It’s important to have dreams. Every theory of success and positive living shares this sentiment. Having a big, long-range goal keeps us focused and energized about life.
As our lives evolve and our needs grow and transform it may start to become clear that maybe the dreams, we once had are now old dreams and don’t suit or fulfill our lives.
Guess what, it’s not only O.K., but also often an amazing moment to let go of what was and redirect our focus and energy to what is ahead.
Recently, this became insanely clear.
My entire young life was focused on being a dancer. Going to class and training was my priority. I moved across the country to Los Angeles to train with the best commercial dancers in the world. While my dream also served as an escape from my reality, I did build a series of life skills I still use today.
I was a strong technical dancer and loved moving my body and still love moving my body.
What has changed over the years is my desire to be in class. This is due in part to a new set of physical limitations that do indeed prevent me from moving in the same capacity I had done before. My energy is now somewhat limited, and I protect my time and attention with great care.
Paramount to my overall health and well-being is consistent exercise. Since I am no longer able to dance as hard as I used to, taking a class does not generate the level of physical exertion I need to maintain my optimal physical and emotional health.
I have accepted my structural changes, limitations and what they bring When I have gone to dancing class, I work around the barriers in part to protect my joints and prevent any extra pain.
What has become more apparent, is I no longer need to dance. I simply don’t get the charge I once did when I took a dance class.
I had a similar experience around performing in my mid 30’s. I was dancing with a friend’s contemporary company. This was before I had been crushed by a bus. I remember on show day thinking: ‘I could just as well be in the park or at home reading a book.’ My dream of performing had sizzled out.
Let me be clear, my love and essence as a dancer are stronger than ever. The forms have now changed. The dream to be a high-level performer on Broadway or tour dancer with a major pop star is simply gone.
Frankly, I don’t have that much energy.
Creating work as a choreographer is still high on my list of life goals. I found my creative space behind the scenes as a choreographer, producer, and director. I was able to infuse my lifelong classical and versatile dance training into my choreography and the lifetime of study has been necessary.
With this clarity, I no longer need to chase something I don’t even want. How often do we find ourselves in a hamster wheel because we are ‘supposed’ to do or be something we decided in the past? This can apply to anything, a big creative dream, a relationship, or really any life goal.
Are we working and chasing because we have a burning desire to make it happen or because we think we ‘have to keep going?’
Letting go of an old ideal or goal can do one thing: make room for something new. In my case more space for new creative outlets to emerge. Honoring the space we find ourselves in RIGHT NOW will keep us free of resentment.
My question then is this: Are you hanging onto something that doesn’t serve you? Are you expending energy in places where you can be creating something new? Are you hiding in the past out of fear of doing human revolution and walking away from what simply doesn’t work anymore?
Take a little time and ask yourself what do you want? With clarity of purpose will come clarity of action steps.
Live your biggest, newest dream!