Dreams That Took, and are Taking, Different Shapes than I Considered

Today’s prompt for Effy Wild’s “Let’s Blog Along in September” adventure is easy to write (because the answers are at surface) yet also vulnerable – because who really wants to share “about a dream you once had that you let go of, and where that led you” publicly?

It feels tender to me because I didn’t intentionally let any of my dreams (the most clear and strong heart whispers) go; life simply unfolded and didn’t include those experiences, as much as I wanted it to.

And all of the things I wanted to do, that felt like a calling or dream – but didn’t, because my focus was elsewhere – I likely still can in some form.

I realize that physically, at this age of 47, I am not going to have another baby, created and held with love, then birthed from my womb. I wanted to experience romance that lit my heart and my life, and provided my children with love and support that was emotionally healthy and healing from a father figure that was fully present, in all ways and to raise our own child together in this beautiful feel of family.

That didn’t happen. There wasn’t a romantic love with staying power, nor was there a baby or even baby talk; there *were* stages of grief intertwined with acceptance as I realized that wasn’t going to happen.

What came out of that was my desire to keep my heart open, to connect most fully with love, light, joy, peace and possibility in daily life – regardless of what was in external. With that intention, Facets of Joy evolved from my previous website – and all of the work I’ve done (internally and sharing externally via client work and facilitating ecourses and forums) has taken shape and morphed a bit as I continue to heal, learn and grow.

And, at this stage, I don’t see myself sailing around the world (although I could, and I might) and I don’t see myself running a bed and breakfast (although I could, and I might) and I don’t see myself immersed in romantic love (although it’s there, somewhere in this world and I’m open, the logistics feel far out of my current realm).  And, I don’t see myself doing a cooking tour of France for a year (although I would; absolutely!) All of these dreams I’ve had and worked toward, but the seeds wouldn’t root or grow (or it could be that my full attention was on mothering, and healing internally to learn to enjoy being embodied and to feel comfortable and safe in this physical world, and they were growing, but I missed it, and then through lack of tending, they withered.)

But, what came from mothering has changed my entire life in wondrous ways! My son is 19, my daughter is close to 18 and that means I’ve fulfilled my promise to myself when I chose to become a mother that I would always be present (emotionally, physically and energetically) to, and with, my children, as individuals and within our little family unit, as they grew and began to find their own way/path.

Fulfilling that promise is quite a miracle! – one I couldn’t have imagined really happening as I didn’t have the experience of being mothered in my own childhood and there was lots of chaos and abuse and all I knew was that if I was going to bring children into this world, then my children needed to experience peace, possibility, love, the joy of being alive and of exploring different activities and passions as they grew and of feeling supported in all ways. (When I was promising myself to do this *I* didn’t even have that! It wasn’t until the last few years that I began to give myself the fullness of presence and compassion and support I’d been giving my children.)

I learned a lot to mother – especially as a single-mother; and all of this that I’ve experienced through being present, learning to hold space for unfolding, keeping my heart open, and creating sacred space, came from that one promise to be present to my children.

All that I know and share now, flowed from there. And keeps flowing from there.

While I didn’t have another physical child, what I did (and do) have is the ability, time, energy and attention to turn inward to mother my inner child – and that is leading me to the next stage of unfolding (that is currently happening, seeded over Summer and as the season turns to Fall). I don’t know what it will look like, what the details will be, but I do know it will involve a different living space (because we’ve been given notice) and a different p/t job (because my care-giving family is moving far away) and that the details of my daily life and what is in it will have a different shape by Winter.

I bless it all as I move through it, because that’s what I know to do; and in that blessing, doors close and others open and it feels more natural and ‘gentle’ than if I tried to force or insist upon certain ones over others.

Thank you so much for reading/listening, as I shared this that is dear to my heart!

Dear Reader: As you consider the idea of dreams and dreaming, is that something you tend to do, or not so much? (At different times in my life, I’ve had ample space and time to dream, and zero space or time to do anything other than survive, so I can relate to both ends of the spectrum. I’m interested in hearing what you have to share about it!)

Much peace and abundant love,


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Comments on: "Dreams That Took, and are Taking, Different Shapes than I Considered" (8)

  1. Joy, I really enjoyed reading your post, I also enjoyed the gift from you that arrived in my inbox and loved your thoughts on trust and found the exercise very useful, concise and simple something I like in those situations where I need to bring myself to a grounded space quickly. You ask about dreaming in this piece and oddly for a while now I really am foggy when it comes to dreaming for the future yet I am excited by it ….I have no expectations or daydreams as it were …I have no idea what I’m going to be doing or how or where but I know its exciting <3

    • Thank you, Rachel! I very much appreciate your presence and your comments through this series!

      I think it’s great that you are excited about whatever unfolds for you! Blessings as it unfolds!

      I feel it’s okay to be unclear about what the future holds or about dreaming about it….that leaves lots of room for possibility and for “magic” to swoop right in!

  2. Joy, I have always loved to hear you talk about your life as a mother ——-you could give lessons! :) And all of this without being mothered as a child yourself! I think it shows the power of loving intention and trust that you will be given what you need when you need it. I love that!
    I am not so much a dreamer but more of a” take life as it comes and do something wonderful with it” type person. I have always struggled to just handle the day-to-day things, and maybe struggled isn’t really the right word to use. It is more like how I work with a painting that is an unknown territory, something that I will work with (while feeling like it is all brand new, this process of painting, even though I do it all of the time) until I create/discover something I am happy with and something that brings me joy, sometimes wonder, and peace. I have a very simple life with pretty simple needs and wants, and that is the kind of life I love. Love to you, Joy, wherever life leads you now! <3

    • Thank you for the kind words, Jean!

      I think maybe instead of struggle, you might mean you are present to the day and all that is in it. I love when you describe your painting process – it seems like a physical example of unfolding and what it might ‘look like’ when we practice in daily life. Each step leads to something, and we can consider it and move along or change direction.

      Love to you <3

  3. Dear Joy,
    Mothering is indeed a wondrous journey! I’ve let go of my dreams’ shapes and now live in surrender mode with, like You, my heart open to much love and endless possibilities. And after years trying to manifest life in a certain way, i find this way of flowing much more peaceful. Sending love and light! ???

    • It’s so lovely to ‘see you’ here, Maryse!

      What you’ve described sounds like one of the keys to peace in life. It feels light and beautiful.

      Thank you for the love and light – blessings to your heart <3

  4. I relate emotionally and logistically with your experiences being much like my own. Just have a story, i always ‘dreamed of traveling the world with a soul mate’..then i realized *I* put so many limits on things that could be so joyful that I didn’t expect putting so many parameters on the dream. I had a bucket list that was in the ‘correct’ order and I laugh now at ‘correct’ order.. The first place and I was certain I will go would be to Italy, with no itinerary, strolling the streets with the residents of Italy blending in ..strolling with no agenda, eating when we were hungry and napping when we were tired, The possibility of extending or changing the timeline if we desired. There were other places on that bucket list. But none of them quite as romantic and intriguing as my dream of Italy.
    With no trip to Italy in my near future and certainly not with a person that would carry out that specific dream with me, I still kept it on the top of my list. A couple months ago, I was having lunch with a friend. She and I have lunch probably once a month and we choose a new ethnicity each time. This time it was Vietnamese. We were talking about our children moving on and how the empty nest might feel. Out of nowhere she says to me, let’s go somewhere. I said well do you mean Santa Barbara? I am thinking somewhere overnight within an hour of driving distance or something. She said no, somewhere wonderful somewhere exciting like Greece, or Costa Rica, or Ireland or Italy. She actually said Italy. And you know that when she said Greece, my heart leapt out of my chest. We both said Greece at the same time. Without me saying a word she said you’re going to do it with a backpack. We are going to stay in hostels and air bed and breakfast, we are going to float in the Agean Sea with just our bathing suit bottoms on. We will pick an island (paros)and spend days just walking around and floating in the water and being one of the locals and before we leave we will spend some days in Athens and stroll through eating local food and listening to local music and going to the Acropolis if we feel like it. She even said we will stroll daily with no agenda. She said I will make sure we are there and back all expenses included for well under well I would have expected for 10 days. A FRACTION!! Well now I’m excited. Now mind you this was before I’ve said a word except for yes, Greece! Then we were frantically discussing the possibility of including a couple of other adventure travelers people concurring with our criteria of no agenda, people with a mellow whatever happens happens attitude. Is it Italy? No. Is she my soulmate, well no, not in the way I dreamed it but none of this is. Is it now the thing I want to do most in the world for myself? Absolutely. Do I feel selfish because I’ve never done something like this before? Absolutely ( that’s another work in progress! ). Am I going to do it anyway? YES! We leave May 1 for 10 days. Am I sad in any way that it is not Italy with my so called soulmate? Absolutely not. I have never felt more sure of anything of this manner in my life. This is the absolute right place, the right people, And the right timing and the right way it supposed to be done. Would I change it right this minute if my soulmate came along and said can you change your plans and go to Italy on May 1? No ( but I could go in April or June ?)
    Thank you all for hanging out on that one because it was kind of drawn out but just like raising my beautiful, brilliant, spiritually open and hungry children in the manner that I did, which wasn’t the plan I had in the beginning,I wouldn’t change that either because they still are my two favorite people in the world and no one I would rather spend time with more than them! Well, except maybe May 1st through the 10th. ??
    Please excuse any typos/grammar as it is a late hour where my brain and fingers are slow down mode !! But I do thank you, Joy, for allowing space to say this out loud. It is very random for me to do that in this forum The timing and the prompt just seem to call me to do it.

    • What a surprise to ‘see’ you here, Gina – you rarely comment on my blog, so it’s special when you do. Thank you for sharing!

      I love that you had the clarity to see you were placing limits on your dream – that’s a powerful reminder, that one: it’s common to do, and two: once we recognize it, we can change it/open through it, if we wish.

      And look what happened when you opened through it: this marvelous adventure is taking shape for you, with ease, and it sounds like great joy. As I read, I think how marvelous *and also* your dreams don’t have to be ‘either/or’ (not that you said they were), because going to Greece can open many more doors to you in all of the ways your heart wishes. Blessings to you as this all unfolds. <3

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