Tag Archives: corner view

The Dream Journey from Overgrown to Growthful (A Corner View* Post)

The untended garden

Recently a client brought me a dream in which an unkempt man, who the client described as repulsive, stormed into his home and found the dreamer’s garden untended and overgrown. In the dream, my client was furious at the interloper and also ashamed of the state of his garden.

But as we stayed with the dream and welcomed the intruder into our dream replay using active imagination, my client saw that this dream character was asking him to accept his own imperfections and embrace a more laissez faire attitude, rather than clinging to his impossible-to-meet, joy-crushing standards.

If we look at the antagonists in our dreams: The shadowy figures who give chase, the animals who bare their teeth, and even the environments that threaten to choke, drown, or bury us, we’ll find great teachers.

In this case the client looked at the situation from different angles, including the intruder’s point of view and even the garden’s point of view. Stepping into the unkempt man’s shoes, my client was able to see that despite his imperfections, this man was not ashamed of his appearance—in fact he was full of confidence.

As for the garden, it was simply doing what it enjoyed doing: Growing and creating life!

Unintended growthSunflower faces

Now the dreamer looked at his own character as reflected in the dream. Rather than being ashamed of his perceived laziness, the dreamer came to understand that he was taking a much-needed rest. Sure, he’d get around to weeding, but first he needed to accept the state of affairs as they were, and to see the positive aspects of what he reflexively judged as a problem.

Looked at with curiosity, and without judgment, our dreams can help us soften our resistance and consider new points of view. When we do this, we nurture the seeds of self-love, we create a sense of inner expansiveness and we make room for previously rejected, abandoned, or misunderstood parts of ourselves. In this frame of mind, it is easier—and more joyful—to pick up the hoe and go about our work of tending our inner—and outer—gardens.

Apply this principle to even the most mundane dream and the results can be soul-shaking—and delightfully growthful.

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Learn more about how to develop A Mindful & Yogic way to sleep, dream, and live better at these upcoming workshops:Weds. July 22, 6:30 p.m. at VegaYoga in Holyoke, Mass.and November 12-15 at Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.

Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

*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 “Overgrown.”

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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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A Mindful Routine for Sleep and Dreaming (A Corner View* Post)

The first step in dreaming, of course, is going to sleep. So let’s look at a good routine to enter sleep mindfully, and begin to recall and honor our dreams.

1 – Plan your evening so you can get into bed before you are fully exhausted. Just as when we eat mindfully we stop before we are full, when we sleep and dream mindfully we go to bed before we are maxed out with exhaustion. This can be the most difficult step of all for many of us, when our schedules become so packed we can barely squeeze in time to eat well, let alone to get enough sleep. But this is also the most important step, so it is worth reviewing your day to see how you can make a commitment to moving into sleep at a reasonable hour.

2 – Meditate in the evening; sometime between dinner and bedtime is ideal. Even a short ten-twelve minute meditation will help you reconnect inwardly, and begin to calm your thoughts and nervous system to prepare for sleep.

3 – Prepare the body for sleep with a few stretches or yoga poses that are known to help sooth anxiety and still the mind such as a few rounds of Cat/Cow, Down Dog, Forward Fold, and Legs up the Wall Pose.

4 – Be a grateful dreamer: Studies have shown that people who go to bed grateful, sleep and dream better. So go to sleep counting your blessings, and you’ll find this is even better than counting sheep!

5 – Before you lie down in bed, practice pranayama, or breathing techniques, to help settle the mind and calm the body. Alternate nostril breathing is very helpful in balancing and settling the mind before bed, as is a simple breath retention practice like the 4-7-8 breath, in which you inhale for 4 breaths, retain for 7, and exhale for 8. Breath retention practices such as this one can also help you enter lucid dreams, especially if you use them when you wake in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, for example.

6 -Say you prayers. A bedtime prayer that asks for protection and in which you set intentions for sleep is very helpful. Remember, entering sleep is like stepping through a portal into a realm of unlimited possibilities. Therefore it is wise to move through this transition with respect and intention.

This simple routine is a helpful and healthful way to enter sleep and dreams. You may not be able to do all of these practices every evening, but integrating at least one or more per night can make a significant difference to your sleep and dreaming experience.

*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 “Path”.  

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Follow your dreams … No, really! (“On the Path”–A Corner View* post)

IMG_1892Some people say, “Follow your dreams,” and they are just parroting some expression they heard. But when I say it, I mean it! My dreams have led me to jobs, to relationships, and right up the path to the front door of my new home when I was looking for a place to live five years ago!
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I believe that dreams, especially persistent, memorable, or unusual ones, are trying to get our attention. It’s as though a deep and timeless part of ourselves, the wise self that lives within each of us, is speaking to us through stories and scenes.

Each dream can act as a steppingstone, leading us along our soul’s path. Some dreams will beckon us to take a turn in an unexpected direction, others will offer course corrections if we’re wandering astray, or affirmation when we’re on the right path.

IMG_2840Like the best friend who will tell you if you have spinach stuck between your teeth, or a label sticking out on the back of your shirt—dreams won’t let you fool yourself into thinking you’re doing better than you really are. But, they’ll also never criticize without offering constructive help in the form of images, puns, or stories that point us toward our strengths and sources of sustenance and support.

Our job is to pay attention to our dreams; to listen to them with an attitude of curiosity and nonjudgmental consideration. Over time you will learn to decipher their messages and meaning; you’ll start to understand our own dream language, and thus have new channels of information, wisdom, healing, and guidance available to you.

Have you followed a dream lately? Tell us where it led you!

*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 “Path”.  

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My Dream Business is Growing

“We grow great by dreams.”

Woodrow Wilson

Dreams have a new home on Main Street in Northampton.

Dreams have a new home on Main Street in Northampton.

My dream business is growing … and that’s good news for me and you!

Dreams on Main

I have new office space in downtown Northampton, at CLINIC Alternative Medicines, 98 Main Street.

More Dreams for You

This means you now have more opportunities to learn about what your dreams are telling you and how your dreams can help you live a more joyful and meaningful life.

I am available to work with you on your dreams Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in person, by phone, or Skype.

We’ve Got Class

I will now be offering dream classes and workshops on Wednesday evenings. The first one, Dreams 101, takes place Wednesday, July 9, 7:30-9 p.m. Click here for details.

Chaaarge it…

I now accept credit card payments for dreamwork, in addition to PayPal, checks, and of course cash never goes out of style. Take advantage of discounted prices this summer. Visit my Third House Moon website for details.

Book It—Online!

You can now book appointments for dreamwork online by clicking here and choosing Dreamwork from the menu.

Let’s Talk About It

I’d love to hear from you. Contact me with questions, comments, or to set up an appointment.

Clinic Noho Office

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This is a Corner View Post. Corner View is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday – created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. Travel around the world by visiting more Corner View posts starting here.

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The Gift of Dreams*

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: I ordered Robert Van De Castle’s Our Dreaming Mind from a new age book-of-the-month club. But my life got busy, and the book remained on a shelf for a good five years, maybe more, until my daughter grew up and moved on to college, and I had time to work my way through the encyclopedic tome, chapter by chapter. I then moved on to the works of Moss, Johnson, Jung, and everything else about dreams I could get my hands on.

I have since made a bold a commitment to not just learn about dreams but to dive into them. From 2009-2011 I was enrolled in a dream studies certification program, and now I help other people understand the gifts of their dreams. This commitment to dreams, and the time I’ve carved out in my life for studying dreams, working with them, and helping others get in touch with theirs, has been a great gift, for which I am most grateful.

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A thank you note to my Grandpa Ben dated July 1976. It reads: “Thank you also for the Freud books. They are a challenge to read, but they are also very interesting.”

Thank you Grandpa, for the gift of your love, and for encouraging me to follow my dreams.

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RIP Grandpa & Aunt Essie.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”

What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

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*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 “Gifts”. 

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To unwrap the nightly gift of your own dreams, consider giving yourself a time to pay attention to them.   Visit my blog atThird House Moon to learn more.  The gift of dreams keeps on giving.

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Forget about ids and analyses and experience the dream (or: A year ago … CV)

HPIM0541.JPG Early last summer I accepted a last minute invitation to visit a friend who lives two hours away for a barbecue. With no planning I jumped in my car and soon I was in my friend’s kitchen helping her rinse greens for a salad, while others prepped the grill and set the table. I spent the day playing with a little boy on the tire swing under the Chestnut tree, eating chicken hot dogs with the group, and later driving to a lake where we kayaked under a serene blue sky. Floating there on the lake in a small blue boat, my yellow  paddle pushing me past the white flowers sprouting from lily pads, I felt my heart pulsing with joy.

This past winter, when I felt cold or lonely, I would remember that day—the painterly light animating the tall grasses in the field behind my friend’s house, the trees, and the buttlerflies whispering on the breezes, and the easy company of old and new friends, and the peace of paddling on that glimmering lake.

The day was sweet. But reflecting on it and savoring it in the months that followed, was even sweeter.

I don’t need to convince you that paying attention to happy moments like this one, and savoring them afterwards, adds joy to your life. Such a day can enrich our lives just by having happened, and by being remembered. Or we might go a step further and try to learn something from it: This is what happens when I take a chance and say yes to a last minute invitation, for example.

But you might need convincing if I told you that a dream is no different, that by simply savoring a sweet one, or studying a troubling one, you can learn lessons and increase the joy in your life. You might argue, “But my dreams are not like a serene summer day with new friends.” You’ll say, “My dreams are anxiety-infused, nonsensical, and bizarre.”

Yes, my friend I’ve had days—I mean dreams—like that, too.

Let’s take the days, first, because we all believe in those. For example there was the day a friend who’d always been sweet and cheerful turned argumentative and angry. Or the day I took my seat on the ferry for a weekend getaway only to realize, that I’d left my wallet at home. Or the one where my students refused to listen to me and I came home hoarse from asking them to quiet down.

I could choose to ignore those days because they too are bizarre, nonsensical, and anxiety-infused. But I’m not that kind of person, and since you are reading this, I’m guessing neither are you. Instead, I reflect: What happened? How do I understand my friend’s sudden change in behavior? What did I learn about my inner resourcefulness from embarking on a trip with no identification or money? How can I speak to my students so they will want to listen?

Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s easy to see that we can learn from our experiences rather than turn away from them, and that this is the way to grow and become more skillful at navigating what life throws our way. And you can do the very same thing with your dreams.

Forget for the moment about archetypes, analysis, ids, and super egos. Look at your dreams as experiences you can choose to dismiss as random hallucinations, or mine for wisdom, emotional insight, and original perspective.

Working with dreams is no more complicated, than what you do naturally with your waking experiences. Simply pay attention to what happened last night, when you drifted into sleep and entered into other dimensions of consciousness.

 Try This:

  •  This week, accept your dreams as experiences. Period. Remember: interpreting and analyzing dreams is only one of many ways to respond to them.
  • As you reflect on your dream notice: What new places did I see? What new, unusual, or unexpected abilities or facets of myself or others did I encounter?
  • Is there anything from your dream, perhaps a color, character, situation, or feeling, that you’d like to savor or reflect on?

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Tzivia Gover, Certified Dream Therapist, is available to help you understand the meaning and messages in your dreams. Visit her at www.thirdhousemoon.com to view her upcoming workshops and for summer dreamwork discounts.

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Bunny Dreams: What does it mean when you dream of a pet? (CV*)

Honey Bunny

Honey Bunny

When my daughter moved away a couple of years ago, she left her bunny with me—“for a couple of weeks,” so she said at the time. And so, I have become the keeper and companion of an adorable, overfed, dwarf bunny.

I often dream of Honey Bunny (my daughter named her). I dream that she’s on the loose, or I’m chasing her through the house, or reconstructing her cage. I once dreamed another animal had come to steal her water …

When we dream of pets we are sometimes dreaming of parts of ourselves that are instinctual, or those wild parts of ourselves that have been tamed. A dream of a pet can also point to a desire for affection.

Rabbits in particular are said to represent luck, fertility, taking chances, and more.

Pets that appear in our dreams, like everything in a dream, have something unique to tell us. Perhaps the best way to find what message they have come to deliver is to ask them directly through active imagination or journaling.

Recently I spent a few moments exploring what Honey Bunny might want to show me. This is what a quick writing exercise revealed:

This Bunny

The color of lavender before it blushes

With glassy eyes that track changing light and sleepy shadows

Dreaming awake of a world without bite.

With the voice of no voice

She tells me:

Be gentle

Trust

Wait.

–Tzivia Gover

[In addition to being a reflection on a dream symbol, this poem is also part of my effort to write 30 poems in November as part of Center for New America’s fundraising campaign for literacy. Click here to sponsor me and donate to a very good cause!]

To write a dream poem about your pet:

Z Imagine you are the animal.

Z Enter into an imaginary dialogue with your pet. You can focus on your pet as it appears in your dreams, or as it exists in waking life.

Z On the page, imaginatively interview your pet. Ask what it loves most, what its purpose is, what it fears most, what it desires most, and what it has come to tell you.

Z Arrange the answers to these questions into a short poem. Edit out any unnecessary words and what you are left with might just carry the essence of your pet’s nature, and the hidden gifts it has to offer you.

You can do this exercise whether or not you have dreamed of your pet. All animals have something to teach us about our selves and our place in the world.

 

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I wonder if Honey Bunny ever dreams of me.

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*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 PetsStart here to visit more Corner View blogs.

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Self Portrait in Dreams

According to common wisdom, every part of a dream represents a part of the dreamer: Every villain, lover, fool, and queen; every animal, each stick of furniture, the weather, the walls … all of the symbols, colors, and images … represent various parts  of you, the dreamer. In this regard, every dream is a self portrait.

Self-portrait. (Taken during a Dream Conference in the Netherlands a few years back.)

Self-portrait taken during a Dream Conference in the Netherlands a few years back.

Dream report 10/2/13: I am walking with my daughter through a field. A mule is is bucking furiously, and I tell my daughter to run down hill to the shelter by the sea and to wait for me there.

Self Portrait in Dreams

I am the mother. I’ve been doing my job for so long,

I could do it in my sleep: I protect, I correct, I implore.

Run! Run! I say. Downhill to the shelter, you’ll be safe by the sea.

 

I am the girl. Curious, unafraid. It’s my way

to explore. Dumb mule can’t hurt me. Nothing can.

Nothing can. I whistle my tune through the dark. Then I run.

 

I am the field, straw-colored and stark. I stretch

and I grow, sigh out stalks of long grass.

What goes on above me, I let it all pass.

 

I am the mule, and I’m bucking mad,

bucking angry, bucking all that is wrong. Buck you

and buck you and buck everything, too.

 

I am the hill. I bow to the sea. I bow down to ease

the way for her feet. Her feet flying faster and faster

with my help she’ll be free.

 

I am the shelter, a simple structure of wood

Here to hold firm against the wind and the rain.

And if you’d come inside I would hold onto you, too.

 

I am the sea, at the foot of the hill. I’ll tickle her ankles.

I’ll hold your wondering gaze.

I’m the end of this story. The bucking stops here.

 

You are the mother, the mule and the field,

the girl, and the hill, the shelter, the sea. You are the dream

of all of these things—that are dreaming

of me.

© 2013 Tzivia Gover

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This poem represents the 12th poem I’ve written this month in an effort to write 30 Poems in November as part of a fundraiser for immigrant literacy. To sponsor me in my Poem-a-Day challenge, please visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Tzivia/30poems

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Q&A: Drinking and Dreaming … Do They Mix? (CV*)

English: A glass of port wine. Français : Un v...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q: I like to have a glass or two of red wine in the evenings, but I’ve heard that alcohol can affect your dreams. Is that true?

A: In a word, yes. Drinking wine before bed is likely to affect your dreams. But is this good or bad, and should you change  your drinking habits because of it? I’ll leave that decision up to you.

Common wisdom says that drinking wine at night may relax you and help you fall asleep, but it negatively impacts the quality of sleep overall by causing you to wake in the middle of the night and have trouble returning to sleep.

This is obviously problematic in terms of getting a full and deep night’s rest, but it can also negatively impact your dream life. Here’s why:

During the course of the night we move through various sleep cycles, one of which is the REM cycle during which most vivid dreams take place. The early sleep cycles, during which time the wine is most present in your body, are the ones with the shortest REM cycles.

The second part of the night, in which those dreamy REM cycles lengthen, can be interrupted by alcohol’s affect on your body. The bottom line is that you’ve slept well during the half of the night with briefer dream cycles, and are tossing and turning awake in bed during the second dream-rich half of the night when those luscious REM cycles would normally kick in.

Another reason people are often warned away from drinking before bed is that wine has a reputation for leading to nightmares and vivid dreams. For adventurous dreamers, those vivid dreams are a plus … and truly adventurous dreamers might be willing to risk a nightmare or two for the enhanced excitement of unusual and memorable dreams. Also, some dreamers report having more lucid dreams after enjoying a nightcap.

I haven’t read scientific studies that connect lucid dreaming and alcohol, but it makes sense to me. First of all, bizarre elements of unusual dreams or nightmares often tip the dreamer off to the fact that they’re dreaming, thus provoking lucidity. Also, I find I have lucid dreams on nights I wake and fall back asleep a couple of times. Maybe wine’s tendency to interrupt our sleep cycles also induces more lucidity during the snippets when we do doze off.

But that’s speculation. As usual, I encourage you to be your own sleep scientist. Take note of your own experience with drinking and dreaming – but always dream safe! Less is more when it comes to drinking. And anyway, isn’t dreaming itself is all the buzz you need?

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Some helpful hints when it comes to drinking and dreaming:

  1. To avoid alcohol’s negative affects on sleep, enjoy your glass of wine at least three hours before bedtime. That will allow the wine to metabolize and work its way through your system before you snooze.
  2. Don’t overdo it! Drink a glass of water for every glass of wine you imbibe. That will slow down  your alcohol consumption and keep you hydrated.
  3. If you are drinking wine to unwind before bed, find other non-alcoholic ways to slow down and sooth your tensions. Try taking a warm bath, meditate, or read a good book before bed, instead.
Compaii to the dreamer who asked this week's question!

Compaii to the dreamer who asked this week’s question!

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*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 WineStart here to visit more Corner View blogs.

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