By Sulana Stone/www.SedonaVisionQuest.com
It's no accident that certain stories rivet our
attention. Listening to these tales with perked "inner
ears" alerts us to possibilities we've never considered
before. Reading these stories with keen "inner sight"
awakens us to previously unseen guidance or support. The
story I'm sharing with you touched the core of my being
and propelled me towards my dream. This true tale is
about Kathy, whose quest for her dream took a sudden and
I met Kathy at a personal growth workshop. Kathy Swan
is a single mom with two charming teenage girls. When
her daughters dropped by the gathering to say hello, I
sensed the deep love and harmony flowing between the
girls and their mother. Little did they know that their
rapport would soon be put to the test.
The Swan family lived in Chicago. Yet, for many
years, Kathy fantasized about having a house in the
country. A rural setting, my friend believed,
would provide the security she craved her entire life.
Finally her dream came true. Kathy was given a secluded,
wooded piece of property in the rolling hills of
Kentucky. After putting a mobile home on the land, the
threesome moved in lock, stock and barrel.
The Dream Goes South
The remote beauty and quiet of the emerald green
hills won Kathy's heart. And for the first time in her
life, she felt safe and comfortable. She had only one
problem. Her daughters were miserable! The teenagers
dearly missed their close friends and exciting urban
bustle. The Swan's were in turmoil. Overnight, Kathy's
dream of security turned into a nightmare of conflict.
Steve Martin Saves the Day!
After three weeks of homesteading, the frazzled
family drove to the nearest town to see a movie.
"Cheaper by the Dozen," starring Steve Martin, was
showing on the local faded silver screen. This motion
picture turned out to be an uncanny reflection of the
real-life struggle the Swans were going through in their
new home. In the flick, the father of 12 children
pursues his dream of coaching college football. In her
life, Kathy was pursuing her dream of feeling safe. To
reach his objective, the father relocates his clan from
the country to the big city. To secure her goal, my
friend relocated her family from the big city to the
country. The kids in the screenplay don't want to move.
Kathy's kids didn't want to move. The celluloid dad
isn't going to let anyone get in the way of what he
thinks will make him happy. Our down-home mom wasn't
going to let anyone get in the way of what she
thought would give her joy-until she saw the film!
I still get goose bumps as I recall Kathy sharing her
moment of insight with me. "The father reaches his
professional coaching goals," Kathy relates, "but at the
price of becoming more distant from his children. In one
scene, Steve Martin realizes that having his dream is
meaningless without having the closeness of his children
in his life." At the moment in the film when the dad
decides to bridge the gap with his children, Kathy
decides to bridge the gap with her brood. The way Kathy
chooses to create harmony between herself and her kids
instantaneously transforms her family. In a split
second, Kathy elects to move back to Chicago. Upon
leaving the movie, the family goes home and packs up
their belongings. Two days later, the reunified family
makes their way back to The Windy City.
The U-turn to Happiness
In Kathy's own words, "Deep down inside, I knew we
HAD to return to Chicago. The decision seemed crazy at
the time. I didn't know what we'd do when we arrived
back in the city. We didn't have any place to live. And
I didn't have a clue what I'd do for a job. All I knew
was that we were going back-even if it meant we'd be
sleeping in the car."
Throughout the drive back to the city, Kathy found
herself remembering a church she attended many years
before. "I felt so embarrassed and vulnerable about
asking them for assistance," she candidly reveals,
"because I hadn't been a member of this congregation for
such a long time. But I really needed help." As it
turned out, the minister knew someone who was looking
for a caretaker for a "country estate" in the Chicago
area. The position involved taking care of the trees,
shrubs, gardens and lawns on the expansive property. A
spacious home on the grounds came with the deal. Kathy
laughingly shares, "I always wanted to do landscaping.
I'm thrilled being outdoors and really enjoy getting my
hands dirty in fresh soil." And, as fate would have it,
the mother of two discovered that the estate is located
in her kids' old school district. Her daughters can
attend the same school they left a month earlier and be
with their cherished friends!
Getting the Message
As my friend tells her story, the hairs on the back
of my neck stand at attention. I see how the universe is
supplying the core essence of Kathy's dream, if not
the exact form she envisioned. The cosmos is not
limited by the narrow way Kathy thought her dream
needed to happen. When Kathy choose the essential
qualities of what she really wants in life-love and
harmony-she got them. And the safety she longed came
through circumstances she never could have imagined. The
Big Picture Show compassionately orchestrated Kathy's
life to provide the security and happiness she always
"Let Go of the Form!"
A potent message ripples through my body: "Sulana,
let go of the framework you think will make you
safe and happy. Be open to the universe giving you
security and joy in a form or context you don't expect.
Go after the core essence of your dream, the qualities
you're really looking for." My spine tingles with the
power of my realization.
Kathy's story makes it clear to me that I've been
blocking myself from my dream by believing it had
to show up in a specific way. My friend's journey
reminds me of the many times that I surrendered my rigid
picture of how my dream should look-then watched the
real essence of my dream manifest.
The message of her story finally sinks in: "The
support will be there as long as you go for the
spirit-and not the form-of what you really want. Relax
your grip on the way you think things have to
show up and watch your dreams come true."