Category Archives: Dreams

Personal Story, Birth, and the Real Deal We Call Life

After years of writing my personal narrative, many deep, interwoven conversations, visual journaling, and performance…in less than a week…

I will say his name * meet him in-person * hold him in my arms.

January 23, 2017, on what would have been my mom’s 95th birthday, William called me. He told me how scared he was to leave a voice message asking me to call him. He asked me about his story, how he came to be.

Today I booked a flight to visit William in-person. Next week we will meet for the first time. He’s leaving the hospital after undergoing major surgery Monday evening. William’s cancer has moved from his skin, to his lungs, and now to his brain.

The phone rings and William says, They got it all.

He is hopeful and I am expectant once again.

The thing is, he is real to me now. For years, I have been using the phrase, my surrogate son. What a relief to be able to say his name, William, and know him as a person who loves to watch sports, wants to find work as a sports journalist, hike hundreds of trails.

Over the next few days, I will be gathering some of my journals, photos, and other treasures so that I can share them with William when we visit next week. Poems, memoir writing, research from my doctoral dissertation on surrogacy, performance-storytelling.

The first time we meet

Just making the reservations for my shuttle to the airport and flights was a struggle. Crying at the bank, at the pharmacy while trying to get through to the pharmacy clerk who is holding Michael’s medications post-stoke for ransom! Crying in the art studio while collaborating on a flyer for our fundraiser. I am tripping and almost fell yesterday because I have so much in my head and forgot about my feet. I keep reminding myself to ground. I’m wondering if I should rent a car but I am also concerned that I won’t be as focused as usual while driving the Los Angeles freeways.

Feeling the immediacy of the moment. I am grateful for the real deal, live life to the fullest!

I invite you to check in frequently here and on the Play=Peace blog.

Read the follow-up story Sit Back and Enjoy the Trip

Grief Has No Time Table: Patterns of Remembering & Awakening

When I wrote this post in 2016 I hadn’t yet recognized that the patterns in my dreams were giving me a ‘heads up!’  letting me know that my surrogate son would be calling in the new year!

Resource: Uma Girish interviewed me recently as part of her ‘Grammar of Grief’ series. I invite you to listen to our interview.

June 24, 2016 Dream:

GUIDELINES TO HELP ME PASS THROUGH A DOOR TO MY MEMORY

I’m in an Alzheimer’s facility. My sister, Patty, is standing beside me. She is a tall, big woman (my sister in waking life looks very different from this dream figure representing my sister, shadow). I’m wondering when Michael is going to come visit me at the Alzheimer’s facility. A female staff member is ready to go home. It is just about 6pm. As she prepares to leave she grabs her black purse and slings it over her left shoulder. I talk with her briefly about whether I can walk outside. I don’t know the rules or guidelines yet.

The words that call me are:

  • separated from Michael
  • what are the guidelines
  • passing through the door to the outside
  • standing beside me
  • ready to go home
Credit- Gary Hamburgh
Elwah

Credit- Gary Hamburgh

I received my dream after asking for dream guidance. My dream stays with me and is helping me to re-member the importance of what is just outside my door, through the portal:

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Hurricane Ridge Road

July 3, 2016 Dream

RETURNING TO GET WHAT I NEED 

I’m walking down a paved urban sidewalk. I see three yellow school buses coming my way up the hill. Looks like I will miss the bus because everything I need is at home. I jay walk across the busy street (while being careful not to be hit) and make my way back to the right side. Looks like I will have to drive to school after I retrieve what I need at home. 

Memoir & Ambiguous Loss 

I won’t see him again or I may

Pauline Boss is an expert in ambiguous loss. She works with people following events like 911, Japan’s Tsunami, and other life changing losses like divorce and adoption,  In her On Being interview with Krista Tippett, The Myth of Closure, Pauline says:

  • there is no such thing as closure
  • the media does great harm to people when they write or talk about closure
  • grief has no timetable

Pauline also talks about how people cope when there is no funeral to go to or a place to visit after the death of a loved one. [someone is missing but may be found, a child is adopted and the birthmother may see him again].

It helps to be able to say:

I won’t see him again or I may

Everyone of us has experienced losses that are a part of the fiber of our being.

Carl Jung wrote about the tension of the opposites

When you can say, “I won’t see him (her) again but I may”, and hold that tension you can unite the two in a creative, transformative way.

Inconsolable Grief

When I started writing this post in 2016 I hadn’t yet seen the patterns in my dreams calling me home.

Patterns that I recognize about how I am developing. Who I am Becoming.

Home is where I write and re-member my own inconsolable grief. My own sense of loss following the adoption of my surrogate son.

Home is the Olympic Peninsula. The place where I want my ashes scattered. Where I want my children and grandchildren to remember their Mom and Nana.

Home is where my dreams reside and I re-member what I am called to BECOME.


Thank you for showing up and being here. I’d love to hear from you. I never know where my writing will take me when I begin any one post. The big ‘C’ words, closure and completion, have been replaced with focus and freedom.

Some questions to consider. I’ll be standing right beside you as we consider these questions together…

  • Are their patterns that you have found through your journaling, understanding of your movement styles, dreams, or through your relationship with nature that you recognize as helpful guides in your development?
  • Is closure possible after the loss of a loved one who you will not see again? or after the loss of a marriage or adoption of a child?
  • Does our ability to bring closure affect our ability to play and create?
  • What happens when something loss is found? How does that change who you are becoming?

Want to learn more or work with me as a mentor and creative coach? I’d love to talk with you!

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The Courage to Attend to Your Dreams and Act on Their Behalf

Do you acknowledge and act in response to your values?

Psyche calls you whether you are ready or not. Well before I feel ready, my night and waking dreams are offering me what I need to start + what I need to stay in a committed relationship with what I value most. Questions that run through my head are:
What is my intention?  What do I understand about my intention? Is my intention flexible? What is my level of commitment to what I intend to do? Will my commitment change over time?
My night dreams
are gifts. I store what I can of these gifts in my journals. My dreams help me in becoming who I am…and then who I am again…and again…and again…as I perform my life. I am eager to learn all I can about my individuation journey. There is so much I do not know as a woman, mother, nana, writer, playful spirit, and creator. I am open to travels that go way beyond what I know at this moment.
My waking dreams
in the form of day dreams, personal license plates that I might see on the road that strike a cord at a particular moment, graffiti painted on the wall of a building or under a bridge, a line from a page of a book opened at random–these waking dreams, when recognized as in-sight, are helpers as I walk down a variety of pathways which are sometimes easily traveled but most of the time have bumps, fits, and turns to maneuver.
My night and waking dreams are recorded in my journal. I looked back through my journals often and play with dreams that I received recently or many years ago. For me, there is no difference in whether I receive a dream day or night.
Dreams are the portal to the psyche and to the greater good for both myself and others.
Your dreams are calling you to recognize and live your values.
  •  What do you value?
  • What are your commitments and how do you honor them?
  • Are your intentions alive in your day-to-day life?

Do You Notice that the Same Stuff Keeps Spiraling Around

Falling apart is alchemical, a process of dis-memberment that promises repair, re-membering, and growth.

Re-membering what is important, what matters most, what you are called to attend to, what to love, what to share with others lovingly again and again.

Starting over again and again offers me continuous opportunities to play with, cycle through, spiral around what is not completely done with me.

Do you ever notice that the same issues keep coming up again and again?

What are the issues that you re-play over and over?

Throughout my life I keep spiraling around:

  • Not Being Heard and Seen by Others
  • Recurring Dreams of Betrayal, Woundedness, and Criticism

 

Being Seen and Heard

A few years ago I was in an ongoing dance group. During one dance someone in the group started to shout, I want to be seen and heard! This proclamation was followed by others until we were all shouting out what we needed most, I want to be seen and heard!

It seems there is a human need to be acknowledged. To be seen and heard. Really seen and heard for who we are and who we are becoming… (not for what others want us to be).

Recurring Dreams of Betrayal, Woundedness, and Criticism

For many years I have been receiving a recurring dream where other dream figures representative of my tribe criticize and berate me. I have just begun to write about my shadow (what is hidden from my conscious view) and how my recurring dreams are helping me to find my way to acceptance and forgiveness.

Some Prompts for Reflection on What it Means to ‘Fall Apart:

What if, falling apart is …

In my world falling apart is…

I feel like I’m being ripped wide open when…

I am…


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Intimate Sharing + Meaningful + Courageous

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My dreams inspire me. Last night I dreamt of a new school opening. Other dreams come to help me see both where I am off-balance and where I sing!

My creator has been cranky demanding more time as I step into my play-based work and the art of playing in the everyday in new ways. So important to me! its real! Natural! I’m passionate about my work and committed to the call I feel to share the importance of our imagination, play, and creativity.

I’ve been journaling, making notes, diving into ‘ways to play’ with imagining and concrete planning (making some decisions about what to say YES to and what is a not-always-so clear NO). I’m stepping back again and again as I re-play old themes and rejuvenate them for a better fit.

Play in the Everyday: tiny inspirations fly in! 

In late October I set out to Connecticut to perform another version of my archival memoir story. This time round the images from my archival memoir project were in the backdrop as I shared the many stories within the story of my experience and its ‘postpartum’ [what I’ve learned from my experience and its ongoing treasures and gifts]. David Cherniske, improvisational musician, played a variety of instruments during the collaborative performance. As the stories I shared unfolded, Dave and I experienced a running conversation. A call-and-response. Story-Sound-Images.

Copy of Play=Peace Logo-3Three months later, I have the sense (and my dreams support my gut instinct) that I am moving into the second trimester of yet another pregnancy. I’ve been carrying the memories of my experience and all that I have written and dreamt since beginning the process of unraveling began. 1987. 1998. 2004. are important dates.

I am committed to completing and sharing the written memoir that is one part of my archival memoir project in 2016. I’m playing with sharing my memoir in a variety of forms. A handcrafted book with photos, a playful journal with decorations. Sharing parts of my memoir online as I re-vise and then publishing my memoir as a whole.

The process I am in as a play-based, depth-oriented writer is filled with promise.

Everyday there are challenges and good reasons to not write. I am trying out a few approaches to counter all the good reasons that keep me from what I love.

Play in the Everyday: Walk upstairs to my home studio. Its amazing what that does. Works like a charm!

Play in the Everyday: Take a walk to breathe and reflect. Physicality. I return to my home studio renewed and with many inspirations and more ideas! [choosing what idea to roll with is key here!]

Play in the Everyday: Pick up a book for inspiration. I have a whole library to choose from. I let my intuition guide me. Poets. Dreamers. Memoirs! Novels. Art books.

Play in the Everyday: Find new inspirations to tap into. There are so many people–those I know, those I don’t know, those who have passed on. Non-Human Animals, Nature. Characters in Stories that I Love. Films.

Play in the Everyday: Listen to my dreams. Dreams are an ongoing SOURCE.

Yep, everyday there are challenges and good reasons to not write. imagine that!

I’m on it!

Work with Me & Enjoy Your Playful Journey

Contact Me & We’ll Set Up a Time to Meet!

Image 1-20-16 at 2.22 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to the Inner Ear’s Vestibular System: Waiting to Enter the Sanctuary

Playing in the Everyday: Storm

Another storm is rolling in off the Strait. Michael is on his way to his oncology visit. I’m sitting on the couch writing while our basset hound puppy takes a nap, rain on windowpane

I’m continuing to play with my inner ear dream. My dreams lead me to what is important in my life. They ask me to pay attention. This dream is another good example and inspiration for me to stay the course and move ahead. Saying yes to what is given and seeing what happens next is all part of my playful journey.

Playing in the Everyday: Lets See What Happens

Often when I write it takes a while for me to get to the inner core. My dream of my ear covered and then clearing away the debris to get to the inner ear offers me clues, advice, counsel. The inner ear is like a labyrinth with structures, channels, and connections. Mine look healthy albeit with a few broken links.

Playing in the Everyday: Fantastic Journey

I’m reminded of a film I loved to watch in my youth. In this film voyagers explore the inner workings of the body. I’m drawn to do the same–to go back into my dream and voyage to the inside of my inner ear.

Playing in the Everyday: Vestibule

I have often entered a church through its vestibule. Over the years I have stopped and visited churches when traveling and felt a sense of balance when entering the portal that leads to the body of the church.

Playing in the Everyday: Finding Equilibrium

I go back to the vestibule to find balance again and again.

  • I find balance by playing with divergent ideas and people.
  • I find balance by noticing and then reflecting on my experiences.
  • I find balance through meditation and curiosity.
  • I find balance by going with the flow and not forcing.

I find balance by being forgiving of myself and others again and again…Forgiveness

 

Playing in the Everyday: Forgiveness

Forgiveness lives in my body. Play is a great way (the only way for me!) to find a balancing point where I can let go of past wounds,

Let go of the betrayals, resentments, broken hearts of my past (which also live in my body).

 

 

  • By balancing the part of me that strives, pushes, and prods [often linked with my critics]
  • By balancing the part of me that wants to make sense of it all, control, and is somewhat obsessive about the whole matter
  • By balancing the part of me that is open, visionary, exploring, wants to take off and spin a bit without care

I can try again to forgive myself for what I haven’t done (omissions)

I can try again to forgive myself for what I’ve done to others with negative results (commissions)[nothing is linear here]

I can try again to forgive myself my trespasses.

Spiraling….

I can try again to forgive betrayals I can’t seem to let go of….

I can try again to forgive my own betrayals of my natural, playful self [the last two play off of each other]

Spiraling….

Playing in the Everyday: A Recurring Dream

I have been receiving a recurring dream (1994-present). The dream characters change with the theme: Forgiveness

Sometimes I am shunned, ignored, dismissed.

Sometimes I am applauded, supported.

Playing in the Everyday: Active Imagination

Inner Ear: What do you have to tell me? I ask. “Those small connections are too small for you to see normally but they are working for you, helping you–listen, listen…

Playing in the Everyday: Do you Hear what I Hear?

Gently I am listening. I’m concerned about my small, broken bones but not overly concerned because laughter arises when I ‘listen’ to the connections my dreams bring me.