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18 November 2009

Dream Healing

One of my students has a recurring dream. In it she has a baby and an intense desire to care for this baby, quite literally to hold the baby very closely and very tightly. The baby in her dream is even heavy. The baby seems to have little connection with the husband or any other caretakers; my student is the one who knows and loves this baby, know what it needs, and must care for it.

This particular student is also dealing with kidney disease. Her kidneys have been losing their ability to work, gradually declining in function over the years. If the trend continues, she has told me the doctors tell her she'll need a donor kidney. That information would be enough to shake anyone to the core. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the kidneys are the most important organ. The energy of the universe is brought into the body through the kidneys. Stress your kidneys and your vital life force (chi) will be depleted and every other organ/system of the body will suffer.

My insight for her is the dream baby is her condition, perhaps quite literally her kidneys, but even more, I think, the "dysfunction" in her kidneys, more like a crying baby or an infant in trouble who cannot help him or herself.

Her approach now is to to feel like she's sitting on a train track and all she can do is feel the rumbling of the train bearing down on her at 100 miles an hour, the train noise, like a tornado sound, indicating total destruction is imminent. Yet maybe in this analogy she is also the train bearing down on herself?

But let's go back to the baby in her dream, that this dream baby is her illness or even her kidneys. What does this baby need? Nourishment/milk: Now, Stinging Nettle has been referred to as the mother's milk of the earth, so let's bring Stinging Nettle infusions into the discussion. Raw milk is quite literally applicable here as well, I think, if she is willing to introduce that food into her diet. You would want the baby to have the best possible milk - mother's breast milk if possible, which of course is raw - yet maybe the Nettle or even the raw milk in this case are just energetic shadows of some greater realm of nourishment - a kind of nourishment in it's gentlest, purest, most original form - lots of unconditional motherly love - close-holding-warm-completely-safe-kind-of-love, like the love she offered the baby in her dreams.

Rest/sleep: Rest at all odd hours. Naps during the day. Disconnecting from 24/7 cell phones and computers. Cutting down work hours. Would a baby work long hours? Let's slow down the runaway train and resist the urge to get everything done before the disaster finally strikes.

She's also a vegetarian, and this can't be helping her kidneys. I would estimate that her kidney's have helped shoulder the load from her vegetarianism, working hard to replace in vital chi what her diet is not bringing into her body (so the kidneys have had to work extra hard to "donate" this energy which she is not getting in animal products). I would offer a slow introduction of some forms of meat. Grass fed organic beef is the best, but perhaps some organic chicken, baked slow in the oven may be a better place to start, even hearty soups made from beef marrow bones or fish chowders. This process may take a while because she has told me she doesn't think she could eat meat. Well, babies can't eat meat right away anyway; they need it slowly and gradually introduced once their digestive systems have matured enough. Start with the soups. Most of all she needs peace and quiet. No loud noises, adrenaline-pumping, life situations, like a train rumbling down the tracks headed straight for her! No roller-coaster relationships, the drama of everyday life right now is not serving her dream baby well. Space to grow and someone like a parent (herself in this case) to protect the infant, her kidneys, in this vulnerable place of growth and healing are what's needed.

Her kidneys have taken on the task of showing her all aspects of herself. This illness or dysfunction is really a gift wrapped up in the disease process. New kidneys, while they may be needed someday, will not necessarily fix the larger problem. She must care for her baby like no one else could; not even doctors or other very well-intentioned people in her life, like me, can do this work for her. She has to do it. Others can help, babysit, if you will from time to time, lend a hand or their expertise, but ultimately this is her baby, and hers alone. I might even suggest a book on how to take care of a newborn for her quite literally to act out this process as if she really were taking care of a baby. She needs to rise up like an righteous mother who in a moment of crisis (without any fear) takes charge of the situation and acts when others aren't so motivated because after all it's not their baby who's in trouble. Wouldn't any mother step onto train tracks to save her baby?

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