Michelle Loses Her Purse

vbh-purseI see Michelle Obama in a kitchen.  She has put her wallet or purse in a kitchen drawer but now as she is looking for it, it is gone. The scene shifts to an auditorium-like classroom.  I’m observing as if from “above”.  Obama is sitting in the audience but the speaker is addressing him.  I believe the topic is energy related…maybe oil.  Obama is defending his position on the subject but it is not being received well.  The group is very critical of him.
From a 58-year old woman, January 3, 2010
She had this to say about her dream’s personal and political context:
“I had the dream on January 3rd.  I had not been following his activities very closely but when I shared the dream, a friend told me he was in Copenhagen at an energy summit and the US was being criticized for not committing to a better plan to decrease our need for traditional energy sources.   The media did not follow this event very closely at all.  But the US was supposedly only committing to a decrease of 4% dependency on traditional energy sources.  Other countries were committing to a much higher percentaged decrease.  So Obama was being criticized, and if true, then rightly so.  We need to look at alternative energy sources very seriously.   
“I love Obama and voted for him.  I believe he truly wants to make a difference and create positive changes.  However, with our current system for policy making, and the way bills get tacked onto other bills until you hardly recognize the initial bill in the first place, Obama has a hard road to go.  Certainly he inherited a mess….something people like to ‘forget.’  He inspires me and I feel his heart is in the right place.” 
Overall, the dreamer said she felt the dream was helping her process the rising negativity and criticism being directed toward Obama.  She fears Michelle, too, is in danger of losing something valuable, i.e. her personal identity. 
Taking a third-person observer’s perspective in a dream is infrequent, but when it occurs it can perhaps signal a degree of “higher” awareness and self-reflective consciousness in relation to the contents of the dream.  With this dream, it might correspond to the increasing complexity of the dreamer’s waking attitude toward Obama.

Living Well in Brazil

 125px-Flag_of_Brazil_svgI was dreaming that Obama was on a South American tour with some of his politics. He was visiting especially foreigners living in Brazil and stepped by our apartment in Salvador da Bahia. He comes into our apartment, while my husband was sleeping in our bedroom and wanted to see all rooms. He was surprised and said:”Wow, you are living quite well here in Brazil” and then he gave me some time to ask some questions about his political ambitions. I asked Obama: “Well Mister Obama, isn’t it quite a big pressure for you right now to be the President of the United States? I think people are waiting for a big change in the most shortest time and a soon recovery for their economic system. How are you feeling about this?” He looked at me in a relaxed way and just when he wanted to answer I woke up from this wonderful dream. What a pity.

From a German woman living in Brazil, in March 2009.

As a note, I make as few corrections to people’s original dream reports as possible.  With someone like this dreamer, whose native language is not English, I correct the punctuation and spelling but not the grammar or word choices.  Even filtered through a second language, these details matter in developing an accurate sense of the dream’s possible meanings.

Obama’s international audience has been wondering the same thing as his American supporters: How exactly will he make the huge changes necessary for solving our collective problems?

The Importance of Breathing

imagesLast night I dreamed I was in a restaurant with a friend. I was looking at all the people in the big open space, when I noticed that Barack Obama was on my left, walking about shaking hands with folks and passing out info. I stood up and hugged him and then put my hand on his heart, and one on his back, and smiled and said, “You are the man, Obama. I so know you are going to win.” And looking at him straight in the eye, felt myself just channel him total love and faith from my heart. Then I noticed his heart was beating really fast and I realized he was mostly in his head, that he was scared and going about his campaign from a place of thinking he had to mentally appeal to people, instead of just being totally in his body and trusting fully. And I thought to myself, he needs to breathe. He needs to know the importance of breathing full and deep into his being. And then I was on the street. And was walking downtown and had the thought that I should have told him that, because the whole world needs to breathe deeper and fuller and he could help spread that message. And then I thought, yeah, and everyone else is probably telling him all sorts of things that should be the priority for our nation, too. And then I woke up.

From a 36-year old woman from Maine, in August 2008

This dream comes from a peak moment in Obama’s rise to the Presidency, when his popularity and momentum were especially strong. 

The dream vividly expresses the woman’s personal support for Obama, but it also implicitly criticizes something she sees as a weakness: Obama’s overly intellectual approach to political leadership. 

As the first year of Obama’s administration draws to a close, many of Obama’s liberal critics have attacked him on this same point–he’s too calculating, too pragmatic, too timid in the face of opposition.  

The dreamer experiences an unusual bit of political metacognition at the end of the dream.  After her intense physical connection with Obama she mentally steps back and reflects on the fact that she’s just one citizen among countless others who have their own priorities, concerns, and ideals.

Perhaps this is the psychologically appropriate next step for Obama’s liberal-supporters-turned-critics: developing the ability to set aside their personal philosophies and look at the country, as Obama must, from a broader, more ideologically complex perspective.

Doing Laundry at the White House

imagesI’m working for the President! The headquarters are in the basement of the Capitol. There are laundry machines yet it feels like important things are going on. We are now on the grand grounds of the White House or Capitol and I am with the President. Iam watching him and I marvel. It is just us! I am at a folding table, doing official paperwork. He is on his blackberry. I can hear his conversation. I am doing my work well and with confidence, despite the fact that I have been an at home mother for the past 13 years! I am calm and yet stunned that I am working for him. I feel proud and in awe. I am less a physical body, than all good feelings. Suddenly, a woman (gov. employee) comes and talks to him about laundry as they converse at the other end of the table. I understand that they are talking in code about something very important, and that I should not be there. Barack Obama hands me a key (it is the key to my mother’s apartment) and tells me that I might like to use it to access a place that I might enjoy. He is kind and it is a nice gesture. I leave and walk the grand grassy grounds past beautiful ruins, through my old highschool and on to my home of origin.

From a 45-year old mother of three boys in New York, January 2009

The dreamer adds these comments: “I participate in an occasional dream group with a woman who is a Jungian dream analyst. I have been an at-home mother, but I am very interested in the future of our country, so I spend a lot of time googling information on issues that interest me and listening to NPR. I canvassed for Obama in Philadelphia and I am very excited that he is president. I have worked as a travel agent, and have an MSed.”

This dream offers a good example of the metaphorical aspects of dream imagery.  Many of Obama’s supporters felt that President Bush “dirtied” the White House and “tarnished” the reputation of America around the world.  The earliest theme of Obama’s primary candidacy was “clean government,” meaning the elimination of corruption and improper influence of  lobbyists. 

To extend the metaphor of the dream, President Obama’s job (and the job of his supporters) is to clean the country of the accumulated dirt and grime from the previous occupant of the White House. 

The special intimacy theme appears here, along with a rather cryptic message to return to her “home of origin.”  Perhaps this is a dream variation of “think globally, act locally”?  The highest call to national service is to take good care of home and family?

The O-shape of the glass window in many washing machines suggests a possible visual pun with the ubiquitous O in Obama’s campaign posters, bumper stickers, and t-shirts.