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Soul Coaching®

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!

 

 

 

 

Seeking Purpose: 5 Essentials

Heart-Centered Dreamwork Soul Coaching® May 7, 2017

Seeking Purpose

Are you seeking your purpose? I often reexamine my path and find myself seeking and questioning my purpose. Remember this rhyme from your childhood for counting and choosing things, “Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief?” (Is that even politically correct?) Sometimes I wonder if between lives, our soul is messing with us in the same way and our choice of “what to be” is determined by a seemingly random children’s counting rhyme? But then I have a dream and I remember who I am.

You’re not alone!

Who am I? Several times a year, it seems, I question my purpose. (Don’t judge me!) Not quite interrogation, I can nevertheless be hard on myself as I wonder what my purpose is. And if we have a purpose or a soul plan for our lives, how is it to be expressed? I have concluded, without a doubt- I’m always doubting, so this is big- that archetypally, I am a teacher. I may teach in the form of a mentor or guide, and my subjects are dreams and spirit, not history or math, but teach is what I do.

What’s your sacred contract?

I studied Caroline Myss’ Sacred Contracts with my students many years ago. Being impatient, I cast the wheel of my archetypes when I first read her now classic work, and then cast it again as I refined it with my students and the help of Martie Hughes from Lilydale. At first, the Teacher was in my 6th house of work and health, but in the second approximation it came to rest in my 3rd house of communication. Rather than continue to beat myself up for doing it twice, I now understand that differently. What, in my younger years, started out to be just a job came to rest now in the area that speaks to who I AM and is just as fundamental. I am a communication-loving Gemini after all!

It makes sense to me that teaching is as fundamental to my existence as communication and that it infuses every aspect of who I am and my daily life. (As an aside, that may be interesting to no one but myself, that in high school I joined the Future Teachers of America because my mother was a teacher and I thought that’s what women did. Later my mother and her cousin both ganged up on me and talked me out of getting my teaching credential. I know it was the violent 70’s and you were just worried about me, but I ended up teaching anyway, Mom!)

New beginnings

Five years ago, my husband reinvented himself, and I found that my own sense of direction floundered. I have always thought of him as my rock, I just never imagined that my own direction would wobble because of his own career changes. That’s so 1950′s! On further refection, I know that that view is a simplistic one but after all the Sturm und Drang (storm and stress), guess what? I’m still a teacher. I don’t like having to market myself and beat the bushes for students, so that makes me an underpaid teacher, but I’m changing all that! I’ve been waiting for a dream to confirm my direction, but since I clearly know what it is, my dreams have been telling me other things.

The windmills of my mind

If all of this meandering through the windmills of my mind resonates with your own path, then let my own struggles with my purpose and direction serve to comfort and support you. I struggle just like you do and if I can figure it out, so can you! Here’s what’s key to this exploration:

  1. Truth- Be honest and let the truth of who you are come through…Even if you don’t like the answers, ask for the truth always.
  2. Patience- The answers don’t always come when we want them so much as when we are ready to hear them. Ego time and Soul time (or Chronos and Kairos) aren’t usually on the same schedule, though they can occasionally meet up.
  3. Trust- Trust that you will be directed and find ourselves exactly where you are meant to be and in spite of what appears to be the situation, you will get where you are meant to go. (See “Mom” above)
  4. Self-love- Even if you struggle with developing healthy self-esteem, if you don’t love yourself even a little, then it’s hard to honour the answers you get from your Higher Self. If you’re not really to look in the mirror and declare your undying love for yourself just yet, then look at yourself and say “I’m willing to consider the possibility of loving myself!”
  5. Dreams- Both inner GPS and early warning system, your dreams will help you see the truth of any situation in your life. Trust them, but get support in understanding them if they are unclear or scary.

Actually, now that I think of it, these qualities are essential to any journey, not only the journey to discover your purpose. Send me your reports from the road and I’ll do the same. If you think you know what your soul wants for you, then when each opportunity comes along, ask yourself, “Is this in alignment with my soul’s purpose?” If it’s a good match then go for it. You will feel the truth of your choice in your heart and your body!

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.

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!

Dreams & Soul Coaching®
Blog Dream Courses Heart-Centered Dreamwork Soul Coaching® July 9, 2016

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.”

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?)

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.

So it was with both excitement and a sense of homecoming when I saw that Denise Linn the founder of the Soul Coaching Institute, was also a (capital D) Dreamer. I was drawn to her work and have since become an Advance Soul Coach. In that capacity, I have been mentoring for her online Gateway Dreaming course available through Hay House since 2010. Online work is so exciting and I now have a dream community that I never imagined could be possible. But what could take this black and white dream and allow it to become a 3-D full Technicolour dream? Taking a course with Denise Linn in person!!!

Check this beautiful video that Denise made:

I will be in Santa Fe for this professional training course and I’d love to see you there! To work with your dreams and the dreams of others is a sacred calling. If you are an Earth Angel and are ready to serve the growth of others, the skills that this certification training will give you will enhance your practice, whether professionally or personally. If you would like to explore the possibilities: https://gatewaydreamretreat.com/

Are you ready to embroider new stories on the dream-tapestry of the One Great Dreamer? If you made it to the end of this post, I suspect the answer is yes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

what is your superpower
Blog Soul Coaching® June 13, 2016

What is your superpower? I’m taking an unofficial survey. Mine used to be invisibility but I’m rethinking this.

I had the pleasure of meeting up in person with my online dream group at the Divine Wisdom Retreat in Phoenix this month and through the amazing meditations and guidance of Denise Linn, together with the work of Colette Baron-Reid and Lisa Williams, I started to think about my love of hiding.

The Invisible Child

If I had to pick an archetype for the child I used to be, it would be the “invisible child”, a variation on the Wounded Child. Caroline Myss describes this archetype as, “the Child that has the idea that nobody saw them and they were ignored when growing up….The light side of this Archetype brings out and embraces the opportunity to create an extraordinary journey towards visibility. There is a yearning to become a visible person, often through creativity and using the imagination.” I’ve been taking this journey for the last 25 years, when I first started my psychotherapy training. When I was young, I was sweet (I have witnesses), shy and reserved; a natural introvert. I learned quickly that being invisible was a great way to watch others and know when it was safe to come out and be seen… or just safe. Fox like, I would wait and watch. Invisibility was also great through my teen years when all I wanted to do was disappear. As I got older, I knew invisibility was also a way to go inside to recharge.

for good or for evil

But somewhere along the way, this “superpower” no longer served me and it occurred to me that if I want to put my work out in the world even more than I already do, then I cannot hide. Archetypically, I’m a Teacher and my students will have to find me, right?  As I reevaluated my superpower, I realized that the truth is, our superpowers can be used for good or for evil. They can keep us safe and in control, or they can become chains that bind us and keep us from flying. Did someone clip your wings as you were you warned not to fly too high? (Or is flying your superpower that leaves you ungrounded?) With invisibility, and in general as an aging woman, my superpower ceases to be super and it’s now just a label. No one illustrates this better then Grace and Frankie, in the third episode of Season 1:

 

 

A Super Exercise

  • Think about all the superheroes you know and pick a superpower. Is it mind-reading, x-ray vision, flight? Something else, entirely different? Pick one and don’t think too hard.
  • Explore your choice of superpowers and Google it to see if there is a superhero or archetype to go with it- just to give you some ideas about how it works in your life. There is a lot of information here: http://www.archetypes.com. For instance, let’s say you feel connected with Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. You might explore honesty or the archetype of the storyteller. Even if you can’t find any information about what your superpower symbolizes, you can still use your imagination! Ask yourself, “If you knew how this superpower worked in your life, what would it be?” If you love to fly, check out all the flying superheroes, like Superman, Superwoman or read the Greek myth of Icarus.
  • Make a 2-column list of all the good you can do with this power on the left, and all the ways this power may stunt your growth, on the right. You can label your columns “Good” and “Evil” just for fun!
  • Once you have a good idea of the perks that come with your superpower, look at the evil column and see what price you pay for these powers.

The Perks and the Price

For me, I’ve learned that while invisibility is sometimes useful, eventually I became invisible to myself! All I could see were my faults and my short-comings. The negative side of invisibility is hiding. At the retreat, Denise Linn suggested we do something different when we get home to help make our insights and changes concrete. So I bought a mirror. I’ve been meaning to buy one to place over my grandmother’s vanity but now I was really ready to see myself. Moreover, while I bought this mirror to truly see myself, more importantly, I was ready to see in myself what loving family, friends and students already see in me. I was ready to see my gifts and my soul in the mirror. I may still use my “Invisibility Cloak” from time to time, but for the most part, it will be hanging in the closet.

Patti in the Mirrow