Because – why not?
Recently, I’ve met a few guests who talk about pursuing their dream. I have also seen people around me (and on Facebook) going after their dream. There was a HK vegan baking chef who left her team and shop to run the business in her absence so then she could go to Europe to further her studies on vegan baking. I don’t know her personally but I have so much respect for her. Even when you have reached one dream, it doesn’t mean that dreaming stops there.
Where does the dream start? I believe it begins with a tiny gentle and loving voice inside, urging us to take a leap towards this new and exciting path. But often, our fearful thoughts suddenly interrupt the soul’s whisper and the daydreaming, and offer unsolicited advice such as “Well what about money? What about your family, your pets, your staff? What if your dream turns out to be a waste of time?”
Have you ever had any experience with this? Do you have a dream that you’d like to pursue? But feel that for some reason, you are not ready yet. That you should wait till you have more money, more resources, more knowledge, more confidence, or fill in the blanks, before going for it?
Before starting Museflower, I always had a dream to start my own spa. When I quit my job as a spa manager in Thailand and returned to HK for some soul-searching, I wondered if I could open a spa in HK. But I felt that I didn’t have enough experience and knowledge to do so.
Then I was called to assist on a retreat center project in Chiang Rai with my ex-business partner. In the back of my mind, I always thought I might start a retreat center after I started my own spa. But I never imagined that it would turn out the other way round – I started a retreat center with a spa inside the property already.
In my case, to be honest starting a retreat center wasn’t my own dream to begin with. It was someone else’s dream and I said yes to this opportunity without knowing how it would turn out (well now I know).
I now have a new dream (it’s travel-related). I’m not going to say what it is until I have more concrete details of how it can be manifested into reality. But I’m working towards it.
It is scary, to dream. Our mind loves to get in the way to save us from the embarrassment and the mistakes and failures. Am I just wasting money doing this while I can be earning a steady income? Is this really a good idea? Is this really worth it?
I can’t give you the answers to the above questions. But, I can share with you this – listen to your soul’s voice, to that tiny whisper inside your heart.
Remember that spark of joy, excitement, that smile on your face when you are daydreaming about your dream. Remember that feeling of being inspired, the feeling of being alive, the feeling of having something to look forward to and a goal to work towards.
Remember, our thoughts create our reality. Everything is possible.
It may be hard to jump from thinking “I CAN’T” to thinking “I CAN”. But, everything IS possible. It IS possible to pursue my dream. It IS possible to find a job that I love doing and pays me really well. It IS possible to have my dream home that I can afford. It IS possible to follow my heart and start a business that I long dream to do so.
Below, I share a few simple steps to get you started on allowing your dream to transform from just an idea in your head into something a bit more tangible.
1 – Do Your Research
This is an obvious one, but when we do our research, I find that it fuels the excitement going. It’s like now you have a secret project and it’s fun! Doing the research also gives you some concrete ideas onto how to manifest the dream into actual reality.
If you are dreaming to travel to a certain country, you can start to check the flight prices even though you don’t know when you will get to go. You can google the activities you can do there, the hotels, etc.
If it’s a dream about a new home, you can go onto Pinterest and pin pictures of what your ideal home will look like. By the way, this is how my idea of renovating the spa wet facilities and treatment rooms came about. I went onto Pinterest and pinned pictures of beautiful outdoor shower areas, onsen baths, and shared them with my husband of how I’d like the spa to look like, and he turned them into reality.
2 – Meditate / Sleep on It & Be Patient
Sometimes after doing a lot of research, the excitement may start to fade away and the reality starts to set in. And that can be scary.
How much is it going to cost me now? How am I going to afford this? How can I leave my job with so much security? Oh my boss is so nice, maybe I don’t need to leave my job after all, even though the job itself drains my energy?
I find that this is the necessary step to overcome, in order to manifest our dream into reality. The excitement of your dream will soon triumph over your worries.
So if you find yourself hitting a wall (not literally, I mean mentally), then put the research on hold. Meditate or sleep on it. The key here is to be patient. A seed is planted, and we can’t expect it to grow into a tree tomorrow. It goes the same with your dream. It needs the water and the fertilizer (which is the excitement and the research to fuel it), but it also needs its rest and the darkness to grow.
New inspiration may come during meditation, in your dreams, or when you are taking a shower.
3 – Journal Your Ideas and Feelings Down
I love to write things down with a pen and paper. I find that I remember the details much better when I write things down compared to when I type.
This is another obvious, but besides writing, you can draw, sketch, and also journal down any thoughts and feelings. If you have any doubts or fears, this is a great chance to get these feelings all out on paper, so you don’t keep thinking about it in your head.
When we write down our doubts and fears, I find that they actually help make your dream more real. This will be helpful in the later stage when we need the logical and rational side of our brain to figure out the how-to’s and the logistics to execute your ideas.
Acknowledge the fears and the doubts. They have their own place to serve. But for now, you can put them aside in your journal and bring your focus back to your dream first. After all, we are still in the dreaming stage.
4 – Keep Your Dream to Yourself
That is, until you have enough details in your mind to announce to the world. Imagine the seed planted in the soil. It needs time to sprout and to slowly grow out of its hard shell. Any plants or animals in nature would need some sort of protection when they are first born to ensure their survival.
For our dreams, it works similarly. I don’t mean that someone else will steal the dream from you (though if it’s a business idea, you may consider keeping it quiet even longer). It’s more to protect yourself from other people’s judgment and expectations that may affect your own judgment and belief in yourself.
Yes, we need constructive feedback and advice in our life, but not at the beginning of the dreaming stage. That is where all the possibilities are endless and that you can tap into your imagination and go as wild and free as you like.
Contain the excitement to yourself and use it to nourish your dream seed. Once you feel you are ready to be more committed to manifesting your dream into actual reality, you can start by sharing it with a few close friends and family members who you know will support you no matter what. Your dream is still young. Treat it like a baby with gentle and delicate care.
Dreams do change, fade away, and that is okay. If you don’t get to manifest your dream yet, it doesn’t mean you have failed and it doesn’t define who you are. Sometimes, some dreams need to die in order to make way for new and better dreams. I can’t tell you how many times when I had an idea, made plans for it, and the Universe threw me a curveball and I am reminded to trust and to surrender and to be patient. That’s when a better version of the same idea came.
Life doesn’t need to be short but surely it is finite. We all reach the same transition point eventually – Death. If you think about it, we are, in fact, dying every day. That sounds depressing but it’s true. But instead of focusing at that half empty glass, let’s focus on living – shall we? If not NOW, when are you going to do what you’ve always dreamed to do? If you were to leave this world tomorrow, ask yourself if there is anything else you wish you could have done if you have more time.
Now, dream away! What are you waiting for?