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.

ZZZZzzzzZZZZ

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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Why I <3 Facebook Birthdays

Today is my birthday. But if you’re one of my 1200+ Facebook friends, you already know that, because Facebook broadcasts the news. And I love it! My 8 Facebook birthdays to date have been among my favorites, in part thanks to Facebook.

But the cynics in the crowd will grumble and complain that the cornucopia of well-wishes that pile up on our profile pages on a Facebook birthday are just one more example of the shallow connections fostered on social media, because really, how could any of us truly know all of those “friends”, or even the dozens who post birthday wishes to our profile pages.

Well, sure. But then there’s this.

  1. It really is fun to log onto Facebook and read dozens of birthday wishes, even if I haven’t actually met every well-wisher in the bunch. (Really, I’d like to.)
  2. Lots of those greetings actually are from people I deeply love and care about. And lots are from people I care about but rarely see, so it’s a treat to hear from them. And lots are from people I’d love to get to know more. So thank you…every one.
  3. And even better–on the 364 days that are NOT my birthday–FB reminds me that at least 3 or 4 of my FB friends are having their birthdays. And I get the opportunity to send some birthday love their way. And that feels good, because I know I’ll help add to their Facebook-Birthday glow.

And it could be even better:

What if in addition to reminding us each day that several of our friends are having birthdays, FB reminded us each day that there are several people among our friends who we should APPRECIATE each day!

Facebook could send out daily  “Thank-A-Friend” suggestions using some random algorithm–just as they now do when they suggest people we might want to add as FB Friends, or FB groups we might like to join.

But why wait? In the meantime, we could just do it ourselves. Decide today to choose three people from your Facebook Friends list and post a message on their page saying why you appreciate them.

If the people lead, maybe Facebook will follow.

Let’s get the Facebook love flowing. Share this post on your timeline, and tag three friends you appreciate, and tell them why.

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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…

ZzZzZ

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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To an admiring—B(l)og?

Say your name.

That’s this week’s Theme at “The Daily Post.” I’d tell you mine, but that’s just the problem. I feel like I’ve been saying it a bit too much lately. Here’s why:

Feeling Froggy

These days I’ve been feeling a bit like the frog in Emily Dickinson’s poem, “I’m Nobody! Who are You?” The poet writes:

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

You see, since the publication of my new book Joy in Every Moment I’ve been posting to Facebook and tweeting on Twitter so often, that sometimes it feels like I’ve been at it–well–“in every moment”!

Some authors resist the part of the job that entails self-promotion, but I’m not dragging my feet.

Perhaps it’s just that I’m the daughter of a salesman, so I’m okay with approaching strangers with an outstretched hand and offering my wares. You see, my dad recently retired after 60+ years of selling building supplies to contractors on Long Island. Before that he sold Scripto Pens on summer vacations from college. And here’s what he taught me:

Selling isn’t hard work if you believe in your product.

And in this case, I do.

After all, I’m selling nothing less than Joy! And Joy empowers us to live our days consciously, fully, and without regrets.

So, I’m not holding back! I’m going to keep preaching to that bog…or blog as the case may be.

To quote another of Dickinson’s poems:

‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I,
Have ventured all upon a throw!
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so—
This side the Victory!

Spread the Joy

If you believe, as I do, that spreading Joy is important, I hope you’ll help me get the word out about Joy in Every Moment. Here’s what you can do:

  • Read the book! If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will consider reading Joy in Every Moment. You can find it online for $10! Retail it’s $12.95. That’s a bargain!
  • Tell your friends about Joy in Every Moment on social media
  • LIKE” my author page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (@tziviag) and invite your friends to do the same
  • Review Joy on GoodReadsor Amazon
  • Bring me to your city or town to talk to your book club, yoga community, professional group, local bookstore, or library.

Thank you for helping to make the world a little bit more JOYful!

P.S. Thanks, Dad!

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This Post is a response to “The Daily Post.” Say Your Name

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You’ve got the power—in your pocket. (Or why you shouldn’t Google away another day)

“The fact is, we now have amazing power (literally) at our fingertips. But how often do we go online and lose ourselves (and our power) in a brain daze?”

I recently picked up my smartphone to call my daughter to ask her for the address of a restaurant we both liked. She replied, with a trace of bemused impatience in her voice, “Mother, it’s always nice to hear from you … but you are holding a computer in your hand. You can find out anything you want. You don’t need to ask me.”

I got the message she intended: I used my smartphone to Google the address of the restaurant in question, and later used my phone’s GPS to direct me there.

But I got a bigger message, too.

I, and likely you, too, have a powerful network of knowledge and information within arm’s reach. Mine’s in the outside zipper pocket of my purse. Yours may be in your pocket, on your kitchen table, or beside your bed.

9911The fact is, we now have amazing power (literally) at our fingertips. But how often do we go online and lose ourselves (and our power) in a brain daze: We log on to answer an email and end up watching cutesy videos of kittens chasing laser beams, mindlessly checking Facebook feeds, or wandering from one marginally interesting blogpost to another. But in the end we come away no wiser and no happier than we were before.

The power to choose

Instead, we can choose to use this amazing technology to learn to live better, to get tips on staying healthy, to explore consciousness, to connect meaningfully with loved ones, or to listen to talks by world leaders, spiritual masters, or motivational speakers.

We can learn how to save a few dollars with Groupon—and we can learn how to save plants and animals that are headed for extinction.

We can use social media to crack wise, and we can use our posts to spread wise and hopeful, helpful, loving, or supportive thoughts. We can complain about politics, or dig deeper and research the complexities of of an issue that disturbs us.

And then, too, we can turn it all off and turn inward for five minutes—or 20—or 40—instead. (We can even download apps to help us meditate or practice other forms of mindfulness.)

The point is, not only do we hold a powerful computer in our hands … we hold a choice in our hands. It’s up to us how we will use this amazing technological gift.

So, before you Google away another day, take a moment to see where you want that smartphone to take you. Set an intention for the time you spend when you’re online. What do you want to learn or experience in that vast web of knowledge?

As for me, I think I’ll try to find a lovely restaurant where I can meet my daughter for lunch so I can thank her for inspiring me to use my power well!

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Joy in the Airport? You must be kidding!

 

Maybe I should have called my book: “Joy in Every Moment: Except for that Moment When You Look at The Departure Status for Your Flight and See the Word…Delayed.”

Joy in (Almost) Every Moment

When I told family and friends that the publisher for my newest book, Joy in Every Moment, was sending me on a book tour, they congratulated me and told me how lucky I am.

But here’s the thing: A book tour means travel, airports, flying, and rental cars. In this case we’re talking 3 cities and 6 flights in 5 days! And I may have written a book about Joy, but I am not a joyful traveller. American AirlinesIn fact, a more honest title for my book would have been: “Joy in Every Moment: Except for that Moment when You Look at The Departure Status for your Flight and See the word…Delayed.”

Forget the present moment. When I travel, I’m calculating time, adding and subtracting minutes, trying to make “Good Time,” and rueing every obstacle that comes between me and an on-time arrival: Traffic, lines of passengers with over-stuffed luggage that won’t fit into overhead compartments, maintenance alerts that keep airplanes grounded on the tarmac, tailwinds…you name it.

But since I was traveling to promote my book about finding joy in every moment, I couldn’t turn into Anxious Nasty Travel Lady muttering at rental car agents who are checking my car in too slowly, or cursing airline agents who deliver the bad news about a missed connecting flight–then admit that I’m on the road to promote a book on finding happiness in the present moment!

So, I texted a friend for advice. She replied: “Read your book!”

Gulp.

Yes, I took my own medicine. Before I left home at 4:30 a.m. to catch my first of six flights in five days I asked myself: “What does mindfulness mean to me today? How will I connect with Joy in airport terminals and on cramped, crowded and/or delayed flights?

Here’s what I came up with:

The Travel To-Do List

I took out my Travel Checklist, and along with to-do items such as “Pack phone charger,” “E-mail hosts,” “Check seat assignments,” I added the imperative to: “Enjoy the Journey.”

Count smiles

Everywhere I went I looked for smiles, and I found them: The whistling airport shuttle driver who brought me from the parking lot to the terminal, the woman cooing to her baby on the check-in line, the baby being coo-ed at, and the man in the business suit laughing as he spoke into his bluetooth as he stepped out of his designer shoes in the security line… each one had a radiant smile. And it’s true. Those grins are contagious.

Only connect

I gave myself a little job for my journey. My self-imposed assignment was to make three meaningful connections with people in the airport. This ended up being the best part of my travels. I made it a point to pause and talk to three people I met along the way. I asked the woman who sold me my souvenir postcards in an airport gift shop where her beautiful accent was from, and she shared a story about growing up in Ethiopia. I asked the TSA agent who checked my license and boarding pass how he was doing, and he told me it had been a tough few days for him. The line was short, so when I asked him why, he told me. Then I got into a conversation with a woman behind me on the security line who turned out to be on her way to a family funeral. The line was long and slow, so I even had time to learn about her work teaching autistic children, and all the little things she does to help them and their parents feel happier. We enjoyed our conversation so much that we barely noticed the line’s glacial movement forward, and by the time we piled our shoes, belts, and 3 ounce bottles of liquids into plastic bins we felt like close friends.

IMG_0528Laughing all the way

The bottom line is this: I have never had such fun traveling–in spite of the fact that on Day 2 of my tour, the battery in my rental car died just as I was about to  head to the airport for my next flight, I encountered several flight delays including one on the tarmac (my least favorite kind) while the plane’s wings were de-iced, and countless other (potential) irritations.

 

P.S.

Oh, and by the way, the book readings and signings were wonderful, too. More on that some other time. Meanwhile, I’ve got to sign off now, so I can book my next trip.

Joy CoverAnd now for a word from our sponsor:

Bring more JOY into your life wherever you go. My new book helps lead the way!

 

 

 

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