Saturday, June 4, 2011

Journey Toward Healing Part III- Dream Weaver

My infamous neon dreamboard, that I'm certain knocked over
a few old ladies, on its trip home to Pittsburgh.

Liam's Dream Boards
One of Lily's FIVE Dream Boards
"Oh my life is changing everyday
Every possible way
Though my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems

I know I felt like this before
But now I’m feeling it even more
Because it came from you

Then I open up and see
The person fumbling here is me
A different way to be

I want more, impossible to ignore
Impossible to ignore
They’ll come true, impossible not to do
Impossible not to do

Now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don’t hurt me
For what I couldn’t find

Talk to me amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You’re everything to me

Oh my life is changing everyday
Every possible way
Though my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems
’cause you’re a dream to me

Dream to me" - The Cranberries

Had you been a fly on the wall in the West Palm Beach Airport, or in the Charlotte Airport, or on either jet that took me home to Pittsburgh, you would have wondered at the blond girl carrying the fluorescent green poster board, all banged up, crazy things hanging off of it....Of all of the items I was toting North, my dream board was the most important cargo of all- not because of its tangible value (it has none), or even because of its intrinsic meaning to me, but because I knew that the lessons carved into the spirit of that poster would have an enormous impact on my children.  Somehow this ridiculously bulbous piece of paper had to get to them intact.  Its that "Trickle Down Effect" made famous by that ever-so-popular, though not my favorite, Republican President of my youth, Ronald Reagan.   I spent the money, I made the trip, I did the hard work and weathered the tumult of emotions, but Lily, Liam, Benjamin and Seth would get the wisdom in spades.  

I showed up for the initial day of the weekend intensive with some trepidation as to what the experience would be like for me.  The night before was dicey- a shabby hotel room, a marginal part of town, dicey food alternatives, and zero cell phone reception. I could only hope that things would improve from there.   My first impression, when I ambled through the doors was that the place smelled like diarrhea and that I was in big trouble.  I have an amazing, though sometimes exquisitely annoying, sense of smell.  Perhaps changing diapers for the majority of the last thirteen and a half years has done me in...I don't know.  But I immediately wanted to jump on a plane and head home.  My therapist, I'd decided, was a ding-bat, and could not possibly be trusted any longer.  She sent me all the way to Florida to be steeped in the pungent odor of rectum.  And then I saw the Buddha on the floor of the gathering space.  "Oh, man, I am so going to hell..." I thought.  Then there were all these people streaming in who seemed to know one another already.  They looked normal enough, nobody was chanting or wearing superhero costumes or weird hair...but they weren't gagging at what I believed to be a leaky sewage pipe in the office- so I thought surely their senses had been brainwashed out of them.  Everyone was cheerful...while I was filled with remorse.  "I am never doing this again...Never...Ever...Where's Jesus?  Jesus, get in here now and save me....I'm so sorry about the Buddha...If there is purple Kool-Aid, I promise I won't drink it. I'll run."   Now I can laugh about this.  The  odor I smelled was sage, which had been burned prior to my arrival. There was nothing but water to consume and  Buddha was Buddha....he was not mentioned nor did he make the attempt to convert me.  

To begin " the process" we gathered in a circle, all eighteen of us, or so, and received our first assignment.  We were to journal about our desires for ourselves (physically, mentally, emotionally, with regards to relationships, career, money, and what we thought was our mission and purpose).  After which, we were to head outside, to the backyard, to build our dream boards.  And that is all she wrote, folks.  I was hooked.  This girl loves to collage- always has.  I spent hours cutting and pasting and building memory books as a child, and then again once my children were born.  To be given permission to do this, as part of my healing process, in the middle of the day on a Friday- unthinkable.  

I am a dreamer of big dreams.  I always have been. I remember a friend of mine telling me, about ten years ago, that she didn't understand all these dreams I spoke of- she "didn't dream" she said- she just did what was practical.  Mind boggling as it was, to me, somehow I bought her mindset, hook-line-and-sinker, and lost my ability to believe in the fantastic.  I forgot what it was like to want the impossible and believe it possible.  I threw away the wonder of what I could become and held tight to my  resignation that I was damaged goods- treading water- getting through my days- sometimes happy, sometimes bewildered- but most certainly washed up.  You don't dream when you are forty, married, four kids, junk-in-the-trunk, swallowed up by the mundane in life.  That is child's play-those days were over.  

One of the gems of my journey toward healing was my renewed faith in possibility and my own potential.  I put those dreams, in words and in photographs, to paper, and made them come alive again.  I spoke them out loud and heard the voice of my soul saying that I was steeped in greatness and all that lay ahead could be whatever I worked toward.  Then I carried the beauty of that energy to Pittsburgh with me, stowed away in the over-head bins on two crowded airplanes, then onto my kitchen counter, at three in the morning, when I finally arrived home, with a sign "hea kids- look at Mommy's dreams!!"  to inspire them that Monday morning. (Hours later, they crept into my room and woke me up, before leaving for school, saying "Mommy- we like your collage.  Can we make one too?")

Lily and Liam have spent hours, over the last two weeks, since my trip, walking back and forth to the library's used book shop, to purchase magazines, with their own money, to cut and paste onto their dream boards.  Benjamin bought a board but immediately tried to sell it to his sister because he was too busy living his dreams to bother putting them on paper (you have to laugh) and Seth cut out random pictures but lost the energy to glue them anywhere. But they have all been empowered to keep dreaming and to believe that they can achieve anything they can put into words. To be able to impart this kind of wisdom into the minds of my children is priceless.  And to know that it is never too late for possibility takes all of the hopelessness out of anxiety and fades it into the past, one dream at a time.

And so it is.  


jen said...

I like the posters... I keep three ring notebooks and over the years they have changed a lot. I always have a section titled, "who I am" and then my home, children, whatever excites me... funny how I have changed.


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Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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