Written by Kimerly Coshow, PhD (pictured far right) for the Davis Phinney Foundation Dream Big series
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.”
–Henry David Thoreau
What does “dreaming big” mean to you?
When I was young my mom always used to say that I “beat to a different drum.” This quote was one of my favorites and one that I still quote to myself often. But what does it mean to dream big?
One thing I do know is that following your dreams connects you to your inner self, as you seek your own purpose in life. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard for some who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to settle for small, little or no dreams at all.
How did your dreams and personal goals change after being diagnosed with Parkinson's?
Every morning brings a new fresh day! So, dream big. You have a choice in the matter. Sure, we might have goals or dreams that seem too difficult to achieve with Parkinson’s. We might come face to face with failure, fear and physical challenges that lead us down a path of never even attempting to accomplish our ultimate dreams. But even if it means we take small steps along the journey by scheduling around medication, fatigue, tremors and the endless list of Parkinson’s symptoms, what matters is the choice to try and to keep moving forward!
What would you say to a fellow person with Parkinson’s who might be afraid to “dream big”?
Big dreams can be a series of small goals that ultimately lead you on the path to achieve your big dreams. Don’t discount a change in path or a bump in the road. Treat these as goals to overcome. Don’t settle for dreams that just remain dreams. Have a strong belief in yourself, faith that you can achieve and courage to give it a try. When we follow our dreams, we follow our true calling. Sharing those gifts with others can truly change your life!
During my 17 years on this journey of Parkinson’s, I’ve learned that things change, life changes and where my faith is leading me changes as well. Remaining open to possibilities I never dreamed of has opened many doors. While this might bring on some apprehension, I try to remember that big dreams can push my limits but also fill my life with excitement, joy and gratitude. You’ll achieve more as you follow this excitement and having faith in saying “Yes I can” will uncover amazing strength and purpose in your life.
I was given an opportunity to share my gift of painting with children and youth in my community. This is a big dream that has gifted my heart and soul. It has given me an opportunity to merge generations, educate others about Parkinson’s and share a common goal in this ever changing world. For me, it’s the right thing to do. Big dreams are how the world changes for the better. They’re the impetus behind great inventions, cures for diseases, education, advocacy and so many things that make all of our lives better.
Big Dreams give you the opportunity to truly leave your mark on the world!
“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”
—Vincent Van Gogh
Read the rest of the stories in this series here.