Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dare to Pursue your Childhood Dreams

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I couldn't resist including this article (with her permission, of course) by Christine Louise Hohlbaum published in her ezine: Powerful Families, Powerful Lives. Keep reading, you'll see why....

"What Dreams May Come (True)"

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." I don't think she was talking about cleaning out the shower drain when she said that. She was an advocate of character-building, a notable force at a time when women's rights were not what they are today.

Periodically, I measure my children's risk tolerance by asking them a simple question. "What scares you?" I typically get an answer about the boogie man who lurks in the dark or that German test coming up in school. But the other day, my affable nine-year-old daughter revealed an inner fear that surprised me. "I am afraid someone will get mad at me."

She'd rather do a ring-and-run by leaving a note of apology on her friend's front step than face the person head on. Her fear of rejection, a normal state of human experience, has come to pass.
Dreams can offset fears so, without trying to force my adult understanding of dreams on my kids, I also ask them what they would like to be when they grow up.

At present, my seven-year-old son would like to be a Judo master and a filmmaker. My daughter remains constant in her wish to be a riding instructor. They are too busy living their childhood to know they are also forming their dreams, the foundation on which the rest of their lives will be built.

Childhood dreams are the house where our souls reside. It is where we live in fearless possibility. It is sad to see paralyzing fear take over my kids, but it is also a necessary process for them to know what the opposite of fearless is. At age nine it never occured to me that I could fail, yet I see in my own daughter the belief that it might actually happen. I periodically get furious with the German school system that points out mistakes more than it celebrates what's right. At every opportunity I try to ask her "What was right about your day?"

What would our world be like if we looked towards the wins and used failure as a mere tool for course correction? What dreams may come true when we move out of burdensome fear and into the sparkling light of weightless courage?

Recently, I placed my hand into the grab bag of my dreams and pulled out "become an actor". At nearly 40, I giggled at the thought, then applied for the casting agency anyway. I promptly got two TV jobs in one week. It took a baby step to create a miracle. It wasn't hard, and it got me to thinking what other dreams I could fulfill.

What are your childhood dreams? Are you living them?

Do one thing that scares you today. It will broaden the circumference of your comfort zone just a little while creating another layer of miracles across the world. Your human potential is limitless. Reach for the stars, then tell us what happened! We'll be celebrating right there with you.

~~Christine Louise Hohlbaum, American author of the forthcoming Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World (fall 2009), Diary of a Mother: Parenting Stories and Other Stuff (2003) and SAHM I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe (2005), has been published in hundreds of publications. When she isn't writing, leading intensive seminars or wiping up messes, she prefers to frolic in the Bavarian countryside near Munich where she lives with her husband and two children. Visit her Web site:

Allyn Evans
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L. Diane Wolfe said...

I set four BIG goals when I was foruteen, and I accomplished all of them before I was 40 - which meant time to set some new ones!

The opposite of fear is faith - and the belief in our dreams!

L. Diane Wolfe

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

How I loved this post. For one thing, Christine was one of the first authors I contacted as I was writing The Frugal Book Promoter. She generously contributed a sample of one of her query letters to NPR that worked! It was such a valuable contribution to that book.

Since then, I've come to value her wisdom and her generosity. Just like I have come to value yours, Allyn.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Beth Blair said...

I love this post! Childhood dreams is one of my favorite topics. Childhood is filled with such fun, excitement and passion - everyone should live as if they are back in those young years.

Prill Boyle said...

I, too, loved this post, especially the poignant anecdote about Hohlbaum's daughter saying that she was afraid someone would get mad at her. (Haven't we all felt this way from time to time?)

The "sparkling light of weightless courage"--that's what I want to bask in today.

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