Wisdom from Inside a Cider Barrel

Cider Barrel House
The Cider Barrel Home in Totnes

“Dream big” and “Dare to dream”.  Clichés we hear so much they can seem a bit hollow.  However, sometimes hackneyed old sayings like these just need a little bit of life blown into them to make them relevant again.  Hearing them from someone literally shining with happiness is one way to do this.  Especially if that person is standing in their giant cider-barrel home which they built in rural Devon, happily allowing strangers inside, regaling them with their personal tales and even singing their very own song about poo.  There’s definitely some sincerity in those words, the ones I heard in my induction week for my brand new course One Year In Transition.

Now I can’t remember whether she actually said “dream big,” but it was definitely the essence of it.  She emphasized the importance of having a dream in order to make your dreams come true.  In short she said that if you have a vision, the universe just brings you the things you need to make it happen.   If you don’t have a dream, you can get distracted by other people’s dreams and live in chaos.  It kind of echoes the words of another famous revolutionary who I have also previously not paid much attention to, Che Guevara, “only those who dream will someday see their dreams converted into reality.”

transition2_logoThis would usually strike my cynical side as dreaming isn’t always as easy as it’s made out to be.    Are we supposed to just go to sleep and expect to be inspired by some prophetic dream that’s going to guide us on some special quest towards happiness?  No.  In order to make dreams, we need some real, raw, right-brain activity.  It’s not all work, work, work and prove, prove, prove.  It’s about doing the things that you like doing whether that’s tap dancing or bird-watching.  To a lot of people this might sound like common sense, but for me this was one of those life-changing, lump-in-your-throat moments.  Me?  Do things I enjoy?  Not try to prove to the world that I’m an adequate human being all the time?  This concept is alien to a chronic workaholic such as myself, who has happily led herself to crusty-eyed, social recluse, loose-bowelled, extreme stress and tiredness just to make sure I do the job right. 

It’s a pretty scary thought though.  Dreaming is risky business because it opens up the possibility that we might fail.  In some ways living without dreams is much more comfortable.  But at 26 years old, I don’t think I should be too worried about living a comfortable life.  I wouldn’t have signed up for this course if that was the case, I want to be jostled out of my comfort zone and explore new things.  We certainly did a lot of that in our induction week, which covered everything from the practicalities of setting up a project to the importance of inner transition and the things inside that need to change in order to create real change, we even had a session on storytelling which was truly inspiring.

During that same induction week, I also heard this poem from a fellow participant of the course (Steph):

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. [Marianne Williamson]

Seems like quite a nice way of thinking really, doesn’t it?

That settles it: I’m not going to be afraid of dreaming anymore and I’m going to make this work.  Therefore, my first step  formy One Year in Transition is not going to be about slogging my guts out to “save the 

dream bigworld”; that never really helped anyone and that’s probably  the biggest mistake I’ve been making all along in my activist history.  My first step needs  to be about finding the thing that makes my right-brain tingle


Categories Learning to Live Skillfully

1 thought on “Wisdom from Inside a Cider Barrel

  1. Brilliant and beautiful, thank you Hayley! But, a little, pedantic caveat of mine…I don’t care if your right brain is tingling, your left brain is tingling, or anything else is tingling for that matter…what matters is you’re dreaming big and the world tingles with you!

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