Practical Magic: Grounding Ethereal Dreams in Everyday Reality

Rooting/Patterning is a slow, enduring, method of grounding ethereal dreams into physical reality through simple, concrete, repeated actions. We know from observing nature that the repetition of simple events can create complex patterns of astounding beauty. This observation applies to all that inhabit the the natural realm - humans and snowflakes alike. In this article, I will be exploring repetition, pattern, and the space in-between as a means of drawing out and pulling in one's dormant potential. Deep winter is an excellent time to align this subtle process with the quiet renewal occurring in nature.

A common thread that binds many cultures is the belief that there exists a patterned cosmological order. Picture the universe as a single, flowing, rhythmic being or an intact ecosystem. Human dreams fit within this ecosystem, expressing themselves like specialized organisms at their own unique pace. The work of grounding is to feel the seed of the dream, then to feel the pull of its emerging pattern, then to nurture it through consistent, action in the world. Small meaningful actions, repeated cyclicly, allow the dream pattern to spiral outwards and to take a physical form that impacts reality. As it as an impact, it draws a response back from life, and this interplay takes on a more and more complex form over time.

Choosing which patterns to repeat is much more of a sensory exploration then a cerebral one. By sinking deeply into one's body and heart, it is possible to feel the pull of an emerging pattern. Begin with absolute spaciousness and then add the essentials as they emerge. Less is more.

The magic in the space in-between

Pattern and repetition create space for spontaneity through the interplay between constraint (repetition) and freedom (the space in-between repeated events). Routine is only half of the equation. The real wonder is what emerges from the space created in-between the repeated events of the routine. Just as every dark element draws its light counterpoint, each set of repeated events holds an empty space that draws the creative out of its dormant form. I usually experience this phenomenon as an increase in synchronicity, and the emergence of new ideas, relationships and inspiration. Paradoxically, the more settled I am into my rhythms and routines, the freer I am to notice and respond to the spontaneous circumstances that arise around me.

A note on clarity of vision

It can be tempting to want to know the whole story before it unfolds. It can be tempting to fill empty spaces with distraction and fragmentation - another project, another workshop, another course, another commitment. It is entirely possible to be clear in one's vision without being clear about details or timing. It is entirely possible to be clear in one's vision and to still be swimming in vast expanses of nothingness. This is because details and timing are external/adaptable, while the foundational energy behind one's vision/dream is fixed/internal. For example, eight years ago, I had a dream/vision that I wanted to record my first full-length album. This was the "what". It was fixed, internal and not variable. The "whens" and "hows" of the dream were entirely up in the air. I rooted myself into the patterns that helped prepare me for the unfolding. I practiced my songs. I made demo recordings. I applied for grants. I saved money. And, while I was rooting my dreams/vision in these concrete ways, the "whens" and "hows" and "whos" emerged effortlessly and with inspiring synchronicity. The key is to take simple, structured action without overreaching. Allow yourself to be met halfway by a response from life.


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