I woke up this morning dreaming. Not dreaming in my sleep, but dreaming in the day. You know, dreaming about things I’m excited about in my future. It’s such a good feeling to be dreaming big again. For a long time, I didn’t have big dreams.

When I had Lyme disease for so long, my dreams started to fade away. I’d had so many big dreams before I got sick.

I thought I’d be a concert pianist, an amateur athlete and then get married and have a bunch of kids. From the way things were going, it seemed like I’d be able to do all those things. But my life went differently than I planned. Lyme disease completely changed me, shaping my abilities and taking me on a journey I never expected.

One by one, I let go of my younger dreams. I realized I wouldn’t be a concert pianist, athlete or have a bunch of kids. I wondered if someone would marry a sick girl, like I was. At last, my only tiny hope was that I’d get well someday. I didn’t really care what happened after that.

Fast forward through a bunch of extremely challenging years and – I did get well. I overcame Lyme disease. And I did get married (to my dream man!) As my health improved over the years, my heart started to yearn for more. I really wanted to dream big and make huge goals again, but I was afraid of failing. I wasn’t sure my heart could handle any more disappointment.

But my heart wouldn’t stop calling out, so I set out on my journey, and slowly – ever so slowly – let my heart open again to possibilities. I didn’t fully embrace any big dreams. I just thought about things that I might like to do in my future. It was like these lyrics:

  • It started out as a feeling,
  • Which then grew into a hope,
  • Which then grew into a quiet thought,
  • Which then turned into a word.
  • (Regina Spektor)

It took a while, but I learned to shift my dreams from what they’d been in the past to create a new life. Piece by piece, I put together a life that, today, looks completely different from the one I dreamed about as a girl. And what’s most surprising to me is that I love it even more than what I thought I wanted when I was younger.

I’ve come to see that life goes differently for pretty much everyone, from how we expected it would turn out. But I’ve also seen that dreams keep our spirits alive. They let us see way beyond our limitations, disappointments and frustrations to a place of joy and creation. They empower and free us. I understand now that dreaming is really the only way to live.

So, I’m dreaming big, again. My dreams now include:

  • Helping people worldwide find health through natural solutions
  • Sharing hope with people who feel their lives are devastated by chronic illness
  • Writing an ebook about Lyme disease and health
  • Raising my 2 boys with all the love in my heart, and
  • Giving wings to my thoughts on this blog

Some dreams come quickly, and others take time to fully bloom. I remind myself to be patient when things aren’t happening quite as quickly as I hoped they would. But I’d rather keep dreaming, keep hoping and keep moving toward something I believe in than to let my hopes die within my heart. It feels so much better to dream.

I’m learning to dream big again. I hope you dream big, too!

Steps to Dream Big!

Are you wanting to dream big, too? Maybe for the first time, or maybe for the hundredth time? You can do it! It takes courage, that’s true, but it’s so worth it! Here are some things that might help as you start to dream big.

  1. Get a special notebook – one that is just for you.
  2. Open your notebook and start to write – free your mind and write quickly, without thinking much.
    • Write one item per line, and leave 5 blank lines under what you write. Write everything in this format: “I have (fill in the blank)” OR “I am (fill in the blank).”        

Write down:

  • Things you love to do/talents (Ex: I am creative, I have design skills)
  • Places you’d love to travel (Ex: I am in Hawaii on a fab vaca with my hubby)
  • Items you’d love to own (Ex: I am driving a Subaru Outback and I love it!)
  • People you’d love to visit (Ex: I am visiting with my sister in Florida)
  • Friendships you’d love to cultivate (Ex: My relationship with my Mom is really strong)
  • Anything else you can think of!  

Once you’ve written down all these wonderful things for your life, go back and write what steps you can take to make each a reality (in the blank lines). After that, decide which ones are a priority, and then start focusing on those priorities consistently.

One of my favorite things to do is write down my dreams and then close my notebook and let it be for a while. As I’ve put thought and effort into what I am aiming to do in my life, it starts to become a seed in my mind that grows and grows.

I’ll open up my notebook weeks or months later, and often I’ll find that I’ve started to accomplish those dreams – or sometimes things I wasn’t even really focusing on consciously have already happened!

Remember, you’re the only one who has to ever see what you wrote in your notebook. Let it be a safe haven, a place where you are free to dream big!
I can’t wait to hear about your big dreams!