Dear Dreamers –
It’s Emergency Preparedness Month, something that weirdly appeals to me. Maybe it comes from raising a pack of Boy Scouts. Or from the prudent thrill of filling so many plastic tubs with supplies before the inevitable disaster of Y2K. Or the charm of the tiny, detailed survival kits my boys used to pack into Altoid boxes. Given the vividness and nightmarish quality of many Covid dreams, it occurs to me that we may need to check our Dream Emergency Kits.
This month I want to remind you of the Swiss Army Knife of dreamwork, the one tool you absolutely must have to engage with your dreams and to follow through on their purpose. Often you will need this when things feel troubling or nightmarish in the dream. But know this: when you feel an emergency in a dream, it comes in the service of emergence.* The tool goes beyond “Mitigation Strategy” and into the realm of “Divine Compassionate Healing Miracle for Yourself and for the Ages.”
Here’s your tool: it is the phrase I am that too.
Yes, you probably already have it in your pocket.
Yes, this is shadow work.
I just want to remind you how necessary it is, and offer a blade by blade review of how to use “I am that too” when you wake from a dream, particularly one that disturbs you.
I am offering this tool now because we are in a state of multiple emergencies, including the Covid crisis, wildfires and hurricanes, political turbulence, coming to terms with systemic racism, violence at peaceful protests, economic instability, and the general upheaval of life as we thought we knew it.
To many of us, it feels like a time of emergency. It can also be a time of emergence. Of new capacities in ourselves…of space for the Other…and of the wild surge of knowing that way way down in the psyche, in the imagination of God – there is a kind of unifying force field which holds us all.
Carl Jung talked about the necessity of doing this kind of soulstretching , claiming that the fate of humankind depended on every one of us doing our inner work.
Shadow work is hard, it’s never finished, and it often feels nearly impossible. I’m still pretty bad at it. But dreams help us learn it. They offer us an amazing chance to practice over and over this strange, richly powerful, deeply humbling work of saying…and meaning…and finally understanding… through the disturbing emergence in a dream …“I am that too.”
Heartfelt gratitude to each of you who is willing to stay with the otherness,
* I had a dream that showed me this: I saw a crash site, emergency vehicles everywhere, looked like a disaster, then I see a geyser of clear water gush up from the center of the intersection! Somehow the emergency had become an emergence. Gives me hope.
** See David Richo, How to Be an Adult for a clear, simple guide to shadow transformation.
Fire by Night
Individual Dreamwork –
at midnight Wednesday Sept. 30. Thanks to all who have taken me up on the offer!
Email me by the 30th to book your individual sessions at
$75 each or four for $280.
Dream Emergence Survival Kit
for Group Dreamwork
Curious about group dreamwork? Book a
one-time dream circle
for your small group or circle of trust. You’ll learn the basics of group dreamwork, practice three ways of exploring your own dreams, and reach into your creative depths for some embodied dream-tending that helps you carry your dream’s wisdom into waking life. You’ll be prepared to handle future dream emergences - alone or together.
2 hour group meeting ($200)
4 hour workshop ($400)
All groups are set for now. If you’d like to be on the waiting list to join in January, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.