How Do I Dig For My Dream?

Somewhere in that shuffle of marriage,of being a wife or husband, of being a husband or mother,  in the middle of parenting in a mindful way….dreams we once had often seem so distant.  Our dreams before we had children may also now seem irrelevant because we have shifted and grown as human beings.  We may no longer know what dream we have outside of parenting, putting food on the table, homeschooling.  How do we discover our current passion?  What could we be working on that is just ours alone?  If we discover a passion and then we want time alone to pursue that, is that selfish and not to be had in this season of life?

I think it is okay to have a passion not related to your children or your marriage.  These passions and desires make you who you are, and also show your evolution and your growth as a human being throughout these cycles.   Your children will not be under the age of 9 forever, and yes, they will need your presence still, but you will be able to garner a bit more time.

What is your passion right now? What is really interesting to you?  If you cannot think of what your passion outside of your own family might be, what is it that really breaks your heart?

That sounds so incredibly odd, doesn’t it?  What breaks my heart?  Really, what kind of question is that?

It is just that sometimes I find the very thing that you see that breaks your heart turns out the biggest way you can contribute to your community, to your friends, to the people who need whatever experience or passion you have to offer.  In the words of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, “The hurt that we embrace becomes our joy.”

You all can probably guess my passion; my passion is to build connected families, to encourage strong marriages, for  parents to connect with their children and to understand normal development across the human arc so they can educate and parent and gently guide in the most optimal way so their children can grow up into healthy adults.  I get to this  through my traditional medical background, through the seven year cycles and three and four fold human being and the twelve sense, through attachment parenting and gentle discipline and through Waldorf Education.  If you look at my “About” page, you will see the total mishmash of Things That Make Up Carrie.  And for years, I had absolutely no idea how any of that could fit together and help me or anyone else.

Maybe you are a bit like me; wondering what this chapter of your life holds outside of parenting and thinking, hmm, in twenty years or so when my children are gone, what will I be doing?  That is an interesting question!

So what is your passion?  What breaks your heart?  What brings you the most joy?  What do people say you are really, really good at?   Probably in that realm is where you will find your passion and ignite your dream. 

One thing to me that is vital in discovering this passion is having your own time each day to SIT QUIETLY.  This is time for your own inner work, your own time to see if you can hear that small, still voice.  For me, this is the time I use to read the Bible, to encourage myself when I feel low or down, my time to pray and try to discern what I need to hear.  To discern what is essential. When is your quiet time, and what do you do during your quiet time?  I would love to know; please do leave me a comment and share!

So, my final suggestion is to grab that wonderful sketchbook and do some writing or drawing.  Set a timer for ten minutes and just write what comes into your mind.  It may surprise you what dreams are lying right under the surface…

Many blessings,

Carrie

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7 thoughts on “How Do I Dig For My Dream?

  1. Thanks for this post. It is so important to be something other than ‘just’ a mother. It is essential for our kids to see us passionate about something, not just doing chores and trying to catch up with things. I don’t think it’s selfish at all. It doesn’t have to take tons of time it just has to be there. For me it’s making things with my hands: fixing broken toys, woodworking, sometimes sewing.

  2. Sometimes it does feel like our own dreams are forgotten when we have children, and replaced with dreams for our little ones. I know I have gone through stages just like that, where all my energy and interest went to the tasks of homemaking and mindful mothering. But when I look back at those times, I can see how depleted I became, just pouring outwards without stopping to refuel. Taking care of me is important, too, though it is easily shuffled to the bottom of the pile, if not forgotten altogether.

    Thanks for your specific ideas and the virtual ‘permission slip’ to stay in touch with our own passions. One thing I like to remember is that I am someone’s child as well, and someone put a lot of effort into me. It wouldn’t be fair to waste it.

  3. Timely post, Carrie. Just this evening, I was talking with my husband about our need to set up some quiet time for ourselves in the morning before our 4 1/2 year old gets up. Tomorrow, I’ll sit with pen and paper and think/write about what my passions are in this season of life. Maybe it’s time to finally sign up for that photography class I’m always talking about!

    Thanks for this blog, BTW. I am new to Waldorf and trying to learn as much as possible before we start homeschooling our son in kindy in the fall. I am learning a ton from you and your posts. Just wish I lived in Atlanta for your homeschool support group. I’m in Mobile, Alabama and doubtful there is anyone here like me. Any suggestions on how to find a community/support group?

  4. Carrie,

    I have a question unrelated to this post, but regarding my 17 mo old and recent behaviors with breastfeeding I don’t know if this is the right place to ask a question of you, but anyway…
    My son is 17 mo old, my third, and we are continuing to breastfeed. I happily partner with him in this, especially since I was only able to nurse my other two sons 6 mo each.

    My problem is that he has become rather insistent about it and grabby and I am unsure how to handle this. He does eat a variety of foods and drinks water, some diluted juice and milk also. He is developmentally fine and on track in every area but still does not walk on his own. He is somewhat of a hesitant child and just seems to need extra comfort from me. When we meet a new person or a new situation, he holds tight to me and often is begging to nurse. While I am glad to be such a comfort to him, this has caused some awkward situations in public. Then this weekend, he has refused to sit in his seat at the dinner table at all, only relenting to eat anything if I or my husband would hold him…he didn’t want to sit in his stroller but would only be happy for a walk in the Ergo…etc. My real question is, am I babying him too much by going along with all this, or are my efforts to compassionately keep at his own little comfort level just that compassionate and kind and respectful of him and whatever stage he seems to be going through? Sorry for such a long question, and I well know that every situation has it’s own nuances, but if you have any advice, I’d sure appreciate it:)! Thanks!

  5. Thank you so much for writing this Carrie.

    I’ll share an exercise that I’ve been working with at night to access my dreams. For three minutes a day, for forty days, I fill in the following statement: “If I were not afraid, I would…” and then I say out loud what comes up and then write it down. And I can’t believe the things that have come up for me, things that I never imagined for myself but were also just right there. It opens the heart and the eyes to the heart. It’s really illuminating.

  6. Elizabeth’s exercise is similar to one I practice every now and again… I have a metal block stamped with “what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” My gut answer is always the same: write! Sometimes I’ll modify it to, “if I could study anything, what would it be?” or “if you could bring about change in one area, what would it be?” Anthropology, education, folklore, parageography fit into the first; education reform, support for expecting & new mothers, sustainability, separation of business and politics fit into the second. I know, big ideas, one person. :) I’ve done the “what is keeping me from doing this?” exercise lots- bills, taxes, obligation, no time, lack of fund, etc. But they are often just excuses. I can write any time, I just need something to write with and on; I can learn anything I want- inter-library loan is my friend; I can take baby-steps- maybe with my baby- to work on changing the world, whether it’s mine, his, ours. Microcosm- it all starts there. ;)

    Thanks for another great reminder, Carrie!

    >Kerrie

  7. confronting my childs charter school last year about not having academics in kindergarden, about allowing them to write with crayons and markers vs. forcing them to write with pencils, and just simply coming smack against unreceptivity and a different value system regarding children totally and fully broke my heart. Unfortunately, my son was there to witness it.

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