Like many people, I turned to my dreams when their ‘volume’ got so loud that I couldn’t ignore them any longer. According to the accepted standards, my outer life was thriving at the time. I was working as an executive in the music industry, living the so-called ‘good life’ of restaurants, hotels and exclusive parties. After years of being a musician, struggling to make ends meet, my ego really felt like she’d ‘made it’ in the world.
But it all came at a tremendous cost. Not only was my health suffering from the burnout that comes with workaholism, but the things I truly valued – like creativity, community and beauty-making were being devastated by my neglect.
It was then that I was initiated by my dreams. One night I was awoken by a bone-chilling dream, a dark mare which haunted me for weeks. When I was finally brave enough to look at it squarely, I was forced to question the direction my life was taking.
After that all the vitality I had for my career suddenly went out of me, like a flame to a gust, and I found myself in a deep depression. For the next year, the dreams pulled me down into their mucky depths, where I came to face the terrifying loneliness which my hectic life had been keeping at bay.
As I walked through that daunting abyss, I came to learn that those dreams which contained perverse or violent images were actually speaking to the ways in which I was being violent or dismissive of my own heart. Instead of dodging those images, I practiced at staying put and becoming hospitable towards them. And when I succeeded, I’d be gifted with one of those rare, numinous dreams which beckon you deeper into its mystery and concealed wisdom.
The deeper I went into my own darkness, the richer my life became. And this is now the central ethos of my work with dreams. At any given moment, we are either turning away from or coming into congruence with our kinship with mystery. Only when we wrestle to keep that endangered language of sensitivity alive do we have a chance at living a meaningful life. But more than that, this is how we become necessary to the urgency of our times.