7 Reasons Why You Should Kick Your iPad Out Of The Bedroom

Heart-Centered Dreamwork Soul Coaching® July 2, 2015

7 Reasons Why You Should Kick Your Ipad Out of The Bedroom

 

Yes, I really did kick my iPad out of my bedroom! I had to, not because my husband was complaining, and not because of the many studies done on people who were sleeping with their electronics and getting less sleep and along with a lower quality of rest and suffering the consequences. In fact, I had all sorts of good reasons to keep my gear near. After all, I had great “sleep” apps to track my sleep, my movements, including my restlessness, and my dreams! I needed Solitaire to wear my over-active mind out and make me give up consciousness. And there was always one more post to make, email to answer, FB friend in a different time zone to chat with. Until it began to dawn on me that my sleep was in fact suffering (I was restless 46 times in one night according to my Fitbit!), but worse than that, I hadn’t caught a dream in months! That was the straw that broke this camel’s back!

As you might imagine, my dreams are extremely important to me and simply put, without them I feel disconnected to Source and Soul. So with the encouragement of Laurel Bleadon-Maffei, channel for Josephus and the Wisdom Council, angel communicator and third cousin, once removed, extraordinaire, I agreed to a little experiment: to give up my electronics at bedtime—until my birthday seventeen days later—and see what happens. As I set my intention to start catching dreams again, I realized that my bad habits weren’t just at bedtime, but in how I wake up as well. Very quickly, I knew that I needed to create sacred space in order to make room for my dreams, which are sacred in their source and their uses. Dreaming, we learn who we are and why we are, we problem-solve, create, connect with community and the collective energy that we live in, and come into alignment with Higher Self and guidance.

When I work with my clients, whether as Soul Coach or Dream Coach, we always come around to the topic of sacred space. For some, it is the clutter of attitudes and beliefs that must be cleared, for others it is physical clutter that must be tackled and for me, it was my pile of electronics. So I cleared my space, put out an old-fashioned (yet cool turquoise Moleskine) journal next to my bed to record my dreams physically with pen in hand and began. I wrote down my intentions, wrote down a few lines about my day, put my iPad away at least an hour before bed and read a “bookbook” (Ikea) before closing my eyes.

Wham! Night one: a dream! Night two: a dream! Night three: dang, in that slippery state of mind, my dream evaporated in a split second! But I kept at it and in 17 nights, I caught a dream (sometimes a dream fragment, sometimes 2 dreams) on 15 of those nights. Success! On the morning of my birthday, although I hadn’t asked for any special dream, I was given a great dream! My dreams were back! Now here is why you should kick out your electronics too!

 

7 reasons

 

  1. Better sleep/more rest: Research shows that the blue LED lights of your computers and hand-held devices are messing with your pineal gland and the production of melatonin. The more you use them, the harder it is to fall asleep and get quality rest. Best not to mess with Mother Nature.
  2. Build your dream muscles: We all dream yet so many of us think otherwise. But with practice and a focused intention, you can build your dream-catching muscles. Once I put my devices away, my dream recall bounced right back.
  3. Create Sacred Space: I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. Make space for dreaming by clearing away the clutter in your bedroom. Your sleeping chamber can become the “abaton”, the sleeping chamber of the ancient Greek healing temples where dreams were used for healing. All that from decluttering. Not too shabby.
  4. Connect with Source: If we dream, and we are created in the “image of God” then God must be a dreamer too. Dreaming can be a sacred practice for connecting with the sacred within and the Creator, the Great Dreamer.
  5. Know Thyself: Once you go “inside” you might as well get to know yourself. The ancients considered this a high calling. Once you are on the road to self-awareness, personal growth and self-knowledge, you will notice that dreams are all the “technology” for growth that you will need. Pay attention.
  6. Intuitive Windfalls: Did you read about the Canadian dreamer who, in 2006, dreamed the lottery numbers, twice? Really. She ran out to buy a second ticket with the same numbers and won $16 million! Ok, admittedly, I’m still waiting for that dream, but dreams can give you insight and warnings that are nothing short of a windfall for living authentically.
  7. More Space for dreams; More Space for the Sacred: Once you make more space for dreaming, physically, emotionally, mentally, then the spiritual uses for dreaming burst open wide. Et voila, you are living in alignment with your soul’s plan for your life. Not unlike physics, the more you delve into the mysteries of your dreams and your psyche, you cannot help but see the miraculous in your dreams and connect with something bigger- whatever you call the Force.

Once you get the hang of detaching from your devices and doing some stellar dream-catching, then the possibilities for your waking and dream life are endless. You will have kicked the ipad habit and set yourself free!

Dreaming at the Crossroads of Life

Dreamsharing Heart-Centered Dreamwork June 19, 2015

Dreaming at the Crossroads of Life

 

Today we have a guest blogger, Susanne van Doorn, Ph.D., a Dutch psychologist and blogger on Mindfunda.

 

“Women’s dreams mirror the tides that move the fluids of their bodies. Just as the waters of the earth swell and recede, so our dreams change over time” Patricia Garfield, Womens Bodies, Womens Dreams

 

When Patti asked me to write a blog post to contribute to her Heart-Centered Dreamwork I was thrilled. Patti and I share the same dream of creating a platform to share knowledge about dreams, spirituality, and mythology.

Looking back at my life, I see three crossroads I have passed through. I matured from childhood into womanhood, I choose my partner for life and entered a life stage of companionship and motherhood. And now at this point in my life I say farewell to my fertility and welcome the Crone stage. (In the ancient societies there where three stages of womanhood: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone, all manifestations of the triple Goddess.)

 

Crossroad From Childhood Into Womanhood

My earliest memory of a dream is a nightmarish dream I had about an airplane being stuck in my closet. I was scared about the noise it made and how trapped it must feel in that little closet of mine. We used to live near a military airway. I later on deciphered it to be about the way I had to tune down my energy in the big family I grew up in. I am the youngest one in a family of 7 siblings. We had nine people living in our house. So it was always fun, always busy and there always was the need to tune in or tune down. I think my dream supported my longing to fly out, to spread my wings. I left home relatively early at age 17, doing just that. You can see that a dream that is concerned with showing you new roads on which to travel, often uses symbols of travel. In this dream it is an airplane. The air and the wind flow and chill, but it also supports transportation into new endeavors.

Ralph Metzner talks on Mindfunda’s Youtube channel https://youtu.be/-fJcYnuB8R8 about the battle between the Aesir sky gods and the Vanir earth gods as the battle between old and new technology. To resolve this battle Odin showed both tribes how to conduct rituals based on mutual respect. The earth tribe in my childhood home was my father. Being the principle of the local high school he was all about rules. Teaching the rules, playing by the rules; do your homework. He liked things that where tangible. I was more “airy”: I saw ghosts, spirits, I could talks to them for hours. I was a dreamy girl. It took me several decades to engage in a ritual based on mutual respect to build a bridge towards my father’s knowledge. A dream paved the way for that. In this dream of mine I foresaw his death. After having this dream I asked him if he wanted to do anything before he was gone; anything he had not gotten around to in his life? He talked with me that night about his life, about how wonderful it had been and about how much he loved my mother. He had enjoyed the company of his children and told me how I always amazed him with my analytic skills and my guts to ask questions other people only thought, but never said out loud.

Crossroad From Womanhood Into Partner And Mother

The next step in my life was finding a partner. It took me a while before I had the inner peace to settle down with someone. When I was in my thirties I began to feel so alone. I missed a companion; someone to share my life with. Somebody with whom I could raise a family. I decided -very unromantically to make this a mission in life. I started dating, I started incubating dreams about my dates and my romantic life and it took me a while to develop the intuition I needed to guide me through this process. Then one night I dreamed: “I am on the train and it is a very sunny day. The window is open and while we are crossing the lake beneath us some water touches my arm. It feels like a caress from love that gives me faith and pleasure in my travel”.

Again, like in the first initiation dream, a form of transportation used as a symbol of transformation. The train of life passing above the waters of love. Where in the first initiation dream from childhood into womanhood the element of air played a big role, in the second dream the element of water has the upper hand. The first dream encourages me to rise above the things I was thought in my elderly home. The second dream encourages me to feel the depths of love. I dreamed this the day before I went on my first date with my future husband, the father of my children.

Crossroad From Partner and Mother Into Crone

 The last dream I want to share with you is a dream I have described in my blog. It is called “Hathor, the Goddess of dreams”, http://mindfunda.com/hathor/. Injecting the uterus of a cow with frozen meatballs doesn’t seem like a very pleasant endeavor, but waking up from the dream I felt really good. I had done something very important. Something that had to be checked, and had to be kept warm.

Brenda Ferrimani (http://brendaferrimanidreamart.com/art/), dreamer and artist wrote me this about my dream: (I) Couldn’t help making a connection to Patricia Garfield and her book “Creative Dreaming”, and her horned/branching woman. You know the ovaries almost look like horns growing out of the uterus. So I get the physical connection with “frozen eggs” and perhaps the message, that my body is no longer producing eggs naturally but Hathor the horned Goddess assures me that I will still be a creative force in the world. I also thought of the “meat balls” as cow testicles. That I was placing something very potent inside the belly of the cow, if this were my dream. Kind of feels like a willing sacrifice happening so that the pregnancy can take place. In a way the bull has given his life to make the cow pregnant. Interesting how the “balls” are not only fertile but nutritious for human consumption. Maybe the dream comes to tell me about my future creative life, how I may be instrumental in bringing soul nourishment to others.

I was so thrilled that Brenda made the connection with the horned Goddess. The Horned Goddess is an ancient archetype, based on the full moon. The antlers of the Horned Goddess rise up in the sky to select the right energy and information for intuitive knowledge. This dream is linked to a dream of mine where I was in the bathtub and there where antlers growing out of my belly.

I hope I inspired you all to look at your dreams from this “crossroads” perspective. Take into account your life cycle and the initiation rites that are buried, but still vital for us in our current society.

You can follow Susanne’s blog at http://mindfunda.com, making the fundamentals of psychology, mythology and spirituality easy to use in your personal life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Dreamers

Inspirational Dreamers June 17, 2015

Inspirational Dreamers


When you dream, you are not alone. Other inspirational dreamers hold out their hand to steady you along the way. Dreaming, we tap into the collective unconscious, and many layers of our dream’s meanings can be attributed to the group energy of our family, our community, our culture and society, and our world. So why then, do people think they are alone when they dream with the story going on in their head? Today, I’m going to show you how you can connect with other dreamers, be inspired by them, and how you can become an inspiring dreamer for others! Tall order, I know but very doable. PLUS… This is the first in a series on inspirational dreamers. It is my hope that you will see your dreams in their own exploration and know that you, too, can inspire others!

As you might imagine, I have a lot of books on the topic of dreams and I’ve been keenly studying dreams for about 25 years and I have never come across an author on the subject of dreams, that wasn’t first fascinated by his or her own dreams! So many dreamers think they are alone, until they share a dream with another person. When we share a dream, we find themes in common (teeth falling out dreams, chase dreams, naked in public dreams, unable to call for help dreams and so many more shared themes) and we begin to connect heart-to-heart with other dreamers. The moment you share a dream with another caring and respectful dreamer, not only do you find yourself relaxing in the knowledge that you are normal, but the one you share the dream with has an opportunity to offer you valuable insights that you might not see for yourself. In this way, one dream at a time, we create connections between dreamers-even if they never met before- that enable us to see the light and the humanity in each other. All that from sharing your dream!

I was first inspired by Jeremy Taylor’s book, Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, when I first came across it in 1997. It is still in print and republished and updated as The Wisdom of Your Dreams. As I read through it, I knew I would be running dream groups, despite the knot in my stomach. (That always happens and is my signal that the Universe is about to take me kicking and screaming down the next path!) But it was all good and 18 years later, I’m still running dream groups….thanks to Jeremy Taylor!

Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor

 

 

Reverend Dr. Jeremy Taylor, D.Min., S.Th.D. (hon.) is Co-founder and Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), Founder-Director of the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work (MIPD), Founding Faculty at the Chaplaincy Institute for Interfaith and Arts Ministries (ChI), Member of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM)

Do you remember any childhood dreams? If so, what’s the earliest?

One of the earliest dreams I remember – perhaps I was five years old? – was of  seeing an elaborate toy castle filled with exquisitely detailed Walt Disney character “action figures.” I was so excited, (and as it turned out, it was a dream that changed my life!) I woke up, filled with curiosity and boundless enthusiasm, and dashed off to tell it to my grandmother, whom at that time I actually believed knew everything… She listened to me tell the dream, smiled kindly, and said, “Oh, honey! It’s a dream – it doesn’t mean anything…!”

…and I was SO SHOCKED! I didn’t know what it meant – but I knew it meant SOMETHING! it was at that moment, that “the dominoes fell,” and I realized, consciously for the first time: “… If she’s wrong about THIS, what else may she be wrong about…?!”

I still remember it as the moment that I decided consciously, “… Wow! I’m going to have to take full responsibility for what I believe and what I know myself… I really can’t rely on the adults around me to tell me what’s true – no matter how smart and kind they are, or how much I love them, or how much they love me…” It was a profoundly shocking realization…

It was perhaps a little early in life to come to such a conclusion, but now, in my 70s, I still rely on my own conscience, and my own direct experience and evolving awareness – rather than other people’s beliefs and opinions – as the only reliable touchstone for what is true in my life.

When did you first get interested in understanding your dreams? How did that unfold for you?

As the above story suggests, I have been deeply interested in the multiple meanings and implications of my own and other people’s dreams for as long as I can remember. That interest has only deepened and grown over the decades. It is an interest that is stimulated, and to some extent satisfied, every time I remember and contemplate my own dreams, and also when I hear, see, read dream accounts and come in contact with “dream inspired” art and other expressions from other people. In fact, “projective archetypal dream work” became and remains the center of my professional, spiritual, and personal/creative life.

What role have dreams played for you in your life?

Deepening and extending my understanding and appreciation of, and my ability to give some sort of expression to my dreams in the waking world, as well as helping others to do the same, has become the main organizing principle of my life.

I have written several books about dreams and dreaming from this evolving perspective, (all of which are available online, in bricks & mortar bookstores, and through my website, www.jeremytaylor.com).

I am one of the original four founders of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, (IASD), along with Strephon Williams, Gayle Delaney, and Patricia Garfield. You can find out more about this exemplary organization at www.asdreams.org. I also operate a professional training and certification program for dream workers, the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work, (MIPD). I also work one-to-one, and in larger gatherings, with dreamers all over the world – all of which which may also be perused in more detail and arranged through my website, www.jeremytaylor.com.

If you could give one piece of advice to those who are just starting to listen to their dreams would it be?

The single most important piece of practical advice to keep in mind about remembering and looking at dreams, (particularly your own dreams!), is that they always carry MULTIPLE meanings and implications – (no matter how obvious any one meaning or implication may appear to be upon first encounter). Everything in our dreams, (and I now believe in our waking lives as well!), always has multiple, often confusing, (sometimes even seemingly contradictory), meanings and implications.

The hardest thing for anyone to do is to see his/her own dreams clearly with “fresh eyes.” The original dreamer is the only one who can say with any certainty what his or her dreams may actually mean, but in solitude, without the ideas and projections of other people, each of us will remain uniquely and selectively blind to the deeper meanings and multiple gifts of our own dreams. This unique and selective blindness is particularly difficult to overcome with regard to our, (seemingly unquestionable!) emotions in the dream world. Ultimately, there is no more reason to take the emotions we experience in dreams exclusively literally then there is to take any other element of the dream literally.

That may not sound like more than “one piece of advice” but all of these points mentioned above are profoundly interrelated consequences of the one great truth about dreams: ALL DREAMS – EVEN THE WORST, SWEAT-POPPING, GUT-WRENCHING NIGHTMARES –  COME IN THE SERVICE OF HEALTH AND WHOLENESS, AND SPEAK A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF METAPHOR AND SYMBOL.

Another way of saying the same thing is that “the Magic Mirror (of dreams) never lies!”

 

4 Simple and Brilliant Ways You Can Become an Inspirational Dreamer Too!

BE INSPIRATIONAL

Jeremy Taylors stories are both inspirational and similar to yours, right? Ok, maybe you haven’t written a book about your dreams, but he has the same dream stories just as we all do. Dreaming is a experience we all share. Here are some ways you can inspire others. I’d love to hear about some ways you have inspired others so please post!

  • Share a dream– This is top on my list! The simple act of sharing a dream, connects you to others, gives you ideas and inspiration about your dream and your life and lets you know that you are perfectly normal, no matter how weird your dream images or storyline are.
  • Honour your dream– Do something in your waking world to keep the message of your dream alive and well. It is so easy to forget a dream and its details and it’s just as easy to watch your insights evaporate into thin air. When we honour a dream- Putting post-it notes with the dream’s message on your computer’s monitor, doodling the images in the dream, writing a poem (+ millions of other creative possibilities) keeps the dream’s insights within reach of your conscious mind. And when it is in your awareness, that is the point of change. Transformation becomes doable.
  • Call someone who just appeared in your dream- and say “Hey, I just dreamt about you!” Not only does it teach the listener that you value your dreams (and they can too) but it also says “I care”. Heart-Centered Dreamwork starts with a caring heart. Most likely that person appeared in your dream as a symbol or a projection of an aspect of yourself, so you don’t have to get too worked up imagining the dream is a precognitive message for them, just go with the synchronicity and have fun comparing notes. You never know but that person might have been dreaming about you too!
  • Share what you learn. By now, you’ve probably read a lot of blogs on dreams, maybe even several books. Talk about what you’ve learned with your friends, as you continue to share dreams. You might even want to lead a dream group for your friends or advertise a new dream group in the community. Before you know it friends and colleagues will be telling you their dreams and you will be known as an inspirational dreamer!

Not sure where to start? The International Association for the Study of Dreams is it! The only organization of its kind, IASD welcomes dreamers of all levels, whether novice “lay” dreamer or experienced professional in the field and everything in between. Their annual conferences are magical, educational and inspirational. Check them out at www.asdreams.org.

 

Dream Dictionaries: Love Them or Leave Them?

Dreamwork Hacks June 10, 2015

Dream Dictionaries

Do you love your dream dictionary? Do you keep a dream journal? When I speak to groups about their dreams, the #1 question I get asked is,”What does it mean when you dream about…?” I guarantee that if you are thinking about your dreams, at some time you have wondered, “what the heck does that mean?” People are naturally curious about their dreams and in this age of instant information and Google, people imagine there is a quick answer to their questions about the symbols in their dreams as well. I don’t judge, but hey, I do have some strong opinions on the subject of dream dictionaries! In a moment, I’ll show you how your dream journal will help you never buy another dream dictionary again and I’ll give you a dream journal format to get you started on your journal. Yes, I love you that much!

The problem is that without a dream group, or the time and discipline to work with one’s own dreams, dreamers often turn to dream dictionaries. So let’s take a moment to look at that resource. Dream dictionaries have been in existence for as long as we have written history and probably longer. And even today, many dreamers will tell me, “my grandmother says that when you dream about [blank] it means [blank]”. Ancient dreamers were probably no different. The Chester Beatty Papyrus is believed to date from 1279-1213 B.C.E. in Egypt, although different scholars will suggest varying dates. Suffice it to say that it’s old! In this papyrus we find a list of dreams, judgment as to whether it is “good” or “bad”, followed by its interpretation. For example, “If a man sees himself in a dream with his bed catching fire, bad; it means driving away his wife”. [“Oh great dream interpreter, they asked, “Should I worry or not?”] The Chester Beatty Papyrus is only a fragment, but from the 2nd century Greek dream interpreter, Artemidorus, we have in existence all five of his books called “The Interpretation of Dreams” (www.britishmuseum.org). Artemidorus takes a very rational approach to the meaning of dreams, and some of his ideas seem to be reflected in many theories that are still with us today, including the notion that the meaning of any given symbol will vary according to the circumstances of the dreamer. Nevertheless, he too, tells his readers that, “this” means “that”. Thousands of years later, many of his definitions of symbols are still reproduced today in what might be referred to as “dime-store” dream dictionaries, although nothing costs a dime anymore!

Dream Dictionaries

 

So, short of joining a dream group, which is the most rewarding way to work with dreams but not always available, how can you use the resources that are commonly available without giving over your dreamer’s right to find your own meaning? The best dream dictionary, which calls itself a “New Kind of Dream Dictionary”, is Gayle Delaney’s book In Your Dreams. Published in 1997, it is still available and in print. (In Your Dreams) What makes Gayle’s book so useful is her format. She takes common dream themes like flying, being chased, naked in public and many more, then proceeds to help the dreamer write their own definition, finding meaning that is personal to them. She does this by citing common variations on the dream, what other dream experts have said, gives an example of a dream in that category, and shows you how to get at the meaning that is meaningful for you in her section called “What Do You Say?”

Because the truth is, if you dream about anything, from animals to food and everything in between, and you LOVE said symbol or object but I HATE them, the symbol and dream will have two different meanings for each of us. Dream dictionaries, part-truth, part-ancient beliefs, part-nonsense, suck us in and offer us quick answers in a time-shortage kind of world. Don’t get sucked in! Those definitions may have NOTHING to do with you or your life or your psyche! Here’s a wee little example for the symbol “back” from an on-line dictionary. It says in part,”…Traditionally, seeing a back in your dream forewarns that you should not lend money to anyone. In particular, lending money to friends will cause a rift in your relationship.” This is not something I would think of for that symbol. Would you? I might think of “back support”, going “back”, retreating, reviewing, doing over, needing a chiropractor for a misaligned back…You get the picture.

This is where your dream journal comes in. Without a record of your dreams, you have no way of seeing the bigger picture and any patterns that emerge. For example, I dream about hotels from time to time. Because I’ve been recording my dreams since 1980, I can go back and find any references to the symbol of “hotels”. When I do that, I begin to see their differences (big hotel, small motel, or luxury spa) and their commonalities. For me, they are aspects of my Self, but what they all have in common is that they are temporary shelter and places (or phases) that I pass through; places that give me temporary shelter. Voila, I have my first entry for my very own Patti’s Personal Dream Dictionary. If I wasn’t sure what they have in common, I would go fishing for my associations, asking myself, “What is a hotel? Why would a person use or stay in one?” until my associations become clear. You can do this too. To help you get started in organizing your dream journal, here are some suggestions.

  • Record the date. Don’t assume you will remember when you go through your journal at a later date.
  • Add the time, if you catch it. This is especially useful with precognitive dreams and in catching your dreaming patterns.
  • Day Notes. Write a few lines about your date before going to bed, including anything that had an emotional charge for you. Not only will this help you sleep as you empty your mind of the day’s events, but it will also give you a context to understand what was going on for you at the time of the dream.
  • Record or write down the dream, whether a full-blown narrative or a one word fragment. You may only remember colours or feelings. Write them down too.
  • Give the dream a title or number. Thinking of a title is a fun exercise that really helps you zero in on what has the most meaning for you. If you are the organized type, giving the dream a number is useful for tracking similar themes or recurring words or story lines. You can simply say “See dream # 37″!

It’s that simple and easy. For those who want to really jump in and record even more detail you can add the following:

  • Record all of the above, plus add any emotions in the dream and upon awakening.
  • Add any associations to the people, places and events in the dream.
  • Note any recurring themes. (“Another late for class dream!”)
  • Note any information about the locales. (“I’m back in my childhood home…..”) Add any drawings or doodles. Sometimes odd objects and events appear for which there are no words. Draw it. There are a lot of creative ways of working with your dreams that can start with a simple doodle.

Dream journals can be created online, in an app, in a simple doc in your Word or Pages program, in a beautiful journal or in a simple notebook. The best app will feature an ability to email the recorded dream to your inbox;  a useful feature. Some dreamers keep “vlogs” or other video journals or audio files on their phone. My only suggestion besides to do whatever is easiest first thing upon waking, is to make sure your online journal has a search function. It makes it easier to create your own dictionary of your dream world. For those recording dreams by hand- a very satisfying and creative exercise in itself- then after writing out the dream, simply go back and circle, underline or highlight symbols and objects, as well as any setting or action, that you will want to come back to for your dictionary.  If you are one who cannot get started on understanding your dream without looking its symbols up, then instead of an irrelevant and often ridiculous dictionary why not use an encyclopedia of symbols instead? These encyclopedia cover cultural, religious and historical connections to symbols (most have great illustrations) and will prime the pump of your own associations without giving you nonsense to work with. A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot is a classic, as is An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols by J. C. Cooper. I also love Denise Linn’s The Secret Language of Signs. You can also look up the list in my section called “Dream Library” and if you don’t see the symbol you want, write me and I’ll add it! Now that’s service!  In any case, wherever you look for help with a symbol, only accept the meanings  that resonate for you, give you an “aha” moment or a felt shift in your body and energy. You will know when it’s a good fit.

WHAT'S YOUR VOTE?Dream dictionaries? I vote “Leave them!” What’s your vote?

5 Easy Tips To Remember Your Dreams
Heart-Centered Dreamwork May 12, 2015

Dreams Matter

Who couldn’t use 5 easy tips to remember your dreams? It’s so easy to forget a dream in the wake of alarms and the early morning rush out the door. When I speak about my work in the ‘field of dreams’ people either respond with enthusiasm or with the response, “I don’t dream”. In between is the response of those who wonder why dreams matter at all. So here are my top five ways to get started dream-catching. When you start catching and writing your dreams down, you begin to see patterns and details that are easily lost in the light of day and you begin to know yourself.

We All Dream

By “we” I mean not only those who are reading this, but all mammals as well. If you think you don’t dream, you are really just not remembering your dreams. Dream catching is a challenging activity but motivation—really wanting to remember your dreams—will take you half the way there. The other part of the equation requires creating an environment that will help you succeed. Dreams are slippery devils; as illusive as Harry Potter’s Golden Snitch and as hard to catch. But there are things we can do that will make dreams easier to remember.

The Big 5

  • Here are my 5 easy tips to remember your dreams. It all starts with setting your intention. Putting a pad and paper or a journal next to your bed sends a signal to your psyche that you are serious in your intention to remember your dreams. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple act. When our outer actions mirror our inner desires, change is possible.
  • Reset the alarm. Don’t use an alarm to wake yourself up if you don’t have to. Personally, my best dream recall is on the weekends when I have more time to get up slowly. Or, if you must have that wake-up insurance that an alarm provides, set it to go off five or ten minutes early. Giving yourself time to ask, “where was I just now” may be the only boost to dream recall that you will need.
  • Don’t move! When we are asleep, our gross motor movements are somewhat inhibited, but the moment we move as we leap out of bed in the morning, we pull ourselves out of that delicate state and the dream memory vanishes into thin air. When you wake up, see if you can stay in that position for a moment. Then asking yourself, “what was I feeling” or  “where was I just now” or “what was I experiencing” you will begin to reel in the dream like a fish on a hook. Bit by bit the dream will come back to you or it may even rush back all at once.
  • Write down whatever you remember. If all you can remember is “something about school”, “laughing”, or “chocolate” then write that down. Whatever seems to be on your mind as you wake up, write it down. It may trigger dream recall later or it may be a small piece of a larger dream, but even if nothing happens with that tiny fragment, you will be strengthening your dream recall “muscles” and getting in the remembering habit. The first time you may only remember a vague feeling but each successive time, you will remember more. Succeeding at dream recall is sometimes that simple.
  • Write it now. If you wait until you have showered and had your first cup of coffee, it will be too late and the dream will be lost. Sometimes something in your day may trigger the dream to come back to you but you can’t count on that. If you are serious in your desire to remember your dreams, you have to first develop good dream recall habits. Write the dream when you get up and don’t wait until you have time later, because let’s face it, we never have enough time. Make remembering your dreams a priority and you will be richly rewarded.5 Tips list to remember your dreams

 

Dreams Matter 2.0

The development and nurturing of dream recall brings us to back to the question of why dreams matter. Aren’t dreams just the random firing of some neurons in our brains or at best, the residue left over from our day? Oddly enough, there is no consensus in the scientific community as to exactly what the function of dreams is or why we dream at all. There are a number of good theories, however, I would like to bypass this line of inquiry all together. Because when someone asks ‘why do dreams matter’ they are not looking for a dry scientific definition of a physiological function, rather they are really asking ‘why should dreams matter to me’. And why dreams should matter to us as individuals is because the “me” that we think we know is just a small part of our whole Self. In dreams as in life, I take this more holistic approach. So let’s look at this.

Peeking Under the Mask

We all put forward the face-or mask-we are most comfortable with according to our life and needs and dreams help us fill out that limited view, introducing us to the rich, multi-dimensional souls that we really are. Dreams tell us about those roles we play in our own personal dramas while also giving us experiences of the roles we avoid. We are not just personalities with a ‘best by’ date, doomed to live and die and that’s it. We are much more interesting then that. Dreams are certainly helpful in pointing out our personalities’ psychological foibles and Freud, the father of modern psychiatry, was correct when he called dreams the “royal road to the unconscious”, but the journey via dreams does not stop there. We are first and foremost souls having an experience and adventure in being physical and human so when we dream, we get to experience more of that multi-dimensional self. Our dreams reconnect us with all of who we are through our personal psychology but also through precognitive information, visits from deceased loved ones, flashes of past lives or out-of-body-travel! Over two thousand years ago, quoting Socrates, Plato wrote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Simply stated, dreams provide us with an easy and entertaining way to examine our lives and our souls. Now that is something that matters.

Bonus Tips

  • Sometimes your psyche and system will need a few days to catch up with your new intentions. If you don’t have any luck the first night, persevere and keep at if for at least 3 days. My own pace is sluggish so I try to keep at it for at least a week. I’m just wired that way and you may be too!
  • Do NOT start thinking about your To-Do list for the day! It is a sure-fire buzz kill for dream recall! Just hang out with your pillow and review the images that come to mind. Telling your dreams, “I love you!” doesn’t hurt either!
  • Write and let me know how it’s going for you. Like my home state of California, as I write this, I am personally going through a Dream Drought. Hang in there, I remind myself. Rewards to follow.
  • And speaking of rewards, as a reward for making it to the end of this post, and because you rock, share this on your FB wall and tag me or on Twitter. One lucky dreamer will win some free dream work with me, one-on-one. Just because I love you.

 

 

 

Letting Go of the Inner Bibliophile

Soul Coaching® May 11, 2015

Letting-Go-Bibliophile

 

Letting go of the inner bibliophile must start with a confession! I love books. That may be a strange statement for the writer of blogs but there it is. That makes me a bibliophile, a lover or collector of books. If I ever come across a book that has some information in it that I may want to use some point in the future, I will buy it. I am also married to a bibliophile, so as you might imagine, we own a lot of books. To add to this strange mix, I will admit to owning an iPad that has three book readers in it. I bought it for two reasons. First and foremost, I bought it for travel. When I travel, I get a lot of my reading done, and with the airline’s weight restrictions, it seemed like a great way to take my books along and not give the airlines my money. Secondly, as a book lover, I’m running out of shelf space. So if I want to benefit from the information in the books I love, ironically, I have to turn them into e-books to read and store them.

 

And then Soul Coaching® happened to my life. Day 3 of the 28-day program starts like this: “Choose one small area in your bedroom, bathroom, or bedroom closet such as a drawer of shelf. Clear and clean it thoroughly. While you are clearing, affirm to yourself, “I am clearing all that I do not need out of my life.” This is not the first time I have done the 28-day program and I am repeating it in order to deepen and expand my experience. Since I had recently cleared out my bedroom and bathroom (as a Soul Coach I know how much lighter I feel without clutter so I try to keep on top of these things.) Yet, I could feel my office “calling” to me. As I looked around the room, I could feel the eyes of the books staring at me! It was if they were challenging me to deal with them and my book-buying habit.

 

Now you may have some habits too, whether you buy books or clothes, or shoes, or anything else that you don’t actually “need” so you probably can relate. I’m not talking about things we really need, nor am I talking about books that are really important to have. But these unneeded things that we keep buying are often ways that we fill up our empty spaces or the parts of ourselves that we think aren’t good enough without some outside props or help. In my case, communication and learning are very important values that I hold dear, and when I write about a subject, I want to make sure I know what I’m talking about. Yet the books that I “some day” hope to get to, have still gone unread.  I finally realized—or admitted—that for me, buying all these books were my way of not owning what I know! I let everyone else be the expert while not valuing my own expertise. So I let go of sixty books and donated them for someone else to enjoy.  And that was just the beginning! It’s my way of saying, “I’m okay and I am enough.”And if I need to look something up, that’s what libraries and Google are for!


3 RULES TO NEVER FORGET


1. LOVE IT: If you love something, whether family heirloom and kitschy flea market find, keep it for goodness sake! Surrounding yourself with things (and people) that you love is good! Keep it.

2. USE IT: If you own something that you use frequently, then why would you get rid of it? Keep it.

3. TOSS IT: Okay, so here’s the hard part. If you don’t love it and you don’t use it, then toss it out! Saving it for the one time in ten years that Aunt Gertrude visits and it’s gathering dust? Toss it. Is it a gadget that you found and used once upon a time and maybe, just maybe, in 2024, you might need it and they may not be for sale in the Future? Toss it.

These 3 simple rules will never let you down. I promise. And if you just can’t seem to toss something, knowing full well that you should, then put it in a box, seal it and date it one year in the future. Next year, check the box. If you haven’t opened it once, do not pass go, do not open it, and drive immediately to the local charity drop box and donate it. You will feel lighter, clearer, and you may just begin to fill your inner empty spaces with your magnificence!

Sex & Sensibilities; sex in dreams

Heart-Centered Dreamwork May 6, 2015

Sex-and-Sensibilities

A lover of Jane Austen, I couldn’t resist calling this “Sex & Sensibilities” but it’s really about sex in dreams and can we be sensible about it? What does it mean when you dream about sex or have an orgasm in your sleep? These are common dream and sleep experiences that are nothing to be embarrassed about!

Called “wet dreams”- or nocturnal emissions- they are erection and/or ejaculation in a male, vaginal lubrication and/or orgasm in a female. You can have these dreams whether you wake up or not and whether or not you even remember them! For some dreamers, these dreams start around the time of puberty.

Dreams with sexual or sensual content may not involve orgasm, but you are certainly likely to remember them. Don’t worry; they are quite normal too. Even so, they often leave dreamers embarrassed and wondering what the heck do they mean? Over the years there has been ever-evolving opinions regarding their meaning among researchers, therapists and dream authors. So rather than going over that in a long history that will start to look like a research paper, let me just share what I have seen among my clients and dream group participants. The dream work that I do with my clients is both eclectic and experiential, spiritual yet pragmatic and grounded. I want dreamers to get to the heart of their dream’s message and be able to use what they discover in their waking life. That means that I treat sexual dreams like any other dream!

So that you too, can come to your own awareness of your sexual dreams’ meanings, here are some things to consider:

  • First and foremost, did you enjoy the dream? Any dream that brings up fear, anxiety or pain, will have a different meaning that the dreams that feel good, even when the story line is essentially the same.
  • Was there coercion or force, violence or shame? A dream with any of these features can have many meanings, but recurring dreams featuring any of these things over time, can point to abuse.
  • Not all sex dreams are about sex at all. So the challenge is to see if this is about sex or the metaphor of sex. Are you a straight female dreamer making love to another woman? It could be pointing out some unacknowledged feelings OR it could be you embracing a part of yourself that the dream lover represents. At the same time, a seemingly non-sexual dream or a sensual dream may indeed point to issues around sex and sexuality to you need to explore in your waking life. The fact is, it depends on the dreamer and the context of his or her life, emotions, experiences and so on. Some might advise you NOT to take your sex dreams literally. While this is a generality that might be true for the most part, it’s not entirely correct. Some dreams may be warning you of a situation that you are in your waking life. Other dreams may be bringing forgotten or unconscious material forward into conscious awareness so that you can work on it. This is true of your sexual dreams too.
  • In all dreams, pay attention to the feelings, the setting, the action and the central image. For one woman, riding a horse (a common dream) might be about sex and being in control, but for another dreamer, it might be about mastering the qualities in her that a horse represents, like power, strength or service, and for a professional equestrian, it could be about their working life!
  • As always, take the time to write down the dream, your emotions and associations to any person, object or action in the dream and then see what all that has to do with your waking life.

You don’t have to freak out if you find yourself making love to an inappropriate partner. Book a confidential dream session with me and we’ll find the meaning together! Book Now!

Now that you have the basics when it comes to sex in dreams, I hope you will be sensible about it all. Stay calm and don’t let the sex in the dream narrative worry you, embarrass you or send you running to therapy. Just as in life, sex is a healthy part of the dream experience.

Ask Your Dream Questions

Dreamsharing April 6, 2015

DREAM QUESTIONScopy

If you have questions about your dreams or dreaming, you can ask your dream questions here. While I can’t promise chocolate chip brownies, I can promise to answer your questions and that my answers will be just as rich as brownies! All questions will be posted anonymously. You can write to me at patti@pattiallen.com.

Ask Your Dream Question

Fields marked with an * are required

Previously Asked Questions

A Dreamer’s Question:

Would you discuss the significance of the color white and of snakes in dreams? Thank you.

Patti’s Answer:

While I don’t think it’s appropriate to get into a “this means that” or “dream dictionary” kind of discussion, because your own associations are uniquely your own, I’ll just say that generally speaking colour can refer to one’s emotional state. But even saying that limits what a colour in a dream can be about. Sometime colour, or the absence of colour, is making a point and it’s there (or not there) in a way that grabs your attention. Sometimes the quality of light is associated with spirit. If you are wondering about a specific dream, I’d encourage you to just sit with the white in your dream and see what comes to you by way of associations, inspiration, or intuition.

It is a similar issue with snakes. What is your relationship, thoughts, feelings, etc. about snakes? What a snake means to me, will be different for you, but it’s is a hugely archetypal symbol. The discussion came up earlier with some friends on Facebook and I have a note on snakes attached to my Facebook page if you are interested but you’ll have to like the page to access it! (SNAKES). You can also read about snakes under my Library of Dreams tab.

Both snakes and colours can be archetypal in nature. Symbols on this level have meaning across time, culture, art, religion, common to all people. All dreams have many layers of meaning, all rich and important to explore. Sweet dreams.


A Dreamer’s Question:

I have quick question:Lately, as soon as my head hits the pillow, and I close my eyes, I begin to see things. I’m not in a dream state yet. The visions just start occurring.

Just closed my eyes, and whoosh, I began seeing people walking around (like one see’s when they’re looking for a seat at a concert or something). The latest is: a number of faces that flashed before me (one at a time). It seemed like it was chronological in time, present to past. I wasn’t really dreaming, however, it was there. Maybe past lives. Like I said, I’m not even sleeping yet and I’m seeing visions. I’m confused. Do you know what’s going on here?

Patti’s Answer:

There are many ways of knowing and perceiving things and we can define dreams quite broadly as only part of a large continuum of consciousness. The “dream” for me is only partly about our nocturnal adventures when we are sleeping. When we close our eyes, and tune out the environment, our brain shifts gears. The stage as we slip into dreams is called the “hypnogogic” stage and can be measured in a lab. Whether your brain is technically in that stage or you literally just closed your eyes, I can’t say, but I do know (and I’ve experienced this too) that all sorts of psychic material and dream material can be observed and felt including past life material, astral journeys and more. So sit back and enjoy the ride!  Sweet dreams!

 

Help Me Stop Dreaming

Dreamsharing March 16, 2015

Help-Me-Stop-Dreaming

“Help me stop dreaming!” Is that possible? Well, a dreamer honestly emailed me and asked me to help her “stop the dreams.” I think she meant just the bad dreams but if she wanted to stop all her dreams, that’s not a healthy option for any human being! All the symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as the inability to concentrate, stress, disturbances and even psychosis, are considered by many sleep researchers to be from lack of dreaming, not lack of sleep. The time spent in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep is absolutely required for our well-being.

To put an end to the scary dreams is another question. For me and most of today’s dream workers, we tend to think that “there is no such thing as a bad dream” because all dreams come to further our health and personal growth. Dreams move unconscious material to conscious awareness so that we may be able to process our feelings, grow and change. Most healthy people have a bad dream now and then, and after working with them, they generally find that there is something just below the surface of their conscious awareness that is trying to get their attention.

In the case of the dreamer in question, she sent me enough dreams to blog about for a year, so I could only speak in the most general sense. You can do this for yourself as well, when you have a lot of material in one dream, or in a group of dreams to work with. It will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed from too many dreams or symbols. Simply zero in on situation or the central image in each dream and the feelings that they generate. For example, in this case, we found the following situations followed by the predominant emotion:

  • Danger/ fear
  • Break-in/fear
  • Forgetting/ concern or anxiety
  • Dirt and mess/ distress
  • Reunion/ clarity (Note: clarity isn’t considered an emotion since it is part of the thinking process, but it was the dreamer’s description).

Once you understand the main situation and the feelings that go with it, ask yourself if there is anywhere in your life that feels the same? In other words, “what situation in my life feels dangerous and makes me feel fearful?” “Is there any situation that feels like a ‘break-in’ or invasive in some way, where I feel fear?” What occurs to you may not resemble your dream scenarios at all but it may trigger a connection or awareness of some time in your life—past or present—when you felt the same way.

While nightmares may be normal, frequent nightmares are clearly telling you that something within your psyche is bothering you or is out of balance. In this case, our dreamer said that she takes good care of herself but I would suggest to all dreamers that emotional self-care be included in your daily routine. With nightmares, the answer doesn’t lie in the cessation of all or even some of our dreams, but in working to understand their messages. Sweet dreams!

5 Ways to Find the Key

Dreamwork Hacks January 11, 2015

5-Ways-To-Find-The-Key

In dreams, I’ve often wished for a way to crack the code or find the key. So I came up with 5 ways to find the key to get you started! When the year is new we typically search for ways to renew our body and our spirit, however we don’t have to wait for a new year for fresh beginnings. Dreams give us a new beginning every night! If we have a problem, we sleep on it. If we are puzzled by relationships in our lives, we dream about all the cast of characters that inhabit our world.

Or when we ignore our emotions or any other important issues, we are startled awake with recurring dreams or nightmares. In either case, you may wake up saying “I had the strangest dream last night.” If you have ever uttered those words, then you are in fine company. Humans have been wondering why we dream and what dreams might mean for thousands of years. For those of us on a psycho-spiritual journey to health and well-being, we are always in search of the key that will open the door to what we seek. Dreams are both the key and the door and that door leads to our body, mind, emotions and spirit.

Dreams give us information about ourselves and there are many different types of dreams. Some dreams are “day residue” dreams that will be a jumble of the day’s thoughts, people and events. They usually aren’t very significant and are easily forgotten. In contrast, some dreams are so vivid they stay with us for days or years. In between these two extremes are nocturnal adventures that can teach us a lot about ourselves. And when we truly know ourselves-as more than a job that we do or a role that we play – then we can choose to live in alignment with our authentic nature. We can learn about our personal mythology as dreams point out the inner stories and beliefs that guide our actions.

While most dreams tell about what is on our minds and what our emotional state is, other dreams go far beyond the psychological approach. Dreams can also give us information about the future, can reconnect us with deceased loved ones or take us on an out-of-body journey. In dreams, we can rehearse new skills or try out new stages in life before we reach those stages in waking life. They can help us grow and explore every dimension of our being. If dreams can do all that, if they can be the technology for self-growth and awareness, then it is best to have an “instruction manual” for the journey. Here are some user-friendly ways to begin to interact with your dreams and before you know it, you will find that psycho-spiritual health is not just for the brilliant or the enlightened among us. It is, in fact, our birthright.


5 KEYS


 

  • Write down any and every dream you can recall, whether fragments or whole dreams. The more we take our dreams seriously by writing them down, the more our psyche will send us dreams to remember. Include any feelings that you experience in the dream as well. The best way to do this is to set your alarm to go off five or ten minutes early and then just remain in bed, staying in the same position you were in last, and ask yourself where you were just now. At first you might only remember the very last thing you were dreaming. Write that down. The next time you may remember more and before you know it you will have reeled in the whole dream.
  • Explore your associations with each character and object in the dream. If, for example, you dream about a snake, ask yourself how do I feel about snakes? What is a snake like? Then, try to connect your associations to the snake with your life. Ask yourself if there is anyone or any situation that you may be in, in waking life, that is “snake-like” or similar to the way you described the snake. Or is it about a “snake-in-the-grass”? Dreams will cleverly get our attention through the use of puns.
  • Ask yourself if there is a “part of me” that is like anything or anyone in the dream. From a psychological point of view, dreams and all the things in them can represent an aspect of your personality. If you dream, for example that a beautiful horse runs in an open field, ask yourself “what is the beautiful horse ‘part of me’ or the open field ‘part of me’?”
  • A dream may also carry pre-cognitive information about your future so do a “reality check” to see if the dream is giving you information or warning about what’s next in your life. Perhaps the dream is telling you to drive carefully or to make an appointment with the doctor.
  • Do something creative with your dreams. Dreams can be a bridge between the dreamtime and your waking life. If all we ever do is talk and analyze our dreams, a vast storehouse of creative potential is lost. So bring the message or the feeling of your dreams into the waking world by drawing, painting, writing poetry or even, as dream shaman Robert Moss suggests, by making a bumper sticker that carries the message of your dream.

These suggestions will get you started and new beginnings are always a possibility. As dreamer, you are the best expert in understanding your dream’s messages and with a little help in beginning to work with your dreams you will be able to decipher its symbols. And the key is your willingness to explore your inner life and to challenge your habitual ways of being in the world. In fact, the key to self-understanding and growth is in your own hands….Just open the door and dream on.