For years I have had a recurring dream. It’s been recurring for about ten years, bouncing away in my sleeping brain – my very own 3.14159 and so on and so on. My very own piece of Pi.
In this dream I am in a house I have never lived in yet the house is very familiar to me, right down to the way the texture of the wallpaper feels, right down to the smell of the hallway, windblown with maple leaves from the tree on the lawn at the front.
I say the same thing every time I have this dream – ‘I know this isn’t my house but it feels like it is…’ and in a strange way it is my house…after all, I have been dreaming about it for over ten years.
It happens just as I begin to claim ownership of the house, just as I settle in. There is a creaking sound, a splitting sound and the floors cave in. There are fragments of wood, concrete and steel everywhere. The air is black and gritty. I can smell the deep, musty earth of the foundations and then suddenly I am falling, fast, like Alice down the rabbit hole; as swiftly as if I have been shot from a cannon or have mastered travelling on the time-space continuum.
I think Tim Burton directs my recurring dream. In fact, I’m fairly sure of it. There are lots of flashing lights and starbursts and exploding rainbows as I fall; along with interjections from such famous luminaries as Bugs Bunny looking me straight in the eye and saying : “Goodbye cruel world.”
Even though Tim Burton directs my recurring dream there is no Johnny Depp. I haven’t seen him once in all the years I’ve been falling through the psychedelic air. Tim is also unable to stop me from landing – bouncing, scraping and jarring on rocks. And waking up all sweaty and dishevelled and feeling like I’ve been screaming.
So why am I telling you about this dream? Well, over the past few weeks I have felt the way I feel in the dream when I land at the bottom….. all panicked and anxious and deeply, deeply bruised. For real. While awake. All feeling like I could quite easily crawl into a hole and never come out again. All feeling like the bottom has well and truly fallen out of my world and I am stuck with rubble in my mouth under the broken floorboards.
I told my friend Gina that part of my recurring dream had come to life and she immediately told me I need to start chanting to keep negative forces at bay. Many of you will know that I have my hippy-trippy elements but that I am not yet fully fledged in such ways of being. I know chanting works for some people as a way of focussing the mind and gaining clarity but I am not entirely comfortable with saying OM every time anxiety claws at the pit of my stomach.
People who say OM a lot make me think of Edina Monsoon from Absolutely Fabulous who tried every trend known to mankind in her chaotic quest for success and enlightenment.
Having said that I have seen how much chanting and meditation has helped Gina. She has been to hell and back and has come out the other side. So I thought I’d give it a try.
Gina told me that chanting would allow me to let go of the fear I am carrying around with me as manifested by the feelings in the recurring dream coming to life. She told me I had to surrender to the divine, that I had to say Om Namo Narayani. I surrender to the divine…. A bit of a tongue twister along the lines of Red Leather, Yellow Leather but if you really concentrate you can say it several times in a row without slipping up.
I’ve been Om Namo-ing away for a week now and while part of me still feels slightly ridiculous, the other part can see it is working in bringing me a sense of calm. I’m astounded, I really am. I’m so astounded I can’t even think of anything remotely facetious to say about it.
Surrendering to the divine. Maybe it’s what we really need to do in times of trouble.
I’m chanting as we speak…..