It’s one thing to hold an intention for something that you really want in your life that seems unattainable; it’s another thing to actively figure out how to get it. You may not know exactly what the right path is, but each step you take, holding the intention you set for yourself, will bring you closer to where it is you want to go. Here’s how I manifested a far-off dream that I didn’t think would be possible.
Talk About Your Dream or Goal to Others
My dream was to have dual residency in San Francisco and Polynesia. I had no idea how I would do it, but I put the intention out into the world. I told my parents, my friends, the random friends I’d make on Facebook, too. Eventually, most people around me knew this is what I wanted to do.
Put It Down on Paper with Images
If you’ve read some of my brown girl surf posts, you’ll know what a big fan I am of art and of collaging. And I take my collaging pretty seriously. I only get the best quality paper and images for my collages. I really put time and thought into them.
I made a collage last year that included, among other things, pictures of Polynesia set next to the San Francisco Bay Bridge. I found a sign that read “Surfer Crossing” and carefully placed that in between the two locations, representing my dream for dual residency. Now, I was not in a very good financial position at all when I drafted this collage.; the thought of even being able to afford my very modest San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle was enough to make me stressed out, let alone even entertain the possibility of living in a place like Polynesia. But the thought now lived on my hallway wall, and I looked at it every day as I walked between my bedroom and bathroom. Think of a collage as a physical imprint of what you want to do. First, you vocalize your goal by telling people, and then you put it down on paper.
Experience an Aspect of it by Taking a Small Step to Live it
I decided that a good first step would be to take a trip to the islands and camp out in back of my friends’ home just to see what life was like on Maui. (I was broke after paying for the plane ticket, what can I say.) I wasn’t a big fan of the development in Maui, so I ended up hopping from their residence to another island where I met the wonderful parents of a friend of mine who happened to be part of the couch surfing network. So they had a lovely guest room in the back for all their visitors. Yes! And the husband happened to be a surfer, so he ended up taking me out most mornings to surf. Not only did I get to see what life was like on the island, I also got a personal orientation to all the island’s surf breaks!
While I was staying with this awesome couple, I also realized how important it would be to have a transferable skill if I ever wanted to have dual residency in Polynesia and San Francisco. It’s not like there was a big city with a ton of companies or non-profits to work for on the island. Secondly, I got introduced to some awesome places to surf, so I could experience whether I liked the vibe and the lineup, and understand how difficult the breaks were. Lastly, I met awesome people who I stay connected to up to this day. This experience served as a preview of what my realized dream of dual residency might look like, and it was a great way for me to affirm my goal.
Pay Attention to the Opportunity
When I got back to California, I decided launching my own business was the way for me to honor this lifestyle, and to honor my values of freedom, connection and independence. Eight months prior, I had closed a non-profit I founded and ran for 11 years, so I was also in a process of getting back on my feet financially. There were so many unknowns. Launching a business was scary. I wanted to be 100% ready.
I remember my good friend, Robert Chatwani, an entrepreneur and now executive at eBay, listened to my concerns. He urged me not to wait for the perfect time, or until I had the perfect website, but to create the opportunity. I did not feel 100% ready. But he made the point that we never are. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and do it, and figure some things out as you go. I had figured out a way to get the training I needed, built my own website, crafted some packages, and sent out a simple e-mail announcement to all my friends and family. And before I knew it, I had my first client. Did I have everything figured out? Nope. Were there bumps in the road? Yep. Did I learn from them? Absolutely.
Then, the awesome couple I stayed with back in Hawaii contacted me and asked me if I’d consider house-sitting for them for a month. I finally started to see how everything was falling into place. I’d have a free place to live, a car AND a transferable skill (coaching and consulting) that I could do remotely from Hawaii.
When I got that e-mail asking me to house-sit, I smiled to myself. Whereas before I couldn’t imagine how I was going to make this dream work, it was as if it suddenly started to become attainable. It would have never happened had I not taken the steps described above.
I accepted the house-sitting request. I had an incredible time. I know this is a viable way for me to realize my dream of dual residency without buying property I can’t afford. And it’s a way to experience what life might be like in another place without spending tons of money on a place to stay.
Here are some questions for you:
1. What’s the leap you want to take?
2. What is one thing you can do to set the intention for it?
3. To whom will you tell your intention?
4. What is one thing you will do each week or each month in service to your dream?
You may not be able to do exactly what you intend to do at the onset, but every little step you take towards your intention will indeed help you get closer to it. Even if you don’t know what the strategy is to get there, by setting a firm intention and DOING, the path will unveil itself.
In short, YOU are essential to crafting your path to what may seem unattainable. It’s not enough to just think and dream and be in your values; you have to start voicing, writing, moving, behaving and living them, no matter how small the steps you take. You have to just do it.
When have you been able to create something in your life? What key things did you learn on your journey to make it happen? Share your comments below! We’d love to know!
Executive & Leadership Coach | Global Explorer | Founder, Surf Life Executive Coaching & Brown Girl Surf