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Dust and Light (Integrating the Gift of a Dream)

Updated: Apr 20

This post is excerpted from Leilani's email newsletter to the community. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter to hear from us in your inbox twice a month. We share current reflections, fun and intriguing things we've come across recently, announce events and courses, and talk integration, harm reduction, healing, growth, and spiritual development.


I have a story to tell you today, about dust and light and pain and love, about a dream and a poem and the integration of an ah-ha moment.



In a recent moment of daily-life stress, as I was puzzling hard over how to make that moment different, a dream image spontaneously resurfaced:


Dust dancing in a sunbeam.


I paused for it. Or rather, I let it pause me. I let it warm me. I breathed back in the feeling of that dream, and I felt more spacious. Some tension eased.


The dream, from late 2021 or so, was such a gift to me at the time. Having had the opportunity to integrate it then, I find that the gift is still with me.


I'll share the dream with you, and its companion poem, written by the extraordinary Fred Lamotte. This story is an example of a catalyst (the dream), integration (working with the dream), and the "ah-ha moments" that sometimes come later, when those unpredictable synchronicities come around, on their own timeline.


This was one chapter in my own "long arc" journey, with love, with sadness, with dreams and myths, with spaciousness.


(If you feel like listening to me tell this story, click here for a video, originally shared live on Instagram, where I share the dream and the unfurling of its gifts. Plus a few more connections and ah-ha's than I'm going to write out here. But be warned - if you don't want Harry Potter or His Dark Materials spoiled for you at all, you'll have to read those first.)


Here's the dream:


I'm in my childhood bedroom, wrestling with a young man. We're grappling intensely, and I'm struggling hard. We're both naked. I'm trying all these moves and nothing quite works, but I'm not fully being overpowered either. Suddenly I realize that he's going easy on me. I'm offended. "What? You're going easy?! Forget it then." I completely stop fighting. He stops fighting too. The way that we're wrapped around each other in our grappling, without us having to change the position at all, becomes an embrace. The sweetest, all-intertwined embrace. It's non-sexual, but intimate. We go to the floor holding each other, and we fall asleep. Still within the dream, I wake up. There's all this dust in the room, floating in the sunlight, the way it does when sunlight is streaming in a window. I'm looking at the dust, wondering, curious about it. I see my mom and my husband through the open door to the room, near the front door of the house. My husband is opening the front door. I'm not sure if it's to let the dust out, or let more fresh air in, but he's getting an air current going.


At first, I journaled this dream and worked with it on my own. I considered the nakedness: authenticity, exposure, vulnerability, power. I considered the falling asleep and waking within the dream - an experience about consciousness and awakeness. I found connections with a Harry Potter character, and a pivotal moment in the series His Dark Materials.


Later, as the next step in integration, I shared the dream with a friend. I was in emotional pain at the time I dreamt this dream. I was very sad, weeping plenty, and at the same time, I felt more connected than ever to a greater sense of love. Divine Love, the Love that always inhabits me, always surrounds us, always flows between us. I shared with this friend how surprising - yet natural - it felt to have both of those present at the same time. Part of me wanted to ask, "Why doesn't the pain go away if I'm connected with divine Love?" And another part understood: this bigger Love is holding every other aspect of my experience.


My friend spotted a connection. The grappling in the dream reminded her of my tension around feeling both divine Love and these very human emotions at the same time. That was my first ah-ha moment.


If this young man was the divine Love, and the "me" (the ego-self in the dream) was the part in pain, then the part in pain believed that there was a fight going on. The part in pain was saying, "The Love's not here, the pain is here," and it believed that the Love was arguing back: "No, there is Love, see? There's Love!" – but then the realization: the Love isn't fighting. Love was never in that argument with me. More like, "You wanna fight? That's fine, you can fight, but I'm just here."


And the moment I surrender? Oh, that embrace.


Then, weeks later, my sister-in-law sent me a Fred Lamotte poem.


Here's the first part of the poem:


Adam's Dream

​​"And Lilith, the wild night creature,

will find a resting place." ~Isaiah 34:14

If your mind wanders,

don't chase after it.

Let promiscuous ideas explore

the farthest edges

of inter-galactic amazement,

the furious silver atoms

of a withered dandelion.

Let them roam as long ago

as your ancestors' dream of roaring,

as far ahead as the cradle song

of your unborn children's child.

Even with as many thoughts

as there are brazen zeros

of dust in a sunbeam,

your meditation will be

silent and empty. Why?

Because you are not the dust,

you are the beam of the golden void

dust dances in.


...​


OH.


I am not the dust!

I am the beam of light it's dancing in!


There it was, the big ah-ha. The dream had played one note, sustained it in the background for however many weeks, and then this poem struck the rest of the chord.

The dust is the pain, and the beam of light is the Love. All parts of the dream are me.


Read the full poem, Adam's Dream by Fred Lamotte, here.


He writes things like this just about every day. Here's another one that I recently loved drinking in.


After I shared the video of me telling this story on Facebook, Fred Lamotte himself saw it and said he had been "wounded with joy."


(Instantly I forgave social media a thousand we'd-be-better-off-without-this moments for that exquisite one.)


Do you work with your dreams? If you're interested in dreamwork, feel free to reach out. I offer one-one-one dreamwork sessions and facilitate small groups.


For more resources and companionship in your own journey, you’re welcome to join us at any of our upcoming events​ that would be supportive for you.


Nothing on this site should be considered medical or legal advice. We don't encourage or condone any illegal activities. Consult medical and legal professionals if you have medical or legal questions.

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