Dancing Awake My Dreams

Over twenty five years ago,  I was lead by my dreams to join “Nine Fish Jumping” an improvisational dance performance group, made up of actors, dancers, yoga teachers, film makers, and martial arts practitioners.  We decided to make the group leader”full” where we had no one leader, but all took responsibility for creating the performances.  We built trust among each other, exploring our creative edges and stretching our creative impulses through contact improvisational movement.  One afternoon, as I prepared to leave my house to go to a rehearsal, I suddenly became really drowsy and felt the need to lay down for a minute before going to rehearsal. I lay down and closed my eyes, and suddenly found myself dreaming about a meeting taking place, at a nearby cafe, where the members of our group had gathered. One of them was trying to convince the others that they should vote me out of the group.  I woke up suddenly, and “knew” that this meeting was taking place right then.  I hurried over to the location I had seen in my dream, and found the exact scene playing out. My abrupt uninvited appearance at the meeting,  hindered their chance to proceed with the vote!  They all looked shocked that I was there and nobody said anything to me, in fact they couldn’t even look me in the eyes.  Someone suggested we proceed to rehearsal, so we all went together and began our contact improv warmup exercises. I did not participate, but decided to watch instead. I felt my trust had been broken and I was trying to determine if I could even continue to be part of the group after what had happened.  It was interesting to me, that I was not upset by what I had seen, in fact I felt quite empowered and watched as if from the perspective of an observer in a dream.  After rehearsal, the air was not clear by any means and everyone still felt uncomfortable.  I decided to sleep on it and ask my dreams for guidance about what I should do.

The next night had a dream based on my incubated intention to clarity for myself if there was still a place for me in this group. In my dream, I see myself doing a dance with the woman who was conspiring to vote me out of the group.  In the dance, I saw myself doing movements which were open and made me vulnerable, it was through this openness and vulnerability expressed in the dance, that a resolution was created. It was a dream of healing, through the dance.

In our next meeting together, I chose to share my telepathic dream of seeing the meeting taking place, and also my dream incubation question as to whether I should decide to continue to dance with the group. I suggested recreating the dream I had incubated, by dancing with the woman who had created the power play. She agreed to dance with me and together we improvised recreating the movements from my dream. We were able to move from the space of competition and jealousy toward the energy of openness and vulnerability, in the space we created together. We reached a place of healing and reconciliation, not only for our own relationship, but for that of the group as well.  It only served to deepen the connection we had with one another, and we went on to create many dance performance improvisations over a 2 year period.

The group later disbanded, and individuals moved away and went in different directions, but over the years, that experience stayed with me. It was through this experience, I was later inspired to create “Peace Moves” a program of conflict transformation with conscious movement.  It is a powerful way to deal with conflict from the perspective of wholeness, rather than the polarity of “us” and “them” thinking.  I have also found this format very powerful when working with dreams, which can often reflect the polarities we struggle with in our lives both inwardly and in our external worlds.

Exploring conflict through expressive movement, is also a very effective approach with children.  Years ago,  I taught at an Integrative Arts pilot  program at a private school with children ages 4-7. The program was developed to offer creative materials for children to explore, through their own imaginations and impulses, without someone telling them how to create a project.  They had just about anything you could imagine in the way of choices, such as an array of visual art materials, costumes, musical instruments, even a stage to put on a play or perform a dance.  One thing I observed, was that many of the boys in the class had very limited imaginations as to how they chose to express themselves creatively. They often chose to pick up some of the recycled trash materials we had made available to them, and would inevitably make some type of weapon, which lead to the boys pretending to be fighting one another.  The other teachers and myself grimaced at the sight, and complained about how sad that boys can get stuck in such roles at such a young age. I decided to take a chance, and asked the boys to follow me instead, to the dance floor, where I taught them some contact improvisation exercises. They took to it right away, and were able to dance and connect with one another without needing to resort to games of violence in order to connect.  They were no longer stuck in a “role” and found the world of their imaginations open up to other possibilities to explore.

Our dreams can provide us with doorways into the imagination, where we can transcend the limited roles we have been given and may be trying to live out without any sense of real accomplishment.  Dreams can show us new paths to move towards, if we have the willingness to look and the courage to follow them.

by Valley Reed © 2012

Awaken the Dream in 2012

“At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. This cosmic cross is considered to be an embodiment of the Sacred Tree, The Tree of Life, a tree remembered in all the world’s spiritual traditions.” – Steve Becker

In the coming year we will continue to see changes of prophetic proportions which have been foreseen by cultures from around the world in ancient prophecy. What can we, as modern technocrats in this fast paced, materialistic, devouring, industrialized society, make of being in the midst of such changes? Even the prophecies themselves have been the subject of cultural hijacking and spiritual materialism by those who would try to speak for another culture and profit from ancient prophesy.

“Anthropologists visit the temple sites and read the inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It’s just their imagination. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed.” – Carlos Barrios member of the council of Mayan Elders.

At the heart of ancient prophesy are dreams, and that is something we can all do. Dreams can enable us to tap into our connection with timeless wisdom in order to understand our unique, individual role we each play as part of the larger community. When things fall apart and the old structures are no longer viable, it is a time to look into our dreams to envision a new world and our role in it. The tree of life is a classic shamanic entry point of dream exploration to travel into non ordinary reality.  It is here where you can connect with protector animal spirits and spiritual guides or ancestors along with the transformative energies now entering our sphere toward the cosmic alignments of 2012 .

Dream exploration through conscious group dream travel, aided by the sound of the drum, can be an entry point to the past, present and future. The tree of life is rooted in ancestral wisdom and a place where we have access to our deeper selves, beyond the workings of the trivial everyday mind, to guide us in remembering our true soul purpose.

A safe space for dream sharing 

In many indigenous cultures, dreams often held a sacred place in the community and were given a place of honor and respect. There were women and men shamans, medicine women or men, ancient priests or priestesses who were able to dream for the community. In our current minimalistic, scientific, industrialized western society dreams have been relegated to tiny bits and pieces and lost the role of importance which enabled our ancestors to survive and flourish as a community. They knew through dreams where to find game to hunt, what plants to heal, when to pack up and leave and where to move.  We need these ancient dream practices today in our own lives in a world that is rapidly changing to know where to find work and how to create communities that support life and the respect the earth.

Dreaming in Community

To enable the space for dreams to take root, we need a container to hold them. A protected and sacred space in which to dream and share in community. Setting a specific intention for what the group will dream towards while preparing dreamers in advance to bring dreams to share is an important step. Sharing dreams with respect for the dreamer and the dream is crucial to creating a safe space and this is most often done by making sure that dreams are shared in confidence and not taken outside the circle, and any feed back given to another in relation to their dream must be shared from the perspective of “If this were my dream”. We may live in a culture of experts and specialists, but the dreamer is the only expert on their dream.  Group dreaming exploration through shared conscious dream journeys are also ways to cultivate dreams for the community and the earth. Creating a dream community also requires action and determining what action to take to honor our dreams is an important way toward creating a world we can share together.

Become part of a larger dream community

Dreaming together for our community and our world is crucial to our unfoldment as we enter 2012. We can no longer approach our lives as though we are just individuals pursuing our own goals. We are on a shared journey together and dreaming can help us to navigate the way.

The Pachamamma Alliance is taking action toward Awakening the Dreamer. The non-profit organization is creating alliances with indigenous communities in South America which are under siege from globalization and multinational corporations. These  communities are struggling to maintain their indigenous ways in a world that is hungry for their natural resources. The message from the shaman’s of the Achuar people in Ecuador is to change the dream of the modern world and awaken a new dream in harmony with the Planet we share together. Ecuador has been one of the first Nation’s on Earth to enshrine into their own constitution in 2008 that the Earth has Rights.  Since then in 2010, Bolivia has followed suit and also declared into law the Earth has rights.  These efforts continue to gain momentum and expand as part of a broader movement toward the  Universal Declaration  of the Rights of Mother Earth.

Find out more about how to become an Active Dreamer in 2012 and view a schedule of dream groups, workshops or retreats, or participate in a Pachamamma Symposium visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org

Valley Reed © 2012

Welcome to Dreams Awake Blog

Let me introduce you to the realm of dreams. Some of you may be familiar with dreams and the multiplicity of effects they can offer your inner and outer life, while many of you may simply be asleep to your dreams. Whatever your state of being one thing we all have in common is we dream. Hopefully this blog can serve to awaken your dreams and how you interact in them and with them. 

The first step in dreaming awake is to remember your dreams.

How do you remember your dreams you may ask? Well there are many techniques to do so, and one thing of particular importantance is to set an intention to remember your dreams. This can be done by writing it down on a piece of a paper ” I will remember my dream from this night” and set it next to your bed or even under your pillow.

The next step then is writing down whatever impressions come from the night before, upon waking in the morning.

Give yourself time to let the impressions come, I know the shower seems to be a good time for dream images to flood my memory. Be sure to take the time to write down what ever comes in the morning, maybe as you have a cup of coffee in the morning and make it a part of your morning ritual. 

No matter how disjointed the images or pieces of the dream you recall, simply writing these impressions down affirms your committment to follow the dream and awaken that part of your consciousness.  The more you interact with this part of yourself the stronger the relationship will grow, and before you know it you will have dreams dropping by in the morning begging your attention from the previous nights exploits.   

Once you have written the dreams down, read over them and revisit them, allow your awareness to enter the dream. You may recall more of the dream in this process, be sure to allow yourself to feel the dream and experience it. You will find that with practice you don’t have to be asleep to visit your dreams. You can be awake and consious in your exploration of dreaming.  

Once you have begun to spend time with your dreams upon waking you, will find that your dream life may increase and the quality of your dreams may shift.