During the beginning weeks of any New Year my inbox is flooded with invitations to programs and workshops’ offering to give me access to what is often called “the life of my dreams.” Sincere and truly gifted teachers are peddling multiple formulas to help people get what they want in the newly minted year. I in no way wish to minimize or denigrate these offers, though it is rare at this point in my life that one would appeal to me. I am all about celebrating anything that will awaken the sleeping magnificence in people, setting them on a course that will light them up and let them shine. There are few things more painful than enduring a lifetime of minimized self worth and unrealized dreams. Dreams and visions are integral to our spiritual unfoldment. They are central to the way in which the evolution of the Soul occurs. While I am clear that I have learned just as much from dashed dreams as I have from actualized visions, it is in the transcendence of the obstacles that arise around dream manifestation that we grow and spiritually emerge.
As I look back on my life journey I see a child and a youth that had a lot of big dreams and visions for how my life was going to unfold. I saw a life of success, fame, and wealth. I was going to go to Broadway, and they were going to hand me the keys to the theatre district. As much as I would be enjoying my Broadway success I would feel compelled to answer the call to Hollywood and to film stardom, work that I would squeeze in between my wildly popular recording and concert work. My dream was to be the first male to win a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar award. I took what was a huge leap of faith to venture forth alone in New York City, and while I enjoyed some success in the entertainment industry, no one was waiting for me with the keys to the city. I didn’t win the big four awards. I was never even nominated for one of them.
Do I grieve the death of those dreams? I did for a time. I gave them an appropriate amount of loving attention, and as I did I discovered something quite miraculous. They never really were the dreams of my deepest heart. They were mentally manufactured ways that I thought would lead me to getting the affirmation and accolades I so desperately wanted and believed I never got. As I deepened into the loss I came to the compassionate knowing that while I did possess a degree of talent in terms of singing, dancing, and acting, I did not have the drive it takes to make it in such an extremely competitive industry. And the reason I didn’t have the drive was because it really wasn’t my dream.
While I thought I went to New York to become a star I was actually being led there to have my entire world turned upside down, emptied, and refilled so that my authentic expression could be activated. It was not a material success that was being initiated but a spiritual one. I went there not to have lights shine upon me but to learn to allow the Light to shine through me. I got to have enough of a taste of the business to know that it really wasn’t for me. I was clear that if I put the time, energy, recourse, and drive into becoming somebody then I would have to maintain that stature. I would spend my life striving to stay relevant, and that was not in alignment with my deeper values. I was clear that what once seemed a life of my dreams would lead me to an ongoing cycle of nightmares.
Today I celebrate the realization that it is service and not stardom that I was destined for. While I appreciated and still appreciate the talents and gifts I have been given it is the way in which they are expressed that gave me pause. It was the content of what was being expressed. As much as I loved playing juicy roles on stage they eventually felt hollow and unfulfilling. To not express the deeper truths that my Soul wanted to give voice to left me feeling inauthentic and under expressed. While it was the desire to get out of myself that originally led me to the stage it was the desire to come back to my self that led me to seminary. I am truly at home now in front of audiences delivering not a script but a transcendence Truth. I get to express my deepest heart and my greatest love. I get to come from Presence and not from pretense. I have the rare gift of having in alignment the depth of who I am with what I do in the world. That is better than any slew of awards and fleeting fame and success.
And now I truly am living the life of my dreams. And it gives me great joy to inspire and to help awaken others in living their own greatest expression. It may not be what you think it is. It may not be what it once was. But when you tap into it, you will know an inner bliss that will always give you the power and energy to activate and to fulfill the dreams and visions flowing through you. Ask to be shown. No matter how old you are or how many dreams have died, ask to be shown what the Universe is seeking to express as you. And then give yourself fully to it. Let it breathe you, live you, shine forth through you. And in that shining, you too will live the life of your dreams.