Praia Morro das Pedras, Santa Catarina Island, Brazil
She is standing on the shore, watching a huge ship, as tall as a skyscraper, being readied to put out to sea, under and iron-gray sky. She feels something pulling away from her, like an animate shadow. It pulls loose, and she sees a second self moving away from her, to join all the people on the giant ship.
She hesitates. Is she losing a part of herself? Should she follow this second self, on board the boat? Her other self seems old and stooped, and deeply tired. The people on the boat appear gray and somber. She decides to let go whatever has parted company with her, and watches the cruise ship put out to sea.
Now there is another change in her. She is lifting up, into a light-filled space above the clouds. She feels herself expanding and growing brighter. The sense of spaciousness delights her. She feels blessed by the radiant energy that is streaming through this changing self.
She looks down, and sees the person she left behind on the sure. This person is shrinking as quickly as her self on the higher level is growing. But she's not sure she wants to leave the person on the sure behind.
When the Brazilian dreamer shared her story with me, I observed that the dream presents four selves: the one that left on the boat, the one that stayed on the shore, the one that ascended towards a Higher Self, and the one who was witness to all of this. If it were my dream, I suggested, I would be glad that something old and tired - a burden I had long carried - had now been released, across salt water, the great medium for spiritual release. My instinct was that the shadow person on the boat never really belonged to me, but may have been a something from a departed family member or from a therapy client that had been "hitch-hiking" in my energy field for years. This suggestion brought a strong aha of recognition from the dreamer.
For me, the welcome challenge of this dream was to bring energy from the Higher Self into the body and life of the ordinary self on the shore. The dreamer clapped her hands, happy to accept this assignment. In the days of journeying, performance and celebration that followed, we saw her bringing that moreness through, with flashing eyes.
Dreams not only introduce us to many aspects of our selves; they open ways to live consciously with the energy of a Greater Self.