Updated: Jun 3, 2019
Six years ago I had a dream.
I dreamt I was walking near my childhood home. I grew up in a pretty unremarkable neighborhood in Moscow, Russia and in my dream the building was true to form-tall, gray and perfectly unremarkable. In my dream, as I walked around the building, I was greeted by wild lushness of a mature and thriving vegetable garden. As I took in the delicious sights, I saw clusters of ripe juicy tomatoes hanging off of healthy tomato bushes.
I walked in awe until I saw a potting bench and behind it a woman. She was clearly the gardner responsible for growing and nurturing this very garden. An earthy woman, she looked to be in her late 40's. Her skin was tan and somewhat weathered, her hair-short gray curls. She wore a linen apron and the rest of her outfit was simple and in various shades of brown and beige.
Your garden is amazing, I exclaimed as I saw her. Yes, she answered looking quite forlorn, but I'm so tired. What are you tired of, I asked. I'm tired of taking care of my mother, she responded. And now, she continued, the mechanism I used to take care of her with is broken.
I don't think I noticed the tiredness when I first encountered her, but now, as I looked closely, she did appear quite exhausted, as if very life had been drained from her body.
I leaned forward and suddenly... I was sitting in front of the woman on a low, child-size stool. Then, as it only happens in dreams, she transformed into a toddler in front of my very eyes. I opened my arms to her, held her close and she began to sob a deep, deep sob.
I took my dream to my analyst. In fact, I doubled my sessions that week because there was something about the dream that compelled me so much, I could not let it go. I needed to get it and I just wasn't getting it.
I was preoccupied and a bit irritated. There was one question that continued to nag at me.
How could this sad, lifeless woman be producing such incredible lushness, such rich life?
This made no sense to me. She seemed dead, deeply sorrowful and so disinterested in the life she was so masterfully creating all around her. Is she doing it on autopilot? Does she even see the garden? Does she see how much fertility is in her?
She didn't seem to be in touch as if her garden existed separately from her, maybe even in some different dimension altogether.
So the questions continued to ring:
How can there be so much life inside of this lifeless woman?
How can she be so disconnected from the lushness of all this life?
Is the mechanism inside of her broken?
As I sat with these questions, I knew I had a quest ahead of me because all these questions were pointing in the directions I needed to personally explore. I needed to look at the garden I was growing. I needed to get to know a part of me who was way too tired of taking care of her mother (i.e. burdens of the mother lineage) and I needed to let my baby sob.
To say that I was intimidated was a huge understatement.
For a while I wasn't sure I had what it would take to answer the call, but eventually I said yes, knowing that if I said yes to the quest, I was also saying yes to everything that would come with it. And what came with it was sometimes hard, sometimes devastating and sometimes incredibly joyous. All of it was also very meaningful.
Treasures from the Quest
There are certain things I took away from the quest.
-I may not have been able to stay on the path was it not for the support of wise guides and mentors I met on the journey. There were times I went to my therapist with only one ask, which was to "please take care of me" because I was too scared, too disoriented and too weak.
-I do believe that many of us are on the quest to reconnect with life, which means becoming more embodied, more present and more conscious. This path, however, is not always straightforward or easy or linear and, without something to ground us, it can feel like utter chaos.
-Everything we experience is meaningful. EVERYTHING. Aliveness is not just exuberance and bliss. It is also grief, rage, disappointment and confusion. It is also heartbreak, sadness and loneliness. As we explore aliveness, we must honor and work with the ego's propensity to minimize risk and ensure safety while constantly tending to our soul's need to be with it all.
-The dream kicked my behind to get going, to start saying yes to life, to start working with my closures, to start reconnecting with the deep river of life within me. One thing that my journey revealed to me was that there is ALWAYS LIFE. Whether you feel it or not, IT IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS INSIDE OF YOU. If you feel lifeless, it does not mean you are lifeless. You are always ALIVE.
-So in the end there is NEVER not aliveness, there are only blocks to it.
For more information on how to work with blocks and closures, visit the EVENTS page or write me directly at YuliaMFT@gmail.com