Soul Dreams

IMG_0962Every night, your soul sings to you.  Are you listening?

Dreams can be tricky things.  Our souls do not speak in clear, logical language; they speak through symbols.  Some symbols are universal, but most are far more personal, and cannot be interpreted by anyone but the dreamer.  This is work we have to do for ourselves, if we are to learn what our unconscious minds are trying to tell us.

Sometimes dreams burst into consciousness, with night after night of vivid nightmares.  Other times, you may find that you don’t seem to be remembering your dreams at all.  Whether your dreams are trying to get your attention or you’re looking for a closer connection with the voice of your soul, there are some simple tools that can be useful when decoding your dreams. My favorite method was originally developed by Carl Jung, and is discussed by Martha Beck in her book Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny

To begin, keep a dream journal.  Immediately after waking, write down whatever you can remember, no matter how small or insignificant it seems. The more you do this, the more likely it is that you’ll remember your dreams.

Next, identify the symbols in your dream.  For example, say you dream that you are boarding an airplane with many other people, while carrying a red bag. You might identify the symbols as “airplane,” “many people,” “red bag.”  You can also identify verbs as symbols:  “boarding;” “carrying.”

One at a time, pretend that you have become the symbol.  Say to yourself, “I am the airplane.”  Go on to list three words to describe yourself (“I am large, silver, empty”), and then describe what your purpose as the airplane is (“to carry people to their destination”) and how you’re here to help the dreamer (“I’m taking her to the next stage in her journey”).  Go through each symbol this way, then go back and look over the dream as a whole, with this deeper understanding of its individual parts.

This technique can only be fully appreciated through practicing it, because what comes up may be entirely unexpected.  The way that your symbols speak to you, and interact with one another, will be nothing short of a mosaic of personal messages.  It is not always immediately clear–sometimes you have to sit with a symbol or its message for hours or even days–but often there is deep wisdom to be found here.

For the best results, either go through this exercise with another person (I often lead my coaching clients through this process), or write it out.  This is much more powerful than simply thinking your way through it, although even that can be invaluable in a pinch.

Wishing you sweet dreams~

Clouds In My Coffee

IMG_0098It’s already December, the final month of 2013.  It’s been a wild ride:  completing the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program and setting up my practice; creating the Wise Owl Book Club; traveling to San Diego, Pismo Beach, Lake Tahoe and Napa…  Well, let’s just say that I am very grateful for the shorter, cooler days (even here in the desert) and to turn my focus toward my home and loved ones.

Of course, there’s still plenty to keep me busy–holiday events and shopping, work to do, knitting projects to finish–but during this time of year I find myself a bit more comfortable taking a moment to sit by the fire, drink a cup of tea and enjoy the time I have with my family.  And that means that I can also do something incredibly valuable:  dream.

When I take the time to dream, I get in touch with myself.  I listen to the small still voice inside that reminds me what’s most important, and what I should be focusing on now, in this moment.  I relax.  I play.  I listen.  And I remember to pay attention to my nightly dreams as well, which often hold messages from my soul about the way to go.

I’ll be writing more soon about methods of dream analysis that I find particularly useful and enlightening but, in the meantime, let me just recommend this:  take the time to dream while you’re awake.  Look for those clouds in your coffee, and open your imagination to what you find there.  Not only is dreaming a good way to get in touch with a peaceful, joyful part of yourself, but it just may suggest possibilities you haven’t yet dared to imagine.

Unexpected Storms

Yesterday I dreamed of rain.  The air was thick with water, turning my desert home into a living memory of ancient oceans.  Clouds were thick on the mountains, covering the rocks and earth in a blanket of gray mist.  The rain was steady, undisturbed by wind, falling in sheets.  The sound of rain and distant thunder permeated everything–indoors it was felt as much as heard.

We learn to cherish rain in the desert, for we can see it for the gift it is.  We welcome its cool kiss, damp on our skin, the air washed clean.  We linger beneath the rain drops, breathing in air that is heavy with moisture.  We find sanctuary within unexpected storms.

But as suddenly as it began, the dream was over.  The clouds began to part and the birds to sing.  The light returned, clearer and brighter than before.  The air was still heavy, but now it sparkled.   The light, at first golden behind gray clouds, softened into tones of pink and purple.

We need rain to clear away the past.  We need storms so that in their aftermath we can see the light that surrounds us.  Within the half-light of these unexpected storms, we can find love where we never before thought to look, as rain falls all around us and even the wind rests.

It was a brief dream.  The hot desert air returned, with only the memory of rainfall left behind.  That is why, when the rain comes, we must open to the pleasures of the moment rather than wish them away.  For this is the reason we are here:  to learn how to accept the beauty that is offered to us, and to learn how to share that beauty with others.

Echoes

In this fleeting moment
What extravagant respite
As blooming surf speaks its
Mystical passage across
The undreamed depths.
- from Laguna Beach

Echoes of the future, echoes of the past, meet here, in the present.  What better home could you have?  What will you create next, along with the Universe?  What game will you play?  How will you love?  How will you dance?  What will you grow into, and what stories will you tell about it?

Wake up, and all things are possible.  Love is endless.  We are divine and free.  In this moment, hold eternity and know its name:  Love.

It is not a mystic’s dream or a poet’s wit to say that all can be found in this moment.  What is this moment but the meeting ground of past and present?  They greet one another like old friends, easy in each other’s company.  In this moment lie all the secrets of the world–of all worlds.  But know this:  you are not the unraveller of secrets.  You are the secret.  This is why there can never be an end to mystery.  You know in your heart that, as with all good secrets, the joy lies in the search, the adventure, the discovery.  What lies at the end of your searching is, whatever else it might be, an ending.  And for heroes, storytellers and dreamers, those are always better left unhurried.

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