After launching Dreamstepping in December of this past year with a strong internal commitment to blog about the process on a regular basis, I stalled.
So, I beat myself up about that for a little while (probably four months actually, ouch) and then realized that it was perfect; a perfect example of the difficulties encountered at all the transitions, in this case, the very first transition from dreaming to voice.
Writing about something, especially writing for public consumption is a step toward making it real. Voice is the essential second step that moves our dreams out of the ephemeral and into form. We start to bring dreams into form either by speaking or writing about them. Giving voice to your dreams turns them into sound waves, still ephemeral but with some duration in time-space. But writing about them? That is even more real. Putting pen to paper, or, in the case of this blog, electrons on a disk somewhere is an assertion of the unreal over the real. At each transition your dreams become more and more real until they finally exist in form at which point it is essential to the creative process that you return their creative energy back to the source through enjoyment and gratitude.
But that is the end of the cycle. I’m still, at the beginning.
What is so difficult about transitioning from dreams to voice? First of all, if you’re dreaming you are almost always dreaming about a change of some sort. And change creates a conflict in our species. We both delight in and fear change. Each to our own extent and degree but it is true for us all. Much of our identity is built up around our relationship to change. Think to yourself, do you say, I am a change agent, I am a risk taker, I am cautious, I’m a planner, or I’m comfortable here. It is the “I am”, the sense of fixed identity and all the external worth and validation that comes to us through operating consistently that sets up the fear dynamic. Change puts our sense of self at risk. We might become something different. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed. And when we are in fear we don’t operate creatively. We go on autopilot and execute well worn, familiar at least, if not enjoyable scripts. For me, I stall; I do the laundry; I list all the things I should be doing instead; That’s my pattern, the scripts my own personal guardian against change runs for me. For you it might be different. Look and see, what do you do instead of talking or writing about what you dream for yourself, your family, friends and community? That’s your script. That’s your guardian herding you into the known to avoid the unknown.
And its fine, it’s not wrong, it doesn’t need to be fixed, changed, or eliminated; there is safety in the known. Safety is a good thing. Embrace the guardian. It’s great to have a place to retreat to when change gets overwhelming. What I don’t want to happen though is for the guardian to run the show. I don’t want to be stopped by the fear of change. By the fear that I’ll become something just a little different and all my externally defined worth will be threatened. So, what stops us at transitions is ‘the guardian’ Ego defences, the protections we erect to preserve our sense of identity and fear. In the immortal words of Frank Herbert’s Bene Gesserit ‘Fear is the Mind Killer’. I want my mind, alive, the creative part at least. Because there is also delight in change, in surprise, in creation and exploration. We’re just as pulled to it as we are to safety. And if we languish in safety for too long there are warriors who prod us forward with the weapons of boredom, frustration, that nagging sense of ‘there must be something more’. Embrace the warrior; It will keep you in balance.
The two big blocks then, and I believe they are the same blocks that rise up at each transition, are fear and ego. We deal with those and we’re free to create, free to dream and step into those dreams moment by moment, day by day. Stay with me, learn with me, as I stay with me and deal with fear and ego to make my dreams come true.
And the sense of conflict perhaps is set up by the metaphorical characters I’ve used to speak for this duality that exists in us; the desire for safety and the desire for change. I personified those two impulses as guardian and warrior. I’m struck by the war metaphor and all the destruction that comes with that. I’ve certainly felt that kind of carnage internally as I beat myself up about not moving forward. What if we thought about those impulses differently? How would that change our experience of dreamstepping?