emotional upset. Especially if the worrying is unwarranted.

Ground yourself by asking, have I done everything I can right now? Is there anything to do right now? If you’ve done everything and there is nothing to do right now, then say no to the unwarranted emotional upset.

Most likely there is something positive you can start after looking at the situation objectively, separating emotions from facts.

Must-Do #2: Sophie and her husband were sick with worry that his health was spiraling downward. They didn’t have enough information. It felt like last year all over again.

But it isn’t exactly like last year. They are better informed about his condition and the variety of approaches to treatment today. Their family doctor, an internist knew the specialists and helped them understand the options.

Rather than sitting around waiting and worrying, they asked, what else can we do? They met with their family doctor the next day, asked questions and made the second opinion appointment.

It’s the water which flows around the obstacle, unstoppable.

Be willing for your dreams to never come true. Yes, you read that right. 😉

I can hear you say, WHAT? I know, it sounds counterintuitive.

Hang in there.Try this on:

Often, happiness is attached to what you perceive you need. There’s a natural kind of fear or upset that unless you get whatever it is you think you need, you won’t be happy. It’s a set-up for inadvertently pushing the dream away by creating barriers. The fear and upset are draining and requires too much space. There’s no room for the dream.

So, by doing a super job of dreaming, yet being willing for your dreams to never come true, there’s a freedom from any fear or worry that they won’t come true or that you can’t have happiness until the dreams are manifested.

There isn’t any attachment to an outcome. But, you have the vision of your dream in all its fabulousness.

Must-Do #3: Sophie has relaxed and has fewer requirements which need to be met for her to be happy. She’s less picky. Her requirement list is shorter.

She is focused on the bigger lifestyle picture, being near friends, family and enjoying seasonal activities.

She is doing her part by welcoming every conversation with West Coast contacts, building relationships by letting others know her dreams and being actively involved and grateful for her life here.

Sophie knows how to persevere. Flow like water? She happens to be a great swimmer. She loves water. Feeling the water’s caress?  Patiently noticing small gains? She’s a natural.

I know the dream will be Sophie’s eventually– I hope sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, we’ve got flow!

When your dreams are fading, persevere and flow like water.

  • Make the obstacles manageable, avoid catastrophizing and actively pursue solutions.
  • Say no to unwarranted emotional upset and redirect that energy towards positive remedies.
  • Be willing for your dreams to never come true and by doing so you’re free to receive the dream. (I know that’s a hard one to appreciate– it’s a control thing. Give it a go.)

Need some help navigating life dreams and obstacles? I’m someone you can be real with and say what needs to be said. Let me know you’d like to get more ideas through articles like this.