I learned this beautiful ritual from Dr. Tererai
Dream planting is an ancient matriarchal tradition.
In Africa where Dr. Tererai is from, a baby’s umbilical cord is buried in the ground as part of a sacred ritual. This symbolizes the child’s connection to her ancestors, to Mother Earth and to her inner purpose.
“Ultimately,” Dr. Tererai writes in her book, The Awakened Woman, Remembering and Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams, “[this ritual] ties us to a strong and fertile foundation of ourselves.”
How is this ancient African ritual relevant to us today?
Dr. Tererai says that women whether we come from Africa or America have been “uprooted”. As if our “umbilical cord” had been dug out and discarded.
What she means is that we have disconnected from ourselves, our purpose, our heart’s dreams and desires.
We’ve been conditioned to put everyone else’s needs before our own. We’ve lost ourselves in the busyness and material aspect of life.
I strongly resonate with that. And I feel that as a result we are deeply unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
But instead of expressing how we really feel and what we really want, we stifle these feelings… oftentimes with food…
It’s time we take up the sacred feminine ritual of dream planting again.
In dream planting, first we need to reconnect with our deep desire.
This reminds me of what in Yoga is called Sankalpa.
Your Sankalpa is your heart’s deepest desire, your unique contribution to this life. A powerful tool for self-transformation, it’s self-directed and affords a deeper knowledge about yourself and a commitment to yourself.
You find your Sankalpa by looking at what in your whole life has motivated, inspired and moved you.
Dr. Tererai says to know what your deep desire is you have to ask yourself, 3 questions:
- What is my Great Hunger? What breaks my heart?
- How can I align my Great Hunger with the greater good? In other words, how can I make this Great Hunger of mine a path for healing myself and the world?
- What do I plan to do to feed that Great Hunger in me?
Once you’ve answered the questions, you write them down.
The second part of dream planting is to actually plant our dream!
For that you’ll need to go buy a plant and a pot.
Of course, if you have a garden then plant it in your garden!
Choose your plant carefully… choose a plant you’ll enjoy watching grow!
Then, place your piece of paper at the bottom of the pot.
Then place the plant in the pot. As you bury your sacred dreams into the earth that sustains you with food, water, and warmth, send a prayer to Life.
Furthermore, envision your dreams growing until they manifest. And trust.
In yoga, you plant your Sankalpa in the depth of your inner consciousness.
This is done through a practice called Yoga Nidra. The meditative practice of Yoga Nidra brings a deep state of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual relaxation. We then repeat the Sankalpa at 2 specific times when we’re particularly receptive at a deep level.
All our behaviors, habits, and reactive patterns have root in our deep inner consciousness. By planting our Sankalpa, we re-create our experience of life or reality.
This is how true change really happens and dreams manifest.
Whether you’re dream planting or silently repeating your Sankalpa, you’ve got to trust that they will manifest.
Dr. Tererai was an illiterate bride child in the countryside of Zimbabwe who became an internationally acclaimed voice for women empowerment and quality education.
She dreamed the impossible dream and her dreams carried her.
Your dreams will carry you too!
If you’re interested in the meditative practice of Yoga Nidra, click