Seven Steps to Dream Recall

Dreaming and Dream Recall Image result for images for dream recall

Dreams come to us and we remember them when we are ready to get it…the fact they’re coming to us means we’re ready. Robert Johnson

Are you able to remember your dreams? If so, how many dreams do you recall? Many factors affect dream recall including medication, stress, alcohol, food, illness, how many hours you sleep, how deeply you sleep and, of course, fear of recall. You might wonder: Why on earth would I be afraid to remember my dreams? There are many reasons including feeling uncomfortable or afraid about things we don’t understand or wish to face within ourselves. Also, we tend to invalidate the unknown. I have witnessed this many times while being interviewed about dreams on radio or TV. Inevitably, one person will challenge: “What research shows that dreams mean anything at all!?” Responding to such a question is impossible; it’s akin to the old saying: “The atheist can’t find God for the same reason that a thief can’t find a policeman.”

Dreams are meant to help you, not harm you, and that includes the disturbing poisonous diamondback rattlesnake trying to bite you as much as the radiant golden chalice given to you by a loving, wise woman. And again, we dream every night whether we remember our dreams or not. Rather than asking someone, “Did you have any dreams?” Try this: “Do you remember any of your dreams from last night?”

The art of dream recall is like anything else you want to experience: you must have the desire to remember them. Dreams images often live in the shadows and if they haven’t been acknowledged or tended to in a long while (or, ever), they need some gentle coaxing. The more you seek to understand them, the more likely you will recall them.

Related image Dream Recall in Seven Steps

  1. Set your intention to remember your dreams before falling asleep. Before falling asleep, repeat 3 times: “Tonight I’m going to remember my dreams.” Tell your dream self that you are willing to remember your dreams, even if it’s only a small “snippet.” Like anything else in life, what we place our attention on expands and dream recall is no different. Dreams may seem silly but only to your waking mind. Often people who cannot remember their dreams are resistant for various reasons. This is understandable considering how confusing and frightening they might seem. Again intention and action are key; it is impossible to trick psyche, you are either committed to remembering your dreams or you are not.
  1. Keep a dream journal near your bed (or a tape recorder). The more you record your dreams, the more dream recall you will experience. Writing the dream down anchors it and demonstrates your commitment enabling you to progress from the mental level of intention to the physical level of action. The other important reason for recording your dreams is that you will have clearer recall upon awakening. If you wait to write them down, you risk losing the clarity of the dream including the feelings you experienced while having the dream, and your feelings are essential. Dreams are elusive and will disappear within seconds.
  1. Pose a question before falling asleep. It may pertain to any area of your life in which you would like some guidance. Allow any issues you are working on, or answers you are seeking, to come into your awareness as you fall asleep. Ask one question about a situation you are dealing with and have trust that your dreams will give you the answer(s). The issue isn’t to try and control the outcome of your dreams, so only ask open-ended questions.
  1. Record your dreams as soon as possible, even if it’s during the night. Try not to turn on any bright lights or anything that makes noise. Turning on an overhead light may take you out of a state of dream awareness and cause you to lose the dream completely. Using a light-pen works wonders. Always record the dream using the first person narrative “I” and in the present tense. The key is to keep yourself in the dream so you can recall as much as possible. You want to feel the dream as though it is alive, a living embodied experience that lives inside of you. Record even the smallest bits and pieces of your dream, they could very well be the catalysts for remembering the rest of the dream later in the day. Even writing down a snippet of your dream is helpful and often triggers the ability to recall the rest of the dream.
  1. Carpe noctem! If you awake during the night, seize the opportunity by focusing on what you want, e.g., guidance about a specific issue, desire or interest. Instead of worrying about your finances, health or “to do” list at 3a.m., choose what you center your energy on. Think about something in your life you would like to enhance, it could entail your work, health, or family. What you shine your light of attention on will often manifest as a dream when you fall back to sleep. I practice this regularly and have received dreams flowing with guidance about sensitive relationship issues, ideas for juicing up my creative projects, and even specific foods to add to my diet for increasing energy.
  1. Focus on dream symbols and feelings while recording your dream. Recall the feelings you had during the dream and upon awakening, but be careful not to judge your dream. Remember that the majority of dreams are metaphoric, not literal. People tend to think the worst about their dreams, which blocks their ability to understand them. Again, dreams are given to us to help us become more aware.
  1. Make a commitment to remember your dreams and develop your own “dream language.” As you do so, your dreams will become easier to remember and understand. Dreams are recalled within seconds upon waking so you may have only 15-20 seconds to “upload” a dream into your long-term memory banks. Your dream journal will become a valuable tool as you proceed on your soul’s adventure.

Laurasig

For a deeper exploration into your dreams, please click HERE.

ebook book cover

Join me in my upcoming webinar on “dreams” check it out HERE

anthony-clavien-inner-compass

Advertisements

Why is SLEEP so Healing?

Why is Sleep so Healing?

sleep-study-dog-ptsd-veteran-companionship.adapt.1900.1

And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, and new created. D.H. Lawrence

We spend a great amount of time sleeping. In fact, statistics reveal that one-third of our lives is spent asleep. That means by the time you reach sixty, you will have spent approximately twenty years asleep. Out of those years, you will have spent 87,000 hours actively dreaming. Imagine how many dreams you have throughout your lifetime. And just think of all of the wisdom, ideas and creative genius pouring forth from your subconscious, the place within you where your experiences and knowledge is stored. American author and Quaker, Jessamyn West, once penned, “Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants.”

Sleep is essential in order for our bodies to rejuvenate. In 2013, researchers at the University of Rochester in New York discovered that the brain sweeps away waste and toxins during sleep. That is why the cats or kids keeping waking you up at night, or drinking that second glass of wine, or experiencing hormonal changes cause you to feel foggy the next day. The flow of cerebrospinal fluid increases dramatically in the brain during sleep, cleaning out toxins which could lead to certain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Since the clock within our cells are in alignment with the sun, disruptions to our sleep break down our circadian rhythm increasing our risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety and depression.

While you are sleeping, your brain cells shrink by sixty percent, allowing waste to be reduced more effectively. Restful, non-interrupted sleep is essential. Keep your room dark and cool, turn on some white noise like a fan, wear ear plugs and a sleep mask if necessary, but make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Not only does restful sleep enable your conscious mind to take a break, it allows the unconscious mind to fulfill an important function: to recreate the conscious mind’s desire for depositing and permanently housing one’s experiences. These remain until the experience or belief has been changed or re-programmed. As the experiences are deposited into the unconscious, we act according to what has been stored—whether we are conscious of it or not.

In this month’s National Geographic, Michael Finkel wrote an article titled “When We Sleep, Our Mind Goes on an Amazing Journey.” He affirms: “When we’re sleeping, and we commence our first REM session, the most elaborate and complex instrument known in the universe is free to do what it wishes. It self-activates. It dreams. This, one could say, is the playtime of the brain. Some sleep theorists postulate that REM sleep is when we are our most intelligent, insightful, creative, and free. It’s when we truly come alive.”

Sleeping is perhaps, one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. “Put your thoughts to sleep,” Rumi once advised, “Do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.” Sleep possesses the capacity to restore us emotionally, physically, intellectually, creatively, and spiritually.

Laurasig

For a deeper exploration into your dreams, please click HERE.

ebook book cover

Join me in my upcoming webinar on “dreams” check it out HERE

anthony-clavien-inner-compass

 

Using Dreams to Create Abundance

Creating Abundance in Every Area of Your Life through Your Nighttime Dreams download

When was the last time you found money or jewelry on the ground in a parking lot or on a sidewalk? Was it a penny, nickel, quarter, a dollar or a twenty dollar bill? Did you pick it up and keep it, or walk away from it?  Finding (or losing) valuables in dreams is symbolic of discovering (or losing) something of value in you. Locating valuables implies that you may be discovering something new within yourself, such as a new attitude, a new form of work, a new relationship, new prosperity, new creativity and so forth.

Here is a personal example of how your dreams can provide specific direction for accessing your life’s work and creating abundance. Years ago, I was a human resource director for a CPA and consulting firm in the Midwest. The majority of my time was spent firing managers and partners as the firm underwent a series of mergers. As a highly sensitive person and empath, this was excruciatingly painful and I experienced immense burn-out in only a few short years. The life-force had been sucked out of my soul and I resigned. Instead of immediately putting myself back on the executive market, I felt guided to take a year off and do some significant soul-searching. So I withdrew my 401(k), bought a house on small lake in the Midwest, and took my ten year old daughter, Alexis, and our cat, Buttercup, and moved in with my beloved partner, Thomas. It was a new beginning, both emotionally and financially challenging, yet I spent the next twelve months delving into spiritual teachings, journaling about my thoughts and feelings, and delving into my nighttime dreams. At thirty-two years old, it may have been one of the best years of my life.

Daily, I asked for guidance from my dreams and how best to use my gifts, strengths and talents. During this time, I had a powerful dream:

I am sitting in the driver’s seat of my red Toyota which is parked in a parking lot. Next to me in the passenger’s seat I see a dark blue book with “Bhagavad Gita” scrolled in gold across the cover. I open the car door and see several brochures that I have created lying on the ground and next to them are various silver and gold coins.

This dream was showing me that writing combined with spirituality were a definite part of my life’s work. As I followed my dream’s cues I began writing articles for spiritual and personal growth publications, something I had never done before. As a result, I had the following dream:

I am guided to look under my bed and discover enormous diamonds in the shape of crystals. I am amazed by their beauty.  After looking under the bed I look to the floor and see two or three similar stones, not quite as large as the one under my bed. I awake feeling happy and inspired.

abundanceThese dreams affirmed the work that carried me deeper into my authentic self while providing abundance, not just financially, but emotionally, intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. The fact that the diamonds were shaped like crystals revealed the multi-faceted potentials within me. Looking back over the past couple of decades, I can see how telling the dream truly was. I became inspired to write a series of articles that were published throughout the country and eventually morphed into my first book, Gifts of the Soul. Next, the book and articles inspired the creation of The Self-Mastery Program, an intensive that supported individuals in accessing their inner gifts. I taught The Self-Mastery program for ten years and in the meantime, penned my second book, The Intimate Soul. (Both books were written and self-published under my former name, Laura V. Hyde.)

Unlimited ideas continued to spring forth and I developed a series of additional programs, workshops and retreats. During this creative era, I generated a course on dreams and coached people on understanding and utilizing them. Desiring to deepen my spiritual growth, I attended an interfaith seminary program and began providing spiritual counseling.

The “multi-faceted” diamonds represented skills I never knew I had, and didn’t have, until I began working with my nighttime dreams and stretching beyond my comfort zone. Edgar Cayce wisely affirms, “Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”  Listen to your dreams. Like a diamond, they possess marvelous, mystical, multi-faceted brilliance.

Laurasig

For a deeper exploration into your dreams, please click HERE.

ebook book cover

Join me in my upcoming webinar on “dreams” check it out HERE

anthony-clavien-inner-compass

Recognizing & Transforming Your Limiting Patterns

diamond

Recognizing & Transforming Your Limiting Patterns

By recognizing your limitations, you heighten your self-awareness and awaken to the realms of mystery and soul. Since dreams emerge from the unconscious and speak the language of the soul, whenever you pay attention to the deeper message in your dreams, you enhance your connection to soul. Playwright and novelist, Marsha Norman, once wrote, “Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”

“Soul” differs from “spirit.” James Hillman, an American psychologist who studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich explains how “spirit is fast” and ascends in a vertical direction. He compares it to a straight arrow, “knife sharp, powder dry, and phallic.” In contrast to spirit, he speaks of the soul and its connection to the moon, the realm of the dead and dreams of the night. Soul can be experienced in the muddy, mucky waters we must sometimes wade through in life and the messiness that comes with growth. Our dreams speak soul-language which is why they are not easy to understand. Soul communicates with images that are imbued with importance and symbolism. Like poetry, in order to relish it we must dip beneath the surface and dive into its deeper meaning. Emerson once said, “Every word was once a poem” and this is true with dreams; every image was once a story of the soul.

A personal example of how dreams reveal our limiting patterns and awaken us to our highest potential is illustrated in a dream I had while going through a significant reinvention. For some clarity and support, I enlisted the help of a professional coach. After our first session, I had the following dream:

My coach and I are standing near the bottom of a hill that leads upward to a road. The hill is covered in snow. I am holding a silver ring with a large diamond in my right hand and I am not sure where it came from. A man pulls up in a car on the road above us and gets out. He is holding a small black pistol and is pointing it toward me. I am frightened and decide to hide the ring by pushing the diamond end into the snowy bank in front of us. My coach says something to the man. He puts his gun away and I am relieved yet concerned about finding the ring I just hid in the snow.

Issues of prosperity, self-worth, and the shadow and light side of my masculine aspects emerge from this dream. Let’s unpack this dream:

  • Snow covered hill: frozen emotions, unconscious perceptions, thoughts and feelings.
  • Ring: connection with Source, infinity.
  • Diamond: multi-faceted, strong, beautiful, valuable, inner gifts and talents.
  • Man with gun: masculine shadow aspect, threatening, challenging my self-worth regarding my ability to create prosperity.
  • Coach: masculine light aspect, wise, supportive, fearless.

During my first coaching session we discussed the responsibility that comes with success and prosperity. I shared my belief that in order to generate success, I would have to give up my freedom and slave away all day long. Wealthy, successful people must be workaholics and though I was willing to exert positive energy, I was unwilling to “sacrifice” my happiness. This dream was a gift from psyche that clearly exposed the sacrificial belief living in the depths of my unconscious. Here are the pearls of wisdom:

(1) The dream begins with me standing at the bottom of a small hill that leads upward to a road. The hill symbolizes the effort I believe is required to overcome some repressed prosperity issues. Since the road is visible from the bottom of the hill, the issues I am facing are not insurmountable and my ability to overcome them are within reach.

(2) I am holding a silver ring with a large diamond and unsure where it came from. The diamond ring represents my strength and multi-faceted capacity for creating prosperity but am unaware that it’s okay to claim it as mine.

(3) I am afraid I am going to be hurt by the man with the gun who might steal my ring. The gunman is the conflicted part of me, challenging my self-worth for deserving abundance.

(4) I push the ring into the snow bank. Snow reflects frozen emotions and some unconscious fears I am carrying.

(5) My coach talks to the man which causes the man to put away his gun. This reveals the wise, intuitive aspect, the “voice of reason” reminding me of my abilities.

(6) The dream concludes with a concern for having hid the ring so well I may be unable to recover it. Here again,  issues of self-worth and sabotaging my success are being exposed.

 “Until you make the unconscious conscious,” Jung wrote, “it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” We don’t wish to see how clearly they reveal the truth about our vain imaginings and fragile ego self-concepts, dreams bust them apart. This dream brought unconscious belief patterns into my awareness so I could address them. That’s why dreams are so powerful; they continuously communicate messages from our unconscious to our conscious mind.

For a deeper exploration into your dreams, please click HERE.

The Numinous Nature of Your Nighttime Dreams

THE NUMINOUS NATURE OF YOUR NIGHTTIME DREAMS

Dreams are a sacred gift presented to us in the midst of our sleeping consciousness. Remember your dreams. Honor your dreams. Learn from your dreams.  Norman Bradford

Dreams are alive. Rich with symbols, archetypes, alchemical images and metaphors, dreams are an invaluable transformational instrument. When understood, dreams are a pathway to higher consciousness, evolved relationships, meaningful work, informed physical health and a clear awareness of your soul’s blueprint.

But the growth that dreams provide is not always an easy process, it sometimes requires digging into unconscious muck which makes things appear messy. Also, unhealed trauma rears its head during dreamtime as do addictions, fears, unrequited love, grief, disappointment, anger, and physical, psychological, and spiritual imbalances. The unconscious does its best to grab your attention so you can recognize and integrate aspects of yourself that are hidden and may have gotten repressed along the way.

Further, dreams possess the power to free you from programmed beliefs, status quo thinking and false personas. They provide ideas, solutions and insights. Edgar Cayce taught, “Dreams work to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new potentials which are his/hers to claim.”

Dreams are considered to be the oldest language known to man and some are numinous in nature, a term Jung used frequently when referring to their “divine command” (derived from the Latin word numen). These watershed experiences encompass significant health related issues, profound relationship matters, vocational and career crossroads, and spiritually defining moments. Dreams emerge from the point of contact between spirit and matter, human and divine, male and female, ego and Self. Carl Jung calls this point of contact the soul. Since your dreams provide ideas, solutions and insights, I encourage you to use this book as your own personal compass for navigating through every area of your life. Literally, they are jackpots of information and will enhance your awakening process, or what Jung called the pathway to individuation.

Dreams are sacred gifts; no matter how confusing, nonsensical, frightening, or perverse they may seem, dreams emerge from the unconscious to help you. We often avoid facing a disturbing or puzzling dream but in truth it is your own personal daimon, the Greek word for “inspired guide.”

While working with your dreams, it is helpful to keep in mind some of the basic dream principles developed by Carl Jung:

  • Almost every dream come to us in the service of health and wholeness.
  • Dreams have multiple and simultaneous meanings.
  • Only the dreamer knows for sure what the meaning of the dream is at a particular time.
  • Dreams bring information from the unconscious into consciousness, a huge gift for healing our lives, relationships and sense of purpose.

Sleep Deeply, Dream Big!

USING NIGHTTIME DREAMS TO AWAKEN YOUR GREATEST POTENTIAL

Aboriginal pic for blog

USING NIGHTTIME DREAMS TO AWAKEN YOUR GREATEST POTENTIAL

Did you know that your nighttime dreams and your daytime desires are completely interconnected? They seem to exist at opposite ends of the continuum which is why we tend to discount or ignore them. But indigenous people like the Aboriginal Australians embody a term called The Dreaming or Dreamtime which describes the web of life between the spiritual and natural world. In essence, there is no difference between being asleep versus being awake; it’s all one big dream. Similarly, Shamans believe the dream world and the spirit world are exactly the same and that we are dreaming the world into being. This is why for thousands of years indigenous people knew they could count on receiving wisdom from their ancestors, guidance from spiritual realms and valuable answers to mystifying questions.

Let me share a personal example of how dreams provide specific direction and awaken your greatest potential. Many years ago, I was a Human Resource Director for a CPA and consulting firm. Everything was about chargeable hours, money and power, leaving very little room for valuing people. As time unfolded, it felt like the life-force was being sucked out of my soul and I finally mustered up the courage to resign. I was newly divorced and had a ten year old daughter to raise. Instead of immediately putting myself back on the executive market, I decided to take a year off and do some significant soul-searching. So I withdrew my 401(k) and spent the next twelve months delving into spiritual teachings, journaling my thoughts and feelings, and working extensively with my nighttime dreams.

One night, before falling asleep, I asked my dreams for guidance, specifically: What was the best way I could harness my gifts, strengths and talents, create the work I truly loved and be of service? That night, I had a powerful dream:

I am sitting in the driver’s seat of my red Toyota which is sitting in a parking lot. Next to me in the passenger’s seat I see a dark blue book with “Bhagavad Gita” scrolled in gold across the cover. I open the car door and see several brochures that I have written lying on the ground and next to them are various silver and gold coins.

This dream was showing me that writing combined with spirituality were a definite part of my life’s work. As I followed my dream’s cues I began writing articles for spiritual and personal growth publications, something I had never done before. Then the following dream occurred:

I am guided to look under my bed and discover enormous diamonds in the shape of crystals. I am amazed by their beauty. After I am through looking under the bed I look behind me and on my bedroom floor, I see two or three similar stones, not quite as large as the one lying under my bed. I awake feeling happy and inspired.

These dreams affirmed that the work I was meant to experience would take me deeper into my authentic self while providing abundance. The fact that the diamonds were shaped like crystals revealed the multi-faceted potentials within me. Now, looking back over the past couple of decades, I can see how prophetic the dream truly was. The articles I began writing were published which led to my first book Gifts of the Soul. The book and articles inspired ideas for creating a successful course called The Self-Mastery Program which supported individuals in accessing their inner gifts and creating a soulful life. I taught The Self-Mastery program for ten years and in the meantime, I penned my second book, The Intimate Soul. I also created several other programs, began teaching courses on dreams and coaching people how to understand and utilize them. Further, I attended an interfaith seminary program and provided spiritual counseling. The “multi-faceted” diamonds represented skills I never knew I had, and didn’t have, until I began using them: writing, speaking, teaching and counseling.

Dreams provide inordinate amounts of intelligence. Where does the wisdom come from? Worldly knowledge flows from multiple sources including advisability from your ancestors, illumination from the spiritual realm, sagacity from your soul and significant insight from the natural world. All of this adds up to one major source of infinite wisdom!

Dreams may very well be the purest form of knowledge since they are not clouded by our conscious thinking and programmed beliefs. Being willing to remember them is the first step. Tapping into their goldmine of information is the second step. And the more you pay attention to your dreams, the better your recall will be. Tonight, before going to sleep practice the following steps:

1. Think about one situation you would like to create, change or improve in your life.

2. Ask your dreams for guidance and be specific about the situation and your question.

3. Set your intention before going to bed and affirm your willingness to remember your dreams and receive guidance.

4. Write down (or record) any dreams immediately upon waking, even “snippets” of a dream. Pay attention to the landscape, dream images, character and how write down how you feel about them. Also try to capture the “theme” of the dream.

5. Conclude by letting go of attachment to outcome so ideas, images and inspiration can emerge. Dreams communicate in myriad ways, so reflect on your dream gently throughout the day and watch what bubbles up from psyche’s cauldron.

If you are ready to explore your dreams and see how they are an invaluable tool for growth, please check out any one or all three of the dream programs I’m offering the beginning of 2016:
1. LIVE SIX WEEK DREAM COURSE AT CAL POLY, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, Dates: Thursdays, 1/28/16-3/3/16, Time: 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE

2. LIVE DREAM RETREAT, Dancing Deer, Templeton, CA, Date: 2/20, Time: 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. For more information, CLICK HERE

3. E-DREAM COURSE: “Dreams for Healing: Using Dreams as a Pathway to the Soul” at SelfHealingExpressions.com. Dream course lessons are sent directly to your in-box and you may complete them at your convenience. For more information, CLICK HERE

The REAL (and ALCHEMICAL) MEANING OF SLEEPING BEAUTY

sleeping beauty imageSleeping Beautiful was my mother’s favorite fairy tale. She bought me the book when I was seven years old and inscribed it to me. It was a hard cover book and the front was laced with dreamlike hues of blues, greens and shimmering gold. Inside the book were beautiful illustrations of Sleeping Beauty, the prince and Sleeping Beauty’s court. It was the only book I remember my mother inscribing to me and she wrote: “I hope you enjoy this fairytale as much as I always have. Love, Mother.” Well, I did love that story. It was romantic, passionate and taught that all women need to awaken is a sweet and simple kiss from a man who possesses the power to save us.

What was there not to love?

Unfortunately, many women have taken Sleeping Beauty literally. I know my mother did, and, so did my older sister. My mother desperately hoped that my father would be her shining prince, awaken her and fulfill her every need. And as much as I loved my father, he was the family patriarch; religious, fundamental, and ill-tempered. Over the years, I watched as my mother’s own “sleeping beauty” fell into a deeper and deeper sleep as she medicated herself with prescription medications and alcohol. She died at age 57 and my sister died at age 54, both suffering deeply from abusive men, broken hearts and shattered dreams.

The amazing Jungian analyst, Anne Baring, excels in transformational work of the soul which entails the 4,000+ year old practice of “alchemy.” Many of us know the process of turning base metal into gold, but Baring’s teachings encompass the psychology of alchemy and the alchemical transformation we must go through in order to reach our opus and be fully awake, whole beings. In her seminar titled, “What is Soul?” Baring dives deep into the alchemical waters of the ancient fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. She reveals how Sleeping Beauty is the ultimate story for this point in history because it reflects the vital call for balance between our masculine and feminine aspects. Baring writes, “I see this magical story [Sleeping Beauty] as a metaphor for our time and the urgent need for a marriage between our head and our heart, a marriage between our solar thinking and our lunar feeling…From another perspective, I also see it as a metaphor of the reconciliation of spirit and nature or the reunion of the masculine and feminine aspects of spirit which have been progressively sundered during the last four thousand years.”

In Sleeping Beauty, the prince represents the solar principle of consciousness, searching for meaning, wanting to understand the universe but ultimately, seeking reconnection with his feminine aspect—the soul. Sleeping Beauty symbolizes the lunar principle of soul, the Alchemy image to use at beginning of talkfeeling values, Eros. Therefore, this bewitching story has nothing to do with being rescued and everything to do with the alchemical marriage of the masculine (sun) and the feminine (moon). Thus, when the prince (solar/rational mind) connects with Sleeping Beauty (lunar/heart energy), not only does she awaken, but her entire sleeping court awakens. For the past 50 years, we have been witnessing an awakening and deepening of connection to our soul and attaining balance between our head and heart. More and more women I encounter who are on the path of growth have shared the increased amount of animus dreams. Our animus shows up during dream time in male form, sometimes a familiar man and other times a stranger. These dreams present us with an immense opportunity to explore our beliefs and attitudes about our relationship with men and our relationship with ourselves. Dream work is a significant part of alchemy. May we remember the transformational power they possess and take time to attend to them.

The Greater Coniunctio: A Higher Love
When one is journeying through the alchemical process, there are several stages of transformation we must experience. The stages are: calcinatio, solutio, coagulatio, sublimatio, mortificatio and separatio. They lead to coniunctio which resides at the heart of alchemy. Coniunctio is the joining of the alchemical King and Queen, Sol and Luna. The process of transformation begins when these opposites meet, but they are not conjoined until the process is completed. We travel in and out of these stages throughout our life, depending on what is happening in our relationships, career, health and all of the life changes we encounter.
Sol and Luna Image
Viewing the tale of Sleeping Beauty from a higher and alchemical position reveals something antithetical to what we were taught as children. No one is meant to save us, particularly not a special soulmate who kisses our forehead and brings us out of our sleep. The deeper meaning of this story is the recognition and conjoining of our feminine and masculine aspects. Alchemy uses a series of unique images that illustrate this process. The King and Queen start out fully clothed (separate and concealed) then immerse themselves in an alchemical bath where the transformation begins. The lovers, who were once opposites are now connected into inseparable wholeness. Alchemical love has attained its exultant zenith. The opposite energies of the prince/Sleeping Beauty, the King/Queen, and the Solar/Lunar, become transmuted through the alchemical process which is can only be done solo and can be very painful. It’s an “undoing” of all that we have learned and at times, we may feel as though we are being turned inside out. Sometimes we pass through the alchemical stages at varying times, and, sometimes we move through two or more simultaneously.

Yet the pinnacle remains the same, to fully realize genuine love and union. Edward Edinger, who wrote Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy states, “That which goes by the name of love is fundamental to the phenomenology of the coniunctio. Love is both cause and effect…objective love, a love purged of personal desirousness, not one side of a pair of opposites, but rather beyond the opposites”. Sleeping Beauty is a mythical story of a higher love. It encompasses self-less love and the feeling of oneness that we each desire on the deepest level. It cannot be attained by wanting to be rescued, saved, or kissed, but only as we awaken to the strength, courage, and love that resides deep within.

I believe if my mother were still alive and read this very different interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, she would not be disappointed, she would be relieved.

Namaste,

Laurasig

Dreaming Your Way to Rebirth and Transformation in the New Year

Dreaming Your Way to Rebirth and Transformation in the New Year

Butterfly emerging from the planetThe New Year has long been associated with renewal and rebirth. In a number of North American Indian languages, the term “world” means “cosmos” and is also used to describe a new year. The Yokuts (native to Central California) might say that “the world has passed,” meaning “a year has gone by.” The cosmos is seen as a living entity that is born, evolves, then dies on the last day of the year, only to be reborn on New Year’s Day.

This time of the year has always been very special for me since my birthday falls at the beginning of the year.  As December unfolds, I harness my strongest manifesting skills by paying particularly close attention to my night-time dreams. Working with my dreams creates a powerful space for change and transformation to occur in the New Year.   

This winter I am working with a dream that has been most compelling. It is a snake-dream. The same snake has appeared in three different dreams the past few months.  Because I’ve always been afraid of snakes, the first one was troubling and frightening, and this makes sense considering that through the ages, “snake” has received a very bad rap. In fact, the snake is one of the least understood Biblical symbols.  Snake has frequently been depicted as evil and the cause for our human desires and temptations. For heaven’s sake, the snake was even blamed for tempting Eve which led to the downfall of paradise! Unfortunately, the shadow aspects of sexual repression, temptation and sexual guilt have tainted the deeper meaning of this amazing creature.

Because my Dream Tending™ teacher, Dr. Stephen Aizenstat, Co-Founder and Chancellor of Pacifica Graduate Institute, taught me to always ask the dream image: “Who is visiting now?” I felt drawn to inquire the snake about its presence. This charged question implies a familiarity with the dream image, as though it has appeared myriad times, dressed in different forms, with a similar assignment: Something very important is about to happen—or—is happening so WAKE UP!

Taking this urgency to heart, I journaled about the snake, my snake, which wasn’t just some boring brown common snake, but the green diamond back rattle snake. I thought to myself: Good grief, are you “visiting” me because of repressed sexual desires or fears, some generational sexual wounds that several women in my family have suffered from, or, are you here to reveal the plight of the unresolved sexual issues of the collective unconscious? Isn’t everyone in our culture suffering from some form of Puritanical sexual guilt?

As my confusion escalated, I recalled that some ancient cultures frequently refer to the serpent as being the most universal and auspicious archetype, one that symbolizes rebirth and transformation. I found solace in reading Mary Ellen O’Hare-Lavin’s review of The Practice of Dream Healing: Bringing Ancient Greek Mysteries into Modern Medicine, where she discusses the healing, light-filled image of the snake: asclepius-god-of-medicine-thiras-art

The chthonic serpent image is an ancient one, utilized even earlier than Asklepius. Our healing ancestors were less interested in a “Higher Power.” The serpent image was used to represent a connection with both the upper world and the underworld. The serpent is a shape shifter and it journeys below the earth’s surface (a.k.a. underworld) as well as bathes in the sunlight of the upper world. In the Asklepian tradition it represented the healing and shedding of old skins for new ones. 

As I continue to delve into the snake dream image via journaling, drawing the image, and through a process called Embodied Dream Tending™, my snake dreams are evolving. The snake has shape-shifted itself from scarily circulating itself around my shoulders (Dream number 1), to sliding up next to me and laying still as I rest my hand against its head (Dream number 2), to transforming itself into a beautiful, verdant plant (Dream number 3).

Just as we are familiar with the serpent wrapped around the staff carried by the ancient Greek healer, Asklepius, snake now appears in my dreams symbolizing light and dark, spirit and soul, rebirth and transformation. Gone is the old fear based on some much distorted Biblical and societal perceptions. 

In fact, Marija Gimbutas, a Lithuanian-American archeologist, excavated hundreds of figurines from around the world and discovered a snake goddess figurine from the Palm of Knossos, Crete that dates back to 1,500 B.C.E.  This powerful female figure holds a snake in each hand demonstrating healing traits: fertility, rebirth and 010transformation.  Such a positive perspective can be seen throughout the ancient Greek’s view of how they regarded snakes as sacred. Instead of fearing them, they were used in restorative rituals and even the venom was used for healing. Not to mention the way snake represents Kundalini, a Sanskrit word meaning “coiling like a snake.”  Kundalini or “serpent power” can rise during deep meditation, up through the chakras, bringing a devotee to full spiritual awakening.

It’s not surprising that the snake has been visiting me lately during dream-time. I started a doctoral program in the field of Depth Psychology and Somatic Studies a few months ago and to say it’s been life-changing is putting it mildly. It’s been forcing me to face all aspects of myself, especially my shadow-side.  And like the snake, I see how all images—like all people—possess both dark and light. Dream images are gifts that our psyche is offering us.  Marion Woodman, a mytho-poetic author, women’s movement figure and Jungian analyst reminds us that honoring our dreams and their images creates a life-changing relationship with the unconscious and our psyches.

Dream images have the capacity to pave the way to your transformation. As you create a vision for the New Year, your dreams can reveal beliefs and perceptions that are limiting you. These may appear as “shadow” dream images, yet they are meant to help you, not frighten you. The snarling dog or fanged snake is calling for your attention. In fact, the more disturbing the dream images may appear, the more powerful they are. James Hillman, in his book Dream Animals once wrote:

Our dreams recover what the world forgets…The dream animal shows us that the imagination has jaws and paws, that it can wake us in the night with panic and terror or move us to tears…and see their living forms so that we respond to them with the gift of intelligence.

Further, not only do dream images possess the power to help us grow and transform, they have the ability to be our “daimon,” an ancient Greek word for “protective spirit.” In his book The Dream and the Underworld, Hillman states: “Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling.”

As I continue to connect with the snake during dream-time, my fear is transforming into trust and faith.  The snake who now visits has shifted from something disturbing and scary, to being my daimon, a protective escort who is more than happy to guide me on my journey. This hasn’t happened easily nor has it happened over night. It has taken months of committed effort to embrace the snake and open myself to its deeper meaning. True growth and transformation requires persistence and patience and dream work entails the same stamina. But it’s worth it, it’s worth every bit.

What might your night-time dreams be telling you? Are there any specific images that call to you? Dreams unfold in what is called the “imaginal” realm. The Sufis speak of the imaginal realm as alam al-mithal. In Hebrew, it is called the olam hamashal. It is the realm of imagination, archetypes and dreams.

May you find soulful guidance from your dreams as you journey through the New Year. In Numerology, the year 2014 reduces to “7” which represents spirituality, science and solitude. It’s a wonderful time to reflect on what matters the most to your soul, psyche and spirit. It’s also the perfect time to set your intention to remember your dreams, to write them down and allow them to reveal their gifts of wisdom.

WHEN A DECEASED LOVED ONE APPEARS IN OUR DREAMS

imagesWHEN A DECEASED LOVED ONE APPEARS IN OUR DREAMS

I think very few of those who have lost their beloved have failed to receive some sign or message from them in dreams, and often it is of deep biding and consolation. – William Dean Howells

     Night-time dreams have been a significant part of my life since I was a small child. As I write this, I’m in the fourth week of teaching a dream course with a passionate group of dreamers. Each week, I find great joy in hearing their dreams as we delve together into a powerful and healing process called “Dream Tending.” In this unique manner of tending to dream, a healing we call “medicine” reveals itself through the dream.

Earlier this morning, I had such a dream. My father, who passed away ten years ago, appeared in what is called a reassurance dream. This is one of the four different kinds of healing dreams that can occur with the deceased: the message dream, the visitation dream, the reassurance dream and the trauma dream. My father, sensing I could use some comfort right now, came during dream time so he could give me a big hug. I was so happy to see him. He gently reminded me that he couldn’t stay long, but that he was there for me. He recognized that it has been particularly painful with a family member who is struggling with some mental and emotional disorders and that I was not alone. I awoke feeling comforted, reassured and strengthened by his presence.

Dreams like this one are immensely healing. They have the power to make sorrow less painful, to repair and restore harmony and to bring a sense of wholeness into our lives. Further, visitations such as the one I experienced are quite common. Sometimes they occur when we are grieving the loss of a loved one and the loved one appears to reassure us that they are okay. Other times, we may be seeking some guidance about an issue and the deceased delivers an important message.

If you have ever been visited by a loved one who is now deceased, remember that it is a powerful gift. There is always something of value that you can be gained from the dream. Here are some tips on how you can heal, grow and evolve from such dreams:

1. Write the dream down. Notice the landscape. (Landscapes are frequently overlooked.) Are you indoors? Outdoors? Daytime? Nighttime? What do you see, smell, hear or touch?

2. Share your dream with someone you trust. By sharing the dream, you will re-experience the positive qualities that you felt during the dream. I am very blessed to have a life partner that I can share my dreams with every morning. As we walk our dog, we tell each other any dreams–even “snippets”–that we remember from the night before.  By sharing my dream with a loved one, I have been able to retain the feeling of comfort and will recall the feeling whenever I need it in the future.

3. Select a tangible dream image that stands out in the dream. Make this image visible in your daily life. You will feel the positive effect of the dream as you keep the image nearby. For example, one dreamer I worked with remembered an orange scarf that her deceased mother wore during a visitation dream. The dreamer went and bought an orange scarf and kept it nearby. It became her “touchstone” and empowered her whenever she was in doubt or felt anxiety in her waking life.

Our psyche never stops dreaming. We are all dream keepers, whether we focus on night-time dreams or day dreams. May your dreams remain alive and gently awaken you as you record them, share them and let them reveal the gifts they hold for you.

Using Your Night-Time Dreams as a Pathway to Your Soul

“Dreams show us how to find meaning in our lives, how to fulfill our own destiny, how to realize the greater potential of life within us.”
—Marie-Louise von Franz

Rich with symbols and archetypes, dreams are an invaluable healing instrument, and when regularly processed and understood, can be a pathway to higher consciousness, healed relationships, fulfilling your life’s purpose and greater abundance. Dreams are jackpots of information, especially when you ask for answers to specific concerns. Edgar Cayce taught, “Dreams work to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new potentials which are his/hers to claim.” Such is the capacity of your nightly dreams.

It’s important to keep in mind that each of your dreams, however silly or insignificant they may first appear to be, are abundant with information. They only await your willingness to learn. Further, dreams are meant to help you, not scare you. Being “stories of information,” they are expressed from your higher self through your subconscious to lovingly guide you. Countless times I’ve heard people exclaim, “I want to learn from my dreams, but mine seem so weird or negative that I’m hesitant to work with them.”

LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR DREAMS

Dreams are highly personal and using your dreams as a pathway to your soul is a process. In the book Season of Changes, Ways of Response it states, “The greatest book of study is that of your own, written by the soul upon time and space—that of your dreams.” Three key questions to keep in mind while working with a dream is:

1) What am I currently dealing with, or being affected by, that my dream wants me to know?
Dreams tend to reflect your life and its current situation. They bring authenticity and intimacy into your relationships, healing forces into your health and provide insight into other issues you’re facing in the present.

2) What do I need to know from my dreams so I can take the next step in my personal and spiritual growth?
Dreams occur to help you in every area of your life, even those areas that we tend to block and may not want to see. (Examples: addiction, self-destructive behaviors, unresolved relationship and childhood issues, unfulfilling career, etc.

3) How may I see the world around me with a new perspective from my recent dreams?
Your night-time dreams are not ghosts passing through the night, but an active and present reality that you can learn from in your daily life.

For the first time in 5 years, Laura is offering a live dream course. For more information, click HERE.