The Power of our Dreaming


One of the most beautiful parts of my current life is the deep sense of awe and gratitude I frequently feel for the fact that my dream to move to California – a dream I held for so very, very long – finally came true.

Dreams are so often given a bad rap. We are told to “be sensible”, “realistic” or to “take our heads out of the skies”. But I believe our dreams and longings provide a deep guidance to who we really are, to what we really want and to where Life might be trying to guide us.

To ignore our dreams is to turn our backs on our deepest selves.

To squash our dreams is a way of forgetting who we are; and containing our lives into manageable steps that take the vibrancy and joy right out of our living.

I was told so many times that my dream to move to California was “impossible”, “inappropriate”, “selfish”, “me escaping my real life” or, perhaps most destructive of all, “simply a whim”. It took a dogged determination and a powerful commitment to both myself and the dream to not let it go in the face of all that judgement and opinion.

Few people in our lives will be likely to fully support our dreams. To seek approval for our dreams is misguided; even a form of self-sabotage. Our dreams, by definition, will likely challenge those around us. Our dreams speak to changing the status quo, to desire for something other than what we currently have or live.

So, unless your dream is shared, know that your dream may be threatening to the people closest in your life. And don’t let that stop you!

Equally, do not be seduced by the voice in your own head that asks you “How?” The quickest way to shut down a dream is to ask ourselves “How”.

I first fell in love with this particular spot in Northern California in 2001; and it really was love at first sight! Slowly over the years, I felt a deeper and deeper longing for more of it in my life. In summer 2009 I took a vacation there with my children and when I called my sister from our vacation setting, she said with uncanny intuition “I reckon you will move there!”

A seed was sown, and many more after that.

But this dream to move to California, whilst it was something I became increasingly clear I really wanted, also seemed impossible. As a Brit, there were huge hurdles to do with visas, work, and finances that alone made a relocation feel insurmountable. And, on top of all that, I am divorced and share my children with their Father, who, quite understandably, had no desire to see his children move to another continent.

Had I listened to the “How’s” I would have never even started.

Instead, I made a decision. I decided that if my dream were someone that I had fallen in love with, I would make some commitments to the relationship, whilst not knowing what the outcome would be.

And, so I did that with California. I made a commitment to visit as many times as I could with no agenda other than to foster the relationship. I prioritized my relationship with California – financially and time wise – over many other things and people. I remained, in short, deeply committed to the dream with no expectations of an outcome.

This dream of California really demanded of me. And my commitment sometimes cost me. But it also rewarded me in ways I could never have imagined when I first stepped into that commitment to my dream.

Did I really need to move to California? I can say with hindsight and certainty, I did not. But I did need to find the person I have become in reaching for this dream.

Inspirational-picture-quote-success-is-a-journey-not-a-destination-the-doing-is-often-more-important-than-the-outcome-Arthur-AsheIt never is about the destination, it truly is only the journey that is important.

But unless we hold a destination in our hearts and reach out for it in our living, we never become our biggest, boldest selves who can live the dream regardless.

Many a seedling dream is killed off by this need to understand the how’s and practicalities before the dream has taken root.

So many people that I work with confuse their dreaming with the demand to make it happen. I had no idea how I would ever relocate myself and my children to California. Had I let the “How’s” dictate to me, my dream would have withered before it could take root.

Dreams are little sparks of fire in our living; they need air to really sparkle.

So, this week, I invite you to simply listen deeply to the whispers in your heart. When did you last pause to ask yourself what you really long for, truly dream of? When did you last sit with your deepest yearnings, giving them some room to live in you before the practicalities and those around you seek to squash their sweetest blossoming.

Trust that giving space to your dreaming and wanting might be the biggest act of self love you give your self this week; the biggest act of transformation you take this year. Hold it lightly but stay committed and see what magic may unfold.

As always, I’d love to hear your comments and reflections. And, if you liked this blog post, and would like to read others, please sign up to my email list, where you will receive my weekly blog posts, transformative tools and exercises, and information on future workshops that I will be hosting CLICK HERE.

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  1. Another profound article and my favorite quote by Arthur Ashe. Thank you for reminding me of the power of dreams and saying “yes” no matter the “how.”

  2. You have an uncanny knack of writing about things that land right where my mind is pondering. Thank you for encouraging my urge to dream.

  3. Thouraya says:

    Susannah, I could very much relate to every word you wrote. Your California is my London 🙂

    “Instead, I made a decision. I decided that if my dream were someone that I had fallen in love with, I would make some commitments to the relationship, whilst not knowing what the outcome would be.” Love this!

    “Did I really need to move to California? I can say with hindsight and certainty, I did not. But I did need to find the person I have become in reaching for this dream.
    It never is about the destination, it truly is the journey that’s important.” Yes! But that doesn’t mean that now that our dream has come true, we’re ready to go back home ;-). The thought of the possibility of this scares me. The challenge is I’m not able to nurture this journey (and dream) without the destination which is the fuel (along with my passion) for this dream..

    Thank you for sharing this beautifully written piece!

    • Thanks Thouraya! I am so glad you followed your dream to London – and I am curious what is the next dream tugging at your heart? What are your dreaming up for your London life…?
      Big hug

  4. This reminded me of a wonderful book by Peter Block with a title that it took me some time to understand – ‘The answer to how is Yes!’ x

  5. My heart is pounding – oh the courage not to pursue a dream but to dare to have one. Your blog post filled me with a pounding heart and a tiny spark of hope to date to dream. Thank you

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