Dream Work: Standing on two wild feet
"The work is in you already. It's time for the birth."
I was feeling overwhelmed and sad. “I cannot seem to make my work happen,” I told my husband. “Ive never worked so hard on something that will not be born!" He said all the wonderful husband things he says and I went to bed.
I dreamed that
I was in the yoga teacher training, in the middle of posture class, when, out of the blue, I blurted out, "I don't need the workbook!" My yoga teacher shot me a well-deserved stink eye. Then, it happened again. Another sharp look. The third time, my teacher called me into the hallway. “What’s going on?” she asked.
“I really don’t know,” I said. It had happened… through me. As if someone else was speaking through my body. I couldn’t control it.
We went back to class and a moment later, I blurted again. "I don't need the workbook!"
Guilty and ashamed and scared, I slunk out the door. I found myself walking down a long corridor that connected the yoga studio to a hospital.
“Come with me,” a young doctor called. I followed, trying to keep up as he ran through the corridors, calling to me over his shoulder. "You're perfectly fine but I want this other doctor to do the check up on your feet. You’ll need your shoes.”
But I was still barefoot - in my yoga clothes. “I left them in the studio!” I told the doctor.
“Go find them and come back to me!” I turned back, running to fetch my shoes but they were gone. Desperate, I stole someone else’s shoes - a pair of high-heeled sandals in fake snakeskin - and ran back to the hospital.
The shoes were too big and, “These don't feel like me!" I kept saying.
“It’s not a problem,” the second doctor said. "I can cut down the shoes so they are perfect and then you won’t have that problem with your legs anymore." I looked down. What problem with my legs?
“I can make it so your shoes change everything. Just by talking to you and watching you for a while." But he wasn't watching me. I was standing behind him in my yoga clothes, wearing these awful sandals and he was facing away from me, staring into his computer screen. Could he see me in there? I wondered.
The scene changed again. Time had passed and I was in another room with a group of friends. I had been extremely sick and I was finally allowed to go out but I couldn't sit down. If I sat down, I’d fall asleep, sliding down in my chair, eyes closing. "Talk to me so I don’t fall asleep again," I called to my friends.
"What’s wrong?" they asked, propping me back up.
"I don’t know. I can’t stay awake."
This is where the dream ended. I woke up.
I walked downstairs, mind full of dream images. What kind of shoes WOULD feel like my shoes? What kind of shoes DO I need?
And what was the sickness from which I was recovering? Had the doctors fixed my shoes, my legs? Why couldn’t I sit down? Was I still recovering from having my legs fixed?
I’d had other shoes dreams. In one, I lost one shoe (high heeled) and Oprah opened her magic closet and gave me a brand new pair of purple shoes (high heeled). They’d fit perfectly. I’d had the Oprah dream on the eve of the launch of a new program.
Ah, I see. New program. New shoes.
In another shoe dream, one shoe had fallen into the water as I leapt from the shore onto a ferry. The boat was carrying my son and his friends away from the pier. Instead of joining them on the top deck, I went below, communing with the handsome ‘Captain’ of the ship. This dream also came on the eve of a big launch - my son was leaving for college.
Oooh, I see. New life. New shoes.
I thought of Cinderella's glass slippers, a symbol of transparency and purity, of virginity and fragility.
I thought of the Red Shoes in Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. They were beautiful but inappropriate for ‘church’ and wound up taking control of the young girl who wore them.
I thought about what shoes mean symbolically - you can read about that here.
I thought about what they mean to me.
Most signifcant: My first pair of expensive power shoes: brown Joan and David pumps with very pointy toes and kitten heels. They made me feel sexy and smart and expensive — like a million dollars. These are the shoes which, after I had my first baby, no longer fit me. A part of my life was over. The old shoes no longer fit.
In many shoe dreams, I lost one shoe and wound up hobbling along - step up, step down, step up, step down. As if one foot was ‘higher’ but bound inside of an uncomfortable structure, while the unshod foot was free.
The shoeless foot was 'wild' and ready to touch the ground. In this most recent dream, BOTH shoes were lost and I was about to be forced to have my shoes 'cut down' and my legs 'fixed' by a man who wasn't even looking at me.
I was standing on two wild feet. Recovering from a sickness that kept trying to pull me back to sleep but my friends were there, helping me stay awake.
Extending the Experience
Dreams are so clever. If we are willing to play with them, they will echo into our waking life, offering us gifts of wisdom, glimmers of guidance and embodied truths.
That morning, I decided to engage more with this strange shoe-dream wisdom. I came into my sun room and closed my eyes. Breathing slowly, I let my body settle. I fell into a vivid waking dream. Here’s what happened.
I found myself in a sunlit meadow where I met with the One that I know as The Professor, a male angel. He opened his palms toward me and energy poured into my belly. My body filled with light and my hands and feet began to vibrate as I grew brighter, lighter and taller. He directed my attention to the point in my belly where his light was pouring in. The work is in you already, he said. It's time for the birth.
But how? I asked and I felt Her come alongside me. The generous and gentle friend I know as Sophia, as Her, as Goddess. "I am here with you," she said, her voice clear and calm. I felt her gentle hand at the back of my heart. “We will do this (birthing) together."
As the vision faded, The One said, clear as a bell: Speak every note out loud. Give it all form. Discard all the paper. After that, you will be ready to go.
I did this all day, reading note after note into the dictation app on my phone, filling and discarding two grocery bags of paper. I am almost done. After two years, one small pile remains. I am dictating g this post from the kitchen. I am barefoot I don't need the workbook. I AM the workbook.