During my recapitulation I learned that everything in my life, waking and dreaming, was supporting my recapitulation journey. I also learned that everything in my life had always been supporting my journey, though it was not until this very intense time of inner work that I was granted this knowledge in a very keen and extremely significant way, on a daily basis.
As I began to piece together how everything not only supported the inner work I was doing, but how it all seamlessly wove together pictures of my past with current situations, I saw how all of it was mirrored and supported in my nightly dreams as well. In a shamanic sense, I was training my awareness, as I went through several years in a perpetual state of heightened awareness as everything, in every moment of my life, greeted me with messages, insights, puzzles to be solved, and issues to be resolved. Since the completion of that recapitulation, I have continued to be taught by life itself, by what appears in daytime and nighttime, in awake experiences and dreaming experiences, by what my own body presents me with on a daily basis.
I know now, without a doubt, that I am guided through this life, that I have always been and always will be, that we all are. Only through offering myself the gift of innocent vision during my recapitulation, constantly asking the busy rational mind to sit by the wayside, as I turned to allowing the creativity and imagination of my adult and child self in cohesion to guide me, was I able to shift how I perceived the world and achieve this understanding. It takes some amount of daring to reject everything we’ve learned and turn inward, to turn to our child self—the defended, rejected, abandoned, frightened child self in my case—and allow the evolving adult self to show the child that, although it is all those things, it is also much, much more.
Perhaps the idea of expending the rational, the voice of reason, the voice that upholds the known and proven world, keeping us safe and comfortable, and turning toward the totally irrational, and listening to a new voice, is a crazy notion, but once the process is begun there is no going back. Once the magic begins, there is no going back to an old way of thinking, perceiving, or living. At this point, life becomes a most fascinating journey, as we accept what comes to us as meaningful, as we accept that each day and each moment in each day holds important information for us.
Once we are in it, there is no going back to the boredom of waiting for life to change or something exciting to happen to us, because we are fully aware that excitement is inherent in each moment. We are living it, painful or otherwise, and at least we can say that we will never again complain about life being boring. We just have to keep remembering the magic, remain open to it, and learn to constantly reinterpret our life and our experiences from new perspectives.
I don’t take much for granted; there is always something else behind the screen of normalcy, of convention, of the usual spin, something that is different, even magical or enchanting, and ultimately the real truth. We just have to learn how to constantly shift our thoughts away from the conventional and into the world of possibility. I trust possibility more than I trust convention, so you won’t find me believing much of anything I hear or see. I prefer to find my own answers and truths. All of this is leading me to relate an experience I had the other night, one in which I allowed my dreaming self to show me something.
It was a cool night; the sliding door in our bedroom was wide open to the brisk night air when the loud shriek of an owl startled us awake.
“An owl!” I said. “It sounds close. It must be perched on the deck outside our door.” We could hear its claws scratching against wood. It shrieked again and again.
“Why is it doing that?” Chuck wondered. “It’s hunting, shouldn’t it be quiet?”
“I don’t know, perhaps it’s calling to others, a mate or young,” I whispered. We listened to it until it grew quiet. As I drifted off to sleep I wondered why it had come.
“What does it mean?” I asked my dreaming self. Sometime later, Chuck made a sound in his sleep, waking me. I didn’t want to wake up, I’d been dreaming and I wanted to finish my dream, but the truth was that I was awake. I wondered if I could go back into my dream anyway.
I kept my eyes closed and looked into the darkness behind my lids, into the amorphous, fluid and multicolored darkness. I noticed that my left eye shut down completely and only my right was seeing. Peering sharply into the darkness behind my lid, it honed right into my dream, parting the curtains that had descended when I was startled awake a moment before.
Like a microscope, my right eye honed in on where I had left off and magically finished the dream. Fully awake I dreamed to completion. Satisfied, I opened my eyes and told Chuck what had just happened. It was then that I remembered the owl in the night and I understood the message it was bringing. It was asking me to hone the skills that I work at every day, to use the special ability of the owl to hone in on its prey with microscopic vision, even in the dark, abilities I now know I have inside me, that we all have inside of us.
“Yes,” Chuck said, “the shamans say we all have everything we need inside the human body to do everything the shamans do.”
“It’s true,” I say. “You taught me that when I was recapitulating too, as a means of keeping me focused on the inner journey, offering me some badly needed self-confidence, but really allowing me to accept my experiences as important, to not dismiss anything, but to learn how to perceive everything as meaningful.”
And that’s what I still focus on, allowing everything to be important and meaningful. All experiences are magical if we allow ourselves to experience them that way, not with ego, not by trying to be shamans, but by awakening and utilizing everything that is present in our human state, inside our bodies. The rational mind might not take offense at being pushed aside while we take a ride through our dreams at night, but it sure puts up a struggle during the day. We just have to work at assuring it that it will be okay, that it will be safe, as we let something else guide us to see a new reality, a dream reality during the day too. Our nightly dream training is showing us what we are all really capable of all the time.
Healing ourselves through deep inner work is the first part of learning just what we are capable of doing and experiencing. As we recapitulate, we are asked again and again to suspend judgment and take a look at what really happened, to not blame or attach to anything, but to let ourselves re-experience everything from a new perspective and in so doing experience just what it means when the shamans say that everything we need is inside the human body. Trusting that is the first major obstacle to leaving the rational world and the first major leap into the magical as well. Try it, in waking and/or in dreaming today; see what comes to guide you, out of your own body self, showing you the magic in your own life. Believe me there’s plenty there!
It takes trusting our inner spirit, the innocence comprised of the purity of knowing and perceiving that is ready to embrace our experiences and help us advance in this lifetime. It’s not so hard to defy convention and look at life as magical; it’s quite inspiring, fascinating to imagine that every day we are indeed being guided to learn some of the magic that resides inside all of us. I also now know that the owl’s message is to use that ability to hone my sight during the daytime too, with my eyes open. If I can hone so microscopically with my eyes closed, I should be able to do it with them open as well. That’s my next challenge.
Thanking the owls that come in the night,