Breathing Under Water, reprise

Dream:  It’s nighttime and I’m in deep water clutching onto a rock boulder on the bank. I’m tired and scared because I’m beginning to lose my grip as the current is strong and unrelenting. A lady on the shore approaches me. I plead, “Please, get someone to help me…I need someone who’s big and strong…the current is pulling me under…Hurry, hurry, please!” It’s taking the lady such a long time to return and my body is beginning to surrender. Oh God, oh God…I have no choice except to let go. I’m slowly sinking down…down…down. All the way to the river floor I sink. Oh my goodness, I’m breathing… I’m breathing under water! I hear explosive sounds. I look up through the waters and see fiery bursts against the night sky and I hear more rapid rounds of fire. I wonder if a war is going on. I retreat to the bottom. After a while I return to the boulder bank and a large man instantly swoops me out of the water. Everything is calm.

I had this dream four years ago and I wrote about it in a previous post. And here it is, seemingly more relevant than ever in this era of Coronavirus/COVID-19. There are days that I have been anxious; days that I have wept at suffering and loss. Days I have been grateful, and days I have gotten angry. Days I have advocated and shared of my resources, and days I have judged, even shuddered at some of my thoughts. Days I have hoped, and days I have frozen and gotten stuck. In my garden I am tending to newly planted flowers and vegetables. I have moved some things around, and a few more to go. I am letting go, getting unstuck. I am yielding.

In my dream I am clutching onto the boulder, trying to stay afloat, “above the fray” in the world where there is disorder, deception, chaos. Today, the world hosts an uninvited guest that has heightened fears of peril, deprivation and depravity. There is beauty to see, but difficult to focus on when I am reactive and compulsive. When I get stuck, I become hyper-alert, hypervigilant. I find another thing to purchase—I  re-inventory my supplies. I check my bank accounts one more time. A normal sneeze because of my spring allergies sends me flying back to my computer to check the latest battery of COVID-19 symptoms. Shall I mix another packet of Emergen-C, or shall I take more echinacea, elderberry and goldenseal? I am advocating where I am called. I am helping where I can. I’m concerned about so many things. All my worrying, and doing, and getting become nerve-wracking and extremely tiring. My body tenses. Sometimes, I have headaches and cannot sleep. Sometimes I freeze and do nothing. Dream me says, “There is more than this…let go.” Are you crazy?!x! I could drown!

The water is deep and it’s dark, nighttime, and I can’t see. Do I dare trust that there is a realm big and strong enough to hold all the pieces of who I am—all my fears and anxieties, the beautiful and the not so beautiful—and I am still okay?

Yes. There is a place to go to. And the journey to it may seem harrowing, but it will be sacredly protective, sacredly beautiful. It’s all about taking a leap of faith. We can continue our chaotic and neurotic familiar or let go into the current of transformation and be met by the Beloved and discover more capacity in ourselves. When we are frantic and panicky, it’s difficult, almost impossible to behold divine presence right among us. In my dream as I’m clinging for dear life, I can’t acknowledge the lady’s humanity or divinity. I’m also dismissive, rude. I only her service to summons someone or something else that I think is the real thing that can come up to snuff and meet my real need. And the wise presence she is, she doesn’t argue with me, but surely gives me plenty of time to deal with the absurdity and futility of my ways. In my dream the divine feminine and masculine are there for me. They are always there for me. They see and understand my fragility and vulnerabilities, it’s just that when I’m so focused on the noise and fireworks, I’m not able to see them. So, with love and patience, they wait until I am able to feel and know my need—until I’m ready to release my grip and sink into the waters—for something different, new.

In the mystery of the waters, I miraculously learn that I can breathe. I breathe and embrace the imperfect one that I am, in an imperfect world as it is. I breathe into the current that’s my friend and carries me to the bottom of the sacred crucible that teaches me about my deepest fears and shadows. I breathe into the sufficiency that is. I breathe into the waters and discover my inner “shero” and the lessons of her sacred scars. I discover the inspiration and beauty that comes from re-framing and retelling her story. I breathe under water and find immense love, support, hope, generosity and new agency for myself and the benefit of others.

In this season of sheltering in, may we each journey inward and discover our unique and impassioned capacities to become greater co-creators with the Divine who swoops us into most loving and capable arms, and reorients us to a new center, still in the world, but renewed and refreshed—in whatever ways we are called—because we have learned to breathe underwater.

Much Love,

Our dreams provide us with opportunities to step toward and befriend our fears with loving support. If you would like know more about Archetypal Dreamwork as a form of spiritual practice and means for inward journey, or if you are looking for a spiritual companion for a part of your journey, please email me at I am based in metropolitan Atlanta, GA, USA, but work with clients anywhere in the world via in-person visit, phone, or HIPAA compliant video conference online.

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