Three years and a month ago, I had a dream that still offers unfolding understanding as I walk my life.

I’m standing at the counter of a hotel. My pelvis is broken in three places and there is no clerk to help me. I think, “I have to sit down,” but immediately amend that to “I have to get off my pelvis.” I will have to lie on the floor. The counter is now simultaneously the hotel counter and my kitchen counter. It hurts. The pain is unbearable.

I brought this dream to a circle at Dream Camp during the Chainsaw/Hummingbird portion of the work. (That’s where we offer a single symbol or narrowly focused dream and people project on it for about 10 or 15 minutes.) My emotional state was pretty clear in the broken feeling of the dream: my mother and my mother-in-law were both suffering from the illnesses that would take them both from me in the next nine months. I’d grieved so much already that those emotions were right at the surface. I’d also had pain in my hip in waking life for about five months when I had the dream.

I had a lot of aha moments from the group’s projections–the pelvis evoking motherhood, the breaks evoking grief. The fact that there was no one behind the counter suggests that there is no gatekeeper to stop me from going to this profoundly painful place. The projection that unleashed the tears was that I was somehow, shamanically, helping these women I loved bear the pain they were suffering. When I got home and told my husband about the experience, he suggested that the third break in the dream could be our ancient cat, Tilki, whose weight loss and fragility echoed my mom’s physical condition in profound and eerie ways. All three of these females had weakness and instability in their pelvises. The three breaks in my dream made perfect, painful sense.

This spring, three years after I experienced the dream, my understanding of it has continued to unfold. For a few months I’ve been helping my aunt transition from independent living. At some point the dream came to mind and I realized that she is the third woman of the generation above mine who was an important part of my family life. So now in my understanding of the dream she shares the third break with my cat, which is also fitting because my aunt’s elderly female cat has had to come live with me.

The hip and back pain have never fully left me in the last three and half years. The most relief I’ve found has come through Kim Hansen’s compassionate Feldenkrais work. Throughout this challenging process of assisting my aunt, Kim has made herself available to help me literally unwind the torqued positions I get into. One of the metaphors we’ve worked with is the impulse to both stop and go, and I was thinking of “breaks on the pelvis” when the lightbulb went on and I thought “brakes on the pelvis.” The aha gave me chills, as I realized that I have profound resistance to plunging into the grief that my aunt’s life situation is awakening. Yet I know that the only way out is through, and I try to listen to my body when it demands that I move, or stop moving to just be. Just lie down with my grief and pain.




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7 thoughts on “Broken Pelvis Dream”

  1. Laura, your ability to put such profoundly somatic, intimate experiences into language inspires me no end.

  2. Hi Laura, I remember this dream sharing experience vividly! So beautifully written. I second everything Kim said above. Thank you for the link to my site too 😉

    Also, I thought of the discussions we had in the Fairy Tale class while exploring the Vasilisa story, and how Clarissa Pinkola Estes mentions in the footnotes that there are some versions of the story where Vasilisa carries the light (of conscious intuition) that she earns from Baba Yaga in a torch made from a pelvic bone rather than a human skull. In my version of exploring this ongoing chronic pain, I would have to wonder if part of the “ancestral pelvic pain” is manifesting from unexpressed intuition, not only in my own personal life, but stretching back through generations. I would then ask myself, are there times when I “put the brakes” on a strong intuitive insight? Since body sensation and intuition are on the same axis in the Jungian Quaternary model of “thinking/feeling/intuition/sensation,” in my waking dream, I would explore the possibility of how unexpressed deep intuitive insights might lodge in the cellular layer of the physical body.

    I, Billie, so often feel tingles and chills when experiencing a deep intuitive insight and I wonder what would happen to all of that electrical, neurological stimulus if I did not express the thought/insight/epiphany or follow the intuitive guidance I experience viscerally. As we know, energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed.

    I look forward to seeing you at Dream Camp this weekend!

    1. Thanks for your insights, Billie! I definitely have an “aha” around unexpressed intuitive knowledge, and ancestral distrust of intuitive knowledge. I’m certainly still learning how to listen more carefully to my intuition and to act on the knowledge I receive that way. The hardest thing is trusting what I know when it stands in contradiction to what I’ve been taught to believe.

      I’m so happy to be going to Dream Camp again!

  3. Yes, I can imagine how that would create a stop/go, stop/go response. It’s really quite fascinating how our bodies have their own wisdom, non-verbal and emotionally based. As I think I’ve shared with you, I learned a great deal about my own body after being involved in a rear-end accident in 2001. I was so shocked to discover how many layers of “armor” I had created around myself!

    Ready to once again delve into the deep waters of the Collective Unconscious with you this weekend Dear Dream Sister!

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