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WAKING UP IN AMERICA: Are You Living Your Dream or Someone Else’s?!

Do you dream of doing something great in your life, something that will leave a mark after you are gone?

Do you wish to ​live the life you are ​made for, and be remembered for your uniqueness and authenticity?

I hope you are saying “yes!” because that’s what ​we ​are ​all ​called to do. T​he world is counting on you.

For the last decade, I have traveled all over America performing for all kinds of audiences. I’ve had the privilege to connect with others, hear their stories, see how they’ve awakened from their discomforts to their purpose and how they discovered the essence of who they are meant to be.

Waking up in America tells these stories and connects them with music, which, I believe, has the power to transform.

Our fast-paced, exhausting and demanding world can put us into an overload mode where ​we just want to “check out.”

Sometimes we break down, other times we find ways to function on auto pilot. Many of us tend to distract ourselves with work, shopping, social media, smart phones, alcohol, or drugs.

We try different jobs and careers with the hope that we will become successful, loved and powerful enough to change the world we complain about. Instead of feeling accomplished, we feel ​like ​we aren’t getting anywhere​ — only spinning our wheels and wasting our lives.

​That’s when we need to pause, take a breath, and try something completely different.

There are countless stories of people who have made ​drastic changes in their lives because they felt lost or unfulfilled. People who have found a new sense of purpose along the way to discovering who they were meant to be.

I love exploring ​those stories and finding the “waking up moments” in their lives, because I’ve been there myself. Twice in my life, everything seemed to be beautiful, but I was miserable, lonely, and exhausted. Particularly because everyone else was telling me that I “should be happy.”

The first ​big ​shift in my life ​came ​when I left my successful career behind and came to America. I was 21, a superstar in my home country of Croatia, celebrated and adored by millions, and yet I was lost inside. In a moment of courage, I found the strength to start over completely.

“The land of the free and the home of the brave” gave me the ability to discover who I was and stop trying to live a life that would please my fans and managers. I was able to find my own freedom for a while.

But a few years later, I got stuck in what I thought was The American Dream.

I did everything “right”​ —​ I ​got married, had kids, had faith​. The truth was, I was fighting depression, anxiety, and my husband.

I thought of leaving everything behind again, switching continents and starting over. But I realized ​that doing that earlier ​hadn’t solved my problems​. (Plus​ if I kept it up, I’d ​eventually ​run out of continents).​​ Repeating the same pattern would only yield the same results.

The only other solution was to stay and try to make a change in the one place in the world where I actually could: within​ myself.​

Of course, it wasn’t as clear cut as moving out and getting a new place. The process would ​take​ many months, even years. Just like ​it does to ​set up a new home, put up​ pictures​,​ ​throw out ​old clutter, and adapt to a new environment after a move.

It all starts with a moment of clarity in which we decide to commit, set our intention, to make the change we desire in our lives.

Each one of the stories I explored is different and unique. What they all have in common is a sense of purpose and connection.

The people I talked to had the courage to commit to shifting a belief, a perspective, or an attitude. They found the strength to face something that had been holding them back for too long, preventing them from being who they are meant to be.

Some “waking up moments” are hard — illness, addiction, divorce​, death of a loved one — but some are gentle. Like caring for an aging parent, or feeling a firm and steady inward pull toward a new beginning. And​ this is not a once-in-a-lifetime thing. We need to constantly be tuning into our inner selves, finding ways to change and adapt as we grow and expand within the flow of life itself.

When we do, we no longer get stuck in someone else’s expectations of us, or someone else’s dream. We discover the joyous and purposeful person we are meant to be. Through showing up with our unique gifts, we create ripples of positive change in the world.

So look around for the ​inspiration that will trigger your “waking up moment”
— I’m sure you’ll find it. Sometimes we realize it has been there all along, it just takes seeing the world through new eyes in order to recognize it.

What I know for sure is that when you are ready for it, when you open up your heart and say “yes,” you’ll see that it’s always been there waiting for you.

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