Dear Dream Tending and Deep Imagination Community,

Today’s Tending Tuesday is brought to you by Julie Freed, Dream Tending Mentor, Death Doula, Grief and Bereavement Guide, Yoga/Breathing/Meditation Teacher, and Family Constellation Facilitator.

Suddenly, there was a crash into the window in front of me.  Startled, I jumped up and ran onto the deck where I saw the injured bird, its little chest rising and falling rapidly trying to catch its breath. I scooped his warm, feathered body into my hands and felt its life force slowly drain away. I cradled him as he transitioned to the great sky beyond, blessed his precious life and placed him in the backyard to bury him the next day. But, as nature would have it, he was gone the next morning and had obviously become another’s meal… a reminder of the great circle of life.

I approached this living dream the same way I dream tend, for I know that each image provides a portal for deep self-discovery. I gently befriended this feathered friend through active imagination and a few nights later, I had the following dream:

I woke up in the morning and went into the backyard to bury the bird I had originally placed there and again, it was gone. I then saw a trail of blood through the snow, that led to the shed that was on the opposite side of the yard. There stood a pregnant woman with huge bird wings coming out of her back. My bird had morphed into a pregnant bird woman.

I share this sequence of events to shed light on the power of the waking dreams that contain messages if we take the time to contemplate and become curious about them.  When we acknowledge that our dreams (both nighttime and daytime) can be a valuable source of wisdom, we give ourselves yet another tool for comprehending the intricacies of our precious existence.

If this piqued your curiosity, let’s practice together, shall we?

Begin by getting quiet with a journal and art supplies nearby; close your eyes and take deep breaths feeling your body completely present in this moment.  Bring your awareness to the points of contact between yourself and the earth below. Stay here for as long as needed until you become aware of your heartbeat and sync it with the heartbeat of the earth…

  1. Gently invite a memory and follow your intuition on what appears. It might be something that happened yesterday or possibly from long ago.  Allow and welcome whatever comes forth with your full presence, as you stay connected to your breath, body and earth below.
  2. Allow the memory and the landscape that arose to fill you from the inside, noticing smells, sounds, feelings, thoughts and all else.  Take your time, there is nothing to do and nowhere to go… just rest with whatever your imagination brings forth and trust in its intelligence.
  3. Notice where this image is in relation to you. What direction it is facing… towards you or away from you?  Acknowledge its presence here with you.
  4. Are there words that naturally want to come forward? If so, begin a dialogue in the privacy of your mind… remembering that we often times communicate without words.
  5. Maybe this image/being is very animated or possibly not at all forthright.  Ask open ended questions and write and/or draw anything that comes through. Let your imagination be wide and vast… trusting what comes through.
  6. Offering gratitude for the visitation is a natural way to bring this process to a close.  This being might possibly become part of your council as you continue onward in your daily practice … time will tell.

This “birdwoman” that appeared in my backyard a couple of years ago, showed me that it was time to take flight. With tending and deep inquiry, tremendous changes occurred in my life.

Just recently, on my new front porch, in my new home, in my new life… a bird built a nest and laid four eggs in our hanging fern.  I watched these eggs quietly incubate until they hatched just the other day, reminding me of the circle of life again. Oftentimes, it’s a process that asks us to be patient and keep the faith.  I give a deep bow and a hearty “thank you” for these images that literally “flew” into my life offering me my next step forward ~ the pull of the future that is a beautiful gift that dream tending often brings.

With love and faith ~

Julie Freed

Inside The Curious Mind

A quote that resonated with me this week…

“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. A little parenthesis in eternity.”

― Paulo Coelho

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Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.