Adelita Chirino is an artist, video producer and jewelry designer who has taken my training for teachers of Active Dreaming. Over many years, she has volunteered to help inner city kids in Bridgeport and New Haven, Connecticut, through expressive art programs in which she has incorporated Active Dreaming techniques. I had the pleasure of participating with her in leading a program where I was delighted by the eagerness and creativity with which the kids joined in dream theater and in making spontaneous art and story from their dreams. Here’s Adelita’s account of some of her experiences:
One of the great blessings I’ve enjoyed both as an educator and a video producer is the chance to work with many children from low economic and “minority” backgrounds. Being a dreamer for over three decades, I can’t resist taking every opportunity to teach children and teens about their connection to dreaming, and at every opportunity I’ve taken, I’ve seen children blossom with curiosity.
The good fortune of learning Active Dreaming from Robert Moss in the 90’s added a very thrilling dimension to my work with young people. At the time, I was volunteering for a wonderful program in Bridgeport, CT developed by a very dedicated police officer and many volunteer artists; the program was the United Youth Arts Program, or UYAP.
Working with UYAP was truly rewarding; best of all are the experiences I had teaching the students to use their dreams for creative inspiration. I have many thrilling memories of dreams working their magic across age, race and culture; here’s an example.
I’ll call this student Lisa,
All the students knew of my predilection for working with dreams and they would often seek me out first thing to tell me a dream. As I’ve found with inner-city kids, many times they are troubling dreams that, with any reality check, mirror difficult situations in their lives.
Lisa’s dream was of being chased with two of her friends through a maze of back alleys, trying to escape a shadowy dark figure. Her feelings on waking were anxiety and fear. I sat with her and went through the Lightning Dreamwork steps she already knew from class work we’d done.
Through this wonderful dream-sharing guide, it became obvious to her what she was running from and how she really could face and deal with it. To honor the dream, Lisa wrote a fabulous poem.
But it didn’t stop there; she carried the dream with her into other art classes and created a dream chair. She painted an old chair bright and daring colors, then she applied lines from her poem, computer generated in various fonts, lacquering the strips of paper around the chair so the entire poem could be read following the rungs to the seat to the legs. Lisa’s Dream Chair won an award at the end of the program’s art exhibit held in the gallery of a local university. The journey from sharing her dream to winning her award was perhaps a month, during which she used the energy her dream gave her to express her true Self.
I saw Lisa grow in personal power in this month’s time; she laughed more, was more social and displayed a dedication to her artistic creation that I hadn’t seen in her before. Winning the prize just sealed the deal; she was on top of her world. I’m willing to bet that anyone who sees results like she did from connecting her dream life to her waking will probably go there again and maybe again.
Adelita Chirino is co-producer of
Way of the Dreamer: A Course in Active Dreaming with Robert Moss;this DVD set is available from Psyche Productions
Photo (c) copyright Psyche Productions, from video, “United Youth Arts Partnership”