How to keep a dream diary

01/06/2015 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Guidance of my dreams

Keeping a dream diary is one of the kindest, wisest gifts you can give yourself. Even if you don’t remember your dreams, keep a journal anyway. Record whatever you can recall on waking up. If you only catch a fleeting mood, record it. Hold this intention: ‘I am now ready for the guidance of my dreams’. And, in time, your diary will begin to fill.

I was inspired back in the 1990s by an early version of Denise Linn’s book, The Hidden Power of Dreams. I loved her suggestion that you write an uplifting title in the front of your journal. This might be something along the lines of ‘My dream diary: a beautiful book filled with beautiful gifts’. Many volumes later, I still write something similar.

On each left hand page…

Write the date, and a title for a dream you had the night before. The title can be anything that seems to sum up your dream. Then simply write down your dream. 

You may find you don’t remember any dreams. In that case, just write down any fleeting thoughts or feelings you had on waking up. Try to notice if you had any pictures or words in your mind on waking, and record those. Or you may find you had several unrelated dreams in the same night. Just write them down, as if they were chapters of the same dream.

On each right hand page…

Write down any thoughts or observations you have about the dream. Perhaps you were doing something the day before that triggered it? Over time you will begin to understand the meaning of different images in your dream. It can be helpful and enjoyable to draw or paint a picture of the dream on this page – you can gain new insights that way.

The key to your dreams

Be aware that everything and everyone in your dream is representing an aspect of yourself. Everything is symbolic. You don’t have to understand all the symbols, but it’s very rewarding when you start to interpret them. You can think of it as a puzzle to which only you hold the key. And over time, the more you study your dreams, the more you will understand.

 Never be scared of your dreams – they are there to help you to understand yourself and your life choices better.

Your own dream dictionary

The best dream dictionary you can ever have comes from first hand observation of your own dreams: go by how the dream symbols feel – their essence, their energy. Where in your own life do you have a similar feeling?

 Here are some examples to get you started…

Narrow streets, or doors that are difficult to go through may suggest that a current course of action, or a current attitude, is not ideal. Conversely, if a dream has a sense of space, with wide avenues and clear views, it may be showing you that your current course in life is the right one for you.

People you dream of may represent some aspect of yourself that you are working on. What qualities do you associate with that person? 

If someone dies in a dream, it often means a new chapter of your own self-development is beginning, and maybe it’s a new chapter for that person too (it doesn’t mean that anyone is actually going to die!)

If a house or car is in need of repair, it may mean your health or career is in need of some tender loving care. Newly discovered floors and rooms in a building can mean that you will be exploring new areas of your own interests and abilities – maybe a new career is opening up for you.

Scary people or monsters chasing you may mean that a repressed part of your psyche is ready to be reintegrated. When you’re awake, spend some time loving and blessing the scary beings, ask them what they want… in your imagination, hug them!

Water often represents emotions – is it flowing, turbulent, flooding, or calm?



Nature: A beautiful object from nature – such as a flower or a feather – may represent an aspect of your natural self that you are beginning to reconnect with, and can also represent guidance from other realms.

Night guidance

Note that over time your observed dreams are likely to become more vivid, more colourful, as though you are actually there. You may experience the bliss of flying, and receive clear spiritual lessons that remain in your mind when you wake up. You may wake up with recipes, formulas… all sorts of knowledge that can help you, and other people.

Record it all in your dream diary. And be ready to carry your new knowledge into your waking life. That’s when the fun really begins!

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We’re meditating on the word ‘journal’

05/03/2015 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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This week we’re meditating on the word ‘journal’. Many of us write journals. We love the act of buying a new notebook. There’s something gently intoxicating about the texture and scent of pristine pages. The writing itself is therapeutic. Often, it’s during the act of writing that we recognise how we actually feel. A journal, kept for decades, can even become a family heirloom.

And yet, even if we never put pen to paper, we are still recording life’s experiences, on the canvas of our own bodies. Habitual emotions are etched onto our faces through countless repetitions. Stored traumas alter the way we move our muscles and block the spontaneity of our movements. Happiness, in contrast, causes us to soften and glow. As Caroline Myss, author and speaker on human consciousness, has said, “Your biology becomes your biography.”

Meditating on the word ‘journal’ can be a challenge. We may not want to revisit the tricky times that are now indelibly recorded in book and body. Many of us would rather keep our life journals firmly closed. We may therefore feel resistance, even while we’re sitting still and trying to clear our minds.

However, there is a simple trick that can transform this meditation. I’d like you to picture, now, the brilliant white light that you can sometimes see emanating from a beautiful clear crystal, such as rock quartz. The light comes from a plane deep inside the crystal. Its beauty, shining from within, is a reminder of your own inner light. In your meditation, picture that light radiating from the pages of your journal, or from the canvas of your body.

It’s possible to see all of life’s events as though they were lit from within – with a soul light, if you like. From that perspective, it’s easier to recognise the gifts within a challenging experience, and also the new skills we’ve acquired from it, such as self-respect, wisdom and forgiveness.

The healing power of envy

22/02/2013 at 11:17 am | Posted in Healing, Inspiration, Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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BAFTAsEarlier this month I was lucky enough to tread the red carpet at the BAFTAs – the British version of the Oscars. I was there simply because my partner was invited. However much I like to think of myself as immune to star-spotting, I am not. It was huge fun to share a rain-soaked red carpet with George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Dame Helen Mirren and Marion Cottillard, among many others. It was fun when guests grabbed a spare BAFTA trophy and we posed for the camera. And sharing the photographs afterwards was all part of the pleasure.

A week later, I was sitting in my Wiltshire studio, facilitating a meditation group. We were focusing on the theme of forgiveness. After half an hour of silence, we swapped notes. A writer friend in the group, Claire, said something endearing. “I found it very hard to focus on forgiveness at the beginning of the meditation, because I just kept thinking how envious I was of Suzanne for going to the BAFTAs,” she confessed.

Everyone in the group laughed – it was a sweetly funny moment. But afterwards, it got me thinking.

The truth is, Claire and I are alike. Whenever I hear of someone’s good fortune, there is often some envy mixed up with delight. I am happy for them, of course. But there can also be a sense of being left out, like not receiving an invitation to a friend’s party.

Envy is said to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins; it’s an emotion we’re traditionally not supposed to feel. But we do feel it, so there must be some purpose to it. What purpose does envy serve?

After the meditation session, I decided to watch out for my next experience of envy, to see what I might learn. I didn’t have long to wait: it arrived with the morning post. Among the envelopes there was a programme for the upcoming Mind Body Spirit Festival in London. My eyes went straight to the workshops, and straight to the names of the facilitators. And then, I felt stirrings of envy.

The envy could only mean one thing: I would like to run a workshop at a large event like the Mind Body Spirit festival. But mixed up with the envy were stomach-churning feelings of inadequacy and fear. There was a mouse-like element to the fear that seemed to be saying in a firm yet squeaky voice: “It’s safer to stay at home.”

The wisdom of envy

I focused in on the envy again. And deep within its energy I found these words: “Remember who you are.” And then I realised that the spiritual purpose of envy is to help us to stay on our own unique path. That path does, for sure, take us out of our comfort zone. It may be a hard path, and the only way we can do it is one step at a time. I realised that envy was telling me to quit dreaming and start doing what was required – one step at a time.

It occurred to me that many of the speakers at the Mind Body Spirit Festival workshops have written books on their subject – some of my envy lay in that direction. I am indeed in the process of writing one, on the brand of intuitive meditation that I share with others – but progress is slow. And then I realised that I need to schedule regular, daily time to my project. It’s the only way I will complete it.

In a few weeks’ time I’m doing a talk on intuitive meditation in a local town. Someone has mentioned another great local group I might get in touch with. Each small step leads to the next. With the divine help of envy, I’m starting to follow my bliss.

Now it’s your turn. What do you, perhaps, feel envy about, and what might envy’s message be for you?

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I know why the caged one dreams

26/01/2012 at 12:12 pm | Posted in Happiness, Healing, Intuition, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 4 Comments
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How can dreams come true when you’re in a cage?

There’s a quirky interiors shop in Bath, England, called Blakes. It’s eclectic. Their window display stopped me in my tracks recently: two heads, in birdcages. “May all your dreams come true” was the message on their foreheads.

But how can dreams come true when you’re in a cage? Those two cages were bothering me. They seemed to represent so much more than a window display.

Then I realised: the cage is different things for different people. In a nutshell, it’s the things that stop us from achieving our dreams.

Unless we’re enlightened, we all have cage bars around us. Here are a few of the restrictions that cage us:

* Growing up in a violent or dysfunctional family.

* Believing we’re not good enough to achieve what we want.

*Feeling we have to play a role to be acceptable to others.

*Regularly doing things we don’t want to because we feel we ought to.

Identify the cage that holds you

Take a sheet of paper, and a few minutes of your time. Draw two lines down the page, so you have three columns.

Write the word ‘Dreams’ at the top of the left-hand column. Underline it. Underneath, write down your dreams and ambitions in a list. Write them all down, as many as you can think of. All those things that in your heart of hearts you’d really love to do. Everything you’d like to experience in your life. Don’t hold back. Just write them all down.

Now, at the top of the middle column, write the word ‘Cage’.  Underline it. Then write a list of everything that is stopping you from achieving your dreams. These negative phrases are the bars of the cage that hold you. Take a good look. The cage bars are as strong as you choose them to be. We can all blame our parents, our background, our friends, our enemies, the people in authority around us… whoever we choose. But the truth is, we are always the ones who hold the keys to liberate ourselves.

The key to your freedom

Finally, at the top of the right hand column, write the word ‘Key’. Underline it. Then write a list of everything you can do to break free from the cage of your limitations, so that you can achieve your dreams. Write it all down. You are crafting the key to your freedom.

And when you have crafted your key, use it. Use it every day, to achieve your dreams.

I’ll give you an example. David is an athlete. He wrote to me: “When people look at me they just look at the image. They never see past that, to the real me.”

David’s dream, in this instance is to be seen for who he truly is. His cage is the need he feels to behave in a certain way, to conform to the athletic image.

We find our freedom when we cultivate an open heart. 

For David, the key  is simply to express himself: to speak the way he feels. He has already started doing this. And as he continues to do so, he will discover that people can at long last see the real David.

So why does the caged one dream? To be clear, we are all caged ones, and we all dream. We dream because we can: because every human being on this planet is a creative being. We can’t help it; it’s what we do.  And somewhere, deep down, we know that we can turn the key, escape our cage, and achieve our heart’s desires.

We dream, because when we set our amazing, powerful heart-minds to the task, we most certainly can be free.

 

How to trust your intuition

06/09/2011 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Intuition is about not trying to force your way through a locked window or door.

“I don’t trust my intuition” is something I hear again and again from new clients. It’s not really surprising – when we were growing up it was standard practice to teach children to ignore their innermost feelings, in favour of what they ‘should’ be thinking.

Luckily, times have changed. In-tuition – our internal tuition – is now highly valued by many of the world’s most successful people. To give one example, not long before Tim Cook became the CEO of Apple, he gave a talk to young graduates at his old university, in which he urged them to work hard, be prepared… and then trust their intuition over logic or plans.

“There are times in our lives when the careful consideration of cost and benefits just doesn’t seem like the right way to make a decision,” said Cook. “There are times in all of our lives when a reliance on gut or intuition just seems more appropriate – when a particular course of action just feels right. And interestingly I’ve discovered it’s in facing life’s most important decisions that intuition seems the most indispensable to getting it right.”

In fact, if you want to be successful, you need your intuition. Period. So how do you trust it? Here’s how.

Stop being a busy bee hitting your head against a window

How many times have you seen this? A bee has flown into the room. It’s trying to get out through a closed window. Again, and again, it buzzes angrily and bangs its head against the glass.

The glass is the barrier to a solution. The busy, buzzing bee is your brain. If you are stuck for a solution, walk away from it. Stop thinking about it. Sleep on it. If you don’t have time for that, sit still, focus on your breath, and meditate.

When you calm your busy brain, you allow the answer to bubble up in your consciousness.  For the bee, the solution is an open door that happens to be near the frustrating window. For you, it’s an elegant new solution that you would never have reached by going through the same old thought processes.

Intuition is about having the courage to step back, to find a new open door.

Spot the ‘Ah-ha’ moments

When the right solution, or pathway, bubbles up in your mind – it’s an ‘Ah-ha!’ moment. Make a note of that feeling – every time you feel it. Eventually, with lots of practice, you’ll spot the ‘Ah-ha’ feeling in its earliest stages, so you won’t necessarily have to go to sleep or meditate.

When you get really good, you’ll just have to switch attention away from the problem or dilemma, take a deep breath or two… and let that ah-ha moment pop up.

 

Clean up your psyche

Imagine that our buzzing bee does eventually decide to fly away from the closed window. But the room is absolutely full of stuff: furniture and junk. The bee gets stuck in a corner somewhere, buzzing sadly away, its wings all dusty, between a cushion and a drawer… how will the bee ever find that open door?

Imagine, now, that the room is sparkling clean and full of space. The bee flies about it easily, and finds the open door very quickly. The junk in that room is actually the stuff that we carry about with us: old, stuck emotions and memories… We’re talking about the difficult, painful experiences from childhood onwards that we have blocked off because we didn’t know what to do with them at the time, so we just stuck them in a drawer somewhere in our psyche.

If you want to trust your intuition, you have to clear the room that is your psyche – regularly. Give it a really good spring-clean, and then vacuum and dust it regularly. How do you do that? There are many ways:

• Find a notebook or an art pad and start expressing your thoughts and feelings.

• Keep a dream journal and record all the dreams that you remember – dreams are the psyche’s natural way of sorting out all the junk.

• Detox the body physically with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

• Visit a holistic practitioner, such as a healer or intuition consultant who specialises in clearing emotional junk and helping you to reconnect with your inner knowledge.

The work is worth it, because your intuition is an invaluable, golden friend, a guide that can take you to your most authentic desires – and give you loads of fun along the way.

Tim Cook again: “In turning important decisions over to intuition one has to give up on the idea of developing a life plan that will bear any resemblance to what ultimately unfolds. Intuition is something that occurs in the moment, and if you are open to it. If you listen to it it has the potential to direct or redirect you in a way that is best for you.”

Try it and see.

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