As I reach into my bag to retrieve the ringing phone, I realize it’s not mine. Holding it out at arms length, like a dirty sock, I ask if anyone owns it? Not really waiting for a response, I am hit by another thought, of where is my phone and whose bag am I carrying?
The still ringing phone is snatched from me along with the bag. Looking around frantically, scanning the staring faces looking for clues. Hearing a voice outside of myself, screaming, “Has anyone seen a black leather bag with a red phone inside and a purse? Please help me, I need to find it.” My heart is pounding in my ears like the drums on the album Rhythm of the Saints. I cannot connect my thoughts. The air is escaping from my lungs. My body is shutting me out. Total panic sets in.
My heart is trying to exit my chest; my nightshirt is stuck to my body, the time on my watch says 3:58 am. It takes about 2-3 minutes for me to divert my thoughts to my breath and notice what is going on. As my thoughts begin to settle I feel a black shadow fall across me, followed by a deep sense of foreboding. What a nightmare.
There are a great deal of theories as to why we have nightmares and dreams. Some of the current thinking that spans the disciplines of psychology, neurobiology and psychiatry, suggests the following purposes;
- Processing events and experiences of the last few days
- Preparing of short term memory to long term storage
- Planning from past and present experience to create future plans
- Protection for you, considering options in the face of challenges or danger
- Psychological and emotional balance, letting the mind work through difficult and unsettling thoughts.
The brain is like a super computer, channeling all our responses, experiences and thoughts, writing new algorithms and downloading them whilst we sleep.
Like a safe pair of hands the pillow cups my head and my body relaxes into the mattress. As my thoughts begin to come clearer, I reach for my iPad, switch it on and tap into the search bar ‘interpretations of dreams. ‘ I ask what the meaning of losing your bag / phone or wallet means. There seems to be a consensus of opinion, loss of self-identity. The air is stolen from my body again with the dexterity of a ninja warrior. I am drowning again.
Max, my youngest son is about to turn 21. When Sam, my other son reached 21, I remember being filled with high hopes for him and the endless possibilities that lay ahead. Overwhelmed with joy and pride that made my heart sing. So why does it feel so very different now? There is a finality here, we have reached a human milestone not just for me but for Max too. I am losing my youngest child and a man is replacing him. A man, who will not need me in the same way ever again. Who will I be to him and Sam? I am being retired from my job of 21 years. What will I do? Looking back there were warning signs that I missed.
Warning number 1.
As I lay in bed processing my thoughts, insecurities and sense of loss, a pattern was emerging. In my business life I have been putting off making decisions, developing new courses and expanding Mind Power. This is not like me at all. I was flip flopping to the point that when I was asked what colour the lever arch folders should be for the office – I couldn’t decide.
Warning number 2.
Warning number 2 came in the shape of a building. My lovely *lock up and leave house, purchased post a traumatic divorce. No large garden to tend, swimming pool to maintain or appearances to keep up! This house has served its purpose; we all love this place, which is our home. It has allowed me to travel extensively, realising some of my dreams. So, to sell or not to sell?
Warning number 3.
Of course I have known for 21 years that Max would be 21 in 2018 but I did not know how I would feel. Therefore, if I don’t buy presents and don’t organise a party with family and friends, I can control these feelings of hopelessness, loss and being superfluous to requirements. It can’t and won’t happen.
It isn’t my bag, phone or purse that is lost. It’s me! Who knew?
As a coach, once I knew what was required, I jumped into action. Processing the information then acknowledging my feelings, allowing me to reframe my thinking. I needed to create a new identity, write a new job description whilst remaining true and authentic to myself. To eliminate this pain and negative set of emotions and release the thoughts holding me back I used a process called The Dynamic Spin Release Process by Chris and Tim Hallbom. There is a downloadable copy here. A great, quick visualisation technique that I use with many of my clients.
From my nightmare has come so much positivity, making me face the challenges head on and galvanised me into action. I have purchased presents and planned a party with friends and family. Max needs to know how proud I am of him and what an amazing human being he is. Reminding myself that I am partly responsible for him, vividly enjoying all those magic moments that have been and all those yet to come.
My lock up and leave will be sold, I will move to another county or even another country, who knows. Finally I decided on orange and green folders, they should arrive tomorrow.
I am embracing this new chapter in my life, as well a purchasing a new bag.
*Lock up and leave is a house that requires no up keep, and the freedom to travel. You can just lock up and leave at a moments notice.