I want to write about dreams but not the ones that come into our heads at night only to fade from memory upon awakening. But the conscious ones we dream of that come from a strong desire for change. We all have them, but unfortunately for some, we give them up to futility.

I want to write about dreams but not the ones that come into our heads at night only to fade from memory upon awakening. But the conscious ones we dream of that come from a strong desire for change. We all have them, but unfortunately for some, we give them up to futility.


“Why bother? That will never happen. I could never do that, and I’m kidding myself.” These are the ways we kill the dream before it even has a chance of life. I did a good job at that, taking over for my mother who repeatedly told me, “Joyce, you are such a dreamer.” And she said it with disdain. I was convinced that I was flawed because of it, and it wasn’t until my cousin Rich told me, when I was about 40 years old, that it was good to have dreams.


“It is?” I asked.  I was incredulous. Thanks to my darling cousin, I turned 180-degrees. I started with one little dream at a time, just to get my feet wet.  I dreamed of having a beautiful, warm and cozy bedroom retreat and spent hours decorating it in my head. Then I actually did it.  That was the start of many dreams to come because I realized that I actually could breathe life into them.  And I did it again; little by little, until I knew how to make them come true.  As James Ray says, “Energy flows where attention goes.” I kept that attention fueled and pumped.


My column is my biggest dream come true, yet.  It’s amazing when I think about how it unfolded from the night I woke up from a sound sleep with the thought that I had to write a newspaper column and call it “Lessons From Cancer.”  I knew that I had to bring my blog more attention and felt compelled to share how I was coping with both the lung and pancreas cancers because of the divine guidance that came to me when I’d write. I had blind faith that this was what I was supposed to do, plus I had a frame of reference of past dreams that I had already developed just from a thought and desire. 


It had happened before, so it wasn’t hard to believe that it could happen again. I had gotten pretty good at listening to, and trusting my body’s cues about whether something was right or wrong for me.  If the thought excited me, swelled in my chest, calmed my heart and made me smile – it was right on.  If it gave me anxiety, made my muscles tight and just gave me a bad feeling, I knew to walk away.


The very same day that I emailed Lisa Strattan, editor in chief of The Herald News with my proposal to write “Lessons From Cancer,” I received a call from Will McGuinness with an offer to put my column in print and online. That was in October 2010, one year ago and because of the incredible opportunity they gave me, I was able to reach other people to share the guidance that was getting me through life and now these cancers. I knew that it was something very special and believed that I had tapped into a divine source of wisdom because the information was so profound, and I wasn’t that wise on my own. 


Besides, I wasn’t so great at comforting myself, although I was really good at berating myself.  The guidance though, was always loving and positive and when I followed it, I felt so much better.  If I was upset, confused, sad and fearful when I started to write, I was always given words that calmed, loved and guided me with such incredible compassion.  Whether I call the source God, Spirit, Universe, Divine Guidance, Inner Guidance or Higher Power, I believe it is one and the same.


People throughout the ages have connected in their own ways and always will, but this was a first for me.  What I found was the courage to face what I needed to.  I lost a lot of fear and I could keep hope.  This is the message that I continue to receive and the one I share with you, in the hope that you can take from it, what works for you and make your own life struggles easier.


I like to think that we are all connected by energy and that the energy of love that comes purely from our hearts is the absolute highest form.  This experience has opened my heart up to give and receive love more that I could ever have imagined.  Because of it, I’m probably in the best place emotionally and spiritually that I’ve even been in my whole life, and I’m so very grateful to everyone who opened the door and their hearts to me.  I especially want to thank Will McGuinness, Manager of Online Properties at The Herald News for his continued support and encouragement over the year. This would never have happened without him.


When I began the column last October, 52 weeks ago, I knew that I was on to something, but never in a million years did I imagine that it is going to be in hundreds of Gatehouse Media online blogs in 20 states. It just goes to show that dreams really do come true.  We only have to believe and keep that energy flowing.  So, cheers to all of our dreams. May they blossom and grow and keep us all connected by the energy of love.