Trite Metaphors that Get the Job Done

croppedLife is a journey.

As a metaphor, it’s a bit worn-at-the-seams and softened by time. It reminds me a bit of a stuffed dog I’ve had since childhood: I return to it when the going gets rough.

Today I pulled out the trusty journey metaphor (and the blue dog with the squeaker in his nose).

But let me back up a few nights…

The dreams started as simple murders. One person, one killer. I never saw them – just knew a death had happened.

When I awoke, I thought: change is afoot, I am killing my old life (selling my house, moving from my neighborhood). All makes sense; no worries.

I didn’t pay enough attention to when the dreams changed.

As the nights went on, the murders became serial. The killer wore a pale blue necktie and had a bit of a dark pink glow about him, like the lighting in a noir movie (no, I haven’t a clue what the pink and blue is about. Seemed like interesting details to my subconscious).

I suddenly felt the need to protect myself in a way that I hadn’t during the earlier dreams. As I would surface from dreaming – and feel the pull, the tug, that would yank me back under – I would grab onto an image of protection. My mind went to Bear and I held on tight to that image as I was yanked back into sleep.

Perhaps you figured out where this was going before I did, but needless to say, there have been a few more metaphoric deaths in the past few days than the ones that I had personally put into play.

Which leaves me dusting off both my hiking boots and my life’s a journey metaphor.

Here’s what I have been reminding myself:

If your boots are clean, then you’re an armchair hiker without a dirt path or deer track to your name. Until you’ve done a face plant in the mud, you haven’t actually walked the trail.

Sometimes I think the entirety of a “good life” comes down to the willingness to break in your boots and wear your mud with pride.

Just like you, I have trouble believing this when I am on the ground with my face full of mud.

But time goes by, the path unfolds, and new vistas open up. And if they don’t, then I know I am not done journeying.

In the meantime, the mud is pretty good for my complexion… and yours, too! Try a green clay mud mask with a drop of helichrysum essential oil. After it dries, steam it off. I like a drop of neroli in the water I use for steaming.

Does this solve life’s problems? Hell no. But sometimes a little bit of nurturance goes along way when the road has been long and the mud has been deep.

What do you do to nurture yourself when the going gets rough? Share with us below!


  1. says

    Fix a cup of warm milk/honey/vanilla/splash of rose water, grating of nutmeg; write a poem; take a long nap. Three days seems about right. Oh, and start with the daily squirts of St. John’s Wort tincture. Blessed herb makes all the difference — I’ve been known to confuse my self with the problem; St. John clarifies.

    • says

      I love a little Rose water (or Avena’s Rose Petal Elixir) with my warm milk and honey but I usually add cinnamon– nutmeg sounds like a yummy switch.

      Thanks for sharing that energetic on St. John’s wort, Terry-Anya, I have never thought of it that way!

  2. Yarrow says

    Lol! The humor in your writing makes my day!

    Last night I tried a mask of french green clay with a drop of patchouli essential oil. Its scent was earthy and comforting. Next time I would love to try steaming it off, as you suggested.

    Thanks Maia!

  3. says

    Another beauty, Maia.

    The reason those tried-and-true metaphors are thread bare is because they’ve helped many writers find their way. There’s something to be said for sticking to what works.


  4. says

    Taking garlic pills caused me to have dreams like this….
    and eating too many cloves in spaghetti sauce will cause these dreams, too,
    for me. I only know 2 other people who are effected this way by garlic.

    • says

      The digestive tract and the nervous system are closely aligned, so if garlic is agitating your intestines a smidge, than it could effect your dream time too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Barbara says

    These concepts are new to me, but are teasings of a ‘perfect answer’ to an expanding question in my present life – a tired restlessness that needs definition and acceptance. In other words, I’m sort of stuck and need to break away from status quo. In the past I have recorded dreams and used them to form decisions that have served me well. Not sure I want to consume more garlic than I already do so I’ll begin researching herbs to jazz up a dream life for purpose of guidance. Any suggestions from readers are most welcome.

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