Category: Realize Life Dreams


Snow Globe

 

 

 

The Snow Globe Outside My Double Hung Window

Carolyn Tody

 

In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” … Anne Frank

 

In the world outside my window, today is bright and beautiful!

What, you think not? Outside my window there is a snow globe with the beauty of a vintage card. Nature is creating a wintry scene straight out of my imagination. Everywhere I look there is whiteness, as wind-blown plumes rise from a distant snow blower hidden among the growing piles of snow. I’m transfixed by the shimmering magic.

Today it would be easy to hide in my comfort zone. I’d write. I’d read a book. I’d dream about the ever-growing snow bank outside, piling high, like a magnificent snow beast holding me ransom for a beaker of hot chocolate spiked with rum.

Instead, the snow is falling victim to an invading fleet of whirring, encroaching machines that disturb my stillness. In quick succession several things happen:

  • My heart plummets.
  • My dream of comfort vanishes.
  • I remember that appointment I scheduled across town for later today.
  • Cabin fever roars in my head.

Somehow I have to out-maneuver the polar vortex with its increasing onslaught of fluffy white flakes. I need to clear my driveway – or face the consequences.

A second Code Red Alert in two days demands that residents “stay off the hazardous roads and prepare for sub-freezing temps.” Is this why I’m reluctant to go out into the snow globe to wield the shovel? Judging by photos I snap from my window, there are already sixteen inches of intensely moisture-laden snow on the ground. Immediately I formulate possible solutions:

  • I could wait and see if someone asks to shovel.
  • Delay action until the situation worsens. The weather report predicts another eight inches!
  • Someone has to go out and shovel.

Little do I know that deep within me a spiritual revolution is taking shape. My dilemma comes from two dreams colliding:

  1. First, I want to cozy up to the fireplace and spend the day with a steaming mug of tea.
  2. Then again, I want the freedom to vanquish my comfort cave and roar down the open drive.

With that realization, I choose the latter and feel my strength is rising. This time, I will override nature.  I will defeat inertia. I’ll open the clogged walkways by engaging the secret strategies I use to defeat all overwhelming situations, which include muttering something like, “I can” under my breath, invoking my virtual support system, and breaking out brandy stored for years in an abandoned dishwasher just for après-snow shoveling warmth. My fire is lit. Nevertheless, I dress in warm layers for the outdoors:

  • First, I don three pairs of thermal leggings, then
  • Tug on two-inch-thick mittens with metallic ski liners, and
  • I grab my iPod and keys and glance with reluctance at my warm and comfortable living room.
  • Why does it feel like it’s the last time?

Before I can change my mind, I quickly adapt 3 proven strategies:

  1. I repeat twice “I can do it.  I’m a woman on a mission; gloom and doom can’t get me down.”
  2. I consult my Golden Circle of Support – a journal cache that guarantees I’ll complete the task of snow removal because it provides a sense of hope.
  3. I keep a lookout for everyday miracles. Somewhere on the flip side of this challenge, there is a bright spot, a pot of gold, and/or a new opportunity,

Of course, there are also several obstacles to overcome:

  • My iPod goes silent every time I jiggle my headphones, and I need music to forget that I’m using the empty dishwasher to store brandy because the drain doesn’t work, it floods the kitchen floor, and I’ve abandoned the appliance for repair.
  • I have to block incoming images of a comfy, energy-robbing recliner calling me to snuggle.

And these pitfalls have solutions:

  1. Unlike more weighty tasks, restoring my music connection is easily done in a small moment.
  2. Activate my newly kindled inspiration for hiring a repair service to fix the dishwasher.

Sirens sound in the distance, and I am running out of time. The snow emergency rises in priority. A powerful “why” snaps into place:

  • Family and other life crises could arise when a heavy snowfall endangers my ability to drive on safe and accessible roads. Deep snow is an obstacle to freedom.

I could think of other barriers to leaving my comfort zone, but the warm winter clothing bolsters my ‘can do’ attitude ,and lively music brightens my soul. Muttering “I can do it,” I lower the huge shovel with a mighty whoosh.

My solo efforts last for all of five minutes. That’s when, voilà, a hot new neighbor sees me and comes out to help. Two other fellows plowing snow next door also see my plight. Pretty soon we form an enthusiastic shovel brigade. It’s like a “snowparty,” without the snowballs. Our foursome digs with fury. When the snow is finally piled high beside the walks and drive, I bless them and sweeten my thank you with an offer of brandy; however, none of my impromptu helpers accept any compensation other than a simple thank you and a smile.

In less than fifteen minutes I’m back inside. The promised brandy in the dishwasher is forgotten for another year. Victory is reward enough. I’d say the shoveling went very well today.

While freedom beckons to me from the open drive, I dangle the car keys from my fingers and stand at the window to contemplate what just happened.

Greater perspective breaks slowly into my thoughts, reminding me that:

  • The pitfalls of any challenge generally conceal payoffs too.
  • The real challenge is remembering to check the flip side for everyday miracles.

What is the bright spot in having left my comfort zone? What is the payoff? I look in my pot of gold and find at least three coins:

  1. A gold coin that captures the benefit in allowing other people to benefit from helping me. Maybe this is all humankind needs to do in many situations: Confront challenges with a smile, let go, and plunge in to do our part — while the rest falls into place without sacrificing our safety.
  2. A silver coin that claims the interpersonal rewards that come from risking interdependence while outside my circle of comfort, and this lessens my independent solitude.
  3. A copper coin that validates my consequences from using well-informed choices and acknowledges other possible options.

It’s true that the goal I chose, navigating the driveway, was minor as a dream; but even the smallest details of life are significant. What about my larger life dream of freedom? What if I hadn’t acted at exactly that moment? Would I still be stuck inside with cabin fever? Or would I be outdoors, shoveling, alone in the dark…and freezing?

The answers are elusive. So I count my blessings, because it’s the best way of expressing my gratitude for these gifts of strength, resiliency, and the savvy knowing that even a kind and gentle soul can step out of the comfort zone and do good.

When it’s all over, I think we all need to know we did our best. We need a positive outcome. We need to fulfill our life dreams. If you agree, and you too have unmet life dreams, then ask yourself:

  • What powerful WHY propels your goal or life dream?
  • What obstacle prevents you from realizing your dream?
  • What is one small step you could take today to feel like you are acting on your dream?

With that, I close my window blinds against the wintry glare, swing my keys proudly into place, and walk outside – grateful for such a beautiful day.

 

 

 

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~This ongoing project will be updated as time permits and new authors surface ~

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What do you think?  Consider the patchwork portraiture of a stalled desire.  Can realizing a noble dream change the world?

‘Yes,’ in all probability.   Is now the time to find your inspiration, catch a wave that’s building, and harness the tide to your own quest?

Of course, if you don’t have one, how can it ever come true?  What is your dream?

Is motivation an issue?  What to do?  Will it take a ‘lifequake’ to rivet attention on this goal?

Perhaps it’s already too late…foaming white water is churning its frothy spray against jagged rocks and the boat is tilting crazily into the sea.  Is there still time to take charge of that dream before it falls into the Great Sargasso Sea of No No’s and Whoas?  Is it time to roll the ball forward?  If the answer is ‘yes’, try asking strategic questions.  Here are a few thoughts:

♥ If I had a magic wand, what would I do?

♥ Yesterday I won the lottery and I’m being handed a check for $20 million. What will I create with it?

♥ If I were to wake tomorrow morning and discover that my deepest, fondest dream has come true, how does it look? What does it sound like, how does it smell and taste?  Describe it in detail. How would I feel in this new scenario?  Is there something I’d change, or is it perfect?

♥ I am about to enter my choice of any theme park in the world.  When I walk through the gates, I will become the one millionth guest.  Cymbals will crash and balloons will fly.  Then arms will embrace me and thrust a microphone in my face.  I have won a prize, anything I want within the park.  What park am I in?  What do I want?  What shall I go see, or do, or have?

♥ My favorite author has just released a fantasy in which I’d like to immerse myself.  The central character is a youth who has just escaped Chaos, by entering a world he’s been told to avoid.  Megalithic vegetation and critters of mythic proportion surround him, at first seeming strange, then providing new structure. While there, he discovers a new venture in which he wishes to become skilled and illustrious, renowned far and wide.  This involves great danger. Chaos is not far away, and the boundaries are weakening.  As this youth, do I go join the fight, endangering all who could benefit from my new role?  Or do I buckle down, put the pedal to the metal, and start learning, practicing, and sharing my new skill?

♥ It is downsizing time in my corporation.  The training office has sent folks out to play the ‘Great Sky God’ game with vulnerable employees who should be considering alternative careers.  After I step blindfolded onto ‘Shaki Islet’, I am thoroughly disoriented, then told that a fire has broken out nearby.  My only hope for survival is to escape the island by water.  Somewhere in the water there are life preservers and a boat.  But there is a catch;  they will only appear to me if I have acquired the necessary tools.  If I am unprepared, I can only try to swim to ‘Safe Harbor’ and begin anew.  If I can’t swim or attract help, might I perish? How can I ensure my safe passage?

♥ If I get off ‘Shaki Islet’ safely, where will I go?  To Comfort Cave, to hide from catastrophe? To Lighthouse Point, to reset my bearings?  To Prosperity Key, to dig in and retool? Or directly to Castaway Bay to enter the new arena without further delay?

Now, bring that very special dream to mind.  What needs to be done to ensure that a toolbox is equipped to snag the life preserver, anchor the tilted boat, and navigate effectively into the particular ‘Safe Harbor’ where this reward waits?  For instance, if the dream is a new job or career, this virtual toolbox probably contains a current resume, a written statement of your objective, and certification of necessary skills.   Would it also be helpful to include a networking and support circle, a compass, experience reminders, and new linkage strategies?  If the dream is a vacation trip, the virtual toolbox will likely contain your research findings, a map or guide book, funds, and transport documents.

What two or three things must you do to realize this special dream? Why do you want this?  There won’t always be a fire to ignite action, but powerful inspiration can serve a similar purpose.

Back to ‘Shaki Islet’, fire is licking the grass near bare toes.  Disoriented from the blindfold, it’s near impossible to know which side of the island is where, or in what direction the water is flowing.  And good heavens, could there be sharks in the water?

What a delight it would be, right now, to hear a boat captain pull up and say, “Give me your hand and step carefully into the boat.  Now then, where would you like me to take you?”

In closing, focus on the significance of the quest, not its overall success.  Then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning to fuel your effort.

Dreams and callings come in all shapes, but none is as special as the one you carry in your own heart.  It can change the world.  Proceed step by step, a thing at a time.  Wait and see, or run through walls.  Catch a wave that is building.  Join a flock of geese flying in your direction.  However you approach the matter, be creative.

Ignite your dreams! .•*¨`*• . .•*¨☆

Next:  Propel your dreams

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