Have you closed yourself off from dreams of learning, adventure or travel for fear that it was not doable? Maybe you questioned and doubted until you just closed yourself off to the idea by telling yourself “I can’t do that.”

Making your dream a reality doesn’t happen with the wave of a magic wand! More likely it happens with the planting of a seed and then nurturing it and bringing it into being one, small step at a time.

My own dream started out that way. I wondered what it would be like to have my own counseling practice to help women navigate difficult life changes and transitions.

At the time I contemplated this dream, I had just culminated a long and rewarding career in another field. I was starting something new and in many ways unknown, yet my heart was telling me to trust and follow this path.

What would I call this new counseling practice? Where would my office be? And…the most important question of all…Would women come to me for help?

In March 2012 I was on the brink of realizing the beginning of this dream. I had a space, my business cards and my name…Women Reshaping Lives, LLC. Beyond that…I had a lot of fear, anxiety and dread that I wouldn’t succeed.

On this 8th Anniversary of the opening of my counseling practice, I look back in amazement! I could never have imagined then how my practice would grow and how much I would grow in the process as well.

This month I want to share with you the major components that were necessary to not only launch my beginning, but to help me keep going when I was discouraged. Achieving our dreams is like climbing a mountain…the journey is exciting, hard, filled with detours, twists and turns. Your dreams may be simple or complex, grand or small. Most of all they have to be the right fit for you. Here are some tools for finding your dreams.

  1. Vision – Finding your vision, sense of purpose and inspiration comes from your deepest inner self. It is the heart of where your beliefs and values lie. It is also the place where we find meaning and learning though our hardest journeys. How does your vision fit with what you feel you most need in your life?
  2. Learning – Whether your dream involves mastering a new skill or creating something that you have no experience with, it is the openness to learn, experiment and try, that can energize and send you on your way.
  3. Support – The support of caring, non-judgmental family and friends can cheer you and comfort you as you navigate the ups and downs of making your dream a reality.
  4. Patience – Riding the roller coaster of the ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments is also a part of the journey. Self-compassion, understanding and self-care is a must.
  5. Growing – Expanding in ways you never thought possible is part of realizing your dreams. That growth doesn’t happen overnight, but in little steps along the way.

Eight years ago, just when I was planting the seed of Women Reshaping Lives, part of my process was to imagine how owning a counseling practice would fit into the fabric of the rest of my life. I imagined it as a movie of one week in my life. My movie took me through the week with balance, time for work, family, friends and me time. There was variety, color, and positive energy running through it. Once I was done with my movie exercise…I tucked it away and actually forgot about it.

Then…a year later, I was moving through my day, when suddenly I stopped, looked around me, and realized that this day was the day I had described in my movie! It was a day of enjoying my counseling, taking some time for a breath of fresh air, browsing at a Farmers Market and feeling the balance I had created in my life…finding connection, meaning, purpose and joy! You can realize your dreams too…and at any age!

Happy Anniversary Women Reshaping Lives, LLC! It has been such a special and wonderful eight years! I am honored and grateful to all the people who have helped, supported and taught me along the way! Now I look with excitement to the future and what new discovery lies ahead!