Hell. It's me, your old pal Rebecca.
I know, I know, I'm supposed to be on maternity leave. But I've been so touched and inspired the last couple of days that I couldn't stand not writing to you any more.
Right now, I'm on the sunny front porch of the 1890's Victorian Farmhouse that I live in, on an island just outside of San Francisco. The little being sitting beside me, curled up asleep in striped purple pants and a onesie with little pink fish on it (salmon, I hope), was a long time coming. She is literally a dream come true.
Here's an interesting tidbit about my past: you know how for many folks, a first date is made up of roses, wine, dinner, flirtation? Not me. When Jason and I went on our "first date"-- it was actually a whole weekend together-- I told him I wanted a baby. Now, that's the kind of thing that might scare some men off, and looking back, that was probably the point. I was deeply invested in my dream of having a baby of my own one day, and I wanted a partner that was willing and able to match me, dream for dream, and in everything that manifesting big dreams entails. The hard work. The emotional turmoil. The day-to-day details. The spiritual epiphanies. I didn't want to waste my time with anything less.
I remember that long pause after I said it, laying next to one another on the tousled sheets in my basement apartment, surrounded by boxes because at that time I moved so often that I had stopped bothering to unpack until I felt like maybe, this time, I had really come home at last. I remember how Jason looked at me, strong and present, and said, "Well, nothing's off the table."
Nearly eight years later, we have a little girl who is the real, true, physical manifestation of our deep love for one another, and also the trust embedded in every aspect of our partnership, and our commitment to growth both individually and as a family. We also have a home together without boxes scattered around the margins of every room.
Our little one is the culmination of thousands of small decisions, countless hours spent having difficult conversations, and the many, many steps it took to overcome various reproductive health issues. She is also an act of grace, of the Big Mama hearing my heartfelt desire and the "YES" pumping through every fibre of my being, and echoing that yes with Her own.
That's what it takes to make a dream come true, sometimes.
I started thinking about Brighid as a dream-come-true yesterday as she slept on a blanket in the grass while I worked in my garden, and remembered how many times I had wished for this moment, when we'd be together outside planting seeds in the warm spring sunshine. It was a wish that at times seemed like an utter impossibility, and now, it's simply and truly my life.
What I'd like to know is, what dreams have come true for you? What are the things that once seemed impossible, or that came out of left field and totally surprised you, but are now utterly real?
We need to honor the dreams that we've made come true, put them on center stage and admire them for the big, beautiful achievements they are -- whether or not they seemed big to us at the time.
Honoring the dreams-that-have-come-true is fucking revolutionary. So much of what we want to transform in this world -- consumerism, self-hate, our collective in-fighting, even things like Monsanto and the police brutality that has led to riots in Baltimore -- are perched on a foundation of us not truly believing in our most visionary, romantic, luscious dreams, and forgetting the many dreams that have already come true in our lives, varnishing those memories over with a dreary coat that obscures their brilliance.
So, even though I'm on maternity leave at the moment, I wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and looking forward to coming back to work this summer with big dreams of my own to realize and inspiring new ideas to help you do the same.
EXTRA CREDIT WRITING CHALLENGE: Your Dreams, Coming True.
1) Set a timer for five minutes.
2) Turn the timer off, then spruce up your writer's sanctuary and get yourself something delicious to tempt your senses as you write -- a yummy drink, something that smells divine and opens up your crown chakra, or Pachelbel's Canon or Ella Fitzgerald for your sonic pleasure. (Yeah, I'm out of practice and forgot, too).
3) Turn on the timer for five minutes, and make a list of every dream that has come true for you that you can think of, big and small: becoming first chair in the middle school orchestra... making the varity team... Getting your first freelance gig or high-paying client after quitting a soul-sucking job... finding the love of your life... your first trip abroad... renting a vespa and traipsing around the backroads for a weekend with a lover... winning the third grade spelling bee... all of it. Nothing is out of bounds, too inconsequential, or innocuous.
4) Turn the timer off, and spend some time making a list of the dreams you're holding in your heart right now, especially those that seem impossible and too sweet and fragile for the real world. Get as deep as you like, or be off-hand about it, whatever helps you get past the voices that want to rain on your parade.
5) Now write. Connect the dots. Let yourself ask difficult questions. Bring in client stories or spiritual teachings you admire if that's your thing. Let yourself be as brazen, or as innocent, as you want. Whatever you do, make sure you tell the story of that dream coming true, and then let us know what's next on the horizon. Stories are powerful. They are medicine. And readers love them.
6) When you're ready, post what you've written on our Facebook group and get ready to be jazzed up by all of our dreams that have already come true, and that we're throwing our hearts and souls behind, now.