On Christmas Eve, "visions of sugar plums" dance in our heads according to the extremely reliable source of "A Night Before Christmas." But a week later on the stroke of midnight, with Prancer and Dancer still recovering from their sprint around the globe, our visions have shifted. We're no longer envisioning what goodies we'll get (or even what pleasure we'll get from giving), but what personal change we'll make in our livesThis is the annual "midnight visionary" marathon.
The results of this eleventh-hour workout vary. Often we fare much better in the Sugar Plum department than we do in the Makeover department.  In fact, genuine great expectations have been slowly replaced in our culture with a sort of see-how-long-it-lasts cynicism. They probably take bets down at the gym. 

I'm wondering if Carl might have the key to this schism. After all, he did stand up to the formidable Freud. Not like the rest of us did--once Sigmund was dead and couldn't retort. Carl did it while Freud was not only alive, but capable of putting the kibosh on his career. The conversation, condensed and loosely translated to blog-fit, went something like this:

Freud: "People's nightmares and dreams are just their repressed sexual desires disguised to keep them from becoming conscious."
Carl: "I disagree! Dreams have symbolic meaning that are intended to put people in touch with their higher selves."
Freud: "There's no such thing as a higher self."
Carl: "Goodbye, Siggie, you sex-crazed mentor. I am going to go invent Depth Psychology and be the first Jungian analyst."

And with this act of wisdom and courage to recommend him, here's what Carl Gustav Jung said about visions: 

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
 Who looks outside, dreams.
 Who looks inside, awakens."

This would explain why our sincere efforts to change end so often in defeat. We're looking outward to the plan for change instead of looking inward for the pulse of change. It's not that Carl was anti-dreaming (day or night); but he knew, as I believe many of us do, that when we awaken, so will our dreams.

Next Post: Midnight Visionaries, Part 2: Finding the Pulse of Change

Together on the Evolving Journey,