“My message is the practice of compassion, love and kindness. These things are very useful in our daily life, and also for the whole of human society these practices can be very important.” ~ Dalai Lama
I feel compassion is necessary for delving into your dreams or undergoing any kind of personal exploration. Dream analysis can bring up connected thoughts, emotions and memories. But, your dreams offer you a way to heal and transcend the past. With compassion we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to approach our dreams.
“I have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.” ~ Jonas Salk, M D
Whether you perceive it as dream, nightmare or vision, your dream does have a message. Having compassion and a willingness to be vulnerable will give you the courage and stamina to approach your dream and be able to be curious about it. What does it want for you? What does it need from you? Dreams can bring both answers and questions. But, when we close our hearts to them, we toss away their insights. By opening your heart, being gentle with yourself, and approaching the dream with compassion you can finally communicate with your dreams. Your dreams offer wisdom, but you must be willing to open up to that wisdom.
The greatest distance in the existence of Man is not from here to there nor from there to here. Nay, the greatest distance in the existence of Man is from his mind to his heart. Unless he conquers that distance he can never learn to soar like an eagle and realize the immensity within. ~ Sandra Ingerman - 'The Hollow Bone'
As Sandra says, it’s important to find a connection to our hearts. Compassion does that. It helps you to connect and communicate with your heart, so you can indeed soar. Having compassion, for yourself and others, is vital for self-acceptance, empathy and tolerance. Without self-acceptance it can be difficult to move past your perception of the initial message of your dream. We put up our shields and become invulnerable to the message that the dream brings. And, that’s probably when a dream seems like a nightmare. But, you can bring your hands to your heart, and ask, “What do I need to know?”
You may feel so frustrated by your first look at your dream, that it’s easy to feel powerless, confused or upset and just give up. But, although our dreams can be powerful allies they don’t speak in an easily understood language.
You may have to be patient and sit with your dream before its full meaning becomes clear. It might be a few days, or longer, before the full meaning comes to you. Having compassion will give you the capacity and willingness to more deeply explore the dream. Compassion will help you to endure the mystery of your dream.
Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion...is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception. ― Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
As Sharon writes here, compassion is not something that we can afford to live without. It’s something that we all need to navigate in the world today. We need it for ourselves, our families, communities and the world. But, it does start with you. Without first developing compassion for ourselves, it can be a struggle to offer true compassion for others. We must first accept that we need it and be willing to incorporate compassion into our lives.
How do you develop compassion? There are many ways you can use, and I’ll only name a few. You might have other techniques that work well for you. Work with whatever options are best for you. If you haven’t worked with any of these choices, then you can pick one or two and try them out. Work with your choice for a period of time and see how you feel.
In addition to these practices don’t forget about your dreams! Don’t give up on them. Keep working with them and recognize that they’re offering you valuable insights. But, be willing to be gentle on yourself. At times, our dreams may bring a message that is at first hard to hear. But, that can indicate that the wisdom it offers is especially important.
As you begin to open your heart, and look at your dreams with compassion, you may begin to see their message in a new light. You might recognize the dream is indicating that a habit or trait you’ve felt bad about has actually served you in some way. This can be a very powerful understanding, especially if you can use it to mend your life and grow, instead of being defeated by it. For instance, it is one thing to accept that you may have a tendency toward being critical or bossy person. However, it is another thing to use that knowledge to hinder yourself or your spiritual growth. Have compassion for yourself and look to how that trait might help you be an effective leader. Be willing to look at how your perceived weakness can be modified to serve something positive.
I believe that compassion can help us to transform our lives. Also, know that compassion can transform your resistance into openness and acceptance. Being open can help you to live a more fulfilled life, and living in this way can help to transform your world. We are all powerful. We all have a place. We help to build a better world when we utilize our compassion for the betterment of everyone. Having compassion is about accepting that you are part of a connected world. It's about accepting that you are not alone. You actions do matter.
For myself, I’ve had dreams related to puzzle solving, which I’ve used to explore my need for structure. With compassion I’ve explored these dreams, and although it can be difficult, I’ve come to see that these dreams can show me how to let go of my need for control and have fun. Others may have similar issues. But, all dreams are unique to the individual. What I have come to see for myself is that by being willing to let go, I can approach problem solving from an entirely different perspective. Problem solving and a need structure aren’t bad. I can still look to bring structure in, but I don’t have to focus solely on it. Looking at my own needs has helped me to come to some important understandings, and I hope that you can too.
Have you had a personal dream with very intense light? Are you wondering what it means? Usually, I’m contacted by people who haven’t been paying attention to their dreams at all. Then, one night, they get a dream with bright bursts of color, vivid sunrises or intense spots of light. Sometimes these dreams are so intense that the dreamer wakes up thinking that someone must be flashing a floodlight right at their bedroom window. Of course, it's dark and the shades are down.
Why the intensity? Our dreams can be very valuable if you’re willing to pay attention to what the dream means for you on a personal level. These “bright flash” dreams do get your attention. But, is that all they are? Every dream has something to offer you. But, remember your dreams are really particular to you. Their meaning relates to your life and experiences.
In dream interpretation it’s vital to have compassion for yourself. I say this because when you start to look at dreams they can bring up feelings and memories related to the dream, which can help you to better understand what the dream is trying to help you overcome, heal from or change. But, if you dismiss the dream, you’re dismissing a way to step forward in your life. Dreams can be powerful. Of course, not every dream is going to completely change your life, but each dream offers a stepping stone toward leading a fulfilled life.
So, what is the intensity about? I feel that this intensity can be related to the fact that you haven’t been recording your dreams and working with them. So, the dream is like a shout, and the dream is yelling, “Hey, I’ve got good stuff here, why aren’t you looking at me?” How can you not look at bright light? The intensity is something that’s difficult to forget. It feels urgent, vital and important.
Since it is an image in your “mind’s eye,” I feel it’s also connected to intuition and insight. Your dream is waking you up, and welcoming you, to connect with your inner knowing. Of course, the dream still has something for you within it. Pay attention to the colors, numbers, words and phrases used. They are all important. But, be willing to start trusting your intuition. Find ways to connect with it on a regular basis. Trusting your intuition could mean that you start to work with the Tarot or Runes. Give readings if you have the ability. Trust in your intuition could mean that you start a regular meditation practice, or shamanic journeying routine. Whatever tools you’ve thought about trying, now is a good time to follow your heart and start working with them.
If you've heard of the chakras, you might consider connecting with your brow chakra or third eye. As it's related to intuition and knowing, the dream can be inviting you to learn more about this chakra. But, your chakra system should always be balanced, so try to work with all of them on a regular basis through meditation or some other technique. Spend time focusing on each chakra and feeling into its purpose and function. How does it serve you? How does your third eye serve you?
Interestingly, as a teen Edgar Cayce was said to have a vision where an angel appeared. Apparently, his room lit up very brightly and he thought his mother had come in to check on him, but he went to her room and she said that she had not. When he was going back to sleep, the room lit up again and an angel appeared. Her words led him to believe that he would be a healer and be able to help the sick.
Finally, I'll leave you with this quote from Marc Ian Barasch. It's from his book 'Healing Dreams,' and it speaks to the difficulty we each face when working with our dreams.
We often speak of a dream in terms of a mystery, something to be solved by sifting through clues and gathering evidence. And many dreams are artfully woven webs; puzzleboxes jam-packed with symbols and puns; tricky testimony, filled with parallel narrative twists, double-axle turns, and triple-gainer subplots. A certain amount of detective-work is required if we're to have success making sense of these marvelous constructions. But we also must remember that "success" and "making sense" are not always paramount. Healing Dreams want us to stop making sense. They ask us not just to try to crack the case, but to enter the mystery. - Healing Dreams, Chapter 2
Of course, you are the final authority on what your dream means. Take your time and be patient with it. Be willing to enter into its mystery! Have compassion and be gentle with yourself. Be willing to spend quiet time contemplating it. Ask the dream to show you a symbol of what it wants for you within your daily life. Then, wait for the symbol to show up. You’ll know when it does. It might be someone else suddenly telling you about a fantastic dream they’ve had. Or, it might be that a book falls on the floor right in front of you. Whatever it is, the answer will come.
You’ve had a particular dream for a reason. They aren’t random. You could have dreamed about suntanning on the beach, but you had your dream instead. The first thing to recognize is that this dream is about you. Everything in the dream is connected with you. Of course, it’s possible to have other types of dreams, such as lucid dreams, precognitive dreams or dreams that apply to other people. But, for most people these are very rare.
No matter how complex or simple your dream appears, there is something within it that has a message for you. It doesn’t matter whether your dream is packed with detail and is about being an air traffic controller during a zombie apocalypse or you’re dreaming that you’re in an empty room. There’s always something to be found. The first step is to be curious.
Why did you have this dream? It wasn’t just because of something you ate, but it could be about your choice of food. As I’ve posted before, earlier this year I had a dream about a charred box of frozen food in the oven. That’s all the dream was about. But, the box wasn’t even opened. I could have dreamed about a turkey, roast leg of lamb or even an opened box of food being in the oven. But, I didn’t. For me, that spoke about the quality of the food. It was almost as if the dream was saying that eating the cardboard box was as good as eating the food inside.
Yes, it’s easy to get confused in the details of the dream and dismiss it as a nightmare or silly dream. But, with practice you’ll be able to make some progress. A good trick is to break the dream down into scenes and elements. For instance, in the air traffic controller dream, you might start out with the beginning scene in which you’re standing in front of a confusing radar console. You could then work with this scene.
You can begin your work with a scene, by asking yourself how you feel about it. For most people, seeing the console might make them feel confused and perhaps angry. You might wonder about the purpose of all the lights and buttons. Some good questions to ask might be:
Dreams can bring you a method to solve difficult problems in your life. This dream can be offering you advice that you might miss when you dismiss it as silly, or push it away because it seems like a nightmare. You could use the above questions to dig deeper into the meaning hidden in the dream. You can also come up with your own questions. The purpose of these initial questions is to help you to recognize the central theme of this particular dream.
The initial scene can set the tone for the entire dream. Often, the bulk of your time analyzing the dream might even be spent just working with this initial scene. Record the answers to your questions and any thoughts, feelings or ideas that arise as a result of asking them. Try not to edit anything out, as almost anything can have value and help you to come to a final conclusion.
Once you feel like you’ve found something of value, then you could move onto the next scene. Of course, when you’re first beginning dream interpretation you might think you haven’t found anything of value. That’s okay. Don’t feel as if you have to spend hours hammering on the dream. You’ll be surprised at what you can uncover in just a few minutes. Also, an idea might come to you at a later time. Be gentle on yourself, especially at the beginning. Have compassion too, as the dream may bring up connected memories and feelings. But, the dream is offering valuable guidance. Work with whatever comes to you, as it can all be important. Ask for help if you need it. You could find others who are interested in dream interpretation too.
We’ll cover more later. But, for now, be willing to be curious and ask questions about your dream.
Some helpful tips:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ~ Albert Einstein
I've been discussing how 2012 is very much about shifts and the questions that life has been bringing us with others and here on this blog. Now, I'd like to discuss how we need to come up with answers to our questions, as I believe our healing, both on an inner and outer level, depends on actually answering them.
I'd like to focus at this time on the physical level. I believe that if we take steps to slow down, and find inward calm then we can approach the outer world from a more settled mind. Then we'll be able to help others to take similar steps. Simple actions, such as regular meditation, exercise like yoga, reading instead of television, and making space in your life for family and friends can help you to feel better emotionally, inwardly, spiritually and physically.
You may have been having guiding dreams related to what I'm talking about. These dreams can help you to find answers to your life questions. Perhaps you've even had a series of dreams and outer reminders about stress, relationships and other issues, especially those surrounding your health needs. Others, perhaps unasked, may be making recommendations to you. But, somehow you're able to tune out these reminders and push off potential changes, even when knowing they'll be helpful. However, Numerologically, quality time can now be spent considering your self-care routine, which can help foster your healing and growth.
Of course, your dreams may also be related to many other mental, emotional or spiritual issues. Yet, no matter the issue, it can eventually take a toll on physical health, especially when it's related to worry, doubt and anxiety. So, again, if you're being nudged to make changes, inwardly by dreams or outwardly by others, it can be important and rewarding to make a connection with your dreams. It's really about recognizing that the separation between what you and I think of as the unconscious and waking reality is thin. And, that's what I believe Albert was talking about. Everything is connected.
Your dreams are offering guidance and they always have. And as the Numerological theme for 2012 is related to the mystery, magic and mystical in life, you can connect to your own magic by paying attention to your dreams and the wisdom they bring. It's also about recognizing that your dreams are actually bringing your own inner knowledge, which you need for your outer life, and it can also be valuable to others.
Early in 2012 I had a simple, yet powerful healing dream, which I'm still learning from. In the dream I saw a smoky and charred frozen food box in the oven. The oven was on, but there was no fire. That was it. I'd already been making many new food choices, but in reality I was relying on too many frozen and quick cook options. I've since started cooking more of my own food. I recognized the dream as a real opportunity to make a “healthy choice” in my eating habits. And, I know I have more work to do too.
I'm focusing on healing and physical needs because 2013 brings with it opportunities for clearing and healing on a deeply personal level. While 2012 is allowing us to look at changes within our lives, and how we actually have greater influence on the world around us than we know, 2013 will allow us to reconnect and make space for comfort, life, relationships, love and family. This is in itself can be very rejuvenating.
Since 2013 is Numerologically related to relationship and connections, connection will be an important issue in 2013. However, you'll need to be able to make yourself fully available, rather than just connecting on a superficial level. Again, our dreams can reflect the true changes that our lives need for shifting or growth. Some of your healing work may involve recognizing when you let yourself hide from being truly present. And, healing work for many of us may involve addressing the Shadow.
Personal satisfaction with life is often fostered by reconnecting with the activities and people that bring happiness and joy. So, being involved in community, especially where it's connected to the heart, can help you to step more deeply into life. What's exciting is that people like Professor Nicholas Chistakis have done research showing that each additional happy person in your social circle makes you happier! In other words, happiness is contagious! Energetically, you'll feel pulled to spend more time with those who are close to you.
However, the challenge for many may be to make space for social time. That may involve slowing down, finding ways to believe in yourself, or healing family issues. Whatever your challenge is, remember that healing can take compassion, patience and time. Of course, not all issues will have a simple fix, but the first steps may require that you want to heal. Healing does require compassion, especially for ourselves. We have to believe that we're worth it! But, as we heal and share ourselves, we can bring about changes in the outer world we never expected.
As we're approaching 2013 you may want to focus on the following healing related questions:
You can also benefit by reviewing your Numerology Personal Year at this time. What is its theme? You might want to evaluate where it might conflict with the Universal Year theme of 2012 and 2013. Also, where does it energetically match up with the themes of these two years. If there is a conflict, some of what you're working on might seem challenging. But, with a little persistence, patience and compassion, you should be able to reach your goals. Again, it's really about valuing and believing in yourself and your abilities and honoring your dreams!
I'm available to discuss more about your Personal Year, 2012, 2013, Numerology and your dreams! Just contact me via twitter (tweet or DM), skype or email.
It is characteristic that dreams never express themselves in a logical, abstract way but always in the language of parable or simile. ~ Carl Jung
Have you had a dream you're struggling to understand? Perhaps, not knowing where to begin, you simply don’t know how to wrap your head around it. It can be easier to look at the dream as if it were a movie and you're the star. What’s the name of this movie you’ve just seen? Giving a name to your dream allows you to better understand its meaning. It also helps you to bring the power and potential of the dream into your life.
It might be easier if you don’t view the dream in a literal sense. In the quote above, Jung was trying to convey to us that the dream has a personal story to tell, but its inner message is conveyed symbolically. Consider it as fairy tale, myth or parable for your life.
I recently had a dream about a beaver. It had a box into which people could put issues and questions. I called the dream “Leave it to Beaver.” The title has power and humor for me, as it encapsulates the message of the dream and reminds me of the TV show. Ward was the TV show father of two boys. He was the problem solver. I connect with the beaver on a problem solving level, but I also laugh as I recall the solutions that Ward always was able to come up with.
After you’ve come up with a title, you could then give it a genre classification. Does the style fit into romance, comedy or drama? The overall mood of the dream can guide you here. How does it feel to you? What did you feel when you were dreaming? What were the primary colors in the dream? Were there many bright colors? Was your favorite color present?
My dream was mostly inside a beaver‘s stick house. It was dark, but plenty of light was shining through. I thought of it as a drama, especially as the beaver could be a source of incredible help, or none at all. It depended on you. Anyone could give him their issue on a piece of paper and he’d take it to his magic box. The box would transform the issue, helping to solve it. However, you could also ask for your issue back. I looked at that aspect as a willingness to let go, and remaining open to something new unfolding. You could leave the issues alone, and the ‘magic box’ would work its mojo on them, or you could try to micro-manage and worry and struggle with the issues yourself.
Many believe that our dreams have purpose in our lives, but finding the personal meaning within your dreams can involve some personal effort, and a willingness to look inside. Let’s roll up our sleeves, and take the first steps in understanding your dreams
What do your dreams mean? In ancient times the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Hebrews all thought that dreams were very important. Many cultures thought that dreams came from somewhere outside of themselves. They thought that the gods gave them dreams. Because of these beliefs their dreams became personal, important, powerful and authoritative. Today there are many theories about the meaning and value of dreams. Many believe that dreams are a way of reviewing the events of the day through imagery and symbolism.
You may need, or want, to find some professional resources to work with the information of your dreams. One method called Gestalt therapy was developed by Frederic (Fritz) Perls. This method involves emotional dreamwork. Rather than understanding, interpreting and connecting the dreams with the past, the therapy that Perls developed has the dreamer act out aspects of his dream.
Consider a dream about a roaring campfire. Someone having such a dream would be encouraged to describe how it feels to be the fire. You could describe yourself as bright, hot, pungent and powerful. The next step would be to act as if you were the fire. The Gestalt therapist could also encourage dialogue between the dreamer and the objects within the dream. In the instance of the campfire, your discussions could uncover where you are holding yourself back from your passions, as fire can represent passion.
Understanding the meaning of each symbol within a dream may be difficult at first. It can make things easier if you break the dream down into manageable parts, and then look at the basic elements within those parts. The most basic dream symbols are often the four elements: air, earth, water, and fire. Often we may have dreams about escaping a burning building, drowning, swimming, flying, falling, or being in an earthquake. Looking at the "elements" within your dream can help you to develop a basic understanding of the message that the dream has for you.
As January is the start of a new year, it's an excellent time for new beginnings. What project have you imagined starting, but have held off for one reason or another? Numerologically, now is the time to initiate your projects, especially as they relate to the needs of your heart.
If you're reading this in January, you may also feel compelled to review your life before moving on, or make major life changes. You may feel introspective in light of any intentions or resolutions that you've made. Perhaps, you simply have a few changes that you would like to integrate into your life now.
Reviewing your life is a powerful and healing process to undertake and you may wish to look to your Core Numbers to aid you in this process. They can help you to see where you've been fully listening to your heart, and where you might want to bring focus and energy to. Perhaps, you're not letting the world see where you shine? Perhaps, you can help others to shine! Find a way to work with the areas of your life that you may have neglected in the past, and you can begin to heal your heart. Your life will then begin to unfold in new and exciting ways.
It can also be powerful to work with your dreams, especially when you are pondering changes in your life. 2012 is a great time to tap into your dreams, as the Numerological theme for the year involves understanding the mystery of our lives. Working with dreams really can help you to learn about, and work with, the symbolism and imagery bubbling up from deep within your own heart and psyche.
However, if you haven’t worked with dreams before then the Tarot is a simple, fun and powerful tool to begin working with symbols and images. Utilizing the card that is related to any of your Core Numbers, especially your Life Path, can help you to learn more about your own personal story. The symbolism on each card is stirring, unique and powerful. In the next post, I'll post the cards and the Life Path they correlate to.
As you work with your Life Path Tarot card, the images on the card may reflect ideas you have about changes that you'd like to make, or even parts of dreams that you've been having. Spend enough with the card to learn how it fits into your life. Have fun with it. Draw it. Dance it. Act it out. Do whatever you need to do to express how the card makes you feel. See where the energy, and theme, of the card is in your life.
Find ways to work with what you've learned by working with your Tarot card, Life Path and other numbers to help guide you in any new beginnings that you've been planning. Don't be afraid to ask for help, or even lend a hand to others who are starting their own new beginnings.
No amount of skepticism and criticism has yet enabled me to regard dreams as negligible occurrences. Often enough they appear senseless, but it is obviously we who lack the sense and ingenuity to read the enigmatic message from the nocturnal realm of the psyche.
Seeing that at least half our psychic existence is passed in that realm, and that consciousness acts upon our nightly life just as much as the unconscious overshadows our daily life, it would seem all the more incumbent on medical psychology to sharpen its senses by a systematic study of dreams.
Nobody doubts the importance of conscious experience; why then should we doubt the significance of unconscious happenings? They also are part of our life, and sometimes more truly a part of it for weal or woe than any happenings of the day.
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