Dreaming of Bears

March 11th, 2009

bear dream

The retreat was great. A wonderful combination of relaxing and inspiring. I got there the day before the retreat began to do a little unwinding and getting centered. I'm glad I did because all the travel exhausted me. I stayed the cutest little loft room (that I had to climb a sort of ladder to get into.) Fortunately I'm super short, so I could just stand up in it. It felt like I was tucked in a treehouse and I loved that.

I spotted Animal Speak on a bookshelf in the hall and took it up to the loft with me to look at. I'd just been talking about the book with my coach, so it was funny to see it there. And I'd been wanting to read over the part about spiders after I had that spider dream recently. I rested in bed, reading and journaling, and drifted off into a lovely nap.

I dreamed that the hubster showed up at the retreat and I had to tell him that it was an all-women retreat, so he couldn't go inside. We pitched a tent together outside the house and we were sitting in it, when I looked down the road and saw a huge bear coming down the road towards us. There was an old man under a tree near us. I turned to him and asked if we should be running into the house. But he said not to worry, that we didn't have any food, so the bear wouldn't bother us. Then a drunk man came out of the woods and started harrassing the bear. The bear was pushing him away, trying to ignore him, but the man kept coming after the bear and eventually punched the bear in the face. The bear then lost its temper and bit the man. It was a very vivid dream and I woke up remembering it fully.

Later that night, I turned to Animal Speak to read about what bears symbolize. I learned that the bear has ties to the subconscious and unconscious mind. It is associated with Diana, goddess of the moon. It teaches you to use your inner resources to find your answers within. It teaches you to make choices from a position of power. Bears are often associated with trees, an ancient symbol that is like an antenna connecting heaven and earth. Trees remind us bring what we awaken into the world and to make our marks with it.

The things I read about the bear, it's connection with trees and the moon, and the bits about what it has to teach, were so relevant to me. I did some writing about the dream, which I think I'll share later on. It's interesting how focusing on dreams this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge, has brought such powerful dreams! It just goes to show you that what you focus on expands.


The next day, I had an amazing massage in a cute little boathouse (above) with an incredibly talented, nurturing therapist. While my face was down and looking through the head-rest, I opened my eyes and laughed to myself because within the rug pattern below, the shapes looked like a bear standing in a river with a crescent moon and birds flying by. That's where the image I painted above came from. After the massage, I drew a little sketch of what I saw and knew that I wanted to paint the bear in this way. I painted it today in acrylic and ink on watercolor paper.

I have more to share on the weekend later, but in the meantime, some fun links to check out:

- Spark, art from writing: writing from art is now online sharing the paired up artists and writers and what they created in response to eachother's work. Mine is here!

- Rainn Wilson (Dwight on The Office) has a new website called SoulPancake that is all about creativity and spirituality. Very cool!

- Need a pat on the back? A boost? A job well done? Check out my pal Jim Doran's new website, Hey Good Job. Love it.

7 Responses

Oh, that bear is sooo cute! Thanks for sharing your dream and the symbolism. Very cool! I’ve used the Medicine Cards before, but that Animal Speak book sounds interesting, too.

Love your work. Love your blog. Very peaceful lovely colors.

There’s the bear! Wonderful, Leah. I really enjoy your use of color. The blues are lovely.

Thanks for the recommendation of SoulPancake! How fun.

Have a great night.

I made a “muvee” of my trip to the retreat…it’s on YouTube with an overdub of Christine singing incase anyone wants to see more of the retreat space:
I spent a lot of time poking around the grounds – it really is beautiful! I remember the little loft space – it was really cute but I think my favorite rooms were the ones toward the front of the house.

Glad you had such a great retreat experience. I think the showing up early, getting situated and rested is such a good idea for introverts.

Love the new art, especially the bear!
The new layout and design of your site is fantastic! Glad your retreat was so nice.
much love, Amy

Oh your retreat sounds like a dream!! Ha!! No pun intended!!!!! Just today I started a new painting….trees…and I started to wonder why I keep coming back to trees..this post, and your dream, shed a little light on my own relationship to trees–and my art process.

Lots of love to you Leah!!!

Peace & Love.

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