Last updated on April 2nd, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Two weeks ago, I mailed my 476-page book manuscript to my writing coach in what was the culmination of a lifelong dream.
Yes, she needs to edit the book. Yes, I need to find an agent and sell the book!Â So I am only “partway there” when it comes to realizing this dream fully. Yet actually WRITING the book was a dream come true for me. I committed to it, I struggled through it, I saw it through to the end.
I made it happen!
When Your Biggest Dreams Are Realized, What Next?
Last week I wrote about what happens next when your biggest dreams are realized. I am still living in that strange, surreal “I did it so what’s next?” space this week. Writing books has been my dream since I was a little girl. I committed to writing this particular book years ago.
I am waiting on the edits from my writing coach. I am looking forward to finding an agent and marketing the book. In the interim I am finding myself wondering what to do with all that precious writing time!
My Body’s Response
My body has responded in interesting ways. First of course, after staying up nearly all night for a few nights in the wild throes of the final writing, I crashed.
Sleep, sleep, sleep and more sleep.
Then, the wonderful man I am dating returned home from Japan, which led to some more happy, nearly sleepless nights. My body is still apparently recuperating from all of it because I am very high energy some days and others just feel like I want nothing more than to rest to get my equilibrium back.
The New Dreams
The good news is I do have new dreams that are kicking into gear as well. I have wanted, for the past few years, to launch more life coaching programs, especially for women. Inspiring and empowering women to heal and live happy, healthy lives is one of my life goals, very much in line with what all the women of 8womendream do here.
So I am launching some life coaching programs for women. I am putting my best foot forward in my new business endeavors. I am making things happen.
And I’m also still experiencing a bit of what I call post-dream fever, in which you walk around in a daze for a few, or several days, after realizing that you just achieved one of your biggest dreams.
It feels fantastic, and also surreal and strange!
What Dreams Mean To Us
I think for many of us we are used to having our dreams be “out there,” somewhere in the ether, where we will pursue them and find them and live them “someday.”
Who doesn’t have a “someday” dream of what they’d like to do or be?
And so when our dreams suddenly become reality – we are living them! – there can be a disconnect at first. Do you mean to tell me that this thing I’ve always wanted to do, this woman I’ve always wanted to be – is ME? That I’m doing it, I’m living it?
More Dreams, More Fun!
The simple and obvious answer is cook up more big dreams and have more fun. I do still have a lot of work to do to get this manuscript polished and out there into the world.
Writing the book was truly “Step One” in the process.
And, I have other dreams for my professional life, as I work more and more with other women, helping them to live their dreams, both here on 8womendream and through my own life coaching work and programs.
Of course, I have other personal life dreams, including having a family, traveling the world, and just living every day as a beautiful adventure. There are so many things on this planet that I want to do, so many places to see, so much to love, so many dreams to live.
It is just a matter of focusing on what comes next for me.
Recovering From Post-Dream Fever
Right now that includes recovering from post-dream fever ~ and finding my regular rhythm again in my life.
When you are so focused on a single goal, it can be easy to ignore other aspects of life for a while. I do take good care of my health, regularly, and yet there are other goals that remained “back-burnered” while finishing the book.
Launching my life coaching programs was one. Arranging for some of my upcoming world travels was another.
And of course just living in my optimum health and enjoying every day, which for me is always the primary goal. Life is now, and I plan to enjoy every minute.
How To Channel Your Energy, Post-Dreams!
As someone who has just successfully lived a lifelong dream, and accomplished something that once felt incredibly daunting to me, I am happy to provide you with my guide for how to recover from that Post-Dream Fever.
- Step One is perhaps the most important Post-Dream action step. CELEBRATE what you’ve accomplished! In whatever forms that takes, make it count – celebrate by yourself, with friends, with family, post your achievements on the Internet, email your friends, blog about it! Do whatever you need to do to make it feel REAL and to acknowledge your very real accomplishment.
- REST. Creative endeavors take time and energy and it can suck the life out of you. When you have finished, give yourself ample time to just BE, to relax, to enjoy some time in which you are simply, happily, doing nothing. After being pushed to its limits, a body needs its rest.
- Recharge. That can take the form of going to the gym, eating healthy foods, going to yoga classes, meditating, or doing whatever else makes you and your body feel good. For me it includes all of the above, as well as dancing.
- Focus on the next goals. Take some time to refocus, and to write down what comes next for you. Gain clarity on your next steps, and get excited about them. A lifetime is a long time to live many dreams, and you are just getting started! What’s next?
- Be in action on the next dream. Once you have completed one dream, or step one of one dream, it’s time to move onto the next one, or at least onto step two. So start moving!
- Enjoy the journey. The whole point of dreams, I believe, is to allow us to BE who we wish to be in the world, which includes being co-creators with the divine on a journey that we love. So “in-between” dreams remember that life is really in the end a series of moments, and we may as well enjoy the hell out of every moment while living it!
- Lather, rinse, repeat.
Some days, when I sit and look at the thick book manuscript, three inches thick, that I produced, I am still simply amazed. There are many next steps in my process of getting this book published, and yet there is a real sense of accomplishment at what I’ve already done.
I wish for you many dreams achieved and many periods of Post-Dream Fever when you emerge in a haze from the last days of pulling it all together, to say, what’s next?
What dreams are you kicking into high gear now? And while you are making them happen, why not start to think about what’s next? So, what’s next?
Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach who has published articles, essays and poems in journals and newspapers across the United States. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University, and earned her MPA at Harvard in 2005. Lisa launched her dream to write her first book by signing up for Ellen Sussman’s “Memoir-in-a-Year” class. She just finished the first draft of her book manuscript! Lisa is also a lindy hopper, blues dancer and belly dancer. She has traveled extensively around the globe. Lisa’s post day is Tuesday.
Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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