Allowing dreams


Allowing dreams to manifest without getting in their way

Sometimes we don’t believe we are worthy of receiving what we dream of; sometimes we don’t believe it could ever happen. Sometimes we are so convinced of our apparent unworthiness we do everything we can to prevent the good stuff entering our lives. We don’t do this consciously, of course. I’m slowly learning that all i need to do to help the good stuff manifest is to step out the way, to stop littering the path with my worries and insecurities, and all the endless head-chatter that scares the dream whisps away. In some ways it’s easier to sabotage our dreams than help them become reality – that way, when they don’t happen we can shrug our shoulders and say, ‘see? I knew it. I’m not worth it.’ But lately i’ve been trying this idea on for size: what if i AM worthy? What if it is okay for good things to come into my life?

There was a part of me that assumed life would be easier once i survived the grief – that i’d embrace a new life-is-short credo and let go of all my fears, gliding through life feeling the power of survival under my wings. But that didn’t happen. Life still felt as difficult as ever, if not more so. But today I realised that i’ve reached a place where i’ve let go of some expectations – of what my life should be looking like by now, of what i am capable of doing, of who i could be. I’m starting to embrace what is, and that includes giving my dreams more space to breathe.

I always thought i’d be married with kids by now, that i’d be more successful by now, and more established blah blah blah. What i’m starting to grasp is that this is it – this is my life – so why not have some fun with it? View it as a malleable batch of bread dough and see what shapes i can create. Because no one else is going to do it for me, and, heck, maybe some good stuff will happen. This weekend I made a good start on my book proposal, and in doing so i drop-kicked the whiny but-who-do-i-think-i-am-to-write-a-book out of my third-floor window.

My part of the deal is to work hard, be committed and have a little faith. And to make room in my life for the good stuff to flow. We are allowed to have our dreams, big and small and everything in between. Think of them like your children, to be protected and nurtured, believed in and encouraged – and when the time is right, you need only get out of their way so they can stretch their wings and fly.

I made a new desktop wallpaper* to remind me of my commitments – i thought you might like it too.


Small: 1024×768
Medium: 1280×1024
Large: 1600×1200
Extra wide: 1900×1200

* The images are for your personal use only and I retain the copyright, etc etc :)

43 responses
  1. Marianne @ Zen Peacekeeping

    Amen! We are so similar my friend. That “who-do-i-think-i-am-to-write-a-book” gremlin sneaks back into my place at least once a week, but I keep gently nudging him aside again. Maybe I should give him a good boot – but I tend to see him as a tender, slightly scared part of myself so I get a bit sensitive with him.
    You deserve all good things, and I believe 100% that your wildest dreams will all come true. Getting out of your own way is such a simple and powerful way to start.

  2. charlane

    thank you! It’s a beauty

  3. Jo

    I hate that gremlin.
    Hey, I’ve only known you a year(ish) and it is really awe-inspiring how far you’ve come. I don’t think the gremlin could stop you if he tried but it’s SO cool that you’re not letting him try.

  4. Sam

    This is so lovely; thank you!

  5. The Artful Parent

    Thank you for saying this all so beautifully! And thank you for the wallpaper.

  6. olive & hope

    I continue to be surprised (though I know I’m not alone) that wildly talented, and amazing people feel the exact same way as me. I have been doing a lot of getting out of my own way lately too. Thank you for sharing. I will walk around with a smile today at the visual of you kicking your who-do-you-think-you-are thoughts out the 3rd story window to their death :)

  7. olive & hope

    I continue to be surprised (though I know I’m not alone) that wildly talented, and amazing people feel the exact same way as me. I have been doing a lot of getting out of my own way lately too. Thank you for sharing. I will walk around with a smile today at the visual of you kicking your who-do-you-think-you-are thoughts out the 3rd story window to their death :)

  8. Silent Storyteller

    I love it!!!! Thank you!!

  9. poet

    This rings very true with me, though I’m not quite there yet. At the moment, paperwork is standing in the way…

  10. JanineBoyd

    I love the idea of embracing the life you have and not stressing so much about the life you don’t have. My mum advised me to do just that earlier this week as I mulled over some very similar thoughts. Am beginning to think your blog has sought me out rather than the other way around!!

  11. tricia

    i needed your words today. thank you.

  12. Liesbeth

    Wow, I only recently discovered your blog and I feel like many of your posts describe exactly the kind of feelings and experiences I have – except that you put it much more eloquently. So please carry on with your book – I can’t wait to read what else you have to say!

  13. Debi

    Bless you for this, and its perfect timing, as I sit here whining about losing an entire afternoon of perfectly lovely photo light, with a project due, fighting for the time to get it done. The truth is I could’ve salvaged some of that light, just said “I have to go”, but I instead came home, sat here and whined about it. I so deserve this project, this time – I just made the first phone call to let people know phones will be disconnected and I will not be disturbed next weekend – it’s my last wekend to take the needed images. Until I take it seriously, no one else will.
    Muchas gracias for the gentle kick on MY behind! LOL! My dreams thank you!

  14. Beryl

    thank you for this. your words are so eloquently spoken and I am filled with many of the same emotions. out of a recent loss of mine a dream was born and i am so trying to not let my inner gremlin stand in the way. i appreciate the reminder of hope, perseverance, and confidence.

  15. Alison

    It’s so nice to hear what’s in my head come out in someone else’s words. Well said. And thanks for the beautiful wallpaper.

  16. gem

    love this post.
    speaks to me.
    thank you for the desktop wallpaper. it’s a sweet way to start this new month…
    love, love,

  17. Meghan Rachelle

    I am loving this desktop wallpaper.
    It reminds me to keep on doing what I need to do (finishing my Ph.D.!) and taking bigger risks with my photography.
    Have a wonderful day!

  18. Kristi

    Thank you, Susannah, for your words and the wallpaper. I was thinking when I saw the first photo how lovely it was and that I would love it on the wall of my studio, and then, there you were, offering it to us. A dream manifested . . . :)

  19. Dee

    I like this post. I spent about 10 years [my 30’s] growing increasingly desperate to get married and have kids, and then I realized it probably wasn’t going to happen, and I just asked God for a miracle and tried not to stress about it. A funny thing happened – I went to Russia on a choir tour, and I met a little girl in an orphanage there. She is now my daughter and I have an adopted son as well. No husband, but we are just fine and I have wonderful kids. Keep the faith, pursue your dreams, and try to relax! Good luck!

  20. Mary-- The Yellow Door Paperie

    Wonderful thoughts. I’d love it if you wrote a book! Lots of us will be here cheering you on towards your goal!

  21. Jill

    Susannah, I feel like we’re kindred spirits. . . I’ve long struggled with shedding the expected and unraveling myself from the life I thought I’d have, the life others think I should have, the life that existed only as a fairy tale in my mind. Last year I finally came to a point where I began to *see* the beauty of the life I *am* living. That it’s true and valid. And I realized I need to be present to enjoy it. There have still been tears and fears this year, but they come far less often. It’s a journey.
    Thanks for the beautiful words and screen art. I’m changing my desktop tonight. . . which, ironic enough, is now a photo from a beautiful time in my life when I created much of that fairy tale. It will be fantastic to put it in the past where it belongs and embrace a new image.

  22. blue bicicletta

    Thank y ou for this! I really needed it today. Perhaps we all need it everyday. Oh, how fear and worry gets in the way, and every day I re-commit to letting them go.

  23. sanne

    I wish you lots of good luck, inspiration, courage and words to wrote your book

  24. Graciel @ Evenstar Art

    I am right with you, Brave Woman, kicking gremlins out windows and moving forward despite the fears. If only all women thought they were deserving of goodness in all its forms. The world would tilt on its axis…for the better.

  25. Susan

    Thank you for the desktop wallpaper, it’s wonderful. It is perfect for where I am in my life right now as a closer to 50 than 40 year old mom that has gone back to college to pursue my long held dream of photojournalism.
    I’m also hoping to get into your next unraveling …

  26. Carolyn

    Thank you Susannah, why is it I’m always thinking ‘if I could loose a stone I might feel better’, or ‘if only I could work less hours I could see my grandchildren more’. I’ve applied for a new job – part time but of course can hear the voice in my head saying ‘ha, bet you’ll not even get an interview’. The years are passing so quickly and my children have grown up in a blink of an eye. I don’t have time to appreciate the ‘now’ as work and housework take over. I really envy my grandmother who didn’t go out to work and was able to spoil me rotten as a child. Just wish I could be the same. PS Wallpaper looks fab-u-lous

  27. Bria @ The Dizzy Pixie

    This was a very inspiring post. I have a lot of dreams that I find myself saying will never happen because I’m not good enough. Lately I’m starting to realize that “not good enough” is an excuse for not trying hard enough. Too much negative thinking!
    Thank you for the wallpaper…I can’t wait to set it up on my home computer!

  28. Stacey

    Thank you for posting this I need these reminders often.

  29. B

    Susannah – I completely relate to what you’re saying. I had a not-so-nice childhood, and I used to comfort myself by thinking that only so much unhappiness is doled out to one person, and I’m burning through all of mine now. Then I left one unhappy situation for another.
    Today, I’m happier than I ever dreamed was possible, but it’s not because I used up all my allotted sadness. Rather, I’m intentionally living my life in a way that gives me joy each day. It’s not always easy…I think it takes a lot of work to actively seek out the things that make you happy, especially since we’re so often bombarded by what we should do. I’m happy that you’re finding your way also.

  30. Brandy

    Yes! I have been trying my best to live my dreams as well; easier said then done some days. It’s funny to me that you feel this way, because when I see what you do for a living, I think wow she’s got it figured out. I guess we all have something the other wants, and that is what keeps us striving for more. It keeps the passion alive. Good luck with your green goblin, maybe he needs a name, like Fred. Then you say screw off Fred, I’m taking care of business here!
    Ps. I love the wallpaper, it’s my daily reminder now too. Beautiful.

  31. Jan's camera

    Thank for the wonderful wallpaper.

  32. DawnS

    Susannah- thanks so much for the wallpaper…it’s glorious! I’ve been so used to going to our course blog that I’ve forgotten to come here to visit. Love your polaroid shots…they’re beautiful (as always)!

  33. Colette

    You’re right – the present moment is what it’s all about, and once we understand that life is so much simpler and fun too!
    How many of us out there are still chanting: “but-who-do-i-think-i-am-to-write-a-book”? It’s time to give it a good kick in the pants!
    Thank you for the great inspiration!

  34. Helen (Dixon Hill Girl)

    You’re on your way.
    And if you did but know it, other people already see you as more wildly successful than you probably ever dreamt of being. You are fabulous and inspiring and revered.
    So the pressure’s off. You already made it in everyone else’s eyes. So now you can play a little….experiment a lot….allow your precious dreams to unfold….and step into the rest of your glorious life.

  35. shaina

    i was linked to this blog post by a dear friend. and oh how i needed it today.
    thank you for your words.

  36. Suki

    We are all worthy of every little good event to happen. We just need to try and get on the way :)

  37. Life with Kaishon

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

  38. scamp

    Noticing that this was written a year ago, and can’t help
    but dance with glee for you and all that has transpired this past
    year! Thank you for being an inspiration!

  39. shelle

    Thank you for those wise words. For 2011, I have chosen the
    word FLOW, because I realized I am my biggest obstacle, I need to
    step aside so the real magic can take place.

  40. Renee

    These words are exactly what I needed to hear! I’m in that place where I need realize my dreams…and the wallpaper is so great it is just the inspiration to get me through my next month! Thanks

  41. Mariella

    wonderful post, a good start for the new year! thanks

  42. Vicki Wimmer Johnson

    truly inspired. these words are tender and graceful xoxo

  43. Cristina | Positively Beauty

    I only read this now, but it applies so much to me at the moment…thanks for sharing!

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