Follow the Sunflower Part 2: Follow Your Dreams

By Terez Hartmann

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

As the alarm sounded and Terez opened her eyes, she heard the words, “Follow your dreams, for they know the way…” singing in her head. It took a moment for her to realize that she actually was simply lying in bed with both Music and Magic (her two feline children) snuggled up beside her and not in a barn in the middle of somewhere, surrounded by endless rows of sunflowers, having magical animal encounters and a conversation with a stranger while sitting at a purple piano…

When the fog lifted and the thought occurred to her that she had just experienced a super cool dream, she decided to just make a fun mental note and get into her day.

Rather than just stumble downstairs to make coffee, she felt a strong impulse to throw on exercise clothes and take a short stroll around the neighborhood to get some natural light before packing and departing for her semiannual solo road trip. She turned to look at the clock, and when she saw 11:11 she knew she was on to something good.

Just the night before, she found herself feeling unnaturally tentative and fearful about her trip, even to the point of experiencing extreme physical pain. Considering that she is a full-blown gypsy spirit who LIVES to travel ANY time for ANY reason and that she especially loves getting to see seasonal blooms and foliage—which this trip was ALL about—obviously, something was very much out of whack.

Because she knew the wisdom of only going forward when she felt clear, she resolved to wait until “the” day to make her decision about her trip and was totally willing to reschedule the adventure if her inner compass told her this was not the time. BUT after seeing 11:11, waking up pain free, getting on her feet with total ease, and realizing the power of that AMAZING dream, she felt like her spirit had more than given her the green light to go forth and explore.

She quickly went to work to pack, load her jeep, and fire up her road-trip playlist. And with the start of the song “Life is a Highway” (her favorite version by Rascal Flatts from the movie, “Cars”), she was on her way!

Considering where she had just been emotionally and physically, even making it this far seemed like a huge personal victory. Though she had many miles and hours to go before reaching her official destination and making it home to tell the tale, she was, in that moment already “there,” feeling so much joy and energy moving through her. After all, getting to feel exhilarated and alive was always the TRUE destination she sought, regardless of the “end point” she entered into the GPS: Creating or planning an adventure always is simply a reason to take the journey.

With each mile and moment along the way, Terez was greeted by beauty. She constantly found herself running into EXACTLY what she was looking for, turning a corner to find yet another beautiful cherry tree or garden filled with knock-out spring blooms, getting just the advice she needed for the next leg of her trip; she even had three new song melodies and lyrics flow to her during the trip! She came home feeling so happy and refreshed, thrilled that she had allowed herself to shake things up and drum up some new rhythms by listening to the joy that was calling her, rather than let irrational fear stop her. This trip was, indeed, all she had hoped it would be.

Once she arrived home to her wonderful husband, John, their sweet kitties, their friendly neighborhood hummingbird and even a bonus backyard visit from a small flock of migrating Indigo Buntings (a spectacular multi-toned blue bird that is rarely spotted in her neck of the woods), it was as if all the heavens had blessed her recent excursion, yet…

The next morning, she found herself in a state of utter lethargy that quickly evolved to a feeling of great sadness. Where on Earth did THIS come from, she wondered?! How can I have just come through such a magnificent journey, had the most amazing homecoming and then wake up feeling like THIS?! It simply made no sense! At the same time, she knew that emotional responses don’t just pop out of thin air, and, even though what she was experiencing at this moment completely sucked, she knew she must have followed a thought trail of her own making that led her to this place; so her “anal-lytical” mind went to work to find the source of her suffering.

Sure enough, she discovered the trigger and the trail, but the problem was that NONE of this was making her feel any better; on the contrary, it seemed to make matters worse, almost summon physical pain through her and keep her firmly planted in Miseryville. Even though she and John had opted to go on a hike in a lovely place to help shift her vibe, it seemed like nothing could break the spell that she had somehow placed on herself.

Just as she considered calling it a day and heading home, John discovered a new section of the trail that looked inviting. “We can always just walk a short distance to check it out and then head home, “John suggested. Terez resisted for a moment but considering that there really was nothing to lose and there was no need to “commit” to walking the entire trail, she agreed to go forward.

Each twist and turn seemed to call her to go just a little further because there were few things that excited and intrigued Terez more than exploring new terrain. She still had a few funky thoughts floating in her head, but step by step, her spirit seemed to lighten, and soon she found herself becoming more and more present and engaged with the beauty that surrounded her. She then started to hear a familiar melody and loop of words in her mind that kept repeating, “Follow your dreams for they know they way,” a song that came to her in that incredible dream—the night before she was contemplating starting her adventure—and that continued to “play” in her mind throughout her glorious road trip. Rather than fight the constant loop, she decided to listen and enjoy the feeling of the music and the message of the words.

When you heart tells a story that your mind cannot write
And the harder you seek, the less that you find
Take heart, fellow travelers, your map lives inside
You have an inner compass to serve as your guide

Follow, follow, follow your dreams
For they know, they know, they know the way!

In her mind’s eye, she started to consider the idea of LITERALLY following her dreams, “What if there is a version of myself that has already walked this trail—and in the grand scheme, she has already found her way to living the bigger life I’ve been creating?” And as quickly as that thought danced into Terez’s consciousness, she could almost see a woman on the trail ahead of her motioning her onward and then disappearing around the next corner.

With this idea, the song looping in her mind seemed to get louder, clearer and more vivid, and Terez’s spirit celebrated as her body relaxed, her mood got brighter and her pace quickened while she and John eagerly explored this lovely new path together.

Once they reached the next crossroad, they decided it was time to head toward the parking lot, but with a new spring in her step and a sparkle in her eyes, Terez was happy to make her way back to bring forward the ideas and music that had flowed to and through her along this beautiful trail. As she shared the journey that had taken place in her mind with John, a sudden realization struck her: Even though they had not wandered into a field of sunflowers or found themselves in a magical barn, ALL of the things that had taken place in her dream had indeed played out in “real” life:

She allowed herself to do something she loved—to take her road trip—to drum up some new rhythm and create a new groove.

Birds, animals and serendipitous symbols in the form of people, numbers, ideas and opportunities were a constant companion both during her trip and since arriving home, all letting her know she was on the right track.

A special and powerful song had encouraged her to explore a new path, and she was open, willing and compelled to follow the music.

The lighter her heart and spirit became, the more the song in her head seemed to get louder and clearer.

Though she could not clearly see the “mystery woman” in her dream—what if the woman in the dream was indeed a version of herself who had already “been there, done that,” and knew the best and most scenic route possible for getting to where she truly wanted to go?

She had literally “followed her dream,” and by doing so, it helped her find HER way and write the full song her heart started singing to her:

When you know you were meant for oh, so much more
But history has presented only closing doors
The only way you can do what has not yet been done
Is stop looking behind you and toward what you can become

Follow, follow, follow your dreams
For they know, they know, they know the way

For they are so much bigger than fear
And they are so much wiser than what you’ve known
So instead of trying to figure out how to make them come about
Let your passion set your feet upon the road
And think back only from the end result

She’s been there! He’s been there!
And your dreams will always tell you where to go…
Then go!

Follow, follow, follow your dreams
For they know, they know, they know the way
Follow, follow, follow your dreams
For they know, they know, they know the way!

The Bottom Line: Follow The Sunflower, Follow Your Dreams

Since that fateful day in the woods, John and I have discovered some beautiful new avenues for bringing our dreams to fruition that have set us on some exciting and expansive new paths. It is and always will be an ongoing process, but one thing is for sure: You cannot get to a new destination by walking backwards on an old path that only leads to what has been.

Imagine if instead of seeing your clients, students, or loved ones replay unproductive habits of thought, you helped them to focus onward, upward and forward, encouraging them to follow the music of their dreams?

What if YOU, as a coach, mentor, parent or friend experienced a journey much like “Follow the Sunflower” and found YOUR way, which then allowed YOU to truly stand at the “end” of the trail, like the “mystery woman” to serve as a beacon of light for them to find THEIR way?

Whatever form your version of “Follow the Sunflower,” may take, I encourage you to follow YOUR dreams, for they do—and always will—know the way.

For “Follow the Sunflower: Part One” visit:

Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann,“Your catalyst for all things Fab-YOU-lous,” is the author of Allowing Your Success!,a proud contributing author of Transform Your Life! book one and two, a professional Keynote Speaker/Workshop Facilitator, Singer-Songwriter/Recording Artist, “Allowing Adventures!” & “Savor Vacation” Facilitator,and true Renaissance Woman, and Visionary. She keeps her fire lit by embracing and promoting a lifestyle of“Allowing,” and by using creative expression to elevate and ignite the human spirit, a passion that she shareswith her husband, soul-mate and creative partner of over 15 years, John Victor Hartmann. Together they share“Allowing TRUE LOVE” workshops and experiences designed to help others attract, allow, and maintain extraordinaryrelationships, and create custom jingles and voice-overs in their studio, THE Creativity Express. Visit:

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