Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jeremy Taylor in Benicia!

Join us and spend the day with Jeremy Taylor!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dream Interpretation - Taking no action is an action!

Many times our dreams will repeat a theme or message in two or more scenarios within the same night’s dreams.  The idea seems to be, “If you didn’t get it the first time, here it is again.” Today’s dreamer brings a good example.

Dear Carolyn,    

My dream starts out with old men in a bus in the middle of a field.  Then everyone is ordered off the bus by bad guys - Police? Criminals? Mafia?  Most get off, but one elderly man is injured and holding his side, slumped over.  He is ignored and two others are also seemingly unnoticed.  Now I am part of this – one of the two hiding.  We vow to help the man and plot to take the bus and drive it to an emergency room. 

The others are standing in middle of the field, having a “conference.”  We manage to take over the bus and drive off over the field in a mad dash towards freedom and a hospital.   We find a hospital emergency room parking lot. 

New scene but somehow connected to the earlier part of dream, my husband and I have a little dog sleeping, curled up in front of our bedroom door.  In the middle of the night the little dog jumps up on our bed, wakens me and imparts a sense of urgency.  I pet and soothe the dog.  I realize there is someone in the front part of the house.  I detect something – a noise? – mostly a sense that someone is there.  I waken my sleeping husband and try to explain.  Nothing happens; husband peeks down the hall – nothing – comes back to bed and apparently to sleep.  I am alert and alarmed.  I see a flash of light from the front of the house.  I again awaken my husband and he suggests/mimes that we feign sleep so as to surprise the bad guy.  The little dog is also alert - I know this, but he is curled up and part of the pretense.  I do my part of the feigning.  Suddenly a HUGE man appears, peaking around the corner of the doorway to our bedroom.  I waken terrified.  End of dream.


Do I Really Need to Be Afraid?

 Dear Do I Really,

There are multiple levels on which to understand your dream.  First, it's important to consider the idea that your dream may be health-related.  It is set in a bus, a conveyance, your means of getting around, i.e. your body.  Your dreaming self goes into protection mode, trying to help that 'elderly' part of itself that is wounded/injured.  Your plan is to hide from the part of yourself that says leave it, get off the bus!  Instead you will take this to the emergency room for attention.

Similarly, in the second part of your dream, you agree to ignore the sign that something big and ominous is at your door.  You will pretend that you don't hear the warning signs and only react when forced to do so.

From another viewpoint, your dream may be speaking to your frame of mind.  In this perspective, your mode of transportation is not moving.  It's not even on a road - it's in the middle of a field.  An authoritarian part of you – the police – tells you to get off that bus.  Instead you decide to hide out with the part of you that is wounded or feeble in some attitude or way of thinking.  You will nurse this part of yourself in contradiction to the 'bad guy' part of yourself that says to abandon it and move on.

Again, the theme is repeated in the second part of your dream.  Even though you are certain that your warm and cozy position is being threatened, you make a decision to pretend it is not so, to take no action until a big bad guy makes the choice for you and forces you to act.

Your dream can be considered a call to action Dear Dreamer, or perhaps a call to change your mindset.  At the least it is a call to recognize that hunkering down and waiting is a decision with consequences as well. 

Sweet dreams to you!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Success is right behind you

More often than not, the characters in our dreams reflect parts of ourselves.  Though our dreamer today doesn’t give us the waking life context for his dream, it is still clear that the celebrity who dominates the dream’s story line is a stand-in for the dreamer himself.  We will look for “real world” parallels for the dream character’s actions to understand this dream’s message.

Dear Carolyn,

In case you don’t know, Mike Krukow was a National League All Star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants and is now a color commentator for them.  I’m a fan!  He’s an all-around talented person who is also a nice guy.  But why he would show up in my dream is a mystery to me.

In my dream I’m at the baseball park in the stands up behind home plate.  The field is lush green; the base paths and pitcher’s mound are ruddy orange. 

I am there for Mike Krukow's farewell pitch.  It’s an event.  As a part of the ceremony he's supposed to throw the ball over the outfield fence from his position at home plate.  He makes repeated unsuccessful attempts.  It’s not a realistic task!  Very few could throw a ball that far – certainly not someone his age, at the end of his career.  He should be standing on the pitcher’s mound throwing toward home plate! 

Finally the lights go down, but the crowd doesn't want to leave.  They stay in place as a way of showing their love and affection for Krukow.  It is a nostalgic and hopeful moment.  I give my baseball to him so that he can have one more try.

Music swells over the PA system – “Tonight we are young!  We can set the world on fire!  We can burn brighter than the sun!”


Confused Fan

Dear Confused,

The background information you shared regarding Mike Krukow is helpful because your dream presents him as a stand-in for you.  You might not say it yourself, but your friends and family would no doubt say that you embody the same characteristics you admire in him.  You are colorful and talented, even beloved.

And, in another parallel to him, your dream tells you that in some way in your waking life, you are facing the wrong direction and attempting an impossible task.  It may be hard to admit that.  Perhaps there is a groundswell of hope within you or around you, but on some level you must know that things are not going to work if you stay in your current backwards orientation – not at your age and at this point in your career.  Perhaps you are holding on too long to youryouth as your dream suggests – the lights are going down as the music plays.

Even in your dream you know the current approach defies logic.  Mike Krukow retired from the pitcher’s mound and has success as commentator.  Turn around, Dear Dreamer, and experience the success and accolades that are there for you.

Sweet Dreams to You!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Rearview slows you down

Today’s dreamer finds himself being more cautious than his circumstance merit.  His dream offers a perfect metaphor for his habit of anticipating problems and stalling himself on the brink of success, instead of pushing himself toward his own goal.

Dear Carolyn,

My parents raised me to be a hard worker.  I’m independent and get along well with just about everyone.  I am humble.  I have never been what my mom would call a ‘showboat.’  I keep my head down and do good work and it has paid off over time.  Now there’s a position open that I really want and a couple of my coworkers want it too.  To my way of thinking, they are behaving badly by tooting their own horns all the time and trying to get the boss’s attention.  It makes me nervous though because I hope to be noticed too.  But I know the promotion will come to me if it’s meant to be.    

After a stressful week at work I dreamed that I was traveling up a long slow grade toward a hill that would take some ‘oomph’ to get over.  I kept checking my rearview mirror because I could see a car in the distance.  I couldn’t make it out very clearly, but I thought it might be the highway patrol.  I started to worry that I would get a speeding ticket.  So I slowed down just before the crest of the hill and my car stalled.

Is this bad news for the promotion I want?


Hopeful Things Will Go My Way

Dear Hopeful,

Your dream doesn’t carry bad news for you, but it does bring an admonition.

It places you in a scenario that reflects your progress at work over the years – a long, slow, steady climb.  And now you are facing a hill that may require a bit more horsepower if you want to clear it. 

But instead pushing yourself forward, you keep looking back at that internal highway patrol that tells you to slow down, use caution.  It is far enough in the distance that you cannot even be sure it’s the ‘law’ or that you’ll be punished for the push you need to get over the top.  But it slows you sufficiently to keep you from rising over the crest of the hill – reaching the promotion you seek.

You dream is playing out for you what could come to pass if you keep looking backward and slowing down instead of rising to the occasion at hand.  A person in your circumstance can ‘toot his own horn’ without blasting away his natural humility.  There are classy ways to promote yourself.  

Get your talking points together, Dear Dreamer, and let the boss know you deserve the promotion.  Otherwise you may stall out and see a blowhard pass you by.

Good luck and Sweet Dreams to You!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dream interpretation - Everything new is old again

Transitional phases of life bring dreams which reflect our changing patterns of thinking.  These can be confusing in waking life and our dreams come to help us sort out the changes.  Today’s dreamer has recently closed down a long-standing private practice and is, in her words, “trying to find [her] way” in retirement.

Dear Carolyn,

Retirement is exciting and scary at the same time.  For me, the timing was perfect – I was ready to close my business and shift into a more free-flowing style of life.  Or at least I think I am – the transition is not as simple as I thought:  I was extremely disciplined for many years!  I feel pretty sure this dream is about my “new life” but don’t know why it made me so mad! 

In the dream I am teaching a yoga class in a large barn-like studio.  The class is very full.  I start with leg lifts to connect core with breath.  I often do this, but the class members act like it’s weird and dumb.  I go to help Diane – an emotional and needy student – and as I do the class gets very chatty and I lose their attention.  They are not following my directions and I am frustrated by this. 

Then, out of nowhere, three women waltz across the floor, right through the middle of the class!  They are in loose flowing gowns, beautiful and spirit-like, but they are not appropriate for my yoga class.  I yell.  I get mean.  But nothing changes.  There is a file cabinet with envelops that have teachers’ names on them, but I don’t have one.  What am I supposed to do?  Make one?

Students are walking out and I hear them say, “I thought she was supposed to be such a good teacher.”


At Loose Ends

Dear Loose Ends,

Having spent the bulk of your working life in a self-controlled and systematic atmosphere, it is understandable that you are looking forward to a change of attitude and structure.  Your dreaming self presents you with the metaphor of teaching the discipline of yoga to the part of you that no longer wants to pay attention to such things.  Your newly retired, freer self is easily distracted and even disrespectful of the restrained practice that was once so central to your way of being.  You no longer have the credentials to operate in that arena – no name on the envelop.

But when the looser, more free-flowing part of you waltzes through the middle of the scene, you are taken aback.  Your former mode of operating – the more rigid disciplinarian – may yell and be mean, trying to deny access to the free spirit, but it is unfazed.  Let yourself unwind a bit, Dear Dreamer.  Relax into your new world.  Or – recreate a retirement duplicate of your working life.

Sweet Dreams to You!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Let the baby swim!

Babies in our dreams often signify new beginnings and creative impulses.  Today’s dreamer finds that his concerns for a swimming infant are unwarranted and even detrimental.

Dear Carolyn,

I worked for nearly 30 years in a business I built up on my own.  If I do say so myself, I was very good at what I did and my business was professional and successful.  Many clients were with me from the beginning and said they hated to see me close down – but I was ready.  I wanted to retire before the business became too difficult and wasn’t fun.  Anyway, I’m retired six months now and casting about for what to do with my considerableremaining energy and creative ambitions.  What worries me is that I seem to be easily distractible.  I move toward an exciting project only to be pulled in another direction and then find myself distracted again.

With all this troubling me, I dreamed that I am in a wooded picnic area with a swimming pool.  A baby, about 3-6 months old, is swimming in the pool.  He seems to be OK, but I’m a little worried.  I jump in the water to protect him and then he doesn’t swim as well!  When I get out, the baby swims fine again, going under and coming back up, pushing off the side of the pool and having a good time.  My friends are there – Jim the artist and John the writer.  We seem to be looking at MapQuest when I wake up feeling anxious.


Worried About the Baby

Dear Worried,

Your post-retirement dream offers insights and encouragement as you find your way in this newest phase of your life.

First, the setting is appropriate as it places you in a recreational arena, as retirement does.  Your energetic, creative self – the baby born when you retired 6 months ago – enjoys himself, swimming playfully, exploring his abilities effortlessly.  

Even though you see that he – that fresh, new part of yourself– is doing fine, you worry.  And, your worry hinders the baby’s play.  When you begin to hover and needlessly protect, he does less well.  This is your Dreaming Self reminding you that play is play and now is the time in your life to trust it and let it happen.  It’s OK to explore and change directions.  If you “go under,” you will come back to the surface without injury.

You find yourself with your friends Jim and John, those creative parts of yourself, studying MapQuest, trying to find your way, or perhaps looking for a prescribed route to take.  Maybe you have set them up as models for how you think you should be.  There is no harm in admiring their achievements of course, but again Dear Dreamer, your dream suggests that you trust a bit more rather than trying to force the issue of your personal creative outlet.  When you do that, it manifests in the kind of second-guessing and indecision you are experiencing in your waking life.

Sweet Dreams to You!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dream interpretation - Neglected house – neglected health

 Often we will have someone in our dreams whom we don’t recognize – a person in the shadows – someone we can’t quite see.  Most likely, that person represents our “shadow self,” a part of ourselves that we don’t see or don’t recognize – a blind spot in our self-assessment.  Our dreams point out that that part of ourselves needs attention.  Today’s dreamer has turned her focus to the part of herself she neglected for many years.

Dear Carolyn,

I will be 80 years old soon.  Being this old can be a shock!  There are some good things about it, but health can be a problem, especially since I smoked cigarettes for almost 50 years!  Stupid, I know.  I quit more than 10 years ago, but I’m still paying for that horrible addiction.  I am doing what I can to live a more healthy life now even though it is late in the game! 

I dreamed that I was in the home of a dark-skinned woman.  She was always off to the side in the shadows, just out of my sight.  Anyway, her house was a mess and I couldn’t believe how difficult her life is.  Everything she tried to do was a difficult chore.  If she wanted to get ready to go out, it was hard.  If she wanted to have a meal, it was hard.  Her house was dark and the floor was sticky.  I looked up and saw that the tar from her roof had seeped into the house and gummed up everything.

I decided to take her over to my house to spend the weekend so she could have a nicer life, even if it was only for a little while.  Then I woke up.


Good Samaritan

Dear Samaritan,

Houses in our dreams may be representative or our bodies.  And the person in the shadows may be that part of you that you have not paid attention to until recently.  She now lives in the house that 50 years of smoking built.  Because of her advanced age and the tar that has dripped onto everything, her life is dark and difficult. 

You mention that in your waking life you are making changes to improve your lifestyle.  Your dream reflects this as you invite your shadow self to move to a place where life is not so difficult.  The fact that she’ll visit only for the weekend may reflect your current timeline. 

You spent half a century smoking, damaging your body, the house you live in.  Now many things are even more difficult that you might expect at your current age.  As you say, Dear Dreamer, even though it’s late in the game, you may be able to enjoy your remaining time by inviting your struggling self to live in a healthier environment.

Sweet Dreams to You!