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Dreams of Destiny: The Call of Your Life

by Gillian Holloway, Ph.D. (Dream Discoveries Newsletter, Spring 1995)

If you sometimes dream of being shown a buried treasure, receiving guidance along a road or path, or buying something "perfect" for you, your dreams may be offering encouragement about your true place in life, or what I call your "life assignment."

Each of us has a contribution to make to others, and as well aspersonal lessons of great significance to our own growth. When we find our niche in terms of service, we always find the perfect training ground for our individual lessons as well.

Dreams of finding your way, sharing your gifts with others, flying your own plane, or melting illusory obstacles tend to appear when you are being asked to release the "constructed" life you have created and embrace a path that is aligned with your greater destiny.

Many mystics believe the current era is one in which no talent or contribution can be wasted; that all people present on the planet today have critical tasks and important gifts to share. In my work with students and clients I have noted the four most common contexts which dreams address:

  1. Work - (Including money and what you do every day.)
  2. Relationships -(Who you love, and how you wish to be loved.)
  3. Healing - (Elements from the past that still hurt and cry for resolution.)
  4. Life Assignment - (What you came here to do.)
The subconscious mind has a strong problem-solving directive. This means that whatever is most pressing, threatening or compelling in waking life will be the life context most dreams are focused upon. Once that area becomes better resolved and integrated the dreaming mind will direct attention to the next challenge, or the next level of growth. In recent months however, I have seen a dramatic increase in dreams focusing upon the life assignment of individuals. Images of stripping off clothing that is too small, wise women encouraging the dreamer down a path, weaving magical fabric on an ordinary loom, and stepping up to home plate are just a few of the beautiful dream clues that have acted as road signs for people who are hearing the call of their life assignment.

Because people share so many amazing dreams with me, I have come to believe that there are few pains as relentless as that caused by the destiny we refuse to fulfill. It seems as if part of the psyche remembers why you decided to be born, and will cause you any amount of anguish necessary in order to bring you to the fork in the road where you must choose that path, even if it is in a sense of surrender or resignation because you know nothing will ever give you any peace until you at least try to fulfill your heart's desire.

Ask your dreams for more direction

If your dreams seem to be addressing your destiny, but you aren't quite sure about the message, I recommend you incubate more dreams about the topic. My clients have had wonderful results by formulating a question prior to bedtime, and then repeating the question in rhythmic fashion matched to their breathing as they fall asleep. Be sure to place a pad of paper and pen, or a tape recorder close by the bed so you can record the dreams that result from the incubation. Don't be disappointed if you recall a vivid dream, but it doesn't seem to address your question. It is extremely likely that the dream is providing you with an aerial view of your situation, one which is not distorted by the blind spots of the conscious mind, and thus it may be unrecognizable at first. Work with the dream, deciphering its symbols and action-metaphors, and then decide whether it answered your question. In waking life, organize your thoughts and actions to support, rather than sabotage your willingness to remember your life assignment.

Adjust your self-talk and your image of the future to expand possibilities rather than cling to a personal mythology of not having what you love. Try to behave in ways that communicate to all levels of your being that you are willing to embark on the tasks presented to you. Think of your actions as rituals of acknowledgment that help close the circle of insight you gain from your dreams. (The one thing you are afraid to do next is probably the right thing to do.)

If you begin dreaming of famous and brilliant people beware of the tendency to discount these images out of false modesty. If you dream of the most respected person in your field, or in the field you long to enter, this is almost certainly intended to catalyze your inner talent into taking a more prominent position in your waking life.

Many people have a pretty good idea of what they are meant to do in life, the pull of our potential selves is after all the pull of life itself. We can stand in our own way by preoccupation with linear thought. We want to know the job description, the salary and the company benefits before we are willing to listen to the muse that softly whispers in our dreams. While it is wise to maintain a threshold of well-being in life, I believe we can accept the essence of our work before the form actually arrives and becomes well-defined. Start doing the things that make your heart sing. Notice what your friends always request you do for them, and notice the advice you give others, for we often project our fondest wish on others.Your life assignment is often something you do so effortlessly that you wouldn't consider it as a livelihood because it doesn't seem like work. It is often something you already do well without formal training or "credentials." You may have an enormous love for some activity and feel more alive as you do it, but there is some very convincing obstacle that prevents you from accepting the work. Try meditating on your willingness to transcend these "obstacles." If you are willing to do the work you came here to do, the doors will open often against all odds, and you will find challenges respond to your intention to surmount them. Life will not become a "bowl of cherries," but you will become who you really are.

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