Episode 150 The Dream Show: Radiant light being

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Episode 150 The Dream Show: Radiant light being

My guest, Caroline, dreamed she was given a cheque made out to ‘Radiant Light Being’, or, on looking at it again, did it say ‘Radiant Glowing Jellyfish’? Either way, she felt she shouldn’t be paid because she had only been helping a secretary clean up a professor’s office. “Must be because I’m angelic,” she quipped to the secretary, and they both cracked up laughing.

Later in the dream the professor holds up a tiny yellow raincoat, “Do you want this?” he asks. Ever since her dream, a month ago, she’s been enjoying entertaining people with the question of the tiny yellow dream raincoat: what a strange thing for the professor to offer, and well – did she want it?

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonPlenty happened in the dream between the radiant light jellyfish moment and the tiny yellow raincoat moment, and you’ll hear us explore and make sense of it all.

Listen to discover how the dream relates to Caroline’s life, what insight she gains from the interpretation process, and what she decides to do as a result. Enjoy: you’ll be inspired.

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Teaching school students how to understand their dreams

Teaching school students how to understand their dreams

What did you learn about dreams and nightmares when you were at school? Nothing, I’ll bet. Can you remember some of the dreams that puzzled, worried, or frightened you as a young child and as a young adult? Did you talk about them? Was anyone able to help ease your mind, and give you practical tips on how to look into your dreams for clues about how to better handle life’s challenges?

I wish I had known, as a child and later as a young adult, what I know now about dreams. I would have learned how to recognise and deal with the feeling pictured in my childhood recurring nightmare of packs of wolves blocking my path, ready to devour me. I would have learned how to address the situation reflected by my dreams of jumping into a swimming pool for fun only for all the water to instantly drain away. I would have gained confidence from my dreams of being able to see exciting perspectives that other people couldn’t see, and as a young adult the insight I would have gained from my dream of being on an endless staircase that eternally doubled back on itself would have given me a way to create quicker, smarter outcomes than I was accustomed to experiencing. The way I felt about myself and my life, and the way I handled my life, would have been so much better so much sooner.

I received an email earlier this month from Judith, a keen follower of The Dream Show, saying:

“I woke up this morning and thought that there should be a class in high school or college where they teach the basic skills to understand one’s own dreams, or at very least, not to misunderstand them. And then I thought I should share it with you. I guess I am at a point where I acknowledge that understanding my dreams makes a huge difference in my life, a vital difference, and I wish everybody had it too.”

It’s something I’ve occasionally considered, given that we all dream every night, and most of us remember many of our dreams, especially the frightening ones. I asked Judith if I could share her waking thought with you on this blog. I thought we might start painting a picture of how taking dreams into our school systems might look, and seek your thoughts and suggestions. Maybe we can take some steps toward making it happen.

So how would it look, at kindergarten, junior school, high school, and college?

I published some tips on the internet back in 2005 for parents of children suffering nightmares, which you can still read here. While those ideas were designed for parents, some could be adapted and extended into a kindergarten class situation.

Let’s take a general approach, given that you – readers of this blog – live all over the world and experience many different education systems.

Might our picture be of specialists contracted to come into schools and colleges to teach courses on dreams? Or might we picture specialists developing courses and programs for teachers to use in the classroom? May we be bold enough to envision dreams being incorporated into standard curricula from kindergarten through to the end of high school?

Or might we picture offering specialist training in dreams to school counsellors and guidance staff, either to assist them in their work with individual students or to give them the tools to work with small groups?

Or might we picture developing books, videos, games, apps, that individual teachers might choose to introduce into creative studies, personal development, reading, drama, social studies, relationship courses, or student research projects?

I can see, in my mind’s eye, writing a book about dreams for children and young adults. I can see an outline of the content. I can imagine the stories I might write, the games and puzzles designed to teach, the practical tips to follow, the gentle imparting of how to grow and flow with the big lessons of life: coping with change, building resilience, facing fears and difficult emotions, realising potential, making decisions, developing kindness and compassion, and so much more.  It would be a lot of fun to create, but maybe some of the other ideas I’ve suggested are better – and would travel further – in the long run.

Long before I began researching dreams, I worked for two years as a high school science and biology teacher, and spent a term as acting head of biology. It was a very long time ago, and I understand from friends and clients who are teachers today that the paperwork side of things is more complex and time-consuming than ever before, and that the work needed to introduce new courses – let alone new subjects – is somewhat Herculean, but how might we nevertheless begin?

In her email, Judith mentioned helping students “at very least, not to misunderstand (their dreams)”, and I think this is a key point. As a dream analyst I see the heartbreak and high anxiety that can result from misunderstanding one’s dreams, particularly from taking them literally.

I have talked with people who believed they had dreamed the dates of their deaths – and lived their lives (with compromise) taking this into account. (When I show them how to relate the dream to their life, they recognise the symbolism, and, in due time, the anticipated death date passes proving that these dreams are not to be taken literally.)

I have talked with people who have wasted years searching for a soul-mate with the precise physical characteristics they have seen in their dreams – and missed recognising the person who would have been a great match. These dreams are symbolic, and, once understood, can be extremely helpful in identifying and encouraging a dreamer’s potential.

I have talked with people who have believed their dreams of their partners cheating on them (and taken action or withdrawn emotionally), and I have talked with people who have been so shocked by their sexual or violent actions in their dreams that they have mistakenly believed they must be wired for and capable of such acts in waking life. Dreams of cheating, sex, and violence, are normal and common and not what they seem. Once understood, they can be extremely beneficial in helping the dreamer to develop healthy skills for successfully navigating life’s challenges.

I have seen so many people suffer so much pain from taking their dreams literally.

Let’s help make a change. Let’s begin with education early in life.

What do you suggest?

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Episode 149 The Dream Show: The hidden library

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The hidden library

My guest today is Karen, with a dream about discovering a hidden library filled with eclectic books and antiquities downstairs in her house. As she wondered who created it and why it wasn’t being used, she became lucid to her dream and lamented that the library – like all the extra rooms she has discovered over the years in other dreams – wouldn’t be real when she woke up.

Karen’s lucid drThe Dream Show with Jane Teresa Andersoneam state faded as the dream rolled on to continue its job of processing her experiences of the last couple of days. Michelle Pfeiffer appears, in both a young and aged version, and an enticing forest track beckons just beyond Karen’s dining room window. Where does it take her, and how does all this help Karen to gain insight into what’s going on in her waking life? Listen to find out!

Thank you to Karen – and to all our past and future guests – for offering to come onto the show to contribute a dream for this huge free resource designed to help anyone who can access the internet to learn more about how to interpret and work with dreams. (You can volunteer as a guest here.)

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Paula Abdul’s dream

Dream analysis on Studio Ten show

I was talking with Paula Abdul and Ita Buttrose on Studio 10 this morning about their dreams and what they mean, as well as looking at some common dream themes. What’s Paula’s recurring dream? What was Ita’s epic dream all about?

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Perfect but for one little thing

Perfect but for one little thing

Three ideas for today’s blog jostled in my head, but which to choose? It was one of those perfect mornings, just back from yoga, sipping coffee in a garden still wet from overnight rain, a balmy breeze, birds chirping happily as they flitted through the trees feasting on the array of delicacies rain brings, just perfect except for one little thing – a housefly determined to settle on my hand, my arm, my leg.

“Shoo fly,” I encouraged, with yogic intention. No response. “Go away!” I insisted, shaking him off my arm, but with equal insistence he simply settled back down.

Maybe it’s the coffee, I thought, and made the effort to get out of my chair and put my now empty coffee cup in the kitchen, but as soon as I sat down again, there he was. Maybe it’s the post-yoga sweat on my skin, I thought, but I’m not going to let one little housefly rush me into the shower before I’m ready. I closed my eyes. The three ideas for today’s blog still jostled in my head.

Even with my eyes closed I could feel the tiniest tickle of the housefly’s feet as it landed on my arm, flitted away for a moment before landing on my hand, flitted away again before exploring my wrist. How can it be that the tiniest creature with the lightest of feet can make its presence so enormously felt, even when I have my eyes closed to it?

I decided to zone out the housefly, and I achieved it for a whole minute or so. My eyes still closed, I imagined I was on the beach, the garden breeze now carrying salty sea air, the chirping birds now accompanied by seabirds in full cry, the children playing in the garden next door now building sandcastles on the beach. Wide awake and imagining, every sense alive, I marvelled – as I often do – at the power of the inner eye to allow us to be in two places at the same time. I was at home in the garden, and I was also on the beach. With my eyes closed, I could easily have been in either place. They were equal sensations. I was as totally on the beach as I was in the garden, but, unfortunately, so was the housefly.

All I had wanted was to enjoy the perfect morning while those three ideas for today’s blog settled into priority order. Then I would have my shower, switch on my laptop, and begin writing. The perfect plan for the perfect morning had been spoiled by one annoyingly persistent housefly jostling with perfection for my attention.

So I decided to give it precisely that. I lifted my hand to my face so I could examine the fly up close. He had stunning eyes, a sparkling, deep ruby red that had me transfixed for a few perfect moments. Then he flew away and was gone completely.

In his place there was silence where previously three ideas for today’s blog and one annoying housefly had jostled for attention on a perfect morning. In that silence emerged a new idea for today’s blog, and the realisation that the morning had been perfect all along.

Yes, it’s a true story, and such moments always delight me in the way they hold a mirror to the inner self with all its perfectly imperfect jostling perceptions of life. Just as dreams do. The key is to be awake to both.

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Episode 148 The Dream Show: Intense emotions in dreams

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Episode 148 The Dream Show: Intense emotions in dreams

We begin with the light-hearted, a bit of fun and a laugh to illustrate just how far the unconscious can go to try to save us from feeling pain, yet how that same unconscious can speak loud and clear in waking life once you know how to look and listen. It speaks even more clearly in dreams, once you know how to read them, and in this episode we plunge into the kind of dreams where you vent and scream and act in ways that terrify you, to discover how to understand them.

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonMany people who are quiet and considerate towards others in waking life dream of expressing such rage that it spills into violence. In dreams, you may find yourself so angry that you shake someone violently, squash them, or hurt them in ways that are not even physically possible in waking life. You may be thinking these dreams are simply arenas to release deep emotions, and you’re right in part. But there’s more, and it’s in the deeper understanding of these dreams that you stand to gain the greatest light. We go there in this episode. You’ll emerge smiling. Enjoy.

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Dreamvolution – help with facing change

Dreamvolution Help with facing change

When life presents you with change, how do you usually respond? Do you resist, hanging on to the way you have always done things, sticking to the routines and habits that have always worked for you? Or do you jump right in, eager for something new, tossing the old way aside without so much as a fond farewell?

When was the last time you were faced with an unexpected major change? What was it: a relationship break-up, an illness, a financial loss, a windfall, pregnancy, a restructuring at work, a job loss, falling in love, or being given a new responsibility?

Do you remember any stand out dreams you had back then? How many of those dreams involved animals?

Dreams can be at their most surreal and vivid during times of change. Each night as you sleep, your dreaming mind juggles the puzzle pieces of your changing life, mixing and matching bits from the old picture (your old way of seeing life) with bits of the new, searching for a workable Big Picture that suits your new conditions.

Between leaving the comfort zone of the old Big Picture and feeling at home in the new Big Picture is scary territory, as you face the challenges, fears and adventure of the unknown. Your stress levels shoot up and you live on edge, buoyed up by boosts of adrenalin preparing you for ‘fight or flight’, to battle through the threats to your survival or to run away, save your skin, and hide.

Yes, times of change bring your basic survival instincts to the fore. Life gets down to the fundamentally important issues such as food, money, shelter, love, life, and death. Thanks to nature, your instincts take over – or, at least, they try to be heard – especially in your dreams.

As complex human beings we have ways of drowning out our instincts, burying our heads in the sand(*), hoping the challenges of change will go away if we pretend they’re not there. But how long can this last? Deep down the adrenalin still floods our bodies, wearing us away with deeply festering, unacknowledged stress.

* (Even the ostrich, being an animal in tune with its survival instincts, is not silly enough to deny the obvious. It’s a myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they’re scared. In fact they lay their light coloured heads on the ground, blending with it. It’s a camouflage trick.)

But at night, with your conscious defences down, your dreams reveal your basic survival instincts, often in the shape of animals, frequently magical, vivid, or surreal animals, mixed with more obvious themes of survival such as death and birth. Your dream animals, at these times, often seem magical or awesome because they seem to offer you the chance of awesome transformation, fantastic adaptation to change.

How can you listen to and learn from your dream animals? Firstly remember that everything in your dreams – wondrous animals, death, and destruction included – is a symbol of your own beliefs, energies, and feelings. At times of change, your dreaming mind often pictures your survival instincts as animals; it pictures your wondrous potential for change and adaptation as awesome animal auras; it pictures the end of the old way of life as death, and it pictures the new potential coming into your life as birth.

If you dream of a lion, for example, ask “What is the energy of a lion?” Different people will answer in different ways. It’s YOUR feeling for the energy of a lion that matters, as this is YOUR dream. For example, you might say, “Quiet strength”. Another person might say “Confidence”. Another might say, “Vicious predator”. Then ask yourself why this survival instinct might be trying to be heard at this time in your life. Let your answers flow. As with all dream work, this is all about awareness. When you are aware of the various energies within you at any one particular time, you are better informed to make decisions – in this case, to choose the best way to adapt to the challenge of change.

During times of change, it’s common to have a succession of animal dreams as a number of different survival instincts are stirred into action as you grapple with change. Here’s a powerful dream alchemy practice you can do that will really move things forward for you, by bringing you into a deeper awareness of the survival instincts being summoned up within you:

During the period of change, write a list of all the animals that appear in your dreams. Then imagine these animals sitting in a circle, discussing the best way to survive. (You can either do this in your mind’s eye, or, perhaps more powerfully, let your pen or keyboard type the conversation as fast as you let it flow.) As an example, you might end up with something like this:

Lion: “Quiet confidence wears away your enemies and conserves your energy – don’t waste so much time wondering if you’re good enough! Embrace the change!”

Sheep: “Stick with the crowd. Don’t try to lead. You’ll only end up with more responsibilities.”

Bird: “Come up here and see the view from above. Sometimes a change of perspective helps. Get a bit more distance from this!”

Worm: “You don’t often see me, I know, because I like to bury deep and hide, but I must say, I quite like the sunshine out here. Oh no! I’m drying up, burning, help! I’m dying!”

Bird: “Ah, worm! Yum! You see, from my perspective this little worm’s been doing you no good burrowing away inside, eating you up from the inside out. Death to old worms! Long live the power of perspective!”

Kangaroo: “Anyone tried this? (Jump, spring, leap.) I found this new way of getting around. Think it will catch on? Hey! You should see this cool new way I’ve found to carry the babies around too. Think there’s a market in this?”

By getting your dream animals to interact in conversation, you invite new perspectives, healing, integration – in short, personal evolution.

In this example, the dream animals express their individual survival instincts and, from this sharing, a new picture of your inner world emerges. You become aware of the conflicts (for example, whether to lead or follow) and you discover why (for example, issues of responsibility and being good enough). In this example you identify the worm (the stress deep down inside) and you put an end to it (by getting clearer perspective, seeing things in proportion rather than letting small things gnaw away at you). In this example you also see the beginnings of adaptation to change, with your kangaroo instincts finding new ways to do things.

Let your dream animals reveal your survival instincts during times of change, and let dream alchemy help you to discover the magic of transformation as you identify and heal the issues behind your conflicting instincts and evolve to find new ways forward.

I was reminded of evolution in a dream a few months ago when I noticed a giraffe sitting under the dining table. Yes, you’re right. There’s not much room for a giraffe to sit comfortably under a dining table, but this one was a little giraffe with a short neck. On waking I knew that this short-necked giraffe seemed very familiar. Then I remembered: back in my days as a student zoologist we heard the story of Lamarck’s giraffe.

Lamarck proposed that an animal evolves by actively making a change and then passing on this change to its offspring. The famous theoretical example is that giraffes started out as short-necked creatures but, in a time of drought, they had to stretch their necks to reach the leaves higher up in the trees once they had eaten all the ones lower down. As a result, their necks got longer and so their children were born with longer necks too.

Darwin’s theory of evolution was different. Using the same example, in times of drought most of the short-necked giraffes would die from hunger after they’d stripped all the lower leaves off the trees, but the occasional misfit giraffes – those born with slightly longer necks – could reach the higher leaves. These longer-necked giraffes lived long enough to mate with the only other surviving giraffes: longer-necked giraffes. As a result, many of their offspring were also long-necked because they inherited the longer-necked genes.

Simply summarised, Lamarck said that if you actively strive to make a change then this will be passed on to your children, but Darwin said that change selects its own winners and losers.

How will you evolve to meet the challenges of change? Will you stretch your neck? Will you let change dictate the outcome? Will you bring your misfit qualities to the fore (will the ugly duckling become the swan)? Or will you be creative, in a bird-kangaroo kind of way?

Let your dreams help you to find the best way to evolve when challenged by change. I’ll stick my neck out and invent a new word for this: Dreamvolution.

[First published as a Dream Sight article, October 2005. Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson 2005.]

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Episode 147 The Dream Show: Pursued by love

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Episode 147 The Dream Show Pursued by love

Renee is my guest having her dream interpreted on The Dream Show.  What do you do when a rich foreigner opens his heart, shines his love, and literally offers you the world? In Renee’s dream, you run!

“She’s too stupid to see he’s trying to help her,” shout some people in a bowling alley as she runs through, pursued by the foreigner’s men and a newspaper arrow that seems to have a life of its own.

“Leave!” Renee yelled, as they chased her through a bar. She could feel the presence of her parents backing her.

Finally she arrived in a place that felt like an Italian town, beautiful and intricate, with a theatre at the centre. Did she keep running? Did the foreigner catch up with her? Did she find love? More importantly, what does Renee’s dream mean?

Listen as Renee discovers the meaning of her dream and how it relates to her life. Listen as she experiences new insights into her mindset that help her to understand her current situation. Listen as I offer practical suggestions for Renee based on her dream, and then as I take her through a dream alchemy visualisation so that her unconscious mind supports her conscious intention.

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonAs with every episode featuring a guest, you’ll add to your repertoire of dream interpretation and alchemy techniques as you listen to the way I work with Renee as we explore her dream.

The Dream Show is a free resource designed to help people worldwide acquire the basic skills they need to gain deep self-understanding and healing through understanding their dreams. Please share.

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Something old, something new

Something old Something new

“I met a completely new person in my dream, yet he felt so familiar. I must have created him, the details of his face and body, his clothing, but why that feeling of knowing him so well?”

It was my birthday earlier this week, and we were out celebrating when we bumped into a friend, Dee, who introduced her friend, Mark, and mentioned my work with dreams.

“How odd to meet you today,” he said. “I haven’t remembered a dream for five years, and then last week I had a dream about a completely new person, and it’s been on my mind ever since. Did I make him up, and why did he feel so familiar?”

Mark started to relate the man’s physical details.

“What about his personality?” I asked. “How did he make you feel?”

“He was inspiring. I felt uplifted,” he replied, economising his words so as to be understood over the loud band music.

I don’t usually interpret dreams in social situations, and certainly not with a live band playing ten metres away, but I offered a comment. “In the day or two before the dream you connected with a completely new aspect of yourself, a mix of something very familiar and something quite new. You felt uplifted and inspired. Your dreaming mind created a face, body, and clothes to encapsulate the feeling. What happened?”

“Oh, that’s amazing,” Mark said. “I was just telling Dee about a situation last week where I felt more like my old self but in a new and better way.  My sense of humour came back to life, and that’s something I haven’t felt for a long time. It was very uplifting.”

It seems fitting to blog about this ‘something old, something new’ dream as we prepare to welcome a new year in four days time.

Is there ‘something old’ that you’ve lost touch with, something you’d like to reconnect with, to bring forward (rather than bring back) into your life in a new way? What comes to mind? Write it down.

Why did you lose touch with this? If you’re not sure, or if you feel there’s a deeper answer than the one on your lips right now, watch your dreams over the next few days as they process this question and the feelings it elicits.

You may be able, like Mark, to simply allow that old, familiar, lost quality into your life again, or you may need a little help in identifying and releasing the blocks that have kept it at bay.

So you have your ‘something old’ that you’d like to reconnect with and bring forward into your life in 2014. What would you like your “something new” to be? What comes to mind? Write it down.

The blessing that gives more life and meaning.

The blessing that gives more life and meaning.

Your ‘something new’ might simply be the perspective and wisdom you have gained since you last enjoyed living your ‘something old’.

The very challenge that seemed to cause you to lose touch with your ‘something old’ is most likely the blessing that will give more life and meaning to your ‘something old’ once you are ready to welcome it home.

 

Consultations

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Episode 146 The Dream Show: It will come to you

Thank you for your help
It will come to you

What comes to you in your life, and how do you feel about it? What would you like to come to you – to attract into your life? What do you do to try to make this happen? Are you succeeding, or are you just experiencing same-old? How can working with your dreams and dream alchemy help you?

Everything to Everyone, The Rooftops“It will come to you” is a catchy, uplifting song by The Rooftops (my son, Euan Gray, is the singer-songwriter) that I’ve included at the end of this episode as a Christmas gift that segues well with today’s theme. It’s from their recent album, “Everything to Everyone”. Enjoy!

In this episode we look at the way we each experience life (and what we allow, attract, or repel) according to our individual unconscious beliefs about the world and about ourselves.

We look at how dream interpretation reveals your unconscious beliefs and helps you to understand how you acquired them and the emotions that embedded them. We look at how they might be creating blind spots for you, limiting your perceived options and blocking your desired outcomes.

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonWe then look at how to change these beliefs by using dream alchemy visualisation exercises to rewire the brain to free you from those same-old limiting neural circuits and replace them with automatic, positively rewarding belief patterns.

In short, we look at how dreams – once interpreted – help you to understand what comes to you and why in life, and how dream alchemy helps you to change what comes to you for the better.

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