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…
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.