As mentioned in the accompanying video, I had a dream Robin Williams was a lion tamer on trial for using unconventional methods for keeping his lions in check. He was dressed in Lion Tamer regalia—riding pants, a safari hat, tall black boots, a khaki long sleeved shirt, and a whip. The action of the dream took place in court. The lion tamer was quickly losing the case; the judge and jurors were against him. As a last minute Hail Mary, the lion tamer bolted out of his chair, raised the left hand in the air, his whip pointed toward the heavens, and began chanting at the top of his lungs, “LULLABALLAHABLALALA!!!”
The court was dumfounded, enraptured, hypnotized, and mesmerized. Apparently the same tactic that works with lions works with humans. The spellbound court was now under the lion tamer’s command, and they proclaimed him innocent. The Dream ended with Robin Williams, the unconventional lion tamer, walking out of court with his head held high, smiling, and breathing in his victory and freedom.
When I pay attention, my dreams are either a commentary on what took place the night before, or is a preview of coming attractions to prepare me for the day ahead. In this case I believe it was the latter.
The next day I went to see a matinee of Life in a Day with my husband, Dana, and our friend, Ron. The movie brilliantly tells the true story of 6 billion people, in 190 countries, in one 24-hour period. At the movies conclusion, as the credits are running, and tears are running down my face, Ron turns to me and says, “You’re a trip to watch a movie with!”
Perplexed, I tilted my head, crinkled my brow and innocently asked, “What do you mean?”
He guffawed and replied, “You are more vocal than the movie. Next time I’ll just watch you instead! Its like you are part of the action.”
Dana chimed in with an, “I told you so” look on his face. “Kelly, I’ve been telling you, but you don’t listen…and it’s getting worse.”
I apologize to Dana and Ron, feeling hit by a 2×4 across the forehead, “I had no idea.”
“But,” I sheepishly try to defend myself, “Aren’t my sounds natural—what everyone is feeling/thinking/doing—given the circumstances in the movie. I mean, come on, the guy cracks an egg and there’s a live chick inside, and he eats it! Didn’t everyone scream?”
“No,” they shake their heads in unison.
“You mean to tell me I was the only one in the movie theatre making any noise?”
They nod in unison.
The penny drops, the 2×4 strikes again…this time to my gut. I feel dizzy, like I might lose my cookies. For days I’m self-conscious everywhere I go. In every conversation, I’m monitoring my reactivity, my vocal “Ums and Ahs”. What other blind spots do I have that I didn’t know about? Am I a freak that has been roaming the earth for years with two heads, and I’m just finding out about it? I feel like I’m on trial, and I am guilty as charged.
Ooooooo…just the dream from the night before. What might the lion tamer on trial have to do with this blind spot revelation? Hmmmmm.
I breathe—something I hadn’t been doing much of during this credit rolling conversation—feel the slight awe of the beginnings of an aha moment.
Astrologically speaking, I am a Leo (the lion). According to astrologers, I am very Leo-esque (loud, roaring, flamboyant, filling up the space with warmth, holding court.)
I believe every character in our dreams is an aspect of ourselves, which makes Robin Williams, my inner comedian, the tamer of my out of control Leonine wildness by using shock to get my attention.
That same shocking abruptness can silence my inner critic(s) that judged me and might, if left to their own devices, label me as guilty, put me in jail and throw away the key.
Perhaps dream work, itself, is an unconventional method for self-realization (a.k.a. lion taming.)
The feeling of freedom Robin Williams had as he left the courthouse is what I choose fixate on. He overcame condemnation and emerged victorious. Instead of beating myself up, maybe I can choose to feel grateful that the universe and everything within it is, in deed, conspiring on behalf of my (our) greatest good, to get me (us) to wake up.
Carolyn Myss says the purpose of our lives is to become responsible for our power. Most of us have no idea that we are, in fact, powerful, much less have a clue how much power we actually have. We roam the earth feeling disenfranchised, powerless, and small. When in fact we are great beings that are a great deal of directorial input into how our lives can go.
Perhaps, most of our power is hovering in the shadows of our blind spots, and thus is being used unconsciously. Like the dog walking the person, instead of the other way around.
When you take one step toward the your dream, it takes ten steps toward you. Envision a host of supernatural support that is hovering around you, chomping at the bit to lend assistance…yet giving you the respect of choosing their vast support.
We humans are power hungry…always chasing power in one way or another. Ok, you may not think of it as power, but it is. Perhaps the power you chase is in the guise of money, fame, security, health, vitality, youth, or love. What if it was the other way around? What if our power is actually chasing us? What if our power was stalking us through our dreamtime, lurking in our blind spots to be found out and thus integrated into the light of our being?
Ah, there in lies the rub. When a blind spot dares to reveal itself to us, our first reaction is the Cleopatra’s domain: DENIAL:
“Who, me? I couldn’t possibly have been the only one screaming, laughing, and talking to the screen during the movie?”
“Who me? I couldn’t possibly be powerful. I’m just little ‘ol me.”
Next comes our dear friend ANGER:
“How dare you catch me with my hand in the cookie jar! There must be something really wrong with YOU! I’m fine; it’s YOU that has the problem!”
“How dare you accuse me of actually being powerful! Can’t you see I’m the victim of my circumstances????”
The next in line is SHAME:
“Wow, I really must be bad, wrong, and broken to the core. Perhaps I should do everyone a favor and stop taking up precious breath.”
“I can’t believe I’ve lived a power-less life for so long…at my own hands!”
This feels so bad that we think we may be at the end of our rope…so out of self-preservation, we cycle back to DENIAL and try to distract ourselves or numb out and forget the whole thing ever happened. And, thus, our precious power stays neatly tucked
in the closet.
This might have happened to me, were it not for my lion tamer dream. As I sit here today, admittedly I still feel a little raw around the space where the blind spot used to reside, but for the most part, I feel grateful for the awareness. I am actually even excited about the opportunity to excavate other blind spots, with the help of my dreams to soften the blow, and help me discover elements of my “power” that have been heretofore hidden.
So, if you see me in the theatre sitting with you the next time you go to the movies, enjoy the film, because I’m going to keep my vocal acrobatics on the inside, where they belong. However…as yet, I can’t promise what will happen outside the movie theatre…so bring your earplugs just in case.
Your Knights of the Round Table: Assembling your Dream Guides
Questions for contemplation, journaling, or a dream group discussion:
1. What is your relationship to your blind spots?
a. Are you anxious to discover them? Explain.
b. Are you afraid of them? Explain.
c. Are you in denial about them? Explain.
d. Are you quick to point other people’s blind spots, but deny that you have them? Explain.
e. When one of your blind spots gets revealed to you “shoot the messenger?
f. Are you relieved when one of your blind spots gets revealed because you know you are “waking up”?
2. How do you respond to the notion that “everything that happens (in dreams and in our waking life) is a blessing?
3. Can you recall a dream (recent or from your past) that was revealing to you one of your blind spots? Describe it.
a. Cam you identify what the blind spot was?
b. What did you do (or what will you do now) with that awareness?
4. Can you recall a dream that had a “judge, jury, police, jailor” or some expression of your “inner critic”?
a. Cam you identify what the critic was criticizing?
b. What did you do (or what will you do now) with that awareness?
5. Begin to form your “knights of the round table”—your inner council—comprised of your dream characters (dream allies). List the ones you would call to your dream round table?
6. What pearls of wisdom have you gleaned from your dream allies that you have or will use in your waking life?
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
~Carl Gustav Jung