The playground was black asphalt, bumpy and cracked in places. My pals and I looked for a smooth place to empty our little drawstring bags of marbles. We would circle up and pour out our marbles, protecting them from rolling away. The game itself was only a small part of the fun. The greater joy and satisfaction came from collecting, comparing, and trading these colorful agate gems. Each one was unique, and we’d hold them up to see the light shine through the swirly designs. Although they were hard and strong, they could chip if dropped on concrete. Marbles were prized and precious to us as children. 

Over the years, I have carried my dreams like treasured marbles in a handsewn cloth bag. I regularly spill them out onto the table and pick up each one, turning it over between my fingers, holding it up to the light, admiring its color and design. Sometimes I have several in the palm of my hand and I close my fingers around them so they won’t fall and break. In the “game” of life, I have to shoot these marbles to see how far they’ll go. I have to let go and put energy into them so they will move forward. In the process, some have been lost or broken and new ones have rolled into my circle. I have even exchanged or “traded” some of my old dreams for new ones. It is a dynamic process with marbles coming and going, rolling in and out of my life, showing me new things about myself and others. 

My husband and I had a special bag of dream marbles we’d been carrying for years, and finally got to the playing field. We had reached a fork in the road and it felt like all or nothing. Now or never. Pour them all out and go for it. So we did, taking a leap of faith and launching a new business. We spent two years on the preparations and planning, choosing and trademarking a name, searching for a location, and securing funds. We scattered those marbles and shot them as far as we could. It was exciting, fun, challenging, and rewarding. It was a dream come true, finally. But then, in the first year it all fell apart. What had looked like a clear shot was met with unforeseen obstacles, and those marbles hit the bricks and shattered. We picked up the pieces, walking through broken glass holding each other up. 

That experience and other dreams I’ve lived have stretched the stitches in my drawstring bag. They’ve added a lining of humility, faith, and stamina. I’ve gained patience and perspective. The loss of marbles opened a space for something new to show up and move me in new directions, and my bag is full again. 

I’ve noticed a few things about my dream marbles. I need them. Just as I give life to my dreams, they give me energy, vision, and hope. They keep me going. I carry them with me always as a reminder of the unlimited possibilities for my life. My bag of dreams is a source of beauty, energy, and creativity. It needs to be opened often and the marbles poured out so they can be re-examined, held, and released. I apply the powers of intention, imagination, and action to propel them forward. Each step of the way, I rely on guidance and grace.

The swirly colors and designs within my dreams are my unique gifts. Those are meant to be spilled out and shared. There’s no point in comparing mine to anyone else’s; as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Each one of us is an expression of the Divine, filled with beauty, wonder, and dream marbles. These marbles are fashioned in the studio of our authentic selves and equipped with all that we need to manifest them. When we honor and embrace our gifts, our dreams, and our creative power, we give oxygen to the spark of divinity within us. Our lives take on new meaning, purpose, and passion. 

However, the freedom and joy that come with our bag of dreams will wait for us to open and empty the other bag we carry. That one holds the rocks, stones, and broken glass from dreams that fell apart. Things like grief, self-doubt, anger, resentment, discouragement, and a sense of failure weigh us down and cloud our vision. In order to move past these feelings and beliefs, we need to untie that bag and empty it onto the table. Then we can pick up each one, look at it, acknowledge it, and put it down – for good. This is a process that takes time, patience, awareness, and love. In doing this, we clear the way for our dreams to rise and shine. We move closer to freedom and fulfillment. 

Release and renewal lead to radiance. A deep sense of disappointment, loss, and self-doubt can be brought into the light for healing. As you let go of these, you will emerge stronger, braver, and more vibrant. You will be able to dream BIG dreams and step into them with an open heart. Finally, hold your dreams lightly, for they are full of surprises. They are calling you to be more than you imagine and to give the world what only you can give.