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I dreamt that I died. I felt no pain. There had been no accident.

There were no tears or sadness. No darkness.
No loss.

I couldn’t remember the details of this dream. I just knew that I had died. This feeling haunted me all day.

I couldn’t shake it. It clung to me like a suit of armour.

My thoughts became heavy and dark. I wondered what this all meant. Was I going to die?

In desperation, I took a quiet moment to reflect on the dream. This is the vision that came to me.

My body lay lifeless on the ground. Suddenly it wrinkled like a piece of plastic being exposed to extreme heat. It shrivelled up into itself, folding into my heart.

My heart had not changed. It was stronger than ever, beating with vitality. Fully alive. I could feel the warmth. I could even sense the richness of the brilliant red blood that still fed me.

In slow motion, my heart opened like a beautiful flower opening to the rays of sunshine. I imagined the heavenly scent of fresh spring blossoms. Then, gently, one petal at a time, we expanded into the space around us, rose from the ground and vanished.

I was in awe of this beautiful vision. It was not what I had expected. Could death be so beautiful?

This dream and vision visited me on January 9, 2000. I reflected on them this morning as I was reading through my dream journal. I don’t remember if I ever decided what this dream meant to me back then. What does it mean to me today?

After reading Harmony’s latest post entitled “The Eclipse” at Golden Zen, I see what this dream means to me now.

If we fear our darkest thoughts they will continue to run our lives. But, if we take a moment to stop running and sit with them, we could uncover something special.

Perhaps they are seeds that need a ray of sunshine to grow. And, perhaps they are waiting there in the shadows to empower us beyond our wildest dreams.

They say nothing is written in stone, but I beg to differ. Last week I dug out some journals dating back 15 years. I was searching for inspiration, and to remember how magic happened to me.

Back then, after reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, I had taken up the habit of writing what she calls Morning Pages. In a period of four years, my life went through two major transitions and I wrote my way through both of them. 

The Morning Pages asks a person to commit to writing three pages every morning. If you don’t know what to write about, write about that. I found one page in my journal where I had filled half a page by writing “I don’t know what to write”, over and over. After reviewing these Morning Pages, I realized how my goals eventually became a reality.

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This past Saturday, I spent a couple of hours sitting outside my apartment building, selling old DVDs. It was a beautiful sunny day with the perfect amount of sun, shade, light breezes… and friends.

A friend of mine, Jonn, who is also my landlord, sat with me for a while. I’m pretty shy and appreciated his company when strangers passed by. It felt awkward watching them pick through my things, wondering if they felt as strange as I did about me watching them.

Jonn is one of those real friendly types, and I watched and listened enviously as he greeted everyone that passed. One particular couple responded quite favourably to his greeting and I said to him jokingly, “Gee, you know them too?”

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Lordy lordy, my head hurts! Sink or swim isn’t an option – I feel like a bump on a log, going no place fast.

If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear? No, cause everyone is at home, at their computers, blogging!

Being rather new to this world of blogging, I am quickly learning how much territory there is to cover. And I can tell you, It’s Not A Small World After All!

To all you Seasoned Bloggers out there, how on EARTH do you find the time? Do you still eat? Sleep? Kiss your honey? Does the bathroom seem way too far away from your computer? Huh?

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The drumming had stopped and my awareness returned to the moment at hand. An indigo canvas was stretched across the sky, painted with trillions of glittering stars. The moon, a glowing silver crescent, hung low on the horizon.

I looked down at my bare feet standing in the cold, dewy grass; it was soothing. The drumming started again and we employed our rattles in unison. We started singing as our footsteps fell into a gentle rhythm, forming a circle around the fire.

I was reminded of earlier that day when we had gathered wood for this fire. We sang then too, our voices entangled with the shimmering heat waves that rose from the ground on that hot, sunny afternoon. When the time came to build the fire, each log was offered with a prayer for the Earth and all her creatures: the 4-leggeds, the winged creatures, the whales and the dolphins. The tree people and the stone people were included in the ceremony, among many, many others seen and unseen.

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When I was a child growing up on a farm in Northern Ontario, black clouds on the horizon stirred a certain excitement in me. I tingled with anticipation of what was to come.

Everything came alive in a thunderstorm. The sky flashed with explosive lightning. The farmhouse shook with each rumble of thunder. Torrential rain pounded on the roof, drumming up a rhythm that sent shivers up and down my spine. The trees swayed wildly in heavy gusts of wind, so vulnerable and at the mercy of the storm, that I feared they would snap in two.

As I grew older I continued to enjoy those thunderstorms and came to appreciate that stillness before the storm where the dark clouds hung heavy in the distance, offering the perfect backdrop for a dazzling lightning bolt. The world grew still. Waiting. The birds listened. The wind paused, leaving the trees poised in preparation for the dance.

Upon the storm’s arrival, that stillness surrendered and the world exploded with a magical display of unrehearsed expression. Then, silence. Golden silence. It was that golden silence that spoke of having surrendered to something greater than yourself.

I used to imagine that this was the same as feeling safe in the “eye of the storm”. But, the eye of the storm is more accurately described as the area of calm winds and clear sky that hold the space at the centre of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Realistically, it is a place suspended in time and space, caught between the past and in anticipation of the future, surrounded by stormy walls. It is the illusion of being in a safe place. But, to leave that supposedly safe place you must weather the storm and break through the boundaries.

I have spent my life building a safe place for myself. That old farmhouse, built from stone, definitely felt like a safe place to a little girl. It stood on 300 acres of land, surrounded by forest, fully secluded from the world.

We basked in the summer heat, harvesting hay and tending the gardens, and we froze in sub-zero temperatures, trudging through 4-foot high snowdrifts to do chores in the barn. Some nights it got so cold that the butter hardened on the kitchen table and the water in toilet bowl grew a thin layer of ice. Grandma would rise at 5 am to light the fire in the fireplace and the kitchen was toasty warm by the time we awoke. It was a place of magical moments and acceptance of the outer world; thunderstorms and all.

When my family moved to the city, for the first week I hardly came out of my room. As a very sensitive young girl and afraid of the world, I built imaginary walls around myself for protection. I built those walls as strong as the stone walls of the farmhouse that I remembered so well. I had my safe place; safe but uncomfortable. I knew subconsiously that I was surrounded by an outer world that wasn’t always a calm and sunny place.

In hindsight, I believe much of the discomfort came from denying my spirit the adventure and excitement of life. To always stay in that safe place meant constantly watching and anticipating that dark cloud in the distance. Never experiencing that magical energy of the storm and that feeling of peaceful stillness that follows.

It’s the space between the moments of life that soothe and nurture the spirit. But to experience the spaces, you have to live the moments. Then and only then will silence be golden, and will you have found the true Eye of the Storm.

© 2008 Davina Haisell

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