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The Runaway Dream

I remember when I reclaimed permission to be happy.

I remember when I rediscovered my right to dream, and to expect that those dreams could come true.

I was 14. And the book that reminded me that only I could make me happy, and that I held the power to dream and to bring those dreams into my life, was Illusions; Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Written by Richard Bach.

Some of you know the story, or bits of it. I contributed a short version of it to a group work titled The Thought That Changed My Life Forever. In that story, I wrote what I had often said – in conversation and from the stage – “I do feel the need to thank Richard Bach, a man I do not know and will likely never meet, because he shared a thought that saved my life.”

I finished my submission for the group work a full 30 days before deadline. And then I laid it aside. Something wasn’t finished.

Two weeks went by. I did some tweaking. I deleted some words. I put them back. I still wasn’t ready.

And then, checking my twitter account between speakers at a conference where I was due to speak, I read this:

@DixieDynamite got your brick walls book. Powerful, practical ideas for proving anything is possible.

The tweet came from @RichardBach.

He’d downloaded an ebook from my website. (That ebook formed the framework for the full-length book due out in November and so is no longer available for download.)

By the time I submitted that short story to the publishers of the group work, Richard had read it. I think it made him smile.

Richard left twitter a few months later, but that one message started a flurry of tweets, that turned into a flurry of emails, that advanced to telephone chats that lasted hours. By the time we met in person a year later, he had “badgered and bullied” me into writing a book, and had enriched my thoughts, and therefore my life, in ways I am still learning to appreciate.

We recorded a discussion for my Dynamite Dialogs Project, and while we were talking a tornado visited St. Louis. I sat it out, barely hearing the sirens.

I got brave enough to challenge him, and laughed out loud when he said, “You’re right, of course,” because I suspected he was only testing me.

I called him “Master.” In jest. Just once. And learned better.

He commented on my blog posts. And I blushed. He even asked permission to share one of my posts as a guest post on his page. I’ll admit that cost me a few happy tears. (Until his site is up again, you can only read that post here – not surprisingly, it was about dreams.)

I had a dream of being able to share my appreciation for that thought that changed my life forever.  That dream came into my life under full steam, and kept on running.

When he launched his website (which is now only a single page with an address to send cards in care of his ex-wife) I got to say, “I told you so,” as he discovered just how many people felt the need to thank Richard Bach. Because he had shared so many thoughts. Thoughts that had transformed so many lives. I know that reading those notes of appreciation made him smile. (And having a place to share them made a lot of people’s dream come true.)

When he had me set up his official Facebook page (there was an exiting one with many “fans” but the owner did not respond to our requests for him to have access,) I laughed yet again at his amazement – discovering how large his “family” had grown and how rich their wealth of ideas and understanding had become.  (I am no longer active on that page as I and the community from his website have moved our conversations to a Facebook group where we can more easily share as equal contributors. If you’d like to join that community, please reach out to me on Facebook.)

These last two weekends, since his accident, (which we’re calling his latest “adventure,”) I have hosted calls so that some of his online “family,” those kindred spirits whose thoughts and lives have been changed and expanded by Richard’s work, could share their stories and appreciation.

Voice after voice said, “It gave me permission to be myself, it gave me permission to be odd, it gave me permission to…”

What a powerful recognition – that we feel we need permission!

I’ve worked a lot with clients on dreams, goals, and permission. (Just Blow it UP, the second book I’ve written, due out from Sound Wisdom this November, includes my process for doing a Permission Audit.)

I know that for many of us, the permission to be who we are, to want what we want, to dream our own dreams, seems to be in someone else’s hands. Even permission to be happy, if we consider our happiness dependent on what someone else decides to do, becomes no longer under our control.

In the dialog I recorded with Richard, he talked with me about the Power of Consent – that we can withdraw our consent from anything and that no one can withhold their consent for anything we choose to do. They can impose consequences, but they cannot keep us from making our own choices.

He talked too, about “Attitude, Choice, Desire.” Telling the story of Charles Lindbergh as an example (while the tornado wrecked its will on St. Louis-Lambert airport, in the very city that supported Lindbergh’s dream,) Richard illustrated perfectly how our attitude determines the choices we make, and whether or not we attain what we most desire.

I closed my little story in The Thought That Changed My Life Forever (due out this Fall) with this:

“I say a prayer of gratitude for every dreamer, every writer, every reluctant messiah, everyone who has shared a thought, like a bird winging into the night sky. You don’t know whose heart those feathers might touch, whose spirit they might heal, or whose life they might save.” 

Today I add, “or whose dream they might set free, to become the path of their desire.”

As those of us whose hearts have been touched, whose spirits have been healed, whose lives have been saved, and whose dreams have been set free, keep a spirit vigil while Richard adventures in other realms on wings that are neither feather, nor metal, nor fabric, all we ask is this:

Remember; the physical appearance is only an illusion, you are a “perfect expression of love and light,” as is Richard, as are we all. Set your own dreams free, follow the path of your own desire – for when you do, you grant permission, unnecessary but sorely needed, for others to do the same.

 

 

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  • Philip

    Thank you for sharing! When someone impacts our life in a special and deep way, we augment their gift by acknowledging it and expressing gratitude. But even more powerful, is when we share that gift to those who our life impacts. Always grow into those lessons and allow your gifts to permeate your life so those around you have their choice of gifts to embody themselves. Beautiful demonstration 🙂

  • Dixie

    “Grow into those lessons and allow your gifts to permeate your life…” That was both a challenge and hug. I accept both.

  • This is so beautiful, Dixie. It actually made me cry. Thank you for sharing this story and these ideas. You truly are a unique and caring person and I am so happy you have come into my life. And I have to add: you are such a talented writer 🙂

  • Intergermination of words and non-words in the loving license of poetry! o:-)

  • As one of the many millions whose life has been touched in a deep and positive way by Richard’s writings, and being a close, personal friend of yours and knowing some of the “story behind the story”, I read this post in deep thought. WOW – what beautiful and amazing writing. Instead of trying to describe it, I’ll just agree with Louise and say, “you are such a talented writer!”

  • Dixie

    Louise, So glad that Richard brought us together! I still laugh when I remember HIS reaction to my telling him I’d never be a Writer (with a capital W.) Thank you for sharing tears and smiles!

  • Dixie

    Katrina, Your words always strike the right chord. For me, the words come harder than the non-words, but they are more plentiful. Balance in everything.

  • Dixie

    And what a story it’s been, right Bob? So glad you’ve been part of my family through it all. The influence of Richard’s work shows in what you and John write in The Go-Giver, it was no surprise to me to learn that you had both taken his ideas to heart. And it was no surprise to me either that Richard loved YOUR book as well.

  • Dixie, What a wonderful post! As you know I am a firm believer in dreams, and when someone starts living them it makes my heart so full of excitement and love for that person. –“If the Dream that you Dream is in the Thought of your Thoughts then the Heart of your Heart will beat in perfect harmony to your destiny.” ~Michelle Colon-Johnson

  • Such a great story Dixie! Back in June when Bob was in Phoenix he had Illusions with him and he was going to give it to Kathy (she happened to be out here as well). Because Kathy couldn’t make it out with Bob and I one night, now I am realizing was actually lucky for me, he asked me to hand it off to her and said I should read it while I had it. What a great book! I am glad I had been given that gift.

    • Dixie

      Kathy is a Richard Bach reader from way back -so glad her love of his work translated into YOU discovering it too! There is no richer gift than the gift of story!

  • Wow Dixie, what an amazing and inspiring story of the power of permission. Amazing that we feel we need it, when all we have to do is accept it, and realize it was ours all along.

    Thank you for sharing your powerful stories, from before and from now. Amazing!!!

    • Dixie

      Phil, Thank you for your kind words. So true that it is always ours if we will only accept it.

  • Dixie

    Michelle, that “firm belief” comes through and has blessed so many, including ME! So glad to have you on the team at Sound Wisdom, every publisher should have a dream builder like you. And every author should be so lucky as to have a publisher who has a dream builder like you!

  • Glad to hear some of the back story of your meeting. What a wonderful freindship!

    Diane

  • I really like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and
    reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our blogroll.