First of all, it ain’t easy. Second of all, it’s probably the scariest thing you’ll ever do in your life. Whoever said it was supposed to be easy or that it wasn’t going to be scary? Not me. In fact, everything I read these days tells me that if you aren’t scared, then your dreams aren’t big enough.
Speaking of big dreams…let’s talk Pixar for a second. Have you seen “Finding Nemo?” I have three boys under the age of twelve so I’ve seen it about a million times. Maybe even a million point five. Talk about big, ridiculous dreams. Marlin actually takes off in search of his son, Nemo, after he’s been fish-napped by a scuba diver. AND HE ACTUALLY BELIEVES THAT HE’S GOING TO FIND HIM.Of course, Marlin couldn’t have gotten anywhere without Dori (the hapless, forgetful blue tang fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres). Dori is my personal hero. “Just Keep Swimming,” she says. Believe it or not – my husband actually said that to me as he left the house this morning re: growing my business and creating my online empire. “Frustrated with your Facebook ads? Just Keep Swimming.”Dori doesn’t only teach us to “Just Keep Swimming” though. She also teaches us about the necessity of “Letting Go.” And it is in balance between these two concepts that we learn to really hit the sweet spot in life. We have to keep moving forward. “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” But we also have to pair all that action and forward movement with learning how to surrender. Sometimes we just have to get over the how. “Lean not unto your own understanding.”We have to learn when it is the right time to put the foot on the gas and take the big leap and go for our dreams full stop. We also have to learn when we need to give up trying so hard to figure it all out on our own because we aren’t meant to know yet. We aren’t meant to do everything by ourselves.The climactic scene in Finding Nemo is when Dori and Marlin are trapped inside of a giant whale. The whale is talking to Dori and she believes that she can speak whale but Marlin isn’t so sure. Dori believes that the whale tells them that “It’s time to let go.”Dori lets go immediately because she trusts her own instincts. She knows that she is being guided. Dori has no self-doubt or mistrust in the Universe. Marlin, on the other hand, doesn’t believe that Dori can speak whale. He’s terrified to surrender because he doesn’t trust the whale and he doesn’t trust the Universe. He doesn’t trust himself. He asks Dori desperately, “How do you know something bad isn’t going to happen?” Her answer? “I don’t.”We don’t ever KNOW that nothing bad is going to happen. But the work of finding your true calling and quitting your corporate job and creating a life you love isn’t about knowing. Because, once again, that’s your brain’s territory. And where you need to be… is in your heart.Dori is all heart. She is all about asking for help when she needs it and believing that the Universe will always have her back.That’s the truth about letting go. Don’t expect to ever get to a place where it’s easy. It’s not supposed to be. And, if it is? Then you need to dream bigger. Climb higher. And stretch your soul and your vision until you are all scaredy pants again.
In the meantime, just keep swimming. And know that the Universe has your back.