Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Dream & A Message.

(Sculpture: Lion 2009)

I woke up from a scary dream last week and felt wonderful. I felt a kind of peace, mixed with a curiosity that I haven’t felt in a long time. And I also knew I was remembering the dream because it had an important message for me. I needed to figure it out.

Here’s the dream.

I was driving my car, making a left turn through an intersection when the gas pedal stuck. The car stalled. There I was in the middle of the intersection, the light about to change, cars about to start coming my way and the gas pedal was still stuck. No matter how hard I pushed or pumped, the gas pedal wouldn’t budge. The car was stopped. I was getting frantic when I realized that I had only one option. Take my foot off the gas. This seemed like an illogical move. How could I move forward if I took my foot off the gas? I pumped the gas pedal some more, the car didn’t move. So, I took my foot off the gas. Immediately, there was a popping sound and the gas pedal was no longer stuck. I knew I could go. Carefully, I lowered my foot, gently pushing down on the peddle and the car moved through the intersection. I made my left turn, continued on my way safe and sound.

Here’s the message.

The gas peddle – my energy – was stuck. I was afraid, but no matter how hard I pushed myself, I was not able to move through the intersection. I was literally at a crossroads – a decision had to be made. There was danger to myself if I didn’t take action and forces outside my control, illustrated by the oncoming cars. And it was clear that continuing to push on the gas was getting me nowhere. So I had to face my fear, and take my foot off the gas. When I did, I was able to drive my car through the intersection, making the left turn that I had wanted to make and continue on my way. Healthy and unharmed.

I’ve been working very hard in the last year. And although, I love working in metal, clay and paint as well as writing and teaching and showing, I’ve been driven by fear. This economic recession has hit home. My husband was laid off. My two ‘children’ are living at home. My art work has made money but it’s been small amounts that were ‘perks’ to our family budget, not necessities.

I didn’t want to give up my art work. It’s a career that I’ve been working on for over a decade now. So, I did the only thing I thought I could and that was make more work, show in more shows, and line up more classes. And I’ve done just that, in the last year, I’ve made over 30 new pieces, shown in over 14 shows, written on more blogs, tried new online networking/marketing sites and lined up over 20 new classes. And I’ve made a little more money. But I’ve had a lot of classes and shows that didn’t make anything. If all the classes had gotten sign ups, I’d be teaching in three different places, 3 to 4 times a week. There was a part of me that realized that this schedule was way too busy.

The dream had a message. Stop. Quit pushing yourself. That the only way to make it safely through the intersection of all these oncoming forces out of my control, was not to be more controlling. But to let go. Take my foot off the gas and allow the pedal to pop up on its own. Then I could move ahead in the direction I want to go.

Letting go. Letting the opportunities pop up, then gently, pushing down on the gas is the way to move ahead safely. Now that’s a wonderful feeling.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful interpretation of your dream! It sounds exactly right to me, and how courageous you were to take your foot off the gas instead of panicking and continuing to try to push the pedal harder. Congratulations! Now comes the perhaps trickier work of remembering how you felt when you woke up, and what you knew when you grasped what the dream felt.

The fear will return--fear does, and we're all going through fearful times--and so will the frantic desire to just stomp on that gas pedal and push through. But you'll be able to remember the feeling of relief when you need it. That will allow you to get unstuck and do what really works for you and those you love.

Susan GT said...

This week has seen the return on fear as you predicted, but, interestingly a part of me resisted stomping on that gas pedal. It was relief, indeed.
As well as more of a lesson to be learned as I talk about in my next blog about two questions and one answer.

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.