Many times our dreams will repeat a theme or message in two or more
scenarios within the same night’s dreams.
The idea seems to be, “If you didn’t get it the first time, here it is
again.” Today’s dreamer brings a good example.
My dream starts out with old men in a bus in the middle of a field. Then everyone is ordered off the bus by bad
guys - Police? Criminals? Mafia? Most get
off, but one elderly man is injured and holding his side, slumped over. He is ignored and two others are also
seemingly unnoticed. Now I am part of
this – one of the two hiding. We vow to
help the man and plot to take the bus and drive it to an emergency room.
The others are standing in middle of the field, having a “conference.” We manage to take over the bus and drive off
over the field in a mad dash towards freedom and a hospital. We find a hospital emergency room parking
New scene but somehow connected to the earlier part of dream, my husband and
I have a little dog sleeping, curled up in front of our bedroom door. In the middle of the night the little dog
jumps up on our bed, wakens me and imparts a sense of urgency. I pet and soothe the dog. I realize there is someone in the front part
of the house. I detect something – a noise?
– mostly a sense that someone is there.
I waken my sleeping husband and try to explain. Nothing happens; husband peeks down the hall –
nothing – comes back to bed and apparently to sleep. I am alert and alarmed. I see a flash of light from the front of the
house. I again awaken my husband and he
suggests/mimes that we feign sleep so as to surprise the bad guy. The little dog is also alert - I know this,
but he is curled up and part of the pretense.
I do my part of the feigning.
Suddenly a HUGE man appears, peaking around the corner of the doorway to
our bedroom. I waken terrified. End of dream.
Do I Really Need to Be Afraid?
Dear Do I Really,
There are multiple levels on which to understand your dream. First, it's important to consider the idea
that your dream may be health-related.
It is set in a bus, a conveyance, your means of getting around, i.e.
your body. Your dreaming self goes into
protection mode, trying to help that 'elderly' part of itself that is
wounded/injured. Your plan is to hide
from the part of yourself that says leave it, get off the bus! Instead you will take this to the emergency
room for attention.
Similarly, in the second part of your dream, you agree to ignore the sign
that something big and ominous is at your door.
You will pretend that you don't hear the warning signs and only react
when forced to do so.
From another viewpoint, your dream may be speaking to your frame of
mind. In this perspective, your mode of
transportation is not moving. It's not
even on a road - it's in the middle of a field.
An authoritarian part of you – the police – tells you to get off that
bus. Instead you decide to hide out with
the part of you that is wounded or feeble in some attitude or way of
thinking. You will nurse this part of
yourself in contradiction to the 'bad guy' part of yourself that says to
abandon it and move on.
Again, the theme is repeated in the second part of your dream. Even though you are certain that your warm
and cozy position is being threatened, you make a decision to pretend it is not
so, to take no action until a big bad guy makes the choice for you and forces
you to act.
Your dream can be considered a call to action Dear Dreamer, or perhaps a
call to change your mindset. At the least
it is a call to recognize that hunkering down and waiting is a decision with
consequences as well.
More often than not, the characters in our dreams
reflect parts of ourselves. Though our
dreamer today doesn’t give us the waking life context for his dream, it is
still clear that the celebrity who dominates the dream’s story line is a
stand-in for the dreamer himself. We
will look for “real world” parallels for the dream character’s actions to
understand this dream’s message.
In case you don’t know, Mike Krukow was a National
League All Star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants and is now a color commentator
for them. I’m a fan! He’s an all-around talented person who is also
a nice guy. But why he would show up in
my dream is a mystery to me.
In my dream I’m at the baseball park in the stands up
behind home plate. The field is lush
green; the base paths and pitcher’s mound are ruddy orange.
I am there for Mike Krukow's farewell pitch. It’s an event. As a part of the ceremony he's supposed to
throw the ball over the outfield fence from his position at home plate. He makes repeated unsuccessful attempts. It’s not a realistic task! Very few could throw a ball that far –
certainly not someone his age, at the end of his career. He should be standing on the pitcher’s mound
throwing toward home plate!
Finally the lights go down, but the crowd doesn't
want to leave. They stay in place as a
way of showing their love and affection for Krukow. It is a nostalgic and hopeful moment. I give my baseball to him so that he can have
one more try.
Music swells over the PA system – “Tonight we are
young! We can set the world on
fire! We can burn brighter than the
The background information you shared regarding Mike
Krukow is helpful because your dream presents him as a stand-in for you. You might not say it yourself, but your
friends and family would no doubt say that you embody the same characteristics
you admire in him. You are colorful and
talented, even beloved.
And, in another parallel to him, your dream tells
you that in some way in your waking life, you are facing the wrong direction
and attempting an impossible task. It
may be hard to admit that. Perhaps there
is a groundswell of hope within you or around you, but on some level you must
know that things are not going to work if you stay in your current backwards
orientation – not at your age and at this point in your career. Perhaps you are holding on too long to youryouth as your dream suggests – the lights are going down as the music plays.
Even in your dream you know the current approach
defies logic. Mike Krukow retired from
the pitcher’s mound and has success as commentator. Turn around, Dear Dreamer, and experience the
success and accolades that are there for you.
Today’s dreamer finds himself being more cautious
than his circumstance merit. His dream
offers a perfect metaphor for his habit of anticipating problems and stalling
himself on the brink of success, instead of pushing himself toward his own
My parents raised me to be a hard worker. I’m independent and get along well with just
about everyone. I am humble. I have never been what my mom would call a ‘showboat.’ I keep my head down and do good work and it
has paid off over time. Now there’s a
position open that I really want and a couple of my coworkers want it too. To my way of thinking, they are behaving badly by tooting their own horns all the time and trying to get the boss’s
attention. It makes me nervous though
because I hope to be noticed too. But I know
the promotion will come to me if it’s meant to be.
After a stressful week at work I dreamed that I was traveling
up a long slow grade toward a hill that would take some ‘oomph’ to get
over. I kept checking my rearview mirror
because I could see a car in the distance.
I couldn’t make it out very clearly, but I thought it might be the
highway patrol. I started to worry that
I would get a speeding ticket. So I
slowed down just before the crest of the hill and my car stalled.
Is this bad news for the promotion I want?
Hopeful Things Will Go My Way
Your dream doesn’t carry bad news for you, but it
does bring an admonition.
It places you in a scenario that reflects your
progress at work over the years – a long, slow, steady climb. And now you are facing a hill that may
require a bit more horsepower if you want to clear it.
But instead pushing yourself forward, you keep
looking back at that internal highway patrol that tells you to slow down, use
caution. It is far enough in the
distance that you cannot even be sure it’s the ‘law’ or that you’ll be punished
for the push you need to get over the top.
But it slows you sufficiently to keep you from rising over the crest of
the hill – reaching the promotion you seek.
You dream is playing out for you what could come to
pass if you keep looking backward and slowing down instead of rising to the
occasion at hand. A person in your
circumstance can ‘toot his own horn’ without blasting away his natural
humility. There are classy ways to promote yourself.
Get your talking
points together, Dear Dreamer, and let the boss know you deserve the
promotion. Otherwise you may stall out
and see a blowhard pass you by.
Transitional phases of life bring dreams which
reflect our changing patterns of thinking.
These can be confusing in waking life and our dreams come to help us sort
out the changes. Today’s dreamer has
recently closed down a long-standing private practice and is, in her words, “trying
to find [her] way” in retirement.
Retirement is exciting and scary at the same
time. For me, the timing was perfect – I
was ready to close my business and shift into a more free-flowing style of
life. Or at least I think I am – the transition
is not as simple as I thought: I was
extremely disciplined for many years! I
feel pretty sure this dream is about my “new life” but don’t know why it made
me so mad!
In the dream I am teaching a yoga class in a large
barn-like studio. The class is very
full. I start with leg lifts to connect
core with breath. I often do this, but
the class members act like it’s weird and dumb.
I go to help Diane – an emotional and needy student – and as I do the
class gets very chatty and I lose their attention. They are not following my directions and I am
frustrated by this.
Then, out of nowhere, three women waltz across the
floor, right through the middle of the class!
They are in loose flowing gowns, beautiful and spirit-like, but they are
not appropriate for my yoga class. I
yell. I get mean. But nothing changes. There is a file cabinet with envelops that
have teachers’ names on them, but I don’t have one. What am I supposed to do? Make one?
Students are walking out and I hear them say, “I
thought she was supposed to be such a good teacher.”
At Loose Ends
Dear Loose Ends,
Having spent the bulk of your working life in a self-controlled
and systematic atmosphere, it is understandable that you are looking forward to
a change of attitude and structure. Your
dreaming self presents you with the metaphor of teaching the discipline of yoga
to the part of you that no longer wants to pay attention to such things. Your newly retired, freer self is easily
distracted and even disrespectful of the restrained practice that was once so
central to your way of being. You no
longer have the credentials to operate in that arena – no name on the envelop.
But when the looser, more free-flowing part of you
waltzes through the middle of the scene, you are taken aback. Your former mode of operating – the more
rigid disciplinarian – may yell and be mean, trying to deny access to the free
spirit, but it is unfazed. Let yourself
unwind a bit, Dear Dreamer. Relax into
your new world. Or – recreate a
retirement duplicate of your working life.
Babies in our dreams often signify new beginnings
and creative impulses. Today’s dreamer
finds that his concerns for a swimming infant are unwarranted and even
I worked for nearly 30 years in a business I built
up on my own. If I do say so myself, I
was very good at what I did and my business was professional and
successful. Many clients were with me
from the beginning and said they hated to see me close down – but I was ready. I wanted to retire before the business became
too difficult and wasn’t fun. Anyway, I’m
retired six months now and casting about for what to do with my considerableremaining energy and creative ambitions.
What worries me is that I seem to be easily distractible. I move toward an exciting project only to be
pulled in another direction and then find myself distracted again.
With all this troubling me, I dreamed that I am in a
wooded picnic area with a swimming pool.
A baby, about 3-6 months old, is swimming in the pool. He seems to be OK, but I’m a little worried. I jump in the water to protect him and then
he doesn’t swim as well! When I get out,
the baby swims fine again, going under and coming back up, pushing off the side
of the pool and having a good time. My
friends are there – Jim the artist and John the writer. We seem to be looking at MapQuest when I wake
up feeling anxious.
Worried About the Baby
Your post-retirement dream offers insights and
encouragement as you find your way in this newest phase of your life.
First, the setting is appropriate as it places you
in a recreational arena, as retirement does.
Your energetic, creative self – the baby born when you retired 6 months
ago – enjoys himself, swimming playfully, exploring his abilities effortlessly.
Even though you see that he – that fresh, new
part of yourself– is doing fine, you worry.
And, your worry hinders the baby’s play.
When you begin to hover and needlessly protect, he does less well. This is your Dreaming Self reminding you that
play is play and now is the time in your life to trust it and let it happen. It’s OK to explore and change
directions. If you “go under,” you will
come back to the surface without injury.
You find yourself with your friends Jim and John,
those creative parts of yourself, studying MapQuest, trying to find your way,
or perhaps looking for a prescribed route to take. Maybe you have set them up as models for how
you think you should be. There is no
harm in admiring their achievements of course, but again Dear Dreamer, your
dream suggests that you trust a bit more rather than trying to force the issue
of your personal creative outlet. When
you do that, it manifests in the kind of second-guessing and indecision you are
experiencing in your waking life.
Often we will have someone in our dreams whom we
don’t recognize – a person in the shadows – someone we can’t quite see.Most likely, that person represents our
“shadow self,” a part of ourselves that we don’t see or don’t recognize – a
blind spot in our self-assessment.Our
dreams point out that that part of ourselves needs attention.Today’s dreamer has turned her focus to the
part of herself she neglected for many years.
I will be 80 years old soon. Being this old can be a shock! There are some good things about it, but
health can be a problem, especially since I smoked cigarettes for almost 50
years! Stupid, I know. I quit more than 10 years ago, but I’m still
paying for that horrible addiction. I am
doing what I can to live a more healthy life now even though it is late in the
I dreamed that I was in the home of a dark-skinned
woman. She was always off to the side in
the shadows, just out of my sight.
Anyway, her house was a mess and I couldn’t believe how difficult her
life is. Everything she tried to do was
a difficult chore. If she wanted to get
ready to go out, it was hard. If she
wanted to have a meal, it was hard. Her
house was dark and the floor was sticky.
I looked up and saw that the tar from her roof had seeped into the house
and gummed up everything.
I decided to take her over to my house to spend the
weekend so she could have a nicer life, even if it was only for a little
while. Then I woke up.
Houses in our dreams may be representative or our
bodies. And the person in the shadows
may be that part of you that you have not paid attention to until
recently. She now lives in the house
that 50 years of smoking built. Because
of her advanced age and the tar that has dripped onto everything, her life is
dark and difficult.
You mention that in
your waking life you are making changes to improve your lifestyle. Your dream reflects this as you invite your
shadow self to move to a place where life is not so difficult. The fact that she’ll visit only for the
weekend may reflect your current timeline.
You spent half a century smoking, damaging your
body, the house you live in. Now many
things are even more difficult that you might expect at your current age. As you say, Dear Dreamer, even though it’s
late in the game, you may be able to enjoy your remaining time by inviting your
struggling self to live in a healthier environment.