“Are we there yet?” It’s the third time five year old junior in the back seat of your car has asked the same question. You only left home ten minutes ago and with 150k still to go that’s another umpteen times you’re going to field the same question. Try telling him life’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. In fact, try telling that to yourself too.
“Are we there yet?” is a common dream theme. How many times have you dreamed of trying to get somewhere but the journey becomes increasingly difficult?
Have you dreamed of trying to get to the airport to catch a plane only to be delayed by traffic jams, lost baggage, lost tickets and all manner of unhelpful people?
Have you dreamed of walking in circles around an unfamiliar city looking for an elusive bus stop?
Have you dreamed of walking along a simple path only to find your feet turn to lead, the ground turn to glue, or your muscles turn to jelly? You move in slo-mo, slogging against the resistance, getting nowhere fast.
Have you dreamed of trying to complete a simple task that just gets more and more complicated? You might have a meal to prepare for five people that turns into a banquet for one hundred, but you don’t have enough food, or enough time to cook it all, or enough pots and plates, or the right recipes to suit the occasion. The goal – or destination – of producing the meal seems increasingly remote as the task – or journey – gets increasingly arduous.
Take some time to think about dreams you’ve had where the original goal or destination became increasingly remote as the journey or task became increasingly challenging.
Or have you dreamed of a goal or destination that slips away forever, the last boat that leaves without you, the plane you’re flying that crashes, the child you’re shepherding that drowns before you can deliver him to his destination, the prize you were hoping for being rewarded to someone else?
These dreams all reflect your progress through life whether you’re consciously working towards specific goals or letting life lead you where it may. When you are delayed in your dream, you may be unconsciously putting obstacles in your way in waking life. Who would do this? We all do, at some point. No matter how much we want to reach a goal we may unconsciously fear the success that comes with reaching that goal, or fear the expectations others will have of us, or fear the risk of failure if we get too close to actually achieving the goal. When awake you may bemoan the fact that certain goals seem to be slipping away from you, or that opportunities you’ve been seeking seem more and more remote, but if you examine the details in your dreams for clues you’ll find the major delay factors begin and end with you. You’ll find a hidden agenda that’s operating to keep you in your comfort zone, even though that zone doesn’t always feel that comfortable to your conscious mind.
You may go round and round in circles in your dreams when you go round and round in circles in your waking life, covering the same old ground in the same old ways that didn’t work for you last time so probably won’t work for you this time either. The details in your dream will reveal why you do this. They might reveal a fear of change, a lack of self esteem or certain limiting beliefs that relate to past experiences.
The glue feet, slo-mo dream often reveals, when examined for details, your doubts or hesitations about reaching your goal, or unconscious beliefs about life being tough, or about having to work harder than other people, or about the need to earn a reward through putting in hard work, or about other people being more likely to put resistance in your way than help you forward.
The dream of the task that gets more and more complicated also reveals, when examined in close detail, your various beliefs about setting, accepting and achieving goals, and what drives all these beliefs.
And those dreams where the goal seems permanently removed – the boat that leaves without you, the crashing plane – often turn out to offer clues about how you unconsciously sabotage your own goals, though they may also reflect a growing understanding that a certain goal is no longer appropriate, and it’s time to let it go and put your energies into a new life direction. As always with dreams, it’s the details of your personal dream that provide the clues to the meaning of your personal dream.
Here’s the magical part. Oh, but I do have to tell you, magic is not for the faint-hearted!
How would you like to be done with the journey in the quickest possible way and get to your destination or achieve your goal sooner? How would you like to turn round to the child in the back seat and say, “Yes! We’re there now!”
I’ll tell you how to do this, in just a moment. If you lack courage, this is not for you. To reach your destination or achieve your goal sooner, you must be prepared to face the challenges you have been avoiding until now. You have been avoiding some of those challenges by taking increasingly circuitous journeys around the tough bits of the path you don’t want to face. No wonder you haven’t reached your goals! Until now you may have been too accepting of deeply anchored beliefs about yourself, such as I’m unworthy, I’m not clever enough, I deserve hard work, I don’t deserve to receive help, people always stand in my way, life doesn’t support me, life’s meant to be tough … and a whole host of other likely candidates. Both your dream journeys and your life journeys can teach you these things about yourself and give you the opportunity to have a Eureka moment and make the change that smoothes your journey towards your destination. Are you ready to face your home truths, or would you prefer to stick with the long journey for a few more decades until you feel more ready to accept the challenge?
If you’re ready now, here’s what to do.
Apply dream alchemy. Visualisations work best. If you have the slo-mo dream, visualise (when you are awake) yourself back in the dream only this time feel your body moving freely. Completely reverse the heavy glue feeling and see and feel yourself making fast, light progress. Add plenty of positive, uplifting feelings. Repeat the visualisation throughout the day and for several weeks. What will happen is that things will begin to shift and change in your life. The visualisation works at a very deep level to change your beliefs and you find yourself more willing to accept the journey than resist it. In accepting it you meet the challenges you had previously hoped to avoid when you slammed on the brakes. The short, sharp way through to the joy of reaching your destination is open to you. Take it, face it, learn from it, and collect your prize. (In some cases you may find that when you face these challenges the old goal loses its appeal, and you choose a new one, more appropriate to the ‘new’ you, instead.)
Apply dream alchemy in similar ways to the other types of Are we there yet dreams. See and feel yourself catching that plane, finding a straight line path to the bus stop and catching the bus, successfully preparing a banquet for your guests or calling in a chef and sitting down at the table with your guests to enjoy the feast, saving the plane from crashing, or seeing the child bob up from the water laughing, ready to continue the journey … and so on.
I have applied many of these in my life over the years, and I have witnessed the wonderful achievements of many clients who have done the same.
Oh, and there’s one further resounding truth:
When I was at university, decades ago, I had a recurring dream of missing a train. I’d arrive at the station and see the long-distance train at the platform but it would always take off while I was still waiting in line to get my ticket. On the night before our final exams began, I went to bed feeling satisfied that I was as ready as I would ever be to sit the exams. That night I dreamt I caught the train. I jumped into the carriage and sat down opposite a man. I sat there laughing out loud, looked him in the eye and said, “I caught the train!”
I woke up from that dream realising I had finally reached my goal. I had finally qualified for my ticket and got my seat on the train. As one journey came to an end, a new one, one with a new long distance goal, had only just begun.
And that’s how it is. Every time you reach a destination, one journey ends and a new one, towards a new destination, begins. Life is about change, not about standing still. Life is about challenge, not about falling asleep while deservedly resting on laurels. Life is about the journey, and the destination, and the journey, and the destination. Life is flow. Are we there yet?
(copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, May 2007. First published as a Dream Sight article.)