Tag Archives: Dreams

AWAKENING TO THE WISDOM OF DREAMS

“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”  Edgar Cayce

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Starry Night by Van Gogh

” I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”  Vincent Van Gogh

Do you remember your dreams? What do you learn from them? How have they helped guide your life?

Years ago, I was working as an employment assistance counselor for an art school.  There was an undercurrent of turbulence in the office, and although I felt it, I knew little about it.  Then I had nightmares for two nights that included people from the office.

One night I awoke about 1:00 am from a dream in which people were struggling and flailing their arms. I was hit in the mouth and my teeth were broken and my mouth was bleeding. As I walked away, my teeth started crumbling and falling out as blood gushed from my mouth. It seemed so real that, as I rose to consciousness, I put my hand to my mouth and was shocked to find my teeth were still there. My breathing was fast and my heart raced. It took at least a half an hour for me to relax and go back to sleep.

Dreams May Warn Us Of The Future

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The dream felt like a warning, but at the time, my manager seemed pleased with my work.  That September I found jobs for the largest number of students that had ever been hired.  My newly hired assistant had not been available when I most needed her and began breaking rules that my manager had insisted we follow.  When I complained, he became angry with me.  When he asked if I could work with her, I foolishly said, “No.”

He fired me.  Her flirtation had won him over.  It was then that I remembered the dream which seemed like a warning.  Had I been arrogant to assume he would not fire me because I had performed so well?  Perhaps I had just been foolish to underestimate how much he needed the attention he got from her.  And for a moment before I answered his question, my intuition urged me to say “yes.”

Intuition May Guide Us On How To Act

So I had a dream that warned me of impending harm, and my intuition sent a warning, but I ignored them both.  Not very wise.

The Archetypes In Dreams Take Us Deeper

In order to really understand our dreams, it is helpful to know something about archetypes.  These are characters, symbols, settings, or themes that recur often enough to have universal significance.  Their roots are in the collective unconscious.  For example, most people have some fear of the dark.  We can’t see what is there and it’s a mystery.  It’s a place to hide when we don’t want to be discovered.

Vishuddha

Vishuddha

We find archetypes in dreams, literature, advertising, and other areas of life, and the obvious ones trigger an emotional or intellectual response that suggests something deeper.  When I dreamed that someone bloodied my nose, it didn’t mean that would literally happen, but it did suggest that dramatic harm might come to me.

Dreams May Guide Us To Solve Problems

Dreams may also provide us with deep guidance to solve problems in life.  One of the most meaningful dreams I ever had appeared during the year after my divorce in 1977.  In it, there appeared a blond-haired woman in a red dress who had previously appeared in another dream.  To make the situation even stranger (or synchronistic), I had recently worn a red dress when I danced in a modern dance choreographed by Liz Lerman.  I played the role of a woman who rejected the limiting traditional roles of women.

Photo: pensieve.me

Photo: pensieve.me

In the dream, I stood in a huge plaza with a large pool in the middle. On the far side of the pool was a several-story building that was a home for older people. Near me was a green ladder that curved over the pool and merged into an upper story of the building.

When I arrived at the base of the arch, a blonde-haired girl and a young man stood there. We all broke the bread she had baked, taking part in a ritual of communion. The man left. I knew I had to go across the arch but was afraid. The girl represented some part of me so I had to follow her, but I had to make the crossing on my own. The beginning was straight like a ladder and easy to climb, but as the ladder curved into an arch, I became frightened and had to crawl across on all fours.

Dreams May Guide Our Spiritual Journey

It seemed to me that this blonde-haired woman in the red dress was my passion and that the dream was telling me to follow my passion, but move on. It suggested that if I followed the higher road, I would reach old age or a level of security that the building represented. Climbing the green ladder was a sacred act, part of my spiritual journey, a path through life leading me to a higher consciousness.

Because the arch led over the water, which symbolized emotion, it was also telling me to move beyond just reacting out of emotion, which I did all the time, and it created problems in my relationships. I believed the dream was a sign I was healing, and the message in the dream was exactly what I needed to know at that time.  (Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness by Georganne Spruce, pp. 49-50)

Dreams Guide Us To Deeper Answers

With this dream I began a journey to understand my emotions and gain control of them so that I could let go of the reactive emotional responses I had developed in childhood.  They no longer served me well.  That became a central theme in my spiritual journey leading me to learn to meditate, release my fear, and use my mind to create more positive thoughts.

Our dreams are rich with answers to our deepest questions.  Exploring our dreams is one way to begin to value and respect the wisdom that can be found in the dark.  One of the best sources to learn about symbols which may appear in our dreams is Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols.  May you dream well tonight.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                               ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Carl Jung- Man and His Symbols, Part I (video),  Dream Interpretation: What Do Dreams Mean?

 

 

 

AWAKENING TO WINTER DREAMS

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”  Albert Camus

Winters Dream

Winters Dream (Photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~)

During autumn, the highway landscape between my city and the next town was ablaze with the red, orange, and yellow fall leaves.  Each time I drove this route through the mountains, the beauty took my breath away, but last week I drove it again, and the utter bleakness of those same trees stripped of all color startled me.  The contrast was shocking despite the fact I had bagged too many leaves falling from my own trees and was certainly not unaware of what was happening.

Winter Is a Introspective Time

Some people may be inspired by the sparseness of winter, but not me.  Without nature’s colors or flowers inspiring me, I just want to go inside, and when I’m depressed by the bleakness, I visit my imagination for something more interesting.  Winter becomes a time to weigh things, to sort out ideas that are not beneficial and let them go.  It’s a good time to write because I’m not distracted by what is going on outside and it is a good time to just be, dreaming by the fire.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 WINTER DREAMS

In the midst of winter

We dream rose dreams.

The fragrance of flowers

Fills the inner landscape

Until we awake in the deep night.

Tulips, Dogwood and Jasmine

Invade the moment

Between sleeping and waking

And we long to wake in spring

And bloom like the flowers

In the garden

We will surely plant.

Winter flower

Winter flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The fact is—I plant gardens in the winter—inside my own head.  I conjure up new ideas for classes, write poetry and essays, and have long stimulating talks with friends over cups of hot coffee.  With fewer distractions, I can commit to tasks that I’ve been avoiding.  Winter can be a most productive time.

Fear May Prevent Us From Looking Deep Inside

Andrew Wyeth says, “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape.  Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”  Perhaps it is the fear of what lies beneath our surface that makes us dread winter.  Confined inside by the cold, we cannot escape as easily those parts of ourselves we’d like to avoid—the ways we have disappointed others or failed to live up to the commitments we’ve made.  It is an excellent time to examine what we need to change and what is not working in our lives.

Over the last two years when I was completing my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, I ignored a number of things about my house that needed to be done.  I committed to completing the book above all else.  However, the rainy season was more intense than usual and mildew developed in closets and other places in the house.  Distracted during the spring and summer with many lovely distractions, I’ve promised myself I will clean this up this winter.  In fact, there are several “spring cleaning” kinds of tasks that I prefer to do in the winter.

attd_kindle

We Must Look Inside to See Who We Really Are

But these are superficial things.  It is the deeper aspects of our nature that we may find more difficult to face.  How can we repair the damage we have done to friendships or family?  How do we escape from a long term relationship that is abusive?  How do we find more confidence in our own abilities to make changes in the way we live?  While we may need help to solve these problems, we must begin by going inside and asking, “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?”

We Must Envision the Changes We Desire

We need to envision what we want in detail in the quiet of our own minds, stilled by meditation or prayer, opening ourselves to dream of how we want our lives to be and then be willing to search for the answers.  Only when we are clear about what we want will we be able to develop a plan to create the life we desire.  With this clarity, we will be able to take the first step.

Winter dreams may take many forms.  We may dream pleasant fantasies about the coming of spring, the birth of a child or new relationship, or a more fulfilling job.  But hopefully, like Albert Camus, we will be able to create an “invincible summer” within us, a hope and positive way to look at life even when everything is falling apart or frozen.  That “invincible summer,” a belief in ourselves, may help us believe we can make our winter dreams come true.

What are your winter dreams this year?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Finding an Invincible Summer, When Your Dreams Change, Let Your Values Guide You, Introspection Overload: The Value of Journaling, Neuroscientific Support for the Value of Introspection

AWAKENING TO OUR DREAMS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”  Robert Kennedy

Ciudad de Malaga al atardecer con los Montes d...

Ciudad de Malaga al atardecer con los Montes de Africa (Photo credit: carloscASTROweb)

Have many of your dreams come true?  Is there a connection between the dreams you dream at night and the desires you have when you wake?  How can you use those dreams to become more conscious?

Dreams Help Us Envision New Possibilities

Wouldn’t it be great if life progressed in a straight line so that we could always see where we’re going?  Then we’d know ahead what dreams would come true and which wouldn’t, and we wouldn’t waste our time struggling to make things happen that never happen.  But then of course, we wouldn’t experience the joy of rich surprises and miracles that open possibilities we never envisioned.

One day after a job interview, I stood beside the fireplace in a restaurant, watching the snow fall lightly outside.  I turned and he was there, stepping forward to offer me a seat. The dream had suddenly changed shape, wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a mischievous smile, and we both knew life would never be the same.  Although the relationship was not the dream that lasted for a lifetime, it was one that taught me I could be respected for my intelligence and could share a deeply spiritual relationship.

Manifesting A Dream May Be A Mysterious Path

Life is a spiral dance, weaving steps we know and steps we don’t know—a journey that takes us through shadows and sunlight.  There are the dreams we dream and the dreams we don’t dream—the ones we bury along the way because our parents tell us they can’t come true.  Then one day, we are standing on a stage as the lights come up and our hands begin to strum a guitar or the words of Shakespeare pour from our lips, and we cannot even remember where this moment began.  But somewhere, sometime, it was a dream, an image in our souls that was caught on the wind and carried forward through time, materializing despite all obstacles.

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As a child, I wanted to be a doctor and help Albert Schweitzer heal the lepers in Africa, but after struggling with high school chemistry, I gave up the dream of being a doctor and going to Africa.   Forty years later, in the early morning of a July day, I stepped off an airplane onto African soil.  In that moment, my life changed.  I became a citizen of the world.  I could never have dreamed of the path that led me there.

Each Dream, Even The Dark One, Is A Gift From Spirit

Each dream is a gift from Spirit, whether it is a conscious dream or an unconscious one.  It leads us to places we never dreamed of going or never thought we could reach.  Other dreams may serve a different purpose and may create the illusions where we hide from what we cannot bear to see.  Other times dreams are demonic and rip the illusions away, spiraling us into the darkness of our own depth to find the real answers.

For years, I read New Mexico Magazine, feeling drawn by some powerful force to go there.  When I was almost healed from chronic fatigue, it became clear that I needed to live in a dry environment in order to complete the healing.  A friend invited me to house sit with her that summer in Albuquerque.  Once I was there, I could not leave.  The Native-American culture and art fed my soul.  Then, I found the perfect teaching job right away although it was almost time for school to start.  It all seemed like a dream come true.

But this was the land of enchantment, and what appeared to be magical, within five years, fell apart.  I lost my job, my friends, my spiritual community, my security and all my illusions.  Stripped to the core by following a dream based on illusion, who I really was continued to emerge.  I began to write and discovered a strength and spiritual balance I had never known.

Dreams May Be Profound Spiritual Guides

Those dreams that come in the night, wrapped round with symbols and mystery, may very well hold the answers to the problems in our lives and lead us to the light.  Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, said in his book Man and His Symbols, “The general function of dreams is to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-established, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium.”

Deutsch: Carl Gustav Jung

Deutsch: Carl Gustav Jung (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my divorce in 1976, I felt unhinged without a job or money.  The grief and anger I felt overwhelmed me.  Then one night, I dreamed I was standing in a plaza with a pool in the center.  A green ladder rose upward and across the pool and into the upper floor of a several story building on the far side.  At the base of the ladder I stood with a young man and a blond-haired woman in a red dress, a version of me that had appeared in other dreams. We performed a ritual, breaking the bread the woman had baked.  Then the man left, and the woman began to climb the ladder, beckoning to me.  Despite my fear, I followed her.

When I awoke, I realized the dream was telling me exactly what I needed to do.  My choice to climb the green ladder was a sacred act. I needed to follow a spiritual path that would lead me to a higher consciousness.  Because the arch led over water, which symbolized emotion, it was also telling me to move beyond just reacting emotionally.  The dream told me how to heal.

There are the dreams we choose to dream and the ones that come to us unexpectedly.  Weaving through our lives with joy and mystery, they are one of Spirit’s greatest transformative gifts.  May you dream well tonight.

What dreams have provided you with important insights? Please comment.

For a more in depth understanding of the value of understanding dreams and how they provide guidance in your life, read my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness.

©2013 Georganne Spruce                                            ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Nightmares, Dreams, and the Ego: a New Earth VideoSpiritual Dream Interpretation: Understanding Your DreamsJung Dream Interpretation