Monthly Archives: January 2011

Episode 92 The Dream Show: Metaphor magic

Thank you for your help
What do dreams of flying into power lines, feeling the ground shake, going round and round in circles, and meeting an old man close to death have in common?

They’re all in today’s show, they’re all metaphors for waking life situations, and I use these – and other dreams – to show you how to design your own dream alchemy practices. The steps – and the show – are simple and light-hearted, yet they’re very powerful.

In fact, the whole show is about the power of metaphors, in dreams and in waking life, to heal and transform.

There’s some science too, some recent research showing how the brain processes metaphors which will make you smile as you think, ‘yes, that’s why dream alchemy works’.

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

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

And I conduct a tune up to help you get your vibration right; an easy, fun exercise guaranteed to bring you more of the good stuff in life and leave you with a song in your heart.

Listen here (Episode 92)

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Your tune

If you were a song, what would it be?

If you were a song, what would it be? Which lyrics spring to mind to express the essence of your being, or even just the way you feel today?

I’m taking you through a tune up, or maybe a change of tune, and all this is courtesy of a recent life coaching client* who dreamed of telling a singer he was putting emphasis on the wrong syllables – darling instead of darling – and losing the essence and power of his song.

Where do you put emphasis in your daily life? What might happen if you changed this? What might happen if you began to put more energy and attention into areas of your life that you usually tend to downplay or dismiss? What might happen if you put less energy and attention into things you generally regard as high priority? Your gut response answers may be enlightening and insightful in ways you cannot imagine, so get a pen and piece of paper and let your answers flow.

While the details of my client’s dream are confidential and related specifically to her life, the analogy offers life changing potential for everyone, so let’s play some more:

If you were a song, what’s your chorus? What’s the recurring story you tell yourself or other people? What’s the repetitive line?

Is this chorus serving you well? Could you rewrite it? What might happen if you sang a new chorus to yourself and to others?

What might happen if you change the rhythm of your life, (your day, your relationship, your work, your social life), changed your regular habits, created a new pattern?

Is there harmony in your life? How can you increase harmony?

Imagine changing the style of your song, perhaps a jazz version, techno, string quartet, country, brass, folk, hip hop. What might happen if you change your (life)style?

What if you changed the pitch of your tune, pitched to a different market, pitched to a different audience, pitched to match ears and hearts that are important to you?

And what if you change the tone (modulate your message), the conductor (the pace, control, integration, interpretation), the instruments (your methods and means of expression)?

Energetically, the world responds to your vibration.

Energetically, the world responds to your vibration.

Energetically, the world responds to your vibration. Shift your vibration and you shift your world. My client’s dream gifted her a beautiful analogy – liken your vibration to a song, then shift emphasis to ‘get it right’.

Look ahead to where you would like to be, then choose the song that matches that place. Sing it with all your heart.

* Thank you to my client for allowing me to share her dream’s analogy.

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New video: sex dreams

Here’s a new video, released today, on sex dreams and what they really mean.

Do you remember Ingrid, my guest on episode 80, The Dream Show? In that episode she asked me about her dream of meeting two celebrities. The interpretation shed light on an issue stemming back to childhood that Ingrid was ready to fully release. In this new video, Ingrid asks me about a sex dream she had.

Ingrid, an holistic health counselor, body image expert, and accomplished host presenter, produced this three part series in which she interviews me about dreams, dream interpretation and relationships. Enjoy, and please share.

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Episode 91 The Dream Show: For busy people

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Wouldn’t it be neat to read across your dreams, instead of deeply exploring them, one by one?

If you’re a busy person, or if there never seems to be enough time left in your day to look at every nuance in your dreams, here’s a dream interpretation method for you. Oh, and it provides more than interpretation, it also shows you how to apply dream alchemy across a number of dreams.

The secret? There’s more than one, and you’ll have to listen to find out!

Also in today’s show is one of the most enlightening dreams I have ever experienced. You’ll never look at life the same way again.

And finally, I’ve delved into my book The Compass for a random reading; will it apply to you? I bet it will! Enjoy.

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

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

Listen here (Episode 91)

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The Day Brightener

Awakened meaningful purpose finds its channel.

One of the joys of my work as a dream alchemist is to witness and celebrate the intense, skillful creativity that often accompanies personal transformation.  It’s as if the deep change the person experiences carries a healing energy that demands a more public expression and draws on latent talents to achieve this.  Awakened meaningful purpose finds its channel.

Here’s an alchemical gem from Belinda, a recent life coaching client, who has just launched a new blog, The Day Brightener. Here’s her story:

“A few months ago I realised that in my quest for career and family I had lost touch with my own spirit.  I thank grace for my husband, family and friends, and the wisdom of Jane Teresa Anderson, who through dream alchemy helped me realise I needed to reconnect with my cheeky nature. One of the first alchemy tasks was to write a story about ways I could do this.  Here is the final passage from my story.

Or maybe I could just be a “day brightener” for a workplace – wandering the floors chatting to people and being cheeky to brighten their day.  There are an awful lot of dark dreary work sites that could do with some cheering up.

This came from the sadness in my heart at how many people are mistreated in their workplaces.  I have encountered so many wonderful, warm-hearted people that are treated with disrespect and disdain, damaging their sense of self-worth.  I just wish there was a magic I could bring to make them realise how wonderful and treasured they truly are.

Then, like magic, from another dream, a little imp appeared.

The birth of HeHe. A sea anemone from Belinda's dream morphed into HeHe, The Day Brightener.

The birth of HeHe. A sea anemone from Belinda’s dream morphed into HeHe, The Day Brightener.

Like an instant gift he became He-He the Day Brightener. An alchemy task to write a blog about He-He resulted in the first of his adventures – Monday Morning Yellows.

From this first story a flood gate of creativity and inspiration has been opened.  It is like a veil has been removed from my eyes – everywhere I turn I see people, situations and scenes where the little yellow fellow can bring his love, hope and peace.  These become the material for my stories –  The Adventures of He-He The Day Brightener.

My wish is that these stories may bring a little brightness to your day.”

- Belinda

Visit The Day Brightener blog to read these stories.

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What if?

 

A mosaic dream.
A man dreamed he was crawling over a mosaic floor, checking for missing tiles. The job seemed endless.
What if … he climbed the stairs and looked down on the mosaic floor instead of crawling over it? Would the missing tiles be easier to spot?

We’ll come back to Mosaic Man and his dream later, but to get the most from this article, first play some more What If with me.

A woman dreamed she was in a bar and no-one was serving her.

What if … she walked round to the other side of the counter and served herself?

A man dreamed he was drowning.

What if … he inflated his life jacket?
What if … he started to swim?
What if … he removed his heavy shoes?
What if … he let go?

A woman dreamed she was late for her plane.

What if … she phoned the airport and asked the plane to wait?
What if … she decided to miss the plane and choose another destination?
What if … she remembered she was the pilot, so she’d go in her own time?

A man dreamed he had more bags than he could carry.

What if … he put down some of the bags, and travelled lighter?
What if … he hired a truck to deliver the bags?
What if … he distributed the bags among the people he was travelling with?
What if … he looked inside the bags and re-evaluated the contents?
What if … he asked himself why he was carrying the bags in the first place?

Are you getting the hang of this? Before reading further, go back and add some more What ifs to all the above dreams. See how many What ifs you can think up.

A man dreamed he woke up to find himself in a prison cell.

What if … he started to dig an escape tunnel?
What if … he decided to spend his long years in jail writing his memoirs?
What if … he decided to write to people he had wronged to make amends?
What if … he discovered the door was unlocked, and left?
What if … he scolded himself for falling asleep on the job, finished cleaning the cell and went home?

A woman dreamed she came across a fork in the road.

What if … she took the left turning?
What if … she took the right turning?
What if … she left the road and went cross-country?
What if … she tossed a coin to decide on her next step?
What if … she followed the footprints in the snow?
What if … she picked up the fork?

Aha! Now, did you beat me to that last line? On the left hand I couldn’t resist the joke, and on the right hand I wanted to remind you that when we’re talking dreams, anything is possible. Dreams love puns, so to dream of finding a fork (cutlery) on the road may symbolise reaching a fork (decision point).

It never occurred to Thirsty Lady to serve herself.

It never occurred to Thirsty Lady to serve herself.

More importantly, dreams reveal our personal perceptions and understandings of life, so when you ask What if questions about a dream make sure you question your perception of the dream situation as well as alternative outcomes.

The final What if for Prison Man, for example, questioned his perception of the dream situation. What if he wasn’t imprisoned at all, but had simply momentarily forgotten he was cleaning the cell, and was always free to go?

How can all of this help you to interpret your dreams and introduce positive changes into your life?

Most dreams are metaphors – stories that parallel your waking life situation. (When you sleep, your right brain is more active than your left [logical] brain, and it expresses itself in metaphors.) The trick is to find the situation in your waking life described by your dream metaphor.

Mosaic Man, for example, thought about his dream of endlessly crawling over a mosaic floor, checking for missing tiles. He could see the link with his work situation. He was a business owner and had recently lost several members of staff to a competing business. For months he had been preoccupied with these losses, trying to work out why they were leaving and who might leave next. He saw the mosaic floor as his staff network, the foundation of his business, and he saw the individual lost tiles as the lost staff. He could see from his dream that he was so focussed on the details of individual staff losses, that he was losing sight of the big picture. When he thought about What if he climbed the stairs and looked down on the mosaic floor instead of crawling over it, his whole perception shifted. He realised his business was suffering because he had lost touch with the big picture, with what his business was about, how it was seen, how he marketed it, how he communicated with the ‘whole’ network and much more. He saw what he needed to see to make the changes that encouraged staff to stay and the business to thrive.

We tell children fairy stories (metaphors) to help them understand life’s challenges.

We tell children fairy stories (metaphors) to help them understand life’s challenges.

We tell children fairy stories (metaphors) to help them understand life’s challenges. We tell parables and Zen stories to throw light on our lives. It’s sometimes easier and less confronting to help someone forward by sharing a metaphor than by discussing their situation more directly. We respond to the suggestions embedded in fairy stories, parables and other metaphors. Our unconscious minds particularly embrace this format – metaphors speak the language of the unconscious mind, the language of dreams.

If you’re the kind of person who tends to focus on small details and miss the big picture, it’s very likely that my little dream story about Mosaic Man has  already filtered through to your unconscious mind. It will be there for you when you need it. And, neatly encompassed in the same dream metaphor is the reverse suggestion – that sometimes you may need to get closer to the small details, to get in touch with things you may overlook in the big picture.

So here’s the thing:

Most dreams are one-sided metaphors, highlighting our often one-sided perception of life. The woman who dreamed she wasn’t getting served at the bar was viewing her unconscious mind’s summary that her needs were not being served. She looked at her dream and could relate it to her waking life, but what to do next? She knew she wasn’t getting her needs met, but didn’t know what to do about it. By asking What if questions of the dream scenario, you help yourself to see your options.

It never occurred to Thirsty Lady to serve herself. She had an unconscious belief in waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Changing the metaphor (asking What if questions and imagining the results) changed her attitude by changing her perception. (This is another form of dream alchemy practice – the practice of transforming your unconscious perceptions and beliefs by changing the dream outcome.)

Drowning Man had always relied on people to save him. He let life happen to him, rather than making life happen according to his choices. By asking What if questions and imagining the outcomes, he realised he had choices. He saw his passive (let it happen to me) approach, and decided to be more active, to ‘start swimming’ towards his goals, and make it happen.

Where, in your life, can you remove your heavy shoes when you feel you are drowning?

Where, in your life, can you remove your heavy shoes when you feel you are drowning?

I have given you some ready-made metaphors in this article, metaphors you can apply to various life situations. There might be somewhere in your life right now where you can remove your heavy shoes when you feel you are drowning, or choose a better destination when you are obviously intent on making yourself late for your ‘plane’, or re-evaluate the load you are carrying, or realise you’re only as imprisoned as you believe, or that what you imagined to be a fork in the road was a complete misunderstanding.

Next time you have a dream with an unsatisfactory ending, ask yourself MANY What if questions. Imagine the possible outcomes. Then look for the life situation that parallels your dream. Once you have matched your dream metaphor to a life situation, you can apply your What ifs to your life situation – and strike gold.

[Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, February 2008. First published as a Dream Sight article.]

What if … starting today, you dream-weave a new vision of how you are in the world?

What if … starting today, you dream-weave a new vision of how you are in the world?

What if …

starting today, you dream-weave a new vision of how you are in the world?

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Episode 90 The Dream Show: e=mc2

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My guest today is Sue who had the physical sensation of someone getting into bed with her during her dream. She felt the mattress being pushed down, and contemplated turning over to see who it was, but then continued her dream. What actually happened here? All is explained.

In her dream, a game of hide and seek led to a surreal cascade of golden figures, symbols and ancient letters connected with Albert Einstein.

Listen as we seek and find the meaning of Sue’s personal dream symbols to reveal the big picture of Sue’s life, her past, her present and her emerging future.

Every so often we have big dreams accompanying significant turning points in our lives. This is such a dream, giving Sue clarity and empowerment and offering her a smorgasbord of good, positive life choices.

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

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

Listen here (Episode 90)

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Times and tides

I’m blogging during our state of emergency, personally safe in a high and dry area of Brisbane, while some 40,000 properties in and around the CBD and riverside suburbs are flooding. Thousands of people are evacuating and businesses in the CBD have mostly closed for now.

Beyond Brisbane, lives as well as homes have been lost, and large swathes of towns have been devastated. Twelve people have died in the floodwaters, and dozens are missing. It is that water that is now swelling our river, cascading over its banks, closing many of our roads.

Thank you to so many of you who have emailed to ask how we are. We are fortunate, and our hearts and thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones and homes.

Rowan, my daughter, is expecting the birth of her first baby any day, keeping her eye on the latest road closures affecting her journey to the hospital. Between the floods and the imminent birth, perhaps we can be excused totally overlooking, until an hour ago, the fact that we have a lot of furniture and personal items such as photos, books and mementos in storage in a high flood prone zone! It’s too late to do anything about this. All access roads are closed. I hope our stuff remains dry, but really, it’s just stuff. And so we flow.

Post script - 13 January

Amazingly and thankfully our ‘stuff’ remained dry.  The overnight peak flood fell 1m short of the predicted level. We phoned the storage facility this morning, and they reported that the flood reached the building and would have entered (and all storage on our floor would have been deluged and damaged) if it had been 30cm higher. Our stuff was saved by the difference between the predicted and actual flooding levels.  Two similar storage facilities close by (same franchise) were flooded.  Meanwhile, Brisbane – and Queensland – begins damage assessment and recovery. Today the sun is shining.

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Episode 89 The Dream Show: When lightning strikes

Thank you for your help
Linda’s dream begins with a store makeover and ends with a big bang, a bolt of lightning.

You’ll hear me have a slip of the tongue moment, saying ‘the light of boltening’ instead of ‘the bolt of lightning’, which actually makes sense in the context of the interpretation. I do love unconscious word play in and out of dreams.

Linda’s dream features some numbers that also make perfect sense when we unravel them and connect them back to Linda’s life.

Does Linda find her lost dream car, does the dream shop ever open, and what’s with the stolen green paint?

Listen as Linda relates my interpretation to her waking life, and gains clarity and insight over a dilemma. Enjoy the relief as she moves forward with her life, problem solved, enlightened.

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

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

There’s something for everyone in every podcast. What do you, personally, get from Linda’s story?

Listen here (Episode 89)

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Who would have thought?

Magic happens, and nothing is impossible. One Easter, when I was about five years old, a bird landed on our backyard washing line. Dad, who was shaving at the kitchen sink, put down his razor and peered through the window, “Is that a budgie perched on our washing line?”

We tiptoed into the garden to investigate, hoping the bird wouldn’t fly away. In England, where I was born, budgies don’t live in the wild. They live in cages, one or two per tiny cage parked in the living room, nodding and pecking at their reflections in tiny play mirrors, broken records of their masters’ voices, cocking their heads from side to side, watching you. I knew this because my granny had a budgie.

“Is that a budgie perched on our washing line?”

“Is that a budgie perched on our washing line?”

“He must have escaped,” Dad pronounced. “Look, he’s got a big bump on his head. Maybe he flew into a wall, got knocked out, forgot his way home.”

“Hello Joey,” said the budgie, opening and then resettling his wings.

Dad offered a finger as a perch, and Joey climbed on. We made him a temporary cage, a cardboard box with a cellophane front for a window. We made pinholes in the cellophane so he could breathe.

“We can’t keep him,” said Dad, writing some big, capital letter words on a plain postcard – FOUND. BUDGIE. SAYS HIS NAME IS JOEY. The local newsagent put the card in his window. But no-one claimed Joey.

I had seen Australia hanging upside down on the bottom of the globe. I was curious.

I had seen Australia hanging upside down on the bottom of the globe. I was curious.

I waited in the spelling queue at my teacher’s desk, piece of paper in hand, to ask how to spell budgie so I could write my news for the day. The teacher told me budgie was short for budgerigar, and budgerigars lived in the wild in Australia. Now that really excited me, because as an even tinier child I had dug a hole in our back garden with an old dessert spoon, hoping to dig through the middle of the earth and come out the other side in Australia. I had a globe in my bedroom, and I had seen Australia hanging upside down on the bottom of the earth. I was curious.

Eventually Dad bought Joey a cage, with a perch, a mirror, a piece of cuttlefish to sharpen his beak, and all the other accoutrements. The bump on his head fell off one day, and we laughed ourselves to tears. It was a seed shuck that had somehow got trapped under his crown feathers.

Joey lived in his cage in the corner for many years, performing his lines every day, over and over again, instructed and rehearsed by Dad. His verbal repertoire was recorded on a long piece of paper tucked into the space between his sand tray and the bottom of the cage. After a few years, we had to turn the paper over and write more on the other side.

A budgie was about as exotic as birds got in our neighbourhood. I had seen pictures of kingfishers with bright blue chests, and I had heard that budgies were small fish, so to speak, compared to parrots.

So, you knew where this story was going by the seventh paragraph, didn’t you? Australia dropped off my agenda shortly after I got tired of digging with my spoon – or was it because I was reprimanded for making a big hole in the middle of the lawn? I had no wish to live in Australia, and when we did come here for a three year stint, I looked forward to returning home. Here I am, nearly 27 years later, and here is home, Brisbane, Australia. A magical place and I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

Whenever I bask in the sight of parrots flitting amongst the trees, or waking me from dreams with their dawn chorus ...

Whenever I bask in the sight of parrots flitting amongst the trees, or waking me from dreams with their dawn chorus …

Even here, in the heart of the city, parrots, lorikeets, rosellas and other colourful parrot-like birds are a common sight and background music to daily living, especially and magnificently when rain blesses our tropical trees with fruits and seeds. I think I’ve only seen a budgerigar once in the wilds here, but whenever I bask in the sight of parrots flitting amongst the trees, or waking me from dreams with their dawn chorus, I remember Joey and digging my hole to Australia with that old dessert spoon.

When you dream big - even with an old dessert spoon - magic can happen.

When you dream big – even with an old dessert spoon – magic can happen.

Who would have thought? Nothing is impossible. When you dream big and take your first steps (even with an old dessert spoon), magic can happen, even if you don’t recognize the gift when it’s finally delivered. And here’s a greater thought to keep your heart in the right place throughout: Your every day reality may be someone else’s dream.

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