My mom and I recently took a special three day hiking trip together. Along the way we discovered a huge YES bell in the middle of the forest! I had never seen anything like it!
The massive bell was suspended from the inside of a tree as if it had naturally grown from the tree itself. There was a small type of hammer that sat underneath the bell with a YES sign inside. We further discovered that the purpose of the YES bell was to give hikers a chance to speak their dream aloud and then hit the YES bell as a sign to to the universe that you are not only letting your dream out of hiding but you are saying yes to it. You are declaring your dream.
I stood before the bell with the hammer in my hand, I thought about our dream to have a family travel show to create something from nothing to believe that all the seemingly impossible resources we would need for this big of a project would come in perfect timing. But in all this, there was still fear and doubt. Was I dreaming too big? Was I not being realistic? Was I simply crazy to embrace living in such insane limbo as we work to make this a reality with no guarantee of the results? The questions, fears and doubts just swirled in my mind. That is when I lifted the hammer.
Winding my arm back, I hit that YES bell as hard as I could.
The resounding gong vibrated through my whole body, echoing into the far reaches of the forest.
I realized in that moment that sometimes the best way to handle fear and doubt is to ring your YES bell. To stand up and say “Enough! I’m moving forward despite all the fears and doubts!” To shout it from the mountain top. To declare it to a trusted friend. To write it down and tape it to your bathroom mirror. To say YES to your dream over and over again until the moment arrives when you step into the YES and out of the sea of possible no’s.
I often picture our dreams as orphans, abandoned by us first. We hope they will be discovered and made true, yet we resist picking them up, embracing them, owning them. Fear and doubt are always there, convincing us why it would be silly to adopt our dreams. So let it be. Fear and doubt are simply what they are — fear and doubt. Despite fear and doubt, how can you re-adopt your dreams today? How can you ring your own YES bell? How can you stand up and say “Enough!” and step forward — even further into the unknown?
Let your arm wind back. Let yourself hit that YES bell as hard as you can. And then take in the resounding gong as your dream takes flight.
Sometimes the distance to cross, between our dreams becoming reality, is in the single step of us saying “yes” to them.
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