As a lil’ girl growing up in Brooklyn during the ’70s, we used to play a lot of “street” games.

There weren’t many parks near my block so we would just play as hard as we could on the sidewalks and in the street when no cars were passing by.

This was our way of life and our way of creating fun in our neighborhood. One game is particular was my favorite.

I remember we played “Hot Peas n’ Butter” daily. It was a game that we could play with a small number or a large number of kids so that was good because we could basically play at any time.

In this game, one person would be “It” and would hide a belt from the rest of the kids.

The goal was that everyone else had to find the belt that was hidden somewhere on the entire block (sometimes we would restrict it to a half of a block).

Once It had successfully hidden the belt s/he would yell, “Hot Peas n’ Butter, come and get your supper!” and everyone would scatter up and down the street trying to find the belt.

If they were near the belt, It would yell, “You’re getting hotter, you’re getting hotter! You’re burning up! You’re burning up! You’re on fire, you’re on fire!”

At this point the person probably would have found the belt and then would grab it and chase whomever s/he saw. If they hit someone with the belt, then that person would be “out.”

Very often some of the kids would just give up and head back to home base because they felt like they would never find it and didn’t want to be hit with the belt.

But there were several who kept searching even if they were “cold” because they wanted to complete their task and become the next It.

And so we would play this game again and again for what seemed like hours…

Frantically running all over the block, hoping that we would be getting “hotter and hotter.”

First searching for the belt and then running away from the person with the belt back to home base because we didn’t want to get hit or be tagged “out.

Well, isn’t this just like chasing our dreams?

We feel as though we are often searching in dark places for things we can’t see.

When we are trying to make dreams come true, we may find ourselves spinning in circles because we’re unsure where to begin our search.

We become mired in confusion, and then we doubt if we’ll ever find what we think we are looking for.

And then we start running away from our dream because it feels like its too hard to achieve, and perhaps it’s not the “right time” or “it’s not meant to be.”

So many of us simply abandon the dream and give up.

We let our fear become stronger than our Faith.

But what if we created a master plan of action to follow that dream?

What if we were strategic and intentional in our steps to make the dream come true?

Would this make us hotter?

Hmmm…

You see, sometimes when a dream lives in your heart, it doesn’t come with instructions, a warranty or a guarantee.

You just have to know that you are destined to be the next It.

You just have to believe that you are on fire and you are already equipped and empowered to make your dream come true.

And you just have to lean on your triple shields of Grace, Faith, and Mercy to help you create a master plan of action that will lead you to the fulfillment of that dream.

Just as we did as children running and playing in the streets of Brooklyn, sometimes you just have to “go for it’ to become the next It.

Just run in the direction where you think the dream is.

Follow your instinct.

Listen to your inner voice.

And learn some things along the way.

If you see and hear that the route you’re taking is “cold” then change your course.

And keep changing it until you see and hear the “you’re getting hotter” messages.

Will it be easy?

Nope.

But finding a small hidden belt on a dimly lit street in Brooklyn on hot summer nights wasn’t either.

But we did it anyway.

And most of us never gave up because this is what we wanted.

Is your dream what you really want?

If so, give yourself permission to be tenacious, courageous, bold, and fearless as you continue along the journey to fulfilling your dream.

Allow yourself the opportunity to take different chances to discover the path that will lead you to the accomplished dream.

You’ll know when you are getting hotter.

And you’ll know when you are on fire.

That’s when you’ll feel that your dream is finally coming true.

So, just hang in there.

Trust and believe.

Trust the process.

And know that the best is yet to come.

Yup…your dream is the “Hot Peas n’ Butter” and your “Supper.”

And, you are definitely the next It.

Lesson: Many games we played as children really taught us lifelong lessons that we didn’t realize. We learned about patience, courage, reciprocity, kindness, collaboration, and creativity through play. Imagine how powerful we can be if we incorporated all of these into our daily lives…we could all become the next It in our dreams

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