What big obstacle are you facing or fearing? Here’s how to bag your own rat.

There was a giant rat in my yard as big as a cat! It rambled around on the lawn like it owned the place. I was horrified and considered getting out a hatchet and well….you can imagine. When I went to take a closer look and consider a plan, the rat came right towards me as though to sniff me. Ewww! I grabbed a large paper bag lying on the ground and somehow got the rat inside and quickly rolled up the end.

Stuffed it in a bag?

That’s ridiculous! Of course. But it was a dream!

As the dream continued, a man I knew came over to offer help. We both eyed the moving paper bag apprehensively. I suggested that a hammer would do the job. And as sweetly as I could I asked if he’d be willing to do the deed. He nodded solemnly. I went off the find the hammer. End of dream.

OK – this is a blog about joy. I certainly don’t advocate violence – in any form. I swear no animals were harmed in the writing of this article. The dream is, however, a big fat metaphor for at last bagging a big rat/obstacle in my life and recruiting help from my inner masculine side. Having help in the dream is a big coup for me since the rat itself represents (among other things) my belief that I have to do everything alone, including clearing my obstacles.

I dare you to bag a rat of your own in the next week. What big obstacle are you facing or fearing?

5 Steps to bagging an obstacle to joy:

  1. Name ONE issue you have that’s been troubling you and impacting (at least in the moment or occasionally) your joy, happiness, or authentic life.
  1. Admit it IS an issue and use your body as part of the guidance.
    Tip: Sense in your body what happens when you think about this obstacle. Particularly notice what feels tense, empty or uncomfortable. See if you can breathe into this part of your body while you think about the issue. To include the body is usually skipped, but don’t. It’s the most important. Since our body never lies, the information you glean from including this in your process could allow you to bring up some deep truth you have not been willing to look at.
  1. Write down the FIRST step of a plan – no matter how crazy it may seem now.
    In my dream chasing a rat with a hatchet was crazy and likely disastrous. Instead, I moved closer to see the obstacle close up.  I reacted impulsively when I saw the bag and grabbed the rat. Certainly, we don’t always get a clear plan or a sensible one just from seeing the issue, or writing the first step, but we won’t get one if we don’t take start.
  1. Research/consider all your options. No, I didn’t really do this in the dream (my psyche just wants this done!). I certainly could have considered options like release the rat or take it to a rescue center (if there is one for giant rats). Creative solutions to obstacles can be transforming the issue or removing it entirely. We can’t know till we open to more options.
  1. Seek assistance – As I did from the man in the dream. Whether it’s feedback from a friend, digging deep for inner guidance (dreams or journals or mediation) or seeking professional help, you are not meant to face your obstacles alone.