Electric Dreams


Jean Campbell

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Campbell, Jean (2000 Oct). Walking the Monster. Electric Dreams 7(10). Retrieved December 28, 2001 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

One advantage of learning body work from someone whose second language is English, is the rich mix of idiom, the sudden clarity of understanding when things are said in a new way.

"Our monsters are where we hold our energy," my teacher, Dr. Hector Kuri-Cano of Guadalajara would say. "We all have monsters."

What he was talking about is that part of our self which frequently appears as the villain in our dream dramas, the part which wakes us in the night, terrified.
"Become the monster," Hector would say. "Become the monster."

This was quite all right with me in theory, until I began working with a monster of my own. In dream work, we frequently talk about the dream, carefully leaving our feelings subordinate to thinking. A bioenergetic approach to dreams is quite the opposite, encouraging the feeling rather than denying it.

In a workshop with Hector, with whom I trained in Energetic Metatherapy for eight years, the twenty or so trainees were working individually on a meditation exercise. I was lying on my back on a mat.

Suddenly, I was vividly aware of a presence on my chest. This wasn't just a dream character. This sucker was real!

And a sucker it was too. I later called it a succubus, though I knew rationally that a succubus is theoretically defined as a female evil spirit which comes to a man. What I knew at the time was that this creature I'd first met in a dream had wings, talons, and a sharp beak. And it was sitting on my chest.

Needless to say, I got up in a hurry.

I won't give you all of the steps here that I took to work with my monster, since they were many, and utilized over a period of time. However, here are a few:

1) I became the monster, as an actor becomes a role. This was not easy, since I was scared to death when I began, but practicing was the key.

Eventually, I got to the point where I could stand in front of a full-length mirror as the monster, and look my "self" in the eye without flinching. Beyond that, I could allow my monster feelings expression through my body, raking my talons across the mirror, and beginning to understand why "I" was angry.

2) I drew pictures of my monster, always looking for the connection between us.

3) I allowed my monster sound, voicing in both words and harsh croaks and hisses the anger and frustration I felt.

4) And finally (no kidding) I began to walk my monster in the park--where I actually walk each morning around sunrise.

My monster began to change, though the physical form remained the same, an awkward, gargoyle shape, about shoulder height on me. When my monster was acknowledged, when I began to allow its kinship with me, when I began to hear my "self" (or at least that part of myself), then I could release the energy held in this part of myself since childhood, and enjoy a walk in the park.