The Courage to Follow Your Dreams

Last weekend, I proudly graduated from my graduate program with a Master of Science degree in Nutrition. In a few words, this was no easy task. I seemingly encountered struggle after struggle, particularly in my last class taken, a thesis equivalent class, where I completed a 92-page evidence analysis portfolio project on the correlation of magnesium status and women with chronic diseases. Receiving my diploma was surreal, an indescribable “high” after encountering various “lows” throughout my graduate career. My graduation day brought me back to three years prior, when I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. I am not one for an accurate or detailed memory; I am much more fluid, per se. Perhaps it is the Pisces in me. However, our lovely graduation speaker and her touching speech at my undergraduate ceremony have always stuck with me, especially one quote she brought to my awareness.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
— Henry David Thoreau

I instantly felt “hit” by this quote as she read it to the crowd. Her message was warm, uplifting, and encouraging. There was *nothing* that could get in the way of a life of bliss, accept for our own mind and our belief system. Though three years ago, I was not spiritually awake in the sense I am now, I recognize how I soon would be. I fought for myself. Having no strong sense of “self” my whole life, always molding to the surroundings and people around me (also a Pisces thing), I was determined to figure myself out. I expanded my consciousness, protruding it outward. I began to recognize my flaws, not in a self-deprecating way, but in the knowingness that I could grow. I was self-empowered.

This theme of living our dreams has stayed with me ever since, and I find myself currently basking in its energy. I realize that I, alone, yet in the connectedness to God and the universe, have the power to transcend my life to highest measures. And in the same way, it is only me who could prevent my dream life from manifesting. On the surface, I know this. I know I am innately powerful. Beneath the surface, I face my blocks: doubt, fear, uncertainty. I have received much confirmation from higher sources that my purpose is great, and I am to reach a great many of people. An aspect of me fully knows this. It is the truth of my soul. Another aspect, however, is not so sure. “What can I really bring to the table that others cannot? Can I really do it? Maybe I will fail and have to get a ‘regular’ job.” These are just some of the thoughts and questions that run through my mind on a semi-regular basis. What I do realize, however, is I am going through this current process of fully realizing and believing in my true power and potential for the exact reason of being able to help others through similar storms.

In today’s world, many live via society standards and by what their external environment tells them they “should” do. This creates distress, unhappiness, and depression as the soul continues to shift farther and farther from the individual’s life purpose. Eventually, this brings one to an almost zombie like state in order to nullify this innate void. From the outside looking in, what I am doing is not normal. When people ask me what I “do” (read: for work, a typical question in our work to live mentality ridden society), I tell them about my coaching business, yet they still ask me about what my “real” job is. Perhaps this is my subconscious pointing back at me, testing me, and asking me to step in my power once more with continued conviction. One thing is for sure; enough is enough. It is time to break the mold.

So, I come to you humbly. I ask you to question your role in society. Are you living via external conditions, or are you living, better yet, thriving from the inside out, aligning with what truly feeds your soul and allows you the peace you so dearly deserve and ARE at your core? I know I have blocks to overcome, but the voice that believes in me is much stronger than the one that does not. My soul will always outshine my ego, though I value ego for its purpose in our human experience. The ego can literally not exist without the pain and suffering brought forth by the emotional and mental bodies. So, I have compassion for its will to survive.

If you are reading this, questioning what your purpose is, perhaps not even knowing what your passions are, I ask you to sit honestly with yourself. Are you connected to your inner voice, the true inner voice of your soul? Or, is this voice drowned out by the fear mongering voice of the ego? I will advise you in various ways. First, honor the ego, but realize your truth is beyond what the ego would have you believe. In any way you feel guided, commune with your soul. You may try meditation, prayer, journaling, or simply practice stillness. Hold the intention to strengthen the connection to your core energy, and allow what needs to come through to flow to the surface. The path to enlightenment has no destination; it is a continuous and cyclical journey where we unwind who we think we are to discover who we truly are and were all along, a non-identity of sorts, yet the essence of peace, love, and presence – three non-emotions. Any perceived negative emotions are imprints from the illusion of separation from Source or our creator God, the ultimate devastation. They are further cemented within our energetic fields due to pain experienced in childhood and even past lives. Keep in mind it took a lifetime (or lifetimes) of suffering to get you to where you are today, on the path for Truth. Thus, our healing will naturally not occur overnight. We can, however, feel our true essence in any given moment. Be gentle, compassionate, and forgiving with yourself. As you continue to grow and strengthen this alignment with Self, you will simply know what you need to be doing, and more importantly what you need to be "being," as you have your internal compass to guide you. You will know what feeds your soul by following your passion and your bliss, two feelings set in place by our Higher Selves to guide us in the direction of our mission and life purpose. Keep in mind that internally achieved joy is much different from experiencing temporary perceived happiness by something or someone outside of us. This type of happiness is fleeting, as if we were to lose this someone or something that is the source of our pleasure, gone too would be our joy. True happiness is felt and cultivated within.

Another tip is to reflect upon your childhood dreams, joys, and innocent pleasures. Childhood is often when we are most in tune with our true essence, as we have come straight from the other side, where there is no sense of pain or even pleasure for that matter. All just Is, and All Is Divine. For this reason, we may reflect upon our likes as a child to help us along in finding what brings us true joy, what is within our higher alignment. For example, I grew up in an authentically Italian family. I was constantly surrounded by homemade Mediterranean dishes and a joy-filled connection to food and family. My now deceased grandfather also grew my hands-on relationship with food as I would help him in his garden every spring and summer in New Jersey. As a very young child, I used to love playing kitchen with my toy kitchen and play food. Better still, I always had a knack for intuitive cooking. I never needed to follow recipes; I just knew what to do. I remember driving in the car with my mother and creating dishes in my mind, such as apricot chicken with bell peppers. I could not wait to go grocery shopping so I could put my mind’s creations to the test. Though it took me four college major changes, it is no surprise that I eventually landed upon “nutrition” as a chosen focus in my career, a focus that my love of food and cooking ties so seemingly into, and a focus regarding health which our country so desperately needs to address, one that I can help our nation address. As we continue our ascension process, we tend to revisit themes and memories from childhood and earlier life circumstances. Allow yourself to be open to these aspects of Self, from a time when you were most in touch with the true nature of reality.

I urge you now to stand tall and to stand proud. Be courageous with yourself and in this world. Eventually, you will come much farther and achieve much more than you could have ever imagined for yourself because you chose to let go and surrender to the universe’s plans, knowing, if only slightly at first, your power and potential. I say “eventually,” yet this time does not exist. There is only the now for you to sink into and be present with. All else is created by suffering and a perceived lack we feel in ourselves. But, you are more. You are worthy. You are beautiful, and you are Divinity incarnate. I am so proud of you for this courage you choose to tap into and breathe throughout your being. You are not alone. We came here as a team to transform society from the inside out through the power of peace, love, and presence. This change starts within.