December 12, 2015

How Planting Seeds helps us Live our Dreams.

author's personal photo: Cara Bradley

It’s fun to dream of adventures and traveling—to imagine exploring exotic lands like Bora Bora or India.

It’s also exciting to fantasize about being wildly successful professionally, or living in the perfect home on the perfect beach with the perfect climate all year round.

Dreaming is not only fun—it’s necessary.

Dreaming is like planting a seed in the soil in the early spring and nurturing it for a few weeks until the first sprout pokes through.

We plant seeds by allowing our imagination to run free—by envisioning ourselves in faraway places or in seemingly unattainable situations. It’s how we get the ball rolling, so to speak.

Dreams are gateways to the field of infinite possibilities that can occur in one’s life. They embody our desires and reveal the depth of our creativity, passions and aspirations.

As we water and nurture the seeds of our dreams, our capacity to bring our dreams to life becomes stronger—as does our will to rise to the occasion and make big things happen—like starting a business, spending a glorious month at the beach or writing a memoir.

None of these things would come to pass, if first a seed was not planted—a dream not glimpsed.

Twenty-six years ago, my husband Brian and I unknowingly planted a seed on the drive back to New York City from a business meeting in Boston. At the time, he was my boyfriend of only a few months. We’d impulsively purchased tickets for the large (really large) Powerball drawing that evening. With nothing else to do, as we drove down I-95 for a few hours, we talked about how our lives would change if one of us won the lottery.

We fantasized about a house on the beach in Mexico or spending a few months in Italy. Why not? We imagined trips to faraway places like Tahiti or Madagascar. We dreamed up a business that provided services capable of changing lives and envisioned a foundation that supported others who didn’t have the wealth or resources we’d both been given.

At first, we skirted around the issue of whether we’d realize these dreams alone or together—but by the end of dreaming out loud together, we had agreed that if we won the lottery, we’d realize our dreams together.

The seed had been planted.

We did not win the Powerball, nor did we get engaged right away. But on that day, unbeknownst to us, we had planted a seed to be watered and nurtured. We’d both decided that we’d like to stay together. In that moment on the drive home, our relationship shifted.

Twenty-five years later we are still married. Over the years, with lots of sunshine and water (and windstorms and hurricanes), our seed has grown into a mighty oak.

I’ve recently started a dream journal. Sometimes I add to it if I’m inspired. It is a list of my seeds—a collection of my dreams.

Some of my dreams are outrageous—like being interviewed by Oprah, about my New York Times best seller. Some dreams are simple—like someday living in a small cottage with a front porch that looks out over a beautiful horizon.

At times, it is challenging to continue to dream of realities that feel impossible to create. But I have learned that to stop dreaming, means to let go of living with intention—and reality turns dull.

My “dreaming practice” helps me focus my energy on what it is I want to create in my life. I read my list of dreams a few times a week to reinforce the life I want to live. I envision some of the seeds growing into a mighty oak, just as my marriage has.

Some of my dreams are more powerful than others. For instance, my upcoming book making the New York Times best-seller list is a big dream! It’s a bold dream, but one I know is possible. I also recognize, however, that I’m not going to get there by accident. Having this on my dream list keeps me accountable. I ask myself every week: Are you setting yourself up for success? Are you doing all you can to make your book a New York Times best-seller a reality?

From this careful reflection, I reignite my dream and take the next steps required to making my dream a reality.

I know that not all of the seedlings are going to sprout, but I keep watering them until I decide not to.

I love this new “dreaming practice”—it keeps me happy and hopeful. It opens the door to manifesting. It sends signals out into the vast field of possibility.

If I don’t plant seeds, I’ll live my life by chance.

I want to live my life on purpose—and I believe that planting seeds is a great place to start.

Why not plant some seeds today?

Give yourself permission to dream wildly.

What are your dreams? Write them down.

Oprah may just be waiting for you to do so.



Awaken Dreamer: 10 Tips for Dreaming.


Author: Cara Bradley

Apprentice Editor: Lee Lomas/Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own.

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