The Dream Where I Left My Shoes On the Plane

I shared recently about the difficult things I’ve been moving through, and received such kind, gentle, supportive messages from so many readers. Thank you. Wow… every single one gave me pause and made me feel truly heard, received, and cared for.

Moving through this time and experience reminds me of our horse pasture when I was young… when the snow melted in the spring, treading down to the barn in knee-high rubber boots, trying not to have your boot sucked right off your foot by the mud. In some ways it is really slow-going, sticky, messy, and feels like I have to be incredibly mindful of my footing, but I know to my core that healing is happening within. While it’s tough, it’s a hopeful and positive kind of tough. I’m so grateful.

Last night I had a dream. It was one of those travel dreams where you’re completely unprepared. Have you ever had that dream before? In this one, I didn’t have enough packed, I didn’t know where I was going, had never been there before, I probably didn’t have a ticket or my passport, and I was traveling alone. Then as I walked out of the arrivals security gate and into the airport, I realized I’d forgotten my shoes on the plane! There was no way to get them back. It was startling, and then I heard a younger girl, who also just arrived in, crying to her grandparents that she had forgotten her shoes on the plane. My ears perked up. Her grandpa said to her something like, “It’s okay, dear. That’s why they make shoe stores!” There happened to be a shoe store in the airport, and he was going to take her there. I was so grateful to have overheard that nugget of wisdom, and though it wasn’t ideal since I’d have to break in a new pair of shoes during a trip, it was exactly what was needed at that time to handle the situation at hand.

Later in the dream, I arrived at my resort. It was the most popular resort in the area and had capacity for more people than anywhere else. The line to check in was really long, but I got into line and stood to wait. The line was so slow that the person in front of me and I fell asleep as we waited. As we did, she sort of leaned backward into me and I sort of leaned forward into her and we were supporting each other in standing as we leaned into each other and dozed. I woke (in the dream) feeling embarrassed, but realizing that she had fallen asleep on me too, and so I just closed my eyes to doze a little longer since I didn’t want to wake her anyway. 

When I awoke this morning and thought about the dream, I had some negative self-talk. “I’m so unprepared,” “I don’t know where I’m going,” “I can’t seem to take care of myself,” etc. (Do you ever say these things to yourself too?)

But as I began to write my Mornings Pages (a daily ritual from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron) and process the symbolism, it hit me that the dream was not about me being inept. It was actually really heart-warming. It was my March Essence Card!

Fellow Travelers card from "Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards" by Denise Linn

From “Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards” by Denise Linn

The dream was reminding me that, even when I don’t know where I’m going and even when troubles come up, I’m not alone. There are countless souls helping to guide me along, like the wise shoe-store-knowing grandpa. And there are countless souls there to offer me support, like the sleepy gal in the line. And you all with your beautiful messages. Even when I go through something alone, I do it with a universe full of fellow travelers. Seen. Unseen. We all do. 

After I wrote out my dream in my Morning Pages and wrote out my reflection on this, I decided to think through and write out who all had guided and supported me in the last week or so. I wrote about:

? My Reiki Master-Teacher, Kathleen McLean, who texted me with a “warm fuzzy,” and I really felt it.
? My hubby who talked me through worries I have about going into public spaces, even though we have covid antibodies right now.
? Mia Countryman, a colleague and friend, who was a gentle and gracious accountability buddy with me last week.
? Two of my longest-time best friends, Karen and Susan, who got me out of my house and into the sunshine for a walk yesterday.
? The books How to Break Up with Your Phone and The Artist’s Way, both of which I’ve been sponging up lately and utilizing as very helpful tools during this healing time.
? My therapist, Maggie Conrad, who uses vocabulary that helps me frame my experiences and provides me with useful resources like this article: “30 Grounding Techniques to Quiet Distressing Thoughts“.
? My mom, sister, and nephew, who got me laughing so much in our family video chat last night. They then had me do a little skit that I used to do when I was a kid, which made them laugh so hard too.
? Sweet personal messages from Sheila, Carlyn, Kathleen, Connie, Monica, Heidi, and Dinae. Thank you!
? My son, who, even at age 8, is always ready with great conversation, and always up for an adventure, even if it’s just a walk around the block. We’ve done that almost every day lately. And who tells me, “I love you,” at least 30 times a day. It’s like the research that shows that speaking kind words to plants helps them grow – these loving words make me feel like a little daisy soaking it up like sunshine and stretching her little leaves and petals open wide.

I’d like to share with you soon a very simple technique I’ve been working with this week for anxiety as it pops up. I see possibilities for it also being useful for physical pain, grief, anger, even things like focus / attention /distraction issues. Would this be helpful for you? Reply back and let me know.

Until then, I send you so much gratitude for being my Fellow Traveler as we navigate this messy, wonderful, sacred journey together. Keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open because ​​​​​​support is all around you!