In my dream I was walking on a grassy hill with woods on one side of me. I saw the bear through the trees. A black bear, not huge, but big enough. He came out of the woods and stood in front of me threatening me.
As I stood there I realized I had two choices. I could panic and let the bear eat me or I could be calm and do what I’ve heard you do when you see a black bear. So I backed up slowly, taking my keys out of my bag and rattling them making noise.
We stood there like that, facing each other for a while. Still, although I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be I wasn’t afraid. Because I knew I was doing all I could do in the situation.
Suddenly the bear turned and walked back up the hill towards the woods. But before he got there, his head fell off and both it and his body rolled back down the hill. There was no doubt that he was dead.
I know what this dream is about.
Yesterday I looked further into what I’d need to do for the trip to India. Making an appointment to get my vaccinations and looking more closely at the schedule, planning my air fare, those kinds of things.
I haven’t traveled out of the United States in 30 years. Suddenly my fears started piling up. I pushed them aside and went ahead with my phone calls and research.
But this morning, I woke up at 4am, and the fears wouldn’t let me go back to sleep.
So I opened the book Women Who Run With The Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes which is on my night table. I stopped reading it a while ago, with only 50 pages or so left. The story Estes was writing about didn’t touch me. So I put it down, waiting for the right time to delve into it again.
This last story is of “The Handless Maiden”. The part I opened to was a breakdown of all the characters in the story and how they represent the different parts of the Maiden. When I got to the King, Estes writes how this is a male part of the Maiden. The one who “takes inner knowing out into the world and put(s) it into practice without mincing, muttering, or apologizing.”
I feel back to sleep reading the book, silently asking for help dealing with my fears.
That’s when I dreamed about the bear. Where I behaved just as the King in the story might. I faced my fear of the bear without making a fuss. Just doing what I was best able to do in the situation, without “mincing, muttering, or apologizing”.
That’s the choice.
Nadine Wolff is yoga teacher, who is the leader of the group Off the Mat into the World (OTM) which started the programs that help the women I’ll be meeting and working with in India. The idea behind OTM is to get off the yoga mat and take action to help people around the world.
I think about the sanctuary of my studio. Even though I put my work out into the world through my blog, it’s become a very safe place for me. Leaving it, to bring my art to India, is definitely out of my comfort zone. But even with the pangs of fear I’m feeling, there is no doubt in my mind that I want to and will go on this trip.
I’m ready to go out of my studio and into the world.
And now I have a tool for dealing with my fears real or otherwise. I’ll remember my dream of the bear. And how I faced him with calm and acceptance.
4 thoughts on “Out Of My Studio, Into The World. My Dream Of the Bear”
I really appreciate how you see the wisdom of animals — even in dreams and how they come to us with messages. did I ever tell you about my friend’s book “Dreaming with Polar Bears?” I think you might find it fascinating. My friend’s name is Dawn Baumann Brunke.
Thanks Barb, it’ sounds like the kind of book I’d like.
I am so glad you wrote about this and are so honest and real about the fears. I had a feeling this might come up for you. Why? Because it comes up for me every time a plan a trip outside of country or even over to Maui. Maui, an island I love to go to.
As soon as I book the trip, the fears start. I have cancelled trips. I cancelled a safari to Africa. I lost a huge deposit on. I regret cancelling that trip because now I don’t have the money to go on it.
I have gone on many trips and cancelled many.
I’ll tell you. I have never regretted going! I have regretted cancelling!!!
I think these fears and I have many of traveling are very natural for many of us.
I’m happy to hear you are meeting the dragons one by one:)
Good for you!
Thanks JAnet, I guess it’s not so unusual. And don’t give up on your safari trip to Africa. You never know what life will bring you….