How many of us follow our heart? Unfortunately I think the numbers are quite low. As a child when you thought about your future did you include your day dreams in your path to success? Because of the pressures of our world today I don’t think it is easy to find our way to peace and happiness. But I do believe it can be done if we are open to allowing positive beliefs enrich our lives. By being mindful of our true desires and by acting on our instincts we can awaken the talents and gifts we have come here to share.
I became aware at a young age that I was creative. Living in the chaos and dysfunction of an alcoholic home prompted me to find an outlet where I could find a balance. In my bedroom there was a small chest of drawers. All the clothes I owned fit into one drawer. That left the other two empty. I used those drawers to create dioramas that depicted a fantasy life I hoped one day to live. I used any materials I could get my hands on and made each scene as colorful as possible. Instinctively I was visualizing my future including a happy, healthy home as well as my career choice. It felt so satisfying, to leave the gloomy, sad, and confusing life in which my family was immersed, each time I opened those secret panoramas. This was just the beginning of acknowledging my dreams. I have continued to pay attention to my intuition and follow that guidance to what feels right and wrong to me. I am grateful to be living my bliss.
An exemplary example of a person following their dreams is our 15 year old daughter Mariah. From an early age Mariah has loved to play video games. Many children and adults as well, enjoy this pastime. Her dad and I used to worry about the amount of time she devoted to her computer and her video games but two years ago Mariah took a career and college assessment at www.kudernavigator.com which changed our attitude about the amount of time she spent in front of her computer. In one hour and twenty minutes, after taking 3 on-line tests, scoring 99.9% in I.T., her vision of the future was crystallized. We began to see a budding video game designer emerge. Mariah reads everything on line about prospective games, who is creating them (the actual designers and artists involved), what fans and critics are saying about them, which companies create the best role playing games, how easy are her favorite games to navigate, and the details of plots and story lines go on and on. In other words, she has a passion for Video Gaming.
For six weeks this summer she attended The Academy of Art University in San Francisco as a pre-college student. At the orientation Mariah went right to the information on job opportunities; which companies were hiring and which students from the college were being hired. She already has her eye on potential companies where she would like to work, although she has two more years of high school, four years of college and then a two-year Masters program. Pre-college classes were offered in 17 areas of career interest including Game Design. She was fortunate to study with the professional artists/teachers who are on the staff at the college level. Mariah’s class choices were Figure Drawing, Composition, Game Design and Animation. For a girl who did not know how to draw (she literally was a step above stick figures) she made an impression on us, her parents, when she completed beautiful, competent figure drawings. Although most people are not aware of this, drawing is a learned skill and if the motivation is there anyone can learn how to draw. Mariah is visualizing her goals and in the process enjoying every step along the way, even when it means hard work.
In two years Mariah will graduate from high school. As a graduation present we have offered to take her on a trip to a city or country of her choosing before she begins college. She has chosen Edmonton, Canada because that is the home of her favorite Game Design company where she dreams of working one day. She told me, “I want to visit the city because I want to see if I would like to live and work there.” I said to her, “What if a job isn’t available?” Her answer was, “I have a back-up plan.” She then mentioned another company located in Maryland. Knowing how people change and grow as well as unexpected experiences, it is hard to know where she will enjoy her career. I have no doubt that wherever it is Mariah will be living a full and satisfying life laced with joy and happiness.
Regardless of your age, I hope you will meditate on your heart’s desire. Rearrange your schedule so that you are spending time in ways that are truly meaningful to you. We each deserve to live our dreams.