Follow Your Dream and Reach Behind Its Curtain

By JP Sears, Holistic Coach

We take a large step for ourselves when we graduate from living to meet other people’s expectations and gaining their approval. We can then get in touch with our dream. It may be to travel the world, help the less fortunate, express art, learn and refine a new skill, have children, or start a business. We’ve broken out of slavery and now we’re living for our self!  As we find our new home in the free world, what if we realized that even our apparent freedom becomes a new form of slavery? “Of course it isn’t slavery, I’ve broken out of the prison of living to be and do what others want of me! Now I’m living for me, I’m following my dream,” perhaps says the inner voice.  While it seems counter logical that following our own dream could be a form of slavery, what if the reality of the mystery of our own self has it that if we don’t know the part of self that is dreaming our dream we are potentially misleading ourselves with our interpretation and pursuit of it?

We perhaps intuitively know that a dream to follow is a source of inspiration, structure, and direction. It makes both the mundane and the extraordinary of our journey matter in a deeper way. Yet how can we move into a place of courage to be willing to exchange one dream for a more meaningful one? Are our dreams too important to take at face value? Maybe they deserve, instead, an inviting curiosity to bring forth the mystery of what it is we currently don’t know about our dreams and their motives. In a similar light we could wonder, is there a reason why we peel an orange before we eat it?

Blindsided by a Dream

There are many small and large scale examples where people have been following their dreams, perhaps encountering some level of fame, fortune, and influence, only to have it all crash and burn. Lance Armstrong, Charlie Sheen, and Richard Nixon may serve as archetypical examples. How did they get so blindsided while chasing their dream? How do we get blindsided in our unique way as well? Would you believe that the part of our self that is generating the dream deserves intimate analysis? And is the quality of how a dream blossoms immensely influenced by the degree of balance and centeredness within the dreamer?

Being blind to the motive behind our dream may just seal our fate of eventually being blindsided, even betrayed, by our dream. Upon self-inquiry, what if Lance Armstrong discovers that his dream of greatness was inspired by the hidden agenda of his two-year-old inner child who was abandoned by his father? We might speculate that his dream of greatness wasn’t a dream at all; rather it was a compensatory reaction to an inner nightmare of feeling insignificant and unwanted. A two year old swamped with the shame of insignificance is perhaps not a balanced dreamer, it is a wounded soul who fantasizes about becoming other than what he is; wounded. Does a true dream lead us away from self or directly into the heart of self?

To churn your inner contemplative soil, please consider these questions: 

·      What part of you dreams the dream that you’re so intent on following (or currently living)?

·      What is the agenda of this part of you?

·      What do you imagine could be the hidden agenda of this part of you?

·      Does the dreamer of your dream have your expansion, healing, and purpose in mind?

·      Is the dream created as a compensatory reaction out of fear or shame?

·      Is your dream geared around being better than others?

·      Is your dream oriented around discovering and expressing your gifts?

Stretching the elasticity of speculation, would Lance Armstrong have needed to be so abruptly blindsided by his dream if he had moved into a conscious, heartfelt, and considerate relationship with the dreamer of his dream; his two year old self? If his inner nightmare was vulnerably worked with and healed rather than denied, would it have needed to validate itself on the outside through the experience of being abandoned by the eye of the public who once held him so adoringly?

Intimacy with the Dreamer

Is one of the greatest purposes of following a dream to be led into a space of looking eye to eye with the dreamer? The inspiration of a dream can be quite intoxicating, yet if we can also hold focus on the element of our self that has given birth to the dream, we will be able to stay balanced and avoid misleading self about our dreams. Is your dream being dreamt by a terrified inner child? A playful inner child? An insecure adult? A curious adult? A sense of insignificance? A sense of compassion?

Text Box: Do we become a slave to life if we’re not living our dream? Do we become a slave to the wounded inner child if we do not know the part of self that dreams our dream? ~ Would you believe that opening up an ongoing dialogue with your inner dreamer blossoms new degrees of intimacy? If so, perhaps the more intimate we become with the dreamer, the more honest the dreamer becomes with us, and the more honest our interpretation of the dreamer’s dream becomes. As the honesty and intimacy blossoms, we may find that we avoid being limited by the limitations of the dreamer in terms of its scope of values, openness of intuition, and compensations to avoid pain. Could being intimate with the dreamer allow us to progressively graduate from reactions and compensations in the form of shallow dreams to a more meaningful field of dreams that challenge us, expand us, and engage us in deeper ways?

When I was 10 years old I began “dreaming” about becoming a professional bodybuilder. The lucidity of the dream was incredible, as was the strength, admiration, and confidence that I certainly knew was mine to claim once I had built my body big enough.  After a few years of this dream having a solid home in my mind and fantasies, for some reason I began to inquiringly reach for the man behind its curtain. The curious reach may have been due to an overdose of sugar on my Frosted Flakes or perhaps a ray of consciousness slipping into my young mind a bit prematurely. 

Nevertheless as I began learning about the dreamer of my bodybuilding dream, I discovered that he’s a 10 year old boy who feels an agonizing weakness about not being able to keep his parents’ fractured relationship from falling apart. Further, I came to know that the bodybuilding dream wasn’t a pursuit of genuine purpose, it was a 10 year old’s attempt to flee from the shame of weakness that carried an intensity that he didn’t know how to handle.

What would have happened if my dreamer was ignored while the dream was honored? I perhaps would be without a vital inner resource for the rest of my life, as that beautiful 10 year old inner child would’ve been swept away under the rug of his own escape attempt. Instead, somehow I adopted a new intimacy to care for this inner child, help him process and resolve his sense of weakness. In nurturing this inner 10 year old boy, he naturally surrendered his “dream” of bodybuilding.  While it may not seem very inspiring to surrender a dream, what is inspiring is surrendering a dream that comes from a scared, closed heart in exchange for a dream that carries a deeper purpose arising out of an open heart. I dare say that with a conscious relationship with this dreamer to this day, he helps support me and I support him, which affords the pursuit of expansive dreams beyond our limitations.

Living with the Dreamer While Pursuing the Dream

How can we give ourselves permission to make our relationship with our dream an ongoing interpretation and contemplative experience supported by action? What this won’t give us is the illusion of certainty that a decisive stance about a dream seems to offer. Nor will it offer the solid ground of a destination that the ego so eagerly seeks. Yet will it give us the yellow brick road of our own journey that our spirit so eternally desires to walk? Does it also gift us with the fluidity to hand back to our past the reasons we’ve had for pursuing a dream in exchange for christening self with newly birthed reasons for our pursuit?

In our quest an unquestionably powerful inquiry is, “What is my dream?” An exponentially more powerful question can then be asked, “Why is this my dream?” Could you consider that our relationship to the “what” engages the pursuit of the dream while our relationship to the “why” is an embrace of the dreamer?


The dream that we follow is a north star that brings illumination to our lives. However, perhaps the truest point of navigation comes from within when we have the inner vision to see the unseen light of our own inner parts that project our dreams externally. Blind pursuit of the dream misleads us as it ultimately leads us away from self; and life has interesting and shocking ways of attempting to notify us of this! If we can consciously keep our primary focus on the inner dreamer while our feet move in pursuit of the dream, we’re perhaps grounded in the reality of our own purpose in ways that perpetuate a deeper balance while accurately affirming our direction.

About the Author

JP Sears is a Holistic Health Coach in San Diego, CA.  His one-on-one client practice specializes in holistic emotional healing and resolving self-sabotage issues.  JP regularly facilitates classes and workshops nationally and internationally on a variety of inner healing topics while being widely acclaimed for his heartfelt and dynamic style.  For more information on upcoming classes, tele-classes, or becoming a client, please visit