Saturday, September 14, 2013

If Your Dreams Don’t Scare YOU……. lululemon Ambassador LOVE

If Your Dreams Don’t Scare YOU……. lululemon Ambassador LOVE

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough”
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Zuri has Dreams

Zuri sees so many women in her life and what she sees terrifies her. Many of them are lost, addicted, and can’t seem to pull themselves up. Zuri knows they have good reason. Life is not easy where she lives.

The things that come easy are not healthy and the things that will serve your soul are hard to find.

You can’t even get good food easily in her neighborhood. When she grocery shops with her mom, they have to drive out of the neighborhood and back in. They pick up Zuri's and two cousins. It takes half the day Sunday once they get done driving everyone home and sorting all the groceries out. It is hard. School feels crazy. The teachers (not Mrs. Klein or Miss Ely) but some of them are discouraged and frustrated. Seems like some of her teachers need to spend as much time trying to manage behavior as they do trying to teach. 

Sometimes following your dreams feels like walking through the mud all day.

But Zuri sees Mrs. Klein. She sees her Aunt Jasmine. She sees her mom when her mom is doing well. She sees Miss Ely at school. She sees these women. It is this seeing that helps her believe that things are possible. Mrs. Klein teaches her that no matter how big the problem, there are ways to take the next step forward. Her Aunt Jasmine manages one of the banks downtown and got her MBA. She is powerful. Her mom has been through a lot and even though she struggles, she knows her mom loves her. Miss Ely, the science teacher, is an inspirational woman who Zuri thinks may be one of the smartest people she has ever met. Yeah, she sees things that scare her-- everyday. With her heart and her eyes, Zuri sees these women too. 

Yesterday in school Miss Ely started the class with this quote, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough,” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Miss Ely told the class that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with two other women. These women were recognized for their non-violent efforts for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.
Miss Ely told Zuri and her class that no matter what their circumstances, that they should set their dreams high. Miss Ely told them that it is about setting dreams and making it happen everyday. She said  that if the dream is big enough, they will feel a little scared. She told them to do two things: (1) set their eyes on a dream, and (2) do their work. Miss Ely asked the class to take out their notebooks and write down what they would like to do in their lives if there were no limits. She asked them to write three dreams, three possibilities. 
I watch Zuri as she flips the pages of her notebook to the very back. This is where she writes things that are just for her. She wraps her fingers around the pen and presses the pen into the paper. She slowly writes, “My Dreams.” Then, she writes: [1] I will be a High School Teacher (like Miss Ely), [2] I will be Powerful (like Aunt Jasmine), and [3]  I will be a Leader (like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf).
She smiles for the first time since Eric got home. I see her look up and out the window of her classroom. She is thinking, “What if I could follow these dreams? What if I could?” and in that moment she was scared—the good scared—the scared that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was talking about. “Yes!” thought Zuri, “I am right where I need to be.”

The Process
I saw this quote for the first time on the lululemon Buffalo Showroom web page. It was one of the most inspiration things I have ever read. Tomorrow I am teaching a complimentary yoga class at Power Yoga Buffalo and this will be the theme:

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough”
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

I scare myself on a daily basis. I do. I am not just writing that. It is Satya- truth. I have big dreams. 
I was raised on big dreams. I am the oldest of five children. My dad is a retired Navy Officer. He was a Navy Pilot (think landing on an aircraft carrier). I know for sure his dreams scared him. As he was in the military, he trained to be a teacher and then later a school administrator. He retired a superintendent of schools. My mom was a nurse who later stayed home to raise us. When my brother Stephen was born with Down Syndrome mom was completely inspired to go back to school and become an English Teacher. She went back to college and worked a full career as a teacher. By example and in words, my parents raised me to dream big. Their example was the entire recipe- the two ingredients: (1) big dreams, and (2) daily hard work.
My dreams scare me because they are outside of my comfort zone. I dream big and then I work, just like mom and dad.

So here is your homework:
1.     Get out your notebook and your pen.
2.   Sit down like Zuri, flip to the back of your notebook, press the pen into the paper, and write, “My Dreams.”
3.     Now write!
4.     Then, the important part. Dream, Be Scared, and Work!

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough:

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf



For an overview in the people in Zuri's life fo here:

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