piano
I am walking about a mansion, fully lucid (aware that I’m dreaming), just enjoying the very elevated, open energy — when someone calls to me from behind.

“Hey there! You’re a piano player, aren’t you?”

I turn around to see a lovely little old lady smiling at me. Humored by the uninvited detour in the dream, I giddily approach her.

“Why yes, I am,” I reply with intrigue. She is pleased and motions for me to follow her into a side room.

The room is an open recital space that has the same sense of grandeur that the rest of the dream seems to ooze. In the center, there is a beautiful grand piano. She sits in a chair conveniently placed next to it and asks me to sit down and play her something.

The keys are very strange; they have strings attached to multiple keys in a way that is hard to explain. To try and make a good impression, I play a piece I wrote some time ago that I’m well versed in. However, due to the strange issue with the keys, every key I press presses many more simultaneously and it begins to sound like a child slamming his hands on the piano!

After three attempts of starting, then stopping, I look at her and say, “I’m sorry, I guess I can’t.”

She smiles knowingly, like the wise teacher she is, and says, “Try again, but this time forget about the notes. Just play the song that’s in your soul!”

So, I return my fingers to the keys, close my eyes, let my fingers go, and I connect deeply with the song that is yearning to come forth. And wow — this amazing song pours out of my heart and out of the piano. It’s bluesy, melancholy, yet triumphant, and hopeful. It’s the most powerful, heartbreakingly beautiful portrait of my soul. I thank her and hug her as I weep in praise of what I just experienced.

This dream has done more for me as a musician and composer than any of the structured lessons I have taken. From then on, I stopped focusing so much on what all my music theory classes had drilled into my brain about how to compose music and just let it write itself. Music has always been a very intuitive, spiritual act for me, but this dream finally gave me permission to fully embrace that in a way I had been previously hesitant. It was the permission to unleash my soul-fire.

“It’s not through ME, but through me” has become my greatest mantra and what I constantly return to to keep that fire burning bright. That fire becomes blocked when we get in our own way by trying too hard to create by our own means. When we can surrender our control, which can be very challenging at first, we open the door for that creative fire to take over and show us what is truly seeking expression through us: God (or whatever name you use). And if you’ve taken a look at the Universe lately, God is pretty brilliant and definitely doesn’t dream small!

Over three years ago, I had a real hard surrender moment. I finally handed my whole life over to this same creative force. “You created me, use me! You know why I’m here, I’m done thinking I have any clue.”  A month later, I had the following dream:

I am in a dark, inviting space. In front of me is nothing but an open doorway. Written on the floor, in front of the door, is: “Create a guided meditation program.”

It was perfect! Like “why-have-I-never-thought-of-that-before” perfect. A door was opening to me. It combined my passion for meditation and spirituality, my degree in audio recording, and my gift for composing music. As I continued to surrender to letting it create itself, the project went from a fun idea of roughly six meditations to share with some friends to realizing this was seeking to be much, much bigger — ultimately 47 meditations big — and quickly became an online business and would soon find me leading meditation groups, ceremonies, and dream classes — and I still do!

Let that fire in and hold on to your hats folks! Like I said, the creative Force doesn’t dream small. You should constantly find yourself marveling at the process. Surrendering to the flow of inspiration will always take you in a direction you would’ve never expected, but you’ll be so glad it did because it is vastly superior than the original idea of where you imagined it should go.

I’ve been heavily engaged in dreamwork and lucid dreaming during the last 11 years and it has changed my life more than any other spiritual practice in which I engage. Dreams are deeply personal and emotionally powerful experiences that touch us in ways that few other things can. If you wish to awaken your soul-fire: surrender, surrender, surrender — and ask your dreams to guide you. Believe me, they know the way.

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Steven Ernenwein is the creator of “The Activated Human Lighthouse Program,” a comprehensive guided meditation program to activate your inner radiance. He leads several meditation groups and dream classes at Jai Healing Collective in South Minneapolis. Ernenwein is also one of the moderators on Reddit.com’s dream forum. Email him at activatedhumanlighthouse@gmail.com. Visit www.ActivatedHumanLighthouse.com.

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