Tag Archives: Dreams

Q&A: My Dreams are Back … But Why?

Q: Hey, Tzivia! I’m wondering if this makes any sense to you. After years of barely being able to remember most of my dreams (either just nothing or too scrambled to recall), in the past week I’ve started having ‘normal’ memories – like I used to have – of one or two dreams a night. And as if that weren’t enough, while I usually rarely dream of people I know, these dreams are long stories about significant people in my life.

Signed,

Perplexed (and Pleased) in Massachusetts

A: I once had a beautiful black cat named Nim. My vet warned me not to let her outside, and instead to make her a house cat, so she’d have a better chance at a long, safe life. If I let her outside, he cautioned, she could be hit by a car, scooped up by a bird of prey, or meet any number of unfortunate fates.

Now, at the risk of opening up a debate about the proper care of domesticated cats–when it’s dreams I want to talk about (I promise, I’ll get to those soon)–I will tell you that I decided to let her out.

She was a wild one, that cat. A stray when I found her, she never seemed completely at home–well–at home. She loved to be outdoors where she’d roam, stalk, chase, and run. Then she’d come back inside where she’d curl up in the best spot on the sofa, or of course, the bed.

I knew I was taking a chance each time I let her out. But most days, when I whistled for her to come back inside, she’d prance happily to the door. Still, a few times a year she would stay out for one, two, or even three nights at a time.

On those nights I’d worry that the vet had been right, and I’d unnecessarily subjected my cat to danger. But then she’d show up on the stoop wearing a smug expression on her face, as if she were savoring the memory of some tasty escapade.

I’d instantly forgive her the pain she’d caused me, and be filled with happiness at her return. But I’d also feel–perplexed.
What made her run off seemed simple enough: a mouse to chase, another neighborhood cat to visit, the itch to travel. But what brought her back? The memory of the soft sofa cushion? Her hunger for canned cat food? I’ll never know.
And so, my Perplexed Pal, we have the same issue with our wild and wonderful dreams.

It seems that if we want to keep dreams reliably by our side, all we can do is create the right conditions for them to come to us. Like a cat, they like their independence, they like to be handled in just the right way, and they are far too dignified to submit to being leashed.

To invite our dreams to stay we need to get to bed at a decent hour and wake up slowly  so we don’t scare them away with jangling alarms or sudden bright sunlight. But sometimes, even when we do the best we can to domesticate them, our dreams slink away, mysterious as a black cat in the night.

To solve the puzzle of your newly returned dreams, look for what might have changed in your life to have whistled them back. It could be anything from diet, to sleep habits, to methods of waking up, to shifts in daytime consciousness (feeling more relaxed…or more anxious), and even hormonal fluctuations.

That’s the scientist’s approach, based on reason and observation. But as with my feral feline friend, logic doesn’t always work–especially with something as bewildering as dreams.

Despite the conventional recommendations for recalling dreams, sometimes dreams operate under laws of their own. They run off sometimes, but then they return–when they’re good and ready.
 Nim at the window
In any case, I’m glad to see that you are not only perplexed … but also pleased about this turn of events!
I believe dreams are a great gift and offer us guidance, wisdom, and healing. Show yours that you’re happy they’ve returned. Write them down, tell them to a friend or dream therapist. And most of all, enjoy them.
In the meantime, may you dream & be well,
PS. Oh, and as for my cat Nim, she lived to a ripe old age, surviving not only the perils of the world outside our back door, but also various other pets that we took into our home over the years, including an overly territorial cat–as well as a baby girl who grew to be a curious toddler and a sometimes mischievous child–and then a doting friend and devoted animal lover–who sometimes remembers her dreams.
PSS.
Be in touch if you’d like to work on any of those newly recovered dreams.
© 2016 Tzivia Gover


Tzivia Gover

MFA, Certified Dream Therapist

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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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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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Who said that? The Conversation with Dreams Continues

What exactly is the source of our dreams? Is it our Subconscious? Is it Deep Intuition? Divine Consciousness? Is it God? While some scientists will say dreams are merely the by-product a unique neuro-chemical cocktail that’s stirred up in the dreaming brain, I think they’re more than just that.

I recommend you think of your dreams as a really good pal. You know, the kind of friend who tells you when you’ve got a big gob of spinach stuck between your teeth; the one who will tell you your fly is open or that the shade of orange you’re wearing doesn’t work on you. That’s the kind of friend your dreams are. You won’t always like what you hear, or what they say about how you’ve been behaving out in public these days, but the message is given with love, for your own good, and often with a dollop of humor thrown in for good measure.

Yes, sometimes your dreams will lay it out on the table with painful urgency—but you can trust that there’s loving intent behind the disturbing imagery with which the message may sometimes be delivered. Yup, even that nightmare that shook you awake was meant to help you out, not just to scare you silly.

Whatever the source of dreams, I recommend you listen to them in a way that lets your dreams know you are paying attention, so they, in turn, will show up for you.

Your dream journal is a good place to start.

Open the conversation by putting your journal beside your bed. Before sleep, write down you intention to remember your dreams. And in the morning, write down whatever you recall, whether just a snippet or a lengthy saga. And if you don’t remember your dream, just jot down a sentence or two about the quality of your sleep—that way you let your dreams know you are listening. And when you do, sooner or later, they will begin to speak up so you can hear them.

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The Art of Conversation

What is a thought? “The talk which the soul has with itself.” Or at least, so said Socrates to Theaetetus.

Talking to Yourself—In a Good Way

Let’s face it. If you keep a journal, whether it’s a journal of your dreams or of your waking experiences, you are talking to yourself.

But, your conversations on the page are not the deluded babblings of psychosis. Far from it. When you bring curious attention to your thoughts and dreams (which as I’ve said before are thoughts while you are asleep), you begin some of the most fruitful and empowered discussions of your life.

In his dialogue with Theaetetus, Socrates defines a thought as “the talk which the soul has with itself.” This definition works for me–for both thoughts that come to me asleep (dreams) and awake. I like that this concept joins the mundane (talk) with the mystical (soul).

But a thought alone is not necessarily productive. It is the act of thinking consciously, meaning with alert attention, that can lead us to new ideas and inspiration.

Socrates can help out here, too. He says, “[The soul] when it thinks, is merely conversing with itself, asking itself questions and answering, affirming and denying. When it has arrived at a decision, whether slowly or with a sudden bound, and is at last agreed, and is not in doubt, we call that its opinion; …”

Thinking then becomes a conversation with all parts of ourselves in pursuit of locating and creating beliefs, viewpoints, and attitudes, which in turn lead us to our intentions and actions.

And so in dreamwork, whether in conversation with one another or alone on the pages of our journals, we listen to all of the voices in our inner dialogues, question them, investigate them, and work to bring them into harmony. When we do, we experience an epiphany or insight.

So settle in with a nice cup of tea, your pen, and notebook, and prepare for a riveting conversation–with your best self.

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Recommended Reading: For one of the best books I know on the topic of thinking and writing, get yourself a copy of Writing the Mind Alive, by Linda Trichter Metcalf, PhD and Tobin Simon, PhD.

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Keep a Dream Journal … and Keep Your Friends

Tell it to the Page

Funny thing about dreams: On the one hand, they are gripping, engaging, and endlessly interesting – when they are your own that is.

But when you start to tell them to your bed partner, you might be greeted with the old “Pillow-to-the-Ear” maneuver. That is: Bed partner rolls over, drags pillow over ear, feigns sleep.

Even your beloved, who laughs at all your jokes and asks every evening how your day was—who truly wants to know all about what your crazy co-workers said and did – even he goes glassy-eyed when you say with eager excitement in your voice, “You’ll never believe what I dreamed last night.”

How is it possible that the dream, so intriguing to the one who dreamed it, can inspire fear and dread in friends and loved ones? Let’s face it, whatever the reasons, not everyone is as smitten with their dreams as we are.

What’s the remedy? The longterm plan, of course, is to introduce our friends and family to the deep joys and pleasures of dream sharing. But in the meantime, I recommend to you once more, the virtues of keeping a dream journal. Your notebook or diary won’t fake a bout of snoring when you announce that you’ve just had the strangest dream. It’s always there to listen. And there’s nothing more patient than an empty page.

And then, when you really do have a doozy of a dream that needs your friend or partner’s attention – you have earned the right to pry the pillow from their ear and tell all.

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The Third House Moon Dream Journal is always ready to listen to all your dream, from dream snippets to dream sagas.

Wishing you sweet and healing dreams.

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What did you dream last night? Yes, I really do want to know. At All The Snooze That’s Fit to Print we honor and value dreams and dreamers alike.

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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 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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