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Episode 130 The Dream Show: Challenges and traps

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Challenges and traps

Juana is my guest with a dream about playing a game, a series of challenges in which it’s important not to fall into dangerous traps. She is congratulated for each success, but sometimes it turns out that the game is not what it appears to be, and she is being lured into bigger traps. As with any good game, there is an evil, insane character, a helpful guide, and plenty of clues to follow. There are rescues to be made, but are they traps too? And then, just when you think the game is won … but I am not going to spoil the tale!

The Dream Show, a free monthly podcast with Jane Teresa AndersonWhenever we have a guest on The Dream Show, I know nothing about the dream until we begin the recording, so you hear the dream as freshly as I hear it, and you get to listen in to the whole process of working through a dream and applying dream alchemy. As often happens, people have a specific dream in mind when they volunteer to be a guest on the show and then, the night before the recording, they have a big dream which feels like the right one to bring to the show. This was Juana’s experience too. Listen.

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Blinded by the light

Blinded by the light

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Blinded by the light

Blinded by the light

It’s that time of the year here in Australia. It’s midwinter*(see footnote!), the air is clear and dry and the sunlight is blinding. There’s no summer humidity to water down the glare, and the widening hole in the ozone layer down this end doesn’t help. I need a new pair of sunglasses.

Which is better: looking into a glaring bright light or into a dark cave? Yes, we’re heading into dreams, but first please ponder this question. Which would you rather, total glaring light or deeply dark cave?

You cannot keep staring into a bright light. Your reflexes kick in, closing your eyes before further damage occurs. If you are forced to look into the light for too long, temporary blindness and perhaps long term damage will result. Either way, you will not be able to see clearly, if at all. What a paradox! So much light yet nothing to be seen.

If you keep staring into the dark cave what will happen?

If you keep staring into the dark cave what will happen?

If you keep staring into the dark cave what will happen? If you can push through the fear and stay focussed, you may begin to see faint shafts of light penetrating through hidden fissures and cracks in the cave walls. You may catch glimpses of movement, shadowy forms scuttling, lizard-like. The more you focus the more you may see that yes, these are lizards. Your eyes adjust and you discover that there are shades of darkness revealing shapes and forms.

Stars don’t slip away during the day, they shine on but their subtle light is drowned by sunlight.

Stars don’t slip away during the day, they shine on but their subtle light is drowned by sunlight.

Consider the sun and the moon. During the day sunlight is so bright (even on a rainy English day) that it blinds us to starlight. Stars don’t slip away during the day, they shine on but their subtle light is drowned by sunlight. It is only when we look into the darkness of the night sky that we can study the mysteries of the changing cosmos.

How much light do we need to get the best picture? It’s all about balance and your point of view.

Turn your back on the glaring sun and what do you see?

Turn your back on the glaring sun and what do you see?

Turn your back on the glaring sun and what do you see? Your own shadow, as well as shadows cast by other objects bathed in the same brilliant light. Your shadow may be outrageously distorted but it IS your shadow and it does inform you of important parameters such as how many arms and legs you have and how your size compares with other shadows around you.

And so we move into dreams where the preamble to this article will slowly make sense. Stay with me, let your eyes adjust to the dream world and be ready to see the mysteries of your inner universe more clearly in dream light, in starlight, away from the glare of the stark light that blinds.

“Seven years without a heart,” the horse confided. Dolores was shocked.

“Seven years without a heart,” the horse confided. Dolores was shocked.

Dolores dreamed she was watching a horse race. She followed the winning horse to the stable, keen to know the key to his success. She was surprised to find the horse weeping. He looked deeply into her eyes and told her the key to success was deep pain. He turned and revealed an ancient festering wound in his flank, and a hole where his heart had been ripped from his body long ago. “Seven years without a heart,” the horse confided. Dolores was shocked.

On waking, Dolores couldn’t shake the image of the horse and the ripped heartless hole. It stayed with her all day, distracting her from work. Slowly the pieces began to fall into place. She had been in this job for seven years since a painful marriage break-up. She loved the job. It kept her busy, far too busy to notice the pain. In fact, now she thought more about it, her successes were due to the pain. The more the pain threatened to surface, the harder she worked and the more successful she became. Why hadn’t she been able to see this before? She was mystified. It was so clear.

“Heartless,” a voice whispered from the periphery of her mind. “You’ve become heartless. You’re cold. You’ve left us behind. You don’t care,” the voice continued.

And Dolores wept, for these had been the words of her friends. The dream and Dolores’ friends both delivered the same message, but only the dream message got through.

And Dolores wept, for these had been the words of her friends. The dream and Dolores’ friends both delivered the same message, but only the dream message got through.

And Dolores wept, for these had been the words of her friends. They had tried to tell her, but she couldn’t relate to what they were saying. She had thought they were rude and unsupportive, perhaps even envious of her success. She had flicked them off: the words and the friends.

Dolores’ dream had shocked her into touch with her pain, with the festering anger over the way her heart had been ripped and hurt. Her dream delivered the strong message that she could not survive much longer under these conditions. It was time to stop shutting out the pain, to end her heartless pursuit of success, to recognise the heat of her anger and heal it rather than freeze it out.

The dream and Dolores’ friends both delivered the same message, but only the dream message got through. Why?

Dolores’ friends had told her straight. Too straight. The truth was too close to home, too painful, and so her defences kicked in. She found the light too blinding. She denied any truth in it because she couldn’t see it, couldn’t feel it. Her dream was subtle, drawing her to feel the pain of the horse since she was blind to the pain within herself. Once the connection was made, Dolores was able to see the light.

People often ask, “Why aren’t our dreams literal? If the message we need to hear is so important, why don’t our dreams spell it out in a language we can understand?” The answer?

Dreams can help us to see, in shades of nightlight, what is too painful for us to see or acknowledge in blinding daylight.

Dreams can help us to see, in shades of nightlight, what is too painful for us to see or acknowledge in blinding daylight.

Dreams can help us to see, in shades of nightlight, what is too painful for us to see or acknowledge in blinding daylight.

Like your shadow when you stand with your back to the sun, your dreams may be outrageously distorted but their special effect is to draw your attention to yourself. It is only when you look into the darkness of your dreams that you are freed to study the mysteries of your changing self.

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

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Turning point: small shift, big change

When you look back along the path, what was the turning point that led to everything else?

When you look back along the path, what was the turning point that led to everything else?

What’s your best success story? It might be a career or business success, meeting your soul mate, a personal breakthrough, a creative or academic  achievement, a lifestyle change, a contribution to your community, healing your body, finding peace.

When you look back along the path, what was the turning point, the event, thought or action that led to everything else?

Look back beyond the hard work, the persistence, the planning, the growing, the evolving – what was the very first thing that you can point to and say ‘There, there it is! If it wasn’t for that, I might never have started on this path!’

When I look back over the 19 years I have dedicated to my path as a dream analyst and alchemist, the turning point was quite literal. I twisted my ankle. I had a very physical business at the time, and it was in the stopping, observing and listening that I saw where I was ‘meant’ to be, and embarked upon the less travelled road. (I tell this story during a recent interview: you can listen to it here.)

Did your success story begin in an equally unexpected way?

Did your success story begin in an equally unexpected way?

Did your success story begin in an equally unexpected way?

And how often have you set out to achieve something big, laid a plan, followed all the ‘right’ steps, worked hard, persisted, yet somehow never really achieved the goal you had envisaged?

Success depends upon whether your unconscious mind is with you or against you.

Success depends upon whether your unconscious mind is with you or against you.

The secret? Success depends on many factors, and the biggest is whether your unconscious mind is with you or against you. If your unconscious mind has no beliefs to the contrary, following your carefully planned steps will deliver your success. If your unconscious mind has other plans, your waking life will reflect those, in obstacles you meet, things that seem to ‘go wrong’, physical ailments, as well as in ways that seem more positive to you, such as strangers opening your eyes to a new way, unexpected opportunities landing on your doorstep. Oh, and of course, every night your dreams reveal the intent of your unconscious mind, one of the greatest gifts of all (once you interpret them and do your dream alchemy to ensure that your unconscious mind is working in your best interests.)

And that’s the nitty gritty: is your unconscious mind working in your best interests (in which case you might need to tune in and change your path) or is it working against your best interests, holding you back due to fears and limiting beliefs formed as a result of your past experiences (in which case you need to identify these and do your dream alchemy to transform them)?

If you have a vision and your unconscious is supportive from the start, then you’ll fly along. You’ll still have to do the work, meet the challenges and evolve, but you’ll feel the effects of the wind beneath your wings.

here are times when your unconscious mind is focused on a much bigger version of your destination.

There are times when your unconscious mind is focused on a much bigger version of your destination.

And then there are those times when you’re on the right path, but your unconscious mind is focused on a much bigger version of your destination. I remember, almost 12 years ago, putting the final touches to my five page website, sitting back and thinking, ‘There, that’s done now’. I’m glad I didn’t know how much work would be required, step by step, responding to the muse, requests, necessity, new technology, new media – years of huge, huge work – to grow the site through its many stages of evolution to where it is today. (And yes, I know, there’s more to come!)

I’ve been pondering this since Margaret Stuart interviewed me earlier this month about my path, the challenges and turning points along the way. (Listen to the podcast.)

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Ant of the Round Table

 

'Ant of the Round Table' - immortalised for 700 years?

‘Ant of the Round Table’ – immortalised for 700 years?

While having lunch outdoors, I noticed an ant walking around the rim of the round table.

Round, and round, and round, and round it walked in a neverending circle.

Why do you think it did this? Was this a good thing, or a bad thing?

It got me thinking, that little ant.

What do you think of ants? Industrious? Altruistic, working for the common good of their community? Capable of carrying huge burdens? Undermining? Destructive? Irritating? Biting?

If you were that ant, walking round and round that table rim, what might be going through your mind?

“If you do not first succeed, try, try and try again,” flashed into my mind, as I took another bite of my cheese sandwich. It was a spider, not an ant, that inspired the 14th Century Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, to come up with that one. As legend has it, the king was holed up in an old hut following yet another defeat in battle. One day, he watched a spider trying to build a web between two beams. Five times in a row, the spider spun a long thread and tried to attach it to the second beam, and five times in a row she failed.

“And five times the English have defeated me in battle,” the king thought.

At that, the spider spun a new thread and tried again. This time, she succeeded, and inspired Robert the Bruce to go to battle one more time. And that’s how the famous Battle of Bannockburn was won. Not that the spider knew anything about her role in changing the future of Scotland. Neither did she know, when she set out to weave her web, that she would be immortalised in British poems and textbooks and inspire millions of people to “try, try and try again” for at least the next 700 years.

“Ah, little ant,” I thought, “maybe the same old path is getting you the same old results. To succeed, maybe you need to get off the treadmill.”

At that, the ant promptly took a right turn, and marched off down the table leg. Who knows where his new adventure will take him!

I finished my cheese sandwich, went back to my computer, and investigated a new adventure.

In waking life and in dreams, what we see is our own reflection. What did you think about the ant in my story? What did my little ant help you to see about yourself?

PS My trusty iPhone was not up to taking this pic, so I asked husband Michael to bring in the big gun camera. We recreated the scenario, and it was Michael who grinningly suggested the caption, Ant of the Round Table.

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