Category Archives: Dream Life

Encore: White Feather Finery

 

Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations

A Blog Post in (more than) 3-Installments

This post is the Final Installment (yes, I really do mean final this time) in a series about how dreams and dream imagery help guide me through waking life.

To read the 1st installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations” in which our protagonist dreams of receiving a wedding proposal…but receives a business proposal to become Director of the Institute of Dream Studies instead …  click here.

For the 2nd Installment, in which the protagonist receives a sign – from a Spider – that she is on the right path, click here.

You can read the 3rd Installment, in which our protagonist’s “Wedding for One” dream turns into a date for one here.

THE FINAL INSTALLMENT:

Encore! White Feather Finery

After my mother’s death last spring, every time I saw a feathery seedpod float through the air (and somehow there were many more that season than I ever remember seeing before) I was certain that my mother’s spirit was close by.

I remembered this as I sat in my second-row seat at a concert recently. I was out on a solo date with myself, enjoying Jane Siberry’s music. And now she was delivering a lyric in which she said that every time she saw a feather drift by, she felt her beloved near her.

These words brought back to mind all of those floating feathery messengers from the spring when I lost my mother. Tears filled my eyes.

Also, I couldn’t help but notice how all of the themes of my recent dreams were coming together now, especially with this reminder of the feathers that marked the season of loss during which the recurring wedding dreams had begun.

And now, Siberry’s show was ending. She came to the piano  for her encore, and began her final song.

And wouldn’t you know it? She sang k.d. lang’s “Love is Everything.” Which, as it turns out, was one of the songs on the CD that I played again and as I sat at my mother’s bedside while she lay dying. What’s more, it is the song that I chose to include in the photo slide show I created after her death, as a memorial and a tribute to her life that was so filled with love and beauty.

As I like to say, dreams multi-task. As do synchronicities.

I’d had the sense back in June, when Justina proposed the directorship of the Institute for Dream Studies to me, that my mother had a hand in it—that from where she sat in Heaven she was helping guide me; that she was smiling at and through me, and that she wanted only for my best dreams to come true.

And so, the proposal has been made and accepted. And now it’s time for me to step into my commitment to my dreams, to my love of teaching, and the creative possibilities of helping others to make dreams come true.

It’s just what happens when a girl follows her dreams, and says, “I do.”

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My mother, in her final year, contemplates the feathery finery of a common flower gone to seed.

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Make your dreams come true. Consider embarking on a dream education program that might just change your life. Dream big, sign up to receive more information about exploring your dreams and pursuing a Certification in Dream Studies.

Click here for information about the Institute for Dream Studies.

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Hear Jane Siberry singing “Love is Everything.” (Have a tissue handy.)

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This is the final post in

“Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebration”

A blog post in (more than) 3 Installments

But you never do know when it comes to dreams and synchronicities

… There may still be more to come …

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On a date for one

Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations

A Blog Post in 3-Installments

This post is the 3rd installment in a series about how dreams and dream imagery help guide me through waking life.

To read the 1st installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations.” in which our protagonist dreams of receiving a wedding proposal…but receives a business proposal to become Director of the Institute of Dream Studies instead …  click here.

For the 2nd Installment, in which the protagonist receives a sign – from a Spider – that she is on the right path, click here.

And now, read on for the 3rd Installment, in which our protagonist’s “Wedding for One” dream turns into …

Part III: A Date for One

And so, I accepted Justina’s proposal that I take over the directorship of the Institute for Dream Studies.

Months had passed, and much work was involved in ironing out the details of our plan. Finally, as the year was drawing to a close, Justina and I were just about ready to finalize our business agreement and announce our new venture to the world. We agreed that on Jan. 1 I’d officially step into my new role as Director of the Institute for Dream Studies.

But then I remembered my “Wedding for One” dream, in which my wedding (sans groom) took place on Feb. 3. I also remembered that in Justina’s dream studies course, the one I had graduated from years earlier, she encouraged us to find a way to honor our dreams in our waking lives. So, I asked her if, in honor of my dream, we could make Feb. 3 the date that we would celebrate the start of our new venture. And of course, she agreed.

(Not) The End

That would have made a lovely ending to a sweet and meaningful story about how dreams and synchronicities can help us take the next step on our paths, and affirm and confirm the direction we’re taking … and so on. But there was more.

In late January I noticed that Jane Siberry, a performer whose music I’ve loved since my college days, would be giving a concert in my town. I wanted to get tickets quickly before they sold out. But when I asked my boyfriend if he’d like to be my date for the concert, he declined. Siberry’s off-beat music wasn’t to his taste, and besides, the concert was on a weeknight and he had to be at work early the next morning. “Would you mind if I passed on that one?” he asked. No problem, I’d invite a friend to join me instead, I said. But as it turned out, none of my friends could make it on such short notice either, so I decided to take myself out on a date—solo!

It wasn’t until I was seated in the second row of the concert hall that I made the connection: Here it was, Feb. 3, and not only was I celebrating the launch of my new business endeavor (the result of accepting a proposal from Justina), but also, I was on a “Date for One” … a satisfying echo of my “Wedding for One” dream.

I smiled to myself at the synchronicity.

And then, Jane Siberry took to the stage. She opened the concert by speaking the lyrics to one of her songs, in which she said, “Life is a precious ring you give to yourself.”

Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Now, to add to the “Wedding for One” theme I had the image of a bride giving herself a ring! I liked that. After all, my accepting the directorship of the Institute for Dream Studies was, in a sense, saying “I do” to my own dream; in this case it was my dream of making a commitment to my deep interest in exploring dreams, and helping others to connect to their dreams.

I smiled, aglow from the ways the synchronicities were unfolding, and aglow with the pure pleasure of Siberry’s music, and her message of self-love (there we go again), and self-expression. I had the happy feeling of being in the right place at the right time.

Which, once more, would have made for a lovely note on which to end this story. But, as it turns out …

…the synchronicities weren’t done with me yet. …

 

Encore! Encore!

Stay tuned for the final final installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebration”

A blog post in (more than) 3 Installments

… yup, there’s still a bit more to come …

So now you know. As the new director of the Institute of Dream Studies I will be launching a dream education and certification program this fall. Stay tuned for details, or contact me to receive information as it becomes available.

Cheers and great gratitude to Justina Lasley, Founder of the Institute of Dream Studies! I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the dream.

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Justina Lasley

 

 

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The (Dream)Webs We Weave

Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations

A Blog Post in 3-Installments

This blog post is the 2nd installment in a series about how dreams and dream imagery help guide me through waking life.

To read the 1st installment of“Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations.” in which our protagonist dreams of receiving a wedding proposal…but receives a business proposal to become Director of the Institute of Dream Studies instead …  click here.

When a dream scenario or a dream image repeats, I pay attention. So when I dreamed first about a “Wedding for One,” and then “A Proposal,” I was on my toes.

But brides and weddings weren’t the only dream images that were recurring …

Part 2: Enter the Spider

As my friend Sherry and I drove home from the dream conference we talked over Justina’s proposal, that I take over the directorship of The Institute of Dream Studies. The Institute was Justina’s school, from which I had graduated in 2011. Now, Justina was ready to take her career in a new direction, and she’d asked me to consider taking up the leadership of the dream school.

Several hours into our drive, Sherry and I had considered numerous pros and cons of my possibly moving in this direction. I love to teach, I love dreams, and I had various ideas as to how I’d like to design a dream studies curriculum. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant where we’d have dinner, Sherry suggested it was time we put the question aside for the moment. “We’ve used our left brains on this question enough,” she said. “Now see what your dreams have to say.”

As dreamers, we take seriously the directive to “Sleep on it” when making a big decision. In fact, six years earlier, when I first applied to take part in the Institute of Dream Studies’ Dream Certification course, Justina advised me to consult my dreams before making up my mind. I followed her suggestion, and the next morning I woke from a dream that featured a large spider.

For me, spiders, with their unique skills at web-building, represent creativity and interconnection, as well as the art of storytelling. In addition, spiderwebs remind me of dream catchers, those intricately woven Native American talismans that are said to ward off nightmares. So, I decided that my dream spider was an encouraging sign.

Dream Catcher

My Dream Catcher

Now, years later, here I was again, deciding whether to deepen my commitment to dreams, and to the Institute of Dream Studies, which Justina had founded. This time however, the question was a bit different. If I accepted this proposal, I would be making a commitment not only to my own dreams, but I’d be committing to train more people, including therapists, spiritual counselors, health care providers, and people who were simply fascinated by dreams, to become leaders in the field of dream studies. Then they in turn would encourage even more people to learn from and about their dreams–thus widening the web of dream teachers and dream experts.

And so it was that Sherry and I agreed to table our discussion about my decision for the time being. Sherry cut the engine and we were about to get out of the car and head into the restaurant, when we noticed something on the windshield.

I began to laugh. “What’s so funny?” Sherry asked.

I pointed to the large spider that was climbing up the windshield wiper blade. “Looks like I won’t need to go to sleep to get a dream to guide me,” I said.

It was Sherry, after all, who had taught me the art of synchronicity. Ever since I’ve known her, Sherry has been instructing me (primarily by example) as to how synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences, increase as we pay attention to messages from our dreams. Not only that, I learned from her that we can deepen our understanding of life events and gain valuable information to help us make decisions when we take careful note of recurring themes in our dreams and synchronicities–which I’ve come to think of as waking dreams.

The spider, appearing in this moment, was just such a synchronicity. It was as if the Universe were winking at me—offering a sweet, sly smile to remind me that I was on the right path.

The task now was to keep paying attention. The goal here was not necessarily to expect a yes or no answer based on signs and symbols (our subconscious doesn’t function as a binary system), but instead to stay conscious as I took one step at a time, noticing the pattern that was being woven all around me—from the stuff of dreams.

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Ahh…but that spider was hardly the end of the story. Stay tuned for the next installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations.”

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Spoiler alert: If you want to know whether or not I accepted Justina’s proposal, click here. Otherwise, enjoy the suspense until the next post in this series.

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Wedding for One

Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations

A Blog Post in 3-Installments

Part I: THE PROPOSAL

Sometime last year I dreamed that I was getting married. This interested me for several reasons. For starters, dreams of weddings can mean many things. Weddings might symbolize the union of two parts of ourselves, union with the divine, or of course … a wedding dream could mean someone is getting ready to propose. Then there’s the simple fact that as an unmarried woman, I couldn’t help but pay attention to a dream that I was tying the knot.

And then there was this: The dream wedding not only showed me getting married, it provided a date for the wedding: February 3. More interesting still, there was no groom.

Intrigued, I recorded the dream in my journal and titled it: “Wedding for One.”

Some months later, I was attending a dream conference. It happened to be June, the prime season for weddings–but since I had just lost my mother, it was funerals, not weddings that were on my mind.

Nonetheless, I woke one morning in my hotel bed from another wedding-related dream. In this one, I received a marriage proposal. I told the dream to Sherry, my friend and conference roommate.

Later that day I ran into my dream teacher, Justina Lasley, who is the founder and director of the Institute for Dream Studies (IDS). I had first met Justina years earlier when I enrolled in her dream certification program, from which I graduated in 2011. Now, Justina took me aside and told me there was something she’d like to discuss with. She was ready to make some big changes in her life, she told me, and she asked if I would consider taking on the directorship of her Institute.

I was surprised, flattered, and very interested. But I told Justina that I would need to think it over, as this would be a big decision.

It wasn’t until that evening, when Sherry and I met at the end of the day for dinner in the hotel restaurant, that I had time to think about the matter further. When I told her what Justina had offered, Sherry exclaimed, “Wow! What an exciting business proposal.”

A proposal! I hadn’t realized until that moment that my dream had come true. Sure, it wasn’t a marriage proposal, but it was an invitation to a new beginning, nonetheless. The fact that this proposal came so soon after I had faced a heart-wrenching ending–my mother’s death–made it feel like a special gift.

As usual, I marveled at the way dreams come true—often in unexpected ways. But this particular dream wasn’t done with me yet.

…to be continued…

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This blog post is the first in a series about what happens when we follow dreams and synchronicities…

…Stay tuned for the next installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations.”

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Spoiler alert:

If you want to know whether or not I accepted Justina’s proposal, click here. Otherwise, enjoy the suspense until the next post in this series is published.

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Tracking a Lifetime in the Pages of a Dream Journal

IMG_1847Unfortunately, my first dream was not recorded at the time it occurred. And there’s a good reason for that: I was 4 years old when I had it, and I didn’t know how to write yet.

Nor did I know that decades into the future I’d still be mulling over that first dream, and rueing the fact that I had no written account of it.

It wasn’t until nearly a decade later that I began recording my dreams. Most likely I got the idea after hearing my mother talk about her new interest in psychotherapy. Her analyst had begun to ask her about her dreams, so she began delving into the unconscious and its mysteries–and my interest was sparked, as well.

Now, keeping a journal is as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth or checking my e-mail. I use it as a tool for self-reflection and intention setting. Without it, I suspect that I’d wander off course from my goals and intentions. I’d be like a sailor who ignores the constellations in the night sky and the gets hopelessly lost on the vast sea.

Before sleep, the journal allows me to pause and reflect on my day, and to see how I can correct my course if need be. Then I can go to bed looking forward to continuing anew the next day.

In the morning I write down my dreams. They allow me to see my emotional landscape in vivid pictures and stories, and they offer what I call a “soul’s-eye view” of my experiences.

By recording both my waking and dreaming experiences, I get a complete picture of my inner and outer worlds. I can follow the journey of my life from that very first dream, to the one I had last night … as well as so many of the experiences that have taken place in between.IMG_2197

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If you are interested in keeping a dream journal, and want to read more on the topic, please see these related posts:

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The Gift of Dreams*

In response to #TheDailyPost’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories,” I’m sharing (again) a post about the book I received as a pre-teen, and which had a profound influence on my life as a dreamer! I hope you’ll share your dreamy #BedtimeStory, too!

All the Snooze That's Fit to Print

At age 13, I received a gift from my grandfather: several books including a paperback copy of Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. He gave it to me because he knew how much I loved dreams, but it was too difficult for me—or maybe it just wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear about dreams.

Freud

I danced around my interest in dreams for decades. Sometimes I’d pay attention to mine and write every one down. Then I’d go through periods of trying to ignore them. After all, no one else I knew was talking about their dreams, and besides, some of my dreams were scary or disturbing. But they were still present, even in their absence. Whereas some people claim they don’t dream in color, I feel I don’t live in color when my dreams are muted.

So, eventually I decided I wanted to know more about them. About a decade ago, I gave myself another gift:…

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Morning Light (A Corner View* Post)

Just as my mother began to slip into the morass of forgetfulness and confusion that we later learned was Alzheimer’s Disease, she wrote the following paragraphs, which I saved along with her other computer files that she had hoped one day to craft into a memoir. These paragraphs (which I’ve left exactly as she typed them) describe her early morning routine:

I am an early riser and so over the years I’ve worked out a morning routine. I pull on my workout clothes – my favorite washed out gray tee shirt, my shabby running sneakers; my worn-out blue cap that says the “Open— However, before I run out, I sit on the carpeted floor to meditate for about fifteen minutes and do some yoga positions. I sit so I can see the large window in front of me. There is a row of old brick tenements. Fire escapes…

Finally, I go down on the elevator and out the door to the busy street. Before I start to run, I stand on the top of the stairs and look up and down the street. A few years ago, my youngest daughter saw the block as Sesame Street.

People sit on the steps – men and women walked briskly to work; gray old men walk slowly to pick up the newspaper; a few women gather together to chat; children carry —

(Jane, January 14, 2009, 3:47 p.m.)

My mother’s words fade, mid-sentence, into unnamed possibility—which is how (or so it feels to me) her life ended at the close of clear-light day this spring.


*Corner View* is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is “Morning Light.”

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