Dream Yoga #2 in series
This week I have some dream work to do. Pick a symbol from my dream and incorporate it into a daily meditation or opportunity to use other yoga practices. I am still working with the little girl in the stadium stairwell. I have chosen to explore the adult who follows and then tries to lead the little girl away from the steps.
Here is a reminder of the scenes of the dream I am working with…
“I ask the girl if she is lost?” She replies that I don’t know the dangers here. I quickly retort that I am an adult and she can trust me as well as my ability to make judgment calls. I feel like I have to prove to her that “I know best”. She turns away from me and starts walking up the stairs.
Further on in the dream, after we have been walking for quite some time I see a red waterslide tube. I suggest we take it as I assume it will lead us out of the stadium faster. She reluctantly agrees to try the slide. I go first and she follows. The tube goes up and bends then slants downward. I get stuck trying to navigate the curve. I hear a sigh behind me and then the little girl starts to back up out of the tube. She doesn’t seem upset. In fact I feel she is resigned to the knowledge that I was unable to navigate beyond the tube. That I was bound to get stuck.Once back on the stairs I fall into line with the child and she starts to descend this time.
We don’t talk and with our heads bowed with trudge downward.
A landing appears and it gives us a view of the stage. There are big blue seats that are positioned to face the platform. Rows and rows of them are visible on the horizon. I get the impression that some of them have beings in them even though I can’t see any. The vantage point of sitting in the seats seems to appeal to the little girl. We don’t sit down though. I feel like I am not in a mind space to understand how to “take a seat”.
To give the dream context, I consider my conscious concerns. Why am I thinking about this dream now ( I had the dream three years ago)?
What is coming in my life right now that my inner guru believes I could benefit from revisiting this message?
I have been struggling with how to add value. I felt part of a community the last few years going to the ashram. I promised my husband I would stay home this year and help support him in his challenges. Be careful when you ask someone how they need you to show up for them. It seemed easy enough to say that I would stay home. Yet, here I am, getting very antsy to wander.
I have started winter hiking, even bought a pair of snowshoes. The van is back and I still have some repairs to do on it to get it ready for summer. I am almost set up to volunteer locally and still connect through Zoom classes with the ashram. Garden season is coming soon and I have started some of my seeds already.
The adult in me says that all of this should be enough to make my life rich and satiate my hunger for more.
The little girl keeps moving. She keeps searching for more.
I chose to work with the symbolism of the adult me that interacts with the little girl throughout her journey in the stairwell.
Today, through actively creating a “waking dream” I sit in one of the blue chairs. A waking dream involves creating visual images in your mind that can be run like a movie. In my visualization, the little girl is beside me in another chair. We are relaxed with our eyes loosely gazing around. I feel a sense of calmness. There is no hurry here. No need to make a quick judgment. I can be patient and let whatever comes reveal itself. I feel that the child is happy and content to bask in the comfort of the soft cushioned seat. We both seem to be very small and can curl up easily to lay down in the cushions. I feel like I am in a cocoon or hammock. The back of the seat is formed from flower petals. Giant lily shaped arms embrace us. I breathe in a citrusy wisp of bliss. I breathe out and absorb the light and wisdom freely given by the chairs’ enchantment. The chairs hold us in a gentle lullaby and whisper encouragement.
The child knows that the chairs are a place she can come and be held in divine light. She was created in the light. It sustains her. Protects her when she feels threatened. It surrounds her with soft warmness and unconditional love. She is growing into the light just those who occupy the seats that are connected by the community.
I am an adult here and yet I feel like an infant. A moment of revelation is upon me. My ego is still very strong and fighting for control. It is in pursuit of selfish service instead of selfless service. The need to be recognized and acknowledged feeds its sense of self worth and value. Why does it matter so much how I go about contributing to my community or the world as long as I act on it. As long as I contribute in some way that helps others it matters not what that ends up being.
You get ahead most times in the corporate world by being the aggressor. Appearing confident that you have all the answers and can lead others to success. It becomes vital to your very survival to continually show your worth to anyone who will pay attention to you.
You measure your self worth by the feedback you receive from others as to how worthy you are of positive affirmations.
Living a life full of distractions that involve how others think you should act, react and contribute can be tempting.
What if you sat in the “blue” chair with your sweet, innocent and pure childlike self beside you and contemplated life on your terms?
What does she want to experience?
How does she look at the world and her place in it?
If you let her lead, where would you go and what would you do differently?
I always get so much out of these classes from Yasodhara. If you are curious I recommend taking a look at their offerings or going to visit them.
It has changed me.
I read Vanessa’s latest blog while having lunch and chuckled to myself. Much of her writing is about her experiences with dream yoga, the ashram, life reflections, shamanism…all very peaceful. I feel relaxed when reading her posts.
Then there’s me. I write about new homes, new relationship, new jobs, CrossFit, and boxing. Much more…ummmm, what’s the word…turbulent?
One of the reasons we started this blog is to show how two women, 3 years apart in age, can be at two very different points midlife. The one thing I’ve learned in the three years we’ve been doing this – there is no “normal”. The more we write and share our experiences, the more we learn about others and what they’re going through.
It’s our differences that keep our friendship interesting. It’s discovering our commonalities that help it grow.
Walking the paths of Yasodhara Ashram at night.
The ashram is magical on a snowy winters night. I loved to roam all over the property at dusk and into the evening. Trying to capture just an ounce of the peace that embodies the entire grounds.
There is a song that is in the ashram songbook called Caravan Song by Alanda Greene. The song lyrics start out with “Wanderer”, “Worshipper” “lover of leaving” “Come join the caravan”. It suits the place and it suits me also.
Come and join the caravan….
I’ve been looking for a new fitness program since my Crossfit gym closed during Covid. For awhile, I joined Anytime Fitness – mostly because it’s a 10 minute walk from my condo. I went regularly, but it didn’t feel right. I missed the sense of community we had at Crossfit.
I looked into other Crossfit gyms. I won’t go to the one in town for my own reasons, and the next nearest one is a 40 minute drive into the city. It didn’t make sense to me to spend 80 minutes driving for a 60 minute workout. That’s too much time out of my day.
So, I asked around and found Olympus Boxing Club. When I joined, I said to the owner, “I want the workout, but I don’t want to hit or be hit.” I truly don’t understand the psychology behind what makes people want to let someone else pound on them. Our club sponsored an amateur match and there were times I couldn’t watch. Why do people WANT to do this??
I go to two different types of classes. Recreational boxing teaches us the punches, offensive and defensive moves, and has us work with a partner. I like my partner because we focus more on technique rather than pounding the crap out of each other. We’re also likely the only two adult women in the group. Most of the class is teenagers or men.
The other class is a bag fitness class where we are given different sequences of hits to perform on the bag. This is my favourite as it gives one heck of a workout (my partner and I tend to talk a lot during rec boxing! LOL!).
One afternoon, there were only three of us in the rec class. The other people were a father/son pair. When it came time for partner work, the 16-year-old coach said he’d partner with me. Now, this young man is an amateur boxer. I’ve seen his brother, a professional boxer, spar with him and I know he can take a punch….several, in fact.
It’s just not in me to hit someone. Until I did.
I started off just aiming for the pads. “Harder”, he’d tell me. “Punch it!” Now, I know there’s no way – even with my hardest punch – that I could truly hurt him after seeing how he trains with others. But still…I was raised being told not to hit people.
Still, he kept encouraging me. Instead of doing the sequence, he’d call out the punches he wanted me to perform. He moved around the room like he was in the ring, forcing me to do the same. After a few rounds, it really felt like I was truly boxing.
Then he put on the body protection. “I want you to take body shots now” (until then, I was aiming for the pads on his hands). Again, it was a learning curve. It was bad enough hitting his padded hands; now he wanted me to hit his padded body? It felt so WRONG. Still, he encouraged me. Over time, my punches got harder. I put in more effort. I wasn’t as afraid of hurting him.
So, yeah. I hit a boy.
And I liked it.
Dream Yoga is understanding the symbols used by your subconscious.
Dream Yoga #1 in series
Before I visited the ashram for the first time, I was afraid of my dreams. Most of them made no sense to me and often involved me losing something. I would then spend the entire dream trying to find it again. I wasn’t successful in my search for the illusive item.I was under the impression that my mind was confirming that which I already knew. I would never be good enough in any way to achieve that which I searched for. I was a fake and had spent most of my life just trying to cover up that stark reality that I thought must be so obvious to everyone around me.
What if none of that was true? What I thought that my subconscious was trying to tell me was beneficial insights about myself, for me, within me and even in spite of me.
What if my mind was with me instead of against me? How would that change my feelings towards my dreams?
Dream yoga is a process of unpacking messages freely given by our hidden guru. The process is an incredible tool that guides us through a new understanding of ourselves and the path we are on. It gives us instructions, once understood, that can literally change our lives.
Most therapists will tell their clients that the answers they seek to their obstacles and challenges in life are within them to discover. The counsellor is there to help bring it out of you or at least make some sense of it.
I am not saying that dream yoga is a replacement for therapy. What I am saying is that it has helped me to understand myself better. Sometimes I even stand in awe of what my inner self can help me see and change within me.
Keeping a dream journal is a crucial step to the process. Documenting the date, time and as much details as you can about what occurred will help you as you discover what is the meaning of the dream and the sequences that manifest. I was reminded that even day dreams and journeys my mind takes during waking hours can be part of the recordings.
I thought it might be interesting for you readers to come along with me as I explore some of my more technicolor dreams I have had in the past. I am hoping that I can encourage more dreams to visit me in the present and future as I am eager to gain valuable insights that can help me navigate my present.
My last blog post was a recount of a dream I had two years ago while living at the ashram for a few winter months. I encourage you to go back and read that one as I am going to continue on instead of going back and rewriting the scenes here.
More Details about the dream….
After the initial recording of the dream I reflected on whether I could recall anymore details.
The girl- She looked like me when I was about that age. White/blonde hair, I think I had a dress like that in photos I have seen of me when I was young with the white socks also. I have an overwhelming feeling that she doesn’t trust me to navigate her out of the stairwell into safety. She keeps her head down so I don’t know what her face looks like.
The stadium- It’s a huge place that reminds me of ones we have seen rock concerts and sporting events in. The stairwell is grey concrete and wide. There doesn’t seem to be any handrails. I don’t recall seeing any signs with directions on them either.
The tube- It’s red and goes down for a bit then raises up. That’s where we get stuck.
Trying to go up. I can see the stairwell at that point as there is a window in the tube which shows that we are by the stairwell. I am in front of the girl in the tube and it’s me that gets stuck and decides to turn back. She has to scrunch backward for us to get out of the tube.
The empty seating area by the stage. The seats are padded and blue. I can see rows and rows of them from this vantage point. The stage is empty.
The Absent Parents- Why are they not looking for the child? I have no sense of them or who they are.
I have done the dream yoga before on this particular dream and yet I had the feeling I need to look and reflect on it again. That, perhaps, my thought process and perspective had changed enough to warrant another look.
So, what do I think this dream means?
Initial reaction is for me to go through childhood trauma. The little girl, who is a version of me, feels like she has had to rely on herself. She doesn’t trust others to keep her safe nor does she feel that adults are worthy of her time or effort to acknowledge. She is a tough little kid who is independent and self-sufficient. I feel pride for her and a level of camaraderie. I worry that she doesn’t let people in. She can be lonely and I hope she doesn’t miss out on potential relationships that can be healthy for her to have.
After recording some of the initial impressions of the dream the next step is to write down key words or symbols that stand out. They are very important to overall understanding of what the dream is trying to tell you. In the detailed reading of the book “Realities of the Dreaming Mind” by Swami Sivananda Radha, it is suggested you start to keep a record of the symbols you see in your dreams. You should jot down notes on what you think they mean and add to those impressions each time they appear in other dreams. It’s a way of starting to decode the hidden language within. The language that your inner guru understands and wishes you to learn.
You can Google all sorts of symbols and get others feedback on what things mean. The danger of that is that those interpretations don’t have your insight, experiences and history. Therefore they might “get it wrong” for you.
Symbols and Keywords
In the class I am taking on Dream Yoga, we meditated for a while on the symbolism that existed within our chosen dream.
I saw the colours and was compelled to sit with those colours to see how they made me feel.
White- Pure white
The little girl’s dress was blinding white. Her socks were sparkling white. Her hair was white with streaks of wispy blonde.
She was angelic, innocent.
I felt the white represented:
Purity, young, innocence, unspoiled, uncluttered, full of potential, start of life, unconditional love, pure passion, optimism and positivity.
Concrete, blurry, muddied-soiled, unyielding, rigid and set in ways, cold, conditional love, influence of others, reluctance to be flexible.
Seat of knowledge, wisdom, cool, calm, experience based insights, reflective, confident movement, community, potential
Red Tube Slide
Impulsive, take chances, downward spiral, uphill climb, leap then look, self reliance, alone, spatial limits, friction
Transparent or clear
I struggled with defining this colour- it was unclear…lol
To me, transparency means you can see through it. I could see through it but didn’t always understand what I was seeing or not quite seeing. I had the impression there were always many others present. They were never clear or clearly manifesting their true selves to me.
I hope that gives you a taste of the process of Dream Yoga. I have just completed week one. I have taken the course before in its entirety and attended parts of it while at the ashram with outside attendees to help offer examples of what to look for.
To me, it’s a fascinating way to uncover your wisps of wisdom that are circulating in that marvellous mind.
I would love to hear from our readers what you think of this process. Are you interested in learning about your dream symbols and uncovering the pure potential those insights can offer?
PS. I was encouraged by one of the facilitators to paint or draw my dream. The image that you see here and attached to the previous blog is my attempt at using mixed media to draw a scene from the “Concrete Dream”.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to practice gratitude daily for the past few months. I feel it’s making a difference.
It’s difficult to have negative thoughts about anything when I’m constantly looking for ways to be grateful. It changes how I view the events that happen in my day. Sure, sh*t happens, but it doesn’t become the focus if I don’t dwell on it.
I’ve noticed it most in my work. Three months ago, I was giving thanks (to God, the Universe, whomever is listening) for allowing me to save enough money that I could make the switch from full-time work to freelance. I gave thanks when I signed my first contract. I gave thanks whenever someone in my network wanted to talk to me about work. I gave thanks when my second contract was signed. There seemed to be a direct correlation between the amount of gratitude I gave and the amount of work that found me. Now, I’m nearly at the point where I’m going to have to turn down work – and for that, I am truly grateful!
For the past few years, I’ve felt like I was on the cusp of something wonderful. I believe I’ve found it. I have work I love and can do from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection. My work allows me flexibility in my day. For me, this means I work long hours while Martin is away so I can have more free time when he’s home. It allows me to go shopping during non-peak hours (I hate shopping, so this is a huge “plus” for me). If I want to do a noon workout rather than evening, I can schedule meetings around it. I can take an afternoon off to enjoy a beautiful winter day and explore the mountains that are nearby.
The more thankful I feel, the more abundance I notice. There are days it feels like it’s overflowing. It brings a sense of a calm…contentment. There’s a peacefulness to my life that didn’t used to exist. I have a strong sense that everything is going to work out and I don’t worry or fret as much.
I encourage everyone to find moments of daily gratitude. Some days, it’s as small as being thankful for a green light in traffic. It’s every time my adult son leaves the house and gets home safely. It’s time spent with people who are important to me. It’s time to myself.
Take a few moments and recognize it. Acknowledge it.
What are you grateful for today?
Introduction to Dream Yoga
Dream Yoga has begun. The little white haired girl braves the stairwell to her core beliefs. Ready & willing to challenge their truths. Let go of the self talk that keeps her anchored in concrete.
I stand in the stairwell of a stadium when I notice a little girl. She seems upset. I approached her. She is blonde, maybe 4-5 years old. She is wearing a little white dress that comes to the knees. She has white socks on. The stairwell is concrete and stark grey. It seems to be placed to the left and is wide enough for us to walk side by side. I ask the girl if she is lost. She replies that I don’t know the dangers here. She says she can’t trust me. I am stunned and quick to negate her. I reply that I am an adult and can help her as well as help myself. She looks at me and gives me the feeling that she doesn’t believe me. She turns away from me and starts walking up the stairs. I hear her snivel and follow her. We continue up the stairs until we come to what looks like a water slide tube. I suggest we take the tube as it will lead us into the stadium faster. She agrees reluctantly. We get stuck in the tube and end up reversing back to the stairwell. She doesn’t seem upset as if she expected me not to be able to navigate the tube. She gets out and starts walking down the stairs this time. We come to a widening area and can look out to the stage of the stadium. It’s empty and there doesn’t seem to be anyone around yet I feel like there are others present. We go back to the stairs and I follow her as she makes her way upward again. I wonder where her parents are and why they haven’t appeared yet. I feel like we have been in every possible position in the stairwell but haven’t seen anyone. We keep walking up and down without any more interaction. I wake up from the dream.
My grandpa was a Grand Master Mason
There comes a time in your life when you get curious about who you are. Where your ancestors came from and what part of the human gene pool you belong too.
You hope if you are a bit of rebel like me, for intrigue. Colourful characters that you can, perhaps, relate to and blame for your less than stellar traits.
My son has been asking about our family tree. He recalls a project from grade school where he made a tree and listed his lineage. It was pretty easy to do on the maternal side as my dad was a genealogy buff and did tons of research for the LDS church. The paternal side is a bit more challenging as not much has been done to record and share those bits of the puzzle.
On occasion, after my mother in law had a few liquid bouts of courage, she would recall her experiences in Austria during World War II. She had been sent to a farm with her twin sister to work for food and boarding. It was not a time she remembered fondly. Listening to what happened to her mother and father was heartbreaking. It didn’t come to the surface often for her. I was always willing to listen though and comfort as best I could. My father-in-law’s family is from Germany. I don’t know anything about them but hope that my son can chat with his grandfather to get some bits of the story.
My dad has an interesting heritage. His father was born in England and was one of seven children. Their parents were a butler and maid for a wealthy family. The research tells a tale of betrayal. The butler ran away with another maid and left my great grandmother to fend for herself and the children. She did what most women in that circumstance did in those days and dumped the kids on the steps of the famous Barnardo’s orphanage.
This is where the trail gets murky. The family was scattered across the world. My dad was able to track down all but one of the siblings. My grandfather and his brother landed in Eastern Canada. My grandpa was a character I never met unfortunately. I learned that he had been a Grand Master Free Mason.
My mom’s side of the family was a bit easier to keep track of. She was a Campbell. My grandpa’s family helped bring the pioneers to Western Canada from the Southern States. Further back there are some skeletons in the closet that depending on whose side you take are memories of victory or complete betrayal in the Scottish highlands.
The famous cry of the McDonalds “The Campbells are coming” is even a folk song that depicts the betrayal of the opposing Campbell clan. My history connects to the House of Argyll and Robert the Bruce. The layers of betrayal and greed are interspaced with lessons on survival and family preservation at all cost. It would take years and books to untangle those webs.
It’s a big family, according to Google there are hundreds of thousands of Campbells roaming the earth today.
At my grandmother’s funeral, 350 direct descendants spilled out of the church. We used to have an annual family reunion in the mountains. Camp was like a small city full of relatives of every kind. It is a pleasure to be part of such a prolific clan even if there are some sins of the father to atone.
It’s worth knowing how you got here and the recipe within you that helps to enable who you are.
I know I am made up of warriors, gardeners, artists, leaders, followers, thinkers, enemies and friends. It defines my DNA but it doesn’t define how I manage that gene pool within me.
I admit it has some effect on your natural curiosities. I wondered why I loved to immerse my hands in dirt and develop my gardens. In the past my people were stewards of the land. Designing and lovingly taking care of large public and private gardens. Carving out a living in the forests, eating and preserving the wilderness here in Canada and the Highlands of Scotland.
My grandpa Campbell was an artist who made some of his living from selling his paintings while supporting his own thirteen strong clan. I share his love of art and of collecting things. I inherited some of his coin collections and a few of his paintings which I cherish. I spent my childhood roaming the mountains and forests with my grandparents and extended family. It was a childhood of dreams.
Like the clan of the Campbells, I feel most free and spirited in the mountains and most at home living a nomadic existence.
My son is a data scientist. He has a passion for research and validation of information and data. He took his family tree and is now dissecting it to understand its roots and also try to prove it’s validity. He has suggested some discrepancies in the Argyll threads and has brought forth some interesting theories on a different Campbell line. I am encouraging him to follow his instincts and report back to me.
Perhaps we will learn that our story was different from the present existing version or help to squash any doubt of who we came from.
Either way, I am intrigued to find out. Somethings we don’t need to prove as their are pictures to document the way.