I was swimming in the Hudson Bay with Jennifer Aniston. I turned to her as I was treading water and said, “I had better get out of the water — I can’t swim!”
She looked at me as I stayed afloat and said, “Then why are you swimming right now?”
I looked down and realized I was swimming with great ease, treading water with complete confidence and a tremendous lightness of being. We both started to laugh, and I woke up giggling. Of course I woke up — did you really think Jennifer and I hang out?
Later I dreamed about Charlie Sheen who had started wearing Depends for no reason other than they were comfortable. I’m not a big fan of Charlie Sheen, but I woke up laughing again.
Before you call the people in the white coats, let me explain why this laughter was so critical.
Like many of you, I have been going through substantial change over the past couple of years. Mine has been self-inflicted, as I volunteered to pack my mental baggage and hit an Odyssey-like trail occupied by all of the accompanying monsters, sirens, and fears.
During this tumultuous time of change, my dreams were filled with:
I often awakened yelling or in tears.
For two years I tried to return to my professional comfort zone, even though it no longer made me happy. Each time I followed the sirens of secure income and predictable work, I lost my daydreams and lived with nightmares.
Finally, I made myself stay the course, even when I had no idea where I was going. I let God guide me, although I questioned his leadership on a regular basis.
Now I am getting certified as a Life Coach and continuing on my writing. The Life Coach direction has been a battle since I spent a lot of time in corporations questioning the whole concept. As I have delved into my certification, however, I realize that this is a valuable position and the right course for me. How do I know this? Because of my dreams.
Now my dreams are filled with:
Dreams silence your rational brain-chatter. They occur when the social you, that person created by others expectations, gets quiet. Sleep is when your soul gets to speak without being interrupted.
When I would wake up in tears, I believe my nightmares were saying, “This isn’t it. You’re not where you need to be. You’re being chased or suffocated or terrorized by the refusal to follow your calling. Listen to me.”
Now that I’m finally on the right path, my dreams are saying, “You’re on the right path. You won’t drown anymore because you faced your fears and now you are lighter. ” The best part? I wake up laughing.
If you’re laughing less, if you’re tossing and turning more, if your chest feels tight or your heart feels heavy, you might need to silence the sirens and think about your new path. It won’t be easy, and the monsters will show back up. But you’ll be lighter of step and more confident in your direction.
And while I didn’t believe this a year ago I can now say it with confidence — the fear will dissolve in the light of your joy.
Bottom-line, I’d rather wake up laughing.