This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of sharing an impromptu lunch with a friend who embodies pure love and enthusiasm. He oozes goodness, and has a zest and an appreciation for life that’s as innocent as a young child. I always come away from spending time with him feeling inspired. The ostensible reason for breaking bread together this past Sunday was because he wanted to talk about book publishing. He’s in the process of creating a children’s picture book that’s aimed at helping children with cancer and their families. Because he’s such a beautiful exemplar of diving fully into following Divine Inspiration, I’d like to share 5 keys to letting our dreams carry us that I’ve gleaned from him.
Key #1: Be open to guidance
My friend has a very pure and clear connection to his soul, his God. That’s why he effortlessly exudes pure goodness, authenticity, and love. This project idea started as nothing more than a spark of Divine Guidance that ignited a burning desire within him and unleashed a passionate pursuit with full gusto. The energy with which he talks about this project is far more infectious than I could ever do justice with words here. By being fully open to inner guidance without any judgment or need to control how it unfolds, my friend allows himself to be led into a project that connects with his soul and expresses his Divine Essence and Creativity.
Key #2: Be a vessel for a greater good
One of the biggest reasons why my friend inspires others whenever he talks about this project is because it’s for a great cause. Even though he’s having a ton of fun with it, it isn’t about him, but about who he hopes to serve, i.e., children with cancer and their families who are affected. I’ve heard him talk passionately and empathetically about what he has learned, including how to be gently truthful with kids about the reality of their illness in a way that they can understand and which empowers them. He has also learned that it’s important to help siblings of cancer patients, who often feel left out and insignificant when all the adult attention goes to their sick brother or sister. He has learned so much about the medical and psychological needs of everyone affected by a child with cancer that it fuels his deepest desire to help each party. I can’t remember the last time I felt more humbled or inspired by someone with such a genuine, heartfelt cause powering a personal project of love.
Key #3: Connect with your burning desire
Related to the above point, a cause only becomes a powerful driver if and only if it ignites that burning desire within us. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are many great causes around the world, from poverty to hunger to education to different forms of social/political justice and environmental preservation. Unless something really grabs our heart and hits that spot in our soul that can’t be denied, it remains only a noble cause that someone else can get behind, just not us, no matter how critical it is in its own right.
With my friend, this book project, in no uncertain terms, fuels the inferno within him that brings forth the expression of his personal power, passion and creativity. If there’s a single prayer to have vis-à-vis your dreams, pray to be shown what would ignite that burning desire within you to serve. Once you know that, living any other life without it is simply not an option. It’s the stuff of truly coming alive and living passionately on purpose.
Last week, I wrote about being open to receiving, which requires us to know ourselves and be humble and secure enough to ask for help. With my friend, what started off as a question of whether he should find an agent or self-publish quickly turned into a bigger discussion of what may be the best course of action to get his book into as many hands as he could help. I suggested that, given the topic, his best bet might be to get a local children’s hospital to sponsor his project, instead of doing it all by himself. We discussed how that would take care of his production, operational and marketing needs and be a win-win for everyone involved, i.e., sponsor, target audience and him. You should have seen his face and eyes light up more and more as we dove further into some very realistic possibilities to fulfill his dream.
Just as a side note, synchronicity struck in the midst of our inspired discussion to validate that we were on the right track. At one point, I felt compelled to look to the street next to where we were sitting in an outdoor restaurant (bless the mild California weather and sunshine!). What I saw at that very moment was a van stopped at a red light exactly next to our table with the name and logo of the very children’s hospital we were discussing—even though we were nowhere near the hospital! Both my friend and I marveled at the thumbs-up from the universe. It was definitely a Divine moment in a Divine conversation!
Key #5: Be willing to take inspired action
One of the most inspiring qualities of my friend is how thoroughly willing he is to do whatever it takes to carry out what’s his to do. Since he accepted this Divine Assignment, he has had to be very disciplined and methodical about his day-to-day life. He still works full-time at his day job, takes online classes to learn illustration besides the actual creation/production time, and interviews kids and their families, as well as doctors, medical technicians and social workers. Meanwhile, he also tends to other aspects of his life, including staying connected with his family outside the U.S. and supporting his partner in the latter’s dream of being an actor and a film-maker. He has had to make adjustments to when he does what, such that everything and everyone that/who requires his attention in his life receives his heart. And, with all that, he’s still the happiest and most present person you’ll ever have the honor of meeting. There’s no sign of strain or wear-and-tear from being a martyr or from obligatory giving. He’s unequivocally a presence of pure, gracious love and authentic enthusiasm.
Can you begin to see why I’m so inspired and humbled by this great guy?
At the end of our lunch, my friend thanked me profusely for spending time with him and for my advice. Yet, to me, his presence and the interaction we had fed me so fully that I felt I was 100% on the receiving end of Love and Grace. It also made me appreciate how we’re each but a tiny thread in the greater tapestry of life. Who would have thought that the investments I made in following my own Divinely inspired dream of becoming the published author of REACH Your Dreams would have such great spinoff benefits to another and his dream more than a year later?
Before I gush any further, let me close by summarizing what I’ve learned from my inspired friend: Be open and willing to connect with our burning desire that emanates from our soul to serve something quite possibly much greater than us. Be open and willing to ask for and accept help. There’s greater power to be leveraged if we don’t insist on going it alone.
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