Snake Dreams & Transformation

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.  ~~James Hillman

Your night times dreams are a gift. Why? Because dreams generally point to our blind spot. They never tell us what we already know. The trouble with interpreting your own dreams is that you can’t see your own back.

This blog is meant to help you understand your dreams so they are relatable to every area of your waking life. And since animals commonly play a main character in our dreams, we are going to examine how they come to us as our HELPERS. They crave intimacy and offer us insight to our higher and lower selves. They call us back to the earth and to our own bodies. If you follow your dream, humbly, that is where your real life begins. And this is especially true for the most misunderstood dream animal: the snake.

Jung stated, “The commonest dream symbol of transcendence is the snake.”

However, in our culture, snake is portrayed as a slippery, slimy, poisonous creature that goes back 2000+ years to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. When we refer to someone as a “snake” we’re implying they are cold, calculating, and untrustworthy.

But in some ancient cultures the serpent is seen as the most universal and auspicious archetype, one that symbolizes rebirth and transformation. Snakes shedding their skin represents the power of birth, death and rebirth, and such transformation occurs when the snake’s eyes begin to cloud over. As a natural shapeshifter, snakes are honored for being able to both journey below the earth’s surface (a.k.a. underworld) and bathe in the sunlight of the upper world. 

Snakes Appearing in Your Dreams

Snakes are often seen as a sexual object in dream time. And if snake randomly appears in your dreams, pay attention to flirtations and sexual energy occurring between you and another. Snake sometimes means a misalignment in psyche so it may show up to warn you that the path you’re heading down with another may be dangerous.

But if snake makes continuous appearances in your dream, pay attention. This is particularly true if you are doing inner work and old trauma is beginning to surface.  

For example, when I began my doctoral program in depth psychology and somatic studies and began delving into the unconscious, all kinds of snakes began starring in my dreams, from black snakes with long red tongues to green diamond back rattlers. Somatic, or body-memories surfaced from experiences I had while growing up.  One night while sleeping in my dorm I dreamt of a snake that sunk its fangs into the top of my left hand. As I waited for its venom to kill me, I noticed that a warm, fuzzy feeling began to pulse through my body. In  Shamanic traditions venom is not seen as poison but as “medicine.” Being bitten by a snake symbolizes the initiation into transformation.

How Do You Work with Snake Dreams?  

A good way to delve into snake dreams is to use the art of Association. Association is a Jungian, straight forward approach to dream work and can be done in very little time. For example, when I first listed my associations of snake, I wrote: slither, slippery, sneaky, constricting, squeezing, poisonous, temptation, flirting, sexual play, seduction, manipulation, power, control, fear, father’s belt, physical punishment, men, unsafe.

The next round my associations went deeper and I noted: frightened, wound, intimacy, distance, guarded, protective, healing, trauma. The key is to keep going back to the original dream image and writing down your associations without pausing. Once you begin thinking about it, you’ve shifted from psyche to intellect and will lose the deeper meaning. Also, you might become inspired by associations that arise and begin associating those images, but don’t go there, doing so will cause you to lose sight of the original dream image. Start with one dream image and stick with it until an “aha” moment happens or you feel an inner click. Some associations will have an emotional charge to them and that’s where you want to focus.

The body remembers everything you have ever experienced and carries the burden of stress, disease, and trauma. Dream images, like my myriad snakes, live in the blood cells, skin, muscles, and organs of the body. By working with the images, the snakes became my personal daimon to the point that even the “poison” that flooded my body after one snake decided to sink his fangs into my left hand became a form of “medicine.”

After the initial shock wore off, I was able to tap into the venom and receive the strength that I needed to confront the past and transform some painful experiences.  This ancient, reptilian image led me to a deeper understanding about my reactions, behaviors, fears, and desire for love, and in alchemical terms, was akin to turning base metal into radiant gold. Using dream images to transform old wounds leads us to individuation, wholeness, self-love, and greater aliveness. You may be wondering, what happened to the snake dreams? Well, two weeks before finishing my final doctoral course and writing my last term paper, snake exited the realm of my dreams and hasn’t made an appearance since. 

The last snake dream I had revealed both the inner and transformation that took place over a period of three years. Internally, I felt less fear, more self-compassion, and self-love. Externally, I experienced more faith and trust in people and my terror of snakes disappeared.

I’m outdoors in a large open space and several feet in front of me is a long, green snake with black stripes. The snake has been living underneath some dense foliage, thick ivy. It has been living under there for a long time but now it’s out in the sunlight. I see it has black narrow eyes and then I notice two more round black “eyes” above the regular eyes, sitting on either side of its head. Looking more closely, I can see that they react to the light, like sensors and then it gives a very loud rattle.

Next, I see something move around the top of the snake’s head and a baby snake with tiny legs unhooks itself and crawls down its face. The baby scoots away and then a very bizarre thing happens: The snake completely transforms itself by pulling its skin forward until it covers its eyes and face. It now looks like a beautiful, large, green succulent that curves downward. I am fascinated and realize I no longer need to fear snakes.

This dream is filled with a wealth of images: Large open space, green snake with black stripes, thick ivy, eyes that are sensors, the sound of the rattle, the lizard-like baby snake with legs, transformation from snake into a large succulent.  Here is an example of my positive associations:

  • Open space: Nature = place I go for reflecting, healing, feeling open-minded, getting grounded, peaceful, favorite place to be
  • Green snake: Rattlesnake, poisonous/medicine, green is a “healing” color, primitive, reptilian, shapeshifter, kundalini energy, sheds its skin
  • Thick ivy: I love ivy, dense cover, easy to maintain, grows in my yard, resilient, protective
  • Eyes that are sensors: Insight, sensitive to light, awareness, vision
  • Rattle: Primal, rhythm, Native American, instrument, warning, ancient, felt it in my body
  • Baby snake with legs: Birth, new beginnings, circle of life, lizard-like
  • Transformation into succulent: Change, healing, shapeshifter, awakening, verdant, alive, magical

Remember, your night-time dreams are a gift. Especially those you resist for they offer the greatest growth and opportunity for transformation.

Namaste

Visitation Dreams, Part I: Messages that Can Change Your Life

Has someone you loved visited you during dream time? Did they show up to reassure you or give you a message? Or perhaps they gave you a message to share with someone in your life?

Visitation dreams are not uncommon but they do not happen frequently. They are meaningful encounters that often contain invaluable messages or loving comfort. In Part One of “Visitation” dreams, we are delving into the unforgettable realm of “Message” dreams and how they have the power to change your life.   

Now, quite often dreams of people giving you a message involve something called “Dream Telepathy.” We have the ability to communicate telepathically with one another while asleep and dreaming. This phenomenon is much more common than we think and surpasses the boundary of coincidence. The first person to use the phrase ‘dream telepathy’ was Sigmund Freud in his book “Uncanny” published in 1919.  

I have had numerous clients share dreams where a deceased loved one has appeared to give them a message either for them, or for someone else in the dreamer’s life. The latter tends to happen because the dreamer receiving the message may be an avid dreamer with good recall, or because he or she is more receptive to receiving the visitor and his or her message. Sometimes the messages being given are incredibly positive and sometimes they entail more serious issues like illness and even death.

For example, several years ago, while teaching a dream workshop, a woman shared how she was visited by a deceased relative and was told that her brother was going to die in a car accident in the near future. Telepathically, the relative communicated exactly how the accident was going to occur including the location and time of day. My student believed the message she was being given but was so distraught, she didn’t know what to do with the information. She didn’t want to scare her brother, but she knew she needed to convey the message. So, within two days of receiving the message she told her brother about the dream and cautioned him not to drive this certain route for a while. He listened but didn’t take the dream seriously. Five days later he died while driving his car in the exact place the dream message predicted.  

My student carried great guilt about this and we worked together to help her process her grief. She eventually came to terms with the fact that because we have free will, she couldn’t stop what was happening, she could only convey the message.  

This was a traumatic message dream, and in most cases, the message being conveyed is helpful and uplifting to the dreamer or the person it is meant for. It usually provides insight or wisdom that the dreamer is unaware of. In fact, I had such a dream like this a couple weeks ago:

I am having a telepathic conversation with author and world-renowned intuitive, Sonia Choquette. She has 40 years of experience as a spiritual teacher and written 27 books. In my dream she is acknowledging that I am having difficulty defining what this next chapter of my looks like. I’m closely listening to her as she instructs me, telepathically: “look for the CLUES in your life.” As she communicates this an antique-colored map that resembles an old-fashioned treasure map appears and I see that it contains the path I have been walking this lifetime. As I look more closely, I see that certain life experiences are highlighted. I realize these are the “clues” she is referring to.   

Upon waking, I begin using “Dream Inquiry,” a process I created to understand dreams more deeply. Inquiry with this dream entailed asking myself about the highlighted life experiences on the “map” appearing in my dream:

What nourishes my soul?  

What brings my soul to life?  

What energizes my core, gives me strength, lifts me up and inspires me/

What calls my attention and what brings out the best in me?

How do I best express my soul’s desire?  

And what does my soul need right now to feel most alive?

These are probes I have asked throughout my life but not in a very long time. This dream was a powerful reminder that to gain clarity about this chapter of my life, I need to mindfully answer the above questions because they are the “clues” Sonia encouraged me to look for. This dream is significant and one worth working with and paying attention to!

In Part Two of “Visitation” dreams we are going to look at “Reassurance” dreams which occur when a loved one appears during times of change, loss, or letting go.  

Namaste,

Laura Grace, PhD

Relationship Beginnings, Endings and Differentiation

Relationships Beginnings, Endings and Differentiation, Part One

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February is the month we celebrate love, joy and the passion that stems from an intimate relationship, qualities especially apparent in a new relationship. Most love songs seem to be filled with lyrics about the arc of passion that brings two people together, symbolized by the power of Eros. However, at the other end of the love-song-spectrum are lyrics about the painful ending of a special relationship.  Enter Thanatos, the god of death. Yes, most of us are familiar with the magnetic pull of Eros and the passion we feel when we fall in love, but who is Thanatos? Thanatos is equally as powerful and important but often overlooked. It is the shadow side of Eros. Frequently misunderstood, people rarely want to look at this Greek mythological figure, the god of death. But having worked for years with couples in therapy, I see Thanatos as a misunderstood cry for differentiation.

If you are in a long-term relationship, you know how important it becomes to create space for yourself and each other as the relationship evolves.  Differentiating is the healthy way to be independent within a partnership.  This means setting boundaries, spending time apart to nurture our soul, delving into creative projects or activities that fulfill us, and allowing our partner the same freedoms. When we don’t recognize the need to differentiate or believe there is something “wrong” with the relationship, we are denying the qualities of Thanatos.

While counseling clients I have witnessed numerous times when Thanatos has reared his head. And frequently, couples believe that because they want more space or time apart from their partner, it must mean one or both of them want out. Eros appears to have died and passion has been replaced with our partner’s flaws. Instead of wanting to be with them, we desire more and more time away and alone.

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If left unrecognized, this is often when the relationship becomes confusing, the couple experiences disillusionment, and/or a breakdown or uncoupling begins. It may feel like the relationship is dying, and part of it is. But that does not mean you need to uncouple, rather it signifies that the way things have been going are no longer working. Passion has been replaced with complacency and taking each other for granted. Change is required so the partnership can move to the next level. From this perspective, Thanatos signifies a new beginning.

Dr. Carl G. Jung, the founder of depth psychology, believed that how we behave stems from the result of the different way we use our mental capacities. From this concept, Isabel Briggs Myers created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This instrument has been used for many years and helps people clarify his or her basic personality type. The “intuitive-feeling” person relates deeply to the Romeo-Juliet archetype and the idea of falling madly, deeply in love with his or her soulmate. These personality types are particularly sensitive the power of Eros and crazily happy when experiencing the beginning throes of a relationship. However, when Thanatos begins to creep in, this personality type often experiences distress. Where did my beloved go?!  Desiring time apart may feel opposite from earlier days and therefore, the relationship must be doomed.

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Yet, Eros is impossible to experience without Thanatos.  Thanatos represents a time in the relationship to honor the distancing, confusion and estrangements as a meaningful progression toward expanding the relationship.  It allows Eros to become renewed and remain alive. Therefore, this is a crucial time to individually expand within the relationship, as well as stretch the comfort zone of the relationship itself. This critical juncture can lead to death of the relationship, or, to two people learning to differentiate which can lead to individuation. Strong communication and creative ways to support the changes are required. Patience and trust that growth is occurring is also helpful.

In Part Two, we will look at how Thanatos shows up in dream time. Stay tuned! And to watch a short interview about this topic, check out the interview I recently had with professional coach and story-teller, Zette Harbour. Namaste.

Erotic Dreams: What’s Sex Got to Do with It?

Erotic Dreams: What’s Sex Got to Do with It?

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Part One: Destigmatizing Sex in Dreamtime

You are on a crowded beach having sex with an ex. It’s hot, steamy and you don’t want it to ever end. But as you are about to orgasm, you wake-up.

What does sex got to do with it?

In a nutshell: Nothing and everything.

Let us start by keeping in mind your dreams have their own language. It is poetic and it is metaphoric, but it is not linear. When it comes to sexual dreams, please do not take them literally. Because if you do, having a passionate, erotic dream filled with lust and excitement, may make you feel embarrassed. And if this sexual experience involves someone you know, well, it might leave you feeling very confused, or worse yet, ashamed. These kinds of feelings may tempt you to dismiss this very important dream.

So, lesson number one: dreams arise from the unconscious mind, and the unconscious mind expresses itself in creative and meaningful ways that speak to your soul. Remember the “s” word our culture avoids, soul? Heaven forbid we should talk about the very essence of what moves us, inspires us…what gives our lives meaning. The word “soul” stems from the Greek term “psyche.” Carl Jung (1963) declared: “Without the psyche there would be neither knowledge nor insight.” During dream time, while the ego sleeps, psyche comes to life and reveals information unattainable during waking life. Thus, dreams are the language of the soul.

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When You Desire, or Are Having Sex in a Dream

Eros is not the childish cupid image we have been taught but rather creative life energy. Sigmund Freud believed that Eros was a masculine god, with forward-moving energy that pulls us toward others, (in a deep, engaging manner), towards the future, towards the new. Therefore, Eros dreams may have several different meanings and can range from repressed sexual energy, to creatively expressing yourself. If you are having sex with someone you know, notice who it is. This dream may be revealing your wish to “connect” with the essence you with to embrace. So, who is this person, and what does he/she represent to you? If I asked you to describe this person in a few words, what would you say? Your perception of this person holds the key as to why he/she is showing up in your dream.

If you are having sex with someone you do not recognize, is it a man or woman? This dream may be showing your desire to align more closely with your masculine or feminine aspects. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed of any kind of sex dream. Your dreams are amoral; they are not interested in the rightness or wrongness of anything. Dreams of incest and/or having sex with friends, co-workers, bosses, ex-partners and people of the same sex (if we’re straight) or, people of the opposite sex (if we’re gay), are never meant to be taken literally. These dream themes are about our desire to connect and integrate aspects of ourselves which the sexual dream character personifies. Feelings of guilt will only prevent you from clearly seeing the message of the dream. Here is an example of a dream I once had involving my sense of self as a writer:

I am part of a technical and science expo and James Hillman (father of archetypal psychology) calls me into his office. “You can pick anything that I’ve created and develop it.” It is a very favorable offer and I feel excited about delving into his theory on archetypal psychology and dream work.   

Now I am in a huge four poster bed with white sheets and American actor Kelsey Grammer (from the hit comedy Frazier) joins me. He climbs into bed and says, “I want my biography written and I think you might be the person to write it. Do you know much about my character on the show Frazier?” I think, “Oh my god, do you have any idea how well I know your character?” He shows me a large piece of glossy paper decorated with different colorful ink patterns and I realize he’s offering me the position to write Frazier’s biography. I feel very attracted to him and hope he wants have sex, but I can’t tell if he does or just wants me to do this project for him.

This dream has numerous elements involving opportunity, potential and creativity. More specifically, it reveals how Grammar is representing my masculine aspect, the creative part I desire to intimately connect with. When this dream occurred, I was in the middle of writing an important paper in my doctoral program in depth psychology. Interestingly, Frazier’s character is a “doctor of psychology,” a psychiatrist.

Sexual dreams are associated with the second energy center of our bodies. The Sacral Chakra resides in the pelvic region and reflects sexuality, pleasure, “pro-creativity.”  Its affirmation is “I CREATE” and supports us accessing and identifying our feelings and where we desire to channel our energy and attention.

In Part Two of What’s Sex Got to Do with It?  we will expand our conversation on dreams of sexual arousal, orgasms and the creative principle arising through dream time. And to watch the video that accompanies this blog, please click this link: https://youtu.be/7qsPiLV1chM

Namaste,

Laura V Grace, PhD 

Seven Reasons You May Be Dreaming About the Corona Virus Pandemic

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Seven Reasons You May Be Dreaming About the Corona Virus Pandemic

Vivid, intense, and “busy” dreams are occurring as the corona virus pandemic continues to unfold. There are several reasons contributing to this fact: (1) changes in sleeping habits, (2) taking care of others in need, (3) financial pressure, (4) anger about how the virus is being handled by our leaders, (5) underlying physical issues (which means escalated fear of catching the virus), (6) feeling isolated and lonely from social distancing, and (7) increased stress at work from having to wear a mask.

One client shared how his surge of dreams stems from feeling disconnected from others: “Because I am not spending time hanging out with my friends, I’m alone far more than I’ve ever been. I think this is amping up my inner world and dreaming state. My dreams have never been so intense. I decided this was a good time to write them down and really work with them.”

Are your dreams pertaining to the current pandemic?

Lately, I have witnessed several clients’ dreams pointing to the personal effect the virus is having on our psychological state, such as this one:

I’m in a black Jeep and my husband is driving. We are coming to an end of a road and we dive image to useboth know we are about to go over a cliff and into a deep body of water. As we get closer to the edge, I feel frightened, but I’m also aware that we are going to be okay. As the Jeep goes over the cliff and down toward the water, I think we need to roll down the windows so we don’t get trapped. As we hit the water, I am now out of the Jeep and descending toward the ocean floor, feet first. My toes are pointed downward, and I realize I am going down so deep that I will run out of oxygen. I decide to make myself stop descending and hope I have enough air to make it to back up. I awoke feeling very anxious.

This dreamer was in the process of taking care of her husband who was ill. Also, she was dealing with some of  her own health issues and very worried about contracting the virus. Since this was the third anxiety-related dream she had had in the past few weeks, she got tested for the corona virus and tested negative. However, she did not notice any decrease in her stress levels or upsetting dreams. Together, we began using active imagination to better understand her dreams. She also realized she needed to re-implement her daily self-care routine of listening to meditative music, spending more time outdoors with her dogs, and hiking alone. A few weeks later, her anxious dreams began to decrease.

Most dreams are personal, but not all. Sometimes, our dreams are uprising from the collective unconscious. These dreams are revealing the overall concerns we are experiencing as a “whole”. Some are even prophetic. But most dreams tend to be highly personal. Pay particular attention to your dreams during this time and notice “themes” which may be arising.

Right now is an important time to reflect and pay attention to your internal world. It is tempting to become distracted from the cacophony of the external world. But what matters most, is the wisdom surfacing from deep within you. Your dreams will lead you to making healthy, life-generating choices that feed your mental, emotional and physical well-being.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog, please click this link: https://youtu.be/lj3xXWFKIhk

Namaste,

Laura Grace, PhD

Seven Steps to Dream Recall

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(This article originally appeared at SoulfulLiving.com)

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.

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

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Why is SLEEP so Healing?

Why is Sleep so Healing?

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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

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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.

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

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

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Recognizing & Transforming Your Limiting Patterns

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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!