From the Publisher - October 2015
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” —Paul Valery
When I set out to start my publishing company, which now consists of Pink, Paisley and LIZ magazines, I was unsure, unknowing and downright scared. However, I was also excited and filled with dreams. In fact, my mantra was “Don’t let anyone steal your dreams.” I was adamant about it. These were my fighting words, my strategy and my anchor. Whenever I was the keynote speaker at events, my entire talk was usually centered around, “Don’t let anyone steal your dreams.”
I would emphatically tell those seeking their dreams that even people who love you will try to steal your dreams. My father was such a person. He told me my idea to start a company was a pipe dream and that I better not quit my job. He said he would not help me if I failed. I distinctly remember him slamming his fist down on the kitchen table of my childhood home and telling me I was on my own if I did this.
He didn’t mean to steal my dreams. He was merely worried. He wasn’t the only naysayer, either. At the time though, a freight train couldn’t have stopped me. I was strapped into the dream train and I quit my job the very next day following that intense conversation with my dad. That was May 2003. You better believe I was scared to death, but I believed in my dreams—somebody had to.
Fast forward to September 2015: I am sitting in a beautiful living room interviewing a lively, brilliant, successful woman. We have shared some laughs and some tears. The conversation turns personal and off the record. The view from my comfortable, pristine, white chair is nothing short of breathtaking. My eyes envelop the lovely landscaped yard, which melds into the majestic marsh, which merges into the deep waters of Skull Creek. The sun is setting and casting colors from heaven across the sky. Boaters pass in the distance. Blue herons and white egrets wade patiently for an evening snack. This vision ignites a vision from long ago. A tear rolls down my cheek and I realize I have stolen my own dreams.
This is something I never counted on. I expected cynics, pessimists, haters, competitors and the likes to attempt to tear me down. But I never thought I would be pointing the finger at me—my ownself—as the culprit.
I quickly wiped the tear, as not to show my revelation, but another followed too close behind. Fortunately, this was not the first time I had met my subject and she asked what was wrong. I told her of how I built my company on the mantra of “Don’t let anyone steal your dreams,” and how the beautiful view outside her home had just revealed a dark inner secret within me. Had I stolen my dreams, forgotten them, given up or just become numb to them? Whatever the case, I awoke at that moment feeling a vast emptiness and a sense of loss, but also a new sense of hope.
We talked and counseled each other as business owners and as women. She inspired me and I think, even in my stupor, I was able to inspire her, as well. In wrapping up our time together, I gathered my things to leave, and as I walked out of her front door, I was a different person than the shell of a woman who had walked through it two hours earlier. I was awakened to the dreams I had involuntarily buried deep inside me. I succumbed to the fact that the daily grind over the years had beaten me down and played tug of war with my energy, my passion and my dreams. I didn’t even realize the toll it had taken or the suit of amour I surreptitiously wrapped around myself each day.
As I drove away, my mind was bombarded with pieces and parts of answers to the big five: Who, what, when, where and how. I wondered, “What now?” as I felt a new enthusiasm lightly tap on my heart. My mouth turned up on one side to let a slight smile escape. I knew I was going to be OK. I was revived just in the nick of time.
Solara An-Ra said, “Through your awakening, you awaken others.” Her words give me hope that my experience can awaken you or someone you know. At the heart of what I do through the magazines, the partinis and my speaking engagements is exactly where my heart truly lies—I have a deep longing to make women’s lives better. I have been called to help, inspire, motivate, counsel and connect with women through writing, laughing, talking and speaking to women both on a personal and group basis. In addition, the magazines serve as a forum for other women to also share their messages to connect with and encourage women. That is my dream and now that I’m awake, I promise I won’t let anyone steal it…especially me.
Has someone stolen your dreams? Could it be you? Can you allow this to be your wake up call?
Good morning, Sunshine! It’s time to not only get up, but also to wake up. Rise and shine, Girl. It’s time to shine on.