Struggling mightily with my "inner critic" today. Childhood memories with tentacles attached to my spirit, telling me that I am not, and never will be, enough. And, that I am too much. Too disorganized, too volatile, too emotional, too needy, too difficult, too unbalanced, too damaged, too late...too everything to actually get my shit together. Like there's too much to put in the suitcase, and it keeps popping open with all my shit flying everywhere. Like I seem to keep forgetting to bring my passport, even though I was so sure I had it. Knowing where this all comes from doesn't always matter...what I've survived, what an accomplishment it is to just be walking and talking. The part of me that needs compassion and the part of me that can give it don't seem to see eye to eye today. All I can do is feel. This, today, is my art.
Today was spent going back and forth between writing and dancing in the studio. Balancing/integrating mind, body and soul. I'm preparing for a few upcoming events that will have me traveling again, and working on several new projects. This Taurus does not love living out of a suitcase, but she does love going to new places and experiencing the wonderful conversation and connection that happens, with the welcome expansion in perspectives. I'm looking forward to what is to come. (My hand is blurry from trying to push my glasses back up in time for the picture!)
(read Lucid Dream Room. Part I)
One of the most enjoyable features of the working was putting myself into an alpha state that I felt to be akin to the experience of lucid dreaming. I attempted to project myself with the fluctuations in self-perceptions in weight/weightlessness, the transitions in time perception, etc. that seem to occur on the astral.
I have already worked with attempting to mimic the sensations of astral travel as a dancer, so the physical movement piece was not entirely new to me. However, as a dancer, I am "monologuing" with an audience that is set apart, and though I do often break the 4th wall, there are generally no exchanges of words. In this case, it was a very intimate "dialogue" of energy and movement, as well as words.
I tried to push myself and my inhibitions "out of the way" as much as possible in order to allow my unconscious mind to take over. It is my understanding that as we dream (as part of what we know as "sleeping") we come out of "resistance" to ourselves in a different way than we generally can while waking. It was this path of least resistance to myself that I endeavored to take in this ritual space.
One of the major issues that I felt it important to consider as part of this undertaking was personal physical and emotional safety. I would be in an enclosed space with one person at a time, engaging in who knows what. How can I stay safe? And yet, how can I make a need for boundaries consistent with trying to let go of constraints normally associated with this plane? Is that even the right question? I wondered. (I'll get more into that in Part III next week.)
Another issue was how to stay "in character" while also letting people in and out of the room.
Both issues were sufficiently resolved in this case by the inclusion of the "priestesses" at the door (see Part I)
Originally, I told everyone involved that there was to be "no physical touch" with anyone coming into the room. This policy went out the window with the very first person, as I was immediately grabbing, groping, pulling people down to the floor with me, etc.
I was amazed at the way that participants managed themselves in this space, and this part of the experience has been a great source of joy and wonder for me! There was of course no "wrong" way to behave, so everyone was absolutely correct in their way of experiencing it and expressing themselves. Responses ranged from careful consideration, to amusement, to freezing, to mirroring me, to easy laughter and enjoyment, to exuberant physical demonstrations--dancing, rolling on the floor, jumping, etc. Some people told me true intimate things about their dreams, some people made up stories on the spot. All the while I said out loud whatever came to mind, (freely interrupting or laughing or showing boredom or changing the subject), and moved about the room according to impulse. I also played card games with dreamers; there were of course no rules. I'd pull a card... "Tell me why this is you. QUICKLY!!!"
Part way into the performance, I put a sleep mask over my eyes so I wouldn't know who had entered the space (the priestess knocked on the door loudly to let me know someone new would be entering.) Each person entering got a completely different experience.
That said, about halfway through I began to notice myself developing a pattern that "worked". As a performer, this is generally a normal and welcome process, but this case, I wanted to resist doing that. I wanted the Working to spontaneously, organically unfold, and not get caught up in any kind of leaning that my ego might have toward making this "successful". I wanted to keep taking bigger and bolder risks rather than stay with something that was losing life-force. It was a great thing to notice, and to work with. How much a of rhythm can I establish for the sake of flow (if any) without the piece losing energy and meaning?
I was very tired by the end of this 2 hour Working! And high, too. I have more to tell you about it, as well as my observations on the nature of "Dream" and "reality" that came from this, and other longer term results. But that will have to wait for Part III, posted next week.
P.S. The monkey in the glass in the photo above was definitely necessary, and kindly placed there by the hosts of Star and Snake per my request. He more permanently shares residence with Natan and K in Salem, MA.
P.P.S. I welcome your comments!