“We should never give up; you’re never too old to chase your dreams.” — Diana Nyad 

I have a new hero.  Her name is Diana Nyad, and this week she swam non-stop from Cuba to the Florida Keys – the first person ever to do so without a shark cage.  She first tried it at age 35 and failed four times over the years. Finally, at age 64, in the best shape of her life, she gave it all she had one last time and triumphed.

Asked in a 2011 interview why she kept attempting such a grueling feat after failing so many times, Diana replied, “I am stunned, at age 61, at how fast it all flies by.  My mom just died.  We blink and another decade passes.  I don’t want to reach the end of my life and regret not having given my days everything in me to make them worthwhile.”

Amen, Sister! While I am not yearning to attempt a physical feat like hers, I can totally relate to Diana’s “blink and time passes quickly” feeling.  I had an epiphany of my own that motivated me to finally take ACTION on my long-held secret dream – one that seemed forever out of reach until now.

I want to share with you about my #1 Big, Juicy Dream and the journey I am now on to reach it, in hopes that my story will help you get into ACTION on your own Big Dreams.  If you continue to wait until “someday” to pursue them, you are likely to discover that “someday” will arrive in the blink of an eye and if you aren’t prepared, you will miss your window of opportunity.

For several years, I have been praying daily for clarity and direction about my Dream, and I’ve gotten some good short-term help and guidance from the Universe. But until I turned 60 and was staring “unfulfilled dream regret” in the face, I couldn’t fully open my mind to receive the perfect HOW that the Universe had in mind for manifesting it.  Also, external conditions weren’t right for the fulfillment of my Dream until this year.  When inner preparation finally met outer opportunity, it all came together – the clouds parted, the angels sang and “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,” as the song goes.

This is my #1 Big, Juicy Dream:  To live out my retirement years in joyful pursuit of adventure and travel, with no financial worries.  That may not sound too far-fetched to many people who have two healthy incomes and a fat 401K. (Although the AARP reports that 60% of Americans 60 and older do not have nearly enough set aside for a comfortable retirement, given that our lifespan is expanding far past that of earlier generations.)

If you read last week’s blog, you know that my realtor husband and I were hit by the Real Estate “bubble” bursting like a Mack truck ran over us. In the process of trying to save our new “dream home” from foreclosure, both our life savings and retirement accounts disappeared. For the past five years, our major triumph is that, with a lot of help from the Universe and many kind friends, we have kept ourselves afloat, just able to pay our bills and rent each month.

Whenever the words “retirement planning” came up, I have sort of sneered to myself, “Yeah, right!  No living out our golden years with a paid-off mortgage for US.  We will be lucky if we can both keep working until the day we die!” 

But this Spring, everything unexpectedly shifted, as the real estate market got red-hot again, and my husband’s business suddenly sprang back to life.  He’s had some nice big commissions in the past several months, and we are starting to get back on our financial feet again. I began expressing gratitude each morning, saying to God/Universe, “I LOVE paying the bills effortlessly!  I LOVE having extra money left over to do things we love to do!  Thank You! Please show me how to get MORE of this.”

That was the beginning of the Dream Manifestation process for my own Big Dream.  (You can start to take notes here!)  Step ONE: Identify EXACTLY what you want to be, do or have.  That desire then becomes a full-blown INTENTION, as you start to visualize and fill in the details of your Dream: Where would we go, what would we do if Rick and I could do ANYTHING we wanted without having to worry about finances? On my daily morning walk, I thought about what it would LOOK and FEEL like if we had all the money we needed and more.

At first, I thought, “We could buy another house!”  But that didn’t FEEL right.  I couldn’t see being saddled with a 30-year mortgage at age 60. Having lost our dream home to foreclosure and a wonderful rental property to a short sale, we had learned first-hand what a big responsibility owning a home is. It’s wonderful for many people, but at our age, we have come to enjoy being care-free renters.

At the same time, there’s a couple of big downsides to renting, besides the obvious lack of home ownership tax benefits: 1) You have no control of when you have to move on.  Our landlord is a friend and a wonderful person, but he is going to sell this house in another year and a half, and we will have to move again.  After moving three times in five years, I am pretty sick of it.  2) Rents can and do increase over time, which is not something that we look forward to in our “golden years.”

So, without a concrete idea of the HOW, I just kept coming back to my desire to be carefree and live a fun-filled, adventurous life of travel and exploration. THAT idea made my internal Feel-o-Meter clang at a level 10!  Once I was clear that I wanted to be FREE of ALL housing worries, suddenly the vision came to me: I’d like to be like a turtle, carrying its home on its back as it roams where it pleases.

Voila — My epiphany had arrived!  It was FINALLY crystal-clear what my Big Dream was: “Rick and I will roam the United States in our own deluxe trailer home, moving at our own pace, seeing whatever we want to see, stopping when we want to and staying as long as we want to, matching our route to the weather patterns. We will be “turtles,” carrying our home with us (with no mortgage and no rent!) as we relax, enjoy, meet interesting new people and explore every scenic corner of the USA.”

Immediately my inner Doubter voice spoke up: “But that’s crazy! HOW can you possibly do that, given your depleted financial status?” That’s when I took a breath and reminded myself to walk my talk. As The Practical Prosperity Coach, I teach my clients: “Don’t worry about the HOW, right now! All I need to do in Step One is to get crystal-clear about what I WANT and just FEEL excited and grateful for it like it’s already here!”

Next time, I’ll share with you how I tackled STEP TWO of the Dream Manifestation process: Set a specific INTENTION and believe that the means to manifest it WILL appear. 

*********LAST CALL for the Fall Finale! ******* That’s right! It’s not too late: There’s still time to make a big dream or two come true before 2013 is over!  My job description as a coach is simple: I help you get what YOU want. This Fall, I’m making it as easy and affordable as possible! 

I will do a complimentary one-hour phone coaching session with any past client or any friend you refer to me. Just contact me TODAY, Sunday September 8 at (888) 503-8145 or caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule a F.R.E.E., no-obligation coaching session for anytime during September!