Harnessing the power of change…

Harnessing the power of change aletheus

Harnessing the power of change aletheus

By Mark Hannan

Can you think of anything that stays the same, which does not change? The core nature of the universe is change. Everything changes. Everything. No moment is the same as another. Cellular changes occur constantly. Nothing remains constant. In many ways stability is a delusion, a way for us humans to exert and maintain control over ourselves, others, our environment and, we think, the cosmos. To what extent is that true or possible?

At first blush this fact, that change is inevitable, can be unnerving, unsettling. “What can I count on if everything is going to change?” Acknowledging change can give rise to feelings of powerlessness, fatalism, and resignation. But, yes but – we can count on one thing more than anything else – you guessed it – Change!  We can participate actively in the changes happening in our lives, in our minds, and in our hearts.

By understanding the process of change, how it occurs, as it is occurring, one can engage more actively in the change, thereby impacting the outcome. There is a constant supply of energy available to us in the process of change. Using your core values as a guide to harness that energy of change is what creates progress.

Take for example a rip tide. If you are caught in a rip tide and you try to swim out of it by swimming toward the shore you will never get there. In fact, you will wind up further away from the shore and eventually be pulled under and out to sea. However, if you understand the way the sea changes, in this case how the water moves, then you will realize that if you swim in a sideways direction, you will, in a matter of minutes, be free from the pull of the current that had you trapped. The sea, the rip tide, is still swirling, and it will continue to do so. However, having participated actively in the process of insight and understanding of how the sea changes you moved from harm to safety. You changed how you were participating in that action and created an advantageous outcome.

When we touch someone, or something, it automatically changes, it is different than it was before we touched it. We leave our mark, an imprint. And, that which we have touched leaves its mark on us. We are forever changed.

Sometimes it seems like change is happening to us – we are being controlled. We all have to fill out forms, endure being put on hold and listening to elevator music, getting caught in traffic, or having to wait 45 minutes for a bus sometimes. It seems we have no control over these things. And often we don’t. How we participate in these situations is in our power. We have a choice. Sure, I can refuse to fill out the form – but then I won’t get the bank loan, the building permit or the new job. However, if I think about the benefits of having the loan, I get excited about completing the form correctly and on time. Then I’m closer to getting the funds. I could get really ticked off at the bus driver, yell at him or her, complain to all the other angered passengers. Venting can be good for you. But, if the anger just ruins their whole day, your day, what have I gained, how far forward have I moved toward my goal of wellbeing and peace of mind? By embracing change rather than fighting it we can move closer to our goals.

Re-enter Your Dreams to Harness Their Power

Painting of Endymion Sleeping

This is a transcript of the Dream Re-entry process developed by Dr. Fred Olsen. The conversation occurred in an online chat room focusing on dreams. Dr. Olsen (Dreamtrack) enters the conversation and starts the process with the dreamer (Bravo). The questions posed are the heart of the process. My comments, based on my notes from a workshop I attended with Dr. Olsen, are in parenthesis ().

Duggan: How are you feeling today?

Bravo: I am really bummed out this morning.

Duggan: Why is that?

Bravo: I had a nightmare last night that is really bothering me.

Dreamtrack: THAT’S GREAT !!!

Bravo: Why is that great?

Dreamtrack: Dreams are such gifts to help us to understand ourselves and to resolve our inner issues.

Bravo: It didn’t feel great to me.

Dreamtrack: I know and that’s okay. It’s just that I am so involved with the power and value of dreams, I couldn’t help but respond.

Duggan: Are you a psychologist or something?

Dreamtrack: I am a dream worker and have a dream center in San Francisco.

Duggan: Really?

Dreamtrack: Yup This is my first time in a chat room and I appeared right when you mentioned your nightmare. I couldn’t resist responding. I hope that’s okay. I was the intruder.

Duggan: Ohhh.

Dreamtrack: I was simply amazed at the coincidence.

Dreamtrack: Are you still there Bravo?

Bravo: Yes, I am here.

Dreamtrack: Would you like to tell us the dream? (gauge the willingness to explore)

Bravo: Sure, it made no sense to me. It left me feeling really depressed.

Dreamtrack: Do you feel okay sharing the dream content with us? (verify willingness)

Bravo: Sure. In the dream, I was at my father’s grave. The grass was dry and brown. It was very barren. In real life the grave is very lush.

Dreamtrack: Did your father die? (match “reality” with the dream content)

Bravo: Yes, he died a couple of years ago. There was a very spooky feeling in the dream, like there was a presence.

Dreamtrack: Can you feel yourself in the dream now? (it is important to have a feeling sense of the dream content)

Bravo: Yes, it is very clear, like I am right there now.

Dreamtrack: In the dream, how old are you? (ground the dreamer in their self image in the dream)

Bravo: The same age I was when my father died.

Dreamtrack: Okay. And what are you wearing there? (more grounding)

Bravo: The same clothes I had on then, just casual clothes, nothing special.

Dreamtrack: And what are you feeling in the dream? (now that the dreamer is grounded in their physicality in the dream, move to the emotional state of the dreamer)

Bravo: I’m feeling a heavy weight of guilt and shame.

Dreamtrack: Where does that heavy weight live in your body? (somatically locate the emotions to further ground the dreamer in the dream. Re-entry has begun)

Bravo: I feel it in my heart and in my stomach.

Dreamtrack: Good. Go to that place in your body where the heavy weight lives and tell me what you see. (continue somatic grounding and let the dreamer begin to explore the dream on a deeper, more complete, level)

Bravo: I see my father in his bedroom like he was when we found him.

Dreamtrack: And where are you in the picture? (bring to dreamer into the picture, as a participant – move from passive state of observing to active state of involvement)

Bravo: Standing in the doorway to his room.

Dreamtrack: What do you see in the picture? (this now allows the grounded dream-self to see more solidly from the perspective of the dream-self rather than the rational awake-self)

Bravo: What was happening then was that my father had been disabled and bed-ridden for a long time. We all had to support him. We were pretty poor.. He got all of the attention and I was angry with him before he died for not being a real father to me and getting all the attention.

Dreamtrack: I see. (let the dreamer bring the whole picture into focus)

Bravo: Off and on people would bring Dad money in small amounts and give it to him. Just before he died, he called for me. I didn’t respond. I was too upset with him at the time. When we discovered his body the bed was covered with the money. He had wanted to give it to me as a gift.

Dreamtrack: Wow. And he wasn’t able to give it to you because you didn’t respond when he called. (no need to interpret, just clarify the “facts” and outcomes based on the facts)

Bravo: That’s right. I felt so terrible.

Dreamtrack: What did you do then? (continue exploring)

Bravo: We spent the money on his funeral. I have felt so bad ever since that day. I go to his gravesite often. (the dreamer has moved from the dream to the present and his actions outside the dream)

Dreamtrack: And last night you were there at the gravesite in the dream and it was dry and barren, right? (relocate the dreamer back iton the dream)

Bravo: Yes. I feel so bad about what I did to Dad. (still outside the dream)

Dreamtrack: When you go back to the dream right now, what is the feeling? (re-ground with the potency of feelings felt in the dream. If dreamer has come out of the dream completely, start again by somatically re-grounding the dreamer in the dream)

Bravo: There is a wind. a presence there. It is spooky. (the dreamer is reacting to the intensity of his feelings and outside of his dream self observing. Bring the dreamer back to the feeling of his experience – in this case the experience of the wind)

Dreamtrack: You are there right now. What are you feeling? (re-grounding)

Bravo: I feel the wind, it seems to want to communicate with me. (see, the dreamer connected the observation to his feelings with the re-grounding guidance)

Dreamtrack: What happens when you listen? (when another sense comes into play, follow it up. The dreamer is switching channels. Go with it)

Bravo: I see my father. (the listening helped him see and he went back to the visual channel)

Dreamtrack: What is the picture? (clarify and amplify in the current channel)

Bravo: He is there in front of me. I see only his face. He wants to tell me something. I am afraid.. (the dreamer is now making his own connections with his senses and his feelings)

Dreamtrack: What is your response? (the dream re-entry is complete. Now begins the moving forward with the dream that was “interrupted” – or rather the participation in the dream was interrupted (by awkening). The dream continues even when we are no longer present. But that is a whole ‘nother concept to discuss at another time – i.e. aboriginal dreamtime)

Bravo: I feel so ashamed. I can’t look at him. (the dreamer is back in the dream)

Dreamtrack: What does he want to tell you? (facilitate the action)

[Here there was an interruption to the dream re-entry process by an outside occurrence]

Bravo: Where were we?

Dreamtrack: At the grave site. Your Dad appeared to you and wanted to tell you something. (bring dreamer back to the mis-en-scene)

Bravo: Oh yeah. Wow! Do you think that was real? Or was it just a dream?

Dreamtrack: How did it feel to you? (keep the discussion dreamer focused)

Bravo: It felt and feels as real as life, maybe more real.

Dreamtrack: I think so too. Can you see him now? (bring the dreamer back – notice dreamtrack goes to a sense to re-ground in the dream rather that the feelings, just to make sure things are on solid ground)

Bravo: Yes. I see him in bed as he was before he died. (he is back in the dream)

Dreamtrack: Good. What do you want to do now, in the picture? (empower the dreamer to proceed where he wants to go – not you. What interests the dreamer not the facilitator is what is important)

Bravo: Take him to all the special places he loved. We lived on the big island in Hawaii, that’s where I live now. He loved the island. (the dreamer is beginning the “repairing, the healing)

Dreamtrack: Good. You are there. What do you need in order to do that? (affirm and keep the momentum going.)

Bravo: His wheelchair and the family car.

Dreamtrack: Good. What happens now in the picture? (keep going – he is on a roll)

Bravo: I am driving him around the island.

Dreamtrack: You feel that? (stay grounded in the feelings, that’s where the power is)

Bravo: Yes. It feels really good. He seems so happy. We never did this together in real life. (see, he has come out again by connecting past action with present thought about the past)

Dreamtrack: What are you feeling as you do this with your father? (bring him back)

Bravo: I feel so much better, to see him happy.

Dreamtrack: What’ happening now? (get back to the action of the dream story)

Bravo: We are back in his room, before he died. He wants to give me the money. I can’t do that. I can’t take the money. It belongs to him. (and he is back)

Dreamtrack: What is his response to you not receiving his gift? (this is an interesting and important question. This dream is about the dreamer’s relationship with his father and he is creating the “end of the story” so it is crucial to develop that relationship in the dream in order to bring it to it’s preferred outcome. This question moves that relationship along)

Bravo: His is very sad. He really wants me to take it. I just can’t do that. (the dreamers empathy is in play now. But, “I just can’t do that” could derail the process)

Dreamtrack: Where do you feel blocked about receiving his gift? (dreamtrack recognizes the obstacle and goes right to work at breaking it down. He does this by somaticizing the feeling of “I can’t” rather than just going after the feeling itself)

Bravo: I feel it in my head.

Dreamtrack: Okay, go to that place in your head where you feel that block. (follow the dreamer’s lead and make him ground it)

Bravo: Okay.

Dreamtrack: What do you see? (use the dreamer’s preferred channel to concretize and move forward)

Bravo: I see a block of steel. It is like a cage. I am inside it. (this is a new image – a free association if you will, on the part of the dreamer and it is “outside the dream” so it is important that dreamtrack grounds this image firmly…so he asks…)

Dreamtrack: How old are you there? (remember, this was one of dreamtracks first questions. It’s almost as if a “new” dream has emerged, so the process needs to begin again, albeit probably truncated and at a faster clip)

Bravo: Young. I feel trapped. (the dream self continues to be at the same age and he states his feeling – one similar to “I can’t”)

Dreamtrack: What do you need there? (this is excellent. The block has been acknowledged, by grounding and exploration, and the dreamer clearly is an active participant, and since the process requires movement from the dreamer’s perspective why not go ahead and ask this directly)

Bravo: I need my father’s love. (can’t get any plainer than this. Wow)

Dreamtrack: Okay, What do you want to do in the cage to get your father’s love? (an empowering question. This question gives the dreamer agency to determine his own outcome.)

Bravo: I don’t know. I guess I have to call for him. He seems so distant and far away. (and he does)

Dreamtrack: What happens when you call for your father to love you? (keep the action moving and concretize it as you go)

Bravo: He comes and opens the cage. (the dreamer becomes director of his dream)

Dreamtrack: What’s happening now, in the picture? (move the action/plot along – this is the climax)

Bravo: We are hugging. It feels so good.

Dreamtrack: Notice that feeling in your body. (ground the feeling somatically to make it “real” and impactful)

Bravo: Okay. It is very warm. We’re both crying.

(this is important…allow spaces for the dreamer to process new experiences. There is no rush. The power of the pause cannot be underestimated)

Dreamtrack: Good. Now bring that feeling back to the room with your father. (and relate the new feelings, the “resolution” to the original dream)

Bravo: I feel better, but I still have a hard time taking the money. I don’t feel I deserve it.

Dreamtrack: Do you think he can use the money? (logic and reasoning are helpful as long as they allow the dreamer’s perspective to come through not the guide’s)

Bravo: LOL I guess not. He is dead. He can’t use it where he is. But it is already spent anyway. (the logic question, you can tell, was quite different from all the others and it did take the dreamer out of the dream into a “head space”. If a question does lead outside of the dream and the process, bring it back)

Dreamtrack: You see your father now? (he brings it back)

Bravo: Yes. He is smiling. He wants me to take the money. Boy, this is hard. Okay, Dad. I accept the money. (the dreamer is totally in the dream as an active participant involved in his own resolution- a big step)

(important to let moments like this sink in – no rush)

Dreamtreck: What’s happening?

Bravo. I’m crying. It is like we are really hugging and I feel his love. Thank you.

Fred Olsen Fred Olsen, M.Div., a former NASA engineer, his work over the last 25 years has been in developing Dream Reentry Healing, a system of inquiry for tracking the path of inner imagery. He is the co-founded the Bay Area Dreamworkers Group in San Francisco in 1985 and directed the San Francisco Dream House from 1986-1995. He is known for his process of Dream Reentry Healing which was more recently named Soul Tracking and Cellular Transformation.

Creativity occurs when you make it happen.

Creativity is something that you can access everyday. We all have creative potential, however it is necessary to tap into that potential in order to benefit from it.

Assemblage art by Mark Hannan. Altar Box, 1994
Altar Box; assemblage by Mark Hannan, 1994

Creativity occurs when you make it happen.

Pick one creative thing that you love to do, and start doing it again this week. It does not matter why you stopped. It only matters that you begin again.

You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

Roadblocks, whether real or imagined, are tough because over time they become difficult to overcome. What once was a struggle, after a while, becomes something impossible to conquer. Just because an issue seems like it has no immediate answer, does not mean there is none at all. Keep looking. Keep striving. You never know when your solution will appear.

We live in a world where being perfect is an accepted goal, and anything less does not measure up. We try to be perfect at our jobs, at home, and at finding ourselves.

But being perfect has a downside; it’s extremely draining. We know that we shouldn’t care if we are perfect or not, but the little voice inside tells us that being perfect is the only way. We know that perfect is not realistic, but we also can’t seem to find another way.

Stop trying to be perfect. Striving for perfection will consume your energy and waste your time. You will be less frustrated and more effective if you are realistic with yourself and other people. Replace your efforts to be perfect with something positive. First, identify one project that is being stalled by your quest for perfection. Then, set a realistic plan to complete the project, and go for it!

from Surpass Your Dreams Brian Volkman (Editor) brianonline@worldnet.att.net Copyright (c) 2003. All rights reserved.

A Pentacle Spread Using the New Story Bistro Prompt Cards

As a veteran Tarotist and deck collector, it is always exciting to see a new deck, especially one that advances on or adds to the possibilities of purpose and use. The Story Prompt Cards by Tea Silvestre Godfrey is just such a deck and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. There is much to explore and learn, so this is simply a first pass, but assuredly more spreads with this deck will be shared.

And, as a Narrative Strategist, the focus and purpose of this deck couldn’t be more intriguing. In a narrative consultation questions are asked to specifically reveal a person’s own true story, the one they are authoring – not the story written for them by others, the culture, other social constructs, or an outside expert. Solutions are found by unearthing one’s personal story and editing it based on the querent’s mission and values. I have long used the Tarot as a tool for this type of story exploration so the “Story Prompt Cards for Business Storytellers” will no doubt by a wonderful new tool.

Presented below is a first attempt at using these cards in a Pentacle Spread format, rather than the longer form Celtic Cross. I’ve also included a much shorter version of the same reading, done after the Pentacle; a Past-Present-Future spread. I hope you find it as interesting as we did.

As a corollary to the Prompt Cards I will be using the Light & Shadow Tarot for which I wrote 78 incantations (poetic verses) for the cards of the deck. Those meanings will appear in parentheses after each prompt card question/meaning. I want to see if this new approach can be further amplified within the context of a Pentacle Spread reading informed by the LS Tarot.

Not because the prompts/questions aren’t enough … by no means. By using the tarot spread we can reduce some of the randomness of selecting a card and running with it. Here, when a prompt card falls in a particular position on the pentacle it fine tunes exactly what part of that question to really dig into deeper – within the context of physicality (earth), ideas (air), action (fire), intention (spirit), & emotions (water). this adds additional layers to and already rich story. The conversation was long as we delved into each pentacle point, much too long to record here. These are the highlights.

Querant: Small family business owner concerned about how his business will move forward.

Query: “We’ve made progress but we’re still digging our way out of the recession and it’s taken it’s toll on the team. Our structure and processes got all wonky due to cutbacks, workarounds and more than a few fundamental disagreements. How can I get the ship upright and moving forward again?”

NOTE: For an effective reading it is important to pose a question that will yield not only insight but action items as takeaways. I encourage “How” questions as they almost always provide both insight and a course of action.

Question Card: 5 Knives (swords)

This card asks to explore and focus on how he presents himself, his business, how he leads with his words, how he is the captain of his ship, an expert in his field. (LS Meaning: The locusts have devastated your crops, but perseverence and faith will get you through to an even greater harvest).

Challenge/Obstacle: King of Cabbage (pentacles)

The challenge is to look at your reputation, and recognize the good works that you and the team do…then how do you get the word out. (A down to earth, common sense person, who doesn’t need to prove himself.) This was an ah-ha moment to think about how this point of view, which he agreed he held, was getting in the way. Proving himself is a deep personal struggle we uncovered.

Starting in the Earth position we draw the Pentacle deosil (clockwise) as he is inquiring about creating something (vs. banishing – counter clockwise or widershins)

Earth: 10 Whisks (wands)

This card asks to consider and really recognize the overwhelm of the past several of years, and how a) he managed to get through it, & b) has he or the team rested at all during this time?. (LS:Burdened by your own beast, goal is visible & perseverence will win out.)

Fire: Knight of Cabbage (pentacles)

Here he is asked to consider a time when he had to set boundaries and stick to his plan – and most importantly, how he did it. (Interesting, because the Prince of Pentacles represents the personality type that is slow to action, slower to anger. But, when push comes to shove he can muster the energy to do what’s needed.)

Water: 3 Cups

This gets to the heart of his question and query card, doesn’t it? Look to a time when he was a successful leader and exactly how he captained his ship then. Perhaps now’s the time to consider a community service team project outside of work environment to rekindle his leadership skills and provide the team an opportunity for success. His idea! (LS: Abundance, bounty, conviviality, celebration, friendship – fellowship.)

Air: 4 Knives (swords)

Digging deeper, where there may be some pain points, here’s a chance to examine failure, or a specific part of the business that has been neglected. He is asked to examine how that happened, the damage it has done, and what could happen if repaired. Not surprisingly he said “morale”. (LS: This is the card of truce, finding rest and peace among opposing views.)

Spirit: 8 Cups

Hah! Didn’t he say something about “workarounds” and the like? Here the prompt card asks that he examine his relationship to processes, when they help & when they hinder. Sometimes you have to work within the system(s). He says he has been bucking the system “since the womb”. (The LS card meaning – restlessness, a kind of flight or fleeing. But, the summit promises fulfillment.)

Outcome: Page of Knives (Princess of Swords)

When have you thought outside the box? And, how was that for you? Interestingly he has a daughter who he currently doesn’t see as a likely successor. The Princess of Swords in the LS deck represents a wild young woman (think Burning Man type Bohemian) – BUT, all her emotions and behaviors are rooted in an unconventional, non-traditional wisdom that is often overlooked or dismissed.

Discussion:

A lot to think about and process right? The conversation was eye opening but somewhat overwhelming. So to make it a bit more digestible, I suggested one of two ways to distill the insights into more manageable and meaningful terms. We could either reduce the original eight cards of the spread down to three (shuffle the 8 cards and select three from them) – Past, Present & Future. Or, break out one of the pentacle points, do a pentacle spread with that card at the center, then shuffle and select three for a Past Present & Future reading. He chose the former. [Making his own editorial decisions.]

Fascinating! The Present card (center) is the challenge, the past (left) refers to his approach to process, and the future – the daughter with a new perspective.

So what did he get out of it? What’s his plan? Knowing that his daughter would whole heartedly support the team donating time to a Habitat for Humanity project, he will partner with her to spearhead the effort. A time to bond with her in a new way and to dig deeper into how she sees the future of the business. Also, this will give the team and the company an opportunity to develop new relationships within and outside the business, promote a good cause that they can share as an experience and outward gesture of community service. Above all, it will create a new way to be a team together that may increase morale and inspire new vigor to press ahead to the success that is sure to come with their hard work.

Conclusion:

In the same way that Helen Palmer, brought the Enneagram out of esoterica into the western modern age (e.g. The Enneagram in Love and Work: Understanding Your Intimate and Business Relationships), Silvestre-Godfrey has re-fashioned tarot principles and wisdom for the business world and brand storytelling. Quite an accomplishment and kudos are due Tea for her marvelous deck.

What’s especially wonderful about the Story Prompt Cards is the variety of stories it coaxes out of folks when it comes to their businesses and how they work in or run them. Imbued with the energy of the tarotic structure they carry a great deal of historical, alchemical insight without the esoteric imagery and symbolism. This new deck provides an opportunity for those less familiar, or uncomfortable with oracle divination, to access the great power of the Tarot.

Just like with the Tarot, one card is good, but the more you add and provide context for, the deeper the dig into the dynamics of the current situation and the greater opportunity to discover concrete, tangible solutions within a self-generated story. Best yet, due to the innate nature of the narrative consultation, solutions are authored by the querent rather than an outside “expert”. The power of one’s own personal story and insight far surpasses that of an observer, wouldn’t you agree? I would love to hear your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to share them.

Below is the same Pentacle Spread with the Light & Shadow Tarot cards corresponding to the Story Prompt Cards.

If you are interested in further exploring your story and solutions within a narrative context, whether with the Light & Shadow Tarot, Thoth, Secret Dakini, or the Story Prompt decks, please do not hesitate to contact me. Peace.