Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Testing, Testing...1, 2, 3...

Our lives are filled with tests and trials. Some are mundane and relatively unremarkable: can you juggle a busy schedule? Can you pass the notary public exam? Can you keep your temper when 5 different annoyances are stomping all over your last vestige of cool? Others are far more challenging: can you maintain an even keel in your overall life when a relationship is falling apart? Can you stick up for what you believe in? Can you face a longstanding fear that's choking your spirit?

Our dreams are full of inspiration, reassurance, guidance and good ol' motivational kicks in the derriere.

Sometimes a tutelary spirit shows up with wisdom or a push in the right direction. I have had a number of visits from a
Sidhe ("shee") woman -- each time in a different guise, but always the same individual. Most recently, she urged me on by saying "you must find your voice." (Well, here I am!)

When I feel the yearning to be a part of a vibrant community of progressive, spiritually active, action-oriented people, I often have dreams wherein I am welcomed by such a community on the other side. These visits are helping me create a model for the community I am actively seeking to manifest in my life. It's beginning to happen, in slow if steady increments. Being in contact with the folks in dreaming helps convince me that not only is it possible, but it is inevitable.

Back in 1998, I had a dream of my old life on Maui that was so juicy, so hellaciously intense that I awoke with the clear taste of fresh mango in my mouth. That evening, when I returned from work still inspired, I started typing the dream up on my Mac. About four months later I had a 400-page novel. It was loosely based on actual events from the time I lived on Maui (ua mau / ke ea o ka aina / i ka pono!) and full of spiritual awakening, initiation, shamanic consciousness and the deep magic of earthairfirewater that is Hawai`i. When I wrote the story, I didn't know what the word "shamanic" meant, much less any of the spiritual practices I would come to study starting in 2000. Re-reading the book later, it was amazing to see the echoes of my future on pages I wrote before I knew consciously what I was talking about. Inspiration, indeed. (Think for a moment about that word "inspire" -- combining as it does "breath", "in", and "spirit.")

These are just a few examples of the ways in which dreamcrafting stokes my mojo and energizes my mind/heart/soul when I'm facing an obstacle or daunting situation. We are here to embrace these trials, to "brave up" as Robert Moss says -- to face our fears. In transcending them we are transformed. We become more of who we were born to be.

In Mark Helprin's novel "Winter's Tale," the protagonist Peter Lake speaks of his arch-nemeses (a deadly, amoral gang known as the Short Tails) in this way: "They're always everywhere, though at times they do seem to disappear [for a while]. I'm glad they exist. When they chase me, they make me do things I never thought I could do." (p. 619 of the paperback edition) (by the by, I most heartily recommend the book).

And that's exactly how we should approach that which frightens, intimidates or awes us. Honor that which vexes us, for it gives us the opportunity to grow. It also provides us with a chance to reach across the veil into the dreaming to see what allies and guides await us...and what gifts and wisdom they have for us. I will write more of allies and guides anon -- but for now: Get to it!

Tonight, as you lay in bed with the lights out, visualize some situation, question or person that is bothering you. Imagine it in as much detail as you can muster. And then, ask for help/guidance/inspiration or that aforementioned kick in the pants. And then tell yourself you will remember your dream when you awaken. And then -- act on it!

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