Browsing Category

Blog

3 Ways You Can Stop Beating Yourself Up and Be Happy
Blog Good for the Soul Soul Coaching® June 20, 2017

Stop Beating Yourself Up

Are there really 3 ways you can stop beating yourself up and be happy? It seems too easy but the ways we beat ourselves up are endless and the words we use do matter! It’s not just the words we say to others. The way we talk to ourselves is an important part of our spiritual development. Let’s start with others.

Words Can Kill

In Taunton, Massachusetts a woman who sent her boyfriend a barrage of text messages urging him to kill himself was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. A judge ruled that Michelle Carter caused the death of Conrad Roy III, who intentionally filled his truck with carbon monoxide in 2014. Clearly, her words mattered to Conrad Roy.

Let’s Get Personal

Lets take it personally. Every day, every moment, we beat ourselves up. We shame and berate ourselves. Horrible things that we would never say to another person we love are the norm. “You idiot! Why didn’t you…?” “You’re such a jerk.” You’re lazy, fat, stupid… Fill in the blank with your favourite way to beat yourself up. It’s very personal and most of the time, it’s not even our words. I wrote about a version of this recently in the Letting Go of My Old Stories. We are all “works in progress”!

Shift Happens

Who taught us to talk to ourselves that way and can we shift it? Can we learn to stop beating ourselves up and be happy? The answer is YES! Sometimes we are using the harsh words of our parents, our siblings, or negative teachers or the abusive bullies in our lives. For myself, I’ve done my share of self-trashing and when I trained in psychotherapy, I learned how much I did it. I learned to notice when I did it. It wasn’t until I trained to be a Soul Coaching® Practitioner that I learned some practical tools for shifting those hurtful habits and replacing them with more positive self-love. Don’t worry, I’ll share them with you!

What Me Worry?

Did you know that that worrying makes you feel like you’re doing something to solve your problem and in so doing, it activates the brain’s reward centre? Rationally, we understand that worrying doesn’t solve our problems, but that ancient brain of ours kinda likes it! Thanks to curious researchers like Alex Korb, who wrote The Upward Spiral, we now know that rather than getting off on worry, GRATITUDE boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine and serotonin! Take that you worry-wart! GRATITUDE is #1. Always #1. Apparently it doesn’t matter what you find to be grateful for, what matters is searching for something to be grateful for. Let the search begin!

Observe Your Life; Change Your Words

In the 28-day Soul Coaching® Program we spend 7 days looking at our beliefs and observing our thoughts and our life. What if you were to look at the events of your life as neither good nor bad? The meaning you give those events will determine how you see your life. Most of the time, we do this on automatic pilot, regurgitating someone else’s beliefs about our lives. In Soul Coaching® we become “the Sacred Observer” and observing how we talk to ourselves is part of that exploration. “No pain, no gain.” I’m too old to think about a new career.” “I never finish what I start”… and worse, the verbal abuse we heap on ourselves are more frequently repeated in our heads that you ever imagined.

We learn to notice and we learn to reframe how we think of our lives and talk to ourselves. Become the Sacred Observer then Say it Differently is #2.

Mirror, Mirror

We tend to unconsciously draw mirrors to us in life. What we believe about ourselves will be reflected in the people and events of our lives. Once you have found some newer, kinder ways of talking to yourself- it takes practice- find people, attitudes and philosophies that will support, reinforce and mirror the new you until it becomes second nature and a new habit.

They say it takes 21 days to change a habit but for most of us it’s more like a million and 21 days! You could start with something simple like the music you listen to, yet you may find, over time, that more and more supportive people come into your life. Try starting small and doable by making a new playlist of songs with lyrics that says all the wonderful things that are true about you. And if you have to curse at yourself, do it like this:

3 Ways =Happiness

Happiness is hard to define without using external measurements. I’ll be happy when I find love. I’ll be happy if I lose 20 pounds. When I get that raise, then I’ll be happy…. It’s always somewhere just out of reach and dependent on an external goal. What if happiness were measured in terms of love or gratitude? If I can find 3 things to be grateful for, then I must be happy! If I can say 3 loving things to myself, then surely I’m a happy person! Way better!

  1. Don’t Worry; be Grateful.
  2. Become the Sacred Observer & Choose New Words!
  3. Find Reminders

Now tell me….How will you talk sweetly to yourself? Your words matter!

 

 

 

 

 

family trees and other connections
Blog Good for the Soul Soul Coaching® May 23, 2017

I’m thinking about connections. I’ve started working on my family tree and I recently connected with a distant relative I didn’t know I had! It turns out that his paternal great grandmother and my paternal great grandmother were sisters! And the connection came through Facebook, which for all its imperfections is great for connecting or reconnecting!

Family Trees

I learned who my great, great, grandparents were…with photos! I was so moved to find out some of their history; that my great, great, grandfather was a bookbinder in Tsarist Russia and was favoured by the Tsarina. I had heard various versions of this from my mother over the years. To have it confirmed from an unexpected source was exciting! Through my newly discovered fourth cousin, I also learned that this ancestor was a scribe. For all the years I did calligraphy professionally (back in the 80’s), I never once suspected that it was a “family business” 100 years before!

Claff great, great grandmother

Your connections

How often have you considered the unseen forces that animate your life? When I need to connect energetically with someone, I picture the world as a globe fully encircled in a grid of light. Rather than “six degrees of separation”, it’s NO degrees of separation! We are connected to everyone in one way or another. That so-called “stranger” may not only be a cousin, but may be someone you knew and loved in a past life! And I believe this is true, not just genetically and psychically but also in the way we affect each other’s lives. Mitch Albom’s book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, shows how our lives are intertwined with the lives of others in a way that we may be unaware of! Yet seen or unseen, our connections to each other impact our lives.

 “…that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.” (M. Albom)

 One more connection

The connection to others, to our past and family history, are but a few types of connections we need to make in order to live life fully cognizant of what we are about. Additionally, the connection within, to our own Self, is one that I believe we should explore as well. Everything I do, whether journaling, reading, or watching a movie, or my professional work of as Dream Teacher or Soul Coaching® Master Practitioner and Trainer, all help me know myself. But every person I meet helps me know myself too….from clients, to family and friends to random people in the grocery store!

Explore your connections

Our lives are filled with mysterious connections! Will you explore your connections in life or will you let them get dusty like my family history? How do you know yourself? What is your favourite way to connect to others or do you prefer to stay disconnected? One thing I know, it’s easier to not pursue connections, but it’s so much more interesting when we do!

 

 

 

 

Letting go of our old stories
Blog Soul Coaching® April 23, 2017

What kind of stories have you been telling yourself lately? I’ve been telling myself that I’m not good at marketing, networking or social media. In a seemingly rational voice I criticize myself, nitpicking about my skills and denying my successes. I’ve been working on stopping that but old habits die hard. (There’s a belief to change!) I know where this comes from and while I have many insights around this, I need reminders from time to time to help me do a course correction and come back to who I really am.

The Universe Sends a Message!

Right on cue, Colette Baron-Reid provided the reminder. I went with another Soul Coaching® Practitioner to hear her speak and do readings in Toronto. In the washroom, of all places, I ran into someone who clearly recognized me but I couldn’t place her. It turns out that not only did we meet at an International Association for the Study of Dreams event, she even bought a deck of my oracle cards, The Abaton Keys®! This may not feel like a big deal to you, but for someone who thinks she sucks at networking, this random encounter, reminded me that I’m not invisible and I can, in fact, network!

colette baron-reid and patti allen

And It’s a Cleadon!

A “cleadon” is a message from spirit, delivered from random and sometimes unintentional sources. In other words, spirit makes sure we hear what we need to hear, whether it’s an over-heard conversation or lyrics of a song playing on the radio. In this case, Colette was giving me a message, that was delivered to the audience in general. After the washroom encounter, I find my seat and Colette comes on stage and tells her audience “Your old stories have to die!” Ok universe, I get the message! All that negative self-talk ain’t necessarily so and I’ve got to let all those inaccurate beliefs about myself go…again! I bought the mirror pictured above to remind myself to see myself through the loving eyes of others, rather than my own critical, self-deprecating eyes.

So what kind of stories have you been telling yourself? That you’re not enough? That you’re too this, too that? That you’ll never be happy until___ (fill in the blank)? Just in the same way that I don’t choose to believe in “genetic determinism”, that our genes determine our lives, I also don’t believe that just because we were raised in less that perfect, nurturing families, we will inevitably be what our parents were. Sadly, my negative voice is the voice of my mother. My learning curve has been how to keep her love while rejecting her less that perfect parenting or attitudes.

How will you let go of your old stories? I’m starting by talking to myself in the mirror (“No I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested”, as Sheldon would say) and creating positive mantras to counter the negative ones in my head. I’m sure I’ll repeat as necessary. Please share how you’re letting go of the old stories. It time we let them die.

anticipatory gried
Blog Grief February 19, 2017

Anticipatory grief is a thing. Really. Maybe you thought grief only happens after a loss, when you’ve actually lost someone you love. Anticipatory loss begins when you hear news of a terminal illness and impending loss. Sometimes with dementia one might experience anticipatory grief even before an official diagnosis.  A part of you just knows.

Time to Say Goodbye

There are some wonderful and beautiful opportunities that come from knowing someone you love is going to die, even though mixed with shock, pain and sadness. (Yes, we understand intellectually that we all die but I’m talking, for the most part, about the moment it becomes real and a diagnosis is followed by a timeline and the prognosis isn’t good.) The good things that come from this is the fact that we have time to talk to our dying loved one and finish up any unfinished business. We can take the time to express love, or work through old pain and try out the possibility of forgiveness.

Love Lives On

Isn’t that true? Love does live on. It’s also a great name for a website that helps people deal with their grief. Here is a little interview I did for them: www.loveliveson.com on the subject of anticipatory grief.

For those who have already moved into the grief stage, our next bereavement support group will begin Monday, April 24th @ 7:00 pm. Contact us for the details. Meeting with trained bereavement educators and the support of others who have experienced the same loss as you have, is helpful in ways that are hard to imagine when grief is fresh. We can help.

Do You Grapple with Belonging
Blog Soul Coaching® January 30, 2017

Do you grapple with belonging? I do. I’ve probably done this over many lives too. So these are just my field notes from the journey as I am still travelling, but the grappling comes in cycles and I suspect that belonging has its own cycles and rhythms as well.

In the Beginning…

We are born into a family; we are born belonging. Yet we must struggle with the family system into which we are born—its beliefs, its assumptions about life, its way of doing things—in order to individuate and grow. Though, to paint the fuller picture, I have to add that some people never question, never leave home, are happy in their family and that’s fine for them. I’m not judging. I just don’t find too many people like that in my private practice as a Soul Coaching® Practitioner. I attract the grapplers.

The Hero’s Journey

You are probably familiar with the concept of the Hero’s Journey. We heard about it from Joseph Campbell and others. The Hero is everywhere in popular culture and in our communal psyche as well. From the Greek’s Ulysses, the Bhagavad Gita’s Arjuna to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz or the superheroes in our comic books, we know this journey’s script well.

At its core it is the journey away from home, away from belonging, where we, as individuals, move into the “dark forest” of original experience. We have to work through it all, find meaning in our life’s experiences and we return, forever transformed. We are transformed because it isn’t just an ordinary road trip but it is a “journey of initiation” that awakens our spiritual knowing. But this is where many of us wander off this archetypal path. We don’t return.

I’m Outta Here

We reject the beliefs and attitudes of our family, the rhetoric of our institutions, or the politics of our governments and we leave. We say we are “loners” or that we just don’t join committees or groups or organized religion or that we don’t get involved in political groups and we enjoy our freedom… Until the longing returns. Always on the outside, a part of us longs to belong. We yearn for something inexplicable that is just out of reach, just beyond our ability to articulate what we feel in the dark, fertile soil of our being. What is that longing?

There’s No Place Like “Home”

I suggest it is “home”. It is the feeling of being home, where the people in your family and community are there for you. Where we shovel someone’s driveway because they can’t, where kindness and respect is the norm and where we create sacred space in our rituals, our celebrations and shared holidays. But home isn’t necessarily a place we can return to, any more than those “perfect” places exist. It is a place inside your Self.

So shovelling someone’s driveway is really an act of self-care within you. Sharing holidays and creating rituals for ourselves becomes our “home”. I know it’s not easy, it may be the longest and hardest journey of all, but I suspect that the feeling of belonging can only be fully felt after we come home to ourselves. Of course we can feel it before then, in small and many ways, but I’m speaking here of the journey, the deep inner return. Once we can do that, then outer belonging, so essential to our existence and wellbeing as humans, can truly help us thrive. We cannot remain alone and be healthy. We are born into our human litters and that is how we know and experience the world…in groups.

“To be human is to belong. Belonging is a circle that embraces everything; if we reject it, we damage our nature.” John O’Donohue*

We Pause for True Confessions

As a honorary Hermit, I hate that I have come to this conclusion. And there are many people, groups and institutions that were once a part of my life that are no longer there. And the pain of that loss is just the same as family losses because if we are not walking a conscious path, we just recreate “family” in every group and in every encounter.

I’m working on changing my “unbelonging” status and in many ways I already have. (Hey, once we invoke the alchemical question “Why am I here” there is no turning back!) I’m now actually “involved” with my professional family that reflects an aspect of home in it’s best sense—loving, kind and respectful, with healthy boundaries (I love my Soul Coaching family!). So while I’m coming along, I have to admit that I don’t have it all figured out but I suspect that if I can change the pattern of relating to groups and organizations, then it won’t be long before I can deal with organized religion and other unfinished business from my past. But it’s all good. I’m in an on-going inner journey home.

How About You?

Okay, that’s my issue (the cross I bear?) but what’s yours? Have you made peace with your family? Sometimes there is no peace that is possible, so we have to make the peace within ourselves. Have you found a way to belong? Have you found your inner voice so you can find your way home? One of the maps I use is Soul Coaching®. What maps have worked for you?

Post below and share your own journey with belonging. I’d LOVE to hear from you!

 

*John O’Donohue was a light that was taken from us far too soon. He writes deeply, in flowing poetic prose, articulating “being and longing” in a way I can only hope to some day emulate. If you, too, feel an inexplicable longing, read his book Eternal Echoes.

 

 

 

 

 

all roads lead to soul coaching ®
Blog Soul Coaching® December 19, 2016

Many Roads

All roads lead to Soul Coaching® for me! My studies have been rich and varied, and I use everything I ever learned in my Soul Coaching® work! In 1991 I was training in the Rubenfeld Synergy® Method when my dream life suddenly because very active so I delved into the subject of dreams. I learned a lot and my dream groups grew as my growth and learning continued. It boiled down to this: If I can help people tap into their innate wisdom to gain self-knowledge and transformation, then I am living “on purpose”.  And if I could find my purpose through Soul Coaching®, so can you!

 My Experience with Soul Coaching®

I was searching; searching for more conversations with my own spirit in the busyness of my personal and work life. I was also searching for a way to work with my clients that included their spirit and spiritual issues.

Trained in body-centred psychotherapy and energy work, I had a busy private practice of more than fifteen years that included serving as a Reiki Master and well as a specialist and coach in dream work. Over time, I was doing less and less body-mind psychotherapy because my clients would bring their metaphysical questions to me and wanted to explore spiritual issues. They knew they were safe to explore their spiritual questions with me and often we searched together. It wasn’t enough to get in touch with their physical pain and the emotions that fed them (though it is essential work that has to be done), without working through the mental and spiritual realms too. The Rubenfeld Synergy® Method came pretty close but I was still searching for the right balance. I investigated many professional options, but I found that their approaches were often uneven and didn’t include the whole person.

Balance, Baby, Balance!

In Soul Coaching® I found alignment for the whole person! I found a way to work with my clients that gave equal weight to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences. Many modalities work with primarily one of these realms. Some body therapies discourage too much thinking and processing while emphasizing feelings and emotions. Other therapies work with just the spirit through contemplative approaches. Some emphasize one’s physical health through the body or energy work. Others focus on one’s emotions in talk therapy. As a Soul Coach I learned how to guide my clients over the terrain of their whole Self; to know where the road twists and turns, where the potholes are and how to walk the path of growth and self-evolution!

Soul Coaching® works holistically using energy and space clearing techniques along with power of the four elements of air, water, fire and earth, combined with the power of clutter clearing! Mental thoughts and attitudes, belief systems, emotions, creativity, spirit and the physical body are all explored with the guidance of a Soul Coach. We do this first in our own lives and then we learn how to guide our clients in clutter clearing all aspects of their lives. It’s an amazing process and my clients learn that they, too, can hear the authentic voice of their heart and soul.

The Bonus

And the bonus? Soul Coaching® makes space for your dreams, intuition, personal guidance and insights and teaches you to trust your own intuitive and wise self. As a dreamer and dream teacher, that was very important to me! Most impressively, is that Soul Coaching® does it in a grounded and balanced way! As someone going through the 28 days of Soul Coaching® and later, as a practitioner, Soul Coaching taught me to facilitate miracles!!!!

The Road

Where is the road leading now? What’s next is exciting! Denise Linn, the founder of the International Institute of Soul Coaching® is no longer training Soul Coaches (Ok that’s a little sad too.). She is turning over the training of Soul Coaches to a small group of advanced Soul Coaches. I will be training for this at the beginning of January! Woohoo! And then what comes next is me offering trainings to amazing people like YOU! Watch for details in the new year, or contact me if you can’t wait at patti@pattiallen.com! I can barely wait myself!!! So from body-psychotherapy, to energy work, to dreams… After twenty five years +, all roads truly lead to Soul Coaching®.

“Patti is a remarkable and compassionate Soul Coach. She creates a safe and nurturing environment for discovering your soul’s truth. She has a profound depth of understanding of the world of dreams and the deeper workings of the soul.”

– Denise Linn, Founder, International Institute of Soul Coaching

 

 

Blog Soul Coaching® December 12, 2016

I am a Soul Coach. And I’m very good at what I do because I learned to listen. I wasn’t taught to listen at home. Like most of us, I had to learn this somewhere else but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, I was very good at ignoring myself, my feelings, my body and my needs. In 1991 I began my training as a Rubenfeld Synergist, which is what practitioners of the Rubenfeld Synergy® Method are called. It is a technique for opening a dialogue between body, mind, emotions and spirit.

First I Dreamt

When my psyche and my body knew they had my apt attention, the communication flowed and the listening began. I was always a dreamer who dreamed frequently but remembered seldom. Most of my dream images would quickly evaporate in the light of day. Once in a while, though, one would stay with me, shadowing my day and tracking my every move, as if to say, “Look at me! I am important!” When finally a dream challenged me enough to remember it, I surrendered and wrote it down, thinking about it as if it were a riddle to unravel or a puzzle to solve.

Nine months before I started my training, I wrote in my journal,

I’ve denied so much of myself over the years that I doubt that I’d allow myself to recognize whatever might present itself [as the path to follow]. So I think I’ll try this Rubenfeld thing…shake myself up…do something new. One thing may lead to another.

I went to bed after writing that and had a flying dream! And so I began my training in this fertile dream soil that I had barely begun to till.

My Body Has A Few Things To Say!

As part of the training, we were required to have a minimum of twenty private sessions a year. These sessions took me beyond the intellectual interpretation of my dreams and added to my awareness the physical and emotional dimensions that had been lacking. I would sometimes look back in my journal and see that insights that I had- and soon forgot- were brought back to the surface to my conscious awareness when my body was involved. It was as if my body was listening (it was!) and was ready to remind me of those insights when I was ready to integrate them.

Through the use of touch and by focusing on my awareness of my body, my feelings slowly began to emerge from the dreamwork. My feelings were key and I could no longer ignore them. They became less frightening than I had feared because my body was engaged in the process in a way that was grounded and focused on the “here and now” of the Gestalt therapy tradition from which this work sprung. In the words of one of my clients, “I wasn’t alone. I had my body.”

Let The Dream-Catching Begin

During my three year training, I recorded over one hundred dreams in my journal. While it wasn’t a daily “catch”, that was a HUGE number of dreams for me to catch, relative to my “once in a  blue moon” dream-catching from before my training. My dream journals became my “State of the Union” address- the “union” of my conscious and subconscious selves.

I Learn To Listen Even More

If that’s all that happened in my training, that would have been enough! But of course, I was learning how to listen to others as I learned to listen to myself. I learned to shuttle with my awareness from my clients, to myself and back to my clients, in an on-going dance of awareness. Ilana Rubenfeld taught me how to listen to the body’s “score”, as she drew on her own training as a musician and conductor. We learned to pay attention to the notes, but equally important,  how to listen to the silence between them. Forever grateful for Ilana’s brilliant work, I continue to use these skills in Soul Coaching®. I became adept at seeing patterns in my clients and myself.

I’m Still Dreaming….

Some time after my training ended, I dreamt,

There is a performer, a combination of Joan Rivers and Judy Garland, who is rehearsing onstage for an upcoming show in an open amphitheatre that feels like Vegas. I am on-stage with her and treated as an honoured visitor. I don’t understand why I am there nor why should be honoured. The star asks me to do something like sing or dance and I’m confused and embarrassed, not sure what she wants or that I can do it. I see a crow fly by. I tell her that’s a good omen. It seems that being able to read the omen gets me off the hook in some way… [There is] something about the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I am unsure. Do I sing it? I explain to her that it is a song expressing hope.

If I’m not quite ready to integrate my “star” parts, I am willing to be on the stage of life and read the “omens” and the signs! By turning my attention to the powerful work of Denise Linn in Soul Coaching®, I teach my clients how to listen to their bodies, minds, emotions and spirits. They listen to the art and creative beauty of their lives.

Your Turn!

Ok, now it’s your turn. Do you listen to your dreams? Is listening to your body something your easily do? How about listening to your emotions? Or your spirit? Would you rather tune out to your body and emotions? See if you can find one small way to listen to yourself today, whether it’s simply following your breath or acknowledging a feeling. Listen to all  your notes……The whole notes, half notes, the quarter notes, even the grace notes…and the silences and spaces between them. That’s how I learned to listen. One note at a time.

my search continues
Blog Soul Coaching® December 4, 2016

My search continues, although my journey started long before I found Denise Linn and Soul Coaching®. I have been searching, and I still search, for the One Great Dreamer. At first, in my fascination with dreams, I mistakenly thought that dreams were both the means and the end. I thought that if only I could understand the message of a dream, if I could crack the code, then I would know myself better and understand dreams and their messages. I scratched in the dirt like a dog following the scent of a buried treasure.

The Search For Treasure

My search continued and at first, the treasure was simply to understand dreams. I hoped that if I could learn to understand dreams I could understand myself. Plato would approve. For me, dreams were the technology for self-understanding. They still are, yet in that moment by the pool (see my last post), when I tried to visualize what all this would look like, I suddenly saw that self-understanding was but the outer ring in a series of concentric circles.

Picture This

At first I thought that dreams should be the core circle, and expanding outward from the dream, I would find dream-understanding, self-understanding and so on, in an outward, expanding movement. But when I started working with dreams, their movement drew me inward and the centre circle, the core of the matter, was God. My search moved far beyond the need to understand myself, taking me into a world that was not visible to the naked eye, and where dreams were the technology for understanding both Self and Spirit. It was what I was searching for all along. Dreams were the means, not the end.

Forgetting and Remembering

Dreamers often awake with a sense that they were dreaming without being able to remember the details of the dream; that there was something there, if only they could remember what that was. This is not a new phenomenon. In Plato’s Republic we learn of the Myth of Er. There, Socrates tells of a man called Er and of his journey into the next world after dying in battle. Er tells of the rewards, the punishments, the judgments that a soul encounters. But he tells of the choices a soul must make and finally, of the River Lethe as well. It is this River of Forgetfulness of which the souls are required to drink, causing each to forget everything they had experienced between death and rebirth.

More Forgetting

Judaism, too, tells of forgetting. In the Talmud it is told that before an infant is born the child learns the entire Torah in utero! But as the newborn is delivered, an angel taps the baby on it’s upper lip, causing it to forget (and thus explaining the indentation we all have under our nose, on our upper lip.) Throughout the ages, there was a sense of there being something that we once knew but have forgotten.

There’s a Word for That?

There is a word for it, anamnesis, which is a kind of remembrance, and means the remembering of things from a supposed previous existence. Although this is often a reference to Platonic thought—that learning is the remembrance of things forgotten but once known by a soul—this idea shows up with little variation in medicine, religion and psychology as something previous known that is recalled to memory. So we spend our lives searching for what we suspect we’ve forgotten and surely, we’ll know it when we find it, won’t we? Or will we have forgotten how to see as well?

Listening

A better question would be, “Have we forgotten how to listen”? I believe that we have. In my next post, I will tell you how I began to listen. (Hint: It began with my body!)  But please don’t stress that I’m keeping you in suspense! I like to think that I’m asking you to develop your waiting and listening muscles. They are essential to the journey to connect with your soul. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Until next time….

Opening doors in life
Blog Soul Coaching® November 27, 2016

How are you at opening doors? Doors will open in life but do you step through? Or do you hesitate? Do you wait for someone else to open them? My journey through one door led to Soul Coaching® and it started many years before Denise Linn’s book fell off my shelf and everything I had learned clicked into place. As so often is the case, we can only see the path clearly by looking back over the terrain. Here is where it started, and though I’ve shared this story before, now I’m giving you the whole story, in shorter posts, so you can pause to ponder your own journey. Even though all beginnings are somewhat random, we will start here…..yet even “here” had a before, in which I had to open a door…..

Beginnings

We live in post-Freudian times and many of us grew up learning that dreams were the “royal road to the unconscious”. And they are, but they are more than that. They are another form of opening doors for us. 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. Danny Stein 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”. 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.”

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.

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

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! Yet, as everything changed, I still had work to do, children to raise; wood to chop and water to carry.

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 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?)

That was the beginning of my chapter in Soul Whispers II, a book written by Soul Coaches for people who are on their own journey….and it still is as active within me as it was when I wrote it a few years ago. In my next post, I will continue my journey to Soul Coaching®…..

How is your journey in life going?

2016 has been one of the most challenging years in a long while for so many of us. If you pause to look back, you might see patterns, gain a higher perspective and  find insights from this 20/20 hindsight that you didn’t see while in going through those experiences. Many doors closed this year and many of you have experienced endings, as I have. But we have a choice: to stay in the room with the closed door, or open it and walk into another room or hallway in life to a new beginning. I hope you will follow along in my exploration of how I got from there to here; from then to now! What a trip!

Blog Dream Courses Dreamsharing Heart-Centered Dreamwork August 27, 2016

The power of groups is well known. Let me explain for those who have never attended a group of any sort. Group work is not unlike a candle flame. Have you ever felt the heat of one candle with your hand? Of course you have! And as you add candles, the heat expands and you can feel it from further out. So, for example, the heat from the candles of a Baby Boomer’s birthday cake, will be much hotter than a 5 year old’s cake! (Better make a wish and blow out those candles fast, before the cake melts!)

It’s the same with people’s energy. One person, talking to another, will have an exchange of energy. But add many people to the circle, and the energy builds exponentially. That’s why I love group work! Groups have the power and the energy to facilitate deep awareness and lasting change. The “heat” of many souls is powerful and works as an alchemical catalyst in your metaphysical kitchen.

Whether a BBQ and sing-along around a fire pit, where the food tastes better and the harmonies are exquisite,  or in psychotherapy, where the power of groups is well-documented, people can always feel the difference. In regard to the therapeutic use of groups, Mary Ann Huckabay, Ph.D. writes,

“Groups provide their members with a community of peers, whose experience and understanding echo the vicissitudes and wisdom of one’s own life. Groups provide a safe harbor for exploring essential life issues…” [Gestalt Therapy, p. 303].

In my own world, one of my dream groups just ended after 12 years (that’s not a dream group record, but it’s MY dream group record!) , yet the members have become close and want to continue to meet socially.

I bring this up because every August, I plan my groups for the coming Fall. And as I consider what I want to offer, I can feel the energy rising. This year, even more so, as I add more group opportunities to the mix. In addition to my on-going (some are online)  dream groups, I’m adding grief support to the mix:

DREAMSHARING: 8 weeks online…..FULL

GATEWAY DREAMING: A 4-week online dream group for those who want to get a taste of working with dreams, bringing body, mind and spirit into the process….$75.00. Perfect for beginners in dream-catching as well as experienced dreamers. Begins Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 @1-3 pm EASTERN- 3 SPACES STILL AVAILABLE  http://www.pattiallen.com/contact-us/

TORONTO DREAM GROUP: In person, in North York, this 6 session group will meet over September and November as we explore dreams in an experiential way; including body/mind dream work, Psi dreaming and Spiritual dreams. $150, starting Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 @ 7:30 pm- 4 SPACES AVAILABLE  http://www.pattiallen.com/contact-us/

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BEREAVEMENT GROUP: 6 Sessions, North York location, for those who have lost their significant other. Discussion and support, meditation and Tapping (EFT), dreamwork and more. $180, beginning Thursday, September 15th, 2016  http://www.pattiallen.com/going-forward-solutions/

I hope you will contact me, even if you are just curious and want to ask some questions. The power that builds in a group, may be the very push you need to help get you over the hurdles in life. Let’s turn up the group energy this Fall!