Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I woke up today with a dream that had occurred on many levels, containing strong and unsettling sensations. It was one of those dreams that you just want to shoo under the bed and ignore, but the feeling hung upon me like a heavy weight. This sense remained even after I'd recorded the dream and done the lightning dreamwork process I've learned from Robert Moss. I realized that in order to go deeper I needed to re-enter the dream as I lay there in a still somewhat hypnogogic state. As I re-entered my dream I found myself taking a broad overview in that:

  1.  I viewed what was occurring from a higher vantage point in terms of my visual perspective
  2.  I saw the dream events happening concurrently 

Immediately this phrase came into my head I'M KEEPING THE WOLVES AT BAY; accompanied by a strong visceral sensation of physical tension and exhaustion.

Though there were no wolves in the dream the peoples in it were like wolves who had trapped their prey (I and my people) as they gathered and awaited in a bay offshore in huge galleons prepared to attack our small, peaceful, agrarian island. We had no choice but to surrender. I was organizing the colony to prepare a welcome. I would go out to meet our conquerors and arrange terms takeover and peaceful co-habitation. As I set out I was somewhat relieved and optimistic (this threat must have been hanging over us for a long time) perhaps some good will come of this I told myself.

As soon as I committed that phrase to paper I felt relief as an AH HA moment washed over me. The feeling in my dream and the one crawling under my skin were congruent and had been named. That's how I'm feeling, accompanied by a sense of loss and sorrow (the latter emotions are not new to me, they arise just before Christmas every year). I told myself, just get through it (these emotions) you know it will pass as it always does, but today I agreed to rather let it and all associated thoughts, sensations and emotions pass through me because it will pass as it always does and went about the day's activities mindful of this intention.

This afternoon during a pre-shiatsu discussion my client comments that she's KEEPING THE WOLVES AT BAY with self-care preventative measures so that she won't have more difficulty later on or have to resort to more invasive therapy after recently suffering a motor vehicle accident.

OK you've got to look deeper into this, I told myself.

So here's what I found:

  • If you keep the wolves at bay you make enough money to avoid going hungry or falling heavily into debt (UsingEnglish.com)
  • TO KEEP AT BAY - to keep someone or something at a safe distance - the bay tree was supposed to have protective powers and it is said that the bay laurel was used as a remedy during the time of the Great Plague of London. Abai is the Old French word for "barking of hounds in a pack" the English word baying as of hunting hounds shares the root. This source goes on to talk about French idioms connected with stag hunting used when the stag tires of the chase and turns to face the pursuing hounds and at this point the stag is itself at bay as it holds the hounds at bay which conveys the sense of the English phrase. Source: http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/sayindex.htm

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Morning meditation

© Nance Thacker
Click on image to enlarge

Sunday, November 20, 2011

ANDY ROONEY knew what he was doing

Last week I posted this entry on Face Book:
I'm grossed out. No wonder we're buried under so much stuff. 
Rod and I went to an outlet mall. He can't get clothes to fit him here. What's that all about? We do have short Canadians too. Anyway... 
at EVERY store we were told:
"If you buy one more, you get it for 1/2 price." 
"Here's a coupon for 40% off if you buy something in the next 2 months." 
"If you sign up for our customer card you'll be updated on our specials and receive discounts on selected items." 
DO WE REALLY NEED THAT MUCH STUFF? And how much more are you going to spend than you intended in order to get the discount? Just say'n, think about it.
One of my friends responded, "Hmmmm... I think you may be our next Andy Rooney..." which I found interesting because Rod and I had recently been talking about him with another couple (A & L)  a few nights after we'd heard of Rooney's death. It went something like this...
L: I don't think any one of us will ever retire.
NOTE: We are all self-employed. No work = no pay. Company pension? ...ha, ha, ha.

Me: You got that right. Besides I like what I do.

L: It's not so much me; I don't think A wants to. 

A: Well you can only travel so much. When you retire what are you going to do the rest of the time?

Me: Ya, I don't think it's such a good idea. Especially for men, I mean look what happened to Andy Rooney.

L: Yup, retired and 2 weeks later... dead!

R: But the guy was 92 years old, he was worn out.

Me: Ya, but he enjoyed what he did, made it to 92 and then when he'd had enough he checked out. That's pretty good.

Truth be told, there's something else that freaks me and most of my female friends out about their husbands retiring...
© Nance Thacker 1990
click on image to enlarge

Friday, November 11, 2011


Everything that exists began as a dream.

You don’t have to sleep to dream. Dreams weave their way into our consciousness through daily coincidences, synchronicity and flights of fancy. Dreaming connects us with our Heart, Soul and Inner Wisdom. When we know how to dream lucidly we can reclaim parts of ourselves we thought we had lost and in so doing restore our personal power & well-being. Nightmares bear unresolved important messages and lessons because they are, as Robert Moss says, "Unfinished" dreams.  When we journey for resolution in what I call the dream fields (different levels of dream states) t
heir energy is transmuted. As we gain proficiency in the skill of active lucid dreaming we empower and heal ourselves, our relationships and our environment. 

One of the easiest ways to develop the skill of lucid dreaming is to re-enter a dream. Sounds impossible? It's really very easy and you do it all of the time. Whenever you recall a dream (or anything else for that matter), whether you are telling it to a friend or recording it in your journal, you are calling up again those images, words and events and inviting them to play in a creative state of mind which slightly different from wakefulness.

Over the years, through the practice of recording my dreams, I've developed  the ability to re-enter a dream when I'm in the hypnogogic state between sleep and wakefulness. When I go to bed I set my alarm to ring 1 hour before I have to get up. When the alarm goes off I re-set it for 30 minutes and then record my dream(s) while laying on my side with the journal propped up on a pillow. I've set the clock just in case I fall back asleep. I want to drift on the verge of sleep to see if any more of my dream or its details are lingering there. If I have fallen back to sleep perhaps I'll have a dream to record on the second sounding of the alarm.

Sometimes a  dream is fully delivered and immediately words spill seamlessly onto the page as I record in an experience of automatic writing. At other times mere fragments appear which I'd like to flesh out more fully so     I go back into them and look around to get a clearer image or see events from a different perspective. I can ask questions of the dream or its characters and wait for the answer. Now, this is a most interesting place to be because since the answer resides in the question all that is needed is a sense of the question - the words don't need to be fully formed before the answer begins to unfold. The answer may be spelled out clearly or in a cryptic nature but at any rate there is "knowing" that the question has been asked and that the answer has been received. 

Sometimes just a feeling, sensation or thought is present when the alarm first goes off and these too are worth exploration and noting: What am I feeling? What thoughts are going through my mind? What do I first notice as I look around in the dream field that I've re-entered.

I don't invite the critical, analytical mind to come into action; I'm not analyzing the dream, I'm re-experiencing it and there is a difference. There is a light, wispy quality to the dream state whereas the state of analysis feels heavy and solid. 

Stay simply with the facts, observations and feelings and play with them in the dream fields and they will unveil their wisdom.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I was visiting a friend, chatting over coffee at her place, when I heard something being dragged from the other room and wondered what it was. My friend seemed nonplussed. It didn't take long for me to find out why...
© Nance Thacker 1990
click on image to enlarge
I'm thinking about this because my friend's dog Luigi has been wearing the cone of shame, not to keep him from scratching his ears, but to keep from licking his balls, which he no longer has. Yes, he is of that age. I feel so sorry for you Luigi, but the cone of shame will not be on for long. This little clip from the animated film UP demonstrates the effect of the cone of shame has on its wearer so beautifully...

Friday, November 4, 2011

virtual consumerism

I excel in the art of "virtual consumerism". This is something I found myself indulging in time and time again when I was living so far under the poverty line as to not even be a statistic. The only difference between me and a homeless person was that I had friends who allowed me to "house-sit" for them even when they didn't need a house-sitter and, when I had no place to go I could sneak a sleep on the mattress on the floor of my $50 a month studio space and shower at the Y a few blocks away (I had a free membership because I taught yoga there for $6/hr).

One time my friend Bud bunked at his potter friend's place in the country so that he could take care of "the PIES", the woman's 2 sheep, LAMBY PIE and HONEY PIE (Lamby's daughter) while she was on a 2 week trip. He asked me to "house-sit" the approx. 400 square foot apartment in which he lived. He'd taken an early retirement from his career as a newspaper and magazine writer to devote the rest of his life to his art; he was watercolourist. Bud's pension was meagre but he owned a house a few blocks from the ocean in the neighbourhood of Fairfield in Victoria. Two tenants occupied the bigger and more deluxe apartments that the house contained. Since one of his renters regularly checked out his place whenever he was away there really wasn't any need for my services except for the fact that he identified with my plight as a struggling artist in need of a break, he was a good guy and, despite our 20 some odd year difference, a really close and great friend.

Anyway, Bud and I would meet for coffee and talk about anything and everything: about life and love; give each other insight into the desires of the opposite sex (ours was a platonic relationship); food and drink; what we'd do when we we'd "made it"...

These discussions ignited flights of fantasy. I'd journey into possibilities of what I'd do when I was "rich" (all things being relative rich meant when I had some money in the bank). One dark, stormy, rainy night - feeling like a miserable, drowned rat as I waited for a bus and watched the hookers ply heir trade - I imagined myself at a beach in the Caribbean so fully and completely that I could "see" the crystalline blue waters. I could "feel" the warmth of the sand under my feet (though I was really wiggling my toes in rain soaked socks) and the sun on my skin. Riding the belching bus, huddled amongst a throng of late night commuters,  I "smelled" the salt sea air and "heard" the waves washing on the shore and the wind rustling the leaves of the palm trees. It was so vibrant that I felt, for the first time in a long, long time, hopeful, happy and refreshed; as if I'd really taken this holiday.

This was a brilliant discovery!

I took many such "holidays". I realized that I could virtually "buy" whatever I wanted as I perused shop windows AND enjoy my purchases fully and completely. The funny thing was that once I'd experienced these things virtually I felt no need for them to manifest materially; my desire was oddly, satisfied.

I was a "window shopper". I never actually went into the shops except to get a free spritz of perfume and  accept a free sample or two from the "Spritzer girl" at the Bay. "Yes, you really can get perfume for free." Bud's tenant told me and then went on to educate me on just how this was done. "Just go into the store. Let her spritz you. Smell it. And if you like it show it but tell her you're not sure. Say that you'd   like to try it out. Nine times out of ten she'll offer up a sample and throw in some others. You can even make a request. The stuff lasts forever so you don't have to fork out a dime...Just dress up a little when you go in."

All of this made me feel and smell so much better.

Just this past October, I visited the bookstore at the OMEGA CENTRE many times during my weekend stay. I had given myself a certain amount of allowance to spend on whatever I wished. I carried the cash with me when I went into the store knowing that, at any moment, I could make my purchase. Oddly, I kept coming out of the store without anything. It wasn't that I didn't desire anything, quite the opposite, but I found myself slipping into "virtual shopping" mode.

I found it extremely enjoyable imagining myself owning that singing bowl that I played while in the store. Later that night I enjoyed playing one that rested on its own pillow in the Sanctuary space. I loved the feeling of having the brand new indigo blue, brocade yoga bag - a symbol of the shift into a new phase my yoga practice was experiencing - and scrapping my well-loved, well used, worn out, old, copper coloured one that my sister gave to me years ago. I sang to the chants of Deva Premal, in perfect pitch of course as this is a fantasy, and cherished the crystal lotus I'd "purchased" to place upon my altar. And the spiral earrings constantly reminded me of my weird ways and the non-linear aspect of time.

On Sunday evening the money was still warming my pocket. I finally parted with some of it in the last hour of business, choosing those things I deemed to have the most value - 2 books: THE WORLD IS AS YOU DREAM IT - Teachings from the Amazon and Andes by John Perkins and AWAKENING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD - The Shamanic Path of  Direct Revelation by Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman; knowing that the information they contain will perhaps lead me to places I have yet to discover.

And, to my delight the money which was not spent covered the cost of the gas that got me there and back; something that I hadn't accounted for in my budget for the weekend. WIN, WIN = total euphoria.

This little snip of a pic in the clip
reminds me that
dreams can come true
NOTE: I discovered only a few years ago that Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of many books on the teachings of Abraham have a version of "virtual spending" which they call THE WALLET PROCESS (see #15 in their book ASK AND IT IS GIVEN). Summary: carry a $100 bill with you, but don't buy anything. Instead imagine buying things you would probably have spent it on. "Spend" it over and over again and feel the pleasure it gives you. Their theory is that it gives you a sense of financial well-being and abundance in that mentally you will have probably "spent" a thousand dollars, or more, in a day yet still have all of that money in your pocket. This feeling of abundance attracts abundance.

It is an interesting theory.

Oh, by the way, in December of the "drowned rat" year I actually spent a week in Antigua and it felt as good as I'd imagined it would.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dream play


When I haven't recalled a dream, I like to ask myself that question. Then, I observe what happens as I go about my day. You'd be surprised at the frequency of "dream-like" happenings that break through into "waking life". This reminds me that the veil between the worlds is very thin.

I witnessed a dream-like day being lived by Hannah, a woman attending a workshop at the OMEGA CENTRE a few weeks back. Most people come to the centre to further their learning on a specific topic or for R&R. Many, like myself, have been reading about, studying or applying the techniques that is the  topic of their chosen workshop, but not Hannah.

I first met her when I went for lunch with 2 other participants from Robert Moss' SHAMANIC LUCID DREAMING dream group. The workshop had finished that morning and we were lingering, wanting to squeeze out the last bit of inspiration from the gathering and share more of our life and dream experiences. We descended upon a table occupied by one person (this would be Hannah), who graciously allowed us to share the space with her.

She listened intently and even joined in on the conversation by asking questions. When I asked her what she was here for she said she wasn't sure. She wasn't on R&R exactly as she'd half-heartedly signed up for a workshop of which she had little, if any, prior knowledge. I found this both bewildering AND fascinating.

After some time we all reluctantly dispersed with hugs and words of appreciation and bid each other fare well.

As I sat at a dinner table in the dining hall that same night (I stayed the extra night to give myself some down time before making the 9 hr drive back home) in walked Hannah with a "friend" who she'd just met. The woman was a Shamanic practitioner here to attend a SHAMANIC workshop with John Perkins. Again Hannah listened in on a lively discussion between myself and the Shamanic practitioner. We went our separate ways: I to the library to research Perkins' writing and later to the bookstore to purchase one of his books; the "friend" to her workshop and, because Hannah wasn't sure if her workshop was starting that night, she headed out on a mission to find out what was happening.

The next morning, as I sat talking with another of Robert's students who'd also taken an extra day for R&R, Hannah appeared again. And once more she took a seat and proceeded to listen in on our conversation. Her workshop hadn't started the previous night but was to begin after brekkie. She seemed ambivalent, not at all excited about it and said that she was told that she could switch workshops if she wanted.

"If this was my experience", I said, using a dreamwork technique, "It would seem that I was meant to take the Shamanic workshop. After all, of all of the people that you could come across in the dining room at OMEGA 3 times in a row you ended up at tables where all we talked about was Shamanism. Every one of us has studied and participated in a Shamanic workshop. There were 3 at your table yesterday afternoon, 2 last night and now the 2 of us. This adds up to the number of karmic return so, if it were me I'd go to that one for sure!"

I don't know if Hannah changed over to the Shamanic workshop or even showed up for the one she'd initially signed up for. For all I know she decided to hang out, visit with other guests (most likely she'd end up at a "shamanic" table anyway) and get a little R&R. Whatever she did was right for her. But man it seemed as if the universe was doing its darndest to get her attention.

How was this experience like a dream for me, you might ask. In my dream of this experience (Hannah) I was a little like a sleep-walker unconsciously drifting through life while opportunity for awakening is knocking at my door, not once but 3 times. Do I follow its lead? Only time will tell. Where will it take me? Only time will tell that too :)

TOMORROW play in the field of dreams by asking HOW IS WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY LIFE LIKE A DREAM.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sometimes you feel like a nut

click on cartoon to enlarge
© Nance Thacker '83

I don't know just why this cartoon wants to be seen, but it does.

Though it's not a particularly good drawing; nor very original (I'm sure it's been done thousands of times in various ways). It was one of a few attempts to do a style that might appeal to the New Yorker magazine... and one of the many rejects.

I loved drawing her and could feel the old velvety, crumpled hat that sits upon her head and the heart that beats under her worn camel coat. Having lived a full life into her late '60's, she's a little weary of life but still she waits patiently at the counter. She's not distressed or upset, just mildly annoyed at her goofy dog who's not, as the bottle claims, "removed". He's just not visible.

As she waits she's replaying the scenario over in her mind as to what not to do after this situation gets cleared up. She will secure the lid on the bottle more tightly and wait until she hears the cupboard door close before she walks out of the kitchen. And, never again will she place the "Spot Remover" bottle beside the garbage can, especially after discarding fresh left overs from a T-bone steak dinner as she had done last night.

Yah, well maybe it was as much my fault as Spot's, she's thinking. So, both guilty parties wait calmly to be served. Spot's invisible tail is wagging all the while and he looks up adoringly at her through his soulful, invisible doggy eyes.

Damn, stupid dog! It took me forever to figure what the hell was going on this morning what with cushions  dancing on the sofa and rugs scattering around the hall as if they were possessed. I thought I was bloody well having a stroke. 

Dumb dog!

When I could finally believe my eyes the sounds of his claws clicking on the floor and his excited panting became clear to me. Thank God for the pee (the only thing about him that wasn't invisible - nor odourless) that streamed down the leg of the chair. If it wasn't for that I'd never have caught him. Oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as the last time... or the time before that!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

shamanic lucid dreaming

This past (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend I was one of 24 people at the OMEGA CENTRE in Rhinebeck New York participating in the art of Shamanic Lucid Dreaming with Robert Moss. He calls his workshops "playshops" and this one sure lived up to that classification. I've never had so much fun with dreamwork!

When I was about 11 years old I experienced a frightening dream which seemed to foretell my early demise - it was then that dreams called me. After that experience I took notice of dreams in the hopes that I'd dream a revised version of the prophecy; I looked for signs in daily waking life that would tell me that my path had changed direction. I tried bargaining with fate and destiny. Though I don't consciously recall any revisions or signs, something must have worked as I'm writing to you from the other side of 55.

I was fortunate to further explore dream study with Swami Radha and Richard Reeves of Yasodhara Ashram and a dream group in Victoria B.C. in the mid '70's. Though Richard seemed to be on the verge of breaking through to new territory before he died, the foundation of the work at the time, from all my teachers, was built upon a western analytical approach.

We believed that it was important to capture the whole dream(s) in as much detail as possible so we were encouraged to take copious notes to record them. We'd read our dreams to the group. Significant nouns, actions, puns and each slip of the tongue was highlighted. Then we'd dissect what we'd highlighted, for example the meaning of nouns, asking the question "If you were talking to an alien from another planet how would you describe what this word means?" and, "Is there anything/anyone in your waking life that has these qualities?"

We looked for archetypes, most especially peering into the shadow aspect of our being. Every character and object represented not only that particular person or thing but also aspects of ourselves. Gestault techniques enabled us to become the character or object and give them a voice thus giving us a new and fresh perspective on the action in the dream.

From recording the dream to working on it, you can imagine how long this whole process took.

I've worked with Robert's techniques for about 10 years now on my own. I've brought them into my classes, workshops and individual consultations with clients. How refreshing and freeing it has been to get out of the left side of my brain and play with dreams in what I call the "dream fields" where they live in a broader spiritual dimension. During the workshop it was especially inspiring to watch how Robert held the space and moved the work forward into lively engagement. His exposure to the understanding aboriginal cultures have about dreaming and the dreamtime has transformed how many people in our culture now work with dreams.

So, how has this changed how I approach dreams? I still write down my dreams and when only fragments present themselves, I've discovered that often they contain the most direct and uncomplicated wisdom and fun. On those days when no dream comes to the surface or I'm too busy to record a dream I might just capture a feeling, a title or come up with a dream "bumper sticker" as a summary. I look at daily life as another dream space which allows magical synchronicity to inform my reality. And when I'm working with my dreams in my journal, the whole process can take as little as 10 to 15 minutes. The most important questions to ask upon waking is "How did I feel in the dream and upon waking?" and "How will I honour the dream in waking life?" The stage can be set to welcome a dream by asking of one that was dreamt, "What more would I like to know about the dream?"

I know that dance, song and dream theatre enable us to embody the power of dreams in order to move the energy of the dream into waking reality (which also furthers the evolution of dreams in the dreamtime too) but I gained a whole new appreciation for the power of this work by participating in the group.

Here are some other observations from the dream space that was created that weekend:
  • Messages can be brought forth quickly with a sense of lightness and ease.
  • Through engaging the body, movement, literally moves the energy generated by potentially intense work throughout the body and keeps it light. This is a tremendous discovery for us kinesthetic types who often absorb the intensity to our detriment. I intend to explore this aspect further in my own dream workshops.
  • Dreamworking in this way keeps not only the dreams alive but also the dream group participants energized, enthusiastic and fresh.
  • Whether you are experienced or a novice, we are all dream teachers. Everyone in the group is able to dip into and bring forth great wisdom from the dream space that is created when we all come together with the intention to explore this territory. 
  • This work really does empower and heal the participants who become aware of the tremendous resources they have within themselves.
  • For the facilitator of the dream group, non-attachment to outcome is essential. As Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim says, “I will my will to compassionate disengagement for the breath of God is in our presence”. Go in with an intention for the work AND let the group energy inspire and direct the process. New discoveries will come forth.

Friday, October 14, 2011

You can get there from here - journey explained

"We are going to take a journey into parallel lives," Ruth announces as we get ready to take the first journey of our dream workshop on Sept 17th.

"They can be lives other than an earthly life. There are no limits as to where you can go, who or what you can be. And, since time is always happening now, these lives can be in what we in our present experience of reality consider to be the past, present or the future."

Excited by these possibilities, I am more than ready to begin the adventure. I can not resist closing my eyes and settling in as I get primed for "take off".

"There is a gateway or portal that we can use to gain entrance into these lives. Some people imagine it to be a pyramid with parallel threads running downwards from it. You can explore any of these threads which represent any one of numerous possible parallel lives."

Her words and voice begins to lull me into the receptive state of lucid dreaming where all is possible. And, though this image floats in front of me, it doesn't engage me as I know there is more to come and I want to keep my options open. What is the other portal like?

"Other people use the image of a spider's web. As you move along the web, each time you come across a connecting line, where these lines intersect is an opportunity to enter into a life."

© Nance Thacker 2011
click on image to enlarge

I feel myself walking cat-like on all fours along the tightrope of a gigantic web which bounces slightly with every step I take. I am rising and falling, rising and falling as the drum begins to beat. How did I get here? I look up and see the pyramid above me and, yes, lines do run down from it but this enormous glistening, silver web is suspended from these lines and where the lines intersect a body is suspended in space. The connections and bodies are too numerous to count as the web spreads out before me like a galaxy of stars.  I should say that these are identical "body-shaped" forms, each representing a distinct life experience. There is a glow at the centre of the web. I gaze upwards and see the flow of a celestial water fall of light that passes through the centre of the pyramid. Its path flows through the centre of the web and beyond to a distance into a milky way-like galaxy swirling far below and beyond this area which already feels like infinity.
I lay down into the form of one of the suspended bodies and in the flicker of an instant I'm standing behind Jacob. My parallel life journey has begun.

I am a dreamer and I am Jacob - continued on previous post Journey into Parallel Lives.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Journey into parallel lives

He stands with his back to me. At six feet tall, wearing a crisp white lab coat, he is an impressive figure. He says I can call him Jacob, it's as good a name as any. He knows it is a name that appeals to me as it seems to belong to one who possesses a mysterious presence.

He smiles at how easily impressed I am with this task he performs so effortlessly. For what does it take really to hold space when one has been doing it all their life? He cannot remember a time when it wasn't always so.

I walk around to his right to get a better view of what he has devoted his life to. Test tubes like vials float in the air in front of him. From a distance they give the appearance of a massive church organ, staggered as they are at varying heights and distances. The mass seems alive.

At a closer view I see that he is monitoring the progress of liquid dripping into each vial from invisible spigots. Vials appear and once filled disappear seemingly at random. They are unmarked with no distinguishing features and the liquid is clear, silvery and crystalline-pure.

I understand that, suspended in other places and other times, dreaming bodies have embarked on journeys. And, though Jacob stands before me he is also a physical presence, monitoring each of them as well. These people are, from the point of reference of my time, advanced beings who have chosen to journey to bathe in "healing waters" in order to gather healing wisdom-energy for their less advanced self/selves.

Jacob makes them visible to me now and I observe their physical bodies resting for a half an hour at the most. Yet the bathers experience is of hours or days; sometimes months or years floating and drifting.

Suddenly Jacob transports me to the next level; the place of "gathering". Jacob is there too as a constant presence, overseeing the progress of each of the dream bodies. A more subtle, shimmering image of each dreaming body walks into the waters, then submerges, becoming one with the healing waters as their molecules mingle. In this way they absorb that which is healing for the particular needs of their lineage. There is an infinite number of bathers forming, dispersing and re-forming creating a sparkling dance of light before my very eyes.

How the essence they process from the healing waters is transported into the vials is an unexplained mystery; the drops of essence magically appear and drip into the appropriate vial.

Once their task is complete Jacob guides the "shimmerings" back into their suspended dream body which then journeys to rejoin its corporeal form in the material realm. The person later awakens, feeling glowingly refreshed.

Jacob explains that when a more dense, lesser advanced, earthbound soul needs a healing and cries out for help, it is he who hears their pleas. And it is he who matches the resonance of the essence with the intended receiver; administering the appropriate dosage in the form of a "wisdom moment". The knowing that has been delivered is absorbed, in some cases immediately, in others, over time. The process of healing is complete when the absorbed essence manifests as "right" action.

Jacob is pleased to be a part of this moment in time in which science is married to spirit as he knows it hasn't always been this way.

Friday, September 30, 2011

We're all but frogs in a well

A number of years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation given by Dr. Robert Svaboda titled "Spirituality or Psychosis?" (a subject near and dear to the hearts of many meditators and yoga practitioners) at a yoga centre in Toronto. Svaboda is a riveting and entertaining speaker and he told a story about a frog in a well which goes something like this...

There once was a frog who lived in the bottom of an abandoned well with a lot of other frogs happily going about their little frog lives. As days and nights passed the light coming in from the top of the well revealed to them all they needed to know about where they lived and who they were. When they looked up at the sky they recognized familiar changes. They saw the passage of the moon and stars, the sun and clouds; of night and day. Now and then branches blew into view sometimes bare, at other times decorated with blossoms or leaves, some of which would drop down into their abode and provide an exceptionally tasty treat, especially if accompanied by resident bugs.

Then, one day, a young boy discovered the well and being in need of a drink lowered the bucket and scooped up some water...and our little friend along with it.
The frogs gazing up from down below noticed an eclipse as the bucket filled the sky and then it passed. The old ones said this had only happened once or twice before in their lifetimes.
The little frog riding in the bucket on it's way up the well, gazed in awe as the hole, that was the sky, grew bigger and bigger until the sides of the bucket were only a slim rim around it. Then the sky grew dark and he closed his eyes in fright as it squeezed around him. He heard sounds he'd never in his life heard before, smelt smells other than mud and musty water and felt the pressure of the soft warmth around his body being withdrawn. When he opened his eyes he was surrounded by sky and all the things that it contained.

He came to live with the little boy for a time and from his vantage point in his custom decorated glass aquarium witnessed (though we all know the lifestyle of a typical pet frog) more of the world than he could ever have imagined. Until one day, thinking our little friend might be lonely for his past life, the boy went back to the well. He gently placed his now older and wiser friend into the bucket, lowered it down and released him back to his "hood".

The little frog's eyes took time to adjust to the dimness of the light. The sudden change left him a little disoriented so he sat there silently for a while.

"Hey, isn't that Ralphie?", said one frog to another.
"You know, the guy who disappeared one day."

For the first time in a long time he heard sounds in his own native tongue. And as his vision cleared, he saw that he was surrounded by others of his kind and though they stood back from him at a distance he was thrilled to see all their familiar froggy faces.

"Where were you dude?" asked one "We looked all over for you but when we couldn't find you we figured you'd been taken by a snake."

Our little friend began to excitedly tell them of his great adventure.

"Do you know that the sky is huge?" he said, spreading his forelegs out wider and wider.
Looking up at the tiny circle of light way above them they replied, "No way! Ummm mmm. It's not, it's small".
"And that there are places where there is no water at all. There are beings who don't hop...well, they can if they want to but it's usually just the younger ones that do; most of them don't want to. And, they have only 2 legs, not 4 though they have 2 other limbs that are sort of like legs but not really. And....", he spoke, barely taking time for a breath as he was bursting to tell them of all that there was "out there".
They listened silently while casting sideways, horrified glances at each other as it became unspokenly obvious to all of them that Ralphie had clearly lost his mind.

"No, no. It's all true. I swear," he protested as he was dragged away to a place where he could recover his sanity.
When he ceased to speak of: a sky that surrounded them, creatures that walked, dryness and the sensation of warmth and such; when he went about daily matters and sat in the muck looking up at the sky like the rest of them they knew he had been cured. But, he knew he was just playing the game while waiting for the bucket to return.

(The gist of the story is his, the elaborations are mine. My apologies to Dr. Svaboda for putting my spin on your story).

*     *     *
This weekend I'll be attending THE WAY OF THE TEACHER a workshop in Shamanism with Sharon Van Raalte. We'll be leaving CR (aka consensus reality) and riding the bucket into NOR (non-ordinary reality) which has me recalling this delightful tale.

I've also been recalling a talk by a lovely animation instructor called TOM (sorry I don't remember his last name at the moment though I think it was Tom Halley) who had been an animator on the Beatles film THE YELLOW SUBMARINE (I was a student at the International Summer School of Animation at Sheridan from 1986 - 88) given to our first year class of animators.

He said that people are in awe of artists because we provide a sorely needed service for humanity. We can go "way out there and come back and bring the most amazing experiences with us to share with those who can't go venturing for themselves". He believed that we have the ability to show others a fuller spectrum of reality, broaden peoples' minds and in expanding their view of what is possible create the foundation for more possibility to manifest in the world around us. He was excited about the journeys we were about to embark upon as novice animators and story tellers.  He saw us as forerunners of possibility. "Many people are afraid to do what we have the ability to do", he said, "because they fear they won't come back or will come back maladjusted".

My unspoken responses to his comments were:
How much questionable substances he'd ingested during his work on the Beatles project?
Was he ingesting any now? As I'd never met someone with such a sense of childlike wonder nor had I been viewed with the awe that one reserves for astronauts and the like.
What the heck am I getting into?

But deep inside there was also a flicker of a feeling in my gut that he was absolutely right, which has been confirmed by my life experiences in CR and NOR since then.

These many years later, I have learned that all you have to do is remember:
  1. where you are at all times
  2. the rules of the game in each territory
  3. speak the language of each realm or else others will think you're nuts
And a weird thing is that now with the possibility that E doesn't = MC squared we could all just be blown out of the well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thumbs up way to pass the time

© Nance Thacker 2011
click on image to enlarge
So, there I am sitting in the front office at my mechanic's garage with 1 hour to kill while ALF W gets a long overdue tune up. Oddly enough, I usually enjoy these visits as the selection of magazines has, in the past, always been almost as trashy as those found at my (or any) hairdresser's. These are rags that I wouldn't be caught dead reading in public but, when I'm tucked away in a corner in either place, I indulge in the guilty pleasure of surfing their pages.
However on this day they were nowhere to be found. A few measly SUN newspapers was all that littered the table beside me.
I scanned the room for something of interest and my gaze lit upon the photo of Henry and his wife cruising down the open road on his motorbike. I liked the smile on his face and her "thumbs up" gesture so I drew it. Not a great sketch, but an enjoyable way to pass an hour.
I liked the wheel clock on his wall, so I added it in the top right corner.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This act will soon be obsolete!

I have this habit of noticing, and collecting, garbage when I go out on hikes in nature. I can't help myself.  The very idea of someone littering here (or even in the concrete jungle) I find is absolutely disgusting and disrespectful of the earth.

© Nance Thacker 1990
click on image to enlarge
However, this doesn't make me the most enjoyable hiking partner as, distracted from the beauty around me, I unself-consciously break into a full fledged rant or at the very least, emit a "tsk tsk" of disgust until I am brought back to my senses by: the sound of a passing bird, the whiff of a flower, the wind and sun's warmth upon my skin or the broader view of the glory in which I'm privileged to walk.

Sunday's "Just 4 2day B a Tourist Day" day was no different, except for the fact that all I collected during my 90 minute hike/picture taking venture was:
- 1 plastic take out coffee cup with lid
- 1 straw
- 1 piece of plastic about 3 inches long
- bits of labels
- 1 clump of rolled up plastic wrap
- 1 blue lid sans the plastic container it was meant for

Lovely litter-free babbling brook
at the base of the cliffs
With no garbage containers present I was astounded to see that everyone I encountered had a day pack with which to pack their "stuff" out! All the items, but for the plastic coffee cup and lid, were most likely unintentionally dropped along the way.

It left me with such a great sense of hope and pride in humanity to realize that, maybe even in my lifetime, picking up someone else's garbage will become an obsolete act.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just 4 2day Be a Tourist

One thing I notice about travel is how amazed, delighted and appreciative I am of new experiences in new places. The first leg of our trip found me cycling the bike path that runs through Brockville ON and later diving repeatedly into the St Lawrence from the boardwalk breakwater pier. I felt so refreshed! How incredible this was! To top it off, Rod and I had brekkie at a local landmark that's been serving the town for over 100 years, the TAIT'S BAKERY & DELI. We drop in there every time we pass through. And to think that all this is just a stone's throw from downtown and our suite at the BROCKBERRY CAFE AND SUITES. How delightful!

Somewhere along the way I realized, you know there are some pretty cool things to do in your own backyard (hometown) but you don't notice cuz you're too busy doing whatever you have to do, or just being too busy to take the time to check it out.

Southern Ontarians are a hard working people who seem to take great pride in being stressed, that somehow this state of being validates our existence (I was born and raised here so I know whereof I speak). It's as if someone's giving out 5 gold stars to the first person who keels over with a heart attack. We buy into the belief that life has to be difficult, a struggle; that if we lift our noses up from the grindstone for one minute the world will fall apart. Maybe we're right. The world as we know it WILL fall apart because we'll discover so much more.

When I returned to live in Victoria BC, my plans for going to study yoga in India had fallen through and jobs were hard to come buy but, I'd squirrelled enough money away to see me through the summer. So, I decided to live in Victoria like a tourist because I'd noticed that once I "settle" into a place I explore it less and my life sets into a routine of well-worn pathways.

Yesterday morning I played tourist in Burlington. I decided to explore RATTLESNAKE POINT with my camera. I found a stairway down a cliff-face; I've never noticed this before but I've always wanted to see the cliffs from a different vantage point. Wish granted, I scrambled down to the bottom and found a perch from which to appreciatively view both amazed and delighted as the rock climbers did their thing. My sister and I did some indoor wall climbing this past spring, so I was especially happy to see it done out there in the natural setting on such a beautiful day.

Look really close at the last picture. See that tiny speck, yikes!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Up Periscope follow-up

In the blog post LMAO Up Periscope I left you watching the CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM clip on the car periscope. If you haven't read it already, read it now here; I'll wait...

Hmmmm.. hmmm....hmmmmm...

Ah, welcome back! I was about to continue explaining how this dreaming/waking life stuff interconnect until I got rudely interrupted by a bout of entusiasmo espanole; my apologies.

To summarize:
  • Rod and I, while driving on our first day of a 11 day trip, come up with the brilliant invention - the car periscope. 

  • 9 days later I record an apparently inconsequential dream but for the fact that Larry David & his manager Jeff appears. 

  • I become obsessed with trying to remember the title of the TV show in which they appear and am infected with a nasty case of ear worm as I recall its incredibly perky, catchy and viral theme song. 

  • I have a feeling that this will lead to something though I don't know what. 

  • 2 days after this, while holed up in a Marriott Hotel in Burlington VT waiting out hurricane Irene (now downgraded to a tropical storm) we are forced to watch satellite TV because the movie rental channel is on the fritz and 2 of our choices have been rejected. 

  • Rod watches a program that I'm not interested in, TRUE BLOOD so I read THE HELP. 

  • Program over,  Rod channel surfs and I hear the theme song to CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. 

  • A compulsion comes over me; we must watch the program. 

  • We've stumbled upon an episode about...THE CAR PERISCOPE.

  • Being in this synchronic experience as it unfolded was truly delightful. I was soooo uncontrollably thrilled that Rod wanted me to CURB MY ENTHUSIASM which I found near to impossible.

    On one hand this demonstrates for me how thin the veil is between the realities of sleep dreams, waking life and imagination/creativity. It allows me to think that anything is possible; I mean what were the odds that we'd invent something that someone else had made a TV episode about (no, neither of us had seen the episode before). Even if we had, we were supposed to be in Lake Placid that evening and, if things had played out as planned we wouldn't have spent our first night watching TV, that's for sure.

    If we look at the function of the car periscope, we see that it allows the navigator to see ahead and smoothly negotiate the driver around obstacles in order to get where they want to go. On another level, Rod and my car periscope stream of consciousness episode seemed to hint what was to come, that we would find ourselves in a situation where we would need to see ahead in order to make decisions as to how to proceed. In retrospect we can see many different things that the periscope was a metaphor for: the blackberry and other media we consulted in order to discern when to leave the cottage; the townspeople, highway patrolman, shopkeeper and information desk person who (also in the role of THE HELP) gave us warnings of road blocks and washed out roads ahead and suggested alternative routes for us to safely proceed.

    If I were to look at the whole experience as I've recounted as one dream, I would ask myself, "Does this feel like anything in my waking life now?" It resonates with the fact that I'm adjusting to new terrain and pathways forming in my life in the aftermath of Mom's passing. I'm trying to see "down the road". I'm also looking ahead to when Rod retires. Like many other wives I'm freaked out at the prospect, feeling a bit emotionally spun and stormy (= hurricane) trying to find direction (in my role as navigator) that works for both of us as we drive down the road together. At this time as the sand shifts beneath my feet, obstacles seem insurmountable and I wish I had a life periscope that would help me negotiate my "stormy weather".

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Buenas Noches Mis Amigos

    I made the 30 minute bike trek into downtown Oakville yesterday to meet 2 "council" friends for brekkie. We ate at Sunnyside Diner which, many moons ago, was once Anne's Cottage Shop, a restaurant where I did the prerequisite postgrad waitressing gig of every aspiring artist whose ever gotten their B. A. in Fine Art.

    Jan and I left Flo in a store looking for a scarf and walked down the road a bit before going our separate ways. Before splitting Janet mentioned that she had signed up to take Spanish; something that I have been wanting to do for years. I have maintained my poor skill level in the language and lack of advancement through sporadic bursts of self-taught efforts filled with: reading articles in Spanish, listening to TV programs, renting movies and playing them with Spanish subtitles ON or making use of the dubbed version.

    I was excited when I heard that the lessons are: reasonably priced, located nearby and scheduled at a time that fits nicely into my week. Yes, I was very excited until I heard where they are taking place; at the Seniours' Centre. AAAACCCCCCKKKK, mentally I was running, not walking, away screaming, "I'M TOO YOUNG TO BE A SENIOUR."

    Janet, sensitive soul that she is, could see the panic in my eyes. "The centre is for anyone 50 and older. Not everyone is 90. You'd be a "young" seniour."

    Too late! My mind had already propelled me forward to a time in which I was trapped in a room full of memory challenged individuals who couldn't remember what was said 5 minutes ago in English much less in another language; and this was my Spanish class. " Mmmm, I'll have to think about it," was my non-committal response before we parted.

    Before tackling the bike ride back, I stopped in at Starbucks to take a pee. It's one place I can slip into and out without making a purchase guilt-free as I'm virtually a coffee imbibing "regular" there.

    Business done, I knelt down to unlock my bike. And, as I did so, the question/consideration briefly breezed through my mind like a whisper in the wind, I wonder if I should take the course at the Seniours' Centre? And, at that very moment a family walked by speaking SPANISH.

    The universe has spoken.

    So, I'm now signed up to take Spanish at the Seniours' Centre. Wish me buena suerte!

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    LMAO Up Periscope!

    THURS AUG 18TH - Rod and I are heading out on our trip to the townships, Vermont and Lake Placid. We're chatting about the next car that I should get when ALF W bites the dust. It's weird I know but I find myself almost whispering in ALF's presence, anyway...

    The 403 was, as usual, busy that morning and from the low laying vantage point that ALF (a Ford Escort) provides, our range of vision was limited. How wonderful it would be to be sitting higher I commented. I have always loved trucks, in fact our Ford F150 had taken us on many a fantastic road trip and served the double duty of providing us with accommodation during inclement weather on those days we were either too tired or it was too wet to set up camp. Seen behind the wheel of the truck no one would guess that I'm a mere 4'10" as the clearance over the hood and steering wheel is great enough for me to appear as the confident driver that I am, whereas I sit so low in ALF that drivers behind me think the car's driving itself. To add further insult I appear to be a "low and slow" (meek little old driver)  since I got 2 speeding tickets in quick succession of each other a few years back I've been forced to observe the speed limit or risk a more hefty fine for the next offence (I like to drive fast and am a fiercely competitive go cart driver). To sit up higher or even view the traffic ahead from a better vantage point would feel empowering.

    Somehow as we're discussing the topic, Rod and I slip into stream of consciousness conversation and we invent the CAR PERISCOPE. How great would it be to have a periscope in the car that would enable you to see what's going on ahead. You'd be able to pick and choose your course knowing what's coming up. How cool would that would be! I got pretty darn enthusiastic about the idea as I'm always looking to come up with an invention that would land me a bundle, something simple - like velcro, post-it notes or even that damn stupid SNUGGIE. I mean how simple can you get. The kid made a bundle just because he was a couch potato who's arms got cold when he went to reach for his beer and chips, anyway...

    FRI AUG 26 - We're in Hindesburg VT at a cottage on Iroquois Lake and I record a dream in which Larry David and Jeff (his agent on his TV show) make an appearance. Upon waking and throughout the rest of the day, I find myself obsessed with the name of the show in which they star but can't for the life of me remember what it is. All day I'm afflicted with an ear worm as its theme song runs over and over in my head. I don't have my laptop with me and though Rod has his Blackberry, I don't want to resort to asking him to solve the puzzle. For some reason this obsession seems important; as if I'm supposed to figure it out myself. I think maybe I'll stumble upon the title in the paper, or on TV or hear it on the radio which seems likely as hurricane Irene is threatening to come our way and we're monitoring the situation every few hours to determine what to do next.

    SAT AUG 27 - I finally cave and ask Rod if he knows the title. He says he doesn't. I don't believe him; think he's taking delight in prolonging my agony and we leave it at that. Later, while eating dinner in AMERICAN FLATBREAD restaurant in Burlington VT (great pizza and microbrewery - try the blueberry beer) he recalls that it's called CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Riddle solved. Ear worm vanquished. Relief ensues!

    SUN AUG 28 - We leave the cottage on schedule as planned. In the beginning of a tropical storm (Hurricane Irene has been downgraded) - not planned. We are stranded in Burlington as no ferries are running across Lake Champlain. We take the first place we can which is the MARRIOTT in Burlington and spend the day reading in the lounge (My book of choice is THE HELP which I highly recommend and Rod's is VAGABONDING - An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-term World Travel which he finds so-so), nursing a glass of Malbec wine while occasionally glancing up at the big screen TV permanently set on the weather channel and its "on the spot" weather guy standing on the boardwalk somewhere in New York State monitoring the progress of a lifeguard station getting pummelled by the waves.

    Later that night, holed up in our room, we try, unsuccessfully, to rent a movie. The weather has messed with the signals. All that is left is satellite TV. Rod settles in to TRUE BLOOD which I can't make head or tail of. I'm driven deeper into my book for its duration. Next thing I know the theme song for CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM creeps into my consciousness. I corral Rod's channel surfing and get him to settle onto the show which is just starting. After my obsession with it I figure we might as well watch. We sit back and here's the episode that came up.

    No word of a lie!!!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Give a Damn

    Just a quickie for tonight as I've been saddened by the prospect of Belo Monte Dam being constructed in Brazil and all the devastation it will create.

    Click on the link to watch the video, read more about it and sign the petition. HERE

    Here's some more info about what people are doing.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    I wish I may I wish I might...

    Warrior Pose II
    neither pulled towards the future
    nor weighted down by the past
    equilibrium is found in the present moment
    I haven't blogged for a while. Mom's death has severed the living ties to my parents (Dad died in 2002) and life has, for the time being, become a bit of an introverted journey of self-exploration. Who am I now? Who do I want to become? What do I want to do with my life? What and who do I love? How do I want to live my life now? Robert Moss contends that if you don't define yourself others will do it for you. What definitions have I embraced? Do they still apply? Did they ever? Sounds pretty heavy but really, it's liberating and has led to clutter clearing on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, psychically and spiritually.

    More of that later, what prompts this blog is an e-mail I received recently from a client who hasn't been successful in getting rid of excess weight despite having attended a series of 6 one-on-one sessions for a weight management a few years back.

    Here's the gist of it:
    Why can't hypnosis for weight loss be done in a 1 shot session like I do for smoking cessation? Why can't I just implant a negative association to help someone abstain from "forbidden" foods and be done with it? It worked for a friend of mine and she lost X number of pounds and she's still kept it off. When she feels tempted she just goes back for a little top up. I think stress management would be helpful, but only if it's done in one session not if it's based on self-hypnosis as that doesn't work for me.

    A few things jump out at me:
    • unlike smoking, one needs to eat and faces temptation a few times every day
    • smoking is a non-essential activity that is always detrimental to one's health
    • what new "forbiddens" will take the place of the old ones
    • hypnosis does strengthen resolve and makes things easier, and ACTION is a part of the process, action needs to be taken to re-inforce the suggestion and set up a positive feedback loop
    • over time weight balancing becomes second nature and a lifestyle choice
    • stress accumulates unless we address it every day, it's not the stressor that's our problem, it's our attitude towards it
    I battled with anorexia in my teens. If anyone should know about aversion to food and how to induce it, it should be me. The truth is, people experiencing anorexia are consumed by food 24/7 to the exclusion of everything else - there is no joy in the life of an anorexic, only the constant companions of fear of failure and self-loathing.

    I lost 30 lbs by eating the bare minimum to survive and, when I came to my senses I gained most of it back. I have maintained a healthy weight for 40 years through conscious eating and a commitment to health and living consciously.

    There is no magic pill to make our demons all go away. One must commit to a daily process of: self-awareness and self-honesty; discovering one's self inside-out; taking ownership of the body we inhabit and taking responsibility for our actions - no excuses allowed. We must learn to ride the emotional roller coaster of life without resorting to food for comfort or punishment and choose to eat consciously. It takes nothing less than healing our relationship with ourselves and with food to arrive at the weight that is right for "me".

    The pain my client was feeling leaked between the lines she'd written. She just wants one shot, no self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis doesn't work for her. Yet she is an intelligent, accomplished professional. How did she get through the years of training, focus and determination it took to get where she is today? All hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis and is re-inforced by the messages we tell ourselves every day. Our self-talk either propels us in the right direction or leads to self-sabatogue. As a former anorexic I know that our mind can be a battleground where our inner cheerleader and our inner critic wage a war for dominance over our thoughts and emotions. Which do you support with your attention? The one that receives the most attention grows the strongest.

    Anything we accomplish begins with a spark of inspiration and a dreaming of what could be. When it comes to weight issues we imagine how wonderful our lives will be, how successful and desirable we will become when we have lost the weight. All our problems will vanish in an instant. I wish this were true. Fact is, we need to find the wonderful life that is available to us now as we make our journey through weight loss (or anything else); we need to engage in life, take risks, experience failure and success. We need to fall down, get up and reset our course again and again if necessary.

    I've been impressed by the Canadian Series X-WEIGHTED for it's inspiring and eye-opening stories centring around young people and their families learning to live healthier lives while losing weight. I encourage anyone dealing with weight issues to check it out, especially if you are concerned about passing these issues on to your children. If you are making poor food choices for yourself you are making poor ones for your kids too. Your actions set the example for your children to follow - what are they learning from you?

    To find out more about my struggle with anorexia and how yoga transformed my life check out STORIES FROM THE YOGIC HEART available at many yoga centres, book stores, AKASHA'S DEN in Oakville, Ontario and coming soon to a ROOTS store near you!


    So, here's the first step regarding forbidden foods:

    Secondly, ask yourself, in your moments of temptation:

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Looking for a sign

    I visited Mom's nursing home on Wednesday to donate some CD's and a DVD from Moms stash for their music and entertainment programs; just one of the many tasks I've elected to do on Mom's behalf and bring closure for myself.

    Running into old acquaintances who live, work and volunteer at the nursing home caused us to reminisce about Mom, her passing, the memorial/celebration of her life that the family hosted there a few weeks ago and death in general. I found quite quickly that one can't visit such a place after such a majour event without people opening up and sharing their own stories of love and loss.

    It seems that, regardless of religious or spiritual orientation, surviving relatives are looking for signs from the departed that they are OK in their new realm of existence. The living also want to be reassured that those that have "passed" are now watching over, and perhaps, guiding them.

    One woman, heavily grieving the loss of her father (who died in December) said she just wants to be able to move on but can't seem to do so. Despite not being ready to "go" there was nothing that could be done for him and this added to the pain and suffering he and his family experienced during the last few months of his life.  I asked what would make it possible for her to move on. She said she didn't know but felt that, "If I could only have a sign that he's OK. I think that would help." And though she said, in an off hand manner, "I did get a sign the next day" and proceeded to describe the incident, the radiance in her face indicated that this was a real, not a manufactured, experience but for some reason it just hadn't registered consciously with her yet.

    She proceeded to tell me that, a few weeks later, during an especially difficult time, her father came to her in a dream and said, somewhat irritated, "Why do you keep calling on me? Don't you know that I'm dead?" This made her feel even worse until I reminded her, as she'd just told me, she'd already received the sign she was looking for. I proceeded to say that, if it were my dream, I'd try and see it from his point of view. When I took his vantage point I realized that I'd be wondering how many times and in how many ways would she need to be reassured that I'm OK? I'm dead and there are things I have to do here but trust that when you really need me I'll be there.

    Some spiritual traditions believe that, not until the living have released the dead are those that have passed, free to move on in their journey; move on, they and we must. Our grief, sense of guilt, loss of direction keep them bound to us and between realms, neither here nor there (some spiritual traditions believe that there are many aspects to a human soul, that one aspect of the soul remains while other aspects are intended to move on). Our clinging to them keeps us from becoming fully present to and engaged in life, saps our energy and leads to depression.

    Through past life regression and interlife experiences I have realized that when we die we reintegrate into the fullness, wisdom and love that we were before incarnating. In an instant, all suffering is over. But an aspect of our individual souls continue to reside in the hearts of the living and continue through the DNA of future generations.

    Another woman said she was waiting for a sign from 2 relatives on her birthday but none was forthcoming. I wonder if, in looking for one specific sign, we might miss those magical, synchronic moments that happen almost daily reminding us of our interconnectedness.

    Surprisingly, all this reminiscing found me, not sorrowful for the past, but anxious about the future. With Mom's death, (Dad having passed in 2002) the ties of my family of origin are broken. Released from the expectations that have defined us all our lives, our lives are, for the first time in our lives, truly our own. And, released from my duties towards my parents, I'm asking myself - who am I now, what do I really want and what do I do with this new chapter in my life.

    Later that night a message from the pastor came through my answering machine. I had been thinking about him for days, wanting to let him know, personally, what a wonderful service he'd done for Mom and our family so I picked up the phone. He'd somehow gotten one digit wrong in my brother's phone number and was calling for the right one. He went on to say that he was sure I was missing Mom, that my family had done a good job honouring her at the memorial and that he was sure that she was pleased.

    Signs are present everywhere when we embrace life.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    healing water

    I have little rituals, picked up though healing circles and shamanic gatherings, that I do each day to benefit the earth and water; it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like I'm connected to nature and stuff.

    I have 2 jars both with the words, HEALING, LOVE, GRATITUDE written on the outside. The small one I fill daily from the tap. The next morning I pour all but a little bit of this water into the larger jar. The jars are in an altar space in my treatment room that is smudged daily. For over 20 years this has been a place of healing, where soothing music, chants and drumming have filled the air; during the winter months it is where I do my yoga practice in the warmth of the heater's glow while cold winds blow outside.

    When the large bottle is filled I take it to the lake and pour the water back from where it came saying, "We are sorry for any suffering that we have caused you. We love you and are grateful." I learned this during a healing circle held in the aftermath of the tragic earthquake, tsunami and damage to the nuclear reactors that sent tons of radiated water back into the ocean. It is a small, but I think, important gesture for me to make.

    Masuru Emoto has studied the effects of thoughts on water finding that words such as HEALING, LOVE and GRATITUDE can create the most beautiful, intricate crystals of water whereas negative words create distorted, unharmonious structures.

    Since Mom died I've been immersed in the past and most especially last week as I helped my family prepare for a memorial service in her honour last Friday night.

    My brother and I sorted through albums and boxes of family photos, scanned them into the computer and sent them back and forth to each other, so that he could make a slide show out of our "finds". With the assistance of one of Mom's sisters we were able to dig further into our past than I'd ever gone before. I stared deeply into the faces of many people I'd never, or rarely, met who peered back at me with an air of  familiarity.

    Other photos brought back happy times spent with family and friends. Time periods jumbled together. One moment we THACKERLINGS were young exhuberant children, then young adults and teens playing in the snow, babes in the arms of our Mom, forty somethings crowded on my brother's couch, children again. Back and forth; memories spilled into my consciousness.

    Mom loved music. Night and day I was immersed in the music of the 30's, 40's and 50's trying to select those pieces that touched an emotional cord within me, releasing memories which would confirm, yes that one, she'd love that one!

    All this memory lane stuff had me out of step with time; lost in a fog of remembrance.

    My dreams were filled with stories of being late for events. I'd wake up feeling that I was running behind. It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and most days I'd wait til the latest possible moment making my dreams a reality. I couldn't catch up with life.

    One such morning I was to meet with the pastor and my brother so that we could go over the memorial and give him some details about Mom's life and her personality. Already running late, I grabbed my full bottle of "blessed, healed" water as I ran out of the house, jumped into the car and sped off with it tucked neatly by my side. Meeting literal roadblocks and detour after detour, though the nursing home is only blocks away, my frustration exploded into a stream of expletives that would "turn the air blue" as my Dad would say. 

    And it felt... sooo good... so relieving... that I let 'er rip, just like the scene of King GeorgeVI in THE KING'S SPEECH!

    Then I remembered the poor water in the jar nestled beside me. I could see its crystals breaking apart, becoming blackened and distorted. 

    I know that we are composed of over 90% water. The theory behind Emoto's experiments is that if water can be effected by thoughts and words then so can we. I swear that the swearing really, really helped me release a lot of tension. But what about the poor water? 

     I'd have to make it up to it. 

    So after the meeting, back home and on my altar the jar went. I deluged it with chants, bringing in the big gun himself, the Dalai Lama, I drummed, treatment sessions were done, until I felt the water could feel the LOVE, HEALING and GRATITUDE directed its way, enough to be released back into the lake. I really don't know if this helped the water at all. All I know is that this too felt really, really good to me.

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Ho'oponopono Mom

    © NANCE THACKER 1990

    Sunday, June 19, 2011


    EDITH "EDIE" THACKER Sept 11, 1920 - June 5, 2011

    In FATE AND DESTINY - the 2 agreements of the soul, Michael Meade writes of a Siberian tale of a cosmic, origin tree of life where human souls perch upon its "sky branches" waiting silently and watching like birds until something in the world below intrigues them enough to incarnate, descending and entering into "a womb where life is about to be born." (pg 122)

    He then goes on to tell of an old West African story. As the soul begins to enter into earthly life it encounters a spirit (its divine companion) which accompanies the soul on its journey through the realm of incarnate beings and travels with the soul throughout its lifetime journey in the chosen body. The spirit "clarifies the image that first moved the soul and describes the terms through within which this particular life adventure will be shaped." (pg 123) This divine contract allows the soul and spirit to enter into the body and begin life on earth.

    On the soul's journey towards the womb it finds itself standing before a radiant tree in the middle of a garden. The soul is instinctively compelled to touch the bark of the magnificent tree. As I understand it, this touch deeply buries the divine companion within the soul and the soul forgets what drew it to incarnate and just what it came into earthly life to accomplish for this Tree of Unity and of Life is also the Tree of Forgetfulness. This act is necessary for human life to begin.

    As I dream this myth forward I imagine that as we come to the end of this incarnation our souls find themselves standing once more before the majestic Tree of Life. Once more the soul is compelled to place its hands upon the bark of the trunk but, this time, upon contact the Tree of Unity transforms into the Tree of Remembrance. The bird soul returns to perch upon the sky branches viewing its families and loved ones in the earthly realm and getting glimpses into their celestial home and of the souls who await their return. There they remain engaged in both realms until they are released from contracts with their beloved ones on earth. Upon release, the cords that bind are severed. Only then are they free to fully turn their gaze upon the Tree of Origins where their divine companion waits in full glory to accompany them on their journey home into the oneness from which they came. The body is vacated and the soul's earthly life comes to an end.

    To the soul that became my mother in this earthly life I wish you courage on the next stage of your journey. And, should your bird soul once more find itself perching on the sky branches, may it be dazzled by an auspicious re-birth filled with love, compassion and joy.

    Information and quotes are from FATE AND DESTINY - the two agreements of the soul by Michael Meade, Greenfire Press, 2010.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Future dreams my life

    I really do wonder if the dream in the last post is a dream of the future. It feels like one.

    As a young child I yearned to be able to dive into water like the bigger kids, but something held me back and I'd chicken out at the last minute to the exasperation of my doting Dad. I watched and watched the others but couldn't "get it". Then one night, I dreamt the perfect dive. I felt it in my cells, muscles and bones and I just "knew" that, tomorrow I would do the perfect dive for real. And, to the complete astonishment of my father, I just dove; not a kid's fall into the water with body ramrod straight and arms stiffly held overhead that passed for a dive, but a real jump off the deck entry.

    From a young age I had a facility at drawing and would spend hours sketching away at the kitchen table. Logically one would assume that sight was my strongest sense. But when people asked me how I knew how to draw I just said that I drew what I saw. But that wasn't exactly right. I know now that when I "know" the object in my cells, bones and muscles I can render it on paper. When I'm particularly inspired it virtually leaps onto the page.

    When I began my study of yoga I saw myself in a dream walking along a driveway into a yoga-retreat centre in the mountains in North America. A decade later I "knew" that I was walking that same roadway one day as I returned from picking Queen Anne's Lace for a Rudolph Steiner garden potion that I would later be stirring in the pre-dawn hours and spreading over Yasodhara Ashram's garden as a temporary resident/gardener in the spring of '78.

    Again that same knowing came over me when Swami Radha suggested I check out the animation program at Sheridan College, which happened to be in my home town, a place I was more than happy to leave a few years earlier and had no intention of returning to, except as a visitor. Despite my determination to stay on Vancouver Island, the island wasn't co-operating. Nothing I did met with any degree of success: my effort to make more than a subsistence living, my cartoon strip, my attempts to get to India to study yoga. All met with failure. A friend later said that islands spit you out once your purpose for being there has been served. It seemed so.

    More than this, during those years on the island 2 recurring dream themes visited me. In one I was driving in a car, with my Dad in the passenger seat. We are chatting and enjoying our trip and then he dies, while I'm driving; not due to an accident — he just dies. In the other, a vague knowing that a friend introduces me to an accountant who I later marry. The latter dream, I found particularly absurd as all my life I'd said I'd never marry. Even my dreams supported me in this declaration as I'd never gotten married in my dreams. I've made preparations for my wedding, even walked down the aisle, but all would come to a skidding halt as I'd become panic stricken, break into a cold sweat and bolt or wake up knowing for certain that I was dreaming.

    But, it seems that a part of me knew and perhaps so did Swami Radha, that my destiny and a new path was opening up for me, not at an ashram in India but back here in my home town.

    And, within a week of my return in the spring of '86 I did meet the man I was to marry (yes, an accountant at the time but within the year he returned to his love of contracting) after an introduction by a childhood friend; a fellow member of the "council". Realizing that this looked like, but wasn't intended to be, a "fix up", she gave me the opportunity to refuse the invitation to dinner, but I passed, assuring her that I wasn't looking for a relationship. My sites were set on a career in animation that would lead to India. I felt certain that my dream was a mistake and by that time had buried it away in a corner of my being.

    Then we met and I "knew" my life had changed. And Di and I both knew (as we'd always known), that we really were actually going to become sister-in-laws.

    I accepted Rod's second proposal (not his first) only after receiving a close-up "hand in hand"dream image appearing against a sandy backdrop. It felt right in my cells, muscles and bones and I "knew" that he would be there for me and that there was no reason not to marry him.

    My father died in 2002, not beside me in a car I was driving. I "knew" the message of this particular dream was not literal but was metaphorically telling me that I would be there for him. The efforts of my brother and myself (who shared POA duties) along with our siblings, enabled him to live at home. He died in the hospital after a, thankfully, short stay.

    What future is dreaming my life now I wonder.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    dreaming future

    I woke up Wednesday morning without recalling a dream. But I noticed as lay there, rooting through what dream memories that could be stored away in the cells of my brain and body, that I felt exceptionally relaxed.  All my muscles felt like butter and my lungs seemed recharged by oxygen-rich, pure, mountain air. It was the kind of feeling one gets a few days into a vacation when you finally realize that nothing needs to be done; all effort to DO can be dropped and just BEING is the gift of the moment. Then there's the extra charge that comes when you realize that vacation's nowhere near being over, more vacation days lie ahead which ramps up your enjoyment ten-fold as you bask in this delight filled awareness!

    I was able to sustain this sensation/experience for at least 15 minutes during which time, an image of a large wooden lodge-like centre came into focus. I was viewing it from a distance. The glow of the lodge's amber lights, warmed my soul on a clear, balmy, breezy summer's evening. The lodge overlooked a lake which beckoned me to dive into its waters...

    So, this was not really a dream, but, an image captured from a felt sense that leaves me wondering. Did I dream the future?