Body Awareness involves the ability to recognize where your body is in relation to space. Dream Body Awareness involves being conscious of where your dreambody is located inside the space of your dreams. Body Image has to do with how we see our physical body, where as Dream Body Image has to do with how we show up in dreams, and being conscious of what shape we have taken.
Dreaming beyond the Physical
Dreams allow us to have experiences beyond physical reality, and concepts of time and space. We are not limited to the physical body, and can explore physical reality in other times and places. We may embody other forms of being in dreams, including gender, race, animal, plant, star, Earth, ancestor, element, and even Gods or Goddesses.
Dreaming into the Physical World
Scientific studies have shown that dreams, imagination and visualization, bring measurable impact upon our physical body, and can boost healing, learning and performance capacity. Sports psychology taps into this inner resource to boost athletic performance. Studies have shown that students who sleep and recall their dreams before taking a test, perform better than those who crammed all night before an exam. I know I have dreamt of studying for and taking a test before actually dong so, and been able to ace it. When I was a Ballet dancer, I would often imagine difficult moves in my mind perfectly, moments before actually performing it, and never had a single fall or accident.
Out of Body Dreaming Awake
As a dancer, I once had an anxiety attack, before it was my turn to practice a set of moves I had just learned. When it was my turn to perform, my mind went blank. I was so frustrated from being exposed to fear and humiliation as a common tactic in dance training. I decided I had enough, and instead chose to fully trust that my body knew the movements, even though my mind was blocked from fear. What happened next was both surprising and exciting. I found myself outside my physical body hovering above, watching as body wisdom took the helm and performed the movements perfectly. At the end of the sequence of dance moves, I popped right back into my body! I looked around the studio, wondering if anyone had seen that move!
Years ago, when I was a member of a Contact improv dance theater, a telepathic dream came over me in the middle of the day. I found myself in a secret meeting arranged by a rival dancer, who went behind my back to try to vote me out. Upon waking, I was able to act on the dream immediately, and went to the place my dream had shown me, only to discover the exact scenario playing out in real time in physical reality! They were very surprised to see me! Luckily, I was able to dream into resolving this conflict peacefully. I incubated a dream about it, and dreamt about seeing myself and my rival performing a dance of open hearted vulnerability and trust. We performed the dream dance together in waking reality bringing healing to both of us just like in the dream, and expanding also to the group as a whole. This amazing experience inspired me to create a form of embodied conflict transformation called Peace Moves. I now offer trainings for facilitators to share this form of embodied wisdom and conflict transformation within their own communities.
The Equality of Dreams
Our dream body is beyond the limits of race, gender, and sexual orientation. In dreams, we can embody different race, culture, class, gender or sexual orientation, to bring us more empathy and compassion into our everyday lived experience. By doing so we embody a wholistic view of humanity based on equality, that does not see one race, gender or sexual orientation, as more dominant over anyone else. The equality of dreams is a common bridge where we can stand shoulder to shoulder, because we all dream. It is a language we all share, and a potent opportunity to affect change on global and societal levels, as well as individual, ancestral, and cellular levels of healing trauma and transforming racism.
Social Dreaming and Natural Paths of Energy
As Dreamers, we are not just individuals concerned with the workings of the psyche and unconscious mind, nor gazing at our navels to bring enlightenment. Dreaming can be a social experience where we are dreaming together with others we may know and love, those who have passed on, those who have yet to be born, or those we have yet to meet. Dreams connect us with alternate personalities in other realms of experience, past lives lived, or glimpses of possible future timelines. They can bring us into contact with realms that are close to the Earth, where we may connect with relatives who are more than human. We can meet up with our wild instinctual nature and our animal allies, and flow with the elements and natural paths of our energy. We can connect with our cosmic counterparts in the upper realms where spiritual guides and star beings reside. Dreams are a place we can go to visit both human and beyond human, and they can also visit us.
Healing Patterns of Trauma
The place where our stories of trauma gets held is on the cellular level in the body. Each phase of our lives, from birth, childhood, teenage years, young adulthood, and into old age, our trauma stories reside within us physically and psychically, often disconnecting us from our Body, Soul and Spirit. The same stories and coping strategies of survival, get passed on to future generations with transgenerational trauma held in our DNA. Studies have shown the echoes of transgenerational trauma in historically oppressed populations, decreases resiliency in future generations. Ecopsychology posits the Earth as a sentient being, and like us, her stories of trauma are also held in her body. Generations of atrocities, creating community cycles of repetitive trauma. The body of the community, the Earth and the individual, can be healed from the stories of trauma held there, through bringing out those stories and honoring the victims, while also releasing them to transcend, and reveal the deeper stories of the Soul of the Earth. The time is now to dream into healing our relationship with our body, our connections with each other, and the Earth.
Valley Reed © December 2020