As I hit the ‘publish’ button on my previous blog post ‘Dream Big’, a little niggling voice came alive in the back of my consciousness: You call winning a bigger prize in a competition a big dream? I tried to push the snide remark away. You used to dream bigger, the voice continued relentlessly.
When was that? Besides, what’s the point to have impractical dreams? I could have written about becoming a bestselling author by the end of 2015… But if I did not achieve that, then what?
My internal dialogue can be tiresome sometimes, but as I paid closer attention to this exchange, it brought to the surface memories which despite being painful inspired me to dream even bigger.
It was 1997. At the age of 22, I was in a dysfunctional relationship with an older man. ‘Dysfunctional’ is an understatement of the century here, by the way. I was locked up for the first two years of our relationship. It was for my own good, he convinced me. I did not act as a conventional young woman should in my country of origin (i.e. save my virginity for my husband), and therefore was not to be trusted to act sensibly if left to my own devices. He blamed my mother for the way my life turned out and strongly discouraged any contact (my relationship with my mum is a subject of a book-length story, so I won’t delve into it here). During that time, I lived in isolation with no friends, family or allies to support me. On the scale of 1 to 10, my self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love were below 0. I still marvel at the fact that I managed to preserve my sanity in that period. Locked up for hours, sometimes days, I spoke out-loud to hear a human voice.
And yet I dreamt impossible dreams. I imagined holding a PhD degree by the age of 30, speaking fluently in five languages, travelling the world and having a loving relationship. I had no idea how I’d achieve them, but every fibre of my soul wished fiercely for those dreams to come true. By the age of 35, I lived them all. OK, I was five years out of my original target. But, hey, I achieved my PhD without a single correction from one of the best universities in England, I was fluent in five languages, and engaged to my husband-to-be.
Perhaps, there is value in dreaming bigger than what’s possible right now. I am sure that the impossible dreams I had at 22 paved my way towards a different life, gave me a vision of a different reality.
Dare to dream even bigger than what’s possible right now.
I remember being on a ‘Manifest Abundance’ retreat with Brandon Bays in Holland in 2011. Only two weeks before the retreat, I had a clear and loud message from the universe: I am here to write and teach, but law is not the right content (‘My writing journey: How it all began’). When it came to manifesting my future, the dream that came out of my mouth really surprised me:
‘I want to become a bestselling author to inspire millions with my story.’
‘So be it’, the group replied in unison.
How’s that possible? The thought crossed my mind. OK, I have written and published extensively as an academic, but to tell my story? I was not a writer, I protested internally.
The dream lived on though, and three years on, I am writing my story. Who knows, my dream of inspiring millions maybe five years out, but I may still live to witness how my story impacted other people’s lives.