I had a dream. Or shall we say, I recall a dream I had. I'm pretty sure that we all dream, no matter what that word might mean to you, we have subconscious brain activity in deeper sleep phases and from that we can experience real emotions in addition to having crazy images and situations somehow make sense.
Recall or recollecting dreams is unusual for me - I don't often have any sensation of having dreamt, and I don't really miss it or pine for it. Rather, from the time in my life when I did actively dream, I remember not liking it. All of my recollections of dreams include really banal and boring situations. I never flew, I never had interesting characters or crazy plot twists - I didn't have fantasies, not even nightmares.
I am the person who when I dream, it's just like reality, but without basis. What that means is in my dreams, I'm just doing everyday things. Like, when I say 'work dream', most people relate to that via any number of ideas: being naked at work, being at work and having an unending amount of work, being at work and not knowing anyone, etc.
For me, it's like having a second job, without pay. I would just have these incredibly normal dreams. So normal, in fact, that I would often later disagree or argue with or blame someone for having a shitty memory, because I would've had a dream, so plain and real, where we had this discussion, and to me, it felt more like a memory than a recollection of a dream.
Not sure how, mostly because of my personal weird sleep cycle, but I 'stopped' dreaming somewhere around 20 years ago. I might have two or three a year I remember, but that's it. And, I don't feel insane, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, either an active imagination or the processing. It's just how I roll and slumber.
Back to my point. I remembered a lot of my boring and banal, conversational dream last night, and here's what I'm moved by:
In a non-descript, calm room. Hanging out with a non-existent person who I feel is more than an acquaintance, but less than a 'good friend'. I trust him, we are talking, it's nothing serious, I'm relaxed.
He changes the subject and says "you know, you use a lot of controlling language..." and I'm not shocked or angered, but simply intrigued. He repeats the same sentence, but this time qualifies it by saying "... when you are teaching class. That's when you language becomes really controlling."
Interestingly, again, I'm not feeling defensive, but curious. So I respond along the lines of "indeed, but I am there to facilitate, and while that means make easy, it also means to make - as in, I'm supposed to be in control." I add some other rationale about letting the students relinquish control, which means I had to hold it for them.
Then, i woke up. Not feeling unresolved, but soaking in that small but important interchange. Now, the flip side of having mundane dreams is that I can't just easily dismiss that info - it's just too rational and direct. And, I can get all Jungian and go right to analysis - relating it to life.
I did have a conversation last week with someone in my yoga community. We encourage feedback and give it to each other when we've been in classes. He noted that I - and I paraphrase here - 'withheld info during transitions in the class in order to control how the students moved, both in tempo and in alignment'. Not a negative critique, but a salient observation. We dialoged a bit; I feel that I can easily admit to it, from the function of I prefer students to go from 'foundation to engagement to expression' rather than simply stating the pose and then trying to get their feet right.
An example: if the students are just stepping into a lunge and I say "Warrior 1", more than half of the students will immediately rise up, arms overhead, and then start adjusting their feet, while their core sags.
I'm starting from the place where I'd like you to set your front foot, pivot and ground your rear foot, engage your low core, and then lift up, arms overhead in the pose - foundation, engagement, expression.
How about this? I'd like you to put the ladder on firm ground, then climb up, then reach for the tree limb - not run up the ladder and bounce around at the top like Charlie Chaplin waving your arms around.
Ha, you can tell, it's a good topic, I've got some feeling about it, and I can easily create a rationale. However, in the 'real world' conversation where this was going on, all of that was accepted and acknowledged, even praised for it's stability and theory - but my friend came right back to something akin to 'all of that's alright, but I'd still say you use your language to control the room'.
I agreed, but also had to say, expressed that directly, I didn't really care for it! As in, "I've got to examine that and think on it." So, think on it I must be, if it comes to me in the other world almost identically to how it presents in this world.
Not sure what the message is beside pay attention to that, where does it show up, why, and where else does it show up that I'm not aware of yet? One excellent place to process it will be in the yoga room - either as teacher, listening and observing as I teach and as a student, listening and finding resonance or friction with others words, tones, styles and intentions.
Interesting in the way that we get all the info we need about ourselves in any way that Spirit can serve it - then, the question is, can we quiet down enough to hear the call, and can we turn inward and do the deep seeking and do the work?
I'll close with words heard in class last week, simple words, but with much resonance - "If you can, you must - there is no other choice!"
Give thanks and praise!