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Wakulla County, Florida, Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

I have been doing a lot of travel recently ( I plan to do more now that I am officially an “empty nester”).  Some of it has been traveling to  places I grew up in, others to places I haven’t been before.  What is interesting to me is how when I travel, how it impacts the way I dream. This summer my daughter and I spent some time along some islands in the Gulf of Mexico.  As we traveled further south, every night for me was like digging deep into some deep barrel to lift out something long forgotten.  I have found over the course of ten years that the things that have led to releases energetically have been extremely broad.  I have used movement, Qi Gong, meditation, breath work, shaking and TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), dream work, and I even released a block on the advice of my guidance by drinking alcohol one evening just enough to get tipsy (and the next morning the release came-magic!).  No matter what the yogis or masters tell you, if you have a voice of guidance, follow it.  If that guidance says “find the nearest body of water” or something odd-ball like that (which happened to me) trust it.  Follow it.  And even if you don’t have a clearly defined thought-voice in your head, follow your gut, follow your urgings, and even try doing something you are afraid to do or that you have resisted. So much of our buried emotional material has to do with what we resist or bury, or try to ignore.  The bodhisattva in me wishes very much to assist you in realizing even more the bodhisattva that is within you…

In the case of this Summer, being in places where I grew up but have not been in for a very long time seemed to have an  effect on my state of mind and a kind of reverie I felt that extended into dreaming. In my case, the place I was in I hadn’t been to in close to 20 years, and before that, another 20 years which takes me all the way back to my early childhood. I find it interesting how traveling to familiar places that you haven’t seen in a long while can help spark or catalyze transformation, a kind of reclamation of the soul and its lost parts through buried hurt or trauma from the past.  This is actually what yoga seeks to do for the individual, which is to help clear the energy body of this stuck energy so that the primordial self might know itself in presence. I know that when you think of yoga you think of all of these postures, but true yoga is actually about realizing the divine within you.  This is its ultimate goal. Now as to whether yoga teachers are teaching yoga with this emphasis/awareness or not is another question altogether…

It has been a great Summer for me because I was able to spend time with a child whom my ex has worked diligently for years to lessen my exposure to.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my children and how engaged I am with them.  It has been a hard seven years but my child turned 18 and she was able to assert her rights as a person and that has meant that we finally were able to have a real summer together traveling and enjoying each others’ company.  We have been out boating, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, taking walks,  and laying in the hot sun. We have been able to visit old family friends, and for my daughter, meet people from my past who are like family who my daughter had only heard in story.  All the while, in a way I can’t quite explain, my insides are being effected as I sleep at night and have these dreams that seem to access long forgotten parts of myself.  Some of it feels so peripheral I am not completely sure what is happening (sound familiar?) and some of it feels more familiar or known.  There is a lot in dream that has felt like accessing points or places within me that were concurrent with a certain place and time….

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Sunset over St Marks Nature Preserve, Wakulla County Florida. Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

I’m writing this urging you to consider breaking up your regimen by going to places you haven’t been to in a long time.  If you are  like me, and moved from your childhood home a long time ago and haven’t been back, try going back.  But relax, enjoy your time, see the sights and soak in what it was like to be there. Even if you didn’t like growing up there, there is really something to be said for returning to those old brambles….sometimes only to find that the brambles are all gone, or are ready to be rooted out of you. Sometimes just being there can be enough to connect you by way of geography, the smell of the place, the change in altitude or weather, or even the slight disorientation that comes from being in a new place.  We generally think of these things as disquieting, but in release work, it really can be the very trigger that lets an energetic loop slip out of your energy body and fall away.  I think that it could hold some surprises for you as it relates to release work. Sometimes dropping a pebble into long undisturbed waters can make for change….

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Key Largo, Florida. Copyright, Parker Stafford 2018.

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