Two nights ago I awoke after an extremely vivid dream, which reflected not only how far I’ve come since last August, but also how much more there is to learn, grow and experience in this one wild precious life helping people to connect more deeply and consistently with nature..
Here’s the dream:
I am in some sort of waiting room, more like an auditorium or audition studio in size. A former employer is scurrying back and forth conversing with other colleagues as the interviewees settle into their respective chairs.
The first candidate, a chicken, flaps into the room and rests atop a desk.
Then candidate number two, a mellow golden retriever, leaps onto the seat of another desk, slobbering, and then a squirrel scurries into the room and cannot sit still!
I then see a seat with my name on it which also says “2:30 tomorrow”, and afterwards three people shuffle in, fidgeting as they find their seats, yawning, and awaiting what may, or may not happen next
Just before I leave this circus my former boss pulls me aside, pleading with me to return, this time full-time, coordinating risks and benefits for other employees. She assures me that the job is mine, and that everything else happening is a ruse to make things look more legitimate.
I tell her I’ll think about it overnight. As I walk out the door, a former colleague from the same place rushes over, and shakes and wakes me up, saying, “Hobie, you can’t go back. Remember why you left in the first place!”
Sometimes it’s awfully comfortable to scheme and dream about turning back the clock and doing things differently so that things today can or could be different. The same goes for reciting excuses, obstacles, and reasons that because some unchangeable things happened in the past, things cannot possibly change in the present, or even in the future!
Risks, and benefits, are always present, no matter where we seem to be in life, no matter how old we are, no matter what we decide to do or not do. The natural world is full of structure and order, yet nature is also a profound risk-taker. Consider ivy species that scale buildings, and snake along brick-lined suburban driveways. Or look at the grizzly bear in the fall, ranging more widely into human-occupied habitats when foods such as whitebark pine nuts and army cutworm moths are in short supply at higher elevations.
For many people, though, it’s easier to not even dare to change, and know what you’re going to get, than to take action and dare to dream and live differently.
You cannot go back, yet you’re feeling stuck.
How do you move forward through fear and resistance and guilt and all the other shit that comes up when you know that something in your life is not working for you right now, and when you know you need and want to connect more deeply and express your more authentic, true, natural self?
One key is knowing and trusting that this will always be a process, and a work of art in progress, and also having the desire, intention and commitment to change.
The second key is having ongoing support, encouragement, and accountability, a safe, respected place and space in which to grow and thrive, and community where others have your back, and you have theirs.
We’re all in this crazy and exhilarating experience called life together, and it’s way more fun to discover and share your gifts with others than hiding and pretending that you don’t have anything of value to offer to anyone.
A third step is to find your particular muse, vehicle, gateway, or portal to personal and life transformation.
One friend and colleague in Missoula does this through empowering people to discover their voice and confidence in all areas of life through singing and love of music, while my vehicle and proven pathway for helping others happens to be through nature connection.
Do work that you love.
Listen to your muse and find someone who’s farther along the path than you are for guidance and insight, and for the critical tools, resources and practices that will help you be where your heart and soul are yearning to be, instead of just wishing and talking about it.
Share and celebrate your successes, which will in turn motivate, inspire and encourage others to do the same.
Pay it forward.
Find a way that works for you, for there is always more than one door or window that will open for you to do what you want to do and where you want to be.
No obstacle is too large, as long as your faith, trust and perseverance are unwavering. Begin. Today. Now.
In turn, you’ll be an oasis in the desert for other life travelers who will surely follow you. We’re all natural risk takers, and the more we risk, the more we all benefit, including all of our fellow inhabitants on this third rock from the sun that we call home.