The Dreamers’ Den Series Ep 16: Ancient Wisdom, Possible Futures & Decolonization in Dreams (a conversation with Nicole Torres)
The timing of this conversation was perfect for me. By the time you listen to it, the U.S. election may have come and gone, but no matter what the outcomes are, some things remain the same.
Working toward the changes we want to see, and supporting the growth of what we believe in, is an ongoing process. The road ahead might look different, depending on what happens (maybe… VERY different), but no matter the twists, turns, roadblocks, or flooded-out passes, we’re still on the same road we’ve always been on. And, we’re on it together.
For me, one of the most helpful things on this road is dreamwork. Dr. Nicole Torres joins me this week for a conversation about dreams and liberation.
“Where do dreams lie?” she asks.
In the personal, in the collective, and in their overlap.
Nicole is a dreamworker, psychotherapist, and medical anthropologist. In her psychotherapy practice, Nicole has worked for over 15 years with minority populations in urban and inner city environments. She’s committed to providing therapy that works toward liberation, in a holistic, creative, and culturally relevant way. Nicole is devoted to her own ongoing journey of decolonization, liberation, and learning to “honor the dream.” In this episode, she explains what all that means to her.
Early in our conversation, I ask Nicole’s take on something I’ve wondered for a while: Why do some people explain that their families don’t talk about dreams with this statement: “My family is religious”?
I know religious people of various faiths who do like to talk about dreams, so why do some say that their religion is a reason not to?
Nicole’s thoughts on my question lead us right into talking about what “decolonization” means, and how dreams connect us with the wisdom we all carry in our bodies. She calls this our “indigenous wisdom.” We talk about what that means, too.
She shares her process around a life-changing dream of her own. She felt torn about this dream at first, but it became a potent influence in her work and her life.
Have you ever had a dream character come back again and again, in different forms, or in different settings? The figure from this life-changing dream was one of those for Nicole. She shares what she’s learned about these recurring characters: If we don’t pay attention to them, and act upon the wisdom of our dreams, we are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over.
Nicole and I share the perspective that our dreams are a form of communication both from and for our collective community. As I spoke about in the last episode, Dreaming Your Genius, our dreams can reveal to us where we have the most energy to give, and where in the world our contribution is most needed.
Have you had any dreams lately that feel especially related to our current political climate? Or, our “climate” climate? Apocalyptic dreams, or dreams reminiscent of terrifying times in human history?
Nicole and I have heard several dreams in those veins, lately. We talk about these “possible future” dreams, and ask, how can we heed our dreams as wake-up calls? How are our dreams nudging us to prepare for these possible futures, or to take action, so that they don’t come to pass?
She reminds us, “It’s incumbent upon all of us to do what we can, and tap into our creative energy that comes in the form of dreams so that we can actively participate in creating a better vision of the future, not just for us, but for future generations, and for the planet.”
Dr. Nicole Torres’ website: www.innertapestries.com