Monthly Archives

November 2018

Blog Soul Coaching® November 17, 2018

Hey Boomers, this is for you! I’m not afraid to tell my age so I admit it, I turned 65 this year. For those of you who are older than I am, you may be remembering those halcyon days of yore and wondering what’s the big deal. For those of you who are younger, I may seem old and over the proverbial hill! Of course, the hill keeps moving, depending on which side you stand and your point of view.

What Happened?

It’s not surprising that the whole event we call aging has been on my mind this year. I didn’t dread turning 65, especially when I considered the alternative, and intellectually, I’m happy about it…yet…There was a little voice in the back of my head asking,  “How the hell did I get here and what the f-ck just happened?” (Sometimes profanity is not only called for, it’s recommended.) Then again, as a Gemini, I’m always of two minds and, I can be in two places in my head at once! So I embraced my age, but admit that I’m still thinking about it a lot!

Still A Young Thing

When I turned 60, I challenged myself to blog about it for 60 days, trying to catch a dream for 60 nights in a row, and the issue of aging came up in my dreams and my waking life. Five years later it seems I’m still grappling with the issue of aging. Well at least my subconscious is! It was long before 60, in fact, when I started thinking about it consciously. Was I thinking about it as I watched my grandmother, then my mother age, get sick and die? Or was it the pimply-faced kid at the movies who gave me too much change for my ticket because he charged me the senior rate without even asking? I had grey hair so I must be a senior!

Since then, I’ve been watching and tracking how society treats seniors and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty! It’s not an honoured label in western society, and if we are not alert to how seniors are treated, and aware of our own beliefs on the topic, before you know it, you start thinking like “they” do, hating your age, covering up your grey hair (Hoary Heads Rule!) and bemoaning your fate as “old”.

65 is the new 45

In any case, now that I look back at 60, I recall that while that age seemed like a milestone to mark, I wasn’t too worked up about it. I just wanted to go through it with self-awareness. And, wasn’t 60 the new 40? Now that I’ve stared down the barrel at 65 and survived,  it seems everywhere I look, everyone wants to give me a “seniors’ discount”! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say, but it’s on my mind!

The List

So in the spirit of gratitude for 65 years of blessings and challenges, and with the help of my Facebook friends, I came up with a list of seven blessings, seven good things about aging. See what you think!

1. Life Begins at 65! 

This time of life, or any “big” birthday can be a rite of passage. It’s a time to be marked with ceremony and celebration. It’s a time to start something new, whether a new project, a course of study, or anything you never had time for in the past. The fact is, we can take more time, time to tackle our list of “some days”, to relax, to join a basketball team! This San Diego basketball team players are all over 80!  (Thanks Facebook friend Veronica!) You can slow down from your list of “have to’s” and follow your heart with “want to’s”.

2. Silver Hair Privilege

The age may vary according to the company, store or government agency but generally by 65 the discounts have begun! While this isn’t a comprehensive list, there are discounts at movies, plays, mass transportation, as well as Medicare and Social Security (in the US), Canadian Pension Plan, GIF, Old Age Security, drug benefits, free university tuition and more (in Canada). Facebook friend Lyn called it “Silver Hair Privilege” and that is the perfect name for this bundle of goodies! You earned it! But I have to note that “silver hair” can be a double edged sword. Women used to avoid talking about their age because society taught us that to be labeled as “old” meant we were written off with little value. We were taught that women of a “certain age” were old, dried up, washed up and invisible…unless they looked good!  Cue the hair colouring commercials. Now we can choose to age naturally and gracefully, or to colour our hair. Do what makes you feel good, but be aware if your “good” is defined by someone else.

3. What the F-ck Do I Care?

You made it! Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to no longer care so much about doing the right or politically correct thing. This does not give you license to be a jerk, just permission to not care about others’ opinions of you more than your own opinion. This includes freedom from others’ opinions about your lifestyle, hairstyle, clothes, weight, friends, activities, choice of partners, and in a nutshell, the freedom to do, say, behave in a way that would make you proud of yourself, while not caring what your kids or your neighbours think about you. I’m still working on this one in some areas. It’s a process!

4. Wisdom & Knowledge

At this stage of life, your priorities may shift. You know what’s important, and you don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ve been down the road and back, handled the twists and turns and if you are even slightly self-reflective, you’ve learned from the journey. It’s a time to take courses, learn something new, mentor others, and with this wisdom, you will come to accept yourself; the whole package.

5. Creativity & Connectivity

When we are creative, we connect to Source; the Creator. You don’t have to be an “artist” to be creative but when we stick our fingers in paint or clay, write in a beautiful journal, receive a flash of inspiration, or catch a dream, we connect with the same energy that gives life to creation. When we create anything, we renew and rejuvenate ourselves. We can do this on our own, but to connect with others in community or groups we get the support of other humans and that fills a primal need. According to research, we even live longer in community, whether with friends, lovers or people of all ages. Isolation kills. So follow your heart with a friend and watch your heart get healthy!

6. Growth

Facebook friend Jennye has come into her personal power and she’s not alone. You’re finished with all the “issues” of family and growing up. You’ve climbed your mountains and survived. You’re comfortable with yourself, and you can honestly give advice (should anyone care to ask) to the youngsters!! Your mind is open to new ideas and adventures and you’re not done growing….Unless all you do is sit in front of the TV and binge on Netflix.

7. Gratitude

Seniors who do the best in their twilight years are the one’s who feel gratitude for their life; the good with the bad, the challenges with the delights. It’s a time to celebrate and laugh with the children and our friends. Gratitude can pull you out of depression, anxiety, grief and loneliness. What are you grateful for in this moment? Don’t wait until you’re 65 to begin.

We Need A Theme Song

Remember the TV show Ally McBeal? At one stressful time in her life, she went to therapist Tracey Clark, played by comedian Tracey Ullman, who asked her what her theme song was. Everyone, apparently needs a theme song. So in that same vein, I propose the following theme song for every Boomer turning 65 this year or any year. This song, Young At Heart, is turning 65 too (it came out in 1953), and although it was first recorded by Frank Sinatra, my favourite version is this one by Jimmy Durante.

 

And if you should survive to a hundred and five
Look at all you’ll derive out of  being’ alive
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

It’s Simple

My advice and philosophy is simple. For myself, and hopefully for you too, I plan on staying young at heart, no matter what my age! I’ll take those senior perks and freebies, assuming I can remember them, and rejoice in having made it to a new stage of life and growth . What will your next age look like?

 

Change Your Life Because of a Dream?

Uncategorised November 17, 2018

Would you change your life because of a dream? I always encourage dreamers to get the dream’s message and do something in waking life to honour the dream; to bring its message to conscious light. But would you do it? Do you really want to shift your life based on a dream? Most people love to get clarity but don’t actually seek change, which can be very uncomfortable. I am no different but I decided that I need to practice what I preach.

The Dream

I was walking with a rather tall man in robes- maybe 7′ tall- in a quadrangle, a large courtyard in what felt like a campus setting. He says, “Your job is death.” I ask, “Well how do you mean it? Symbolically or literally? As a psychotherapist my clients have mini-deaths, (symbolic endings and releases) all the time.” But before he can answer, I am awakened. End of dream. 

 

Since that dream, twelve years ago, I have looked at it every which way possible and it never produced an “aha” of new insight. Maybe it was simply a confirmation that I’m on the right track but I follow the wisdom of Jeremy Taylor who says that dreams don’t come to tell us what we already know. I know all about the symbolic ways of death; the endings, letting go, new beginnings and the symbolic fires that scorch our souls so that something new can grow from the charred but enriched inner destruction. Twelve years of working on that dream off and on simply produced “Ya, I know that” kind of reactions. So I decided to take the dream literally. The man in robes had the feel of a teacher or guide (perhaps from other realms) and since all the symbolic approaches got me no where, I thought I had nothing to lose by going literal.

The Action

So I signed up for a series of courses at the University of Toronto on grief and bereavement. There’s another course I’m eyeing too. Will it change my life or the direction of my work? It’s too soon to say. However, I know I’ve run from this interpretation for a reason. I helped start a charity whose goal was to create a hospice and when I left, I couldn’t get far enough away from the topic, though that wasn’t the reason I left. I just felt gun-shy and started avoiding the field, even though I passionately agree with everything about the hospice movement. Of course my “job is death” could be about the dying process or the grieving process. On an interesting note, a psychic once told me that I was a “rescuer”! Not an emotional rescuer but one who apparently helps people who don’t know they are dead, get to the other side. Supposedly I do this in my sleep and that’s why I wake up so tired! But again, why would the dream tell me what I already know? Dreams bring forth material from our subconscious that we are ready to look at. They may also carry precognitive and other psychic information. In either case, it won’t be old material.

 

A Dream Uninterpreted is Like a Letter Unopened

This quote from the Talmud is right! We are getting nightly letters from our unconscious mind, our higher mind and sources beyond that, so how long will we let the mail pile up? It’s time to open your letters. Here are some ways to move the dream and its messages into your waking life.

  • Post it!
  • Stick it!
  • Draw it!
  • Move it!
  • Create it!
  • Learn it!
  • Do it!
  • Change it!

 

Dreams & Soul Coaching®
Blog Dream Courses Dreamsharing Soul Coaching® November 17, 2018

Dreams & Soul Coaching®

Dreams & Soul Coaching® have been walking hand in hand for years. Let me explain. I’ve been curious about dreams since 1980 when, pregnant with my third child and having had an interesting dream, I happened to catch an interview with Dr. Gayle Delaney on the the morning radio show I was listening to while juggling children and coffee.

But the first time I became aware that dreams were hinting at something larger than my own personal psychology was in an unlikely place for a revelation. The year was 1997 and I was sitting by the hotel pool on a very hot Philadelphia weekend. A friend’s son had just celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and my kids, numbering four, were cooling off in the pool along with all of Philadelphia it seemed. I sat in a lounge chair, watching the kids, watching people and reading Joan Borysenko’s “Fire in the Soul”.

Fire in the Soul

In it, she wrote, “A Parable: Safe Passage Home”. I read it and gasped. Then I cried under my sun hat. Somehow, in a few words, I found out why I was so interested in dreams, why I was a dreamer. Borysenko wrote,

“The fledgling souls took many roads Home. Each Way had its own Story and each soul responded to that Story with the gift of free will, embroidering new stories on the dream-tapestry of the One Great Dreamer.”

A Fire in MY Soul!

With that sudden understanding, I could now see what wasn’t there a moment before. In that moment, I reconnected with my Creator, with myself and to all dreamers in a way that I wasn’t connected before. Before, I felt like an orphan; now, suddenly, I belonged. Before, there had been an intellectual understanding of the psychology of dreams, now it was personal and it was spiritual.

In that moment by the pool I realized that I dream—you dream—because God dreams. Being “created in God’s image”, a familiar passage from the Bible, now took on deeper shading, as the idea took root in my heart and in my soul. Life was a noisy, hot day by a pool one moment and reality was where I had left it. Yet, a moment later, my eyes were opened to a broader perspective and I understood. I dream because God dreams! I was born of the One Great Dreamer and to dream is my birthright and my gift. At the same time, it is both natural and ordinary,  yet supernatural. My fascination with dreams had come into alignment with creation. Yet this sudden spiritual awakening —my poolside satori—threatened to dissipate as I struggled to understand. Am I dreaming all of this? Am I dreaming my life? My children? (My deliberation paused as I counted heads in the pool.) And if, like my Creator, I dream or create my world, are my own children, or anyone else for that matter, dreaming a different dream? Are common dreams what creates community and binds societies together? If my mind can play with the possibility that I’ve created my own reality, and I’ve dreamed this life of mine, then I have to also consider the possibility that God is a dream as well. Who’s dreaming whom? (And is it time to get out of the sun?)

Sharing My Field Notes

In some small way, I might say that my life is the story of one woman’s journey and search to remember the dream she had of herself, of God and of all creation, all while cooking dinner, raising four children, running a psychotherapy practice and Soul Coaching® groups. And these essays are my field notes from the road because as I write this, I am still searching and still dreaming. I’ve been a “Dweller on the Threshold” with one foot in the dream world and one foot on the ground of daily life with its pleasures and its pains. Ironically, the more I dwell in the dream world, contemplating its insights and adventures, the easier it is to access its wisdom and guidance as I find my way in the waking world. I’ve seen the reports of other dreamers and I know I’m on the right path, tracking my Self and Spirit, however many potholes and detours I encounter. We are all “Dwellers on the Threshold” with a foot in both realms, but who has the courage to step over the threshold? Dreamers do.

Combining the Two

Dreams and Soul Coaching® have been siblings, traveling together, each supporting our inner journeys. In fact, Denise Linn, who is the founder of Soul Coaching®, wrote a book on dreams long before she created Soul Coaching®. So when we, as Soul Coaching® Practitioners, help our clients find the tools of transformation to move their lives forward, dream work is part of the package that I offer. For those who would like to dive deeper into dreaming, I haven’t forgotten you! I am so excited to share that I am creating a course, for deepening and expanding your dream-working skills, for yourself and for others! Dream on, friends, and watch for news on my next creation!