Tag Archives: dream

Listen. Dream. Go.

Listen. Dream. Go.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~Steve Jobs

As I stop in the middle of this sand and heat, I think about the lessons of life – the many lessons of life that we will at some point inevitably learn, and I ponder which one was most significant in getting me here to this place I’ve dreamt about for years. I think it’s the importance of listening to and believing in myself. When I began to voice what I wanted – which was to come here to Afthanistan – I faced some confused and strongly opposing opinions. If anyone has read prior posts, they know that I’m a default people pleaser…or as I like to say now, a recovering people pleaser…so expressing an idea that is in opposition to others took some lady balls. It took a long time to voice even to myself what I wanted, and longer yet to boost up the courage to say it out loud. At first I felt silly and I would add disclaimers like, “I know it’s a stupid idea, but I think I want to go to Afghanistan.” Thank God I found the fire in my belly to keep listening to myself and take action on doing the thing I could barely speak. I couldn’t tell anyone in my life – wait, I told my sister because she could tell something was up – and felt like I was living a deceptive life when I submitted my employment application to various companies. Then when one was interested in me, I would break out in a nervous sweat in replying back that I would like to continue forward with the hiring process – like I was committing a crime or some awful act.

But I stuck with it. I think part of me was afraid that I’d buckle if I told people too early – that I would listen to unsolicited advice about what a dangerous idea it was and I wouldn’t go through with it – so I protectively stayed silent. But I listened to my heart when my words weren’t even there yet and pushed on. It didn’t feel wrong, but felt good and exciting and right when I pushed “send” on those employment emails.

I’m not promoting living a double life in order to do the things you want to in life in a careless fashion – that’s not the lesson at all. I’m putting out the voice of encouragement to trust in your own dreams and don’t shy away from them because of other people’s criticisms. Listen to yourself. Listen to your heart. And if you think you’ll buckle, then yes do what you need to do for you to dodge those fire hoses (that’s what my high school running coach used to call people that like to squelch dreams). Ultimately, everyone in my life got behind me and is supporting me now. But even if some hadn’t, I was prepared to ask them that if they didn’t agree with me, could they just love and trust me?

I regret that I held back on jumping off my cliff and doing this thing I’ve wanted to do for so many years. I tried to accept the life I was in before and become the person that I needed to be to make that life work, but ultimately I wasn’t very good at it because I was so restless and unhappy and living counter to my dreams…which would always seep in again and permeate my imagination. Now I can stand here and smile a smile from the inside out – a contented smile of happiness with myself that I did this – I took the steps to put me here. I finally listened to myself.

Hear the Women Roar

Hear the Women Roar

“Training of female athletes is so new that the limits of female possibility are still unknown.” ~Katherine Dunn

In celebration of the Olympics, I would like to honor the women out there who have overcome odds and won medals through the years.

Don’t Let Being a Woman Ever Stop You2012 Olympic Muslim Women

For the first time, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei all entered women athletes into the 2012 Olympic Games. Each of them had to fight for the right just to train in their sport to get to London. They were used to being heckled and screamed at to get back to their house where they belonged. In countries where women are banned from driving and cannot leave the house without a male chaperone, let alone compete in the biggest sports event in the world in front of millions of people. Their families have been threatened and shunned, the clergy called them “Prostitutes of the Olympics,” but they fought on. Imagine what the cheers of the crowds celebrating their courage as they stepped into the arena in their Muslim-adapted athletic clothing sounded like to them.

23 year old Afghanistani 100 meter sprinter, Tahmina Kohistan, commented, “I faced a lot of challenges in my training for the London Olympics. One day I was coming to the stadium and the taxi driver asked me where I was going. I said ‘I am training, I am going to London Olympics’ and he said ‘get out of the cab, I don’t want to take you there.’ Whenever I train there’s a lot of people who want to disturb me. They say ‘just leave these things, it’s not good for Afghan females to do these things.’” She then boldly declared, “I have a message for the women of Afghanistan. Come and join me. We must be ready for the next Olympics. I’m going to do my best to be in Brazil, I am going to give reason for other athletes to follow my way.”

Although none of the women placed, they achieved a far nobler prize.

Seeing Yourself is and Inward ActionMarla Runyan
For a woman who cannot see, Marla Runyan certainly has vision. After macular degeneration stripped the runner of her sight at just nine years old, she became the first legally-blind athlete to compete in the Olympics when she placed eighth in the 2000 Games in the 1,500-meter event. Her Paralympic record is even more impressive: five times she left the medal circle wearing gold.

Her doctors told her they didn’t have many expectations for her life when she lost her sight as a young girl. She not only disproved all expectations, but she did so with grace and speed, and with the determination to live as normal a life as any other Olympic female athlete.

Your Motivation Must Come 100% From You Penny Heyns

She is a South African swimming star, who is a double Olympic gold and Olympic bronze medalist. She is the only woman in Olympic history to win both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events in Atlanta 1996, bronze in Sydney 2000 and by breaking a total of 14 individual world records during her swimming career.

The first thing her coach said to her when he decided he would coach her was, “If you’re willing to give 100%, I’ll give a 100%. But it’s all up to you. The commitment must come from you. I don’t want you to come to the pool because I’m standing there. You must come because it’s from you!”

Defy Others’ Expectations of YouAlice Coachman

In 1948, Alice Coachman was the only U.S. woman to win a gold medal—despite the fact that segregation prevented her from training in white-only facilities. She was also the first African-American woman to ever win a gold medal. She was so obsessed with achieving track and field success that she trained wherever and however she could, including running barefoot in fields and jumping over rags and sticks for hours each day to improve her high jump, the event in which she took the gold.

Even after she stopped competing, she continued to break records. She benefited from endorsement deals and was the first African-American female athlete to do so. In later years, she formed the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to support young athletes and provide help for Olympic veterans. When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, she was honored as one of the top 100 greatest Olympic athletes. Since the end of her career, she has been inducted into eight different halls of fame.

You Must Be Tough in Spirit Sara Reinersten
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” ~Anon

American triathlete, writer and motivational speaker, and former Paralympic athlete 1992. She was the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

Setbacks and Difficulties Must Be OvercomeNatalie du Toit

Natalie du Toit is a South African swimmer who lost her leg in a car accident. She is best known for the gold medals she won at the 2004 Paralympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games. Natalie impressively became the first leg amputee ever to qualify for the Olympics.

I say, “If I’m able to go out there and achieve a dream, then anybody can do it.”

Age is Just a NumberDara Torres

Gold Medal champion swimmer, Dara Torres. At the age of 41, Dara took home her 12th career Olympic medal in the 2008 Games as part of the U.S. 4X100-meter medley relay team. This is a remarkable physical achievement, especially given the fact that the average age of U.S. Olympic team members at the Beijing games was 26.8 years.

She has set three world records and has brought home twelve Olympic medals, including four gold. Dara Torres is arguably the fastest female swimmer in America.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Some of these highlights were found from the article 5 Famous Female Athletes Reveal Attitudes Needed for Dream Achievement.

Real Dreams Come True

Real Dreams Come True

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

I am coming out of a great week in Vegas with my mom – who would have ever thought I’d say that?! What a non-typical Vegas week it was…no strip clubs, no gambling – instead it was a Shaklee health company conference focused on health and wellness…and my personal focus of meeting some very cool women. The people here were all jazzed up on living life fully and making their dreams come true…and though what happens here is supposed to stay here, I think I’ll take this energy and inspiration with me.

There’s something about witnessing other people declare and then go pursue their dreams that is addicting. One woman I met actually started up a non profit organization to employ women and get them out of the sex trade in Thailand. They weave material, which she then uses to sew into cute bags…and they are sewn by homeless women she has hired in the U.S. to help get a new start. Amazing! Her Etsty link is here if you’d like to check out her bags.

I met another woman who is a professional blogger and is making a living doing what she loves doing most – writing about her take on life. One woman I met is starting her own business to support her and her kids just after they were all abandoned by her husband for another woman. Another woman had a horrific childhood of neglect and abuse, and rose from her own ashes of utter sabotage and destruction of all herself and decided to simply push aside the hand she was dealt and make a new life defined by her own dreams…and they came true! There was even a segment where the company linked in live to London to talk with some of the athletes there about their journeys to make their own dreams come true and the importance of their health on that journey. I’m telling you, no one could make it through this week and not want to go race to their own gold finish. SOLD!

As I met and talked with these women (there were lots of men here too, but I’m all about female empowerment these days, so I made sure to meet the cool ladies around me), they were no wet rags or Debby Downers or firehoses or positive sucks. Positive Sucks is the name I’ve given to those people who manage to suck the positive out of ANY and ALL situations they’re in. They complain about the weather or their salary or their boss or their kids or their house. Even when you overtly try to change the conversation to a more upbeat tune, they will bring it back down to a dull, boring, negative groan. But these women were different…they were alive and powerful – their positive energy was spilling outward. They had their own fire, and their fire was contagious!

The more I write and the more amazing women I cross paths with, I realize that there is no time to waste. We don’t have time to sit back and let life come to us. There is no sense in being complacent even just one more day. I look around me at women who have overcome all odds. At one point the world looked at them counted them out; it was too late and they were too far gone. But they proved the world wrong and decided to flourish instead of wither.

“No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.” – Anonymous

“Not fulfilling your dreams will be a loss to the world, because the world needs everyone’s gift — yours and mine.” – Barbara Sher

“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.” – Anonymous