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What do you dream of?

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

I shared this quote on Instagram yesterday to celebrate that my Costa Rica retreat sold out. A friend who I've known since we were 22, waitressing together in Key West, sent it to me after I told her how the retreat was going. The quote comes from the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a book all about following your own personal legend. I first read the book on her couch one weekend in Philadelphia, 8 years ago. I've reread it at least four times since, at different points in my life when I need a reminder, clarity, and faith on how life can work out.

It is meaningful that my friend Heather sent me this message. We met after we had graduated from college and both had moved to Key West because we weren't ready to use our degrees and get "real jobs." We both had the same idea of going somewhere warm and having some fun. She came from Georgia and I from Connecticut. I vividly remember my manager saying to me, "I hired a friend for you" (meaning Heather) to work at the restaurant. I did work with mostly guys, and it was funny that he thought I needed a friend. Little did we know the journey life would take us.

Since then Heather and I have both, well lived. We moved in different directions, yet here we are still friends, supporting each other. We both moved to different places and entered different relationships. We both went on to earn advanced degrees (she in law and me with an MBA). We traveling in the US, Europe, and South America together. We had many nights of wine, laughs, tears, and questions about love and life. I share this because, while I completely agree with The Alchemist quote that the universe will conspire to help you achieve your dreams (when you finally let yourself get clear on them), we also need people to believe in us and our dreams.

Heather is just one amazing example of the people I have in my life that I am so grateful for. There are the people who are family and I've known my whole life. New friends from recent jobs or living on Cape Cod. The yoga community that shows up when I teach. The people who offer support, advice, or to just listen. The women who sign up for the retreats or check in once they are done to know how I did. These are my people. This is what fills my heart with love, joy, and gratitude. This is what helps me to move forward.

So, I think this is the recipe for having your dreams come true: Clarity + Belief = Realization.

If we don't know what our dreams are, we will either lose motivation to keep going or not feel content and fulfilled when we reach that finish line. Clarity is so key here - and so flipping hard! The stories we tell ourselves (or hear from others) can keep us away from getting solid on our true dreams. Ever since I started teaching yoga in 2008, people would ask me if I wanted to be a full-time yoga teacher. I used to laugh and think how it would be impossible to do that because of money, fear, lack of confidence - the stories I told myself. I would say if I taught all the time, I wouldn't love it anymore. Or that I spent all this money on college, graduate school, and time building my corporate career, that I couldn't possibly walk away from all that to teach yoga. It was quite the web of excuses that kept me stuck in this place of doubt and fear. Once I realized, though, that I can do this (even though I'm still uncertain and figuring things out), things started to shift. I got clear on what I want, and I started believing in myself. I let the "shoulds" and old stories go and let myself both dream for it and work at it. Do I have a long way to go? Yes. Am I making progress? Yes (hello, sold out Costa Rica retreat!). I got clear on my dream and started believing in myself. I surrounded myself and received energy from people who believed in me.

I'll end with one more quote from The Alchemist. “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” Spend some time today thinking about your own aspirations and ideal life. Your deep longings that even when you try to quiet them, don't want to go away. Remembering that each of our dreams will be completely different from one another - that is what makes life awesome! What are ways you can start believing in your dreams? And how can you build a community to surround you that believes in you too?

Heather and I somewhere in Utah
Heather and I somewhere in Utah

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