Journey 308: Between the Dreaming and the Coming True

I awoke this morning, from a very vivid dream. As I did my three pages of free writing, I explored the feelings that lingered as I moved from dream to wakefulness. And those thoughts have stayed with me all day. The dream marked a milestone on my journey, and reminded me how far I’ve come in the last four years. 

I grew up with a great deal of fear. I’m an intuitive and the veil between this world and the spirit world is very thin for me. My earliest memories are of experiences no one else in my immediate family had. I saw things, heard things, sensed things that the other members of my family could not. At least, not at that time in their own journeys. My intuition is a gift, passed down through generations on both sides of my family. 

But I didn’t see it as a gift then. It made me different. It made me fearful. And the fear drew more scary things into my life to fear. Being alone, in the dark, was terrifying for me. And remained so…until I was well into my forties. My life began to shift when I recognized that not all that happened around my intuition was frightening and that I was surrounded with God’s light, protected more than I knew. 

Finally, just four years ago, I felt ready to face down my fear and embrace fully who I am, which included my intuitive self. I learned to bring Divine light and peace around me and through my home. Fear ebbed away, little by little, until I could sleep alone, in the dark, without fear. 

What I have found incredible is that my dreams at night reveal the state of my mind and heart. I have always had very detailed and visually rich dreams. As a child I was plagued by nightmares, dark snapshots of what was going on in my waking life. As an adult, gripped by fear, I continued to have bad dreams that would cause me to whimper in my sleep or breathe erratically. I’d wake in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, afraid to sleep but afraid as well to be awake in the middle of the night. 

When I accepted that I am intuitive and combatted my fear, the first changes took place in my dreams. The scenarios no longer made me wake trembling. Rather I was able to watch what was unfolding in a more detached way. The first time I spoke during a dream and firmly said “Stop it”, I woke amazed at my courage AND the fact that the bad dream did stop when I spoke. Over the last four years my dreams have continued to reflect the changes in my life. I still dream of spooky stuff, experiences that have scared me in the past, but in my dreams I am taking control of the situation and watching more with curiosity than fear. 

The dream I had early this morning showed me the current state of my mind and heart. People were having frightening experiences in a huge house that held negative energy within it. I was asked to clear the house. There was absolutely no fear as I visited the home and saw the dark entities there. I assured the owners I could handle it. And then I took charge and assembled a team of competent people to assist me. We showed up at the house, we faced the darkness, and I led them in speaking the words that cleared the negative energy away. 

What a difference between taking charge…and waking in terror. This dream showed me how much my life has shifted. It perhaps showed me as well that I’m watching a lot of Doctor Who. A lizard man was part of my team! What an amazing dream. I woke feeling empowered and confident and courageous. 

As those super charged emotions have stayed with me today, the title of a book came to me, written by Robert Benson, “Between the Dreaming and the Coming True”. It’s been years since I read that delightful book. I never quite understood the title. Suddenly, this afternoon, those words made sense to me. As I am growing in my journey, my subconscious is feeding the shifts into my mind, where the changes play out as dreams. They are running ahead of my reality, the coming true part of my life. I exist in that “between” space, between the heroics of my dreams and the realization of what’s possible. That’s where my journey is.  

I am thrilled to have had such a powerful dream. Fear has no place in my life. And my subconscious is making that known to me. I accept that. I believe. And if the need arises, I am ready to assemble my team! 


Journey 55: The Maze Runner

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Post Academy Awards, my new tradition is to watch each of the best picture nominated films. Among the eight top movies this year, I have only previously seen The Grand Budapest Hotel. It is a delightful, quirky, visually appealing movie. I watched this fun film last year for the first time, and watched it again yesterday. My review that I did last year for the movie is here.

Tonight, I viewed The Maze Runner and decided to post about it, before beginning the series of Oscar contenders. This sci-fi adventure film stars Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee and Kaya Scodelario. It was directed by Wes Ball and is based on the book by the same name, written by James Dashner. The PG-13 rating is for intense action and  the movie has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes.

Thomas (O’Brien) regains consciousness as he is rising in an elevator, with no memory of who he is or where he has come from. He emerges into a space called The Glade, surrounded by a circle of young men. They too arrived in this place in the same way, without memory. The only knowledge they regain are their names. Thomas runs, in a panic, until he realizes there is no where to go. Spinning in a circle, he sees a very tall wall enclosing The Glade.

The leader of the community, Alby (Ameen) shows Thomas around and explains that this is now home. They survive by working together, each boy assigned a role in the community. The elevator brings fresh supplies and a new boy each month. They have learned to thrive by creating and living by rules. Two runners emerge through an opening in the wall, just as the doors begin to close. Alby explains that they are maze runners whose purpose is to explore the surrounding maze by day, seeking a way out. They must return to The Glade by nightfall, or they will die in the maze, hunted down by mechanical scorpion-like creatures known as Grievers. The runners have been exploring the maze for years, and have not found a way out, partly due to the fact that the maze reconfigures each night.

Thomas is a Greenie (newcomer), but he is curious, questioning, unwilling to accept that life must now be so constrained. He meets second in command, Newt (Brodie-Sangster), and the rule enforcer, Gally (Poulter). Gally and Thomas clash immediately, for it seems that everything is changing since Thomas’ arrival. A runner is attacked during the day. Alby is stung also, and rescued by Thomas, who breaks a rule and goes into the maze after him. A girl shows up by way of the elevator and she seems to know Thomas. Teresa (Scodelario)  brings an antidote to the Griever sting and Alby survives, with some memory returning. He remembers Thomas. But before much info can be shared, it is discovered that the door to the maze did not close when darkness fell, as it should have. Grievers burst into The Glade, dragging boys away. It seems to be a punishment for Thomas’ transgressions.

Gally wants to banish Thomas, however the lead runner, Minho (Lee), had taken Thomas with him into the maze and they discovered a door that opened with a mechanical key that was recovered from a dead Griever.  Knowing they must leave The Glade, before twilight brings the Grievers back, Thomas and a band of Gladers, including the girl Teresa, head into the maze, against the wishes of Gally, who has become the new leader. The band is determined to find the door and a way out, or die trying.

Wow. This was a good movie, intense, powerful, edgy, gritty. There was keen suspense as I tried to figure out what was going on, one step ahead of the unfolding of the story. I literally found myself leaning in toward the TV screen, in fascination, and away from it, alternatively, during intense sequences.

I experienced this movie, viscerally, like a punch in the gut. The high enclosure, the rules, the fear. I’ve lived in a box like that, afraid to break the rules, thinking that abiding by the rules ensured security, swapping safety for freedom. That was the most intense part of the movie for me…I recognized the feeling of being trapped. Gally, the bully-like enforcer of the rules, personifies fear. He chooses life in a box, and perceived safety, over taking the risk of going beyond what he knows, even if it means freedom. Change was seen as a threat, rather than a pathway to a bigger life.

This was a well done film, albeit one without a conclusion. The ending raised more questions than it answered, setting the stage for the next movie in the trilogy. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials releases in theaters later this year. I’m looking forward to it, so much so that I’ll be seeing the next installment at the theater!

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Day 287: National Face Your Fears Day

National Face Your Fears Day

Who knew that there was a day specifically set aside for facing ones fears? I didn’t, until this month. According to, this holiday is always the second Tuesday in October, so the date changes each year. This year it is today, October 14. And for my first, I “celebrated” the day by being mindful of my journey and all the fears I have overcome.

Fear is a powerful emotion that can paralyze us, keeping us stuck in a supposed safe place. Many terrors begin in childhood because of an incident beyond the control of the child, such as fear of water because of a near drowning, fear of storms because of a tornado passing through, fear of the dark because of strange noises emanating from the closet. The memory or energy of that incident remains trapped within and each time a similar event occurs, that memory gets triggered, and the energy stirs, and we feel it as butterflies in the stomach or an icy grip around our hearts. We pull back. We begin to avoid those things which trigger the fear and a phobia is born.

I know all about fear. I lived most of my life in the clutches of it. Many of those fears were common fears… of the dark, of dolls, of strong storms, of loss, death and isolation, of failure, of not being enough. It took reaching middle age, and the loss of two dear people, to realize that all my fears centered around one major, deep seated fear. I was afraid of who I was, at my core, and the gifts I’d been given to share with the world. I was afraid to shine, as the person I was Divinely created to be.

Watching The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring about 12 years ago, a scene caught my attention. I knew I was seeing a picture of myself played out on my tv screen. Gandalf the Grey, the wizard in the film, is leading the fellowship through the mines of Moria. The little band of travelers has just discovered that the occupants of the mine are all dead. There is a darkness in the mines that goes beyond a lack of light. Gandalf raises his staff and allows a very small amount of light to shine forth, lighting their way. He whispers, “Let us hope that our presence may go unnoticed.” I replayed that scene over and over and something shifted near my heart. That was me, not allowing my light to shine brightly, hoping that my presence would go unnoticed. That fear of shining as my true self kept me small and invisible. It caused me to be a people pleaser, an avoider of conflict and controversy, silent when my voice could have made a difference. It was my smallness caught in isolation that created the fear of death and loss, fear of the dark, fear of being alone.

My journey shifted as well that day. Oh, the fears didn’t disappear overnight. But as I released fear after fear, I began to draw amazing people and situations to me that gave me opportunity to shine as the person I am created to be. And finally, as I fully embraced who I am and all that I am, gifts, abilities and quirks, I could quietly, courageously face the last of my fears and watch them drop away. The dark no longer menaced me and I no longer had to fear being alone, especially at night. It is a continuing journey, walking as me, finding my voice, and I am still learning and growing into what that means and how to offer who I am to others.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” I agree. By facing my fear, I have done that which I never thought I could do, in many areas of my life. I am grateful for National Face Your Fears Day because it reminds me of how far I have journeyed, and what is possible when I shine bright. There is no place within me for fear to hide in that great light.

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Day 236: Divergent

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Tonight was movie night, which meant I picked out a DVD of a movie I haven’t seen yet. There are several good new releases out. Based on the recommendations of several people, I chose to watch Divergent.

Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn and Kate Winslet. It is directed by Neil Burger and is based on the novel by the same name, by Veronica Roth. This action/sci-fi is rated PG-13, for violence, and has a run time of 2 hours and 19 minutes.

Set in a futuristic Chicago, which is surrounded by a protective wall, society within is divided into five factions. As each person reaches young adulthood, they are tested to see which virtue is strongest, determining which faction they fit in. Abnegations are selfless and serving, Amities peaceful and kind, Candors honest and blunt, Dauntless brave and reckless, and Erudites are intelligent and cunning. The aptitude test determines the virtue and yet the teen makes the final decision about which faction he or she will join. The decision is permanent.

Beatrice, later known as Tris (Shailene Woodley) comes from a family of Abnegations. She knows, before she takes the aptitude test, that she doesn’t have those traits. Her aptitude test shows she has several virtues, making her a Divergent. The test giver tells Tris, “You’re different. You don’t fit into a category. They can’t control you. They call it Divergent.”  She warns the teen to remain silent about her test result or she will be killed. Tris makes the decision to leave the Abnegations, and her parents, played by Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn, joining the Dauntless faction. She and the other newcomers must go through a rigorous initiation and training process before being fully accepted into the faction. The Dauntless, being the warrior group, are charged with protecting the city and its inhabitants.

Tris trains under the instruction of the mysterious Dauntless leader, Four (Theo James) while attempting to keep her Divergent personality hidden. The head of the Erudite faction, Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) has created a secret group within her faction whose sole purpose is to hunt down and kill Divergents.  The Abnegation faction hides Divergents, which makes that group come under attack as well. The peace of the society is threatened, and the Erudites blame the Abnegation faction and see the Divergents as dangerous. As Jeanine says, “The system removes the threat of anyone exercising their independent will. Divergents threaten that system. It won’t be safe until they’re removed.”

Tris’ secret gets out, Four has one of his own, and the Erudites put into action their own secretive mission. The whole society begins coming apart, all because of fear. The movie concludes, but it is really the springboard for the next in the series, called Insurgent, which releases in theaters in 2015.

This was an interesting futuristic film to watch. Gritty and tense, the acting was well done and the storyline flowed well. Having seen the movie, I’d like to read the books. The central theme of the movie is about being an individual and refusing to fit in, for family, for society, even for the sake of peace. Tris knows who she is not. During the movie, she begins to find out who she is….and what she is capable of. She discovers her gifts, her virtues and the beauty of not fitting in. The secondary theme of Divergent is fear. Jeanine, and the Erudites, fear anyone who is different, anyone who shows strength outside of their faction. Independence is seen as dangerous and destructive. The greater good, in Jeanine’s opinion, is to fit in and be controlled, be safe.

I can’t watch a film like this without thinking about my own journey from fear to freedom. The need to fit in, to stay safe, by conforming to what my particular faction said should be true for me, kept me small. Like Tris, I knew who I was not, long before I was able to know who I am and embrace that glorious self. The definition of divergent is to develop in different directions. That has been my journey the past 4 years. I have cut loose from fear, embraced who I am, and grown, in multiple directions. When Tris tells Four that everyone fears something, Four says to her, “Fear doesn’t shut you down, it wakes you up!” I love that. What an amazing way to respond to fear, to awaken. I am awakening. I am divergent.

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Day 204: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes e

This evening, my sister Linda and I viewed the recently released movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, at the theater. The second in the new Planet of the Ape series, this was a must see since we had not only seen the Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011, but also watched the original series years ago.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, and Nick Thurston and it is directed by Matt Reeves. This sci-fi, action, drama is rated PG-13, for violence, and has a run time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Set 10 years later than the first movie, the band of apes, led by Caesar, has established a home and a way of life in a post apocalyptic type world. Most of the humans have died from the ALZ-113 virus that scientists created in a lab and were testing on apes. There is a remnant of humans, apparently genetically immune to the virus, living in the remains of San Francisco. When the two groups of survivors meet, hostilities quickly mount on both sides. Trust is fragilely established between Caesar and the human, Malcolm. But that trust is threatened and both sides are brought to the brink of war by the betrayal of apes and humans. Fear causes those who are weak, or who have not been able to heal from their past wounds, to seek to destroy the other species. This movie closes with war imminent between humans and apes, and sets the stage for the next movie in the series.

Having watched the old Planet of the Apes series, with the actors in ape costumes, it was amazing to see how incredibly real CGI can look. This form of movie making has continued to improve these past few years, to the point where watching tonight, I didn’t think about actors and CGI generated characters. I didn’t think about it at all. I became immersed in a film about humans and apes. And more than that, it was a film about fear and hate and the inability to grow. And a tale about those on both sides who were able to rise above perception and past grievances and offer out of that place of strength. Species hatred is like any prejudice in that it destroys the one who harbors it. It leads to wars and abuse and more fear. Koba, who suffered greatly at the hands of humans as a lab test subject, betrays his leader and distorted by rage and the need for revenge, seeks to destroy the humans, all humans. Caesar tells him “Koba still in cage.”

Powerful words. Powerful emotions throughout the film. Powerful, thought evoking movie.