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Dreaming Towards Collective Wellbeing

Updated: Mar 25

Dreams are a funny thing: mysterious or mundane, hopeful or resigned, peaceful respite or a guttural longing; dreams connect us to our bodies, our pasts and futures, and to the collective.

Maybe we are dreaming of different things, but ultimately dreaming towards the same goal...

spliced together image of a chalkboard with a collection of written words.  The prompt reads, "I dream of," and the responses are written as follows: Care for the care providers, spaciousness, trees, deep rest, flow, a supportive community, gender liberation, regeneration, connection, using my voice with no apology, deep friendships and intimacy, a felt-sense of safety for all beings,  haven of healing, a structure by which all lifeforms may thrive, creative freedom, embodied + embedded presence, "Everyone deserves a day in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for." by Maya Angelou, radical queer joy, an empathic collective, relaxation, relief, release
Through the month of July, we invited community members to share what they dream of, and we are in love with what you all had to say!

We've all had plenty of reasons to give up on dreaming lately. Numerous people I have spoken to have experienced a great deal of heartache these past few years.

So many people have lost people they loved dearly, or developed a chronic illness as a result of contracting that global virus. Everything from the political to the medical and carceral systems of the United States are showing blatant signs of disregard for human life.

More people are starting to confront how these systems - the ones put in place by human beings to exert power over other human beings - are actually not broken. The injustice is embedded in the bureaucracy; those who benefit the most from these systems continually fail to prioritize their transformation in order to end systemic cruelty, making cruelty a persistent feature and not an accidental flaw of these systems.

Climate change is showing up in more tangible ways: more frequent storms, deadly tornados, hotter and hotter summers, increasingly dangerous fire seasons on the west coast, and now Maui, that affects the air quality all the way to here in St. Louis and beyond.

The impulse towards resignation makes perfect sense, but it doesn't have to be our only option.

Even as I am overwhelmed with both personal and collective grief, I am so in love with this dream that deeper connection - with life, ourselves, each other, and the land we gather on - will be the path out of this system of suffering that we have inherited. I viscerally long for a community of people oriented towards care: empowered to care for themselves, to increase their capacity to care for others, to build a community of care that can work together to heal planetary and personal wounds.

Will you dream of the possibility of such a thing with me? We've recently added Social Dreaming (pictured above in the slider) as a monthly offering at Connect, taught by Eileen Cheong of Elemental Integrated Healing Arts Designs. Social dreaming is a practice that was developed by local art therapists, the late Carol Lark and Shelly Goebl-Parker, in which participants use guided meditation, deep breathing, and their imaginations to dive into what Carl Jung called the "Collective Unconscious". Jung's theory of the Collective Unconscious implies that we are all connected in the intrawebs of our dream world, working with a common language of imagery and symbols to process how we experience the waking world.

Through the last Social Dreaming Eileen hosted in July, participants were guided through a collective dream, a shared imagine space they contributed to out loud together. This was followed with time for quiet art making based on what comes up for each individual, and a discussion about the experience shared together to integrate the social dreaming process.

The next Social Dreaming session at Connect will be held August 26th from 3-5 pm.

I'd also love to have more folks to practice Trauma-Informed YoQi (Yin Yoga & Qigong) with Sarah Banks and I on Wednesday mornings, or an accountability buddy to become more empowered to express ourselves with our voices at the next Vocal Embodiment class on August 31st, taught by Dr. Aria Thomé.

And speaking of expression, I also would love to laugh and build relationships with over an art class with a politicized lens, such as our next monthly Queer ExPRESSions letterpress class on August 18th, facilitated by Kay Lyle of Manicule Studio.

We want to hear about your dreams for collective wellbeing - Share what you are dreaming of in the comments!


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