” Braking Down When Your Soul is Breaking Open: How Car Accidents Symbolize Fear of Change”


In the past four days I have been contacted by three people who all were in vehicular accidents: two auto, one motorcycle. In the midst of this I was a guest on a television talk show called View From the Bay. see
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/everything_else&id=7079894. I referenced having had three car accidents in 6 days and have certainly referenced it in my public speaking and other blogs. I realized however, that although I go into more depth about the symbolism of car accidents in my book The LifeQuake Phenomenon, I haven’t discussed in greater depth what they can symbolize in my blog.

Have you ever had a dream where you are the driver of a car and the brakes go out at high speed or you are a passenger and the driver is navigating recklessly all over the road? The first of these can mean you feel your life is out of control and moving too fast. The latter can mean you feel that someone else is in control, recklessly in the driver’s seat of your life. Cars in dreams often symbolize how we are moving through our lives. In the second stage of one of my client’s LifeQuake, he received four parking tickets in a two week period and then his car brake disengaged while parked and rolled into the street. My interpretation of this was that he was over parked in his life and needed to move on from a career he no longer wanted.

In my case, I needed to leave my marriage and was hit from behind three times to push me forward. You really know you need to move on when you think the answer is to stop driving and then get hit while you’re a passenger in the back seat! This was the third and final experience that got me to realize I was holding onto a life that was over.

In a city like Los Angeles, people are very identified with their cars. A car accident can represent a structural change. When a person incurs a back or neck injury, they see a chiropractor unless it requires the medical intervention of an orthopedic surgeon. The opportunity that seeing a chiropractor during a time of great transition provides is that you have to get off “the hamster wheel” and lay still while someone re-aligns your neck and spine three times a week for six weeks. The combination of this pause and restructuring can be used to contemplate the meaning of your accident and what it is trying to tell you.

I would suggest that any illness can be used to turn inward and ask what the function of this is for your life. Besides car accidents, I have found that when I’ve had the flu or a head cold that kept me in bed, I would do this little exercise.
Imagine there is a beautiful ball of light three feet above your head. Breathe in this light through the top of your head. Focus its energy on your neck and spine if you’ve had an accident or are in pain there. If your chest or head is congested ( such as in a cold) focus the light there. For five minutes, just breathe a warm, golden light into your body and then bring your awareness to your heart. Breathe the light into your heart. Now, once you feel a little peace and quiet there, imagine a spiritual guide that you either see or feel the presence of. Ask the guide this question, ” what do you want me to know right now? What is the next step I need to be taking in my life? And then listen patiently for the answer. It may come immediately and it may come at a later time when you least expect it.

When you are back on the mend, you will now be more awake and pro-active. The key to no longer needing wake up calls like car accidents and illnesses is to develop a daily practice of turning within and asking this question: what is my next step? and then decide. Everything comes from your decision. It is all you need to know because it is all you can do next.

Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, transitions coach, and public speaker. She works with people all over the world by phone. 310-712-2600.