There is something about a winter storm brewing outside that makes you want to snuggle up with a good read, a hot beverage and a warm blanket. It’s volunteer day for me at the food bank and I am contemplating how to get out of it. There is over a foot of fresh snow on the ground and the sidewalk has not been shovelled out yet. My car is buried in the white stuff and I haven’t been feeling very well.
Then it hits me. I think about the “NFA’s” (the food bank personnel call those with Not Fixed Address this acronym). It was a long weekend and it might be busy and part of me is curious as to who will show up today. My FOMO rears its head and I get my but outside to dig out my car.
It’s interesting to observe the NFA clientele. A guy came in with shorts and crocs today. On his way out he took off his shoes and walked out into the snow barefoot. You can tell that many are suffering from frostbite with their fingers all taped up or parts of their extremities purple or deep red. I help some of them open the plastic bags as they are impossible to get the two sides to separate. I am surprised at how many have reusable bags they carry with them.
Their modes of transportation vary and some of them are very inventive as to how they carry their things around with them. The hampers are presented in boxes but many take the food staples out of the boxes and stuff their backpacks, wagons, and collapsible containers to overflowing.
One of the men was greeted with big smiles as it was mentioned that they hadn’t seen him for over 3 months and was concerned that he wasn’t ok.
There was a dismal selection of extra staple items this week. The choices vary from day to day and you never know what shows up mid shift. You have to think all your selections through carefully when you don’t have access to things like a stove or even a can opener.
You would have to have a very strong desire to survive in my opinion if you lived on the streets in a place where it can drop to minus 35 in a single day.
The more hours I spend helping these souls pick what’s for dinner tonight the more curious I become about their stories.
I am part of you and you are part of me. I have come to this realization slowly over the last four decades of being married to the same guy.
We have a common history where we shared a life. As traditional relationships go I would say that we were unconventional for the time. We learned about each other early that he was better at cooking and cleaning. He took the kids on a two week camping trip to Yellowstone Park when our daughter was just over a year old and our son was four. I got a call from the border patrol asking me if I knew that he had the kids and was planning on taking care of them without me? I laughed but the official didn’t think it was funny. The kids and him had a blast. He has always been one to jump in and change diapers. Have snacks ready when the kids come home from school as I was at work or traveling for work.
We have had our share of struggles. Times when we grew apart as well as times when we stood united.
When I think of romantic love I reflect on our journey together through this crazy world and life.
This summer I spent several weeks in the mountains in my van. One night around 10:30 pm I look out my window and my husband is standing there. It scared the crap out of me…lol. He comes in the van and gives me a big hug. I have missed you, he says.
The stars are out in full force and the night is calm and warm. We walk down the road a bit and lay down to look up at the sky. Our hands are connected. I know every bump, scar and tendon of these hands that are entwined with mine. He doesn’t understand why I like to go up into the mountains and stay for so long. He asked if I could maybe try going for a few days then coming home for a few days then going back instead of for such a long period of time at once. You would think that having been married for so many years that time spent apart would be a gift.
Apparently he doesn’t think so.
We don’t buy gifts for each other as we know that we have everything we want or need. He shows up with things at home that he thinks might benefit me the most. It has taken time for me to get used to his ideas of what I might need. He is always sorting through discount bins and buying things on sale. I remember he brought a feminine cup one time. I was horrified. He proceeded to explain to me what it was for and how to use it. Let’s just say I did try it and didn’t care for it.
Nothing is off the table or that private when you have been together for that long. It takes alot to surprise me where he is concerned.
We are a different kind of love. We have made our own rules and followed our own advice on what marriage should be for us. We have tossed traditional roles, stereotypes and obligations out the window.
We run naked in the forest every chance we get and make love on the back of skidoos and against palm trees on the beach. We spend time apart and we spend time together. I have been to 14 Kiss concerts just because he wanted to. Now that’s love…lol.
My work continues with the symbolism contained in the “Little Girl In The Concrete Stairwell” dream.
I have chosen to take a closer look within the red tube.
The dream sequence….
I find myself in a red tube that reminds me of a water slide. I lead and the little girl follows me. We are scootching along on our bums with our legs out before us. It’s awkward for me and I soon realize that I have to adjust to a crawling position. We have gone a ways before we encounter a bend in the tube that points upward. I navigate the rise only to come to another bend that is tighter and descends. I hear a sigh behind me. The little girl knows that we will have to backtrack out of the tube. I turn my head and notice there is a porthole. I can see that we are adjacent to the stairwell. Before I can get my bearings the little girl starts to make her way back through the tube. I resign to follow her.
As I worked with the meaning of the red tube this week it was pointed out to me that there is a lot of movement in the dream.
Do I ever sit still and just be with my surroundings? Do I have to keep moving in order to feel satisfied?
I have decided to go back into the red tube at the point where I get stuck and recreate the moment in meditation.
I am contemplating the red tube. Is it blocked? Have I blocked it? It feels like my heart or a piece of my heart ventricles. Why is there a window? A window in my heart? Do I have an open heart?
When it comes to matters of the heart, how’s it going for me?
If the red tube is my heart why isn’t there any fluid moving within it? It’s dry which makes it hard to push myself through the tunnel. Where is the lubrication that soothes the heart’s inner workings?
I am starting to see connections and associations with the symbols and colors in the dream sequence. Red blood cells come to mind, then white blood cells to blue blood. Blood is a life source in which we all rely on to exist.
I was born with a low white blood cell count and spent the first several years of my life indoors trying to staff off any infections or diseases. My immunity to such things was very low. Is the little girl all dressed in white with platinum hair related to my ability to fight off that which can harm me? She does tell me in the beginning of the dream that I don’t know the dangers here.
According to Google, white blood cells are at war constantly in your body. They move up and down through your entire system on guard for harmful bacteria or disease. They protect you against harm.
Red blood cells carry oxygen and help in ridding the body of toxins. Too many and they can thicken, clot and eventually block the flow.
When blood leaves the heart it is full of oxygen and is bright red but when returning to the heart it has less oxygen and turns a dark red or appears“blue”.
This is all fascinating but does it have to do with my dream?
The tube is red. If I follow the logic and trust my instincts my blockage is connected to when I have navigated away from my heart and I am trying to find my way back. I make it into the tube, I can see where I have been and how I got there. Where I get stuck is how to feed my heart to continue my journey. How do I keep the blood flowing?
Blue blood manifests when seen through light. It is on a journey back to the heart to be once again revived.
I am committed to getting comfortable in the red tube to see If I can open the window and let the breeze blow through. Maybe the little girl will stay with me there if I remain calm and at peace. I turn on a slow rhythmic beat in the background. It’s something new I am trying while meditating to incorporate vibrational sounds.
For now I am keeping myself still but not sure how long I can make it last.
Send me light if you have any to spare and together we can see our way to the blue chairs.
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”.
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.
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.