There's a fine line between being pragmatic and sprinkling seeds of doubt. I know this by experience. Seeds of doubt were sewn in me by the people who love me the most - my family. They had no idea at the time, and I know now they are sad at the result of their words, but, nonetheless, they were planted. They looked like seeds that would sprout better choices, safer paths, protection and love, but what grew from phrases like, "Fashion is very competitive. Not many succeed. There isn't a lot of money in fashion. There isn't a demand for styling in Phoenix. You're not as stylish as other girls," grew something ugly. A snarly weed, a critic. She looks and sounds almost exactly like me, but she's not me at all. She's like a knock off Prada bag, but looks authentic from the outside.
No matter how much weed killer I put on this fake bitch (I usually don't swear, but that's the only word that fits this lady) she still gets in a word here and there. I give her credit for my business degree and my PR experience - a smart cookie no doubt. I also credit her for the depression, self-esteem battles and tears. The only thing that has quieted her snobby voice is this overwhelming stirring in my Spirit that feels like a fireball (trust me it's not heartburn) - there's no quenching it unless I release it.
I did it when I started my first blog, AlexandraEvjen.com. It came out again when I got my first logo. And again, when I went I completed my first photo shoot. And again, when I did my first fashion show. And again, when I got over a million followers on Pinterest. And again, when I got my first job with a brand (Glamour Magazine). And again, when my work was first published in print.
That critic is silenced every minute of every day when I get to do what my Spirit has always asked me to do - simply follow this passion. I am so thankful that I had the courage to release this wildfire, but not everyone has this story. Not every person has been able to release this groaning deep within them. Unfortunately, some people have more than one devil wearing Prada bitch in them because more seeds of doubt disguised with pragmatism were sewn - like Johnny Apple seed had a field day. For them, I write this post.
We need to remember these three things when we speak to dreamers:
1. When someone comes to you and shares with you something they are deeply passionate about feel honored that they shared it with you because it comes from a spiritual place not just an idea manufactured by the brain.
2. If you are a realist by nature you can be a HUGE asset to the dreamer. Help them make a step by step plan of action, but be mindful of what you define as failure. Failure to a dreamer is never having tried. Failure to a realist is setting a course of action, trying and getting a different result. Help them try.
2. We as parents, spouses and friends need to nurture what has already been planted. I believe that God plants passions, desires and talents within each human. Some children know at a very early age what those are. My performing arts high school was full of young dreamers that have since gone on to pursue their dreams because they were nurtured by our education system. I'm so thankful I was one of those kids. So, listen to your kids and dream with them, expose them to opportunities to try new things and keep your desire to protect them from pain in check.
3. Use your power of influence for good. We all have influence on each other. Be mindful of your super power, and use it to build up not tear down.
Photos by Rennai Hoefer