This body of work comes directly from my dreams. I feel that our dreams are the veins and arteries into the bigger organism of which we are a part. The dreams of our sleep reveal the storylines we have created about our waking life. How then, I ask through drawing and painting, do we let go of the stories and dramas we tell ourselves and practice radical honesty? How do we let our dreams expose our clever self-delusions and wake us up?
How can we be completely sincere and present?
A couple of years ago, I began compiling various dream recall techniques and practicing them as much as I could. I received instructions such as, “If you can heal water, you can heal all.” But I also received terrible reminders of unfinished business with darkness of the past, so delving into dream recall and lucidity practice was a kind of therapy for me.
I could face difficulties of the past in the dreamworld directly and transform them with this practice.
When I was very young, I dreamed of living off the land like a hunter gatherer or any other creature on the planet not locked in by civilized systems. “To be civilized” brings up a whole system of values, generally regarded as good, but if civilization brings forth mass-extinction and ecological collapse, this can no longer be taken for granted as “good”. As I grew up, I realized it was those same civilized systems whose exponential growth was destroying the planet. Do we throw our hands up into the air and cheer on the seemingly inevitable apocalypse with popcorn and zombie comics in hand? Or may we leave the safety of our hobbit-holes to awaken the dangerous dream that is in our blood, that dream that has stirred us since we were small children? We know from our dreams that many other realities are not only possible, they already exist waiting to unfold.
How would you live your life if you didn’t have to worry about all the trappings of industrialization and everything you were ever told was good or desirable, such as comfort, security, wealth and growth?
Where do your dreams point you? Or to put it this way, if the plundering hordes (or the Mega Storm) burned your village to the ground with no hopes of wifi or iPhones returning, what would really matter to you? What makes you feel alive and part of the Earth?
Dream recall/lucidity exercises
- Reflection – ask yourself throughout the day if you are dreaming or awake, this is a form of mindfulness
- Symbols – recognize odd occurrences that would point to a dreamlike state rather than waking
- Remind yourself to remember your dreams before bed each night
- Keep a dream journal
- Hold the position you wake up in and wake slowly, as your body remembers the dream
- Plant an intent before bed – ask for a dream answer for something that needs working out – sometimes this is profound, sometimes it backfires into a hilarious trickster comedy!
- Dreamtime awareness – remember that all reality is a kind of lucid dream
- Supplements, herbs and whole foods can support vivid dreams and healthy sleep – B6s, tryptophan, 5-HTP, choline, beta carotene, mugwort, chamomile, lavender, rosehips, passionflower, anise, peppermint (combinations of these herbs make great “dream pillow” satchels) and of course, limiting alcohol and stress!