Wednesday, October 18th 2017

My “dream” career

An Irish immigrant and psychologist with a love of sleep, dreams up a new reality from a mystical past

secret_of_roan_inish008GUEST COLUMN: HELENA DALY — I am as Irish as Irish can be . . . a nomad, a bit of a gypsy from the West of Ireland’s wild rugged beauty. On a visit home a few years ago, I sat in the kitchen one morning having a cup of infamous Irish tea, and watched with amusement out of the corner of my eye, my dad (who is now 82). Seemingly lost in his own world, he would shake his head every few minutes.

So I said, “Dad, did you sleep okay?”

“No,” came the energetic response.

“Why not?” I asked, to which he responded: “They came again.”

“Who came again?” I asked.

And he replies emphatically, “the dead — that’s who!”

Well, I burst out laughing more from the effect of his bewildered, charged revelation than from the content. And on he went to tell me of the dream he’d experienced, and it was a lovely one.

Discovering the island of my own dreams

I am passionate about the world of dreams, and what they have to say and offer — so passionate that I could quite easily make a full-time career out of sleeping! Where would that leave me? Lost, in slumber-land — and slave to the powers of the almighty oceanic unconscious realms, swimming with all sorts of gurus, above and beyond my own personal ones.

A beautiful blessed gift lives within my lineage. My mum has been known to deliver messages to neighbors from their deceased family members that came to her in her dreams. And I wonder where I get it from?

Consider this for a moment: we spend one-third of our lives sleeping! Aside from the obvious restful, healing function that sleep serves us busy-bodies, I, for one, believe that sleep is a dimension that holds a  massive actual, and potential, creative reality.

In my dream world, as well as waking state of reality, the subtle dimensions (and sometimes not so subtle!) that I have traveled to takes me back — way, way back to the Celts, druids and beyond, to Fir Bolg and Tautha-De-Danann, to the Eire of warriors, gods and goddesses.idun_and_the_apples

The ancient rite of “incubation”

The point here is that these people, my people, took the sleeping-dream world very seriously. They regularly engaged in the ancient practice of incubation, a ritual for making contact with ancestors in the hope of receiving insight, wisdom and direction.

There are stories in oral tradition of warriors and seekers sleeping on the graves of ancestors so that insightful contact with the underworld could be made for the benefit, and leadership, of their community. Curing the ritual, other members of the tribe took turns keeping watch through the night.

I have come to know the sacredness and preciousness of my waking state. So how I move out of sleep into waking consciousness is crucial. I rise from sleep ever-so slowly, after having dwelled in that most beautiful, mystical space between sleeping and waking. It is here, in the twilight zone, the soft whispers and dream nuances embody themselves. It is here that the spirit and essence of what has come to visit is captured.

That fleeting, but infinitely-deep, twilight space, upon awakening — that glorious, open window —invites us to grasp the initial creative dream manifestations, no matter how small. It is in these moments conscious work begins. I lie in this waking space, not sleeping, not yet fully awake, on the bridge that serves the continuity that exits between the unconscious realms and conscious realms, between the worlds, so to speak. Only there is no separation!

My indigenous, embodied soul continues to experience with ever-more lucidity my inner life as the reality . . . and my outer life as a waking dream. And it has been through my dreams that I have been taken back to my early indigenous, ancestral roots, to a place of spiritual power, wisdom, compassion and guidance.

It is not always an easy journey but it has been and continues to be tremendously liberating and healing. Working consciously with my dreams has enabled me to work with my shadow, with wounded parts of my soul, psyche and lineage. I am forever being brought into an immediate intimate encounter with my inner self and in doing so recover, reclaim and integrate long lost parts of Helena.

During the more difficult parts of my journey home, I was graced with dreams of such numinosity and spiritual presence that to try and speak of it would take away from the sacredness. But this much I can tell you. I trust my dreams infinitely. They guide my path in life, and in choosing to follow their lead I am moving ever more deeply into intimate contact with my authentic self, with the Divine, with my fellow human beings, and the world around me.

You, too, can learn how to work with the language of dreams, with the soul’s code, if you really want to. Begin with the discipline of keeping a journal. Practice, and allow the mystery to unfold. Dreams are a priceless gift. It is my deepest desire that you, the reader, accept these gifts when they come and say, “thank you.”

helenaHelena Daly,Dream Consultant(RGN, BA Psychology, MA Counseling)
Ph.D Psychology candidate at CIIS, San Francisco.  Helena is presently writing her dissertation on dream consciousness; specifically the healing power of working with dreams and the body. Her dream practice is based in Inverness, West Marin.

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9 Comments on “My “dream” career”

  1. Dear Helena,thank you for the gift of a beautifully written piece, witch took me to another time and place.I've always strived to listen to and follow my dreams, in fact my Mam used to jokingly say to me,"Think horse and you'll eat grass",I don't think she meant me to take it literally,but I did. I believed if I dreamed it up, I could make it happen; and that dream has lead me all over the world, to some amazing people, places and things.Yet it's only in the last two years or so, through trance and hypnotherapy, that I have dived and delved deeper into that world and found it to be incredibly challenging and cathartic, often painful, but ultimately deeply rewarding.I hear a distant but familiar mysticism in your writing and look forward to hearing more about your travels in that other realm.

    Mo Sheacht Mbeannacht Ort
    Angus Mac Og

  2. Helena, Thanks for taking me back to my people and to dreaming as a way of life. I look forward to reading more from you.
    frank x gallagher

  3. Dia dhuit Helena,
    ta tu go hiontach ar fad.
    Go neiri an bothair leat,
    Eoin O'hArachtain

  4. I love this narrative. So personal, so grounded, so perfectly, lyrical. I learned so much from it:

    "Waking outer life as a dream"

    Try that as a title for your book!

  5. Thank you Angus,Frank, Eoin and Paul for your lovely comments and kind words.

    Angus, it warms my heart to read that you not only believe in the power of your dreams but know this power to be true, that dreams indeed do manifest, often in more ways than one! Our higher self that speaks to us through dreams, always knows what is best for us. And if at times it is difficult to face and follow through on what they show us or ask of us, trust in the wisdom and that more will be revealed. My experience has shown me this and that further than the line understanding comes!

    Yes Frank, dreaming is absolutley a way of life, you nailed it. My outer life changes as a result of me working with my inner life; the external evolves more and more in parallel to the internal! By working consciously with my dreams I live a more lucid awake life! Talk about waking up!

    Eoin, gura mile math agat. I love this Irish blessing and remember it being read to me as a young woman when I first left Ireland, to begin my adventures.

    Paul, I am so happy you took alot from what I wrote! And yes, that would be an interesting title for a book!

  6. "All that is significant I learned through a woman." Socrates

    In her infinite wisdom, the Goddess has ordained an angelic nomad from the Emerald Isle to interpret for us the sub-oceanic mystery of the dream world. In choosing dreams as her field of study, Dr. Daly reflects intellectual courage and and academic sophistication. Years ago I attempted to read Freud's Interpretation of Dreams. Each page left me feeling intellectually dopey. It was staggeringly complex. Dr. Daly seems to saunter through her chosen field like Mozart's hand glides across a piano. I await further publications from the eminent Dr. Daly with bated breath.

  7. Helena,
    Your inner peace shines through this article and I am so proud to have been in your life as you are experiencing this great new world of dreams. You have a special gift and you're writing proves that. Keep it up and put yourself out there, the world needs to hear you (and your dreams)


  8. Dear Helena:

    Thank you for the reminder of the primacy of dreaming and the preciousness of the hypnopompic states. Your narrative is lovely and really drew me in. Now, what was your father's dream? I was waiting for the other shoe to drop after the opening. Do tell.

    This is really inspiring and poetic. Keep this in your academic writing and you will do well in spreading the message.

    With warmest regards,

  9. Dear Helena,
    great piece of work, beautifully written well done cant wait to read the book best of luck, your a natural From Dizzy (light headed) to Transparent (crystal-clear)through the beauty of your for thought for a title! no xx

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