Monday, 13 August 2012

When your dreams don't come true (and how to be ok with that).

So, I don't know about you, but lately, wherever I go, wherever I read, people are MAKING THEIR DREAMS COME TRUE! 

From moving into spectacular dream homes and releasing book after successful book to tripling -no- quadrupling their business incomes and securing licensing deals. From creating spectacular e-courses and going on hugely expensive art or business retreats to going on book tours and acquiring unicorns that serve them lattes. Dreams, people, are being made true!

And I don't know about you, but when I read about all this 'dream-come-true-making', it makes me hyperventilate, just a bit. It triggers something in my brain, a base reaction, knee-jerk, much like when I see someone else eat an icecream; I MUST EAT ONE TOO! Me tooooo, I must have more, do more, go more, have more, me me me me too! 
MEEEEE & MAKE *MY* DREAMS COME TRUE TOO! NOW now! Now NOW! Like a ranting little toddler - in my head. It's a piranha sort of frenzy that ensues. Oh the possibilities, the joy and fun I *could* have, if ONLY I made all my dreams come true!

I too, MUST move into my DREAM HOME, publish a BOOK, quadruple my INCOME, secure a licensing deal and most of all acquire a unicorn! But my unicorn won't ONLY make me lattes, no! It will also poop diamonds and speak French and oh I also NEED a private jet and a baby leopard, 6 acres of land with dancing ponies, a swimming pool in the shape of a mermaid and sparkling glass flip flops. And a butler, I must have a butler. He should be British, his name will be Jeeves, he will be kind and old and overly concerned about tea.

Reading about other people's dream-come-true-making antics makes that little muscle under my eye twitch a little more crazily than it usually does.

And then I stop the crazy for a moment, and look at myself and notice that I'm in a miserable space of lack. Projecting into the future where I live a life in which 'all my dreams have come true' and one very important thing is happening here: I'm no longer noticing the beauty of my life here now. Uh-oh. I'm no longer here. I'm there, feverishly working on my 'dream-come-true-making' plans. It can get to a state where I hardly even exist anymore. I'm not here because I'm there (in an imagined future which does not actually exist), so where am I? No where. Eep! And I've stopped noticing! 

I've stopped noticing the stunning blue of the sky. The pink of the tiny rose bush on my street, the wind on my face. Dylan's curved upper lip. The taste of basil, my breath. The gorgeous pitch black of the night. Soft peaches and nectarines. Orchids. The twinkle in Andy's eye, the grin on Elliot's face. I've stopped noticing, while dreaming.
And then, I wake up for a moment and become aware of how crazy making this 'dream-chasing' can be and then my inner zen chick comes out and has a few things to say about it too. She wants to say;
Oh Tam, beautiful Tam. Them dreams of yours, they are pretty and sparkly and lovely and all, but you have to remember one thing: dreams can be assholes. Dreams promise pretty sparkly things, but they do one thing that really doesn't serve you: they take the focus away from where you are now. From what is beautiful and spectacular in your life now. Dreams, by their very nature, encourage you to dream (ha) and to spend a lot of time in an imaginary future that doesn't exist. They can make you anxious, jittery, neurotic and stressed out. There is nothing wrong with bettering and improving yourself or your life, but don't get so immersed and caught up in your dreams that it means you disappear! Don't let your dreams take you away from here and make you believe that you are now in a place of lack. Start from a place of beauty-now, gratitude-now. Upon that you can build (and maybe make dreams come true) with joy and ease.
And I listen to her and I nod and think to myself: yes.

And then, this is what I want to say:

Often, no matter what we do or don't do: our dreams don't come true. And you know what? Instead of feeling shitty and miserable about that; I want to be ok with that. No. I want to be ok before that. I want to be at a place in my life, even if I'm in a mess, with an overweight body, sleep-deprived, a few grey hairs, without a dream house, without quadrupling my business income, without a book or licensing deal, without a diamond-pooping-unicorn, a mermaid-shaped swimming pool, a jet, butler and baby leopard and still be blissfully, irrevocably, stunningly happy, just as is. With gratitude, with awe and with joy. Because life is just that: awesome, joyful, amazing without all the external stuff. I mean like, have you seen butterflies lately?!

You don't need a house, a book deal, a car, a thin body, a jet (or whatever else) to be happy and at peace. You just need to be awake to be at peace and happy. Right now. Notice.
If you think you can only be happy when you 'make your dreams come true', you are entirely missing the point of life. You are waiting for your life (your dream) to begin. For your happiness to begin based on external circumstances and materials.

Your life is to be enjoyed now, not 'only when you've achieved your dream'. When you solely focus on 'making your dream(s) come true' (whatever they may be), you're always projecting into the future and you're not noticing what you have, what you are, what is beautiful and awe inspiring right now.

To make matters worse; usually when you DO finally 'make your dream come true' it often doesn't make you happy enough and you start chasing another dream (not actually enjoying the first dream you chased after so desperately) and that way, never really living, never really being here.

Here, Alan Watts says it better than me:

So, that is my message today: it's totally ok when your dreams don't come true, because your life is gorgeous as it is, YOU are gorgeous as you are, right now. It just requires a shift in perspective dear people. (Years ago when I had a major RA flare up, I wasn't able to do anything for about a year, I couldn't work, or take part in any kind of meaningful activities, most of my year was spent in a bed, in a house, doing very little, it was a very trying and hard time for me, I was in a lot of physical pain. A friend called me up at some point and I asked him how he was doing, he complained about his horrible boss and how the trains were always late and I remember thinking to myself: "I wish I had a horrible boss and late trains to complain about it would make me feel SO part of life, I'd be so blissfully normal and part of society and have community and a purpose of some sorts." & It's all about perspective, see?).

Also: the bits we don't like about life? The shitty hard bits that leave you breathless with pain and grief: they are usually the bits where the most healing, enlightenment and growth occurs. (Just saying. So don't diss the non happy moments, they have value too as painful as they can be).

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”


Disclaimer: I'm not advocating not to strive to be the best you you can be, and I'm not saying not to try and 'make your dream come true'. I'm saying: don't start that journey from a place of lack, instead start from a place of 'enoughness'. Start from a place of self love/ life love. Start from a place of awareness and gratitude for where you are now, what you have now. That is a fertile soil ground onto which you can build "dreams coming true but it doesn't matter if they don't because OMG a ladybird!"

And when you come from that place, that place of enoughness, awe and gratitude, it so doesn't matter if your dreams don't come true, it really doesn't because life is an amazing gem, a precious gift just as it is.
The Tamracle (my inner zen chick) has spoken.

Ohm and out.



  1. Oh yes. I totally agree. Love this, Tam.

  2. You always say the right things at the right time, kisses to you hun xxx

  3. While reading this post all sorts of ideas for comments popped into my head, but then a few sentences later you said it already, so now there's nothing left for me to say except "Amen sister!". I couldn't agree more, except of course for the latte serving unicorn, I must get me one of those! ;-)

  4. exactly what i've been working on for weeks now. being here. being now. it's magical when u can do it. so hard, too. i love this poem by rumi that my teacher shared with me:

    The Guest House

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing,
    and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    ~ Rumi ~

    i'm sure you've seen it before but i like to read it a few times a week :)

  5. also the video isn't working for me. do u have a link to youtube with it?

  6. Oh goodness. You've hit the nail on the head!

    I love this!

  7. I really needed this! Thank you. <3

  8. Ooo I needed a little talking to like that. Thanks Tam!

  9. You've hit the nail right on the head for me.
    And I'm not sure why, but I get the feeling your dreams are about to come true. :)

  10. Glad it resonated with you guys! Thank you for your lovely comments and other contributions, LOVE the Rumi poem Karen!

    Karen, have fixed the youtube video, but you can also go here to watch it:

    big hugs to you all! x

  11. Tam - what an amazing post. And it was so timely for me! I had just come to realze that I am enough (after lots of angst mind you!) and if my dreams do come true that will be the cherry on top. Very sycronistic to recieve your post in my inbox a few days later. Thank you for always being inspiring. Kirstin x

  12. Ahh - it was like reading my own mind reading your words - I want it - I want it NOW - why is everyone else spinning and I am standing still -yada yada yada
    Like you - I do need to remind myself to enjoy the now - always

  13. I read this post just in the exact moment when I felt the place of lack. I just moved to a new city, where everything is new and odd. OHH Yes, my husband just get a new and exciting job, while I will be at home with the kids leaving my dream for later. So I am glad to have the opportunity to read your post its gave me another point of view and the feeling that I am doing what I supposed to do. Thank you!

  14. I really don't have adequate words to describe how much I loved this post. I'm not sure who said, "Comparison is the thief of joy.", but it truly is. Thank you for the honesty of this post... It is a fantastic reminder & I have bookmarked it for when I need one :)


  15. Beautiful post, Tam. Hit me right where I needed to focus right now. Thank you! <3

  16. Love your whole thought process Tam!

  17. I feel exactly the same way about the idea of a "bucket list". It is as if what I am doing right now is not 'bucket list" worthy. - that my life is not enough as is. And it is enough. I usually tell people I am living my bucket list. That Bucket List was a movie . - just a movie.


Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


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