I have a recurring dream where I am fighting a massive dragon. The dragon gets so big in my dream that I can't even tell where I am in relation to it's huge body. All I know is that I'm on a white horse and I have a sword in my hand. I'm pretty sure my subconscious stole some of the effects from the final scenes of Sleeping Beauty. (You can see the full scene here to get an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmM-XX8atlQ)
Other than my fancy to be a knight in shining armor, I am pretty sure the dreams have another purpose. They come back at very predictable moments. Usually when I am preparing to take on big challenges, and in particular, challenges that require me to promote myself or my work.
When I was hired to start a new worship service in a larger suburban church: Dragons.
When I quit that job to start the nonprofit Neighboring Movement.org: Dragons
And now, when I launch adambarlowthompson.com and a new slate of original content: Dragons
Notice the theme?
A few years ago a friend lent me a book that helped slay the meaning behind the dragon; it was called Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin. It is kind of a trippy book, but in a way that I really can get behind. Regarding dreams Plotkin says:
The elements of the dream are not seen as corresponding to things from the day world; rather, we understand the dream components as representing the dreamers sub-personalities, attitudes, feelings, wounds, rejected qualities, and hidden potentials. Plotkin, Soulcraft, pg 131
Using Plotkin's help I started wrestling with the dragon in a brand new way. Instead of an external foe, what if this beast lived within?
For the first time I began to see the dragon as a part of myself; which apparently I wanted to kill! In my dream I am always helplessly tired and the dragon is far bigger than my petty sword. Always before, my fear was that I would run out of energy....now my fear is that I am the energy!
What if I have more to offer than I ever dreamed? What if the only thing keeping me from harnessing the strength of that dragon is...myself?
If this is the case there is a whole new set of challenges before me. This website is one way I am trying to be the dragon. I am going to use it to share what I'm working on and invite you into this world. There are several ways you can join me as I fight to become the dragon instead of against the dragon.
Over the next couple months I am going to share several post all under the category: Free to Fail. Failure is one of my biggest fears in this venture; so I figured I would head it off early by obsessively reading and writing about it. Here is what you can expect:
- August 9: Success is the Biggest Failure of My Life
- August 16: 5 Tips to Failing Well
- August 23: Apologies Don’t have to Suck
- August 30: Crushing the Second Attempt
- Sept. 6: Snappy Quotes about Failure
- Sept. 13: Shame Shame Go Away, Come Again...Never
- Sept. 20: Never Too Late for Now
- Sept 27: The Irregular Webinar; Free to Fail
Each post will show up on Wednesdays. On Friday the post will be followed by a Tune In Tip. These weekly tips will share a practice you can try in real life. Finally the whole series will end with a webinar where we can discuss the topic in real time.
Sign up here to follow along!