I have always been a dreamer. The sleeping kind. My dreams have convoluted storylines, crazy plot twists, silly backdrops and a cast of characters that are usually familiar to me because they are people I have known throughout my life. Most of the time, I remember my dreams in vivid detail.
So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when my dad showed up in a dream not long after he passed away a few months ago.
In the dream, it was a summer day. The two of us were seated at a round glass umbrella table on a huge cement patio. Lots of tables and chairs just like ours surrounded us – as they might in a picnic area at a beachside restaurant. This was just the kind of place my dad would have loved.
As we stood to leave, a mischievous smile appeared on Dad’s face. He dug three gold coins out of his pocket and began taping them to the table top, laughing while he set up his prank. Confused, I asked him what he was doing.
“Oh, I do this all the time,” he said, full of amusement. “I leave them for the next people so they will be reminded of three important things…bring peace, share joy and show love.”
And then, I woke up.
I’ve never been one to see my dreams as anything more than entertaining. They haven’t predicted great lottery wins or phone calls from long lost friends. They’ve never guided me on some path that I might not have taken if I hadn’t had the vision. Rather, they either jolt me awake or entice me to fall back to sleep to see how they end. I’ve never been able to do that, by the way.
But this dream feels more like a message from my dad. To me, he’s saying this:
Don’t be afraid to smile, laugh and have some fun. I’m gone and you’re the ‘next people.’ While you’re still here, remember this:
Bring peace. In conflict, be the person who’s willing to take the high road or pass the olive branch.
Share joy. Take pleasure in the happiness of others. Life has its ups and downs, be the kind of friend who celebrates the ups and lets go of the downs.
Show love. With your words and with your deeds, make sure those around you know that they matter.
My dad spent most of his career managing people. In the past months, many have reached out to share what a positive impact he had on their work and in their lives. How fitting that he should pop into my dreams with one last leadership message!
Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures.
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