Last week, I changed up my sleeping schedule so that I could encourage astral travel or lucid dreams. I have never been able to control my dreams, which seems more natural to other people.
I started going to bed at 4 or 5 a.m. (which is very easy for me as a theatre person), getting up at 7 a.m. to get my daughter on the school bus, and then going back to bed at 8 a.m. to sleep an extra few hours. I based this sleep schedule on authors who have written on how to induce astral travel, advising about an hour break in the middle of sleep in order to be in an “in between” state when trying to go back to sleep, which is when the astral travel is supposed to be easier.
Frankly, this just made me tired and not prone to purposeful astral travel, but it did encourage some really interesting dreams. Normally, I have 3 to 4 big dreams every night, which I love. But the downside to this new schedule is that by only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep before getting up (to take care of mom duties), I am waking up in the middle of a dream. I have trouble remembering dreams when that happens, and I feel like I’m really missing out on important information from my Spirit Guides or my subconscious. So this is not a sleep schedule I will continue. I need my 6 hours of sleep in a row, and I need to wake up gradually to remember my dreams, which are usually very expansive and very detailed.
Yet, out of this interrupted sleep trial, I did have one dream that was very powerful and meaningful for me….
I was standing in the living room of my house (not my house in real life, you know how that goes), and I was talking to people who had come over; they were in the kitchen; I was alone in the living room. I knew that my daughter was in the kitchen, and my father was in a different room in the house. I looked to my left, and there was a huge tree in the middle of the living room. For me, this was very cool. The tree was so tall, the first layer of branches was at the ceiling, which was very high.
I looked downward, and around the base of the tree was a huge linked chain. I thought it odd, especially since the tree was inside. Then suddenly, a loud cracking sound interrupted the happy mood as the tree broke at the base. I was taken aback by this; the chains stayed strong. The tree continued to break from its roots and fall (away from me). As the tree fell and the roots were exposed, the chain links began to strain and break open. Instinctively, I reached out to the tree to catch it (but of course, I could not have “saved” it). I looked toward the kitchen to make sure my daughter was safe. She was; they were oblivious to the tree being uprooted in the living room.
I stood there, still reaching out for the tree, but the tree was completely fallen over and the chains were broken.
It doesn’t take much to realize that this dream is about where I am in my life right now. I am being uprooted from so much that I have done, been, worked on, and strived for. I have tried to uproot myself for a while, but metaphorical chains have held me captive to old ways and old ideas of self.
This year has taken its toll on me. Between October 2013 and now, November, 2014, I went back to school, started my first magazine, and ran for Congress, while being a single mom and frustrated artist and activist. Going back to college was a mixed experience, mainly because I had to take a leave of absence to focus on my campaign. Running for Congress was also a mixed experience, mainly because I now know how pointless our political system is. American politics is a money game. Seeing this up close and personally was disheartening, and it has made me question who I am on many levels, especially the identity I have had since I was 13 — Activist.
This dream must be my subconscious telling me to finally let some of these roots go because I’m not just rooted to my old ways, I’m chained to them. This means I’m not freely rooted in some of these old habits and notions of self-identifiers — I am being held hostage by some of them. And it is time to break those chains and allow the old me to become uprooted so I can lay new roots and new plans and new dreams and awaken to the new trish that is emerging from these incredible and confusing and frustrating life experiences I have had this past year.
A break with the old is good. I just wish I could take time off to process all of it instead of having to jump back into another rat race. I will try to be more mindful and patient and learn to say “no” — to myself (I always want to do everything all at once). Here’s hoping new roots find their way.
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Tonight I will be singing at an Irish pub here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, singing songs of Irish resistance to British oppression. The songs span centuries of Irish history and subjugation at the hands of the English and tell the tales of British invasion, British occupation of Irish lands, the British genocide of the Irish Gaelic people, the theft of Irish Gaelic culture, language, music, and traditions.
I will sing some songs in Irish Gaelic. I will sing about a people’s centuries-long struggle for freedom from its oppressor.
Interestingly, when I talk openly about the “Yes Scotland” vote, many of the dissenters are mostly Americans and have said that freedom from Britain is not a good idea for Scotland. This is shocking to me as these Americans are clearly forgetting their own history, that we went through this exact process over 200 years ago. The difference is that we achieved our freedom from Britain through bloody battle, and all Scotland has to do is vote “yes”. Of course, there will be growing pains as power shifts from the Crown back to the people, but that is no reason not to push for freedom.
The main dissenters in America for Scottish independence from Britain happen to be American economists. Who the hell cares what American bean-counters think about Scottish independence? It is Scotland’s right as a culture and as a people to divest themselves of imperial British occupation and oppression.
On a sidenote, I find it quite the ironic coincidence that the TV show “Outlander” is airing at this time and might even be helping to spur the Scottish independence movement, since it has such a strong storyline of the Scottish fighting the English Crown’s attempt to steal Scottish land and Scottish resources. To say nothing of the movie Braveheart or the older TV show “Highlander”, both of which dealt with the horrors of English invasion and rule in Scotland.
As I come home tonight from singing the tales of the Irish and my ancestors’ quest for freedom from Britain, my distant kinsmen in Scotland will have cast their votes, and the results of Scotland’s vote for independence will be officially announced. The world is watching as yet another nation shakes off the mantle of imperial British oppression. Today feels like a very important day, not only as an activist but as a person of Irish and Scottish descent.
I look forward to the day when we don’t have to have a separate section of books for “female authors” … or a special notation for a “female scientist” or a “female composer” or “female warrior” or “female presidential candidate”, when women are considered to be people and are no longer excluded from the narrative of his-story.
The truth is women have always held all of these positions. Even under the patriarchy of the past 2500 years, women have been teachers, doctors, scientists, judges, warriors, leaders. Granted, women who were leaders and healers and were independent were targeted by male patriarchs in power, usually to the detriment of the woman.
A person should not have to take a women’s history class to hear about the women who affected world events for the past two millennia. We should not need separate coursework in universities to focus on women because otherwise it’s just assumed all of the great human beings, all the great leaders, all the great artists, and all the great innovators were men.
But then again, if we did not have these separate sections and these special courses, women and women’s contributions would be lost because celebrating women and what we bring to humanity is not usually good enough to get our names logged into the history books. And we all know the conquerors write the history.
Leading the way in telling her-story,