Thursday, August 13, 2015

Myth.

I’ve always loved history.  Not so much the names of people or the dates of events but the vibe or energy I can pick up from old stories.  As a hypersensitive (don’t like the word “empath” – sorry) I’ve always picked up “impressions” off of objects, buildings, and even people or events.  For most of my childhood I believed these “feelings;” which often took the form of elaborate stories were simply fantasies or imagination.

When I was a child my parents would take my brother, my sister and I to the Shriners Circus every year.  The first year was held in tents in the back of a mall.  Then their success grew and they changed the venue. In the huge arena they would cater to 10 times the crowd.  I remember telling my parents at the time, how the Circus felt different year after year despite the fact that it was always the same people and the same acts (give or take).

It was only after my first music concert at the age of 16 years old that I noted in a personal journal: “The crowd and venue influences the vibe around an actual event.” It’s not surprising that performers get addicted to the “feeling” they receive from performing.  Almost a decade later, I was on stage as a keynote lecturer and taking in the “energy” I was getting from my own audience.  I understood in that moment that we create “a vibe” and that it’s a recipe made of several ingredients:

·      A vision (mix of fantasy, imagination and intention)
·      Enthusiasm (mix of common interest, curiosity and feeling called)
·      Support (mix of encouragement, excitement, and connection)
·      Collectivity (different people coming together to celebrate)

Imagine your life story as some kind of “performance.”  You are the main character in a 40 / 60 / 90 year old play.  The scenes change every now again and so do the characters; but in most part your story elaborates on one main theme and shows how you have grown through it all.  Of course, you are also a second or minor character in other people’s lives / plays.  By exploring their story you can come to understand the impact you have on their lives and come to even better develop yourself as your main character. 

See how that works?

This idea of growing through exploring the plays /or lives of others
is called living according to a “myth.”

In our Circles we call it: “Living according to a Dream.”

What’s amazing through history is that the human myth (so to speak) although sometimes more colourful; more fantastic, and more elaborate during certain eras has always remained basically the same. 

Humans love “superheroes.”

Looking back at some of the stories in antiquity we see that humans loved the idea of gods and goddesses:  Individuals from other Worlds who were deeply or casually interested in humanity.  These beings always seemed to exhibit human traits (jealousy, regret, guilt, shame, desire, lust etc…); but acted on them with more courage, power, and consciousness.  It was almost as if the makers of “myth” were seeking out attitudes, behaviours, and abilities; which were difficult for most men.  Through myths, humans had access to examples bigger than life or mentors; which could be accessed through dreams and visions.  It gave birth to the potential of extraordinary growth. 

A young student of mine recently said that he wanted to know if his dream of becoming a Superhero was an illusion or a reality.  When I brought up the question amongst some of my peers I was surprised with some of the responses. 

Quite a few people chuckled and said: “I hope you were honest with him and told him that Peter Parker was a scientist (reality) who dreamed up Spiderman (illusion) under a microscope.”

A few others took a moment to think about it and almost insulted replied: “Are we saying that there are no Superheroes in our lives?  Nobody who accomplishes incredible feats; thinks of the community first; and lives a life of incredible integrity…”

Where some people believe that “superheroes” are the fantasies of little boys and little girls; others believe they are a reality missing in today’s ever growing over population.  From my perspective we demand heroism from our religious and government leaders; and when we come face-to-face with their humanity we are often disappointed.  I don’t believe we’ve stepped away from “myth” we are just expressing it differently.

As I was walking the dogs with GP this morning I made the comment that I had to find a way to win the “BEETLE WAR”.  For a split second I literally wrote a whole script about a beetle villain and it’s heroic super predator…  Creating “myth” came quite naturally. 

GP giggled at my words and simply asked: “Have I missed something?”

This summer has been deadly for many trees and plants in our gardens and yards.  It seems like every day I hear about a new insect attacking the vegetation in our neighbourhood.  At the vet this year, we were told to protect our dogs from a dozen different types of bugs.  Many of them I’ve never seen before.  

How many movies have we watched in the last 5 years; which describes some kind of alien invasion in the form of giant insects?  I couldn’t help but giggle at my reality this summer because it certainly mimicked a “myth” we’ve created through our movies. 

Myth certainly expressed itself differently 20,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago in comparison to now…  Yet, what repeats through those years is this human need to connect to some “higher being.”  Just yesterday I was looking through my Facebook feed and came across a story about extra-terrestrials.  The video showed these flashing lights in the sky over Australia.  Nobody commented on the authenticity of the video but everyone mentioned having the belief that “alien life exists and that it is closer to us than we may imagine.”

I know quite a few people who believe in “alien life”.  I’ve been told about books, podcasts, blogs and radio shows; which can prove to me that extra-terrestrials exist; and that our governmental officials have been meeting with them for decades and keeping them secret from the public.  My grandmother was a great UFO fan and she often referred to stories (Native American legends) she was told by her mother and grandmother; which she believed validated her beliefs.  Whether we speak of the Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Egypt or the Extra-Terrestrials of modern times these characters support the basic nature of man; which is to strive towards mythical creatures.

Whether we believe in the Son of God, the Second Coming, or the Pagan Gods and Goddesses, we are looking towards characters; which can inspire us, teach us, love us, and help us grow into stronger and better people.  Today, more and more  young people are believing in Video Game characters:  Prophets, Mages, Shamans and Sorcerers. Even those individuals who believe in Satan, Demons and all of the creatures of the undergrounds are looking to find pieces of themselves; answers to their deepest questions; and ways to journey into what best calls to them.  All humans seem to need “myth.”

I guess the ultimate question is: “Are we creating “myth” (fantasy and imagination) or does it exist as a reality.” 

I think both are possible and “real”.   Like my story about the Beetle – both the myth and the reality came together.  The idea is not to stay attached to the form. 

P.S.  I’ll be back with another blog – on kind of the same topic but relating to children and dreaming.  For today, this is what wanted to get written…..


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sacredness



Sacredness is often mistaken for politeness, kindness and goodness.   I find these days, every time the topic is brought up it’s as a mask used to express Christian and New Age dogma. People use the word “sacredness” to imply anything and everything that they judge as “proper behaviour, proper attitude, proper choice and proper exchange.”

When you leave people to understand “words” through definitions, you’re often left with a medley of perspectives; which don’t have much substance.  I remember watching my grandparents do cross-word puzzles every Sunday morning as I was growing up.  It seemed to be a popular activity amongst the old folks in the 1970’s.  Every time I gave it a try I always gave up because it seemed I lacked the vocabulary.  Until one day, my grandfather assisted me with one of the puzzles and said:  “It’s not about vocabulary: It’s about experience.” 

Like many of the First Nation elders who still speak their mother tongue, my grandfather believed that language wasn’t so much about academic intelligence; but about a deep, empirical connection with the world around us.  In the 1990’s when I chose to walk a “sacred path” I started to dream in a language I knew nothing about at the time. 

My husband would often tell me: “You talk in a weird language in your sleep.” 

It seemed I was fluent in a foreign language we both had no knowledge of.  It was only after taking note of a few dozen words, which repeated in my dreams and synchronically connecting to the right people that I was able to identify the language as Mi’kmaq, Wabanaki.  It didn’t come as a big surprise that somehow I remembered words; which were undoubtedly used by my ancestors. I figured at the cellular level I had access to this language because it translated my connection to ancestral memories.  In some ways it was “my mother tongue” in so much that it revealed how I related to my natural environment: To Mother Earth. 

In one of my dreaming classes last year, we spent close to three evenings learning “how to listen.”  It may sound somewhat demeaning to some; but the fact of the matter is our modern World leaves pretty much every thing to definition; but doesn’t actually take the time and effort to teach basic skills. 

In most cases people will say: “I know what listening means”; but they have very little response to the question: “… but do you know how to listen?”

More and more people are struggling with a lack of basic resources.  We live in a World where we have unlimited access to information; but in comparison, limited access to mentors, teachers, experts, masters etc…
I remember between the age of 10 and 16 years old, spending years while in school at the convent, learning about “posture”.  Today, people would giggle or frown at the idea of teaching our teenagers about such basic skills as table manners and posture; but what is often overlooked is how “sacredness” comes from giving value to the small details in our life.  How does it all come together? Experiencing the irrelevant, the overlooked, the judged and the rejected allows us to grow into awareness and adopt “sacred ways.”

Every Winter at the end of February the sun becomes a hopeful reminder of an approaching Spring.  Since this weekend our dogs have been waking up earlier each morning, sensing the sunrise.   I remember visiting my mother-in-law in the country when the children were infants.  In late February she would always recommend that we take our afternoon naps on lawn chairs, on the back porch; bundled up in warm clothing and a blanket.  

“February sunshine does wonders to increase our Vit.D” she would say. 

Looking back to the 40+ February months of my life what I remember the most is the presence of the sun.  If I were to give this month a name just by the repetitions in my story, it would be called: “Month of Seeking the Sun”.  Sacredness for me implies “associating” each inhale and exhale; each connection and relation; and each moment whatever it may be to a state of inspiration or reverence. 

For the last two years, I’ve been noting how I’m dramatically, physically affected by people’s stories.  90% of the time discussions leave me drained and exhausted.  Plus, I’ve developed the unpleasant attitude of running or hiding away from people.  It was only after sitting still with the experience that I discovered “I was lacking in sacredness.” Somewhere along the way, I stopped setting boundaries; pointing bad habits or even sharing “sacred knowledge.” I convinced myself people wouldn’t listen or would feel insulted.  My own attitudes and behaviours were showing sign of social influence. 

Lately, I’ve been asking people to share the “very best of themselves” with me.  I explain to people that if they take the time to come for a visit or give me a call it’s because I’m worth something to them.  Am I worth enough, for them to give me “the very best of who they are and the very best of their personal, life stories? On several occasions individuals admitted to me that it’s not so much about how much I’m worth to them; but about how little value they find in themselves and their stories.

One thing I learnt through my years at the convent is how to sit still and find sanctity in myself, and the world around me.  Today, young people have a difficult time sitting in silence.  Many of them feel they are stagnating if there’s no movement; or they are wasting time.  They constantly keep themselves busy with text messages and apps etc…  It seems we’ve invented the kind of technology that is mutating our brains and our bodies into small little machines.  The fact of the matter is we’re constantly looking for peace, calm, health, wellness, wholeness and happiness.  These aren’t realities for most people they are unrealistic goals. 

I disagree….

It doesn’t take trips around the World; years of academic studies; big corporate jobs with unbelievable salaries; huge homes overlooking a million dollar view; or cars, motorcycles and all the materialistic gain you can imagine – to be well, whole and happy.  All it takes is a clear, loving and trusting, wise, and grateful inner voice that whispers truth, pride and direction to you every day.

It starts by welcoming your personal story.
·      Affirming it.
·      Expressing it.
·      Giving it value.
·      Empowerment
·      Space and Time
·      Relating to it.
·      Surrendering to it.
·      Acknowledging the myth, the truth and the illusion through it.
·      Reasoning it out.
·      Sitting humbly with it.
·      Transforming it.
·      Letting your personal story challenge you.


If you do it one Moon / Month at a time – in a year from now, you’ll walk in sacredness. 

P.S. Picture: Great Canyon.

Friday, December 5, 2014

CHANGES

Big move.  We've recently decided to move our Facebook site to idreamer.ning.com

We'd love to see most of your there...

Come and read our latest blog entry and discuss it along with us!

Lisa F. Tardiff

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Living with a Plan.

Last week I had a dentist appointment.  During the examination, the dentist looked at my X-Rays and noticed a considerable jaw deviation that wasn’t there six months ago.  As we brainstormed reasons why this would suddenly occur, he rushed to his office to get a book of anatomy.  What was quite interesting was how this book spoke of “dentistry” through time.  It seems the humans of yesterday were anatomically different in comparison to the people of today.  Of course what is anatomically different often has an influence on what is socially, culturally and spiritually different. 

Dr. D. couldn’t explain why I suddenly had a jaw deviation but as he gave me exercises to do for the next few months, he did say: “… we don’t ever think of showing our children how to chew properly; sleep or dream; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a proper way of doing it.” 

When I lecture on Indigenous Dreaming I always share pieces of my personal story.  I explain to people that although we all dream we don’t all know how to dream in a healthy and functional way.   If I refer to my upbringing, my parents weren’t different than most parents.  They believed that my dreams were a fabrication of my mind.  They also believed that my emotional reactions to the dreams were over-exaggerated mostly because they concluded that I was too sensitive to people, to events and to my environment.  Unfortunately, they didn't know how to teach me to react differently or to give me ways to better handle my dreams.  

Hypersensitive kids after all do react strongly…

For years, their support took the shape of: "It’s just a dream.  It’s nothing.” 

I grew up believing that there was something emotionally wrong with me.  We believe in the people we love and until we become adults, we also trust these people’s beliefs, expectations and their life teachings.  It took having my own children to finally understand what the Indigenous people of yesterday used to say:  “It takes a village to bring up a child.” 

I’ve always loved anthropology because it allowed me to learn about Indigenous people but also gave me insights on the humans of yesterday: Our ancestors.  We are so wrapped up in our stories that we rarely glance back in time.  Recently, there’s been more and more television shows; which explore the notion of immortality.  Programs like Forever, Bitten, the Vampire Diaries, the Originals and more… give us an understanding of what it would mean to be on the Planet for more than a few hundred years.  What would be the affects on the emotional, psychological and spiritual bodies? 

Strangely enough I find myself relating to these stories mostly because I was born with a vivid and lucid memory of past lives.  It’s not something I’ve ever discussed with school friends or even family members because honestly, I thought at the time that it was pure imagination.  At least, I was told that it was…

I was educated at a Catholic convent for close to 13 years.  During this time, I experienced several events that brought me back to touching and profound ancestral stories.  When you’re 9 years old and living through these kinds of experiences, it can to some degree be quite traumatic.  Luckily, I had guardians on my path because not only were these experiences validated; but I also received advice from wonderful people along the way:  Individuals who guided me to find teachers and experts in due time…

In the last 25 years of working as a shamanic practitioner I’ve come across a good number of children who had past life recollections.  I’ve come to believe that most children between the age of 6 months old and 7 years old actually remember distant stories from the past.   What is unfortunate is that most parents will deny the possibility that their children have walked this Earth before them…

Both my children had vivid and lucid memories of their past lives.  It was quite incredible to hear them tell their stories.  For years, we marvelled over their past because it not only confirmed history; but it took it out of the books and brought it into our lives as reality!

As a Dreamer we believe that every story that catches our attention; or makes us vibrate emotionally, psychologically or spiritually holds a clue towards our purpose on this Planet:  Our learning and healing.  In every story there are characters, events, conflicts, and messages (lessons); which guide us to understand our selves and others as well as gives us reason.  Dreaming in Indigenous Circles isn’t only about what we experience as we sleep; but also about every story that we devote to during the course of our lives, in the waking. 

A student recently asked me:  “How do we work through a dream?”  

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a waking or sleeping dream the method of working through it is actually the same. 

·      At first, I take a moment to jot down the dream.  Ironically, the way your mind formulates or expresses a dream holds the first series of clues.  It’s as if your body is your first guide or teacher.  It is a character in the dream.  After exploring thousands of dreams through the course of my life, I’ve come to understand that my body and my mind was strategically created for me and for my destiny.
·      Once I’ve jotted down a dream I always take a moment to step away from it.  I leave it be for close to 3 days.  During the course of these three days, I continue to life without any kind of intent.  I take 20 mins a day to jot down a journal entry referring to my daily experience.
·      On the 4th day -  I take all of my entries including the dream I jotted down and begin to underline the similarities.  What repeats: Characters perhaps, situations, details, messages, etc…?
·      Sometimes the lesson or message hidden in a dream comes to me quickly.  Other times it demands a bit more work.  I’ve explored dreams; which have affected my life over years.  Some dreams are meant to summarize your whole life story. 
·      To work through a dream you need to be attentive to the dream reality; which means that you have to be ready to follow it wherever it takes you. 

In 2012, I participated in a Blue Moon Ceremony.  I had to cross two out of sixteen gates to reach the Blue Moon dreaming.   This dream was supposed to guide me for three years, and inevitably divulge a personal learning or healing.  One of the gates that I passed was the Dinosaur gate; which refers to the notion of “extinction.”  It took months before I started observing the presence of the dinosaur in my life.  It appeared at first in the form of small clues like gifts from strangers (fossils) or invitations to archaeological sites.  I noticed that I noted the presence of this dream in my life only when it called me out of the ordinary.  It was the extraordinary that guided me to look closer to into my daily living.

In 2015 will be the end of this journey.  It’s not surprising that my latest dentist appointment brought forth yet another clue into the dinosaur gate story.   My own bone structure is trying to tell me a message; it is speaking louder than my ordinary life.  Trough following the exercises that my dentist gave me I’ve been remembering moments in my childhood that were literally forgotten.  It has brought forth some interesting stories; guided me to question family members; and validated that growth is a life long story. 

The reason why I enjoy working with dreams is because it allows me to see, to feel and to touch magic.   My teachers have always told me to look up at the sky on a night where it is filled with millions of stars. 

“What do you see?”  EC once asked me.
“Stars?” I replied almost unimpressed.
“Look again,” she said.
“Deep, eternal darkness,” I finally added noticing that despite the countless flickering lights, the darkness was the canvas that dominated the scene.
EC smiled and expressed almost absentmindedly as if she was repeating a lesson given to her by a teacher, an elder, a grandmother: “Don’t ever forget that it’s not about what we know or what we discover; but about what exists out there:  The unexpected, the unknown, the mystery of it all.” 

If you are interested in walking the path of the Dreamer, you have to realize that it’s not so much about what you discover but about what you are willing to step into.  The great thing about working through dreams is how these stories will magically take out of hiding the characters, the events and clues that are instrumental to your journey (the stars); but it will also give you access to the unfathomable and eternal darkness of your story to seduce you to look further and deeper.  You’ll be called to create stars of your own and to open up a milky way of possibilities.

Traditional First Nation people speak of death as “our journey to the stars.”  They look at their deceased as members of their family and community who walk in the dream reality.  They understand that some may return and some may choose to stay behind for a while.  For them, dreaming is a crucial part of life and if we don’t learn to dream in a healthy and functional way we are traveling without a plan or without a destination. 

I hope I’ve answered some questions and if you have more questions don’t hesitate to leave me a comment.

HAU!