I am outside on a bright sunny day walking toward a house when I observe my new, bright yellow, powerful looking car. I am pleased and surprised that this is mine. I go into the house without driving my car. When I come in I prepare meat for a meal and then I become aware that my husband and his closest friend, who represents everything in men that I dislike, want me to play a game with them. It is a form of Scrabble with many dice pieces that have letters on them. As I play, I am feeling distraught that the meat is not done, because if not done on time I might have a problem to deal with. I continue to play with them. The dice have been thrown, and I notice that near the top of my group of dice are letters that spell out KEEP and scattered in the middle and lower collection of dice are four that spell out HOPE. I am pleased that I found two words. Someone bumps the table and messes up my letters. The letters forming the words were on one side of the dice so the bumping causes the letters to tumble and change to other sides of the dice that no longer have the words. I frantically try to make the letters the way they were, but they are upside down and sideways so I am not able to reassemble them the way they were if I am to have a chance to win in the game. I become very upset that they have fallen and are scattered. I begin to shake. I collect them but can’t reassemble the letters spelling HOPE or KEEP. I am feeling extremely shattered.
My body is shaking from the inside out. I take my fallen and scattered letters and forcefully put them back in the box. Some of the pieces of the game are from virtual empire a game that I endorsed in a television commercial in waking life just a few days before…a game to encourage people to become empowered and create wealth. I return the pieces of the game to the box container so forcefully that I almost break the container. I apologize to my husband’s friend for nearly tearing the box of his game and explain that I am shaking too much on the inside. I show him my trembling hands and tell them I have to leave now.
It is a bright sunny day. I am driving in my little gray Geo Metro with the windows down because I have no air conditioning in my car. I am remembering a bright yellow car that seems to be mine but I have no idea how to find it. It seems I have been searching for some sign of the car, but cannot find it. I have an errand to run, a very important letter that must get in the mail, but I cannot remember what makes mailing the letter so important. I drive my car to a post office and as I get out of my little gray car, I think about the yellow car that somehow I know is mine. I mail my letter and as walk back out of the post office doors, I look in the direction of where I had parked my car, and next to my little gray Geo is a magnificent yellow car. It is the one I have been looking for but could not find. I look inside and find it has a beautiful rich black interior. Its control panels look like those on a jet airplane. It is the most beautiful car I have ever seen. I feel so excited that I have finally found my car.
It is a beautiful sunny day. I look outside and see my bright yellow car and decide to take it for a drive. I go outside, and look at this beautiful, powerful automobile. I stop in front of my yellow car. It is a powerful car, strong lines yet gracefully sleek. It feels so wonderfully solid. It seems to have panther energy. I think that is why I like it so much. I get in. I feel the softness of the rich black leather seats. The door closes snugly with that solid connecting thump that lets me know I am safe. I place my hands on the steering wheel. My hands feel strong holding the wheel. My right hand slides down to the shift knob. I test it out. I feel how easy the shift slides from one gear to the next. It is smooth, almost sensuous. I lean back in the seat, the mirrors are perfectly lined up for me, as if reminding me that the car is mine. The sunroof slides all the way back. With the windows down, the car feels as open as a convertible. When closed, the car is air tight and quiet enough to hear the silence between the crashing symbols in the Overture of 1812.
I take out the key to my car. I slip it into the ignition and turn it on. The engine seems to explode with power. I feel the vibrating power in my legs, in my abdomen, in my spine. It feels as if the car’s power is flowing through me. I shift into first gear, release the clutch and brake, and turn the wheel, to drive onto the street. I drive the car on back roads that wind through the countryside. I feel sensually connected with the birds, the trees, and the road beneath me. Power surges through me each time I shift into a higher gear or when I gear down to make a turn. This is an exhilarating experience. I feel as sensual as my yellow car. The wind blows through my hair carrying the fragrance of a thousand, thousand wild flowers. I feel alive than I can ever remember feeling.
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Three Experiences Reviewed in Light of Another Experience
These three episodes represent three experiences of consciousness. One is a dream, one is a Shamanic Journey, and one is a life experience. Can you tell from reading them which one is which?
Years ago, when I first learned about dreams and discovered more about the non-ordinary Journeys I had been taking since I was a child, I discovered that there were times it was difficult to discern the difference between what happened in waking state and what happened in dream state. I also noticed it was difficult to know the difference between journeys and dreams or journeys and life experience. One day, early on in the two years I was living in China, I was feeling an unusual sense of concern for my heart’s companion, who I had left with friends to care for while I was gone. She was my Lhasa Appso, Sara. After a long day of teaching, I felt extremely tired. I returned to my small living space and lay down on my bed. I dropped into an altered state of consciousness. I found myself walking down the hall of my friends’ home and Sara came bounding out of a back bedroom to greet me with the most excited wiggle imaginable. I picked her up in my arms and felt her beautiful body pressing in as close to me as she could. She licked my face with such vigor I felt I would smell like puppy breath for a week. I whispered to my little dog how very much I loved her and missed her and that I needed her to be good. I told her that I had not abandoned her. I explained to her that I was in China learning something very important in my life, and when I was finished, I would be back for her. There was a moment of absolute calm and I “woke up” in my tiny room in my living quarters at Baoji Teachers College in Shaanxi Province.
When I returned from the two-year stay in China, I was so concerned that Sara might have forgotten me. In anxious anticipation, I rang the doorbell and my friend opened the door with Sara on her heals, jumping and yelping like a child on Christmas morning. My dog leapt into my arms and licked me with wild abandon. I cried for the reunion with my small friend. That night, still feeling my body clock half way around the world, I got up to get a drink of water when I noticed that my friend’s husband was in the living room, quietly sitting in the dark. I asked him how he was doing and he answered with another question. He said “Sandy, when you were in China, did you come here?” A surge of adrenaline rushed through me as I responded with another question. “What do you mean, Was I here?”
There was a long pause between my question and his next reply. He told me that Sara had a very difficult time adjusting without me. For two weeks she refused to come out of the back bedroom when my friends were home. Any attempt to connect with her or invite her out was met with a fierce lion-like response where my little 11 pound puppy would stand erect on her back legs, bare her teeth, and snarl at them. Finally she came out, but continued a habit that drove the two of them to a dog psychiatrist. Sara refused to go outside to take care of her “toilet needs.” After six months of frustration and extensive carpet cleaning bills, they were ready to write me and tell me that I would have to make other arrangements for my dog. Then one night, the man told me, he was up late and in what seemed like a microsecond, he was very sure he saw me walking down the hall toward the back bedroom. He told me that Sara was never the same afterward. She no longer dirtied the carpet and for the first time seemed to be a cooperative member of the family. I told him that I was surprised that he had seen me. And for some inexplicable reason, I had a strange sensation that I had been caught.
Was what I experienced that day in China a dream? Was it a shamanic journey? Was it a life experience? And what did my friend’s husband experience that night in his hallway? Was it a dream, a shamanic visitation, or a life event? In our Western culture we seem to have such a need to carefully categorize everything. We believe that there are distinctions between the categories that make each thing different. I am not so sure that this is an accurate depiction of the world. I believe that awareness has many expressions and our personal consciousness has many doors through which it can pass. Our waking consciousness believes that when it is aware of itself and the world it experiences, that is what is real. Waking consciousness often determines that dreams are experiences of the mind, which may inadvertently affect the body with adrenaline rushes, cold sweats, or flowing tears. Waking consciousness may still have problems dealing with shamanic consciousness, but might decide that shamanic journeys are hallucinations or experiences in altered states of mind that are not connected to the physical reality.
It is not uncommon for us to develop language to differentiate the way we tell experiences in each state of consciousness and then only allow ourselves to experience what that particular language addresses, perhaps unconsciously eliminating all the other experiences that do not fit. I experienced something half a world away that seemed to be a matching experience for both of us in his hallway. And my dog exhibited radically different behavior from that moment on. What happened? Perhaps a dream, a journey and a life experience decided not to exist in separate categories for a short time.
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Three Episodes Revisited
Episode One was one part of a very long dream I had in Brazil, May 20, 1996. I woke feeling deeply disappointed that all the confusion of the cooking and game and all the other things that happened had prevented me from driving a beautiful car that I knew was mine. Episode Two was an ordinary life experience in early September 1996 that happened after Episode Three, which was a healing journey experience.
A few weeks after the Brazil dream I was feeling extremely depressed over having lost the opportunity to drive the car in the dream. It felt as if something was lost to me as a result. So I sat down at my dining table and felt myself enter the journeying place within. That place took me to another reality I did not recognize, but I did see the car that I knew was mine. But after having the journey experience, I knew there was something more to this whole experience. I kept thinking about the dream car but had no idea what it was. Then one day, at the post office, I discovered that the yellow car turned out to be a Mustang GT. I checked the newspaper and called dealerships to find if there were any yellow Mustang GTs available. The day I called, there was one car that had just come in that day. I was told that if I wanted it I would have to come that day because there were not many available in the whole country, and already several people had inquired about it. I bought it that same day, and drove out of the dealership with the car of my dreams.
When I purchased the car, I knew it was important for me, though I had no idea why. Something important happened to my attitude about moving in the world as a result of driving differently. I found that in the small car I was always cautious holding back from entering traffic until everything was clear because it just didn’t have the acceleration to get out there and join in the flow. I lived my life that way as well. But after buying the car, not only did I have the power to maneuver more easily in traffic, I also found that the same applied to my life. I move better, am willing to be more visible, and know that I can move safely in the fast lane. The car is my reminder of multiple realities and of my power. And every day is a bright shiny yellow car day!
What do you need to remind yourself of your own personal power? What do you need to allow yourself to be all that you came to this Earth to be-without holding yourself back, keeping yourself down, or pushing yourself in? You can be empowered. You can allow the synchronicities in your life to draw the very best of you out from the closed places and feel your own yellow car inside you empowering your soul.