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3 Things You Need to Know to Reach Your Dreams

My Grandma has been with me of late.  I caught a whiff of Queen Anne’s Lace and my memories were off and running to the summer  my sister Ariane and I spent with her at her apartment in Shoreham-by-Sea in the UK.  It was 1976. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was on the airwaves, and my Grandma introduced us Spaghetti O’s, to art museums, to the theatre, and to identifying and pressing wild flowers from the fields.  I don’t think I would have an appreciation for any of these things (ok not the Spaghetti O’s – revolting stuff) had it not been for her…

My Grandma was a poet, an artist, an actress, a very proper Victorian lady with a wild free spirit.  She loved a party, drank Shandy’s (a lady’s drink), and snuck cigarettes whenever she could.

She spoke of herself as a “silly old woman” and called herself “plain and mouse haired.”   Yet, she always did what she set her mind to.  Life with my Grandfather was not easy: he was a womanizer, a gambler, a drunk – and financial circumstances would change day to day.  She, somehow she make it work and continued to do so long after his death.

She worked as a librarian.  She discovered art and travelled around the English countryside with her easel and paints.  She had immense love and pride in her grandchildren.

Here are three life lessons (of many) that I learned from Grandma that might help you to follow your dreams:

1.  Believe in Love (romantic or otherwise).

Though my grandparents had their ups and downs, Grandma always found solace in reading, poetry and art.  She deliberately sought and surrounded herself with beautiful things, took walks, wrote fiercely, and, later, painted as if her life depended upon it.  It did.  It is in all of those modalities that she encountered love, over and over again.  She had an amazing zest for life, a huge commitment to love and the storytelling ability to help us all believe.

“The years have hurried past, Love
and left us, you and me
a little short of breath, Love
and none to sure of eye.

Your hair is badger-grey, Love
and specked with white my brown;
We move much slower now, Love
They say we’ve settled down.

Quite quietly we sit, Love
each buried in a book,
and never say a word, Love
nor ever give a look.

But should you life your head, Love
and smile across the room,
then I am young again, Love
and once more in my bloom.” ~ Johannah Lydon

I learned that when focused on the amazing world that surrounds us we see possibilities and opportunities never imagined otherwise.

2.  Figure out a way to live your passions

I had a thing for horses when I was young.   My grandmother encouraged my passion by sending me boxed sets of books.  I remember treasuring the artwork on the box, how the books fit so snuggly, how I could take each out and delve into the world of horses, how my imagination roamed….  I sought out a friend who had just as much of a passion for them as I did.  We both volunteered to muck stalls, curry comb, clean out hooves, take the horses to pasture – for the privilege of being around, riding and attending the jumping competitions….

Being around horses, their smell, their gentleness was a dream come true.  No matter I couldn’t afford one of my own – I created opportunities to be around them – fueled by my Grandma’s books.  I learned that when you love something passionately, you find any way to do it.  No matter what.

3.  It’s never to late to create anything that you believe in. 

Long before the law of attraction, Grandma was a manifesting expert.  She loved art and as a young woman saw herself as an artist – so she surrounded herself with art by going to museums regularly.  Eventually, she picked up the paints herself and aligned herself with a painting group who would take trips around the English countryside.  She encouraged my cousin Colin’s interest by taking him to different exhibits.  She loved art – she could never get or share enough…

In 1993, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Art History at Brighton University.  Her classmates lovingly called her “The Queen Mum.”

She was 81 years old.

My life has been blessed with women like my Grandma who never saw age as a factor.  Dreams do not live in linear time.  They live in eternity which means that, no matter where we are at, we have the chance of living them out.

Grandma is the one who, when I am feeling less than courageous, I look to for inspiration and who will stop by, this time in the form of Queen Anne’s Lace, to re-ignite my commitment to right livelihood.

“You can create anything that you really, really want.  I believe in you.” she’ll whisper to me.

I’m passing her message to you…   What are you waiting for?

I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned to help you reach your dreams.

In the comments below, tell me your single MOST HELPFUL LESSON and how you act upon it.

Is there something specific you do? Do you take a specific action? Leave as much detail as possible.  Your learnings will inspire our entire community.

Thank you for contributing to this growing global community, and for being a part of my life.


2 Responses to “3 Things You Need to Know to Reach Your Dreams”

  1. Donna Panzl says:

    Joelle, I love your article. It’s so relevant to me right now. I am so grateful to your Gram, too, for sharing her values and wisdom with you. And to you for sharing with me! My favorite quote that you wrote is, “Dreams do not live in linear time. They live in eternity which means that, no matter where we are at, we have the chance of living them out.” I’m such a linear thinker and sometimes life doesn’t follow my plan. Now I understand.
    Many, many blessings to you!

    • Joëlle says:

      I love that my Grandma spoke to you, too… It’s wisdom passed through generations – a legacy we need to entreat to all women. We are not alone. In fact, they SO have our back!

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