Category: Events

Deborah Wins Carol Bly Short Fiction Award for “Come Alone”

Deborah DeNicola is the winner of the 2013 Carol Bly Short Story Contest sponsored by Writers Rising Up with her story “Come Alone to the Alone.”  http://www.writersrisingup.org/carol-bly-short-story-contest/essay-winners/carol-bly-short-story-contest/deborah-denicola-2013-winner-carol-bly-short-story-contest

Come Alone to the Alone

Come, True light.

Come Life Eternal,

                 Come, Treasure without Name.

            Come, Alone to the Alone . . .

                                                                 —An Invocation to the Holy Spirit by Saint Symeon

 It was hard to tell if it was morning or afternoon from Anastasia’s view. Out the sliding glass doors, a world of pink-lined clouds and reflecting water.  She used to know the time instinctively by the light, where it fell, where it failed to fall, where it shadowed. There was such confusion now, she dreaded appearing foolish, best to be quiet, keep her noise inside, keep anxiety from detonating into livewire energy.  Cling to that growing sense that she was lightly tethered to the earth. And here beside her wheelchair was the same scattering of women, always there, or so it seemed, as she remembered.  Back when she could remember.

 They came and went interchangeably.  What did it matter if their skin color was black or white or something in between?  She was alone with The Alone inside a great, floating bubble. And when she spoke or seemed to speak, the bubble swelled its membrane, voices rocking through like the ocean down the street. When they spoke, she felt they were all under water. These faces, wide-angled and drifting in and out of her own, were indecipherable, untranslatable.

One face, she knew, belonged to her oldest daughter, the one who could never find a decent job, preferring to hide in her room painting flowers. Those of the darker complexion were more familiar. They held her hands, fed her, dressed her each day, gently lifted her thin arms, her crooked elbows, through the armholes of sweaters and blouses. They spoke in a language of lilting music and their sounds reverberated, bouncing about her brain without meaning. She would smile and nod but mostly she was too tired to play along when memories swam into underworld craters, never clear enough to turn a corner. She couldn’t completely follow their chatter, a kind of birdscat comprehensible only by its rhythm and lull that sang her in and out of a cradle-like sleep.

Where she was, why and how she got there fit together in her mind like mis-matched puzzle pieces or frames with no interior landscape. Had it always been so?  She thought she recognized those green gauzy drapes, hadn’t they forever veiled her world?  Sometimes, one of the black-faced girls (was she a girl or a boy?) doused Anastasia’s mouth in lipstick, powdered her nose and plunked a mirror down in front of her. She couldn’t refuse her own reflection but it was not the self she recalled. When did my hair go silver? Why am I no longer blonde? What is that mushrooming growth on my forehead? Sometimes her very self was enclosed in the glass—just another weird capsule she swallowed and found herself inside of. Anastasia of Wonderland, that’s who she was now.

Other times the faces fed her flavored applesauce, colors like iodine. “Where is the boy?” She once questioned when her mind could still bully words into a sentence.  “Anastasia, I am a woman, I have breasts, look!” the so-called boy protested, lifting her scrubs to expose a lace brassiere and two plump bosoms fully in their prime. “Why you can solve any problem!” Anastasia replied aloud, amazed this boy could also be a girl. But that was months ago. Now she no longer spoke. Now her pills were crushed; now she no longer fed herself. But when she forgotand she so easily forgotthe dominant thought roaring haywire down her neuron runways was always a plea to be left alone.

And always the daughter’s pale, freckled face, those stone-washed eyes hidden behind large glasses. When had she aged? She was not as Anastasia remembered. The adolescent doll she’d dressed up for years. And wasn’t there another daughter’s face occasionally buoying up and down?  Were there really two? If she could only count, she might recall.

Days stretched along the finger canals, stretched under the bridges where geckos were hidden, stretched down from these dark waters into the Intercoastal and farther into the sea where they backed up on themselves repetitiously in foamy waves. But she herself was damaged, an oily spillage blackening her mind like a  swarming army conquering a country. There were fewer synapses firing and deeper neuron ditches. Days were redundant. Nights, impossible. The long dream moving into evening blurred with her disturbed perceptions. Still there were meals to consume. Pasta or baked potatoes.  Lucia fed her each day as the daughter alternately hovered and hid. But lately she had clamped her lips, the taste was so stale, the texture, beyond heavy. So much effort to chew and then she had to remember to swallow.

They studied her and Anastasia was annoyed with the vigil. She could not admit it but her own daughter made her nervous, the way she gaggled about, always on the phone or fussing with money in her wallet or looking into that small TV she carried around.  Kids and their toy gadgets.  Spoiled brats, all.  And her daughter talked to everyone about her, even in front of her blank face. Just because she didn’t respond to their silly stimuli, their baby talk and baby toys, didn’t mean she missed the entire gist of the conversation.

Denial was comfortable, a beautiful thing.  But a voice within insisted, you are trapped in a body that no longer responds to commands from a mind with cracks and gaps and sticky tar balls. Come alone, come alone to the alone . . . The voice scared her. It was as if she was outside the three dimensions, crossing back and forth into some floating world with transparent specters swimming about. The long gone husband, the seven siblings who had slipped gracefully into the heaven she couldn’t find. Her elderly parents appeared in doorways smiling, reaching their hands toward her. From one spongy moment to the next, shapes grew large and then dissolved.

All of them, the flesh and blood ones, were watching her now.  A nurse had come and wrapped her arms in the pressure of measures. Anastasia knew enough to pretend she understood procedures; she recognized white lab coats from some clouded place far back in her brain.  She still wanted to be seen as agreeable and aware. For all her disdain at the boring reportage, she tried to listen. Half of someone’s sentence might make sense then the latter part would cut the cord to understanding, clauses became loose words with no foundation, their roots would rise and float among the other dirigibles, spitting alphabets of doubt. Time itself had time-outs.

She’d lift into the ethers for an extended stay like the big balloons the elder daughter brought in on her birthday.  Anastasia was helium clinging to the ceiling. Round shapes gaped above the heads of grandchildren.  She didn’t know the names of these smiling boys but knew they were babies yesterday, and today, almost men. She rode the moments that replayed themselves over and over. Weren’t these same people in the room yesterday? What déjà vu keeps rewinding? Why do they look at me with such urgency, like starving puppies?

It had become too busy. Doors opening and closing, people to and fro, trays of food, bright packages on the armchair.  A new bed that moved magically up and down.  Anastasia suspected that someone was at the helm of this confusion, and she looked quietly for her aide. She couldn’t remember when she’d ever had a black girl in her house but just the same, she wanted Lucia to feed her and Lucia to take her away into the bedroom, to lift her atrophied legs onto the bed, tuck her stiff arms into a nightgown, remove her from the din of language.  Her favorite moments were sitting alone with Lucia, each of them with her respective magazine. She tried to read, even though it was all pretense and lost its meaning soon enough.

In her head she spoke to God. After a lifetime of praying, this? Anger arose though she couldn’t articulate it.  Sometimes she was insulted seeing her daughter fawning over her, the others cooing. Embarrassed by this much attention, she felt a stone would go hard in her stomach. When it tightened, she closed her eyes, kept them shut through journeys to different daylight. This intense focus streaming all around her. Too much. All she’d ever asked was not to become a burden. And now they’d made of her a burden. How could she ever forgive them?

She expected to expire, but how? How to die when the sun came through the curtains each morning with some figure standing over the bed ready to bathe her? Life with no memory—no regrets—what was the point of death when she had all she needed with these patient girls who came and went?  She had once loved her daughter, though, of course, she had proven an inept caretaker, and definitely now she preferred Lucia.

She stared at “The Madonna of Fatima” framed on the wall and she used to like it when the daughter prayed with her, but now words were just so much dust brushed off the knick- knacks. Whatever happened to her purse, her money? How lovely to no longer care. Perhaps living was not so bad.  The aides handled her like glass, and her daughter meant well. She wanted to see her succeed at whatever it was she did that appeared to drive her crazy.  But living, even now, in this condition, had to have some purpose. She sought understanding as if she could trace it out of the photographs she barely recognized. Sometimes a space would clear in her mind like a camera brings angles into focus, and for a short time she would remember years back, her grandmother, cornflowers in a field on the farm. The butter churn. Her brothers herding the cows.

Later it had been a life of comfort and travel, children, graduations, vacations. But no one would know how she suffered when her husband passed away so suddenly, so young.  How something shifted inside her, as if she’d swallowed a rat and it slowly chewed through her abdominals. Only now it had reached the nodules in her brain, the dense matter, like meat one cuts open to assess temperature and toughness.

After the tragedy something inside shut tight and never opened again. She housed a home for a rodent within her body. Still, she became an actress, a gracious hostess, the matriarchal monument whom all seemed content to believe in.  She’d given parties, backyard barbecues, a drunken neighbor fell once into the privet hedge . . . She nearly smiled now, remembering. The children laughed. The children grew.

But why were they all speaking at once in another language in a register she’d never heard?  If she closed her eyes maybe the sounds could clear. Still one would imagine the bubbles above their heads with words in them, and she couldn’t depend on those designs entertaining her as the dramatic daughter emoted loudly, like her husband always had, often on the verge of manic-panic. How could she die in the midst of the repressed hysteria tightening around her? How could she leave when she was so obviously needed?

No one had known. Stoic, and proud of herself for that, even as she saw the life she’d had as the Doctor’s wife, the parties, country clubs, new cars, family photos . . . drain into an abyss of disappointment. There had been so much hope. He’d been a good man until the end, but no one in his family would help when she’d asked, each one turning away. In those days there were no ”twelve steps,” no support groups, just the elephant squatting in the living room. She needed to spare her kids the truth, save them from what no one was strong enough to bear—no one but herself. Yet without the adequate time allocated to grieving, she never recovered her own ebullience and life lost its luster.

Still, she’d stood up tall and raised those children, dammit, watching every penny. She’d put them through college, into cars and marriages—until she could sell everything and move to Florida, then travel the world on her own . . . Eventually the lies she told them about their father’s death took hold and stuck. The picture she painted could have hung in the hall next to his own self-portrait. A few martinis and Johnny Carson mixed the facts up and made it all go away.

Wasn’t it bed time now?  Why wouldn’t they undress her?  She tore at buttons, rustled material through her fingers . . . why did they snap her back up?  She sat rigid in her wheelchair and after a minute or two, the irritation in her brain snagged and pulled until she was back at it, all thumbs . . .

Before bed, she must check the house. The daughter would leave lights on, doors unlocked, windows open. She rocked the wheelchair back and forward, got it up on one wheel until her aide stood and forcefully straightened her, pinning her foot.  A nursing home wouldn’t allow the much-needed restraining belt that continually saved her from a fall. 

But she thought she could buck right up out of the wheelchair unharmed on her own. And she was too angry to be grateful when forcefully stopped from a dangerous fall.  She looked around the room at all of them. How could she leave the chores to others, how to sleep without double-locking the patio doors?  Would they remember to close off the porch, turn on the alarms, set the thermostat, check faucets? How to sleep, how to ever let go into eternal sleep when her daughter might burn down the house?’

Something exploded in her head. Not pain, but a cacophony in color as if a flower truck smacked a building head-on. They surrounded her now, wringing her arms as she heard words of a prayer all askew, skidding over the air.  The girl must have laid her in her bed.  The priest’s finger on her forehead.  Hail Mary  Full of Grace . . . She couldn’t find the lines . . .  something . . . something . . . and   . . . “the hour of death.”  She pleated the sheets with her marbled fingers as if shifting her rosary beads. Pear-shaped tears pooled in the daughter’s eyes.

Suddenly Anastasia sent forth a breath, and with effort, the smallest bud of a smile—while the rest of her, what was left of her—tumbled—tossed like a bridal bouquet into the open sun—then broke— into fresh blooming petals for them all to scatter.  For them to catch as catch can where they may.

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The War & The New Seed; Transformational Dream Image Work

Some months ago I had a client come to me confused and curious about a dream she had. We had become acquainted while taking a class in Science of Mind spirituality founded by Ernes Holmes at a center called Bridges of Wellness in So. Florida. At the time Jenny, as we shall call her, was involved in closing on a property and planning to move. She was having some problems with leans that were established on the property with the previous owner many years back, leans she hadn’t known existed and she was afraid that the time it was taking to clear these leans would alienate her potential buyer. She had also ended a relationship recently but the man was still calling, asking to borrow money, and generally not accepting the end of the relationship. I asked her to close her eyes and keep them closed throughout our experience re-entering the dreamscape. Here is her dream just as she related it:

I am somewhere in the South. There is a conflict between blacks and whites. There’s a standoff — everybody has guns, including me. I side with the blacks. I start shooting my machine gun, just spraying bullets everywhere trying to kill as many people as possible. I run out of bullets. I start running to try and hide. I dig a hole and bury myself in the ground. I hear people searching for me. They are right on top of me. I worry they will step on my nose. I worry they will see me and shoot into the dirt. The dirt is soft and muddy. I stay there even after its quiet because I think they are watching and waiting. I have to pee, but I still won’t get up I’d rather pee myself in this hole than get caught. I imagine the whites have lynched all the blacks from trees. I don’t want to go back there. Finally, I have to get some water and I decide to get up.

    My initial reaction was that I know Jenny slightly from the spiritual group we’ve attended and she is a gentle, loving person. I thought there must be some anger or fear that had produced such aggression in the dream. Of course, dreams exaggerate, but this much violence definitely conveyed that somewhere in her unconscious she felt threatened. We closed our eyes and I had her tell me the dream slowly scene by scene. At each scene I questioned her, hoping to make the images as clear as possible and then allow her to feel the emotions behind them deep in her body.

We began with the conflict and all her associations to issues between blacks and whites. Naturally it is in the news quite a bit, and being from Florida, we both were well aware of the overly–exposed trial of George Zimmerman, a white neighborhood watchman who killed Trayvon Martin, a fifteen year old, unarmed black student who looked suspicious. Jenny’s association was that she sympathized with Trayvon’s family. She sides with the African Americans in the dream instinctively in the dream. It is just a given. And the location is the deep South where she herself is under attack. She assumes these are white, prejudiced people that are out to kill the blacks. In her own life she has not had this experience and was not aware of any fear, but she did feel some anger about Trayvon’s case.

Jenny felt herself into the woods, which is often a place indicating the deep unconscious mind. In fairy talks, transformations take place in the forests, the heroes fight their adversaries and often the animals or plant life will serve as helpers. The scenario is right out of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Jenny felt that the blacks in her dream were disadvantaged and needed to be defensive. I asked her if she felt like the underdog in any of her present situations and she confessed that she felt victimized somewhat by the banks putting off the final sale of her house, and that she had little control over removing these leans on her property. She also felt besieged by her ex boyfriend who was continuing to call her when she had asked him to stop. She had helped him numerous times with his finances and was now saying No.  

So we established the layout for her battles and I encouraged her to get in touch with her anger. As she felt it come up, it was in her belly, her third chakra the place where we carry our power and emotions. I asked her to feel her anger slowly, taking in the situations in her current life and her feelings about the local, highly publicized trial. When we had heightened those feelings, I moved to the boyfriend and her experiences with him.

It turned out she was at her wit’s end with him texting and calling. He had moved away but that had even exacerbated the contact. She felt the anger move up to her chest and had a sense that she would be unable to breathe with the weight of his oppression. We heightened these to feelings, overlaying the images of the dream. I asked her “So what is it like fighting all these white people, how does it feel pulling the trigger on them, moving them down with your machine gun?

As appalling as it was for a peaceful young woman to be playing Rambo, she got right into it. “I’m killing them left and right” she chuckled. I asked, “So what’s it like to be The Terminator?” She related immediately to the pun and the situation with her boyfriend. She had “just said NO” and got behind her power in being able to terminate the relationship, whereas in the past she felt powerless and remained in contact too long. She had known it was over but actually had compassion for the man and kept helping him out.

I asked her again about the Zimmerman trial which was on every station of the TV. She felt her frustration about that and about the backlash the black community was feeling, and then we layered that feeling over the frustration with the boyfriend. It took awhile to differentiate the feelings but she was willing to own them despite her initial unawareness that she had repressed these unconscious emotions.

When we’d finished with that scene, Jenny was feeling empowered and somewhat heroic. The anger and fear transformed to a sense of control. As much as she was against killing anyone, in the dream world, it had been necessary and she needed to express it. Once she saw the scene from this perspective she was able to release her horror at killing people. I also had her embody some of the black victims and she felt their pain keenly. By slowly putting her into the body of a white killer, she did identify with the aggression, did feel like killing off her old boyfriend, that is, booting him our of her life and she did feel like blowing her top at the extra stress the banks had been putting on her while delaying her closing. But she had initially been horrified at the dream.

Next we moved to the scene where she is out of bullets and must run and hide. There are moments of panic and she identified it as being in her chest. I had her feel the difference between the panic in her chest and fear/anger in her belly, as well as the empowerment. It was hard for her to layer them but she could feel them sequentially. The energy was now swirling around her 3rd and 4th chakras (belly and heart).

I instructed her to begin digging into the earth for her hiding place, asking her about the dirt and soil, how it felt in her hands, how easily the hole was made for her to cover herself. She leaves a slight opening to breathe through and feels the urgency to pee. Often the need to urinate in a dream may correspond to an actual need to void, and most often we wake up at this prompting and take a trip to the bathroom. Here the urgency is heightened because of the danger of revealing herself to the white people who are still looking around for more blacks to kill. Even though Jenny is white, she knows her antagonists are anxious to kill her. When I had her move into the bodies of the white people and feel their anger and she was able to own it. Of course, it is her own anger at her victimized situation and she could feel how the white people were also acting out of fear.

This is one of the great benefits of Dream Image Work. When we leave the ego we are able to own our projections much better, we see how we created them, and we can even feel their point of view, which creates compassion.

I was interested in the dirt because she kept saying how muddy and cool it was. I had her feel safe enough to move around in her hole, holding handfuls of the dirt, and finally asked her what the soil felt about having her amidst it. She needed to imagine herself as the soil and yet she went with it easily. This is when the AH HA moment was released. Jenny claimed that she felt protected by the soil. When she was able to identify with it as EARTH, a mother of sorts, The archetypal Great Mother perhaps, the basis of our being, and where we all end up, she felt the soil as her own potential for growth, for growing through these two big changes that were happening in her life. She was going to move her location and she had cut off contact with a man she’d been involved with and somewhat abused by.

I suggested she play in the rich soil for a while and she found it refreshing, felt like a seed implanted there. When I asked where in her body she could feel this emotion of being loved and protected, she felt it in her heart. Her heart was warmed and reassured her she was loved, by the universe, by source, by the Great Mother, and All There Is. I asked her to feel the earth’s love pouring into her heart. She exclaimed it was beautiful and purple.

At this point I brought Jenny back to the earlier scenes of the dream and she was not as frightened. We layered the fear and the anger into the 3rd and 4th chakras again but the love of in the 4th chakra overpowered any fear and anger she felt before. The dream no longer seemed scary.

Jenny came out of the imaginative realm of the dream, the theta brain state which alters our mindset, and opened her eyes. She immediately expressed that she felt more confident about the selling her home, that the deal would go through when everything was inspected etc. It was just a matter of time. Mother Earth had held her and she’d regained her faith that the universe wants what’s best for us and that we must proceed without fear. She felt stronger for breaking up with her ex and knew if she did not respond to him, he would eventually leave her be. Mostly she was thrilled the vision of herself as a seed being nurtured for new growth.

I told her how the woods is often the place for transformation and shape-shifting in fairy tales and legends. That it was a logical place for her to begin a change. I’m happy to report Jenny is on a new journey today. She has relocated, things going off without a hitch. She is happily planning a hiking trip with friends into a new forest. She has seeded her changes and dissolved her fear of change.

Some months ago I had a client come to me confused and curious about a dream she had. We had become acquainted while taking a class in Science of Mind spirituality founded by Ernes Holmes at a center called Bridges of Wellness in So. Florida. At the time Jenny, as we shall call her, was involved in closing on a property and planning to move. She was having some problems with leans that were established on the property with the previous owner many years back, leans she hadn’t known existed and she was afraid that the time it was taking to clear these leans would alienate her potential buyer. She had also ended a relationship recently but the man was still calling, asking to borrow money, and generally not accepting the end of the relationship. Here is her dream just as she related it:

I am somewhere in the South. There is a conflict between blacks and whites. There’s a standoff — everybody has guns, including me. I side with the blacks. I start shooting my machine gun, just spraying bullets everywhere trying to kill as many people as possible. I run out of bullets. I start running to try and hide. I dig a hole and bury myself in the ground. I hear people searching for me. They are right on top of me. I worry they will step on my nose. I worry they will see me and shoot into the dirt. The dirt is soft and muddy. I stay there even after its quiet because I think they are watching and waiting. I have to pee, but I still won’t get up I’d rather pee myself in this hole than get caught. I imagine the whites have lynched all the blacks from trees. I don’t want to go back there. Finally, I have to get some water and I decide to get up.

My initial reaction was that I know Jenny slightly from the spiritual group we’ve attended and she is a gentle, loving person. I thought there must be some anger or fear that had produced such aggression in the dream. Of course, dreams exaggerate, but this much violence definitely conveyed that somewhere in her unconscious she felt threatened. We closed our eyes and I had her tell me the dream slowly scene by scene. At each scene I questioned her, hoping to make the images as clear as possible and then allow her to feel the emotions behind them deep in her body.

We began with the conflict and all her associations to issues between blacks and whites. Naturally it is in the news quite a bit, and being from Florida, we both were well aware of the overly–exposed trial of George Zimmerman, a white neighborhood watchman who killed Trayvon Martin, a fifteen year old, unarmed black student who looked suspicious. Jenny’s association was that she sympathized with Trayvon’s family. She sides with the African Americans in the dream instinctively in the dream. It is just a given. And the location is the deep South where she herself is under attack. She assumes these are white, prejudiced people that are out to kill the blacks. In her own life she has not had this experience and was not aware of any fear, but she did feel some anger about Trayvon’s case.

Jenny felt herself into the woods, which is often a place indicating the deep unconscious mind. In fairy talks, transformations take place in the forests, the heroes fight their adversaries and often the animals or plant life will serve as helpers. The scenario is right out of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Jenny felt that the blacks in her dream were disadvantaged and needed to be defensive. I asked her if she felt like the underdog in any of her present situations and she confessed that she felt victimized somewhat by the banks putting off the final sale of her house, and that she had little control over removing these leans on her property. She also felt besieged by her ex boyfriend who was continuing to call her when she had asked him to stop. She had helped him numerous times with his finances and was now saying No.

So we established the layout for her battles and I encouraged her to get in touch with her anger. As she felt it come up, it was in her belly, her third chakra the place where we carry our power and emotions. I asked her to feel her anger slowly, taking in the situations in her current life and her feelings about the local, highly publicized trial. When we had heightened those feelings, I moved to the boyfriend and her experiences with him.

It turned out she was at her wit’s end with him texting and calling. He had moved away but that had even exacerbated the contact. She felt the anger move up to her chest and had a sense that she would be unable to breathe with the weight of his oppression. We heightened these to feelings, overlaying the images of the dream. I asked her “So what is it like fighting all these white people, how does it feel pulling the trigger on them, moving them down with your machine gun?

As appalling as it was for a peaceful young woman to be playing Rambo, she got right into it. “I’m killing them left and right” she chuckled. I asked, “So what’s it like to be The Terminator?” She related immediately to the pun and the situation with her boyfriend. She had “just said NO” and got behind her power in being able to terminate the relationship, whereas in the past she felt powerless and remained in contact too long. She had known it was over but actually had compassion for the man and kept helping him out.

I asked her again about the Zimmerman trial which was on every station of the TV. She felt her frustration about that and about the backlash the black community was feeling, and then we layered that feeling over the frustration with the boyfriend. It took awhile to differentiate the feelings but she was willing to own them despite her initial unawareness that she had repressed these unconscious emotions.

When we’d finished with that scene, Jenny was feeling empowered and somewhat heroic. The anger and fear transformed to a sense of control. As much as she was against killing anyone, in the dream world, it had been necessary and she needed to express it. Once she saw the scene from this perspective she was able to release her horror at killing people. I also had her embody some of the black victims and she felt their pain keenly. By slowly putting her into the body of a white killer, she did identify with the aggression, did feel like killing off her old boyfriend, that is, booting him our of her life and she did feel like blowing her top at the extra stress the banks had been putting on her while delaying her closing. But she had initially been horrified at the dream.

Next we moved to the scene where she is out of bullets and must run and hide. There are moments of panic and she identified it as being in her chest. I had her feel the difference between the panic in her chest and fear/anger in her belly, as well as the empowerment. It was hard for her to layer them but she could feel them sequentially. The energy was now swirling around her 3rd and 4th chakras (belly and heart).

I instructed her to begin digging into the earth for her hiding place, asking her about the dirt and soil, how it felt in her hands, how easily the hole was made for her to cover herself. She leaves a slight opening to breathe through and feels the urgency to pee. Often the need to urinate in a dream may correspond to an actual need to void, and most often we wake up at this prompting and take a trip to the bathroom. Here the urgency is heightened because of the danger of revealing herself to the white people who are still looking around for more blacks to kill. Even though Jenny is white, she knows her antagonists are anxious to kill her. When I had her move into the bodies of the white people and feel their anger and she was able to own it. Of course, it is her own anger at her victimized situation and she could feel how the white people were also acting out of fear.

This is one of the great benefits of Dream Image Work. When we leave the ego we are able to own our projections much better, we see how we created them, and we can even feel their point of view, which creates compassion.

I was interested in the dirt because she kept saying how muddy and cool it was. I had her feel safe enough to move around in her hole, holding handfuls of the dirt, and finally asked her what the soil felt about having her amidst it. She needed to imagine herself as the soil and yet she went with it easily. This is when the AH HA moment was released. Jenny claimed that she felt protected by the soil. When she was able to identify with it as EARTH, a mother of sorts, The archetypal Great Mother perhaps, the basis of our being, and where we all end up, she felt the soil as her own potential for growth, for growing through these two big changes that were happening in her life. She was going to move her location and she had cut off contact with a man she’d been involved with and somewhat abused by.

I suggested she play in the rich soil for a while and she found it refreshing, felt like a seed implanted there. When I asked where in her body she could feel this emotion of being loved and protected, she felt it in her heart. Her heart was warmed and reassured her she was loved, by the universe, by source, by the Great Mother, and All There Is. I asked her to feel the earth’s love pouring into her heart. She exclaimed it was beautiful and purple.  

At this point I brought Jenny back to the earlier scenes of the dream and she was not as frightened. We layered the fear and the anger into the 3rd and 4th chakras again but the love of in the 4th chakra overpowered any fear and anger she felt before. The dream no longer seemed scary. 

Jenny came out of the imaginative realm of the dream, the theta brain state which alters our mindset, and opened her eyes. She immediately expressed that she felt more confident about the selling her home, that the deal would go through when everything was inspected etc. It was just a matter of time. Mother Earth had held her and she’d regained her faith that the universe wants what’s best for us and that we must proceed without fear. She felt stronger for breaking up with her ex and knew if she did not respond to him, he would eventually leave her be. Mostly she was thrilled the vision of herself as a seed being nurtured for new growth.

I told her how the woods is often the place for transformation and shape-shifting in fairy tales and legends. That it was a logical place for her to begin a change. I’m happy to report Jenny is on a new journey today. She has relocated, things going off without a hitch. She is happily planning a hiking trip with friends into a new forest. She has seeded her changes and dissolved her fear of change. The imagination is a healing tool. Our dreams are offered to us to identify projected feelings and own them. The theta brain state is a relaxed, creative state that can imitate the dream. We can’t relive the dream but we can approximate it and see what comes up. I am always surprised how the truth of the dream unravels without the necessity of analysis. There are symbols of course, the seed, the soil, the forest, the archetypal antagonist, and the gods and goddesses (in this case Earth) as well as heroes and heroines.

If you are local to So Florida, I am giving a two day workshop Oct 19th and 20th. Please see the announcement.


DEMYSTIFY YOUR DREAMS SAT MAY 4TH 2013 10-1pm Ft. Lauderdale

  BRIDGES OF WELLNESS ,  in Wilton Manors, Ft. Lauderdale is a new healing center located at 1881 NE 26th St. Suite 244. Join me for a pilot Dream Workshop on Sat. May 4th which will lead into a course on nocturnal dreaming. We will explore Jungian archetypes in a brief lecture, then take a journey into an inter-active Dream Process. Learn to embody your dreams, integrate intellect and intutition, understand without extensive analysis, feel the dream body in a Theta brain state, expand the energy field and participate in the exploration of your unconscious mind. Only $33 Deborah@intuitivegateways.com.  Register through this link: Events | Bridges of Wellness Scroll Down.

Events | Bridges of WellnessTestimonials

“Before working with Deborah, I did not know that my dreams were an incredible access point to my unconscious, to aspects of my multi-faceted human nature. Through the dreamwork with Deborah, I uncovered hidden aspects of myself that were in conflict and brought them into alignment and harmony. This resulted in a wonderful new sense of inner wholeness, peace and confidence.”

Beth L., Realtor

“I am a skeptic, but a disturbing dream led me to seek Debra’s help. She is a caring and intuitive dream analyst. She gently guided me through my memory and my body to unveil the symbolism and meaning of the dream. The awareness and insight was immensely helpful and peaceful. And, I have had amazing revelations with her every session since.”

Jody D., Dance Therapist

“Deborah delves into dreams with dramatic results. I had never known the shadow in the action until she introduced me to it. Now I note not only this meaning, but also interpretation of symbols; light and darkness and directions in our dreams. It means a lot to all of us in her open sessions, to learn from one another’s experiences, and then to understand how these interact into all of our lives. To dream is to learn, and Deborah’s methods of helping us to interpret our own, is to change the depths of our lives. I know that I am a better person as the result of my experience with Deborah, our dynamic dream developer.”

Bob M.

“The work we did on my donkey dream was amazing! It turned out the opposite of everything I had feared. Now I feel I can move forward with my career change plan. Thank you so much!”

Laura M., Artist

“I am so appreciative of your input about my dream. It really made sense to me, and helped me to see the message of joy it contained, which allowed me to let go of my anxiety and celebrate that joy–a real transformation!”

Susan F., Unitarian Minister, UU Congregation in Andover, MA

“Working on dreams with Deborah as my guide, I deepened my insight and understanding of a relationship during a difficult transition period. The process helped me to release negative feelings, achieve a balanced perspective, and free up my energy for more positive life experiences.”

Joan S., Technical Writer

“Thanks to Deborah’s gentle, persistent and insightful questioning, my dreams continue to reveal a much deeper magic and power… the shark, whale and seal had messages I was finally able to hear. Understanding and integrating the energies of my dream characters is turbocharging my mental, emotional and spiritual awakening.”

Joe N., Founder, PlanetaryPartners.com

I’m absolutely blown away by the amount of information that is delivered to us in our dreams. From the time of day and the color green of the hotel room representing being fertile, to my Uncle, the other woman, and the little girl representing the different emotions within me. Wow! So much to learn. Although I tried to figure out my dream on my own, I had no idea that I didn’t know what I was doing. I can see how our conscious and unconscious work together. This was worth every penny. –??Renee, Nursing Student

Deborah De Nicola is a DREAM COME TRUE.  She teaches you how to easily understand and interpret your dreams by guiding you with a tapestry of images that you will never forget.      Deborah enchants her audience with her magical and heartwarming presentation style that makes listening and learning from her a delight!   I walked away with ready to use applications that I have already put to use.   Thank you Deborah for making my dreams a whole lot sweeter!   Go listen to Deborah DeNicola…a true sensation…a must see.??Kellie Olver, Former TV Hostess, Kellie Olver Skin Care??www.kellieolver.com ?www.mygenewize.com/dnadone

 

“Deborah led a highly successful dream workshop for the adult education program at our Unitarian Universalist congregation. One woman who attended the workshop still raves about it, two years later. She reports that the understanding she gained about her dream enabled her to make major life changes.”

Susan F., Chair of Adult Education Committee UU Congregation in Andover, MA

3 Week Webinar on Demystifying Your Dreams

Wed April 18, 25, and May 2nd at 7:30, a one hour seminar and demonstration of interactive dreamwork. Using Jungian active imagination we will explore the netherworlds of the unconscious. Many of us have the same themes in our dreams so we can learn from working on anyone’s nocturnal journeys. Learn how to recall your dreams, use them for questions. The unconscious mind is a treasure trove of information both personal and collective. As humanity heals, we must witness and release our shadow sides. It’s a fact that the more attention you pay consciously to your dreams, the more they will speak to you. Join me for three weeks of plumbing the depths, bonding in love and compassion, joy and laughter. Deep down we are all one. Email me to register: Deborah@intuitivegateways.com

Spiritual Memoir Workshop Sat. Feb 25th The Duncan Center

Writing Spiritual Memoirs with Deborah DeNicola

Saturday, February 25th 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Lunch  and Labyrinth Walk included. $77
15820 S. Military Trail, Delray Beach, FL


Book the event here


Isn’t it time you told your story? We all have revelations from monumental moments in our past when we began to shift spiritually and moved into our own spiritual searching. This class will prompt you into a piece of writing about your own awakening and in the writing process, you’ll discover new insights.


Philip Zaleski, the editor of the Best Spiritual Writing Series, says the Spiritual Memoir is “. . .poetry or prose that deals with the bedrock of human existence, why we are here, where we are going and how we can comport ourselves with dignity along the way.”

It’s about the disillusionment that starts us on our journeys, the quest for truth, and the revelations, solace and joy we experience in the growing process. Telling our stories helps us define who we are and what our purpose is. These stories can help to awaken others as well as encourage others when they enter what Carl Jung calls”the dark night of the soul.”
The writing process brings out unconscious material that teaches us from our inner, higher selves.

Please join me for this writing retreat.
“Whatever it takes to break your heart and wake you up is grace.” Mark Matousek
For more information or to register for the class call Deborah DeNicola, 617-823-1530
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Deborah DeNicola’s  most recent full collection of poetry, Original Human, was published in December 2010 from WordTech Communications Press. Her spiritual memoir The Future That Brought Her Here from Nicolas Hays/Ibis Press was released in 2009 and reached #1 in Psychology on Amazon.com with 25 rave reviews. Among other awards for her writing, Deborah received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant. She is the author and editor of six books including Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology published by The University Press of New England. Please visit her web site www.intuitivegateays.com where she practices Dream ImageWork, writing and working as a free lance editor to help others birth their books.

“DeNicola tells us story after story. Rich, full, interior. Seeking validation of her own mystical experiences, she validates those of her readers . . . Interspersed through her written journey are divine poems. I mean divine in the holiest sense. Deborah DeNicola is an inspired poet. She uses her artistry to understand her world.”
—Dr. Susan Corso, The Huffington Post

Excerpt: My dream placed me in an underground tunnel with mud walls. I began to see the outline of a woman covered in clay. With our eyes closed, the group followed me deeper into the cave. The feeling was overwhelmingly claustrophobic, but I crept along the mud floor until I knew instinctively a spot along the wall where I must begin digging. To my surprise, for this was long before my interest in the Black Madonnas, my active imagination uncovered a black African woman, very proud and strong. She was an object, yet she felt alive.. Though she seemed thoroughly other, my emotional attachment to her was immediate. I ended the session with the statement that I knew she had been walled in for a very, very long time.www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere


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