“You are in a dream.
Now you are going through the ancient paths of the Good Shepherds, searching.
Right now, you are experiencing sanctum.
A moment of clarity.
You are traveling.” – Mingjie Zhai, Nazareth
“You are in a dream.”
Fiction. Based on a true grounding practice.
by Bry LeBerthon
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
You begin by trying to pull the spirit forcefully through you, but spirits are not beings who easily comply. Instead, you are sitting there, before your altar, askew and out of touch.
Your mind goes back to that state of being, almost a year ago now, disjointed from the world.
You stalked the parks and streets of New York City,
never more detached,
never more alone,
if you could ever come back together.
drifting through time and space.
you had never felt so lost, though everything was normal at the time, though you were undoubtedly guided and loved.
Now, you remind yourself, in the chaos of the present world, you know that you are found.
You know who you are, you murmur under your breath.
In, two, three, four, out, two three, four, your breath constrained within a box.
Pain and anger rush out from within your fingertips, from your arms and the soles of your feet, from your slightly arched spine. You are on pins and needles as It rushes in.
You find yourself at the philosophers walk.
The voices of those around you drift listlessly, near soundlessly through the air, like the bells that tinkle at the tops of storefronts, dancing under the sound of rushing water.
Petals fall and dust across your shoulders, chest, and backpack.
Wind kisses your eyes and cheeks, and moss is softly crushed beneath you.
In, two, three, four.
Roots rush out from the souls of your feet and into the ground. You can feel as they curl tightly into the soil beneath you, twisting around pebbles and rocks and other roots, settling deep into the ancient earth. Your spine aches faintly as flowers bloom from it, sprouting and protruding from your shoulder blades, blossoming over your collarbones and the nape of your neck. You yourself are the gnarled trunk of a tree, leaning towards the manmade river’s call, peaceful and wethered with age.
Even if, at that time, you were alone, you knew that you were on the right path, endlessly loved.
Who’s to say you aren’t now?
Out, two, three, four.
The quiet creaking of the floorboards below reassure you lovingly that you are home
and so you are.
the air is warm and the world is soft and muted
quiet with sleep
and though you are pulsating and beaming and glowing with life
so are you.
In, two, three, four,
You are in New York City,
which, of course, is not sleeping,
but slowing down to a gentle thrum,
and you are lulled into its hazy neon glow.
a million stars gleam above you, overwhelmed by the splendor of the city’s lights,
and you are truly never alone,
and have never been more yourself
or so completely and thoroughly loved.
Out, two, three, four.
You are in your bedroom.
It does not matter, even remotely, which one.
You are surrounded by the things you love, space carefully cultivated to reflect your soul.
Sitting on soft clean blankets and sheets.
warmed by colored candles’ gentle glow.
your altar, ever changing and ever the same, laid out in front of you.
all is right, and you are at peace.
you are grounded.
in and of yourself, you are home.
You allow your eyes to open.