Q: Hey, Tzivia! I’m wondering if this makes any sense to you. After years of barely being able to remember most of my dreams (either just nothing or too scrambled to recall), in the past week I’ve started having ‘normal’ memories – like I used to have – of one or two dreams a night. And as if that weren’t enough, while I usually rarely dream of people I know, these dreams are long stories about significant people in my life.
Perplexed (and Pleased) in Massachusetts
A: I once had a beautiful black cat named Nim. My vet warned me not to let her outside, and instead to make her a house cat, so she’d have a better chance at a long, safe life. If I let her outside, he cautioned, she could be hit by a car, scooped up by a bird of prey, or meet any number of unfortunate fates.
Now, at the risk of opening up a debate about the proper care of domesticated cats–when it’s dreams I want to talk about (I promise, I’ll get to those soon)–I will tell you that I decided to let her out.
She was a wild one, that cat. A stray when I found her, she never seemed completely at home–well–at home. She loved to be outdoors where she’d roam, stalk, chase, and run. Then she’d come back inside where she’d curl up in the best spot on the sofa, or of course, the bed.
I knew I was taking a chance each time I let her out. But most days, when I whistled for her to come back inside, she’d prance happily to the door. Still, a few times a year she would stay out for one, two, or even three nights at a time.
On those nights I’d worry that the vet had been right, and I’d unnecessarily subjected my cat to danger. But then she’d show up on the stoop wearing a smug expression on her face, as if she were savoring the memory of some tasty escapade.
It seems that if we want to keep dreams reliably by our side, all we can do is create the right conditions for them to come to us. Like a cat, they like their independence, they like to be handled in just the right way, and they are far too dignified to submit to being leashed.
To invite our dreams to stay we need to get to bed at a decent hour and wake up slowly so we don’t scare them away with jangling alarms or sudden bright sunlight. But sometimes, even when we do the best we can to domesticate them, our dreams slink away, mysterious as a black cat in the night.
To solve the puzzle of your newly returned dreams, look for what might have changed in your life to have whistled them back. It could be anything from diet, to sleep habits, to methods of waking up, to shifts in daytime consciousness (feeling more relaxed…or more anxious), and even hormonal fluctuations.
That’s the scientist’s approach, based on reason and observation. But as with my feral feline friend, logic doesn’t always work–especially with something as bewildering as dreams.
March 4th is the only day of the year that is a full sentence. (Get it? March forth.) Therefore, I have declared 3/4 to be a new holiday which I am calling “Click It Day.” To honor this day, choose something you are ready to let go of (an old grudge, an outdated belief, an unhelpful attitude) so this March 4th you can March Forth into a new chapter of your beautiful life.
While you’re deciding what you want to let go of on March 4th, here’s a little story for you to read about how I learned the value of clicking it.
Here’s my story:
After my relationship of nearly two decades ended, I asked my father how he managed to find happiness again after my mother left him, back when I was a teen. “Click it, kid,” he said.
“Click it?” I asked.
My father came of age in the 1950s and still carries himself like the Naval lieutenant he once was. He’s a man of the “big boys don’t cry era.” So ,it wasn’t surprising when he explained in his typically terse manner, “You just decide to move forward and not look back. You ‘click it’,” he repeated, as if this were an obvious solution.
Bad Advice Turns Good
“Click it” seemed to mean I should stuff my emotions away and paste a happy smile over my broken heart. So, at first I wrote my father’s advice off. If I needed help balancing my budget or deciding when it was time to buy or sell a house, he was the man to turn to. But I scolded myself for thinking he could help me sort out matters of the heart.
But then, five years later, and after countless therapy sessions and even more hours spent crying on the shoulders of well-meaning friends–not to mention exhausting my ample supply of self-help books, I finally decided it was time to consider my father’s advice.
I had mourned enough. By now feeling had turned into wallowing. My emotions were no longer in motion. In short, I was stuck. Nothing else was helping so why not try to click it?
Marching Forth, Mindfully
Beginning on March 4th of that year, if someone asked about my love life, instead of telling a sorrowful story about my break up, I’d say, “I have a life filled with love from family and friends.” If I found myself longing for my past relationship, I’d think instead about future possibilities, or better yet, I’d bring myself into the present moment with a few mindful breaths.
Once I “clicked it” I focused on what I did have: a loving daughter, a close-knit extended family, a great job, and more. I even began to fall in love with the solitude of living by myself.
Part fake it till you make it, part breaking old habits of seeing the glass half empty, I discovered that click it, when the time is ripe, really could be healing, healthy, and helpful.
Ever since, I’ve declared March 4th to be “Click it Day.” Each year I choose another old grievance or tired story to retire on that day. If there’s something I find myself talking negatively about: My age, my appearance, my career, or the state of some relationship, I click it.
Ready to Click It? Start Here
- Feeling afraid–click into feeling brave instead. Adventures involve risk — and opportunity.
- They say you can only think one thought at a time … the choice is usually between a thought based in love or a thought based in fear. Click it: Choose the loving thought instead.
- Are you complaining about some aspect of your life? Click it: Think about three things you’re grateful for instead. Then resolve to change what you can and learn to accept what you can’t.
Introducing the Click It Theme Song
Just substitute the words “Click It” for “Whip It” … and voila! The Click It Theme song is born:
And now for a word from our sponsor:
Bring more JOY along with you as you March Forth. My new book helps lead the way!
“The Unrelated human being lacks wholeness, for he can achieve wholeness only through the soul and the soul cannot exist without its other side, which is always found in a ‘You'”.
–CGJung, Word and Image, p. 125
Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations
A Blog Post in (more than) 3-Installments
This post is the Final Installment (yes, I really do mean final this time) in a series about how dreams and dream imagery help guide me through waking life.
To read the 1st installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations” in which our protagonist dreams of receiving a wedding proposal…but receives a business proposal to become Director of the Institute of Dream Studies instead … click here.
For the 2nd Installment, in which the protagonist receives a sign – from a Spider – that she is on the right path, click here.
You can read the 3rd Installment, in which our protagonist’s “Wedding for One” dream turns into a date for one here.
THE FINAL INSTALLMENT:
Encore! White Feather Finery
After my mother’s death last spring, every time I saw a feathery seedpod float through the air (and somehow there were many more that season than I ever remember seeing before) I was certain that my mother’s spirit was close by.
I remembered this as I sat in my second-row seat at a concert recently. I was out on a solo date with myself, enjoying Jane Siberry’s music. And now she was delivering a lyric in which she said that every time she saw a feather drift by, she felt her beloved near her.
These words brought back to mind all of those floating feathery messengers from the spring when I lost my mother. Tears filled my eyes.
Also, I couldn’t help but notice how all of the themes of my recent dreams were coming together now, especially with this reminder of the feathers that marked the season of loss during which the recurring wedding dreams had begun.
And now, Siberry’s show was ending. She came to the piano for her encore, and began her final song.
And wouldn’t you know it? She sang k.d. lang’s “Love is Everything.” Which, as it turns out, was one of the songs on the CD that I played again and as I sat at my mother’s bedside while she lay dying. What’s more, it is the song that I chose to include in the photo slide show I created after her death, as a memorial and a tribute to her life that was so filled with love and beauty.
As I like to say, dreams multi-task. As do synchronicities.
I’d had the sense back in June, when Justina proposed the directorship of the Institute for Dream Studies to me, that my mother had a hand in it—that from where she sat in Heaven she was helping guide me; that she was smiling at and through me, and that she wanted only for my best dreams to come true.
And so, the proposal has been made and accepted. And now it’s time for me to step into my commitment to my dreams, to my love of teaching, and the creative possibilities of helping others to make dreams come true.
It’s just what happens when a girl follows her dreams, and says, “I do.”
Make your dreams come true. Consider embarking on a dream education program that might just change your life. Dream big, sign up to receive more information about exploring your dreams and pursuing a Certification in Dream Studies.
Hear Jane Siberry singing “Love is Everything.” (Have a tissue handy.)
This is the final post in
A blog post in (more than) 3 Installments
But you never do know when it comes to dreams and synchronicities
… There may still be more to come …