Monthly Archives

May 2015

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.