Lina is a yoga teacher. She has developed her own style of exercises for women, and has been teaching it for a while in groups, or with private clients. At this moment she is in the process of developing her online program. When she started filming her webinar, she got stuck and lost all her passion. She came to me for a session, complaining of losing her energy and a sudden lack of interest in her webinar idea.
This article describes a successful session on using a dream to help with a creative project. In one week after the session I received a message from Lina that her first webinar is online.
As a first step to help Lina move forward with this project, we decided to work on her inner critic. When we start some new innovative activity, or step into the public eye, inner criticism may grow. From my own experience, and experience of my students, I know that the moment we step from a comfortable environment into the light, the worst inner criticism is unleashed.
Let's look at the messages from Lina's inner critic. The first message is that she is not worthy to present anything, and her place is to help others, not to be a leader or presenter. This self-criticism message comes from Lina's family culture. We also connected Lina's creative block to the harsh history of her birth country, The Soviet Union, where many bright and creative people were killed by Stalin's regime.
We understand the roots of Lina's creative stagnation, but how we can help her?
Lina recently had a dream related to her creative block. We decided to look for resources in that dream. In the dream Lina was travelling in another country. She left her hotel, went for a walk in an unknown city and got lost. She didn't know the way back to her hotel. She was wandering through the streets and saw a street actor, who was doing a wonderful magical performance. The crowd on the street applauded and cheered the actor. Lina filmed his performance on her mobile phone. Then, she was wandering the streets again and met a local woman who knew the city. This friendly woman invited Lina to her house, and then guided her back to the hotel.
When we analyzed the dream, Lina noticed the atmosphere of confusion and feeling of being lost, which followed her in the dream. She recognized this feeling. This was the exact feeling she experienced when she thought about her webinar project. In the dream Lina was a person who is lost. In process work terms we can say that Lina's primary process during this dream is this state of being lost.
We decided to work with both figures from the dream – the street artist and the local woman. I offered Lina to shapeshift into the street artist. We started the process of shapeshifting with the movement channel. Lina stood up and pretended to be juggling with colored balls and other artist's items. To help her shapeshift better and really get a feel for this role, I added the relationship channel. I role-played the audience and enthusiastically cheered her performance. It helped, Lina was able to go deeper into the street artist role. She envisioned the wonderful and unusually colorful patterns which the artist created with his juggling balls. She added the visual channel to her shapeshifting process. Lina imagined that the artist used magic to make his performance more impressive. She fantasized that he is not only an artist, but a magician as well. We decided to call this role "the magician artist".
While playing this dream figure, Lina went into a joyful and energized state. She reported that she recognized this state - this is how it feels for her to be in a creative flow. We decided to use this new state to get some insights on the webinar project. From this role of the magician artist Lina felt totally able to create the webinar. As a magician artist she knew that her input is needed and the public is waiting for her webinars. She can just step out on a street and do it. Lina was able to maintain this state for a while, while talking about her detailed plans for the webinar, but then she felt a block in her throat. Her inner critic raised its voice again.
When we stepped into the artist magician role from the dream, we unfolded Lina's secondary process - mastery and excitement of being in creative flow, ability to go out, to show her talents to the public and to receive admiration and money for that. We also found an edge which showed up in this session as a body symptom - the pressure in Lina's throat. We decided to step out from the magician role and to explore the second figure from the dream - the local woman, to see if this part of the dream may help us to deal with the edge of self-criticism and fear.
Lina remembered how the woman looked in the dream. Lina used her visual channel to shapeshift into the woman. She imagined herself as an older and stronger woman in a business suit. Lina's body sensations changed as well. She felt more stable and heavy. She remembered that in the dream this woman knew this city and the right way to the hotel.
I suggested Lina to use movement and she walked around the room in the role of this business woman.
From within this role, Lina reported that this woman is much more sure of herself than everyday Lina. She knew local maps and roads. She also had a lot of experience in business. I suggested that Lina could give herself advice from within this role, about her webinar project and her problem with fear and self-criticism. From this woman's role Lina had an interesting new idea - she needed somebody to support her in filming the webinars. We decided that she can ask a friend from the school who really liked Lina's lessons and exercises. This friend can help her to film the webinar.
In a week I received a message from Lina that her first webinar is online.
Integration of the dreamwork.
If you have some experience working with dreams you know that they have a tendency to disappear from memory. To remember the dream we sometimes need to make some special effort, like writing it or repeating several times. The states and experiences which we discover while processing the dreams are also dream-like. This means that the sensations may be really intense while we practice them, but have a tendency to disappear from our attention. That is why it is very important to use integration practices which will help to anchor those experiences.
We decided that it is very important for Lina to be able to step into the role of the magician artist easily. This way she can connect to her creative flow whenever she needs. To help her with this, we decided to create a magician's dance. Lina went back into the role and from this role created a dance of a successful, happy, creative, magical artist. She plans to use it to step into her flow.
Another practice we use in the TERRApia school to remember the recourse state is neurographic art . (https://www.terrapia.org/single-post/neuroart)
This is the picture Lina created to help her remember the magician artist's creative flow: