I had a reoccurring dream last night: I was wandering through an enormous airport terminal awaiting my flight and I began to panic when I discovered I was without my baggage. I walked for seemingly endless miles through this cavernous terminal, finally finding my husband and two daughters sitting in front of a large aquarium, waiting peacefully for me to join them.
When I woke, I pondered the meaning of this dream in all its various incarnations over the years. One constant theme kept emerging – losing, forgetting and/or being without my ‘baggage’ and feeling stress and anxiety while I awaited ‘take-off’.
I truly believe our dream world can be a powerful ally and messenger from beyond, into other dimensions, trying to get our attention, particularly when the message comes a knocking on more than one occasion.
In keeping with the season and expanding on the metaphor of spring cleaning, I thought this dream might be a good ‘spring’ board to examine the symbolic nature of baggage in our lives, why we hold on to it and what it might be holding us back from.
Baggage can be literal or figurative, but no matter how it surfaces in your life, I feel we would all benefit from lightening our load. Is there a collection of yogurt containers cluttering your cupboard or a stack of old magazines collecting dust? Recognizing this outward clutter seems obvious and easy to remedy by simply gathering it up and taking a stroll to the curb side. But what about the clutter within? Are you willing to examine thought patterns and belief systems that lurk within your sub-conscious like mouldy newspaper behind the furnace that was placed there without your consent, sometimes before you were even conscious, accumulating in size and complexity over the years? Can you recognize this ancestral baggage and make the distinction between what is authentically yours and what has been thrust upon you like an unwanted heirloom?
How can any of us expect to carry such a heavy load without eventually breaking the proverbial camel’s back? In addition to stuff we take on that isn’t ours, there’s the stuff we accumulate throughout our lifetime that we’ve outgrown which is holding us back. And here’s where it gets personal – certain people in our lives can also account for the clutter. Is there a friend, loved one or family member that is sucking your energy? Do you feel depleted and in need of oxygen when you come away from time spent with them? Perhaps it’s time to step back and take a breather. Observe what it’s like once you take a break in order to re-establish your boundaries. Taking a much needed time out or severing your ties completely (but respectfully) with certain individuals may also be necessary in order to grow and move forward. Send them love and peace and walk away in a state of grace. By keeping in accordance with the universal flow of life, when we step out of the way, let go and let be, we become an integral part of the Divine’s handy work in our everyday life.
Some of the anxiety and resistance of letting go of things or people in our life is our belief that they somehow define us or satisfy a false sense of security because they’ve been with us for so long. Through meditation, yoga, a spiritual practise or simply bringing a sense mindfulness into your daily life, you’ll soon discover just how much ‘your cup runneth over’. Turn down the external noise and tend to your garden within, sow the seeds and feel the giddy anticipation of what might be germinating. Be gentle with yourself and remember this is a practise of patience and self-care, watered with a healthy dose of love and gratitude which can reap enormous rewards beyond any shiny trinket or outside distraction. There’s a bounty of abundance waiting within, once you listen to pulse of your heart’s desire.
Considering the enormity of all the recent natural disasters happening throughout the world and the ensuing fall out that follows such unexpected tragedies, it is a sobering reminder for all us to examine the fleeting vulnerability and impermanence of our beloved ‘stuff’ and more importantly our physical being. In the space of an afternoon nap your life can change and all those pack rat possessions can slip away with the landslide. And if by the grace of God, your higher power or some kind of karmic destiny you do survive, I guarantee the last thing you’ll be needing is your grandmother’s cross and olive crystal collection and generations of outdated fear, guilt and dysfunction.
Drop your baggage, hold tight to your centre, fasten your seat belt and prepare for Take-Off.
‘People get ready
There’s a train a-coming
You don’t need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear diesels a- humming
You don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord’
~ Curtis Mayfield
March 22 2011