Dreaming the Dream

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.

~James Openheim

Hodler, visipix.com

I don’t care if you walk into the “same” office or scenario you’ve been in a thousand times before. You are dreaming this dream. How do you want to play it? Look for the angels & observe the coyote tricksters. Pay attention to how everyone serves you. After all, they’re in your movie at your re…quest. Can you smell the popcorn?

~Tama J. Kieves

If I chose to look at my life as a dream, what would it be telling me about my imagination?

In particular, what is it telling me with regard to how I imagine work?

Here’s what I conclude:

Work is hard.

Work is overwhelming.

Work drains my vital energies.

Work keeps me from what I love.

Work makes me choose between success and family.

Watts, visipix.com

Are these my dreams? Or did I borrow them?

Certainly some of these stale dreams comes from my culture, from the origins of my country, and from the struggles of my gender over time; but others are clearly personal.

“Why do you always have hard jobs, Kel?” my old highschool buddy remarks when she asks about the new position.

And I wonder, why? 

Is it the jobs or is it how I orient myself toward them?

Certainly, I took on leadership roles at a younger age than the majority of my peers, but now many of them have much more demanding roles than I.  Why do I continue to struggle with work when I claim to love it so.

Not too long ago I realized that “work” was MY place for growth. Other people are more challenged by relationships or by health or by finances.

“Think of the one area of life that brings you the most discomfort,

and that’s where you’re ripe for growth.


Klimt, visipix.com

I’ve had plenty of discomfort around work, but I have to give myself credit. When it comes to imagining my work in the world, not only have I cleaned up my act (and my father’s act), I’ve dreamed up some pretty amazing stuff all on my own.

Here’s my ever-expanding creation list:

flexible, part-time roles which allow me to shape my work around my family life and interests

engaging colleagues

a mission aligned with my values

the ability to meet my personal needs as they arise

a variety of tasks to which to apply myself

layers of responsibility so that I stay flexible

new and invigorating opportunities to learn

a beautiful airy, work place with character and natural light

the ability to get outside during my work day

the opportunity to connect with people around the world

the chance to travel again

When I really stop to think about it, I am amazed that I created work in my little part of the world–one which allows me to work part-time–and travel abroad. I didn’t even know that I could imagine such a job, particularly one with a mission so aligned with my own life’s purpose.

But there are still many rough edges, inside and out; so it’s time to go back to the dreaming board…

I no longer want to support the dream: that work is hard, that it is overwhelming, that it makes me chose between success and family, or between money and passion.

I don’t want to dream an entirely new dream either. I’m tired of that “drama.” I want to be like the wise man who grows what he wants right under his own feet…

Here I go…

detail, Buchser (visipix.com)

Kelly Salasin, May 2011