Unda Wata Man’s Shoes” by Tosha Grantham (Translation: “Shoes for Walking in a Parallel Universe”)
hese magical shoes would be worn by a sacred artist who is going into the liminal, walking between the worlds. This is often how it goes with our dreams too…there is the dream we know, the dream we easily perceive, and then there is the dream that is part of the “otherword”, the hidden realm where we need more than the five senses to apprehend — we need hearts and minds and hands willing to look harder, willing to dig deeper.
As many of my longtime readers know, I was raised within a magical family, but I had no intention of becoming a professional sacred artist. In fact, I was all about law, and throughout high school won award after award in speech and cross-examination debate. I had my entire future neatly mapped out: scholarship for pre-law at UT? Check. Followed by law school at a top tier school? Check. Followed by hours and hours spent immersed in constitutional law? Check, check and check.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am that things turned out otherwise.
It started when I got sick the winter between my junior and senior year. Very sick. Underweight and bed-ridden for pretty much my entire Winter break. It was clear to me then that while my mind had decided on the dream I was going to pursue, my body had other ideas, and one way or another I was going to have to listen. It was clear that even at the high school level the kind of intensity required by my chosen field was not going to work for me physically. I knew it would only get worse in college and then again as a full-fledged lawyer. So the question became…why do I really want to do these things? If this is my dream, I said to myself, then what is the dream beneath that dream?
Stories like mine are not uncommon, and I actually got off pretty light. More devastating is the young dancer who discovers she has a stress fracture in her spinal column and cannot dance professionally anymore, ever. Or the athlete who has pinned all her hopes for the future on a college scholarship that never quite comes through. The surgeon who is hit by a drunk driver and no longer has the extremely fine motor control his craft requires. These stories sound dramatic, but they happen every day to people just like you, just like me.
More common still is the person who is waiting for just the right job, opportunity, amount of money, level of skill or security to do what they have always really wanted to do. All too often we spend our lives waiting for a moment that never arrives because it never existed in the first place. There is no perfect time, there is no perfect moment. There is what you have and who you are, right now, today. That formula possesses all the magic you need to do what you really want to do, to be who you really want to be. If, that is – and this is the tricky part – if, you are willing to ask…what is the dream beneath my dream?
So it is that the dancer dances for the beauty and grace of Dance — and there are many, many ways to be for the dance. The athlete is in it for Victory, and victory comes in many different forms. The surgeon? The surgeon heals — that is why they do what they do, and there are many ways to bring about healing. The girl who loved law and debate? She loves to help people by making complicated ideas simple and understandable, so she became a teacher.
And what about you? Under this full moon in Virgo — the sign that sings of devotion and excellence in craft and living — what is the dream beneath your dream? If you dream of a million dollars ask yourself why? If you dream of being self-employed and setting your own schedule, ask why? If you dream of the day when you don’t have this job, that lover, or this apartment ask…why? What is the dream beneath your dream – the real dream? If we can name it, then we can call it into being, we can begin to live it, right now, today.