Posts tagged Inner Realms
Dreams and Insights: Towards Understanding

Dear friends–

I hope you all had a warm and inviting holiday season towards your inner and outer home, within and without. I've been thinking of you all, and I look forward to reconnecting at one of our events in the new year.

Early morning of Dec. 31st I had one of those dreams that linger and make you ponder for a while. After ruminating on the message in my dream, something within me inspired me to pen an open letter, and here I greet you with these words. 2018 was full of learnings, travels, yoga/surfing, welcoming new connections and yes work was definitely in between there too.

Inner Compass was initiated as part of a gathering to appreciate the mind/body connection through different forms, a dialogue of experiences that include not just our every day doing but a more intimate and private aspect of our spiritual self which mediates with our outer goals and relationships. I want to acknowledge and thank Anthony, Sarah, Alice, and Kim for facilitating and leading some of the events. I want to thank those who were curious, showed up and added to the richness of the conversation with your area of expertise, challenges, and insights. And for those who have expressed interest, I look forward to having you in our next event. 

So back to this dream. It went something like this . . . 
I was at work designing, but it was a mixture of my current career in experience design/strategy and a blend of my former career as a fashion designer. I recalled asking a co-worker to get her feedback as she was leaving work. I remembered showing her three articles of clothing a top, shirt, and 3/4 coat. Maybe they were healing garments.   The garments comparable to the like of the pleats-please collection of Issey Miyake; relaxed fit, minimalist in design yet there was something unique to the material. In the dream, I sensed her slight urgency to leave the office. As the co-worker parted ways with me she transformed into a different person, outwardly that is. The same co-worker now has a new body and different clothing. Catching only a glimpse of her backside she now wears a tucked tee-shirt and a barely-there cheek covering torn jean shorts. Of course, secretly I passed judgment on this woman as to how can she be wearing this in the office? Now in retrospect, I didn't blink twice how this is entirely out-of-place scene. What amazes me about a dream is the ridiculous scenario can take place, and we don't even question it. Of course, the mundane of everyday occurrence is mixed in with the hidden message which makes interesting to interpret. 

The next segment of the dream, standing beneath glass atrium with natural light flooded into the common space flanked by a bi-level interior. I am chatting with a random fellow who works in the building. Not anyone I know in real life. He made a statement about how there are a lot of consultants hired at this company around this time of year. I casually mention I was one of them. He then shared that he worked in the tech and engineer department and went into describing the nature of the product that his department/company is working on, and simultaneously as he is explaining this "vacillator product/device" I get an instant visualization of a two-dimensional prototype expanding and contracting like a garment that adapts and grows. This conversation helped connect to the former part of my dream to what I was designing. The word vacillator stood out in the dream as I didn't fully understand what the word means. I don't recall ever coming across it or using it, and if I did, I don't remember. Oscillating, yes. So it could be by association.

After a few minutes in my lucid state thinking on the word, I became fully awake. I felt refreshed and thinking it must be around 6 AM. It turned out it was only 3:30 AM. Out of curiosity, I searched for the word if it was a real word or something made up in my dream. My first search was a "vacillator device," and the result came up not what I had expected.

Interestingly enough, what I stumbled across was relevant to something hidden about myself that currently affects the way I see and respond to specific individuals and instances. The hidden message in the dream shed light on the root cause of the inner conflict derived from childhood distress. This vague, unsettling feeling may not have a reason, a name or even logic in how we go about in our waking life. 

Taking a step back on how I define "inner conflict," something that you care and genuinely matters and yet something does not fit or feels right into the scope of "reality and/or your values." Inner conflict impacts our system– body, and mind in which appears in the form of stress and anxiety. When one's vitality drains it the changes the quality of life. A conflict could have varying forms, thus isolating the context of what it is to arrive at the root cause illuminates the trouble spot, which leads to the economics and the motivation in a job. So what moves you? There is something to consider too is the quality of our emotional energy in how that plays into how we work (i.e., with or without enthusiasm) and take note how that transpire to the result. The spectrum varies from the most tangible in the form of carrot-and-stick to more intangible as intrinsic values and impact that you want to make. However, what I am starting to see is a merging of the two forms. Just know what works for you. 

But what happens when you can't see, what you need to see? How do we see our blind spots? That's the tricky part. And this applies to both in business in bringing about innovation as it is in and how it affects personal growth. Hence, I believe the Universe has this ever-so-brilliant plan to bring about specific people, situations in our lives so that we may have an opportunity to discover our blind spots. 

Concerning work – For more innovative thinking, companies purposely build diverse disciplinary teams (combination of external and internal) to stir new thinking to push the envelope and to bring about a new way of seeing, as well as creating things. However, this requires a delicate push/pull in participants dynamic, as well as an expert facilitator with the ability to hold space to bring about genuine, thought-provoking dialogue to spark newness.

In the past when difficulties arose, it's easier wanting to escape. Unfortunately, it gets suppressed and haunts in the background and manifest in another form like a hydra in Greek Mythology in which another head grows back. It can masquerade as an ego with a feeling of superiority or psychological fear that threatens a personal belief that we must protect and preserve bringing on more misery in which we can not see the underlying problem. You can see this manifest in unhealthy relationships as well as, the office politics that is played out in work culture which, hindered the possibility of creativity and new developments and breakthroughs. I think it's more important than not to understand how our interpersonal relationships influence our waking life. Compartmentalize all we can; it's there in full daylight for all to feel the effect like that of a full blue moon. The funny thing is everybody can see it, but the individual– like the emperor with no clothes. 

Creativity is energy. When we feel frustrated or blocked it's understanding the need to nurture the mind, body, spirit as a holistic unit. The ancient energetic teachings and western science has led me to appreciate how our autonomic nervous system affects our energy center along with a host of complexities of interconnected organs, neurons, and hormones in our body. Have you ever in retrospect look back at an event and saw in hindsight how you might have uncontrollably expressed in a tone or manner that is not of your higher self? I have had these instances where I look back and see an aspect of myself that I want to let go. A moderate level of guilt and humility that is self-acknowledged is an internal feedback system to steer us to change for the better. I have to admit ever since I started yoga it has deepened my personal experience of the invisible and the unexplainable most experienced in the form of dreams. Recently, I've been braver sharing of my own experiences of my dreams and moments of deep gratitude as though it was a soul-calling ever so gently to be reminded of something that is a familiar yet unknown. 

I think it depends on where we are on our path . . . Sometimes it is wise to take the high road and let it be, and it requires an inner letting go. At times, you think by walking away you don't have to deal with it. Nonetheless, karmically not so easy. Have you ever experienced the same issue but in a different situation/scenario with, different life characters? It can be a wake-up call that there is something to take a closer look. And maybe it's not pointing that index finger outwardly, but the other way around as reality is base on our self created perception. Another way of looking at it is we can blame it on the weather in determining whether it is a good or bad day to our experience, but once we are content, inwardly it does not matter what the weather forecast is that day, rain or shine. 

Without going into the details of my inner conflict so publically I can say an exaggerated or false misinterpretation perpetuated negative thinking which caused suffering on my part. I am starting to look at my dreams like breadcrumbs for me to have a more in-depth inquiry about myself. The "breadcrumb" in my dream led me to see and understand specific moments of interaction in my adulthood triggered by a childhood pain points that recast its energy present-day reality. By paying attention to the unconscious part of ourselves, in this case, our dreams, it can enable us to recognize:
*blind spot(s) in this case in understanding the inner conflict most objectively– meaning without adding more to the story.
*Seeing things as they are at a different angle, through a more precise lens. Building towards a 360 point-of-view, with more depth and clarity to reality. However, it does require a level of interpretation as it is not always so literal. 

This reframing allows me to respond from a compassionate and sane perspective avoiding a negative impact on my next interaction. A form of misunderstanding leads to false thinking and create unnecessary grievances in reality. How often does that happen do you think?  If we genuinely desire improvement of our outward circumstances, we must look at how we are structured inwardly. 

Dreams have the power to provide personal insights into our hidden fears and desires. Further investigation can lead to awareness of our triggers and proactively seek to obliviate false beliefs to shift ourselves to a new reality.  

Vigilance and on-going personal-practice are necessary to exercise discernment of thoughts, avoiding assumptions as truths and negative loop thinking. I have to give credit to my teachers/mentors, yoga/meditation, have been ancillaries toward embracing the unknown most courageously. Starting to realize the purpose is nothing more than living as a responsible human being– 
* By becoming personally accountable in the kind of relationships we want to cultivate
* In how we might serve outwardly into our community
* Actively practicing in a career that is most aligned to our unique talent and exercising that most authentically
* That each human footprint have an impact on this beautiful blue/green planet that is home to all sentient beings

Happiness derived from a personal act of contentment through this intricate dance movement we call life. Because by the end of the day there is no saving other than saving from ourselves which inherently has a ripple effect out into the world around us. \ Mother nature encoded us to connect, present us with mirrors in human forms to help us see an aspect of ourselves that we can not see. Patience and humility we can discover the hidden gem that lies deep within us, our natural gift to share with the world which is being who you are. 

Lastly, I invite you to think on your own time:
* When you dream can you tell that you are dreaming? 
* Can you feel the difference when you are in the midst of a dream and right now? 
* Do you question the things that are happening during your dream state? Then again, do you ask things in this waking state? 

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for my friends, family, community, and soul-connectors that I have had the honor to have meaningful exchanges and I look forward to our continued dialogue, sharing and collaboration. 

While I don't have to share this; I am doing so because I feel it is an essential aspect towards growth and hope my story has some relevance and to share with others they are not alone. Dreams have messages and as a friend shared with me– dreams are portals to our soul. 

You can definitely expect Dreams will be one of the topics at our next upcoming event.

All good things,

Nga