What Your Fantasies are Trying to Tell You

My farm fantasy post generated fascinating comments here and more over at Facebook.

Deanne pointed out,

Living the farm life is damn hard work, too. It just sounds simpler than whatever we are doing at the present moment.

Exactly, Deanne! It just sounds simpler. That’s why we go there!

Our fantasies provide important escape valves for our minds. What we want to be on the look out for is believing our fantasies will provide a easy, magic way to bypass the challenges of life.

Otherwise known as not a good idea.

But that doesn’t mean you want to throw your fantasies out.

Your fantasies are full of juicy clues about your unmet needs.

Let me give you three examples:

The Cheese Shop Fantasy = Otherwise known as selling a tangible product that is not wrestled from your own heart and soul

Possible Unmet Needs:

Down time from creating intensely

Privacy, protecting a part of my heart from sharing through my work

Accurately honoring and measuring the impact I have already had

Real live community

The Perfect Calendar Fantasy = clients on certain days, an email catch up day, August and December off, exercise schedule

Possible Unmet Needs:

Getting ideas and projects out of my mind and held someplace

More support at home and work

A simple plan for a month I can actually live with


The Find My Perfect Calling Fantasy = in which I name and then do work that I love perfectly at all times and never question or get sick of

Possible Unmet Needs:

Feedback that my work and presence in the world matters

Creative play time where nothing need be produced or sold

Connecting with something larger than myself

A peer group to bitch with

What fantasy do you keep entertaining – especially when you are tired and frayed around the edges?

It could be calling you to see and tend a deep need. That need can be addressed within your current life.

Indeed, it must be addressed, but perhaps not by moving to the farm or opening the cheese store but by taking care of yourself within this life, right now.

But what if my fantasies are pointing me toward something I really want?

Then take action on them. Then they become reality, which as Deanne said, is no simpler but may well give you a way to even more fully express your self.

I’d love to hear  your fantasies and what unmet needs they might hold.

I’m off to Kripalu. I look forward to hugging and dancing and journaling and learning with some of you!  Still time to join us!


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Lisa @ The WellGrounded Life - July 1, 2010

Hi Jen,

This post reminded me of one of the exercise in An Artist’s Way where you “dream” up 5 other careers you would choose if you had 5 other lives to live.

For me this was powerful, because I ended up seeing parts of my current life in each of my 5 fantasy careers…AND until that point, hadn’t really appreciated or celebrated those parts of my current life– it really opened me up to so much richness and gratitude for the things I am doing right now.

This is my first time commenting (I think)– but I often read your work and find so much value in it. Thank you for all you do!

lynn @ human, being - July 1, 2010

My biggest fantasy is running off to Mexico, camping on the beach or in a simple pension, and writing to write, eating and living simply

Possible unmet needs:

To be near the ocean with all of its rejuvenating goodness


Permission to let go of life’s clutter

Creative expression, telling my story or making it all up

Katie Hart - July 1, 2010

I’m interested in the concept that perhaps our daydreams are trying to tell us that we are needing something – like when our bodies crave a certain food because we need a nutrient.

Thanks for the insight.

Suzyn - July 1, 2010

Oh, I am so there on the perfect calling fantasy – in fact, that’s been one of my top fantasies since, oh, half-way through high school. For me, though, I think that the unmet need it reflects (one of many) is safety and security – if I found the perfect calling, then I would never need to change or explore again. Knowing that this is just one of my “things,” I use this explanation to chuck the fantasy away – which usually works for, oh, maybe two whole days!! Maybe I should look harder at your list of unmet needs there – they set off a lot of little bells ringing in my head!

katina - July 2, 2010

My personal variant of the Cheese Shop fantasy is a cafe/bookstore, but it’s the same deal: real live community, a tangible product, a bit of anxiety about creating what amounts to digital ephemera.

Oh, Jen, this was miraculously well-timed. Next week, I will be “vacationing” at my home, all alone, while my DH & kids are literally 1,000 miles away visiting the in-laws.

And I just admitted 3 or 4 weeks ago to my best girlfriends that I keep having the recurring fantasy where I create a second life (a real one, not the weird online non-game) complete with a steady freelance income that nobody knows about and a quirky downtown apartment, and one day just leave work and don’t come home. Or go back to work. Just disappear. Part of me said I was plotting a novel, but part of me was worried I was plotting an actual escape plan. 🙁

And I love my husband, kids and job very much. But I’m an introvert and I’ve been faking extraversion for two solid years without a break.

So miraculously, events transpired so that they’re going, I’m staying, I’m off work, and I’m now staring down the barrel of 9 straight days of empty space.

So thank you. This was beautifully helpful. 🙂

Andrew Lightheart - July 3, 2010


Some client days, one catch up day, August/December off and an exercise schedule is a FANTASY?




Susan Gallacher-Turner - July 5, 2010

Love this! Fantasy does speak to real issues, I agree.
Mine…combination of Perfect Calendar and Perfect Calling…
A good flow of creative work & life
Time to chill and exercise
Getting my writing and art out there, getting paid for it and helping others with it
Creative play time where nothing need be produced or sold
A peer group to bitch and support with
Yeah…now when does it all come true?

Lori - July 7, 2010

EXACTLY what Susan said…. As I read your fantasies, the Calendar and Calling were oh so very familiar.

Love this idea of seeing what those fantasies are trying to tell me, rather than my continual striving to make them appear!

Photopoppy - July 15, 2010

Um, yeah. Perfect Calendar Fantasy, that’s me. Especially right now.

I’ll have to file that under “things to think about when I get that month off”….. LOL.

The Very Best of Jen in 2010 » Comfort Queen - December 21, 2010

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Mary Montanye - November 6, 2011

What I love about you most, Jen, is your honesty and courage to share what’s really going on.  When you do that … which is always … you can’t help but touch our hearts and souls deeply.  You speak to those places within that are often so hard for us to reach on our own.  I love this post.  It names my fears clearly and then greet them, give them a cuddle and then continue on the path forward.

    jenniferlouden - November 7, 2011

    OOOOOOhhhhhh Mary you are so in my corner helping me feel my power, thank you thank you thank you!

Laura - April 28, 2012

This is an unbelievably timely post for me. I have the move to a farm and make cheese fantasy and have actually been invited to do so for 6 mos. BUT this morning I told my husband I have a fantasy to be body painted – mind you I’m 50 years old and obese, so I’m not looking for the sexy babe on parade thing. I think this fantasy is about expressing something inside me, some creativity, some honoring and adoring my body. My husband did not want any part of it. I cried. Then later in the day my daughter (not knowing of the earlier conversation) told me one her friends is great at body painting. I can’t wait to call her.

    jenniferlouden - May 6, 2012

    Laura I have been thinking of you. How did the painting go??

      Laura - May 6, 2012

      I didn’t. Looks like I just have to see the fantasy for the message. Look on the inside, see the images, and bring them to life in a real way.
      Unmet Need: Body adoration, Creative Outlet, Colorful and Playful reality.

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