This past weekend I had the privilege being lakeside, spending heart-time with friends, and even a bit of kayaking with Carlie (although she was more focused on what games her dog friends were playing on shore!). As much as I love the water, I am first a land creature. Gravity, upright posture, lungs, brain-body-consciousness all define how I live and engage in this world.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet how often does our motivational language to live our potential assume we need to be more than human? I am a spiritual being having a human experience … not an other realm or dimension experience, not another species experience … a human experience.
When I hear phrases such as take a leap of faith (assumption is about jumping off a cliff) or fly like an eagle, I consider what it means to apply these idioms. For instance, jumping off a cliff on faith without appropriate gear and guidance/training on how to use this gear would simply end my life. I don’t have wings, so jumping would be a boundary violation of being human. As for flying like an eagle, well, I have arms and legs, not wings. Again, without appropriate gear and resources, I will simply fall and crash myself.
You might be thinking, wow, is she missing the point. You argue the point is that we can do far more than we conceive of. The point is to defy the limitations put upon us by society, by parents, teachers, etc, and reach new heights. And I would agree. We are capable of far more than we are led to believe. We are capable of reaching new heights and expanding our creative engagement in this world.
But these phrases can only be possible in the spiritual and imaginative realms of our minds. It is in that context that we remind ourselves to connect with the fullness of our spirits. Frequently though, people forget that where our souls live is in this physical body within the environment of gravity. Whatever I dream that I really want for myself and others, requires that I bring ‘feet’ to it. Fundamentally, it has to land or I can’t live it.
My dream is about building peaceful relationships with others. Putting feet to this dream means learning how conflict in relationships happen, what fuels conflict, how to notice the origins and where conflict gains the most traction. It also means learning how to work through these conflicts, how to heal the wounds, how to listen with heart and soul, how to communicate, how to create a spiritual practice to expand compassion, and more.
Learning these skills to bring feet to my dream has meant school, ongoing courses and education, casework and internships, supervision, reading, as well as my own personal journey work through coaching, spiritual direction, meditation, deepening my own personal awareness, attentiveness to the subtle movements of grace and much more. It has taken years of dedication, practice, attending to small details, keeping a greater vision in mind, getting people to support me, hiring consultants, going on retreats, committing my energy, resources and heart-time, etc to realize pieces of my dream.
Although I imagine a different kind of world, I accept what ‘feet’ I am willing to bring to this new world. And I fully commit my self, resources, heart, time and talents to walking feet first this dream. It’s what I can be responsible for without endangering myself or violating the boundaries of being my human self. For some, my dream may be small. For others, they may decide I’m not living my potential. But like yours, my dream is a good one. And what makes my life worthy is that I am putting feet to my dream. It’s real. I breathe my dream. I take action that calls it into being without violating human boundaries and my place in the circle of all life.
You too deserve your dreams. You deserve to experience the energy and potential of your spirit which connects to your heart and brings spark to your imagination and creativity. You deserve the joy of living what you have worked to co-create. But remember, if you don’t give your dream feet, it can’t land. Taking a leap of faith means you need to consider how big a leap you wish to take and what additional resources you need to accomplish it, without harming yourself. You may need to ask others to help you. You may need to get emotional-spiritual support should life derail your plans or devastate your resources and you re-consider pursuing your dream in a different way. You need to think about what’s needed in talents, money, contacts or network or support, in skill, in environment, etc, to bring ‘feet’ to your dream.
Taking a leap of faith or flying like an eagle doesn’t mean that we are exempt from the laws of gravity in this human existence. It requires extraordinary resources to leap across buildings and canyons. We need to be prepared to do what it takes to gather or have access to those resources that match what our dream needs to have feet. But our spirits are still connected to our bodies and have agreed to the laws of our human existence. Wishful thinking won’t make our dreams happen.
If you have a big dream that means a leap of faith of some kind, but no resources or no desire to do all it takes to bring it feet or won’t ask for the necessary support to help you make it happen, how can you truly live it? If you are willing to violate the boundaries of being human to bring ‘feet’ to your dream, then are you prepared to lose your life or someone you care about? Taking a bigger leap of faith requires more from your heart, more from your wallet, more from your spirit, more humility, more connection with others who will help, more of everything.
The gift this human existence and our dreams offer us is that of humility, grace and generative power of connection. When we fully accept and embrace our humanness, we can receive the grace of Spirit to work for us in ways that our human limitations cannot. In embracing our human limits, we open to receive the gift of connection in collaborating with others who have resources, talents and gifts we need to partner with to manifest our dream. And that means we need to walk feet first, heart open, mind flexible, spirit connected.
Living in the Light, living in Spirit means that we connect what is transcendent with what is physical and human. It is who we are. It is a gift to be human. It is a gift of Spirit that our spirits can fly with eagles and jump canyons in faith. To transform our lives and relationships, to transform the plight of humanity and the planet, however, means we need to bring light, love and consciousness into our feet and into the feet of our dreams as humans. That will require step by step effort and commitment on our part. Such transformation, will require all of us and all our faithful feet.
As we approach the last part of this year, I invite you to put feet to what you really want and what you are called to contribute. You deserve it. We all need for each other to put feet to our dreams to help transform our way of being on this planet.