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Dreams Vs. Purpose: The Unconscious Battle

Remember when you were a kid and you knew exactly how your life would go? Personally, in my first dream I was going to be Indiana Jones. I didn’t know how, but that was going to be me, whip lasso thingy and all.

Remember how your dreams changed and got more real the older you got? I dropped my dreams of adventuring and instead saw myself meeting the right person, getting married, having kids, a job, balancing it all…Vacations….Speaking tour. I don’t know, it went on and on.

At some point, after many misadventures I did meet the person. And we did get married. And we were about to start having kids…and then one day, my acupuncturist said…”you know, you’re supposed to be doing THIS.” And by this, he meant be an acupuncturist.

Nope. That was my first thought. But I couldn’t get it off my mind. At dinner THAT night, without even meaning to I asked my then fiancee what he thought about me going to Acupuncture school and he asked quite rightly, “How long have you been thinking about this?”

And to my surprise, out of my mouth came, “Forever?”

Sign #1 that you have stepped on your true purpose path. All the dreams and all the plans are instantly coopted and vanish like the mist that they are, and you are left with a truth you didn’t even know you had.


I had never before that moment ever thought acupuncture was something I could do. And now a few hours later I had been thinking about it forever? And strangely enough I was sure in every cell of my body that was true. (And I had been fascinated with Acupuncture since I was a kid and it healed my sister of a rare childhood case of Shingles. But never had I thought about being an Acupuncturist.)

“I’ll just go to school, learn to treat our kids, maybe treat the families in the neighborhood…it’s just a quick 4 year detour,” I said.

And this is Sign #2 about purpose….it has this nasty trick of ruining any plans in its path.

My relationship crumbled over that 4 years. And the image that kept me in school when it got too much for me was this little girl I would have, waiting for me to finish school. She was like a carrot on a stick. I would finish this program, and I would be the doctor of my kids.

But at the end of that four years…it was time to start a practice. And then it was time to go on Sabbatical and see if I wanted to be a midwife as well. And then it was time to grow the practice…I mean I had to try, right? That was a long time in school…I had to keep going.

And all the while my relationship was dying and this feeling inside of me was growing. This purpose, that if I’m honest at the time felt a lot like a burden, like a curse, like something that chose me rather than me choosing it, and it was now running my life.

So this blog is for those that feel that tug. That tug in a different direction. Even if that tug is pulling you from this dream you think you wanted your entire life. All I can say is, you may want to just explore that. And this is for any age. This is for any stage of life. This may be the tug to paint, to make jewelry, to teach, to volunteer…it could be anything!

And here…in the darkest days of winter I am reminded of the choices. And the dreams that never were. And I have moments of deep grief for the life that never happened for me. I have moments, little blips in time that trigger the hell out of me, and I am back in that moment when the little girl stopped being my child, and became the practice of my dreams. The community. The healer of many versus the mother of one. It just beat louder than the rest, and I followed because I was meant to.

I write this story for you today because it’s important to know where we are in our unfolding. You don’t have to do anything but notice. Are you pushing towards a dream or floating towards a purpose. Does your heart beat faster when you think about that one thing? Do channels seem to open as soon as you start moving towards that good feeling? Does that scare you into backing away towards that thing you don’t want, but think you have to do?

Well there is only one way to see where that tug leads…but we can’t know the answers up front…they have to unfold in their own way. All we can do is follow sometimes.

I don’t want you to think it’s all easy. That you choose and those dreams just disappear. They don’t. But each time they come back up for me, at least, it becomes a little easier to feel like I chose this, instead of it choosing me. Does that make sense? And I am 17 years on this journey. I’m 17 years of consciously walking the healers path. And I finally settled…which in truth I never thought I’d do…in a place I never thought I’d be…and I’m so happy, genuinely happy for all the right reasons for maybe the first time in my waking life. Even getting triggered. Even having my friends spread out around the globe. Even though my dog is not happy with our new fabulous office.

These are just some thoughts for the deep winter. Deep soul thoughts. Deep purpose thoughts. End of year thoughts. Even if you don’t fully change your life to move in the direction of the thing you want in your cells…how can you incorporate it just a little bit more? How can it be a part of your life? The light is growing…hang on and see where it leads!

All the quiet of the season lends itself to this deep inquiry.

Will you listen?