Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Double Your Lifetime Theory of Dreaming

If I pay attention to my dreams, if they inform my waking and enliven my sleep, I live twice the lifetime of experiences.  Not only that, I live life with one foot in physical reality and the other in the spiritual worlds, if I so choose.

So many theories about dreaming are "psychological" only, they posit mental health reasons why dreams are beneficial, or why there are social advantages to following dreams, but they neglect what the indigenous ancestors of all people knew.  Dreams are real experiences.  We visit a dream world and those from the dream worlds visit us.

This doesn't preclude other empirically provable effects of paying attention to our dreaming life; dreams can reveal to us suppressed emotions and hold a mirror up to our ego as it navigates the many relationships of the physical world.  They definitely have psychological benefits, but I'm way more than meets the I.  This I is only one of the potentially many egos I've embodied on this physical plane, lifetimes ago.  Dreams invite me to consider all the possibilities of my experiences before and after death.  Growing research and literature in many contemporary fields such as physics, medicine and spirituality increasingly points to an awareness that the material world is not what it seems, that we outlive this physical existence in non-physical form.  We no longer have to give our heads to Science (material left brain logic) and our hearts to Religion (dogma based spirituality).  Dreaming is organic spirituality; it comes from within, as in "the kingdom of god" is within, as Jesus noted. It makes us our own spiritual authorities and encourages us to live a more involved, inner life, as well as a more informed and entertaining waking life.

We are spiritual beings here to experience a physical lifetime for some purpose to be discovered through living this lifetime.  What tempers the fear and insecurity inherent in finite physical existence is a knowing, that can come from listening to our dreams, that there is much more to experience than physical reality and that Love is paramount.  Love is the coin of eternal life.

This isn't to say that mystical, magical living involves material destitution.  But as all good witches and wizards know, intent is everything.  Putting all our intent on making it here has its hazards, as does putting it all in a spiritual existence that denigrates the physical, like the patriarchal male priesthoods do.  In the best ancient spiritual practices, it is always about balance.  Domination is a patriarchal invention.  The opposite of domination is balance, sharing and mutual respect.

If we think this is all there is, just as if we're afraid of what might be when we die, we miss the freedom from bullshit that living a life with awareness of waking and dreaming, ego and spirit, can give one.  There are so many great teachers out there right now, it behooves us all to learn to dream well so that we can accomplish what our best dreams urge us to do.

Active Dreaming, created by author and teacher extraordinaire, Robert Moss, is the most versatile and accessible dreaming practice I've encountered in my thirty plus years of studying and teaching dream "interpretation" theories and methods.  I've used it with children, teens, and adults of all ages. Some important aspects of this practice are: it protects the dreamers authority regarding what the dream means as well as the dreamers privacy; it's not therapy, but it can be incredibly therapeutic; it's an active approach, whole bodied and whole-hearted, drumming, singing and lots of laughter; it fuels creativity, it offers possibilities way beyond cerebral dualities; and one of my favorite reasons for using the tools of this practice to connect people to their dreaming is that Active Dreaming is accessible, simple, direct and clean of dogmatic baggage.  The dreamer learns to depend on her or himself for all aspects of dreaming, waking and in the dream worlds; I am only the guide till the dreamer finds "that in dreams, the soul has wings." (Robert Moss, in The Way of the Dreamer.)

The reason to double my lifetime by dreaming actively is that in reality, I'm connecting to my immortal lifeline.  In essence I learn to stop seeing this lifetime as a limited time only and to not fear death.  What I discover is that I chose to be here in this physical plane now, but I'm not alone or in peril of losing my soul.  I may be challenged, but I can't be defeated.  I am loved because the essence of all that is, is Love.  Love is the energy that fuels everything.  And no particular group has the answer to how to live my life; it's up to me to figure it out with the help of dream guidance. When I learn to trust my dreams and not fear them, I've opened the door to my spiritual existence and to the help I need to get through.  I've also expanded my life experience, no longer ignoring all that happens in the night, I benefit from far more choice than mere waking experience can give me.

If you'd like to hear a lively discussion of Active Dreaming for creative and expansive living, I have the pleasure of talking with Robert Moss on his international radio show, The Way of the Dreamer, October, 10/11/2016, noon to 1pm EST. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I, Ya, Yay

Let's talk about Ego.  Thanks to the teachings of contemporaries like Eckhart Tolle, one of Oprah's wunderkinds, we are becoming more aware of that pesky part of us.  The Beatles sang about it: "I, Me, Me, Mine." Ancient mystics have long known that the part of us that's eternal can't afford to completely identify with the physical experience of the soul because that experience is so temporary and fraught with fuck ups.

Yet, there are many, many people who get stuck in that physical ego identified existence and it can lead to some dismal human choices.  Those who are identified with eternity weigh their choices based on the long term good for all, as well as the short term good for me.  We keep having to live it till we get it right and the currency of the universe is Love.  Love is much bigger than Hallmark, romantic conventions or money.  Love is courage.  In French, "coeur" is heart.  That's why I say that dreams give us the courage to live from our hearts.  They connect us to our eternal soul.

Anytime we choose to love in the face of hate, to contribute as well as receive, we extend our consciousness both forward and back in time, into lifetimes we've lived and lives we'll be living.  What clogs everything up is hate.  Hate and fear, fear and hate. We're here to do something in the name of Love.  We each will die; we each will live on, perhaps to incarnate physically again.  Perhaps we choose. As I appear to be here now, I have to ask myself; what am I here to learn?  What am I here to do?  How can I more precisely align with my authentic self while I'm here?

The good news is that for over a century, Spirit has been sweeping humanity and waking us from the lethargy of false paradigms like patriarchy.  I know that dreams and the dream channels are a huge part of this revolution; that's what I love to share with you on Lita Dreaming.  We are being invited to tune in to the bigger picture.  Yes, we'll each die but we aren't extinguished.  We go on, and on, and on, and on.  So an obvious question to me is what shall I do Now?

It appears to me that I chose, as the Chinese curse goes, an interesting time to incarnate again.  The most colossal ego America has ever seen is running on the presumption that everybody loves a bully and he, in particular, can do no wrong.  He could shoot someone on a posh NYC street and still get elected.  Wow!  So who votes for Mr. All-Ego?  Mini-egos?

As Tolle loves to point out, the ego is insane.  Jung taught that if the ego becomes rigid and the person completely identifies with it, they are in the grip of whatever the unconscious sends their way.  Without the awareness of something bigger than ego/I and without the ability to dialogue with our own larger Self, a person loses the opportunity for spiritual growth that incarnation offers.  They can also make physical life extremely unpleasant for others because they see themselves as an isolated I instead of a spirit Being, whole, eternal, connected to All That Is.  The I sees no need to share, connect, understand or love because it can dominate with all the opposite forces; yet, as Wicca puts it, what goes around comes around.  Jesus stated this universal law as, do unto others as you would have them do to you.

So, what values will fuel our vote?  Are we citizens with civic responsibility or consumers looking for the best deal for ourselves, too bad about anything else?  Are we aware of our own spiritual responsibility to use this life for service as well as for gain?  Do we know that we are free from all but our own inner dictums and that dreams are our way to Skype Home?  Can we get outside of our little thinking ego personalities with its likes and opinions and connect to our hearts?  What is the best possible scenario for our future, our children's future and the future of all the world's peoples?  What will we be able to tell our loved ones on the other side about our lives, why we lived them as we did and how we feel about it all once we cross over?

I cringe every time I hear some minimally informed person proclaim they will vote for this man because he's so good in business, he knows how to "deal."  Wow, that's not even true.  Over and over, reliable sources have reported his bankruptcies, his broken promises and betrayals of honor and trust,  Trump university, beefsteaks, casinos, on and on.  He claims he'll bring jobs back and has outsourced his clothing line to the Mexican people he reviles. But, at this moment in time, he's not the real focus of my concern. It's us, the citizens of this great nation.  What is it we dream? Is it a dream worthy of eternity?  I hope so.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Paradigm Shift: Revolution from Within

You say you want a revolution, well, you know...I agree; we need a revolution - a revolution from within, a paradigm shift.  Even though Trump is living up to the scary picture I had of him from the beginning, I propose that now is not the time to give up the ship, nor to bail on karmic duty.  The revolution that can derail the great pus pimple of world wide domination by very nasty men, (Putin, Trump, ISIL, etc.) is a revolution from within; a revolution in the human psyche.

British writer, Tobias Stone, looks at the Brexit and Trump phenomena and, based on what he believes is our innate self-destructive human behavior, predicts another huge blood bath, the trademark of patriarchal history. And who knows, Tobias muses, like at other moments of historical horrors, we resilient little devils recover and seem to do even better, (like cockroaches?).   

Stone's analysis assumes that the written "his-story" of patriarchy, a mere 6 or 7 thousand year old social structure, defines who we are as humans.  Scientific findings place humans many thousands of years earlier, based on amazing artifacts like 32,000 year old cave paintings.  "Anthropological evidence suggests that most prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies were relatively egalitarian, and that patriarchal social structures did not develop until many years after the end of the Pleistocene era, following social and technological developments such as agriculture and domestication." Wiki

The stunning fact is that humanity was not always warlike, violent and aggressive, not even the males.  Women and men shared communal power and responsibilities; most ancient ritual artifacts uncovered by archeology point to a Feminine Divine.   There was a time when hate didn't prevail or triumph, there was a time when women and men cared for each other and for young and old alike.  The patriarchal myth that human beings are naturally violent, vengeful and cold-blooded is recent. We can't look at what records remain through the lens of a false paradigm because all we'll see are our own projections, like cave men dragging cave women by the hair.  For a stunning narrative of human history and how having a bigger picture (paradigm) might help us create a better future read, Riane Eisler's book, "The Chalice and the Blade: Our Past, Our Future."

The revolutionary challenge is to think differently, quite literally outside the box, in the circle.  It's not the polemic way of thinking patriarchal paradigms teach, either this or that, yes or no, right or wrong. Patriarchal thinking is based on absolutes, on power-over models of domination, on might makes right and on righteous, extreme violence in the name of sating the Father's wrath. In Dr. Eisler's words, “In sum, the struggle for our future is . . . the struggle between those who cling to patterns of domination and those working for a more equitable partnership world." I'm not surprised that Hillary Clinton's slogan is "We are stronger together" while Trump's is "I alone can fix it?" 

We're at a human crossroads; we don't have to keep choosing a paradigm that divides and kills to conquer. A huge shift in emphasis is that women's rights are human rights, the imbalance in representation and legal protection around the world has to be corrected on every level for all humanity to thrive. It's just common Zen.  Hillary Clinton has for decades championed issues to benefit women and children around the globe; having her as our POTUS sends the absolute right message to every corner of our planet.  This is better than landing on the moon to prove how cool we are as a country.

We need a paradigm shift in which we look away from a daddy figure who can fix it (If DT saying 'who's your daddy?' doesn't scare you, I can't imagine what might.). The new approach at fixing things is to ask ourselves, what's my contribution?  Partnership, cooperation, compassion and understanding may be slower tools than shock and awe, but, truthfully, how have the blood baths been working?

A paradigm shift might take a long time to actualize, or perhaps no time at all.  I don't know.  It is, however, in process right now; each of us can have a part in growing the change we want to see happen.

In my dream of our immediate future, we come together as never before to give back in our communities and our country; we treat each other with respect, regardless of differences, and we take pride in this great rainbow nation led by our first woman president.  For those who persist in their bullying, jeering and hating, let's call them Roger:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Big Dream Picture

I’ve had enough of the Hillary hating.  I expect it from Trump-trumpeters, but from Bernie Sander’s supporters?

Why?  Why this exorbitant degree of visceral hating for a person who has done more than most to serve her country in a variety of exceedingly demanding offices, taking on civic responsibilities that far exceed what the average Joe or Jill ever gives in service for their country. 

I once had a very special dream, a birthday present to me, as it was my birthday.  It was a few years after my dad had crossed over. He’d visited me before in dreams, but he hadn’t in a while.  Papi and I stood in front of a giant screen TV watching rebellions around the world ignite into bloody battles, the dis-empowered fighting the might of the privileged in power. 

In the dream, we both know it’s a huge uprising of clashing male ideologies; yet also that the Feminine is rising.  He says; “It’ll be a blood bath” as he looks on what this huge TV is broadcasting.  I turn my eyes from the screen to him and say; “Patriarchy has been one blood bath after another.”

I love this dream.  First of all, it was a genuine visitation, me - him, on the same side, watching and observing.  This dream came over twenty years ago, but I think of it over and over as I watch the world explode in rage and raging, on small and large scales. Patriarchy has been one blood bath after another.

Secondly, it’s palpably precognitive. The first clue for me is in the imagery  of transmission via TV, screens or other communication devices.  It’s a clever dream ploy for; “Hey, here’s some possible news of interest for you.  Now, what, while awake, will you do about it? Like it or not, here it comes.”

My waking response is to dream the future I want to see happen with all my might, while there’s still a chance we can make a difference at this important juncture in our collective human existence on the planet.  In our situation, right now, it’s up to each individual to contribute something while here in the physical. 

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the best person for the critically sensitive job of POTUS, the spokesperson for our country, at this important moment in time. Here's an excellent explanation of why written by Michael Arnovitz.  Our present POTUS, who according to most recent polls, has earned our collective respect, also thinks so.  As another dream I’ve already told you about implies, it’s up to each of us to preside over the good we do on this planet. We need a spokesperson who can navigate the current patriarchal minefield of explosive situations, here and around the world, so each of us is free do our own wee bit.

The Dalai Lama has credited western women with the potential to save the world. I believe we have the monumentally important opportunity to set an example for the world and tell everybody it’s time to start listening to their mamma.  It’s time we take women’s position in the world ultra-seriously, and what better way for us Americans to send that message than to elect this very qualified and extremely well vetted candidate? 

Ironically, the reactions I often hear from Hillary haters seem a bit hysterical and without solid underpinning in fact. I ask myself, what is this visceral reaction some people have to Hillary Clinton?  Honestly, what has she done so wrong as to merit such hostile disdain?  People say she’s a liar, but as Arnovitz points out, she is considered the most truthful of all the 2016 candidates by the fact checking organization, Politifact. She's had to endure an insane number of lies and disrespect, aimed at her by both self-described “conservatives” and “liberals" yet, she continues to win supporters and forge ahead.

Is she a person who’s changed, evolved and grown; most definitely. You can’t take on the jobs representing this country to the vast and diverse world as successfully as she has and not actually change and grow.  Been around the world lately, sitting in pow-wow with some of the most dangerous and, sometimes, misogynist men on the planet, have you?   Why do people trivialize the things this person has accomplished? 

Well, honestly, I did see it happen over and over again to President Obama.  The disrespect and dismissal from the pea-brain populace, the obstructionism of the Republican party, blatant, ignorant knee jerk racism, has been embarrassing to witness.  Interestingly, almost all of it is confined to the US.  President Obama has been highly respected around the world since his first inauguration; he is now, highly respected at home, as well. Is there, as Arnovitz points out in his excellent analysis, a strong sexist current beneath the vitriol towards HRC, as well?

Probably. It may seem hard to believe, but patriarchal sexism is a deeply entrenched psychic paradigm, perhaps more deeply entrenched than racism.  It bears examining; is it about a woman flying the plane?    Like President Obama, I think HRC, once in office, will work well with diverse groups, and, hopefully, given her strong and capable network of supporters, accomplish a great many of the social reforms listed in the democratic platform.

The voting decision of each person in this presidential election is of great consequence.  It’s an opportunity for us to carry forward a rational and heart full agenda for our planet, not just for us, for generations to come around the world.  We just have to survive our huge mistakes until we can fix them.  HRC is the best person for the presidential job at this time.  Her most vital qualifications to me are that I trust her to make good judgments in difficult circumstances that will affect me directly as a citizen of this country and to protect my civil liberties and respect my contributions, which are my civic duty to make. 

The body politic is us.  We aren’t voting for a personality, or a high school class president, we’re voting for POTUS. It’s not just about HRC, it’s about us.  We need a chance, each of us, to make things right, to work on the platform issue we feel near and dear to our hearts.  So, please, don’t make this a personality contest; check your facts.  Her service is public record; she has been the target of scandal after scandal propagated by her political enemies, but she is always exonerated and continues in public service.  

If you don’t like her, at least revue the platform she’s running on.  Why do you think Sen. Sanders endorsed her?  Does it come as a surprise; didn’t you watch the respect he showed her from the first debate?  The man likes her and will be a good ally to her.  All of a sudden you don’t respect him?  He’s a sell out?  Read the platform she will be promoting and compare it to Drumpf’s, or the Republican party's; good luck with that.  Above all, don’t abandon this country in a snit of righteous indignation. I’ve even heard some disgruntled Berners say it would serve this country right if we get Trump.  Really?  How is that going to help anything? If you can't trust Hillary Clinton, please ask yourself how we progressives will fare in a Trump presidency.  And, trust Bernie; he's the same guy he was when you supported him and he asks you to vote for her. 

This election isn't about HRC.  It’s about what a wise idea it is to keep someone level-headed and responsible in the highest office of the land and one of the most prestigious in the world.  It’s an important job.  Who is best qualified?  Wasn't she the first to courageously champion universal health care in America; that's one of the platform items Bernie and she share.    What does Trump stand for; what's his platform?  
I just hope that when push comes to shove, people vote with a deep consideration of what the outcome of that vote is likely to be.  I dream an America where a capable woman is finally awarded the most important job in the world. I dream of a world in which each of us feels free to make a positive contribution.  I envision us evolving out of bloody patriarchal mindsets, into an expanded awareness of our collective capacity to solve problems without bloodbaths.  I want the happy ending; don’t you?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

To Be or Not To Be...or to Always Be

“To be…or not to be”, those infamous words spoken by the befuddled prince of plays, weigh the pros and cons of living vs. dying;.  Here’s a translation of Hamlet's famed soliloquy from the Shakespeare:-) to remind you.

“The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all? Dying, sleeping—that’s all dying is—a sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life on earth gives us—that’s an achievement to wish for. To die, to sleep—to sleep, maybe to dream. Ah, but there’s the catch: in death’s sleep who knows what kind of dreams might come, after we’ve put the noise and commotion of life behind us. That’s certainly something to worry about. That’s the consideration that makes us stretch out our sufferings so long.”

Shakespeare’s insight into death and dreaming in these famous lines is uncanny. Hamlet is caught up in the dualism that plagues patriarchal paradigms, you’re either this or that, dead or alive. Today, the doors of consciousness and inner space are blown wide open by gifted pioneers in every science and spirituality; the paradigms that bound our patriarchal ancestors don’t bind us now, unless we choose to be bound.  Belief in our time doesn't require "blind faith." Once when Carl Jung, that great pioneer of psyche, was asked about his belief in God, he replied,  "Believe? I don't believe.  I know."

How did he know? Through direct experience of his own consciousness outside the body, through dreaming, visions and his signature contribution, synchronicity.  He was raised a minister’s son and became a doctor in the pioneer field of psychology, as ruled then by Sigmund Freud.  He rebelled against SF’s materialistic dogma about the human psyche and spoke of the soul. Robert Moss dubs him a shaman of the west, or as Jung himself jested, he was a witch doctor for Europeans. 

Since Jung, many have continued to explore the inner realms, and many have come full circle, to acknowledge that much of what we’re discovering, we’re re-discovering.  History is the story as told by the conqueror and the conquerors were very, very wrong.  Many ancient and indigenous cultures were treated as primitive, savage, tribal, uncivilized, heathen and ungodly by white, patriarchal, western European "civilizations" who believed bloody conquest was their God given right, as they fought for Him.

Think of the bloodshed and cruelties in the name of righteous religions that still rain on the faithful and unfaithful alike.   Religious laws, strictures and competing divinities are responsible for such an unnatural percentage of the world’s pain that we ought to stop and think more about what we really want from our religions.  If it’s love and peace, religion might not be your best bet.  The us vs. them mentality that won’t back down and needs to win at all costs makes the human experience into a football match.  Ancient earth religions offered a much deeper spirituality, All is One. The divine which we call by different names can be experienced personally in dreams, visions, meditation and in nature.  Consciousness or soul or whatever we end up calling it, doesn’t die and may visit this earth plane many times, by choice, perhaps with some passion to fulfill.

The consciousness revolution of our time points to a new awareness of reality that is completely organic.  It’s like having a belly button to the inside where the cord is never cut.  There is no free fall forever. Gruesome as death can be in the physical, (birth is also an immense physical challenge), across the bridge of death, the gates of Love are open and we’re greeted and seen as we most need to be. 

This isn’t faith, this is the story told by innumerable women and men, in all walks of life, around the world, who’ve crossed the boundaries in some way.  The growing literature being produced by respected professionals in the fields of psychology and medicine, as well as by first-hand "experiencers" of near death, out of body travels, dreaming and after death communication leaves doubt of after death survival to only the most entrenched.

The implication for Hamlet, for instance, might then be that suicide or not, he will still have to deal with the circumstances and choices that are hanging him up, in the physical or in any dimension that follows the physical.  He might just want to be a regular guy, party with Horatio and marry Ophelia, but no, here’s his father’s ghost demanding revenge and telling him way more than he really wants to know.  So, he’s stuck thinking only he can solve this problem and that his only choice is to give up all his joy and fulfill what’s expected of him.

Let’s take Hamlet out of his torment and put him in a parallel universe, perhaps in the present, where his choice is much broader.  We live forever, Hamlet; your father and his brother will eventually face each other, so help your father find his way on the other side and ask yourself: what have I come to do in this life? Where is my joy? If my joy is in justice, then I will fight for it openly and call to account whom I choose. Joy isn’t always a belly laugh, it’s however it feels to be completely centered in your own being and purpose, sure of the great beyond without the wagging fingers of “god-betweens”. 

To be, to really, really be…as much as I can, as loving as I can, with gentleness and kindness for all, is the quest that brought my soul to this plane of existence.  To each, his or her own quest, but all quests lead to Home and dreaming is a sure road back and forth, a gift to explore.  Religion asks you to follow blindly.  Your dreams offer you experience of “spiritual” realities before you cross into them again at death.  If you fear your dreams, a common experience in our toxic psychic and physical environments, there are many ways to find your way back in them. 

The question of our times is not to be or not to be.  It’s what should I do while I’m still here? What made me want to come here in the first place?  What do I want to take with me?  What can I do better? What will make me happiest as I look back on my life? What do I want to happen in the thought responsive realms I will be living in next? What do I want to happen here? What matters most to me?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The American Dream...again

Back in June, when Donald (Drumpf) Trump announced with  unprecedented vitriol, racist hate against Mexicans, and with his  noxious self-aggrandizement, that he would once again, run for POTUS, my favorite political satirists like Jon Stewart, believed his bid a joke.  So, it got me to wondering about the people and the ethos in this country that would happily see him succeed; I asked what is the American Dream?

Now, after ten months of freak show, I have to ask it again. What is the American dream - to you?  It's a question I think each American has to answer.  The consensus answer will create our future and impact the entire planet for generations to come. But before we answer, let's remember that what brought the Pilgrims here was a search for sanctuary from religious tyranny in England.  Unfortunately, they themselves projected that huge shadow of theocratic cruelty on the indigenous peoples they met in this "sanctuary," claimed for the white-skins of Europe by the  explorer, Christopher you know who.

By way of historical correction, I thought about calling Christopher a son of a bitch, because as his historians say, he was a cruel man, but it's misogynist, as the bitch here is to blame. Then I thought to use the word, bastard, but same thing.  Bastard is an illegitimate child under many patriarchal laws around the world.  Any woman who dares have a child on her own, give it her name, dooms not only herself to social disgrace, but also her child, to varying degree, depending on the strictness of the patriarchy.  So, why should I perpetuate this subtle, psychic brainwashing by using the language that these laws have coined? I'll come up with something new: let's see; what fits?  Ah, yes.  Devil; one who worships evil, i.e., himself, and perpetuates unspeakable, unbearable and unnecessary cruelty on everything that thwarts him. 

Back to my American Dream.  You see, America, today, is a place where one is free to grow; rich is only one avenue, a rather temporal, though popular one.  However,  we live in the Age of Consciousness, the age of inner-space exploration and new quantum paradigms.  Why dream the same old dream?  

We also live in a time of great crisis and great opportunity as the wise ones have said.  We will create the reality we give our energy to, our inward and outward allegiance.  "The world is as we dream it", is at once ancient shamanic knowledge and the title of a great book by John Perkins about shamanic wisdom.

As a woman, who is also an American citizen, I'm appalled that the rights our grandmothers fought for, a fight in which they sacrificed a great deal, (as did the brave men who fought with them) should be again jeopardized by religious extremists seeking to rule. Women fought a literal war with men who denied them, who governed them, in order to win the right to vote. TO VOTE for holiness sake!  (As historical review, I recommend two recent films, "Suffragette" and "Iron Winged Angels.")  It was no tea party for our women ancestors; they had no acknowledged voice or choice in government or in society. 

Voting was just one battle; they also had to fight for reproductive freedom, for rights and protection against laws that prevent her from exercising stewardship over her own body. The battle continues to this day, in this election and around the world. Patriarchal theocracies are still seeking to control her.
How can the grand daughters and sons, the great grand daughters and sons, of those brave freedom fighting forebears, (quite literally) allow this country to once again be ruled publicly and personally by authoritarian and patriarchal theocracy and corporatacracies?

Here's my dream.  In this difficult election season that has people in conflict and on edge, we take a moment to breathe, to center and realize that Never will there be as important a time as NOW.  (Just ask one of my favorite contemporary teachers in the Consciousness Movement, Eckhart Tolle.)

After that wonderful, centering deep breath, we each connect with the heart, with what your heart truly loves.  If it's money, okay, but there's so much more!  Whatever you learn and how ever greatly you love, that goes with you; the money, property and power stays.  I dream that we dare to dream a new dream, one where losing our fear of death, we see life with new eyes and find meaning through inner as well as outer riches.  I dare to dream that amassing riches will never again be literal, ugly and world destructive, just the opposite.  We'll dream ourselves into a future we want instead of waking up in one we fear.

The story we tell ourselves is supremely important.  There's the communal patriarchal story we've been immersed in for so long which promotes fear and separation, and there's the deeper story, one that promotes hope.  I AM immortal NOW.  I'm an immortal having this experience.  I've volunteered for this stint on earth, this physical reality.  (I love how when I say say, "Sheesh, what a world, my life partner, Jim responds; "It's not the world, it's the people in it.  The world is a beautiful place.") 

The world is as we dream it; life is as we dream it.  What is our dream, collectively as Americans?  What is our vision for "the future?" Perhaps, we've all got a mission to accomplish and a lesson to learn in this present reality that we can take Home with us when we die. How should that color our collective dream?

Fear of death, of what we believe about death is another hot topic in the New Consciousness movement.  For the sake of brevity, we live in a time of exploring that final frontier. It behooves a person to come out from the fug of patriarchal paradigms, especially as they envelop spirituality, and smell the coffee; we have delicious opportunities for personal and collective growth.  Dreams are our organic spirituality and our passkey to where we came from an where we're going; both sleep dreams and waking dreams.  We can learn to use them to heal ourselves, each other and our relationship to this beautiful planet.

To dream awake is to imagine from the heart; to come from the heart is very different than to come from the wallet.  To come from fear and hate is very different than to come from love and trust.  Depending on where you come from, you'll do different things, make different choices.  Each choice matters.  If you know that you'll live after death, just the way you're living now and beyond, then it colors your choices. 

As a woman on this physical plane, I don't know about you, but I don't want to go through the shit great-grand mama did, or that generations of suffering, confined, mistreated and beleaguered women before her did, ever again.  NEVER AGAIN!  I also count on other men and women, sisters and brothers, lovers and parents, not to allow fear and mistrust to obscure the dream we create for ourselves.  For me, that dream includes freedoms that go way beyond the nearsighted grab for money that doesn't see beyond these borders, these mind forged manacles, as Blake put it. 

I dream freedom to grow as my heart tells me to grow.  It's freedom to do the job I was sent here to do in the most loving, creative way I can.  If I'm a woman, in a temporal paradigm, I want to make sure ridiculous, confining and sadistic laws don't keep me from being free.

Women, some women, have only recently enjoyed, in the patriarchal 6 thousand year global paradigm we've endured, the freedom from the legal, social and moral restraints that theocratic male rule has inflicted on them.  Case in point, I think of how one of my favorite mystery authors recently wrote  about witch burning in such a way that I know she never would have done of the more well known Jewish genocide of the mid-twentieth century: jokingly.  "Witch" was an accusation in Medieval patriarchy; it was and often, it still is. Back then, it meant death to be called a witch; you remember Salem.  What made all this unnecessary cruelty to women possible?  Religious patriarchal theocracies.

It doesn't matter if that theocracy is Christian, Muslim or Judaic, the Big Three Traditions.  If a woman is not legally, socially and personally free to do, say and be as she pleases, she is a slave.  Our great-grandmas fought bitterly to give us the right JUST TO VOTE!

My American Dream is of a land where most people are waking up to the great New Reality that includes immortality NOW.  The violence that is so prevalent, and has always been in patriarchies, will give way to kindness and creativity. We'll collectively dream ways to live that aren't the way we're living now.  We'll continue to support the basic rights of sisters and brothers to not be like us; respecting each other, we'll create new communities.  We'll open our doors to what it's possible to achieve through fearless love and wisdom; we'll support each other in our best efforts and in living our best dreams.

So dream big and vote carefully! Abigail Adams once requested of her loving, Father of Independence, husband, "Remember the ladies" when you draft your legislation.  Though her request fell on mostly deaf and mocking ears among the ruling elite, let her voice ring clearly in our vote, NOW. And let's dream a world without end, forever and ever.  Amen and Awomen. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Inner Child

photo by Luba Rasine; The Sparkly Water

When I'm feeling inexplicably sad or the like, I look for my Inner Child to check on how she's doing.  I use the Active Dreaming technique of journeying to meet her in a familiar place, usually a dream place.

When I journeyed to meet her today, I was surprised and deeply re-assured to meet my wonderful friend, Bear, the huge grizzly that once scared the pajamas off me in a "nightmare." It also made sense, because as Robert Moss frequently points out, the Inner Child will often feel protected and comforted by large animal guides.

To begin with, I sat in silence with my feelings of sadness to see where they traced, and yes, my little girl was sad.  As often happens in dreams and journeys, the unexpected takes over and something real happens; I know it's real because it's so unexpected.  I witnessed her tears and bent to comfort her where she sat curled into herself, and that's when I felt the presence of Grizzly Bear from that long ago dream.  After that, I had flashing images of all the Black Bear guides that have been showing up in my dreams frequently over the past few years. Each image gave me huge comfort and a true sense of being loved and assisted. Finally, I saw this wonderful scene from a card I have by Hillary Bird; a little girl in a teepee with a bear, sitting crossed legged opposite each other, obviously deep in warm conversation, though they are depicted as silhouettes against the beautifully painted canvas of the tent glowing from within.

Relief from sadness flooded me, as it became my little girl in that teepee telling Bear all she was feeling.  She wasn't talking about past stuff alone, she was talking about what "I" was feeling now, she wasn't even talking to me, the observer/big sister.  My restlessness, lack of productivity and despondency were inexplicable to me, not at all caused by anything in my environment I couldn't fix; well, most of it anyway, (what I can't fix, I choose to accept in love).  Bear listened and Bear advised.  The shift I felt is comparable to leaving a great therapy session. I am so grateful.

The Inner Child has been on my mind for another reason, too. One student I'm working with has a clear image of a five year old self from a dream of that age; thus, she has a portal to genuine interaction with that aspect of herself and is exploring what she might learn developing this inner relationship. It's fun for me as a dream guide because I can readily identify with the experience of first connecting to my own five year old self through a dream and synchronicity experience 15 years apart.  I share that with you in Crocodile Friday.

What is the "Inner Child"?  To be objective, I did a quick search and got:

 "... a person's supposed original or true self, especially when regarded as damaged or concealed by negative childhood experiences."
"...inner child is our childlike aspect. It includes all that we learned and experienced as children, before puberty. The inner child denotes a semi-independent entity subordinate to the waking conscious mind." (my underline:-)

I know from my own studies and practice as a counselor, that there are many good psychological theories of the gifted/wounded inner child and its effects on our emotions, behavior and self-image. In my view, no theory around will give me a better insight into my own inner child than connecting with her, just as if I wished to reconnect with any friend or relative.  I'd make the effort to see and talk to them; to listen to how their life is going and catch up. 

One of the many gifts of a dream practice like Active Dreaming is that things go from the theoretical to the poignantly personal and experiential very quickly.  You're consciously exploring dreaming locales in a spirit, energy or imaginal body.  I don't think any amount of talking, Left brain, analysis or theorizing can yield such rich results so quickly. In my experience, genuine interaction flows from Right brain, creative approaches to engaging the dream character, symbol or place. 

In Robert Moss's wonderful book, "The Boy Who Died and Came Back: Adventures of a Dream Archaeologist in the Multiverse" he writes:

We are at the center of all times. The dramas of lives being lived in other times and in parallel realities may be intensely relevant to understanding and navigating our current relationships and life issues.  We can learn to reach into those other lives to share gifts and lessons.  We can dialogue with our own older and younger selves within our present lifetimes.  We must entertain the spirits, starting with our very own - the child self, the inner artist, the passionate teen, the animal spirits the creative daimon.  p. 13.

One would think that we'd welcome our little girls and boys home to us with open arms, like we might do puppies or kittens, but I've noticed in my own and others' experience that there can be quite a bit of resistance.  Why is that? What sometimes comes up is a very judgmental adult ego self, one that will not let that little kid be flawed in any way, who might want to get away from that little child and who needs to learn love and compassion for that child before that "inner child" may agree to come home for a re-union.   This was a fascinating discovery for me, one that time and again, my dreams have assisted in clarifying.  Like all inner work, depending on the degree of trauma suffered in childhood, it may require wise, compassionate counseling to undertake in highly traumatic cases.

When I encounter in myself unwillingness to embrace an aspect of myself, especially a child aspect as she manifests, I want to face my own resistance.  If she won't talk to me, it's up to me to figure out what it will take to strengthen our bond, to make her comfortable with me and me with her, to "entertain" her.  I ask myself, what am I holding back? Am I judging this child for something?  Has this child's voice gotten overlaid by an older self, inhibited, saddened or repressed?  What I want to see is her smile, her joy, her bliss and the bond of our mutual love. After my journey to meet her, I went for a walk on the beach - with her.  One seagull was screaming as they do and part of me wondered how to understand its cry, what it's trying to say, until I saw my little imaginary companion hopping after it on one leg imitating its call.  What a lesson in child vs. adult nature that was!

She isn't just an imaginary aspect of myself dominated by my waking ego ("subordinate to the waking conscious mind"), she's as "real" as "I" am. In the Dreaming, all time is NOW.  Ignoring her distress, distress that is an undercurrent of my waking ego's feeling experience, is not only unkind, it's unwise. Our soul aspects in the inner world, perhaps what Jung meant by complexes, have a life and "mind" of their own. My relationship with my inner child is that, a relationship.  The illusion of being in control which the ego perpetuates becomes evident when, like in my case, sadness would out, regardless of my ego's effort to ignore or over-ride it.  "I" prefer a sunny disposition and a good sense of humor, so I was having none of this weepy child.  My little girl "Inner-Child" was demanding and directing my attention from my external, waking world to my ever-present inner world. The minute I relented and journeyed to meet her, I witnessed Bear come to her immediately and felt awed by Bear as I recognized again, Bear's numinous nature.  What a gift to me to be reminded of something so strengthening and powerful that I experienced in a dream long ago.

What my inner child is, is less important than who she is.  Who she is harbors some of who I am that I may want to reclaim now; plus, she may need me to feel totally loved and accepted again, as every child should feel.  One of the easiest ways to do that is through the portal of dream/play.

Remembering childhood dreams or dreams featuring little children, writing them down, drawing or using any creative expression to manifest the energy they contain for our waking life, can bring our little selves back to us, helping us each feel our genuine core of joy.  Dreams don't get old; they belong to a realm where time is irrelevant.  Exploring childhood dreams and memories as if they were dreams through Active Dreaming can open floodgates of creative and caring energy blocked, perhaps, by shutting out the little person we each once were.

Here's a toast from that magical poet of the inner child, Shel Silverstein, who crossed over in 1999:

“If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in!
Come in!”