I am back in the town where I grew up, and walk on a pedestrian path up a steep hill with my kicksled. It felt a little funny to be back doing what I had done so many times as a kid. The hill is icy, and I am unable to get up the last 20 meters or so. It is almost vertical and pure ice. Two people are on the side of the path. I notice they are Swedish, sister and brother, in their mid twenties, and dressed in winter sports clothes. They ask me if they can help me up the last bit of the hill. I hesitate as I imagine they may play a prank on me and send me sliding down the hill, but then remember that I cannot get up on my own, so wouldn’t lose much by sliding down either. I accept their offer, and they help me up effortlessly.I have had several dreams over the last year or so on this same theme: almost getting to the top of a hill but unable to make it all the way up, and then being helped up the last stretch.
It seems to reflect the process of doing some work on oneself, and then grace allowing the shift. The work prepares the ground for and invites the shift, but does not cause it. The shift itself is grace. This seems to be true for many areas, such as The Work where I inquire into a belief, and grace allows attachment to it to fall away (or not). When I do the work of deciding to wholeheartedly be with everything alive in my experience, and grace shifting how it appears (or not). When I do the work of headless experiments, and grace allowing a shift into headlessness (or not). Or any other practice for that matter. I do the work, and grace allows for the shift, or not.
(It is of course not really like that. If I look more closely, I see that this “I” the appears to do the work is just an idea of a separate self placed on top of thoughts, decisions and activities, and it is easy to place a sense of separate self on top of these because they tend to be in the foreground of attention. Similarly, what appears as Grace appears as Other because these are dynamics that tends to happen outside of attention. In reality, they are just two aspects of one seamless whole, life manifesting, the activities of the manifest world.)
And it also reflects a dynamic in my daily life. I notice I am in the grips of certain patterns, and am not quite able to get out of them. I admit it to myself. And I ask someone in my life: I am in the grips of this pattern, can you help me? I procrastinate, can you ask me by 8pm if I have done this task? When we go to the store, I want to make sure I don’t get that sugary stuff, can you remind me to not get it? Can you hold me accountable? I do most of the work myself, and also ask for help from others for that last little bit. (Much like a twelve step process.)
Other aspects of the dream:
The number 20 came up twice in the dream, first in the distance to the top and then in the age of the siblings. And they are two, so there is that number again. I am not sure what that is about yet.
The siblings had a freshness and innocence about them that I associate with (some) Scandinavians, and also a great deal of maturity, heart and skills.
I am also not sure why this was in my childhood town. Maybe I am revisiting old patterns established back then, and now am in a position to “get over the hump” with them.