Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's Yo' Dream?


What's yo' dream? Remember that, from "Pretty Woman" with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere?  There was a man who appeared throughout the movie saying, "What's yo' dream?".

So...what's yo' dream?  What's yo' passion?  What's yo' purpose?

I'm sitting here watching an episode of "Oprah's Lifeclass:  The Tour with Bishop T.D. Jakes".  Oprah is talking about our purpose in life.  What is our purpose?  She says that if you open your heart-space, that by the end of her show you'll be on the road to figuring out just what your purpose is.

How many of us go through our lives, clueless, not really knowing why we are even here.  Maybe not even giving it any thought, but simply mulling through, day after day after day, until one day...we die.  Isn't there more?  Shouldn't there be a greater purpose than simply occupying space and contributing to pollution?

Oprah says the real job of our lives is to figure out why we are here and "get about the business of doing that."  She talks about having a stronger life, a more fulfilling life, and a better life.  I think we all want a better life, but most of us haven't the foggiest idea of how to accomplish such a feat.  We don't have a clue as to how to fulfill the highest expression of ourselves.  Most people trudge through their daily lives with one goal:  make it through the day so they can go home and numb themselves with a cold beer and a bad sitcom.  I've been there.  My poison is a glass of wine and an episode of "Big Bang Theory".  But is that all there is?  Is that really what we want to reward ourselves with at the end of a grueling day?  Mind numbing activities?

What would the world look like if we all aspired daily to fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves?  I'm reminded of a conversation I once had where I spoke about how important it is for people to follow their dreams.  The response from the person I was with was that if everyone followed their dreams, who would we have to be plumbers and ditch-diggers (or something like that).  But over the years, I have been amazed by people who LOVE plumbing and ditch-digging.  I personally would rather eat dirt than do those things, but those people have found their calling.  They love what they do, for whatever reason.  I find it hard to imagine anything that could arouse passion in me when discussing plumbing, but those same people who love plumbing might be bored out of their minds as I describe the emotions I feel when a symphony of colors is laid upon a canvas.

Think about the vast amount of humans we have on this planet.  Each of us has our own talents and passions.  Those things that make us come alive.  Even if those things don't meet with societal or parental expectations, they make us, as individuals, authentic.  Completely authentic.  Imagine if we all served this passion.  Is it possible that maybe we'd find ourselves living in a more complete and fulfilled society?  Perhaps there would be less crime and hatred because people would be living in an authentic way?

What if we encouraged this authenticity in ourselves, our children, our leaders?  Can you imagine the changes we might see in people who have lived the lives they were expected to lead?  What if the perfect sorority girl who married the perfect businessman really wanted to be a free-spirited artist instead of the uptight perfect member of the community?  What if the District Attorney had a real passion to build houses instead of practice law?  What if the CEO of that big oil company really just wanted to start a school to help students in need?  What holds them back?  Societal pressures?  Fear?  Freedom?

If we really stop and pay attention, we know if we are following our passion.  Do you feel called to do what you are doing?  Does it feel right when you are there?  Do you feel purpose?

How many of us really pay attention to this?  Do we take the time to stop and listen to those voices within us that are calling, first in a whisper, then louder, and louder....begging us to embrace that which brings us true joy and happiness....that which, if pursued, will reveal our true selves?  Can we learn to stop being what we are not?

Bishop T.D. Jakes says that passion and purpose are partners.  Your passion leads you to your purpose.  What do you feel drawn to?  I can think back to my earliest days....images on the television and in magazines...those of the mountains and the outdoors always captured my attention.  Creative endeavors inspired me.  Words thrilled and excited me.  To this day, I am not excited by images of city life or crowds of people. Exclusive, expensive restaurants are not appealing.   The simpler, more beautiful things in life are what draw me in.  I want to capture them in words and images.

When we live with purpose and passion, we no longer need others to validate us.  Our expression of our ultimate selves is all the validation we need.  Imagine the fulfillment, the joy, the peace.

So, having said all that.....what's yo' dream?  What's yo' passion?  What's yo' purpose?

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