Monthly Archives: October 2010

Episode 80 The Dream Show: Celebrity dreams

A virtual coffee

A new podcast every Friday. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

A new podcast every Friday. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

Ingrid Arna, body image expert and founder of Bodylove at www.mybodylove.com, is my guest today with two very short simple dreams that, once interpreted, plunge right to the heart of an issue stemming back to childhood that she is now ready to fully release as she launches a powerful addition to her business.

Ingrid dreams of celebrities Tina Fey and David Hasselhoff. She performs street theatre and dance with Tina, and chats with David about this and that. Two simple dreams – yet so much insight to be gained from their interpretation.

Ingrid’s waking life journey, encompassing bulimia and near death following surgery, gifted her the experience to help heal women of body image issues in wonderful ways. Listen to her story – and share the dream alchemy that takes her through a key release.

You can listen here (Episode 80)

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Sleep yourself skinny?

Do you ever wake in fright from nightmares? How often? According to new research reported by Victoria University PhD candidate Fabian Elzo, 16% of Australians (that’s nearly 1 in 6 people) wake in fright from a nightmare once a week. Previous research across the world suggests the figures are closer to 4-10%. So, do Australians suffer more nightmares? Elzo’s study group were all students aged 18-34 years, and perhaps that skews the stats, but either way, imagine the number of people all over the world waking in fright on any given night, not knowing how to stop this from happening.

Are you surprised the figures are so high? Many suffer in silence, fearful that admitting to having nightmares might cast aspersions on their mental stability, or – worse – that talking about them may make them come true.

A nightmare is just a dream, but with an added shot of adrenalin. Many of our dreams process our unconscious fears, but the really graphic ones can stimulate our bodies to produce adrenalin (the fear hormone), and it’s that combination of graphic horror and real heart-pumping, creeping goose bumped, frozen panic, that wakes us up in fright.

I give tips on how to stop nightmares in this video clip of today’s segment on Sunrise.

Can you sleep yourself skinny?

Can you sleep yourself skinny?

But I bet you’re waiting for the sleep yourself skinny bit, right? We chatted about this in today’s segment too. Recent research adds momentum to previous studies suggesting that disturbed sleep can disturb your metabolism, resulting in putting on weight. The new research suggests that people who regularly get only 4-5 hours sleep a night may experience disturbances of two important hormones – insulin and leptin.

Insulin normally controls your blood sugar and fat levels, and leptin helps control your appetite. This research suggests that only sleeping 4-5 hours most nights can result in your insulin storing more of your calories as fat instead of converting them into energy, while your leptin levels are so disturbed that you no longer get that full feeling when you eat, so you just keep on eating.

Can you sleep yourself skinny? No, but if you’re a short sleeper and you’ve been stacking on the fat, longer sleeps might redress the balance and you could well find yourself losing some of that extra padding.

If you really want to ‘sleep yourself skinny’, gather some dreams while you sleep and interpret them. Fat is often a bodymind issue, and dreams can reveal your unconscious emotional patterns and beliefs that are driving you to eat more, or to eat the wrong kind of food.

Food for thought. Sleep (well) on it.

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Why is grass green?

“Why is grass green?” I was three or four years old, and this was probably the hundredth question I had asked my mum that day. I was a curious child in every sense, as curious as a cat with nine lives to spare, and a curious specimen of childhood, a child more interested in why than what.

“Oh, I don’t know why,” Mum replied, and I still remember her frustration, the toss of her head, “because it’s not blue.”

I don’t know why (there I go again, why, why, why, some half a century on) I remember that particular incident, but I wonder if it was the first time I realised that parents don’t know everything.

If she’d been Buddhist, she might have answered, “It is so”, gently teaching acceptance of the way things are. But she wasn’t, and her frustrated answer led to my inevitable, “Why isn’t it blue?”

Years later, I rushed home from a school science class to excitedly share that grass was green because it contained a green substance called chlorophyll. Strangely, Mum didn’t share my excitement. I went to bed that night wondering why chlorophyll was green.

A remarkable thing then happened. I learned in school physics that when we look at grass, a selection of light rays reflecting from the blades of grass enter our eyes and trigger nerve impulses that arrive at our brains and actually deliver an upside down image of grass – kind of like a sky of grass and a field of sky. This happens because the lens inside the eye acts like a camera lens; it inverts the image. Our brains consult our bank of experience and decide that it makes more sense to see a field of grass and an overhead sky. So we do. It turns out that the brain interprets what we see (hear, feel, touch, taste) to fit our expectation. The shift that happened for me that day was the realisation that the world we each perceive is not the world as it is, but the world of our individual illusion.

We actually see an upside down image – kind of like a sky of grass and a field of sky.

We actually see an upside down image – kind of like a sky of grass and a field of sky.

Why is grass green? A colour blind person may tell you it is blue, or red, or grey, or any other word that meaningfully describes their experience of green.

So, grass is green because it isn’t blue; because it is so; because it contains chlorophyll; because chlorophyll absorbs certain rays from the sun and reflects the rest which, bundled together, scientifically speaking make green; because ‘green’ is a word someone chose many generations ago to mean the colour of grass; because I am English (not French, in which case it would be vert); because my brain chooses to have an experience it translates as green; because I am not colour blind.

There are so many reasons why grass is green: physical, scientific, subjective, semantic, geographic, experiential. Oh, and what colour is grass at night time, when there is no sun, no light? It’s black. And what colour is grass if you shine a red light on it? So our most basic question about grass – why is it green – is based on a false premise. Grass is just grass, and how green it is all depends on your life experiences and the way in which you view it.

What I love about interpreting dreams is that they help us to understand our individual perspectives of the world. The dreaming brain busies itself each night processing our recent waking life experiences and filing them away, usually according to what we already know. Interpretation reveals the make up of your individual mindset, your programming. You get to understand why you process your life experiences in the way you do, and gain insight into your foundation beliefs and whether these are really serving you well. You get to question those foundation beliefs, and perhaps change them, if you wish.

We see grass as green because our mothers told us it was green. So it is. Indisputably so. Because it’s not blue. Or is it?

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Episode 79 The Dream Show: A close shave

A virtual coffee

A new podcast every Friday. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

A new podcast every Friday. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

Dave, who was our guest way back in episode 10, returns to share the events of the past year. Dave’s dream of running through a forest of razor blades had plagued him since he was a child, and he related to the interpretation he received 16 months ago. Dramatic events earlier this year added to Dave’s deep personal transformation, and it’s these events, and the old dream, that we discuss today.

If you’re interested in the body-mind, in disease and healing, and in how dreams can help you to listen to your mind before it talks more insistently to you through your body, Dave’s sharing today is a must-listen.

You can listen here (Episode 79)

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Celebrate our 1st Birthday today!

Five big gifts

Happy Blog Birthday to us! Join me for a slice of chocolate birthday cake in this little video to get the inside info on today’s celebrations and gifts.

Yes, I’ve been blogging for a year today, ever since Euan urged me to “write a blog Mum!” Why did I need a blog when I had a popular 11 year old, constantly evolving dream website, I asked my friends. “Write a blog Jane Teresa!” they all replied. So I did. A chocolate-coffee coloured blog, and I started with a post about dog poo. And never looked back. Post by post I discovered the difference between a blog and a website, and nurtured both.

And then you all came along and gave suggestions, told me what you liked, what you didn’t like. The dog poo story rated. Looking back, what were some of your favourite posts?

What do you think of our birthday makeover (new title, new header, completely new colours and design)? I’ve got some wonderful people to thank for this, but first I want to tell you about the five big gifts, each valued at $440, and what to do to win one for yourself. The gift you can win is to have me at your next dinner party or event for two hours. I won’t be able to share your meal, because I’ll be on skype, on your laptop or plasma screen, giving eight of your guests 15 minute dream readings. So you’ll have me on hand for two hours to interpret dreams. Sound like fun? Simply email me at jane@dream.net.au with one piece of feedback about our makeover and one idea for a future blog topic. I’ll pick my five favourite ideas a week from today (on October 28) and notify the winners over email. (The prizes must be redeemed within a month from notification.)

Thank you

To Carmel Glover, Graphic Designer & Book Artist, and Belinda Hodge, Word Press Designer, for inspired design and several very late nights this week sweating out all the big stuff that goes into a blog makeover.

To Nina Tovey, my agent, for suggesting the makeover and other brilliant adventures, and, like Carmel and Belinda, always following through until the job is done, whatever it takes.

To Michael Collins, my husband, for his speedy production of web images, recording our podcasts, and enjoying other new media adventures like making videos with an iPhone to share with you on the blog. That’s in his spare time, when he’s not ghostwriting. And no, to answer the question on many people’s lips, Michael doesn’t ghostwrite my stuff. I write my own books, blogs and articles, so please do let me know what you like, what you don’t like, and I’ll blog on accordingly.

To you, readers and dreamers, thank you for being a part of our ever-growing dream community, and for being here today to celebrate with me wherever you are in the world. Go on, have a piece of chocolate cake! Oh, and if you haven’t already, please ‘like’ me on Facebook. We’re trying to reach 1000 likes to build  our community of dreamers so why not suggest me to a friend?

Happy Birthday.

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Top blogger reviews life coaching with me

Jen, whose successful blog, Semantically Driven, about blogging, parenting and living in Australia is a constant on the Top 100 Aussie women blogger list, blogged yesterday about life coaching with me. She goes into great detail, including the exercises I set her and the outcomes that resulted from just one session on the phone with me.

Jen began, “About a year ago I started looking on the internet for a life coach but couldn’t work my way through all the information and gave up so it’s kind of nice that this opportunity fell into my lap.” Then commented, “It was really easy to talk to Jane Teresa – I felt like I’d met her before.”

So what did we discuss? As Jen reports in her blog, I asked her to tell me about her life and “I ended with the statement that I’m pretty happy and as I said it I knew she’d dig deeper into that one, and she did. She asked me if there’s anything in my life that I’m unhappy about. I couldn’t think of anything there and then but as we kept talking about what I like to do and what my day-to-day routine is like I realised that there is something I am a bit unhappy about. For the last few months I feel like my creativity has been sucked out of me a bit. That is reflected in the fact that I don’t blog anywhere near as much as I used to but it’s also related to the fact that I don’t have as much time as I used to.”

So, amongst other things, I designed an exercise to unblock Jen’s creativity and identified the perfect place in her busy life for her to do this. Her overnight result? As she says in her blog, “Already today I had lots of ideas for what I could do with my blog and some more enthusiasm for perhaps doing them” and she followed through and posted a new blog too.

You can read more about Jen’s experience and the details of the exercise I set her here.

“All in all I enjoyed the experience and would consider doing more with Jane Teresa,” Jen concluded.

Though I’m better known as a dream analyst, working with people to create positive change in their lives through the deep self-understanding that dream interpretation enables, I enjoy helping people who don’t recall their dreams by using similar skills acquired throughout my years working with clients.

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Dream interpretation: Radio 2UE, Finding home

Vanessa called Radio 2UE when I was interpreting dreams on Tim Webster’s afternoon show earlier this month, to ask about her recurring dream which she’d been having for six months.

She was intrigued because a previous caller had asked about her recurring dream of never being able to find the right train station, or catch the train, and I had said that this was a common dream related to not getting going with goals, or taking the wrong approach, and that exploring these dreams reveals the personal reasons why each dreamer is experiencing these blocks.

“But I do get to the right train stations,” said Vanessa, “and I catch the right trains, buses, planes and taxis in my dreams, but for six months none of these dream vehicles have got me home and I’m left, in the dream, feeling distressed about not being able to get home.”

As with any recurring dream, the issue the dream is reflecting can be traced back to the first time you had the dream, so Vanessa’s dream related to an issue that began six months ago and was still troubling her.

“Do you feel that you’re on track, following the goals you set yourself, but somehow not getting time to yourself,” I asked, ‘as if you’re not finding that special place within your heart where you feel ‘at home’ and at peace with the world?”

It hit home (oops). Vanessa related to this, and this had indeed been the situation for the past six months.

Understanding a dream brings us awareness, and that awareness can help us to make better decisions for ourselves. This can be accelerated by applying dream alchemy, and I suggested to Vanessa that for her dream alchemy she visualise herself back in her dream, on the train, only this time arriving home, imagining the best possible kind of home, both in the material sense and in the emotional sense. What this does is train (oops again) Vanessa’s unconscious mind to become comfortable with permitting herself to enjoy coming home to her heart. This done, she will find herself taking waking life actions that support and therefore manifest this.

Home is where the heart is, if only we allow ourselves access.

In synchronicity, my son, Euan, and his band, The Rooftops, released their new single, Something so familiar, from their upcoming album on Friday.

In synchronicity, my son, Euan, and his band, The Rooftops, released their new single, Something so familiar, from their upcoming album on Friday.

In synchronicity, my son, Euan, and his band, The Rooftops, released their new single, Something so familiar, from their upcoming album on Friday. For a limited time you can download a free copy here.  As Euan says, “Ever explored the world, had the time of your life, missed home and come back to realise that it’s actually the best place in the world?  ‘Something So Familiar’ is a song about coming home …”

Let the lyrics and the music reveal more. Enjoy & share.

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Episode 78 The Dream Show: Dreams of death

A virtual coffee

A new podcast every Friday. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

A new podcast every Friday. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

My guest today, Dewi, dreamed that her son died. Two dreams followed, another one about death, and one about a diagnosis of cancer.

Death dreams are common and extremely worrying, especially when they feature family members, and it’s often a death dream that sends people Googling to my site or booking a dream reading.

These dreams are not what they seem. They are like dark clouds with golden linings – not silver – a transformative, insightful gift once you know how to interpret them.

“But why,” Dewi asks, “would I have these dreams while I was on holiday, sailing in the Whitsundays?” Dewi knows, from listening to these podcasts, that dreams reflect the last 24-48 hours, so why would she dream such dark dreams when she’s having a carefree holiday? Good question. Listen in to discover the answer.

You can listen here (Episode 78)

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Nelson Mandela’s dream: Conversations with Myself

Nelson Mandela’s book, Conversations with Myself, was released yesterday. It includes notes he wrote into the margin of his prison diary about his dreams. I’ve yet to see a copy, but here’s one dream as reported by CNN:

“One entry recalls a dream he had of going home to his Soweto house to see his wife Winnie, who was sick, while one of their daughters swallows a razor blade.”

CNN interprets context, saying, “The notes about his dreams are reminders of what it must have been like to be a father and a husband taken away from his family.”

While many of his dreams no doubt explored his feelings about his 27 years separation from his family while in prison, it’s important to remember that people in a dream reflect aspects of the dreamer. While I hesitate to interpret an extract from a dream, it’s likely that the daughter represents Mandela’s vulnerable, creative self, and the razor blades the sharp, cutting circumstances he ‘swallowed’ at the time. They may also represent his own harsh thoughts he swallowed rather than express.

Although Mandela’s book covers far more than his dreams, I’m struck by the title. Every night, when we dream, we’re effectively having ‘Conversations with Myself’. After all, dreams are all about the dreamer.

I look forward to exploring Mandela’s dreams when I get a copy of his book.

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A knitting yarn

My first grandchild, a girl, is due in January and we are all getting very excited. My daughter, Rowan, and her husband, Michael, are renovating, painting, building the nest, and consulting the book of a thousand and one names for children.

And I’ve bought some wool and knitting needles. It’s been 30 years since I’ve knitted anything, and that was a baby cardigan for Rowan, but they say it’s like riding a bike – you never forget.

January is hot in Brisbane, so I’m knitting a few sizes up so she can be warm in a Brisbane winter. “It’s tradition,” I told Rowan. “You have to knit for a new baby, even when you live in the subtropics. It’s in the bones.”

So, on Saturday, I chose my wool and cast on. 65 stitches. Clickety clack, it all came back.

I remembered being about four years old, sitting with my mother listening to the wireless, while she clickety clacked her way through her afternoon knitting. We had a special arrangement. If I was quiet while she listened to Women’s Hour, she would be quiet for Listen with Mother. She must have pitched it well: Listen with Mother was a ten minute show.

I kept the bargain. I was very quiet. I said nothing. I found some knitting needles and sat next to her, playing at knitting. Clickety clack, clickety clack, clickety clack, until the noise became too much for her and she decided it would be much quieter if she taught me how to knit. And so we began. I knitted a square, then a doll’s scarf, graduating to tea cozies with pompoms, hats, mittens without thumbs, mittens with thumbs, gloves, and on and on we went.

There was always a knitting project on the go for English girls of my era. (Don't worry, Rowan, it's not pink!)

There was always a knitting project on the go for English girls of my era. (Don’t worry, Rowan, it’s not pink!)

There was always a knitting project on the go for English girls of my era. Icelandic jumpers with intricate patterns (by then I was in my 20s and living through freezing Scottish winters), and, finally, lacy baby clothes for my first baby.

And then it all stopped. For thirty years. Euan missed out on his knitted cardi when he was born the following year. There had been no time to sit, let alone knit. And now here I am, shaping the shoulders on the back of my granddaughter’s little jumper, rows and rows of nicely tensioned stitches trailing from my fingers, as if I’ve been doing this all my life.

The things we learn as children – consciously and unconsciously – anchor deep, as we so often discover when we explore our dreams and identify beliefs and experiences stretching way back to childhood that still influence the way we go about our lives. It’s tradition, you see. You have to knit for a new baby, even when you live in the subtropics. It’s in the bones.

And I’m loving it. I’ll post a pic when I’ve finished.

The jacket I knitted.

The jacket I knitted.

PS. 21 December.

I finished these last month, and just remembered I said I’d post a pic:

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