A while ago, one of my book clubs decided to skip a book, and do a dream exercise instead. See what happens when three book club members are therapists and one is a psychiatrist? You're thinking, "Weird mumbo jumbo, out there, woo woo stuff", right? Well I was skeptical at first myself. One of our members attended an all day workshop with Victoria Rabinowe in Santa Fe, NM. She distilled the workshop down to what we could accomplish in a couple of hours, and it was really fun!
We were told to come with a dream written down. Due to a flu bug, only four of us attended. Three of us did not write down our dreams, but just TOLD them when it was our turn. Here was my dream:
I was walking down an unfamiliar Italian street in a small Tuscan-looking town, (it looked a lot like it could have been a side street in Montalcino or Pienza). I was by myself, and happily walking along. As I approached a corner, I heard noise ahead, and turned to see a morning market scene. It was all fruits, veggies and flowers, so I began choosing some items to take home for a meal. That's when several people I knew showed up, that I was not expecting to see in Italy. Kim (from Slow Travel) was there, as was a sorority sister, (Joy), and another friend from the Bay area. None of them knew each other, and it was interesting to have them all show up in Italy, AND in my dream!
In the next scene, we were in a very pretty Italian kitchen, all working together to make dinner, and Brad was there pouring everyone wine. Imagine! I remember I was filling ravioli, and Kim was putting together a salad. Joy (who really doesn't cook in real life) was taking out food to a large table outside in a garden where there were big olive trees and a nearby vineyard. There was lots of laughter and talking. I woke up and thought, "Damn, I'm NOT in Italy?"
Back to the workshop... We each told our dream, and then were given an hour and the materials to make at least 5 "dream cards". Dream cards were small collages done on 5x7 tagboard, and then backed in printed paper, so they could be shuffled, and would all look the same on the back. Each card had magazine images and a word or phrase depicting either a character, emotion or some activity from your dream. We were told to, "Let go of your preconceived idea of the meaning of your dream. Throw yourself at the mercy of the process of hunting and gathering images for your collage cards. Include a word or phrase on every card."
Our hostess had bins of HUNDREDS of magazine pictures already cut out for us to search through. We could also bring our own from home to save time, so I had a few cut out from some of my Italian cooking magazines. Our hostess also had stations set up for us to work at with glue sticks, scissors, markers, etc., and paper already cut for the cards and backings.
In one hour, our dream cards were all done. We returned to the table, and were told to shuffle our cards and place them face down on the table in front of us.
Our cards would now act as "oracle cards" to answer questions about our life in general. The first question was,
1. What is the force that has been controlling and ruling my life?
We all turned over the top card. Here was mine:
Well, clearly food, especially Italian food, has a very important place in my life!
At this point in the real workshop, participants would journal what they think this means for themselves. We did not have the time to do this, but were encouraged to go home and write about this experience. (I think it means I need to "get a life" and stop eating so much...lose some weight! Is it possible that everything doesn't revolve around food?)
We turned over our second card, and were asked,
2. What obstacle do I need to overcome?
Well, I have no intention of giving up my Italian dreams, but maybe this means I need to appreciate my good life at home even more, and stop living in the future. It probably also means, I need to pay off credit cards that still have past Italy expenses on them! I'm working hard on that!
3.What is ending in my life?
This was interesting. I really thought about this one. Maybe this is about reducing stress by ending relationships where I do all the work, or give much more than I get back. There are a couple "friends" I can think of that may fit in this category. I also need to be around positive energy, and people who look at life in a "glass is half full" way.
4. What is beginning in my life?
Well, there you go. I do have many great relationships. My friends are a great source of joyI am happy to add new friends to the mix too!
5. What new energy will support me?
I thought this was very interesting, too. I have learned to ask for support when I need it. I could also look at this card literally and eat more fruits and veggies!
This was a very fun and interesting exercise! Other members also had interesting things come up as a result of this activity. Thanks to Diana for all the work and preparation she went through for this experience!