Breathing Freely Again

Usually my exercise-induced-asthma is triggered with running or higher level cardio. Today it was so bad while I was out for a walk, it made me wish I had used my inhaler beforehand. After thinking through several possible asthma and allergy triggers, I realized that this past month – and this past work week in particular – that I had felt as if I couldn’t “catch my breath.” 

Later, when I settled into meditation and traveled to “my cave,” the place where I speak directly with internal aspects of myself, the “asthmatic” was already there. Her breathing was such that she appeared to be having an asthma attack. She was anxious and afraid to be happy or joyful. In listening to her, she revealed that she was afraid to be happy. For her it meant something bad would happen and it would be just a matter of time before “the other shoe dropped.” 

After listening to her and allowing her to express her fears, without judgment nor denial, I was able to witness her transform. It was amazing that I was then able to breathe freely again. 

My fear of life, fear of joy, and fear that being happy leads to “the other shoe dropping,” were all keeping me from breathing and enjoying life. 

So now I ask: Where are you not fully enjoying life? What thoughts make your chest tighten and your breathing to be restricted? 

Shortness of breath can be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Please be sensible and immediately seek a medical evaluation if you are inexplicably short of breath. 

Namaste 

My inner voices were fighting – Here’s how I Found Peace.

A post I wrote has been accepted by Elephant Journal. Please follow the link below to read it all. Shares are highly appreciated & encouraged 😉

On an ordinary day, waiting for a phone call from a good friend, I noticed an inner battle start to brew.

Stepping back further into observation mode, I noticed a few peculiar inner voices arise. On one side, there was a bratty little voice. She was entitled. She wanted things fixed and done immediately. On the other side, there was a voice I later identified as my martyr. She told me, “You get what you get and you can’t feel upset.”
….Continued 

Image: Google 

For How Long Do You Suffer?

The keys to our freedom are in our hands. Yet so often we ignore them, brush them off, put them to the side or outright deny them. The keys to our freedom rest in our willingness to walk into and sit with the paradox of our dilemmas. We have been taught to avoid our own shadows, our fears, the things that go bump in the night and wake us up. Yet it is in the darkness that we have the potential for growth. Seeds sprout and take root in the dark. Our creativity is also borne out of our willingness to take a walk on our own dark sides.

So for how long will you suffer your fears? Carrying them around on your back, on your chest, weighing you down and keeping you from your greatness?

It is through walking into the pain that releases it and allows us to grow into something greater. The release is in the surrender; in the trust that we will survive our emotions, our inner conflicts and paradoxes.

One of the great cosmic jokes is that in embracing our pain, we are finally able to be free of it.

Images: google

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Dream Analysis Part IV: Accepting the Change

This is Part IV of a 4-5 part series about dream analysis based on the book Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson.

In this fourth and final step of dream analysis we take action on our interpretation of the dream. Johnson refers to this as a ritual. At first I had mixed feelings when I began to read this chapter as I found I was triggered by the word ritual. Johnson spends quite a bit of time explaining how rituals are ceremonies of change. Weddings, funerals, graduation celebrations and other rites of passage anchor the changes and growth that occur with life’s transitions.

In this step, we are charged with moving the dream from the mind – from the cerebral cortex – and here we activate our muscles and do something. The actions we take are symbolic and help us to anchor the change or new acceptance into our lives. Something as simple as lighting a candle with the intention of living in the message of the dream can be the ritual that is needed. Johnson gives examples in the book that may help to spark other ideas. Next I will share with you several things that I did to anchor in my new essence.

Accepting the Change

First, even before I fully interpreted the dream, I knew on some level that I was needing to become decisive on a relationship that I knew was not headed in the direction I wanted. So I changed the nature of the relationship. He later thanked me, as he was feeling the same way.

Then I wrote him a letter, pouring out many of my grievances as well as my gratitude. Then I burned the letter. I also smudged mysrlfvsnd my home by burning Palo Santo wood, adding frankincense and mhyrr to a charcoal round.

Later that day, I took a 6 mile hike alone feeling my power and fire grow in my belly. I would focus on my solar plexus as often as possible. When I felt the need to stretch, I stepped onto a side trail and did several of my favorite power inducing Yoga poses: Warrior I, Warrior II & Triangle. I chose a spot where the sun was shining through the trees. I felt the fire of Kali move through me as I anchored these changes. It also didn’t matter to me that others were walking by: I was standing out.

This week, I added the lighting of a yellow candle in the morning while getting ready for work. As I light the candle, I say to myself, “today and every day I live fully in my power.”

I share these different things I’ve done to help give you ideas that may spark creativity in your own expression of your dreams. Hopefully you have found this process helpful in seeing how important your dreams can be in your own personal growth, and how to understand the messages your unconscious is sending to you every night to guide the way. 

Be patient with yourself as you go through this process. It took me nearly 2 months on this, my first dream, to pull all of the pieces together. In between there were times where I just put the dream aside. Sweet dreams of growth to you!

Namaste: in the light and darkness 

Dream Analysis Part III: Burning Wild

This is Part III of a 4-5 part series about dream analysis based on the book Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson.

In part I we made associations to the elements of our dreams & in part II we connected these associations with our inner dynamics. In this part of dream interpretation the questions become: “What is the central, most important message that this dream is trying to communicate with me? What is it advising me to do? What is the overall meaning of the dream for my life?”

The first two parts (see links above) are important to perform prior to this step, as they help us to decode the language of our inner selves. Without these prior steps, we may miss the meaning of the dream altogether.

To begin, ask, “What is the single most important insight that the dream is trying to get across to me?” You may find that you have several alternative interpretations. Be sure to write them out, as this can help you to weed out what does not fit and also to find the interpretation that truly fits or clicks. 

The higher the intensity of the energy behind the interpretation, the closer that interpretation is to your truth. The small clues can lead to your breakthrough, so be sure to keep them in mind. 

Playing Devil’s Advocate and arguing from your inner masculine and feminine aspects can also be helpful in finding the right interpretation. Johnson states that your final result may be a synthesis of both sides.

Interpretation of the Kali Dream see part I 

Wake up to your inner power. Shed your fears, come out of your bubble. See through the smoke (and mirrors); the illusions that keep you small and threaten to suffocate you. Continue to burn down the secrets, the shame, the lies. Stay in your power, even when others, and when even you, fear the changes you bring. Your strength is in your ability to change and to see what holds others – and yourself – back. Embrace your Kali nature.

People fear change, as do you, but this is what you must do. You must burn down the lies to the ground. See the forest through burning down the trees. This is about knowing you, accepting that to break down is to remove the obstacles to new growth. Fire transforms and for too long you’ve blocked your fires. Rise up and transform! 

“Indecision clouds your vision” these are your fears. Part of you can see the truth, yet you are still controlled by your fears. Expand your faith that all will be just as it is to be. There is no need to fret or worry. Things unfold as they need.

The sweet urgency of now! 

My wish for you 

I hope you have found this process helpful in understanding your own dreams.

Namaste.

Image: google 

balance & the light

walking the tightrope
barely balanced left to right
the heights are giving me a fright

teeter tottering i reach for the light
yet the shadows they follow
moving starkly from left to right

the fragile grace
sitting on the head of a pin
this really is no way to live

i yearn for the balance found on the edges
there is no reason to balance
on ledges

i carry my shadow on the left
the light on my right
all to in balance keep

avoiding the projection
of all that is wrong with me
onto you & all others

for we all require love
yet first we must learn
to balance ourselves from within

namaste

Dream Analysis Part II: Inner Dynamics

This is Part II of a 4-5 part series about dream analysis based on the book Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson.

In Part I, we made associations to the symbolic elements of our dreams. Here we will connect these associations with ourselves as each element represents an inner aspect of ourselves; whether we want to admit it or not. According to Johnson, the more we deny an attitude or belief, the greater that element will be portrayed or exaggerated in a dream. 
For this next step we will handle each dream element separately, and look closely at how that element represents an inner aspect of ourselves. To help spark the connections ask yourself and write down the deepest & most specific examples within your life to the following questions for each element:
  • What part of me is that?
  • Where have I seen it functioning in my life lately?
  • Where do I see that same trait in my personality?
  • Who is it, inside me, who feels like that or behaves like that?

Elements of the dream & their inner associations:

  • Grandma B – Moderation in life is a challenge for me. I can move erratically through life, swinging along with the highs and lows of the pendulum. I can be protective of myself and yet also flirt with danger. I can be stubborn and sometimes will spite myself just to prove a point. I fear being seen as crazy. I fear standing fully in my power as to do so means I will stand out and draw attention to myself. In the house of the mother, I hide. This is also the part of me that wants to prove my strength. “I can handle this. I don’t need help.” Yet she also represents where I’m stuck in the womb and don’t want to leave.
  • Kali – the part of me that wants to destroy myself, to break myself down so that I may be reborn. The inner goddess who desires to live to her fullest potential.
  • Grandma’s House – Where I am outside of the house of the Mother. I am hesitant to fully embrace myself as a person, as a woman, as a healer, as part of the Divine Feminine. There are also ways in which I do not take the best care of myself; my being was threatened by wildfires; my unbridled passions. Though in the dream the house remained untouched and was in pristine shape. The house also seems to represent The True Heart; the home of The Mother.
  • Woods – Where I hide my secrets, with the woods being on fire it denoted it was time to change.
  • Wildfire – The passion within my soul to burn down boundaries, to disintegrate and breakdown secrets. Also, there was a very strong sexual wildfire within me at this time, almost to the point of my being completely reckless and throwing any caution “to the wind.” My sexual energy threatened to consume me; I literally felt like it was a wildfire coursing through me.  I wanted to stay and I wanted to go. Deep down I knew it would be best for me to go. Yet the stubborn side of me insisted on staying (though soon after this, I left). Several weeks after this dream, when my sexual fires died down, and as I reclaimed my personal power, I saw that this wildfire represented the anger that I was suppressing within. It was consuming me and I could not see it.
  • Smoke – Where I am wanting to hide within confusion/illusion which is suffocating and blinding me. The things around me that I don’t want to see, nor to be seen by others. Represents my indecision, where I wanted to stay and where I wanted to go. Yet, staying put me at risk of suffocation and loss of sight/life.
  • Bubble – Where I do feel protected and clear, able to see around me and able to breathe in my own space. I am calm and protected when I allow myself to be. In some ways I do live within my own reality, separate from others. Living in a bubble.

The more deeply we can use the dreams to reflect our unconscious dynamics, the more we will get out of the dream. “It is at the inner level that you can change life-patterns more profoundly,” which is where our dreams are usually aimed.

“…the transcendent function [of self] combines the opposites, [and] draws the fragments of our totality into unity.” Dreams show us the aspects of ourselves we have not seen. As they are symbolic, spoken in the language of our unconscious selves, each dream element has a unique message for us. With the path of growth, it is up to us to understand it.
Happy dreaming! 
Namaste