Category Archives: Shadow-Play

Make It An Adventure: Let Your Soul Lie Down in the Grass THE WORLD IS TOO FULL TO TALK ABOUT

When our family is going through difficult times or when we feel challenged we say, “wonderful, another grand adventure!

I like to think of my life as one big, playful adventure. Play, for me, includes everything that life presents moment-to-moment. Today I’m inspired by Rumi’s wisdom:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. When I listen and attend to what I really love I am in flow. I ‘forget’ and ‘remember’ what I am called to become, to perform–nurturer, dreamer, playful spirit, writer, storyteller, warrior, magician, creator, dancer, physical body, intellectual body, steward of nature, humane educator, and so much more…
The wound is the place where the Light enters you. I have just begun to write a series about my recurrent dream. In these dreams I am often wounded by a member of my tribe. I have been recording and listening to the guidance of my dreams for many years. At the start my recurrent dream was only filled with criticism, betrayal, and woundedness. As I continued to dream the dream on, playing with the dreams characters and dialoging with them through active imagination and dreaming, I found that I started to receive nurturance, acceptance, and applause for my efforts from the same characters who berated me earlier. Light enters in when I meet my Shadow with open arms.
 
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. Some time ago I wrote about the ‘Myth of Closure‘.  Prior to listening to Pauline Boss’s ‘On Being’ interview, I had named the myth, inconsolable grief. When I relinquished my surrogate son to his adoptive mom and father I didn’t realize the impact of this void. Yes, there is a softening over time but as Pauline talks about in her ‘On Being’ interview when there is a loss and there is a not-knowing that perpetuates and cannot be resolved there is no closure. What remains is inconsolable grief. Anything you lose comes around in another form–My story of relinquishing a newborn to a couple as a surrogate has now been rewritten. I have received a call from my son and he now knows much more about where he came from. The threads of our connection take on another form and promise. There are many news reports of parents who have lost their children through traumas of various kinds, spouses/partners who lose their lovers through drunk driving accidents or disease–many of these parents and spouses/partners courageously go on to create charities in their child or spouses/partners name. Many people, myself included, dream of those who have passed before us. Anything you lose comes around in another form.
 
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. When I meet my Shadow, the parts of me that I cannot see or acknowledge consciously, I seek to find all the barriers within that protect me from the very thing I seek–LOVE. As I write and attend to the work I am called to offer others I am aware that the most effective way to becoming who I am meant to be is Shadow-Play. 
Woundedness, Dreaming, Grieving, Writing, Shadow-Play… are all part of my life’s adventures.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. * The wound is the place where the Light enters you. * Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. * Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. * Let the beauty we love be what we do. * Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.  * Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along. * When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. * Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? * If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished? ~Rumi
Some writing/creative prompts for your writing and visual journaling: 
  •  What I really love is…
  • My wounds tell me that…
  • My grief surrounds me like a ….
  • I create barriers for myself and they…

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The Dance of ShadowPlay: Creating Meaningful Change

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For 21 years I began to receive recurring dreams where I am criticized, dismissed, and ignored. These dreams include characters who represent members of my play community in waking life.

Being part of of my tribe, these folks are like family to me, and so, the pain at being dismissed lives in my body and influences my everyday life.

Over the years I’ve treated these dreams like bad food — better to eliminate the poison and try to not eat that same poison again. I have a ‘from the toes’ reaction — Shadow — a part of my psyche that is uncomfortable — and so — I flee!

Never daunted my Shadow arrives again for another visit.

I journal regularly and record my dreams. Taking action to honor my dreams is important to me. Unlike other dreams that I receive as gifts, I’ve been dismissing my recurring dreams because the betrayal, rejection, and criticism I feel when I wake from these dreams is painful.

What I dismiss insists!

Not only do these folks appear in my night dreams but in my waking dreams as well. I am reminded of them in social media, in emails that I receive, and in daily conversations. For the most part I haven’t played with these folks in-person for years. Nevertheless, when I see their photo online or hear their name the feelings of betrayal, rejection, and dismissal are very real.

I’m ready to meet my Shadow and play. To that end, I’m going to be sharing my recurring dreams (in non-sequential order) and explore ways to partner with the characters that appear in my recurring dream in a dance of forgiveness.

1.) Dream — Critical Kris Kringle

I’m at home with Kris. She is there to criticize me. I am holding one large sheet of pastel blue paper with comments and notes. Kris finds one other large sheet of pastel violet paper. She says, “it says that you tucked your chin in” — she follows me around and criticizes that posture and other things about me.

I’ve had enough and go outside. She follows and continues to criticize me holding both of the large sheets of paper as she walks behind me.

It occurs to me following my dream that many birds tuck their bills into their shoulder feathers for protection.

Aha!

Some of the characters in my recurring dream return often to criticize me. However, as these dreams have continued to arrive, in some plots I am affirmed and applauded for my efforts by the same characters who have betrayed or dismissed me.

Being supported by the very characters who have wounded me gives me hope that there is a way to find resolution, a new dance, a new way to partner.


2.) Dream—Poem Speaking To Me

I am with other women including Cindy. I am running around doing things. Cindy is about to leave. She comes up to me and as I move forward to give her a hug, she says,

“What are you doing, you aren’t doing anything!” I say, “what do you mean?”

I know when I ask that question that I have impacted many lives. (I stand up for myself and don’t take in what Cindy is saying.)

There is another woman there who comes up to me and hands me a beautifully crafted poem that she has written. The poem takes the form of a chart with lines that are very exacting. She reads the long, involved poem to me in Dutch. Another women asks if she can substitute uncommon words for the Dutch words being used so that more women can understand. I enjoy what she has written.

Clearly I’ve influenced this female poet. She’s brought her poem to me to read and share what she has learned from me. I’m appreciative and ‘all ears’ realizing the depth of her poem and the sincerity of her impulse.

Could I have a copy? (Dare I ask for one?)

Following my dream I connect the dream’s themes with my memoir writing.

Cindy (Shadow figure) is a woman who has tremendous influence over me. In this dream she offers me the opportunity to stand up for myself after being criticized. Her words do not support me so I release them.

*[Cindy in waking life criticized and shamed me in front of my tribe. She wounded me and left me in a pool of tears on multiple occasions many years ago.]

In my night dream I am able to *release what doesn’t serve me and take in what nurtures and supports the sharing of my gifts with others]

Another woman poet (Shadow figure) helps me to see what I have *given to others. One choice I can continue to make is to be gentle and open, be vulnerable (while standing up for my natural Self).

[I was a surrogate mother for my psychotherapist and her husband in 1987 and gave them a newborn son. My experience as a surrogate and the deep and ongoing longing that I carry has helped me accept loss and live life playfully and creatively].

*In this dream Shape takes poetic form.


3.) Dream—Three out of Six Hours

I am in a big, rectangular-shaped studio with a dance floor. I am dancing with a large number of women are moving around the dance floor for the first time. Cindy is dancing. I move to her and lightly pull on her clothing. She moves backwards and then forwards with me. I feel in flow and went to keep moving for the three hours we have the space for (we have the space for 3 out of 6 hours). Some of the women on the dance floor walk through the door to the outside. They don’t want to continue dancing-playing. I think that they do not have-know the basic forms to continue to play and enjoy themselves.

In this dreamscape I initiate a dance with Cindy. In other dreams Cindy criticizes me. Here I pull on her clothing gently. We dance as a duet, a shadow-dance. I feel in flow. free * authentic * in the moment

There are women who do not want to play, to dance. They leave through an open door. I want to dance in the fullness of the time allowed.

I can continue to play, to dance because I know the basics, the basic forms. Now I can play and dance in the fullness of the three (3) hours given.

Beginning, Middle, End

Body, Soul, Spirit. 

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