Awaken the Dreamer

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”  Henry David Thoreau

Spring finally arrived in Norway only about two weeks ago and hardly had time to settle when summer pushed it away, bringing nature to full bloom with bright sunshine and hot beach-like days. Everyone starts smiling and speaking to one another (not a usual winter activity) — relishing the sense of freedom that comes with what seem like lazy summer days.  A long weekend with a holiday tops it off. No one questions why we have such an early summer.

I also feel energized and optimistic.  But it is more than the weather.  I get a sense that I am waking up to something new, seeing things I didn’t recognize before and accepting more of what I am seeing, even if it is scary or unpleasant.  As this happens, I find myself in the “flow” where things just start happening without me doing much. “The tribe is reconnecting” I have been told.

I try to capture what may be happening and what it important to share here.  A key ingredient is an awakening awareness of the how interconnected we are and how unconscious I am /we are about this.  I trace this among other things to watching the film  “Awakening the Dreamer  – Changing the Dream” offered as part of the Sustainable Spring of the Shift Network last week. My husband and I watched the streamed DVD together and discussed the reflection questions at the end of each segment. We were both very moved and motivated.

This paradigm-shifting workshop produced by the Pachamama Alliance, a partnership between North and South (the modern world and the indigenous world), is presented either as a live or DVD symposium both of which include media presentations and questions for reflection.  By involving everyone (whether live or privately with friends) Awakening the Dream inspires, educates and motivates people through it’s well thought out step-by-step approach.  What is brilliant is the way it gently helps the participants to be able to learn, take in and feel the feelings activated by what is difficult, sad or bad news.  They say that if you don’t actually feel your feelings in reaction to the earth changes you may discover yourself feeling depressed, apathetic, hopeless, blaming and end up not motivated to do anything about the situation.  Bad for the whole planet.

Interestingly as I was preparing this, I came across a blog by Peter Merry called “The role of pain and tension in evolutionary leadership” that also points to the importance of really penetrating your feelings and pain . It affirms for me the idea that it is through accepting deep feelings that something new can emerge.  As I read his blog, it occurred to me that this is a process that moves us from the “head to the heart and back again”. Many say this is just what we need for an evolutionary leap to a new level of consciousness.

Back to the film. After taking in the situation as it is today, we get to understand the underlying causes and look at our assumptions about it.  We compare our current world view with that of indigenous people. We get to see all the amazingly good things that are happening today.  And finally access the energy and power to move into a mode of positive action.

I was especially moved by the part about our unconscious assumptions such as “I have enough money so I can buy anything I want” which doesn’t take the whole into consideration.  It reminded me of a conversation I had with a young architect who wanted to help people use energy efficiency in building their new homes but was shocked to discover that most people weren’t interested because they have plenty of money and prefer the most trendy solutions rather than the ones most helpful to the planet.  This is an example of how little conscious we are of the cumulative effect of every single person’s actions.

What touched me most in the film was realizing about how many people far away from me, have suffered in order for me to have what I want and need!  Becoming aware of how the supply chains of common products are produced with child labor, slave labor  (as this amazing interview via 2Lead describes), destruction of forests and seas is finally becoming clear those of us who are more fortunate.

Another aspect that struck me was the part about our “throw away” society.  How little we think about where garbage and trash end up.  Very few people are aware of the “island” of plastic the size of Texas that floats in the middle of the ocean creating problems for both the ocean itself and the birds who feed off it – only to die of malnutrition. Out of sight, out of mind.  When we are willing to throw away things we tend to throw away people too, is a conclusion of the indigenous people.

The message of this workshop is to help the world to wake up from the nightmare and dream another dream.  What we can dream we can create. But we need to dream together, everybody-all-at-once (as one master has said). We need to  refuse to live off the suffering of others.  This requires a expansion of consciousness and awareness.  We are growing up.  No longer children expecting the parents to figure things out and fix it,  while we are out having a good time.

This is where I am struck by the flow and synchronicity of things these days.  After seeing the film, I knew I had to show it to friends.  I knew I could facilitate a showing so I boldly wrote to the organization asking how I could help spread the message.  San Francisco enthusiastically wrote back and said there is someone in Norway who is a certified facilitator and maybe he lives next door to me!  He sent me the name and the next morning I got a long e-mail from Lars Steinberg!  Lars is actually of German descent living outside of Hamar,  doing great things himself.  We connected in minutes and within days have set up a showing in Oslo in June!

When you are in the flow things happen fast.

I am so thrilled to be able to activate the human potential hidden in each person.  My hope is that anyone reading this blog, will buy the DVD and share it with friends and family.

Lets awaken the dreamer and “change the dream of the modern world”  –  to co-create a just, thriving, and sustainable human presence wherever we are – in the spirit of Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Be inspired by the Pachamama Alliance – “A New Dream”

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