Dream Work: Messages from Myself

I woke up just before 6:00 AM with my dreams still in my head. I reached for the notebook and pen I left beside me on the bed and started to scribble in the dark. I guess I woke up my poor husband, because he got up to go to the bathroom, so I turned on the light and wrote as much as I could remember. Then I was going to come downstairs and write, but he was awake, so I started talking through the dream images with him. He’s very good at seeing the metaphors my mind is throwing at me, while I tend to just look at them literally.

Here’s what I can remember with some early thoughts on what the metaphors might mean:

Early in the dream I’m traveling in a car and I know that we have a long way to go. I’m not sure where I am, I keep guessing Las Vegas and other places, but I am not driving. The driver is a woman [who makes me think mother – but not my mom], keeps telling me that I am further than I think – on the other side of the country, Connecticut. I keep looking for signs, which are EVERYWHERE, but they are going by so quickly that I can’t read them. I don’t recognize where I am.

Then I’m trying to park my car in a deep, subterranean car park. [I think Coca-Cola corporate offices where I once worked] I drive around, looking for spots and I get the impression there are lots of spots, but not the one I want. I keep trying one after the other, but just not a good fit. Then I find one and pull in, only to have a whole row of cars park behind me, illegally, and block me in. There’s another line of cars behind those, but they are supposed to be there. They aren’t in the way. I can’t pull my car out because of the cars blocking me, but I’m getting grief because I’m the one who is blocking everyone else. I am angry because it is so frustrating and unjust – it isn’t fair. Now I have a big wooden chair with red velvet padding and strong arms and I try to take it off to the side and get out of the way while the problem gets resolved, but the attendant yells at me. A woman [my internal authority figure?] – makes me realize that I need to get back in my car and deal with the problem. I can’t just walk away from it. I raise the chair over my head and crash it into pieces, then head back to my car.

Now I’m in a car or plane – traveling again. I get a message on my cell phone, but I can’t understand it. I try so hard to listen, over and over but my husband is talking to me and I keep missing the details. I can’t find a pen to write it down and I miss the message. Something about a problem that needs a ticket opened now, rather than later (being proactive? more efficient), so that this woman can get ahead of the queue when the problem resolution begins. [The woman who is leaving me the message reminds me of a college roommate that I always admired – Elahna. Super smart, very strong and confident in her work, but unsure of herself socially. Never saw herself as attractive, though she was beautiful, just not conventionally pretty. ]

So now I’m trying to get to this woman and respond to the call for help, but there are obstacles. At one point I’m stuck on a plane, having to go to the bathroom in front of everyone. I am completely exposed, but feel like I have no choice, I keep going and realize that no one is really paying attention to me. I do my business and close the lid, but feel that I can’t flush it away because there is too much and it will get stuck and overflow. I just leave it and keep going.

Then I’m roller skating – with my son? I keep thinking I am doing everything wrong, and my pants come down, exposing that I am wearing a girdle under my clothes. There are ropes that I’m holding on to but have to go under and over. They aren’t very supportive. I am taking baby steps on the skates, learning to glide but feeling that any minute I could fall/fail. Then this amazing Mammie figure, a huge black woman, very loving and comforting says “You are making it”. And I realize that I am making progress and though it isn’t the way I think I should be doing it, I’m keeping my balance and moving forward.

Then we’re at the door of the building where we need to be. I don’t know who the we is – but the door is open and I think it should be locked. Someone says something about the cat being able to get back in, if she needs to. We head up the stairs but there are gaps that seem impossible. Somehow I manage to find something that lets me fly up and over the gaps to the next level. It’s like a wing that I’ve built. Very light light, almost transparent, but stronger than it looks. Everyone can follow me across the gaps to the other side.

Now I can see that the others with me are all in costumes – capes, fancy skirts, beautiful and dramatic and so rich in color and detail. [I think they are all the parts of me that help me. ]

We make it to the apartment at the top. The woman who left me the message is there and we are in time. Everything is going to be alright. She is on the phone, busy, engaged, talking. But the message that comes across is that she is in a part of the apartment that always stays warm, even when there is an emergency, this part will be okay. From the “cold” part of the apartment a man in a fat costume comes out, laughing and says “Guess who I am” and I wake up.

Reading this and typing it up, I can’t stop crying. There are so many messages here. So much that right now I can only write it down and save it for later. But I feel grateful, calm and strong.

I am making it.

Dream Work: Asking for Answers

You know that I’ve been reading Dr. Anita Johnston’s book – Eating in the Light of the Moon. Last night I read the chapter on Dreamtime.  Listen to this:

“If there is a certain problem you want help with, make a mental note just before falling asleep at night, to ask for a dream that will give you the insight or guidance you need. Whatever your struggle happens to be with food, fat or eating, ask for a dream that will reveal the symbolism of food, what fat means to you or what feelings you are trying to express or suppress by eating. Ask for helping in discovering the underlying issues you need to resolve or the attitude that will be most helpful to your recovery process. You may not get a dream immediately, it may take weeks, but when you do get the dream, there is a good chance you will recognize it as the one you asked for.”

So after reading that, I found a beautiful green leather notebook that is very special to me. I got out a brand new, gel pen that I love writing with and found a fresh page in my notebook. Then I wrote the following down at the top of the blank page:

Dream Notes
Saturday, January 29, 2011
What blocks me from reaching my goal?
Why don’t I keep working towards it and making progress?
Why do I keep going off track?

As soon as I put the notebook aside, I could FEEL the mental blocks going up. It was like one of those scenes from Matrix with the walls being built up out of nothing and clicking together to trap me inside. I could feel my shoulders tensing up and my neck turtling down into my chest.  It was only for a few seconds, but I paid attention. I did some deep breathing, deliberately relaxed my shoulders, my neck and unclenched my teeth. Then I started repeating a kind of mantra that I made up on the spot:

I want to see. I need to understand. I’m strong enough to see the answer. I’ve been afraid too long. I want to see. I need to understand. I’m strong enough to see the answer. I’ve been afraid too long.

Over and over until I fell asleep.