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.

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.

Valley Reed leading a blessing ceremony for the Future of the World’s Children at the 2007 World Children’s Festival on Washington D.C. National Mall for Drum, Dance, Dream for Peace event by the World Dreams Peace Bridge.

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

Dreaming the Future

When I was in my mid 20’s I had a precognitive dream, which saved my life, which I wrote about in my blog post, It’s Only Just a Dream. I have had many instances of dreaming the future over the past 30 years of keeping a dream journal. I find that it is not only common but entirely natural for us to do so. When you keep a dream journal and go back and look at your recorded dreams you may be surprised to find how many instances of precognitive information showing up.

But how do these dreams show up? Well  in the case of the dream that saved my life, the dream came through with specific details and a visceral feeling of experiencing my own death. It felt very physical and it had many reality cues that told me this could happen in waking life. This is an important part of determining psychic information in dreams, by questioning if the dream could play out in waking life. Get as many specific details as possible from the dream, so that informed action can be taken. Sometimes the information presented in dreams can be psychic information intermixed with metaphorical imagery, and so it is important to realize that our dreams are multi-layered and can hold both precognitive and symbolic information. The dream which saved my life however was not about a symbolic death, and if I had viewed it that way, I may not be here right now. Since I am here to share with you, let me give you several examples of how precognitive dreams have shown up for me .

ThreeTieredFountain Years ago I was offered a position as Assistant Director at a non-profit organization where I volunteered. I was not so sure if this was a direction I wanted to focus my career at the time, so I asked my dreams to give me guidance. That night I had a dream of standing before a 3 tier water fountain with red rose petals floating in the water on each level. I woke from the dream feeling loved and blessed. It seemed a very good sign for me to take the position and so I did. Shortly there after, an event was organized to announce the new role I had been given as Assistant Director and when I walked into the atrium of the building, I found a three tier fountain with red rose petals floating in the water from a wedding that had taken place there the night before.

As someone living in Tornado Alley in Texas, I can tell you I have had many Tornado jarrell-tor-horizontal-vortex-tubesdreams over the years. Many of these dreams have been more related to big changes coming my way and times of upheaval beyond my control. I did have a dream however that was more specific and showed the biggest blackest Tornado I had ever seen and it was traveling down highway 35  North of Austin. I was told in the dream that this was an F5 Tornado, which at the time I had never heard of an F5 tornado because they used to be so rare. I decided not to go on a planned trip to drive to Austin that weekend based on this dream, and that very weekend the horrible F5 Tornado hit the small town of Jarrell, Tx. just North of Austin, Tx. on Hwy 35 and completely wiped out the town.

The morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was dreaming about being in New York City and it was if I was in the middle TwinTowerMemorialof a war zone. There were ashes coming down out of the sky and people running frantically through the streets in shock. I was conscious in the dream, aware I was dreaming and that I was there to help. A woman came over to me and told me she was so glad I was there. I looked at her and saw she was missing an arm. I realized she was dead and she did not even know it. I told her, “don’t you know you’re dead?” She looked down at her missing arm and realized it was true. I pointed her in the direction of a huge portal of light, bordered by two beams of bright blue light. I played the shamanic role of psycho-pomp in helping to guide her through the portal to the other side. Then I woke up! I thought it was one of the strangest dreams I had ever had. I got my kids ready and took them to school and on the way home, turned on the radio to hear the first plane had crashed the Twin Towers. I rushed home to turn on the Television and saw a seen that looked eerily like my dream of ashes coming down from the sky and people running frantically for their lives through the streets. The portal with the blue lights showed up 6 months later as the first memorial for those who lost their lives in the attacks.

I often dream of people before I meet them in physical form, and I have done so with several important mentors and teachers in my life, including my longtime friend and mentor, Jean Campbell who wrote “Group Dreaming: Dreams to the Tenth Power”. She has brought me into connection with dreams as social events, rather than solely solitary metaphoric glimpses of the psyche. Dreams are a place where we can go to get together with others from this realm and other realms of non-ordinary experience.

Keeping a dream journal and sharing dreams with others is one of the most helpful practices you can have if you want a stronger understanding and presence of dreams in your life. It can put you on the path of how dreams can help you to navigate and create your every day waking world.

Valley Reed Copyright 2017

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