Things annoy you and frustrate you every day.  Why? Because they are annoying and frustrating or because you perceive them as annoying and frustrating? What if you changed how you saw those things?  Would that mean you were passive or stupid, or would that mean that you are wise enough to not make things that aren’t about you, about you? Here is an opportunity to think about what you can do differently to not let the annoyances of your daily life rob you of your peace of mind.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. Maintaining equanimity

2. Staying focused and getting stuff done

3. Setting clear priorities and working them

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.

I am looking at ticks crawling.  There are small yellow seed ticks.  I can see the head of one, with its pincers.  There is at least an awareness of large grey cow ticks.  I may have picked one off of myself and been concerned about infection from the head still being in.  Mostly I was aware of them crawling around.

Why do you think that you had this dream?

No.  Just seems like I’m ignoring pests that need to be eliminated.  Things that are “bugging” me.

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?


These are the characters in the dream…

Seed ticks, cow ticks, the surfaces they are crawling on, head of at least one tick.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?


Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Ticks, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

We are crawling around, looking for blood to suck.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

We are good at finding hosts.  Actually, not many of us succeed, but when we do we are good at getting blood and generating tons of babies.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

No.  It’s not our problem that we aren’t liked by our hosts.  It doesn’t bother us.

(Character), you are in this person’s life experience, correct?  They created you, right?_____  (Character), what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?

Pesky, life-force sucking problems.

(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

We’d be all over every animal, especially dogs and cats.  Deer are good too.  Also skunks, racoons, and foxes.  We don’t discriminate.  The problem with humans is that they have those fingers and no fur.  Our odds of survival are a lot less.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 Most of the individuals of our kind don’t survive, but enough of us do so that we continue to flourish.

Compassion: ? What’s that?

Wisdom: ? We are very good at doing what we do.

Acceptance:         10 Absolutely

Inner Peace:         10 We don’t stress.

Witnessing: ? What’s that?

(Character,) if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

Hmmmm…We can’t say that we would not be ticks because humans have a lot more compassion and wisdom than we do and they destroy their host (the planet and other species) more effectively than we do.  But a compassionate and wise tick?  I don’t think so.  The truth is that we have a make-up that is perfect for our place in the order, or we wouldn’t survive.  Being tens in those other things is for humans, and then, only some of them.  Other humans couldn’t care less about one or another of those qualities, like inner peace.

How would the life of the person who created you be different if he naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?

He wouldn’t be dreaming about us, that’s for sure.  If he did, he wouldn’t ignore us, kill us, or turn us into pixie dust.  He would figure out a way to co-exist with us.  He’s trying in the dream, but not really being effective.  Or maybe he was.  He wasn’t doing any of those other things.

If you could live the life of the person who created you for him, how would you live it differently?

I would not worry about pests like us.  He was dealing with them OK in his dream.  They weren’t really bothering him.  His problem was that he thought he had to DO something – kill us, ignore us more, transform us.  If we weren’t there something else would be there.  Life is full of annoyances, interruptions, intrusions, changed plans, moral dilemmas, and frustrations.  You want to waste your life fighting them?  No, I think you should recognize that you were doing a pretty good job in your dream staying out of the drama triangle.  You weren’t reacting to us as if we were persecutors, you were a victim, and you needed to rescue yourself from us.  But instead of looking at that, you got self-critical at the fact you were dreaming about something as mundane and distracting as ticks.  Focus on the fact that you didn’t react to us!

If you could live this person’s waking life for him today, would you handle his three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. Maintaining equanimity: Exhale.  Be the sky.

2. Staying focused and getting stuff done: Well, the shit extruder gets a lot done.  You could be that…We ticks don’t look focused, we don’t look like we’re getting stuff done, but amazingly, we are and do…

3. Setting clear priorities and working them: Again, we are very good at that.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his life?

I’d have him give himself more credit for how he deals with the distractions and frustrations of life.

Don’t personalize.  Us trying to suck his blood is nothing personal.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for this person to imagine that they are you and act as you would?

Only when he doesn’t want to feel frustrated or self-critical.

Why do you think that you are in this person’s life?

To help him loosen up and let go, which is paradoxical, because we are masters at holding on.

How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?

Why should he listen to imaginary ticks??

What would you recommend that they do about that?

You get to decide whether we’re pests, avatars, meaningless, or extraordinarily meaningful.  But since you created us, we are a part of yourself.  To assume we are avatars and meaningful is to bet on yourself.  To assume we are pests and meaningless is to bet against yourself.  Which do you want to do?

I think this person had this dream because

He doesn’t give himself enough credit for how well he handles little, daily annoyances.

What have you heard yourself say?

I need to remember how far I’ve come instead of focusing all the time on how far I have to go.

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of who you are, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Laugh at the absurdity of your daily annoyances.  Don’t take them personally.

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