Entries Tagged as: dreams
March 26th, 2009, Comments (11)
To celebrate wrapping up this month of dreams, I'm so excited to invite you to participate in this free call about dream interpretation with Lianne Raymond! Lianne is a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach and she has trained with Dr. Christopher Shelley in Adlerian Dream Interpretation.
On the call, we'll discuss:
*How you can begin to interpret your own dreams
*How to cultivate your creativity through dream analysis
*Lianne will do some one-on-one dream work (bring your dreams to the call if you're interested in sharing!)
*And we'll be giving away a special gift, a Martha Beck dream journal, to someone on the call!
Sign up for the call using the form below and I'll send you the call in information. The call will be recorded, but you need to sign up below to receive the recording.
I've always had vivid dreams, but never did much with analyzing them until I found the work of Robert Moss and Martha Beck. I truly love how Beck encourages you to see each part of your dream as a part of your wiser self that has something to teach you.
Here's what Lianne has to say about dream interpretation:
Many people treat dreams as some obscure secret with the thought that there is one correct interpretation and if only they can decipher them correctly, then all shall be revealed. I see this in my psychology students every year. When we start our dream unit it never fails that there is a flurry of questions along these lines:
"What does it mean when you dream about horses?"
"I always dream about falling - what does that mean?"
"If a cigar is not really a cigar in my dream, what is it?"
The Martha Beck approach (derived from the work of Carl Jung) treats the dream like a divination tool. Divination simply means an inspired (to be "in spirit") discovery of what is hidden. Many of us have done our own forms of divination - have you ever done the trick where you feel stuck in some way so you go open the dictionary to a random page and put down your finger? And the word you just happened to land on gives you a whole new perspective? Dream analysis is like that, but even more powerful as the new perspective is internally generated and custom made just for you from your imaginal world.
Martha Beck's method has the dreamer become each item in the dream and answer questions about it's purpose, intention and lesson for the dreamer. Sometimes this can be challenging to do alone without slipping back into cynical, rational left-brain land. That's when it can be helpful to have a friend, partner or coach to take you through the process. (Martha has a great breakdown of her dream analysis method in Chapter 5 of her book Steering by Starlight.)
I have used Martha's approach with numerous students in my psychology classes and also with many of my life coaching clients. I have noticed, though, that my students rarely state that they don't dream (in fact they have extremely vivid dreams) whereas the adults who come to me for coaching often have the "I don't dream" syndrome. Of course they do dream, it has just been relegated to the 'that's not important' part of their brain. Often along with their imagination. I believe dreaming is a vital sign for the creative life. Leah has demonstrated here how her dreams have become springboards for her artwork. That springboard can be come even more interesting after a dream analysis. This is a painting one of my students did that combines elements from her dream with insights she gained from the dream analysis.
If you feel like you don't dream it is just a matter of creating the space and intention to let your dreams become known to you again. A great way to do this is by keeping a dream journal beside your bed and making an intention every night that you will allow your subconscious to communicate with you through dreams. Or just simply request that you have a dream and remember it. Keep with the practice even if nothing seems to be happening at first - maintain the space and the intention and write down even the shimmeriest of dream memories whenever you have them. Over time you will find that your dreams with become more frequent and memorable.
The truth is all the answers are within you and they are not secret. What dream analysis does is take the left, rational brain out of the driver's seat for a time and allows the right brain to make itself known. It takes us to the deeper place of knowing that I call the arational. And of course the arational is also the spring of creativity. To cultivate dreams is to cultivate creativity and connection to our wisdom.
You will be amazed at the insights into your own life that you will uncover through dream analysis.
Sound interesting? Want to learn more? Come join us on the call on Thursday, April 2nd at 8 pm EST (find out what time this is in your time zone here). The call will be free, but long distance charges may apply. In the meantime, sweet dreams!
March 18th, 2009, Comments (13)
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
~Charles Austin Beard
I made them to be a set of 3 nesting boxes. The sides and tops of the first two boxes are covered with images of vivid dreams I remembered, some recent, some from childhood. The smallest box is painted in black paint, covered with words of warning and closed with a latch. But inside it's all glittery and gold.
A lot of the dream images I collected were nightmares. They span from a recent dream of trying to hold all four kitties as I escape a burning house...
...to the first dream I can remember having, at about age 3. In that dream, I went to a friend's house and saw a large clay alligator on the couch. I sat on it and it came to life, chasing me out the door. As I ran down the street, more and more animals came out the woods chasing me. And then I crossed the finish line to a race and realized they hadn't been chasing me at all, they were just racing, but I won! I woke up scared anyways.
Other dreams on that box include being on a ship with insanely large spiders that could grab you through the wall and swim after you in the ocean. And another dream was about getting a cookie and thinking it was chocolate chip but on closer inspection it was oatmeal raisin...ok, that wasn't a scary dream, but it was funny cause the morning after I had that dream a friend offered me a granola bar that I thought was chocolate chip and turned out to be full of raisins. The dream helped me take a closer look and saved me a from a big bit of raisins! (I hate raisins if you hadn't gathered that.)
In the second box, the dreams get a little darker. There's a nightmare about my former boss asking me to cut open her dog to make dinner and then sew him up again, another dream about a wolf, and a particularly spooky dream of pulling a large slug from my body.
Then box 3 is very dark, enscribed with words of caution to stay away, and other words of hurt, sadness, loss, and so forth. But inside, if you peel back all the layers, if you take the time, pass through the distractions and don't listen to the negativity, inside all of that is something golden, something hopeful.
I think the general essence of the golden interior is true for so many things in our lives. Inside our darkness, is often our brightest light. If we can open up to the possiblity of this and not be so quick to push away, avoid, and stuff our seemingly scary, dark visions out of sight, perhaps we can gently invite them to open and see what glitters beneath the layers?
Have you had the experience of finding your light tucked inside your darkness?
March 11th, 2009, Comments (7)
The retreat was great. A wonderful combination of relaxing and inspiring. I got there the day before the retreat began to do a little unwinding and getting centered. I'm glad I did because all the travel exhausted me. I stayed the cutest little loft room (that I had to climb a sort of ladder to get into.) Fortunately I'm super short, so I could just stand up in it. It felt like I was tucked in a treehouse and I loved that.
I spotted Animal Speak on a bookshelf in the hall and took it up to the loft with me to look at. I'd just been talking about the book with my coach, so it was funny to see it there. And I'd been wanting to read over the part about spiders after I had that spider dream recently. I rested in bed, reading and journaling, and drifted off into a lovely nap.
I dreamed that the hubster showed up at the retreat and I had to tell him that it was an all-women retreat, so he couldn't go inside. We pitched a tent together outside the house and we were sitting in it, when I looked down the road and saw a huge bear coming down the road towards us. There was an old man under a tree near us. I turned to him and asked if we should be running into the house. But he said not to worry, that we didn't have any food, so the bear wouldn't bother us. Then a drunk man came out of the woods and started harrassing the bear. The bear was pushing him away, trying to ignore him, but the man kept coming after the bear and eventually punched the bear in the face. The bear then lost its temper and bit the man. It was a very vivid dream and I woke up remembering it fully.
Later that night, I turned to Animal Speak to read about what bears symbolize. I learned that the bear has ties to the subconscious and unconscious mind. It is associated with Diana, goddess of the moon. It teaches you to use your inner resources to find your answers within. It teaches you to make choices from a position of power. Bears are often associated with trees, an ancient symbol that is like an antenna connecting heaven and earth. Trees remind us bring what we awaken into the world and to make our marks with it.
The things I read about the bear, it's connection with trees and the moon, and the bits about what it has to teach, were so relevant to me. I did some writing about the dream, which I think I'll share later on. It's interesting how focusing on dreams this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge, has brought such powerful dreams! It just goes to show you that what you focus on expands.
The next day, I had an amazing massage in a cute little boathouse (above) with an incredibly talented, nurturing therapist. While my face was down and looking through the head-rest, I opened my eyes and laughed to myself because within the rug pattern below, the shapes looked like a bear standing in a river with a crescent moon and birds flying by. That's where the image I painted above came from. After the massage, I drew a little sketch of what I saw and knew that I wanted to paint the bear in this way. I painted it today in acrylic and ink on watercolor paper.
I have more to share on the weekend later, but in the meantime, some fun links to check out:
- Rainn Wilson (Dwight on The Office) has a new website called SoulPancake that is all about creativity and spirituality. Very cool!
- Need a pat on the back? A boost? A job well done? Check out my pal Jim Doran's new website, Hey Good Job. Love it.
March 10th, 2009, Comments (19)
Hello, lovely, creative readers. I've just returned from a refreshing and inspiring retreat with Christine Kane. I'm still processing a bit and trying to re-ground myself after the shuffling process that happens when I travel, but I'm sure I'll share more about the retreat soon.
One of the things we did during the weekend was to create a Vision Board. I create Vision Boards every so often, so the process wasn't new to me, but each time I create one, I get a little more insight into what it is that I want in my life. And for all you visual people out there, this is a great way to see your visions brought to life. Christine has a great ebook on Vision Boards which you can get for free (see her sidebar for the info) by signing up for her newsletter.
There are lots of different ways to approach the process of creating a Dream Board. I've created some with a particular theme, but usually I just tear through magazines, letting my intuition guide me to rip out images that are calling to me in the moment. When I've got a pile of images to work with, I lay them all out on a big piece of paper or posterboard, re-arrange the imagery til the board is filled with images that resonate strongly with me, and then glue them down.
Jennifer Lee, has a wonderfully creative and unique way of creating a vision board that I tried out recently. She calls it the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit, which you can learn more about and order here. The kit comes with a visualization on cd, the materials needed to create a portable vision board, and an instruction manual. You can see the folded up version of the one I created above. And the open version in all it's origami-type-coolness is below. I love how you can pop this vision board in your purse and pull it out whenever you need a hit of inspiration.
Today is the Full Worm Moon and on each full moon, the lovely, Jamie hosts a dreamboard challenge. What a lovely process to renew your Vision Board with each full moon!
Have you created a Vision Board before? Many people who do them experience the imagery they include on their Vision Boards coming true with great speed. And even if that seems a bit woo-woo or farfetched to you, it's still a fun process to explore and get creative with.
March 3rd, 2009, Comments (21)
When I imagined doing the theme of "dreams" for the Creative Every Day Challenge, author, Robert Moss immediately came to mind. I'm so thrilled to be able to share this interview about dreaming and creativity with you!
My interest in dream imagery stems from the fact that my dreaming is quite vivid and I often get a lot of ideas for art there, but the typical dream interpretation books never made much sense to me. Robert Moss's book, Conscious Dreaming was recommended to me by CED participant, Kelly, who found me through a bit of synchronicity and my post about a lynx dream. I deeply resonated with Moss's discussion of dreams and finding the meaning in your own symbology.
Since deciding to contact Moss, his work has been turning up everywhere! An article by Moss was in a free magazine I just happened to pick up at the beginning of the month and then this week an acquaintance emailed me a link to a podcast interview with Moss that she thought I would enjoy. Synchronicities are an important topic in Moss's work and I love his discussions about them. I hope you enjoy this interview with Moss. Be sure to check out his website, his online dreaming courses, and his latest book, The Secret History of Dreaming.
LPK: Have you always been a vivid dreamer?
RM: In my early boyhood in my native Australia, my dreams got me through crises of illness and I had indelible dream visions of traveling to worlds beyond ordinary reality. I learned from Aboriginal friends that our personal dreams can be portals into the Dreamtime, the source of ancestral wisdom, creativity and healing. I did well in exams at school, in part because I used to dream exam questions ahead of time. I started keeping a dream journal in my teens and often turned my dreams into poems, drawings and paintings.
LPK: How does dreaming impact your creativity?
RM: My seven nonfiction books on dreaming and imagination have flowed almost seemlessly from my dreams. My dreams also give me scenes, plot ideas, characters and dialogue for my novels and sometimes the whole of a short story. Sometimes I wake (as Charles Dickens told a doctor he used to wake) with the sense of wave upon wave of words moving through me, and I write with these rhythms rather than from specific dream content. Even more than from sleep dreams, I find my creativity is released in in-between states of reverie, daydream and hypnagogia (between sleep and waking, or vice versa). These liminal states, as I suggest in The Secret History of Dreaming, have been the "solution state" in which creative breakthroughs have been made in many field - in science and invention as well as in literature and the arts.
LPK: Do you think there's a certain amount of playfulness involved in interpreting your dreams and experiences with synchronicity?
RM: At one of my first public lectures on these themes, a very earnest fellow asked, "Bottom line it for me - what is all this about?" I said, very distictly, "Remember to PLAY." And he wrote it down. I'm not sure he really got the point. We do our best work in a spirit of play, and my work as a teacher and writer is essentially to encourage people to play better games.
To harvest messages from dreams and coincidence, you need to develop a talent for resemblances - for noticing what looks like or sounds like something else. If you have an ear for puns, you'll pick up messages in a dream that others may miss. If you have a playful sense that the universe is alive, and that unseen forces may be at play around you and with you - giving you a secret handshake, or mussing your hair, or sometimes pushing you back - then you'll come alive to the great art of navigating by synchronicity.
LPK: I know people who say they do not dream or at least they don't remember their dreams. What suggestions do you have for people wanting to tap into their dreams?
RM: The new science of dreaming confirms that everyone dreams every night, in four to six cycles of REM sleep (when the eyes are moving under the lids) and in other sleep phases too. Anyone who says "I don't dream" is just saying "I don't remember".
If you want to break a dream drought, here's how to begin:
- Before you go to bed, write down an intention for the night. You might ask for guidance on something or simply say, “I want to have fun in my dreams and remember.” Make sure your intention has some juice. Don’t make dream recall one more chore to fit in with all the others.
- Having set your intention, make sure you have the means to honor it. Keep pen and paper (or a tape recorder) next to your bed so you are ready to record something when you wake up.
- Record something whenever you wake up, even if it’s at 3 a.m. Sometimes the dreams we most need to hear come visiting at rather anti-social hours, from the viewpoint of the little everyday mind.
- If you don’t remember a dream when you first wake up, laze in bed for a few minutes and see if something comes back. Wiggle around in the bed. Sometimes returning to the body posture we were in earlier in the night helps to bring back what we were dreaming when our bodies were arranged that way.
-If you still don’t have a dream, write something down anyway: whatever is in your awareness, including feelings and physical sensations. You are catching the residue of a dream even if the dream itself is gone. And as you do this, you are saying to the source of your dreams, “I’m listening. Talk to me.”
LPK: I love how you use synchronicity as guidance in your life. For those wanting to experience more of this kind of guidance, what would you recommend?
RM: You'll find lots of coincidence games, and Moss's Laws for Navigating by Synchronicity, in my book The Three "Only" Things. I'll just mention just one everyday game for now. Think about an issue in your life on which you need guidance. Get this clear and simple ("I would like guidance on......") and write it down. Then as you go about your day, be open to the idea that the first unusual or striking that enters your field of perception is a direct answer to you from the world. It may be the vanity plate on the car in front of you, or a snatch of conversation, or a deer on the road.
LPK: I dream paintings sometimes, but I often have trouble remembering them fully when I wake up. Do you have any tools for remembering dream images?
RM: I find that often dreams come back later in the day, especially under the shower or when an incident in waking life starts to call up a forgotten dream incident.
Remember you don't need to go to sleep in order to dream. You can enter dreaming from a quiet place of meditation, from the twilight zone between sleep and waking, or through shamanic drumming. You may want to check out my drumming CD, Wings for the Journey. You can take a favorite picture and use it as a personal dreamgate. Imagine yourself stepping behind that line of trees in the landscape painting, for example, and having an adventure on the other side. Or take a favorite piece of music and let yourself flow with it into a series of dreamlike scenes.
LPK: What are some of your favorite dream resources?
RM: The most important book on dreams you'll ever read is your own dream journal. I offer workshops and classes in dreaming and navigating by coincidence all over the map, and my events calendar is at my website www.mossdreams.com. I also have a lively blog, www.mossdreams.blogspot.com. I have published seven nonfiction books on Active Dreaming - my original approach to dream exploration and healing - starting with Conscious Dreaming and including, most recently, The Secret History of Dreaming, which describes how dreaming has been the secret engine in great lives and great events across all of human history. I have also produced a video workshop, The Way of the Dreamer (Psyche Productions) and an audio series Dream Gates: A Journey into Active Dreaming (Sounds True).
Thank you, Robert for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your dream wisdom with us! I hope that this interview has inspired you to get playful with your own dream imagery. Sweet dreams!
March 2nd, 2009, Comments (32)
I didn't sleep well at all on Saturday night, I dreamed of spooky spiders attacking me (one of which I squished with my bare hand and it's juice/blood/venom squirted all over the people around me), I dreamed I was being chased through doorway after doorway, up and downstairs, and finally out to a yard where a father and two kids were shooting rifles in their yard. I also dreamed about being a photographer at a wedding and I was having all sorts of trouble with the lenses.
Some of the dream images came from things I'd seen or read the day before. There were two spiders in our bathroom that evening (one surprised me and I smooshed it), I knew a friend was shooting a wedding on Saturday, and another friend uses a doorway in her newsletter. But the way theses images all mix together into such vivid imagery and bizarre stories is so wild!
Sunday I decided to make some art around the dreams I'd had. I wanted to let it come intuitively, so I started with red paint on watercolor paper, letting it flow, and then the green organic shapes came, and then I used the shapes I saw in the red paint as the basis for the scene. First, I painted the hand on the spider, then the figure and lastly the houses in the background. It feels a bit dream-like, a little spooky, especially if you take all the red to be blood or venom. But I think most of my art feels a bit dream-like, a bit surreal.
I had an art teacher in a critique once who discouraged me from painting from dream imagery and oh, did I cry. She felt that focusing on still life painting would serve me better. And I understood that she wanted me to focus on my skills, but painting from my heart was so important, so to have her put that side of me down was so painful to hear.
It took me a long time to get over it. I even abandoned this one dream-based painting at the school. I let someone paint over it as I didn't want to ever see it again. It took me years to get back to the place where I felt good about creating from my heart again. I suppose I always knew that I would get back to that place because something in me just ached to express myself in that way.
I wasn't intending to talk about this when I sat down to write, but it's important to say:
Create what's in your heart. Don't let the people who don't "get it" (and not every one will get it) get you down. There is only one of you in all time. Express what is uniquely you.
And the beautiful thing is, when you express what is uniquely you, you encourage others to do the same. And how beautiful is the world when we all share what is in our hearts?
Back to the dream theme for a moment...Dreams are a wonderful way of accessing what is aching to be expressed in us. Sometimes our dreams have an odd way of sharing this information with us, but it's a fascinating place to dip our toe in and explore. Try this with a recent dream. Journal about it, draw a sketch or doodle a character from it. Or use a dream as the basis for a new creation, no matter how strange it may seem to bring it to life. Let your art or writing bring your dreams to life and see what they might have to share with you.
March 1st, 2009, Comments (1)
Heidi Fishbach has created a wonderful guide to living a curious life that she calls A Month of Living Curiously (AMOLC). Through almost-daily emails she offers tips and inspiration for increasing your awareness, looking at your underlying beliefs, and getting curious about them in a gentle way that encourages change. And the fabulous thing is that, this month there will be a theme of "dreams" running through it which fits so perfectly with the Creative Every Day Challenge theme of dreams this month! If this sounds interesting to you, go here to learn more about the project and sign up.
AMOLC starts today, but you can join in up until March 5th. (I'm not getting any kick-back for this, I'm recommending it to you because it's something I've enjoyed!) This post is an example of the missives you would receive from Heidi. It was sent towards the end of the month in February and I just loved the GPS analogy!
March 1st, 2009, Comments (3)
This week's chapter in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, which I'm reading with Jamie's book group, talks about creative alliances and partnerships. I liked how A Feminist Wife called it her "dream team." It fits perfectly with the (totally optional) dream theme this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge.
I have used the idea of an imagined dream team before (people living and dead that I could consider personal allies), but it's been awhile since I thought about who I would put on my team. Among those I don't know, I'd love to have SARK as an ally as well as Martha Beck. Both of these women are intelligent, funny, creative, down-to-earth go-getters, and totally inspiring. I admire their honesty and integrity in the telling of their stories, their energy, and their wild success!
Fortunately, I'm lucky to have some wonderful creative alliances with people I already know. I have an awesome coach, a sort of Mastermind group that I meet with regularly, and I enjoy taking classes where I meet other like-minded, creative souls. One of my greatest alliances is with the hubster who is a wonderful champion for me and my bff has always been incredibly supportive.
I've made many creative alliances online (one of the wonderful things about blogging!) and I'm extremely grateful for that. It's been so helpful for a super introverted person like myself, as I can feel connected and respond in a way that feels good to me, without feeling the energy drain that happens for me in crowds of people.
I've been working on asking for help lately and it's definitely been interesting. The act of asking makes me feel a bit vulnerable, but it also gives others the opportunity to help (and people generally love to help others, particularly when it's something they're passionate about.)
Along those lines, I've approached some people I admire about doing interviews for Creative Every Day this year and the response has been wonderful. I'll be posting one of these interviews this week! In the meantime, check out this fabulous interview that Jamie Ridler did with the lovely Goddess Leonie.
February 23rd, 2009, Comments (34)
The *totally optional* theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge in March will be Dreams.
How can you use this theme in your creations? Well, you could use the previous themes to help you brainstorm by getting playful and writing all the ways you could intepret the theme. Or perhaps you will dream something up?
If you need some suggestions, I will be posting about the theme throughout the month. Here are a few ideas to get you started. You could:
- *Keep a dream journal
- *Use your dreams (or nightmares) as the basis for art
- *Read about artists who used dreams as a source of inspiration
- *Explore your dreams for the future in a dream board
- *Practice Dreaming Big
- *Turn your dreams into poems
- *Play with visualizations to spark your creativity
How to use the themes:
If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving.
Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't. I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate it into your life. I'd love to hear how you use the theme in your creative world.
Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.
And have fun with it!
I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious. -Andrew Wyeth
p.s. The painting above was one I was working on this week and it seemed to fit the them nicely. It was created with acrylic and ink on watercolor paper. I added the theme word to it in Photoshop.
January 13th, 2009, Comments (18)
I dream about my own cats quite a bit, often in the context of anxiety dreams where I'm trying to travel with one in my suitcase or saving them from a burning building or something like that. Dreams are often the source of great art images for me. This piece on the left didn't come from a dream, it just felt dreamy. But other images I've created have come directly from images I saw oh, so clearly in a dream. Another great reason to keep a journal or sketchbook by your bed!
In this piece, I was simply playing, making marks, mushing color around. Kathryn mentioned in a comment today that play can be intense stuff sometimes. It's true! I think because play is so much fun, it can be a fabulous way to stretch ourselves beyond what we'd normally do. It's a neat way to "trick" ourselves into experimenting, exploring, and diving deeper.
In the service of play we may go just that much further with a bit of inspiration, an idea, a possibility. Playing with children, for example, is always a great way to stretch your imagination muscles. Kids are fabulous at play and possibility, silliness, and fun. An empty box is a bed for a doll, a hat, a house, a turtle shell, or a time travel machine. Try using play as a means of stretching yourself and see what comes up for you.
I'm reading The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin, as part of Jamie's book group. I've read it a few times already as it's chock full of inspiration! The first chapter is called, "Acknowledging Your Creative Self" and it begins with a quote that I think works so well with our theme of Play this month:
Your creativity is waiting for you like a dancing partner. -Barbara Sher
My hope is that those of you participating in the Creative Every Day Challenge this year will fully acknowledge and embrace your creative selves. You are all so wildly creative, it makes my heart sing!