Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Giving Birth to Our Dreams

By Kellie Meisl

In a new book called "Dream Stories, Recovering the Inner Mystic," writers Kellie Meisl and Connie Caldes, both of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, explore the ways in which dreams give meaning to life events. The book is available through http://www.booklocker.com. What follows is an excerpt from Chapter 25.

"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

"The Birthing Dream"

I observe a large, dark gray, plump-looking airplane with a

long red chute that curves upward on the sides. The chute

extends from the plane’s door to the ground. I am about to enter this

plane with a group of women, one, my friend Connie. I am

afraid to climb the chute. There is a ladder beside it, but it is

rickety. A young, athletic woman climbs the chute and makes

it up before me. On the ground a man assists women as they climb.

He offers to help me ascend. I climb, then turn to observe the chute from above. A

section in the middle has become detached. I watch in fear as two

young women hang from the detached part of the chute by their knees, upside down.

The women are struggling to fix the chute. However, they are carefree and relaxed.

I am now in the very spacious plane; many women are

with me. I realize we were all supposed to bring our babies

aboard, but no one did. I see a stack of empty cradles. My eyes

become fixed upon an older woman who is walking around

continuously. Her hair is fluffy, grayish white, and she wears

pajamas, a robe and slippers. I realize we were all supposed to

be wearing our pajamas but only the older woman is doing so.

Yet I get the sense that not wearing pajamas is right, what

has been agreed upon.

On the same night, my friend Connie dreams she is one of many

women on a maternity ward, wearing a robe and slippers. She

is shuffling around the maternity ward; she has just given birth

to her son. I am there with her.

There are many aspects of this dream that still elude me,

though I dreamed it a decade ago and have pondered it ever

since. I am not certain why the women in my dream agree

not to wear pajamas or why this is the “right” choice. And

where are the babies? Why is there a bunch of empty cradles? I

do know two things. One, the dream was a shared dream.

Connie and I both shared a dreamscape that night, a maternity

ward full of women, some wearing robes and slippers. And two,

my dream was a reflection on giving birth. The blimp-like plane

with the long red chute is a symbol of the birthing process. I

believe the fact that the chute became detached and that the

women hang upon it, suspended, reflects my placental

abruption and subsequent Caesarean section. Perhaps the empty

cradles are symbols of the babies being whisked away from their

mothers after surgery, as mine was.

Recently, I have come to understand that dreams of giving

birth are life metaphors. They signal us, reminding us to give birth

to our dreams, to create and bring forth the labors of our creation.

The dreams will continue to recur until we take notice. And

what if we do not heed the message of our birth dreams? Then

the message is presented in the circumstances we face in the

waking world where again we have the opportunity to take

notice and create the dream we have been incubating.

Because I had given birth to my son not long before my

birthing dream, I understood the dream first on a more literal

level. Of course that was one layer of meaning to my dream.

Then I had another more potent dream that caused me to take

notice and look at things from a different angle.

"Hospital Bed"

I am lying in a hospital bed hooked up to many tubes, as I

was after my Caesarean section. I feel weak, like I am fading

away. My doctor comes into the room. He is kind and gentle.

He shares with me that I have something growing in my

abdomen. I fear it is uterine cancer. I know it is serious and

that it will require great effort to recover, but I have hope that

I can heal.

I awoke from this dream quite shaken and concerned. I

knew it was important, and I knew on some level the growth in

my abdomen signified something that was growing inside

me and needed to come out. At the time of the dream, I was just

beginning to dabble in creating art. I understood that the

uterus is located in the second chakra, the area of one’s

creativity. I saw the dream as a reminder to create and I

continued with my art. I have created pieces for annual art

shows held locally every year since; I have also created pieces for family,

friends and for myself. I knew too the book I had wanted to write

needed to manifest, and I began writing stories. Now that book, a labor of love,

has been published! I also brought to fruition

a book for children that I wrote and illustrated for my son. This

is a project I dreamed of doing as an elementary teacher when I

read and observed meaningfully written and beautifully

illustrated works by others. And, I continue to work with

dreams both formally in the classes I teach and privately as I

work with my own dreams. I have never forgotten my Hospital

Bed dream, and I realize how important it is for me to create on

a regular basis.

Not long ago, I heard a story of a woman I knew as an

acquaintance who died from cancer. Her cancer had originally

grown in her abdomen but had healed. Then it returned in her

uterus. The story I heard was astonishing. It led me to wonder

if perhaps she did not have the chance to live the dream she

held for herself. The story came from her employer, a

friend of mine. We were having tea, talking about dreams

and she told me this story:

Prior to her death, Angela had been appointed to a new

position within the company where she was working. This was

one of several new assignments she had received in a period of

a few short years. She liked this latest job and was ready

to stay with it for a while. She was finally feeling

comfortable. Not too long after Angela settled into her job, a

woman with whom she worked closely, who was slated to move to

another position within the company, had a miscarriage. The

woman, Susan, had not been keen on changing her position in

the first place. One day, Angela sat in the office of her boss in

tears, a meeting she had called to say, “I cannot allow Susan

to be involuntarily moved to this new position after the

devastation she has suffered. Though I do not want to, I will

take the new job.” Very soon after, Angela became ill with

uterine cancer. She wound up leaving her job shortly after

taking it and never returned before her death.

This story stands as a powerful reminder to me that we

cannot sell ourselves out; we must take care to create and

follow the paths that feel right to us, even if we feel pressure

from others around us. Perhaps the older woman with white

hair in my birthing dream stood out because she was

enlightened; she chose to wear her pajamas and slippers

though the younger women agreed it was right to conform.

As I peruse my dream journal, I note many metaphors of birth,

some more direct than others. I notice that I often dream of

eggs, Easter eggs, cartons of eggs and jeweled eggs.

I feel fortunate that I have these dreams documented. I

remind myself it is important to reread them now and then.

When I read the dreams, I can see that as I was having them,

they were little seeds growing into the life I now have. Many

aspects of the dreams have played out. I realize now that the

dreaming mind is a vessel where the offspring of our soul’s

aspirations may nest. All we need to do is allow ourselves to

slumber, then remember and honor our dreams; that alone will

help us fulfill a more conscious role in how our lives unfold. So

I will do my personal best to bring my dreams into existence.

And, if I can do anything to honor Angela’s dream, it will be to

remember to exercise extreme caution, looking out for myself when making

important decisions about my life’s path. I will take on the roles

I love and create what is meaningful to me, even if I feel

pressured to do otherwise.

No comments: