Dreamwork 5: Podcast

This podcast was done a few years ago. You might enjoy it as it explains a lot of principles of dream work.

Dreams For Peace

Recently I did a podcast on Dream Work that you can hear by clicking the link below.  It is also on the blogroll on this blog.


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The Key to Making a Big Change is Transforming a Big Catastrophe

Not too long ago someone sent me a dream about being on the Titanic and helping people in the life boats.   It got me thinking that unless you have lived your life in a protected bubble, we all have been on the “Titanic” at one time or another.    We all have had to face catastrophes, big huge tests, that we were not ready for at the time.   The Titanic happened partly out of arrogance which is quite common to a lot of human catastrophe, but even without the arrogance,  we are sometimes tested way beyond our ability to cope at the time.

If there is a positive side to the Titanics  that we have experienced, it is this.  The huge sea of negative emotion, usually fear, that the catastrophe leaves in your memory is a place where we can go to repeatedly for lots of growth.   I have no idea why the Creator chose to make us this way.  I just know that the big negative things that have happened to me like being fired when I thought I was doing the best work ever,  are the places where I can repeatedly return for sources of new growth.   Like every other human being,  I deplore it when catastrophe strikes, and certainly would never wish it to occur to myself or anyone,  but honestly,  it would be difficult to imagine big transformation without having had major trauma.   I think that there may be some people who can go for a great deal of change without being so challenged and perhaps there will be generations of people who can go after change without feeling negative inside,  but they are pretty rare.    Our tests are our greatest reservoir of growth.

How does it work?  It is pretty simple actually.  Imagine you were one of those  passengers aboard the Titanic steaming for America  when suddenly you hit an iceberg and the ship sinks.  You may make it to a life boat,  but what happens next.  The ego takes over and puts in a memory of the experience so that you won’t forget the horror.   You now have fear every time you get on board a vessel going for a long distance from one place to another.   Whereas before you traveled from one place to another easily, now you have fear when you travel.  Fear is like an extra passenger.   Inwardly, when you think about moving from one state of being to a newer one, a better one, you are hesitant because now you have fear.    What to do?

If you understand how to work with fear, then you don’t have to be afraid of it.   It is like FDR said. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”   Instead of being fearful of dealing with the fear,  you can learn how to embrace it and use it for growth.    It is relatively easy also.   How does it work?    So lets say that the reason you were on the Titanic is that you were going to America to find a new life.   Now when you think about going for a new life, you have a huge fear of something horrific happening where lots of people die.  You replay the death of so many, then you imagine it happening again, and hold yourself back from going for it.    The thing you are supposed to learn, the new capacity, is lodged right in the fear.  All you have to do is find its spiritual opposite and you will begin to be transformed right before your eyes.   This really works.

What is a spiritual opposite?   A spiritual opposite is the inner process 180 degrees opposite to the fear in a positive direction and beneficial for lots of others.    Instead of being in fear that lots of people are going to die when you go for your new life and then holding yourself back,  the process you need to learn is seeing positive possibilities that bring new life and energy to yourself and others and then acting on them.    Most programs that deal with trauma don’t include the beneficial piece, but it is crucial, because it is part of human nature to be beneficial to others, to make the world a better place.    I venture to say that a lot of people on board the Titanic were seeking material fortune in coming to America, but that was not their true inner purpose.    They didn’t know their purpose.  They only knew the importance of economic survival.

When catastrophe strikes,  there is always a spiritual purpose that is at the core of the transformation.   That purpose will always benefit a lot of people.   When you get attracted to the true purpose, the fear no longer needs to stay with you in such an intense way.  You have to understand that our true nature is fundamentally spiritual, fundamentally transcendent.   The material aspect of us is only temporary.

Try looking at your catastrophes with new eyes, not something that you needed to avoid, but an opportunity to learn a new process that will benefit humankind.   The positive energy is in opposition to the fear or other negative emotion.

Here are some possible examples.

  1. The fear of being assaulted =  the fear of being assaulted comes when someone forcible (using their material power) tries to take something from you for their own selfish benefit.     Spiritual opposite- reaching out to people and providing a service that will benefit others using your positive capacities.
  2. The fear of losing a big game –  this fear comes when you are trying to beat someone else and get your esteem based on the win.   Spiritual opposite-  participating together with others for a positive outcome.
  3. The fear of the apocalypse-  this is the fear of really bad stuff happening that will destroy everything.   Spiritual opposite- finding positive things to do that builds and adds positively to everyone’s life.

Happy changing!




Lions and Boundaries in Dreams

Many people get into relationships hoping for the other person to give them lots of love and caring. The hope for the love then turns off the thinking and rational mind that sees what the character flaws of the other person are. Their are certain character flaws that are fatal to a relationship like not working for a living in the real world.

Dreams For Peace

I recently had these two dreams sent to me and thought about how important they are for so many people.

I had a very vivid dream.  I had no option but to pass through a path to get to the other side. There was a caged lioness and lion cant remember but the lioness I recall very well.  They were in like a cage protected by a cage and electric fence.  I was with a friend who teased the lion. one of the lions tried to attack us I was so afraid the lion went on top of us using the cage and vegetation it tried to attack us it would have killed us. Deep down in my heart walking through this path I knew there was nothing this lion could do but I have never been so petrified. It roared and did all scary stuff to no avail. The…

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Big Wave Dreams: Are You Going to Surf or Stay on the Beach?

Dreams For Peace

Dost thou reckon thyself only a puny form
When within thee the universe is folded?   The Seven Valleys and Four Valleys.  Baha’u’llah

Last night in my dream I was at a beach somewhere it seems like California.   I went into the water and before me were these huge waves of the crushing type so I went back on the beach on my towel and then sat and watched.    Off to my right were some courageous, crazy types who took on some big waves that looked like they would be crushed and land on the beach, but as they rode the wave, the wave just seemed to endlessly come up so that they could go for another ride.  They just went on for a long time.

The problem for me is that I am on the beach just looking believing that I am going to get crushed if I get…

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Recurring Dreams: Transforming your Recurring Issue Changes Everything in Your Life

In every dream meeting I have ever given the topic of recurring dreams comes up. You can make a lot of progress with it when you do transformation work associated with the issue. You don’t need a dream to remind you that you have a recurring issue. You can make a lot of progress to release brand new energy in your life and say good-bye to old recurring problems. Try doing some work today.

Dreams For Peace

When you have a recurring dream, a dream that repeats itself over time, its purpose is to bring up a recurring issue in your life that you need to address.     Even if you do not have recurring dreams,  if you track your dreams regularly, you will find that you are dealing with pretty much the same issue as it presents itself in the changing circumstances of your life.  Circumstances change, the issues stay the same until you transform them.  That is how the spiritual domain works.   Issues never go away by themselves by leaving them alone.   They stay and get worse the longer they are not dealt with.

Practically anything can recur in a dream.   The dream I have gotten the most in my life is about returning to my first university, that I quit after 3 years, and starting over again.   Since I went to a military university in…

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Running Out of Fuel/Running on Empty Dreams

Dreams For Peace

Why do you run out of gas in a dream?   

Automobiles in our dreams are symbols of getting from one place to another in our lives.   For example, suppose you are the type of person who plans out what you want to accomplish for a day or a week or a month.    You sit down and probably write all of the things you want to do and then slot them into a time frame.    When you get into your car in a dream,  it is the part of you that is trying to implement the plan.    You begin in the present tense, get into your mental car, and try to arrive at the destinations that you have set forth in your plan.

Running out gas is caused when the plan you have made is going after incorrect goals.  Your internal car drains your energy so that you will stop…

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Super Powers in Dreams

Dreams For Peace

I was in a dangerous situation being chased by armed soldiers trying to kill me.   I am running and hiding with a few other people.  In the middle of the dream I find that I can shrink so that I am barely seen and I can also stop bullets without them penetrating my skin.

My son-in-law has a workout program in which he uses super heroes and their positive qualities while people are doing the exercises in such a manner as to begin inculcated the qualities of super heroes in their lives.    If you are like Spider Man, for instance, you might be meditating about how to have a stronger grip on things in your life.   The program produces some amazing results.

When you have super powers in a dream, you should jump up and down on your bed and yell out really loudly, “YES!!!!!”     The above dream tells…

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Dreams of Being Chased

Dreams For Peace

You can be chased by almost anything in a dream because the dream world is extremely creative in its effort to give you the most perfectly delivered message about the fear you are facing.     The main reason for having a chasing dream is to let you know that the ineffective coping strategy that you are using in dealing with your fear is  running away from it.

The first thing to do when you have awoken from a dream about being chased is to identify the thing you are running from because it gives you the clue about what your fear is.    Since dreams are written in metaphor,   the metaphor will appear in its negative aspect.   A dream symbol can have either a positive or negative value to it.   For instance, water when it is calm and warm on a nice beach is a positive symbol, but water as a tsunami…

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The 5 Secrets of Dealing with Dark Energy

Secret #1:   Everyone of us has darkness, that is, we all have weaknesses and fears and vulnerabilities that make us do things that are not so positive.   You cannot expect perfection from others, because it does not exist.  As obvious as this is most of us get angry at others when they act badly.   You have to get over it because everyone does it, including yourself.    Getting angry and yelling at someone for acting badly is about as effective as drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.

Secret #2:  While you cannot blame or get mad at someone’s darkness,  it is equally ineffective to underestimate it or try to be nice with it.   Nice does not work.  The first step is to understand the darkness and see what it does negatively to hurt others.    It is much better to error on the side of seeing it darker than it actually is, than to pretend like it is not such a big thing.   If you are in a relationship with someone who gets jealous, you better understand how their jealousy works and how it is going to effect the relationship.  When you are nice around it, it becomes more venomous.   (Once again, just because you are not nice, does not mean you have to be angry).   A lot of people get stuck in those two options.

Secret #3:  At the core of everyone’s darkness is a profound sense of being alone and isolated.  The goal of a relationship with darkness is not to be angry, but to find a way of getting to a connection with the person in their positive energy.   Their darkness is what gets in the way of having a connection so being nice just lets the darkness know that it can continue being dark.   Start with the curiosity in your mind about where they are feeling alone in their life.   The energy that they give off from being alone will lead the way to how to have a positive relationship with them.

Secret #4:  The culture teaches us to underestimate the size of the ego inside of us. It is always much bigger than you think it is.     When you have a fear that is not addressed, it will grow until it takes over your whole being.   You should have a very healthy respect for the state of your ego.  In spiritual terms this is known as the fear of God.   It means that if you don’t deal with your growth issues they will bite you in the butt, only much worse.   In a world where domination exists like in a male dominated world the men like it when women are nice.  This means that they can continue to be dominant.  They don’t like it when women address their fears because then they start becoming more equal in their minds, it makes it harder for men to be dominant.   The dominant race also does not want to lose its dominance. It abhors equality because it loses its advantage.   Notwithstanding how hideous it is,  getting angry at dominance does not work.   Anger lets the dominant ones see the anger as out of control and allows them to blame the angry person.    A white person who is trying to dominate another race is profoundly alone.

Secret #5  The positive spiritual energy that solves the darkness is infinite in its evolution, but what most people do not have is the virtue of assertiveness.  Assertiveness is the quality that allows you to say no to the darkness, to seek the proper protection, and to go for having an equal position.   It does not have anger mixed in with it even though it is very strong.   When you add wisdom and patience in with assertiveness, the darkness really begins to move.

Say Good-bye to The Control Freak Inside of You

So I am sitting down to do my morning prayer and meditation saying the words and trying to listen for guidance when, without knowing it, my mind is going over something I have to do later in the day.   Does this sound familiar?    I am trying to have a relaxing conversation with someone and then suddenly they get up to pick a piece of dirt off the floor or have to text someone an answer.    This may be all too common.

Control freaks are everywhere!  Inside and out.   Hopefully this post will shed some light on the subject.  I am writing out loud.   Here is what I have found out about myself.

My control freak gets me to hide out and stay away from people.  It has a lot of justifications for doing this, almost endless.     When I first started doing the work on it,  it showed me that it would find out everything that  was wrong with me so that I wouldn’t have to interact.   The list was so long that the control freak always won.  If a list was finished, it would invent a new list.   My mind just kept going to what was wrong with me. It knows how to interrupt which explains what it does in meditation.    As long as something is wrong with me, the control freak can dominate the desire to be more out there with people.    Instead of just being more out there with people,  I just work on things that are wrong with me.

To let the more “out there” part of me loose  I first had to stop the obsession of finding things wrong with me and trying to fix them.   I had to let go of the tension filled memory of things I have to fix in myself.   Instead I just relax and see the vision of enthusiastically relating to others.   That was pretty interesting.

The control freaks on the outside are a bit more complicated for me because there is an element of exclusion in their behavior.  Their intention in controlling is to exclude others who are not doing what they want them to do.   A lot of them are pretty adept at what they do including the use of guilt mongering and anger.   One of the ways that they control, especially those in leadership, is to find small mistakes or small weaknesses and then blow them up.   It gives them and advantage over others.  They also take advantage of complaints from outside sources about a person as leverage for control.  Rather than investigating the truth of a complaint,  they take the side of the person who will give them more leverage.  The truth is absolutely irrelevant.   If it were a father who wanted to control his child,  he would take the side of whoever has something against his child whether or not the person is right in his claim.

What to do?

The key to dealing with control freaks is to understand that their goal is exclusion for self glorification sake.   They don’t want to include you if you are going to be inclusive because it threatens their hegemony on being glorified.    It is best to be detached from interacting with them.   You can be friendly and polite,  but as long as they are ruled by self glorification,  they are going to do what they can to exclude you especially if they have authority over you.

Detachment means refraining from having huge expectations about working closely with them.  It is not going to happen.   Instead of focusing on them, focus on others who are open to inclusion.   Gradually over time the strength of the inclusive energy will build,the control freak will be left all alone which may serve as motivation for change.

Controlling, where inside or out, leaves you alone in the world.     If you have an internal control freak, then when you change how it works you just find yourself so much more together with others.  Likewise when you let go of externally controlling others, you also are more together with others.   In the end the goal is inclusion.

Turning Around Hopeless Situations

If you are feeling hopeless or in despair or know someone who he is, this post may give you some guidance about how to proceed.   It is not by any means complete, but a place to start.

  1.  Taking an honest look at the hell you are in including being able to talk about it openly with someone is extremely valuable.   It is best to do it with someone who has experience and doesn’t overreact in a negative way.   Talking about your pain does not make it go away, but it does help to start you down the road to change.   When I am with someone who is recounting a lot of their pain, I imagine as though I am holding their hand as they walk through hell and tell me about it.   Most of the really horrendous despair comes about by people feeling all alone in the world.  As soon as someone else is there, it somehow makes the whole process less daunting.   It is such a relief for a person to be able to share what is happening inside, to not have to hold it in anymore.
  2.  There are a fair number of people in the world who put up resistance to people who are sharing their pain.   When a trauma comes out in a family, it affects everyone.  Not everyone wants to be affected.  Some may react with anger and hostility because it upsets their fairy tale world.   It is to be expected.  The sooner the fairy tale is dispelled the better.
  3.  The ego, which is our protective self, learns quickly in traumatic situations because it wants to survive.  It only takes one incident to set up a pattern of behavior that can last a lifetime.  It (the ego) reacts with some kind of variation of either fighting or fleeing which can include hiding.   For instance, you may have been sexually abused as a young person by a family member.   The survival pattern of the ego maybe to lash out at others in anger or hide away in a corner.   Even when the threat is no longer apparent like in a mutual relationship,  the survival pattern will tend to kick in when intimacy is approached.    The ego also has a tendency to believe that sharing what happened is unsafe.  This can make getting help a difficult process.
  4. The higher self always wants to go for the higher energy that is missing.   If it wants to go for intimacy,  then the obstacle it faces is the ego’s protective pattern.  This is why developing higher capacities are often so challenging.   The higher self thinks about how it might get closer to others, but the ego has control over the person with its protective strategies even when the protection is in no way beneficial anymore.  It continues to hide or lash out until the higher self can take over control.   The higher self, when it is in control, respects the need for adequate protection, and then it adds the higher energy.   For instance, when you are working in the area of intimacy,  you cannot allow people to take advantage of you nor do you want to get into a long term relationship with someone who is financial irresponsible.  Intimacy is protected by discernment and having boundaries.    If the energy that is missing in your life is courage,  then having courage necessitates also having reasonable safety precautions such as when you are rock climbing.   When the ego feels that it is safe, then it will let go and allow the higher self to take over.   At that moment you can begin to feel very close to others including depth of conversation.   The best way to think of the ego is that it wants to protect you, but its patterns  no longer serve you well.
  5. A lot of people in despair mistake physical pleasure for the solution to their problems.  Usually this is the area where addictions happen such as with alcohol or other drugs or with sex.   It is an attempt by the ego to keep the despair from completely giving up.  The addictive substance or action feels good which allows you to keep going despite the pain.  The long term problem with addictive behavior is that it covers up the problem temporarily which makes it difficult to go for what the higher self really wants.    Usually the ego in despair is covering up a lot of loneliness. Getting out of loneliness into being with others in a positive way takes the pressure off of the addiction.
  6.  When a person is in despair, the amount of time they need to heal in the beginning is very great.  As the despair changes to hope and joy then the healing interventions can lessen.   Usually people in despair need contact almost everyday in the beginning  because they going through a deconstruction of the old self and a reconstruction into a new self.   The negative energy is still intense in the beginning and still very destructive.  As it changes with the higher self taking over, then the person can take more time in between work sessions.
  7. Staying in the process of change continuously is a strategy that works for despair as well as any other challenge you have because it continuously adds positive energy to your life.

The Mathematics of Developing Your True Self/Getting Over the Subtraction Model with a Little Addition

The medical model in the Western world, of a necessity, developed itself into something of a subtraction equation.  It says that if you have something like cholera or the plague and you get rid of it (subtract it), then everything will be peachy.   If you were living with cholera in a town and then suddenly it is not there, it is absolutely true that you feel peachy for a time.   What the equation doesn’t tell you,  which should be obvious but usually is not, that if the conditions are ripe for disease, getting rid of the disease still leaves you in a condition that is ripe for more disease.  I suppose that the reason that the reason the model couldn’t embrace the overhaul of the conditions that made things ripe for disease was that the culture was ruled by pretty greedy and powerful tyrants who really wouldn’t allow them.    It is the problem with a show like the Biggest Loser, where people compete to lose weight as fast as they can and then get a large sum of money in the end for winning.    People lose a huge amount of weight in a very short time period, but they do not change the conditions in the equation that caused them to gain excessive weight in the first place, which the research is showing pretty conclusively is related to trauma.   They may feel great for a short period, even begin to change their image of themselves, but the condition that lead to overeating is never addressed.  Are the conditions of greed and power still prevalent in the modern world that make it difficult to deal with the underlying conditions?   Without a doubt.

Let’s say you have a person who is fearful of leaving his home, who stays in at all costs.  So they go to a somatic healer or another fast approach and suddenly the fear goes away. They feel completely free to walk outside and start doing great things.   This is a great formula. Win-win. Right?   Maybe not.   So now the fear is gone, but what about the world out there where the fear was created in the first place.   Does the elimination of the fear prepare the person to deal with the world out there now they are not so hyper-vigilant?    This is the same you who developed the fear in the first place minus the fear.   What I have found in my work is that, while the approaches of fear elimination have accelerated as have weight loss programs,  the work with building the self who can deal with the world out there has seemed to lag way far behind.

It is so obvious in many health conditions like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.  We can get surgery for heart problems that restores the functions of heart, but who is dealing with the person who created the heart problems.   If the person does not have an addition model to the health treatment,  then it is just a matter of time before something else happens.  Who is the self inside that lives an unhealthy lifestyle? The big gains in health only begin when you address the person having the unhealthy lifestyle. It requires a change of who the person is.   The problem with our model is that it asks the “what” questions like what is wrong, but it doesn’t ask the who questions.  “Who” in there is causing all this mess?  Maybe the subtraction model can get an alcoholic to stop drinking,  but it doesn’t address whoever the person is that began all of the drinking as a way to cope with life in the first place.   

Changing who you are is not as big of a deal as you may think.  If you can eliminate a fear response quickly in a person,  which you can,  then you can also add a new self. The place to start is by answering the question of who were you supposed to be before  the adaptive self was created.   The answer to who you were supposed to be always lies in the fear.  This is why you have to be careful about eliminating the fear too early.  Once you answer the who question, then the fast elimination approach is excellent.  Indeed, the fear tends to walk away on its own.   You can take the example of the person who is fearful of leaving their house because they are fearful that something bad is going to happen.   Who is the person supposed to be before the fear began?   This person is the person that makes good things happen.  This is who they were supposed to become, but whatever trauma or experiences happened to them caused them to adapt into a person who hides in their house.   It is a BIG DEAL knowing that who you are is the person that makes good things happen.   What about the alcoholic who takes to drinking as a way of dealing with the fear of being rejected by others?   That person is the person who accepts others unconditionally.   They probably have other identities, but knowing that this is who you are supposed to be and beginning to be that person will make a huge impact on the world.    The subtraction model is a safer model for a lot of people because anyone who finds out who they are truly by examining their fears  automatically becomes a threat to the current structure.

The fear keeps you from becoming the person you were meant to become.  It is as if it puts blinders on the true self.   Just eliminating the fear does not guarantee that the true self is going to be discovered.   The true self is opposite to the fear and it always acts in a beneficial way in the world.  It is always a higher self doing positive things to bring about positive change.  EMDR, somatic therapy, and NLP all have fast methods for eliminating fear, but what does it do to a war veteran.   A person goes to war, is under intense hyper-vigilance always in a state of the fear of being killed.   So they go to an EMDR clinician and the fear and hyper-vigilance go away.   What did they miss?   What they missed was that embedded in the fear was a part of themselves that they were supposed to become, but now are going to put aside.   Who they were supposed to be is a person who creates peace in the world.   It is as obvious as the midday sun.  A person who goes to war knows its horrors.  The reason they are traumatized is because war is essentially immoral.    After the fear goes away, then the real therapy begins.   How do I become a person that creates peace in the world?  It is so much more therapeutically complex than the elimination of PTSD.  How do you actively participate in a process that brings together a Jew and a Muslim?

If you are person who has been overpowered by abuse, it means that you are supposed to help those who have been overpowered to become empowered in a positive way.

5 Keys to Having an Amazing Inner Life

Have you ever noticed how many books in the self-help sections of book stores and how many articles in magazines start with a number.   Who knows really how many keys there are to having an amazing inner life?  There are probably at least a billion and that would just be a start.    I am going to use 5 so you as the reader don’t tire and you know when you are coming to the end, but make no mistake about it.  I don’t have the slightest idea about how many keys there are.  I am sure the number is infinite because it is an infinite world.

  1.  If you are a man and you are reading this article, you are so far behind almost every woman on the planet by virtue of having to grow up in a culture of Neanderthals, that you practically have no chance of catching up.  The average man’s range of emotional feeling inside can be summarized in these three words, sad, glad, mad, while most women can probably name 100 emotions.   As men we are taught the method of “white knuckling” negative emotions which means that you never talk about them or deal with them.  You just tense up and push them down.   When white knuckling doesn’t work anymore, we go to the pub.  Then we create a culture around the pub that gives us permission to not deal with the inner world.  Craft beer makes it seem like you are doing art when really you just are just white knuckling.  Women are much freer to express emotions and work on them as they wish.    If you are a man and can just add the phrase “I am feeling fear” into your repertoire of comfortable things to say,  then you have made a good start to a great inner life because naming the negative emotions is where everything begins.  Even if you only say it to yourself, it is good beginning.  If you are a woman and you are using the white knuckling approach,  it means that somehow inwardly you have given up being a woman to become a man.  Big trouble!!!
  2.  If you hear voices or see strange figures or feel weird vibrations when you enter a room,  you don’t have to believe that you are schizophrenic or try to shut them off.  Contrary to a lot of methodology that is practiced with meditation,  the goal of learning how to quiet yourself on the inside is so that you can see and hear and feel the inner world.    The negative things that you are quieting are like inner voices that shut out the positive.   The goal for me has never been to turn off the negative voices or pictures in the beginning.  The goal is transforming the negative voices and pictures to positive ones.    Going to a silent retreat and expecting to get some kind of tranquility is expecting a lot.  Tranquility comes when you love what is happening on the inside.
  3. Prayer without meditation is like trying to call your friend for help but just talking all the time or telling your friend all of your problems and asking for help and then hanging up.  Meditation is the process of asking a question on the inside and then listening for an answer. Sometimes it takes awhile to get an answer.
  4. The next world and the souls in it are closer to you than you can imagine.  They are actually waiting to help you out if you ask them.   It helps if you can be aware when they are around.   If you don’t believe in the next world, which is true for a lot of people, then you can call on positive energy to help you which is really effective.  For instance, if you need to be more discerning because you are taken advantage of easily, then call of the energy of discernment to help you.  As you do it you can gradually learn how to be more discerning.
  5.  When darkness pervades your life, the goal is not to rid yourself of the darkness.  The goal is to find the differentiation of the light that is trying to break through the dark areas.   Spiritual energy is one like the light of the sun, but when it goes through the prism of the human world, it is differentiated into qualities like courage, honesty, peacefulness, love, compassion, and generosity.   Each quality emanates from the same one spiritual source, but we need the differentiation to give light to various aspects of our lives.   The qualities are like prescriptions to make each part of our lives much more effective.   To have a great inner life you should always have one of the qualities that you are working on.  In this way your life improves each day.   Never start a day without knowing what you are going to be working on developing inside.

The Challenge of Being an Introvert in an Extroverted Culture

When I grew up in America in the 1950s-60s, it was pretty obvious to me when I entered school that the really strong part of me that was introverted was not valued or encouraged in any way.   Really I remember being really comfortable with myself before entering school and then suddenly being overwhelmed with needing to be an extrovert. American culture is about being an extrovert and not an introvert.    My stronger nature was to be very calm and go into the internal world, but the pressure of the culture was always be more extroverted.   I should have had meditation classes, but instead, when I wouldn’t talk to people, I was labeled shy.   If the opposite were true, then I would have been ok while the extroverts would have been labeled loud and rude which is how Americans are usually perceived in many other cultures.

It wasn’t until I first landed in a different culture, a First Nations Reserve in Alberta, Canada, that I felt validated for being able to easily go into the inner world.   It is place that is easy for me to go to.  I can spend long hours there easily with no problem.  And it is not like I don’t like the outer world.   I love doing a lot of things with others.   I am not saying that one is better than the other, nor am I saying that you can give the excuse of not being social because you are introverted or not being calm and reflective because you are an extrovert.  Life requires big doses of both, but I think that in America it is much harder to be an introvert than an extrovert.   And I think that this has something to do with the cultural fear about going inside and exploring the inner world.   I cannot usually talk to too many people about what I can do in the inner world.  I have to hold back about what I share because many people automatically are very resistant to it, a little bit like you are anti-religious or anti-American.

I am really not aiming this post at extroverts.  I love you guys because you make life fun and enjoyable.  I appreciate you for that.   I am hoping to reach a few introverts who have extraordinary inner powers that no one is going to teach you about at home or in school, that you may even feel are wrong or demonic.  The inner world is waiting.

In the next post I will discuss the dynamics of going inward with some easy tips.

Why the American Dream is a Big Fat Lie: Making it Little

The title of this post may sound like it is a rant.   It is not intended to be one.   When I was thinking about it,  I started doing some statistical work, mainly on the number of people who start out with a dream and then the actual number who get to it.  In the U.S. the percentage of high school football players who make it to the pros is something like 0.09%.   Of those who actually play regularly the percentage is probably lower.   In Canada in one university of the 5000 applicants who were qualified for medical school  only 194 were accepted.  That is about 1 out of every 25 qualified applicants.   It got me thinking about the American Dream which says something like if you work hard and do the right things, that you can do and become whatever you put your mind to.  I started thinking about 10,000 American boys who loved football, probably had the dream of the pros, worked hard and did all of the right things, but didn’t make it or the 4,806 medical school applicants who worked incessantly to get to the goal, but were not allowed in.   And then it stared me in the face.  The American Dream is a Big Fat Lie.   It isn’t true.

So if it so obviously not true from the data,  why are bookstores full of stories about the 1 person who did make it, and not about the 99,997 who didn’t.  Why are we so obsessed about believing something that is so NOT true?    It is an interesting question and a great book title.  “How We Didn’t Make it Big?”    So what happens to the 99,997 when they don’t make it big?    This is what happens.   They become part of the machine that feeds the few of the ones who make it big.   We love the story of making it big, but there is an ugliness about it that maybe we collectively don’t want to look at.  There is a dark place where we don’t want to go.  At least some people don’t want you to go there.  No one is writing about us.   I was one of the 99,997.  I even got to the next level which was college football, but something turned me when I got to that level that has helped me change my pattern of living ever since.   There was an ugliness in university that didn’t exist in high school.  It was if I was feeding a machine.   The machine had trained me well to work extremely hard, to have workaholic habits.   Really and truly I was going after the dream.  Then one day it stared me in the face, the dark truth.   “There is nothing in this experience that I doing, trying to make in Div. 1 American football that had anything to do with me.”

For some reason I felt it, began to name it, and then left for what turned out to be extraordinarily more rewarding for the rest of my sporting days which continues until the present, intramural sports.   I played lacrosse, squash, and a little rugby.   I made it LITTLE.   It was a 100 times more rewarding to play intramural lacrosse than to try to play Div. 1 intercollegiate sport.

For some reason something woke me up and told me that making it Little was so much better than making it Big.   Something told me as early as 1968 that if I try to make it Big, I will lose myself entirely.     Trying to make it big by following the American Dream teaches you from a young age to work really hard so that you can make it to the top.  What they don’t tell you is that the real goal is train you to work hard so that you become a slave to those who are already at the top.   This is the dirty truth.  I hope it doesn’t sound like I am angry or ranting.  I am not.    In 1968 I began the opting out of the American Dream process.  It wasn’t an all-at-once experience.  I did it gradually over time.   It didn’t mean that I completely opted out of reality like the hippies did at the time.   I knew that there were realities about life that i couldn’t deny like how to make a living.    The dirty truth is that the people at the top don’t really want you to make it to the top because they want it for themselves.   They allow a few people into the club because it gives the illusion that if you work hard, you can make it.   Then they write about those people as if they are some kind of heroic figures.    On occasion someone who knows how to work hard sees that it is all a dirty game of cheating, figures out the rules of cheating really well, and makes it up there pretending like it was all hard work.   His name is Lance Armstrong.  He played dirty for sure, but for every single Lance that is caught, there are thousands more playing his game that are not caught.   I am sure that if he were really honest, he would just say that his problem was that he got caught, not that he was cheating.   Nor everyone at the top cheats, but the American Dream is a culture of cheating that convinces people that working hard will get you to the top.  Lance Armstrong just realized that the American Dream wasn’t true.   Does it make him less guilty? No.   He just wanted to be part of the club. Most of us want into that club.   I could see why they wouldn’t let him into bike racing after the scandal, but he was also banned from every other kind of sanction racing even when he didn’t have a chance of winning.   That just tells me that we want him to be a scapegoat so that we don’t have to the let go of the illusion of the American Dream.

How do you opt out and maintain yourself without going broke?    It is the big question.  I don’t have all of the answers.   I wish I did.     When you opt in to the American Dream, it is an automatic ticket to losing yourself.  It is how the system works. Opting out, but having to make a living, allows you to make choices other than how to get to the top.   It allows you to make decisions on how you can be more beneficial to your family and your community.   It helps you to pursue courses of action that actual give results rather than working for organizations that are looking for material gain only.

In the end it helps you to get results that are extremely satisfying and rewarding to the lives of others.  Time to think little and make it little.


The Problem with the Way Most of Us Set Goals and Go for Visions

I have been doing a lot of work recently in my counseling sessions with various people who are having difficulty achieving what they really want to do in their lives.   One of the things that I have discovered is very revealing about the process.   Most of what I have read in the past about goal setting and envisioning emphasizes the aspect of clarity about the future targets.   You are supposed to see what you want to do as clearly as possible and then go for it.   While there are issues around questionable goals using this process, such as in the way you acquire financial wealth,  for the most part it is a sound process.  The problem is often not in the goal and its clarity.

The bigger issue is the “me” that it is trying to achieve the vision.   So here is the problem.   The vision or the goal that I have set is one thing, but the me who can actually achieve the goal is not yet living in the real world.   I can set a big vision, but can the person who I currently am achieve it?  Often the answer is no.   It turns out that achieving a goal is not often about what the goal is, but more a question of who do I have to be to accomplish it.   Who I need to be is often wanting.

The process of achieving the what, the specific target, is mainly about the degree of clarity along with the appropriate action to get there, but the process of developing the who is not so much about clarity, but about understanding how the person who can get to the target actually does the work.    It doesn’t do much good to go after a goal like doing abstract art until you can understand the state of mind and being that an painter is in when they paint.    When you have uncovered the patterns of the mind that do the activities to get to the goal, then it is relatively easily to begin doing the new patterns. You cannot  become an abstract painter when you are not in the correct state of mind, when you don’t answer the who.   Who is a person when they do abstract painting?

What further complicates the process is the limitation of not believing that being a certain type of person is possible.    You will hear people even from a very young age making self limiting statements like I am not the kind of person who……    It is a way of saying no to doing new types of activities and protecting yourself from failure.

The more helpful process at the beginning stage of doing the goal related behavior is to not jump into identity beliefs immediately such as feeling like you have to be Picasso,  but rather to explore questions about what is the state of mind that someone like Picasso is in when they do their art.    What is the state of mind that you need in order to run a marathon or fix the plumbing or sing in public?     Each person, the runner, the plumber, and the singer has a unique state of mind that allows them to do what they do.  When you can discover what they do in their minds, then you can start achieving the goals you set related to a specific area.

As a therapist for instance,  I have the ability to internally walk side by side with a person as they are exploring their own version of their own hell.   It is like  I am holding hands with them through hell.    I actually get excited when I am in there with them because I know it is going to be where I find the answers to unlock the positive potentials in them.    When I get to the darkest places, I get really joyful.   I am with them so that they don’t get totally into a dysfunctional state.    My excitement lets them know that it is ok.

So when you are thinking about a goal like planting a garden or learning a new instrument the starting place is with who do you need to be to plant a garden and what is the best state of mind to achieve that goal.   Ask someone who is good at it how they do it.

Using Your Dreams to Monitor the Intensity of Your Physical Activity

In the previous post about what kind of physical activity you can do when dealing with trauma I introduced the concepts of low intensity and high intensity exercise emphasizing the importance of low intensity work when you are in first working with your trauma.   In this post I am going to show how to use your dreams to help monitor the way you do physical activity.

The general rule is that the worst the dream is in terms of its content the lower the intensity of exercise you should be doing.   What happens to most people when they have a nightmare, for instance, is that the nightmare wakes them up, and then they are left with a huge amount of fear in their mind as well as negative emotion in their body usually in the form of tension.   The worse the nightmare, the longer the negative energy will stay in the body and mind.   If you have done the work I have recommended in Dreamwork: Module 1 (https://gum.co/FbZe),  you will see that the goal isn’t to forget the nightmare or suddenly let go of the fear.    The goal is use the nightmare as a springboard for your own transformation.   When you have a nightmare, the goal of the exercise is to dissipate the excess tension which will calm the fear enough so you can work with it.   You need very long walks.   When you do a yoga or stretching position, you need to approach where the stress is in your body, and gently hold it without forcing yourself through the stressed area.   This also dissipates, but keeps you mindful of the fear.   At the same time that you do the long walks you need a huge amount of processing.   The more the fear the more the processing because the nightmare is the signal that you are at the beginning of a process of unleashing new potential.

The danger of a nightmare is the desire to forget it.  This is absolutely the worst thing you can do.   The tendency for a lot of people is to do really high intensity hard work when they have a nightmare or big fear because it allows you to temporarily forget the nightmare.   The nightmare goes away with really hard work, but after some time it comes back with a vengeance.   This is where you see professional athletes break down. They repeated go to high intensity hard work without processing.

If you are generally emotionally stable or have already done a lot of trauma work, then the day after a nightmare is  a good one to suspend training and  do a lot of meditation and walking.   A long walk in the forest followed by journaling is ideal.   Always feel free to send me your dreams and I will be happy to give you some feedback.  dreamsforpeace@gmail.com.  Counseling work is all the better.

A person coming back from a prolonged nightmare like war should not do any intensive exercise at least until the nightmares of war have ceased.   Recurring nightmares put you in recurring fear.   You need low intensity exercise to dissipate tension and then a lot of therapeutic work to convince the mind that it is no longer in danger.   War like conditions which are the same as childhood or adult abuse take a fair amount of work because the mind has such a hard time letting go of believing it is not at war even when it is in a peaceful surrounding.

If you are relatively healthy and you are doing inner work to change yourself, there will come a stage when the dreams will change from all negative to a mix of negative and positive.   This lets you know that you are on the right path, that the change is happening.     At this point you can have a mix of high, low, and medium intensity workouts.   The danger, when you are in this stage, is to think that because the high levels of stress and tension have left your body, that you still shouldn’t process.  This would be a huge mistake.   You should do the processing in inverse proportion to the exercise.   On low intensity days you do high amounts of processing and I on high intensity days you do less processing.     Remember that the purpose of high intensity exercise is to forget pain which is good when you can handle a challenge, but at this stage you still have work to do before the new potential is in place and becomes habitual.

The last stage of development is the challenge stage where the dreams are mostly positive.   At this stage you can just take the energy and really challenge yourself in the outer world.  This is a good time to go after a big physical goal that requires a lot of work.   In this stage forgetting is a good thing because you are forgetting or letting go of your old patterns and using the new ones habitually.

What if you don’t remember any dreams at all.  This means that whatever happened to you in the past doesn’t want to be remembered at all.   The way to get to the memory of the nightmare in your life is to do very short periods of high intensity exercise.  The challenge you put your body through will begin to wake up the memory of the trauma, but you need to have counseling services on hand because it will be intensive inner work that you need. At the point when do the intensity, you are going to meet some bad stuff.  There are supplements you can take that will assist the memory as well.  Just have the help on hand.

Going through the stages example.

Let’s say that you are a person who is moving from being cold and overly rational to warm and loving.   When you do the walking part (low intensity), you can begin to dissipate tension associated with being warm and loving.   The tension is going to be some kind of intense fear of being abandoned.   This is pretty universal for some cultures like northern Europeans.  You will always end up in your dreams feeling afraid and alone.  As you come to grips with abandonment you begin to find closeness with your true self and others.    At this point the intensity of work can be introduced.  Your dreams will have less alone feelings and more positive emotions around being together with others.   Over a period of time you can continue to process until the level of loving and warm feelings inside have reached a point where you can start to include all kinds of diverse people into your life.   At the point when you are ready for high levels of diversity because of the progress with closeness then you can also push the physical challenge.   The physical and social challenge will be matched and the dreams will be positive.

Just about the time you are feeling great about the warmth and loving progress in your life that you have made, then a new set of capacities will want to evolve in you.  That is just the nature of being a human being.  The dreams will start back at the nightmare stage.  When you think the growth process is over, bam, a new one strikes.   The difference between this set of dreams and the last ones, when you first started nightmare work, is that you already have a memory of how to work through a process.    So for exercising you don’t have stop the challenges set in the previous stage, but you still have to do the processing.     Whenever i have a really negative dream I make it a point to take a really long walk and then give myself a long time to process the dream.   The best money you will ever spend in your entire life when dealing with a nightmare is some hours in counseling with someone who knows what they are doing.    Better yet if they give you ideas on how to exercise while you are processing.  In the old paradigm counseling was seen for weak people.  It had a sense of shame to it. It meant that you couldn’t tough it out.

How to Use Physical Exercise to Deal with Emotional Trauma

I am writing this article purely from my own experience and observations and not from a more rigorous scientific point of view, but I am sure that you will see the logic and common sense behind what I am suggesting.   Healing from trauma to a large degree is achieved by long periods of sustained inner work.   It requires having to face some pretty awful stuff on a daily basis without running from it.

If you watch certain professional athletes the way they fall apart emotionally in high pressure situations,  it should be obvious that they need time off to heal their childhood traumas before returning to high intensity training.   High intensity work, which seems to be something of a fad to lose weight right now, is about the worst possible thing you can do when healing a trauma.    If you watch a professional athlete’s temperament under pressure,  you can see the ones who have suffered childhood trauma.  You can almost predict the timing of their next injury.  And the nonsense of a show like the “Biggest Loser” shows just how little we know about healing as a culture.   A person with huge obesity obviously has childhood trauma, so sure they can go ahead and lose a lot of weight quickly,  but it is going to come back just as fast unless the emotional healing work is done in a sustained way over a considerable period.

What does high intensity work do?    It shuts off the mind completely so that you will learn how to forget the pain.   It is what the Navy Seals do so that when they go into combat they will not feel pain.  When you are healing, you don’t want your mind to shut off and forget pain.   You want the opposite.   You want to be able to have access to the pain rather than forgetting it.   Trying to forget your emotional pain is what obese people when they obsessively eat.

The kind of environment you need to heal childhood trauma is one where you can constantly look at your pain without it getting the best of you.   It is usually done with a lot of supportive and competent people who know what they are doing in the healing process.

What kind of exercise do you need?   You need low intensity exercise that you can sustain for a long time, and you need to avoid competitive situations until the healing cycle is complete.  Low intensity is exactly what the therapeutic community is doing to heal the trauma.   They keep you safe and calm, but really focused and alert.  What does that look like?   Usually people start with walking.   Walking is good because it raises the heart rate to a degree and as you are moving you are still able to process while at the same time dissipating the build up of negative energy in your body.   As your body strengthens you can add elevation and speed, but you can not sacrifice distance and time.   Repeated 100 meter sprints will teach you to forget the pain and throw you right out of process.    Walking or running will allow you to keep the pain and process it, but at the same time let go of the toxic build up in your body from the trauma patterns.   If you can talk and process while you are running with a partner, for instance, then you are doing something positive for yourself.   If you are just training at fast speeds to compete, then you are throwing yourself out of the healing mode.  It is not bad that you do performance training, but not when you are doing trauma work.

With other types of exercise like strength work it should be with low weights and a lot of reps. Holding yoga positions in a comfortable positions for a long time could also be beneficial.    You can use yoga and strength work to help heal, but you need a qualified person to take you through where you are weak and frozen in your body so that you can process the emotional pain as it happens.   You probably shouldn’t play team sports in competitive situations until the trauma is healed to a large degree.

Don’t look at anything to do with weight loss until you have done the trauma work.  It will be fruitless and will make your body worse.

Please feel free to add what you have found helpful while you were healing in the comment section or it you disagree wildly.

The Hows and Whys of a Daily Spiritual Practice

“Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday.”  Baha’u’llah

The modern world is fully of busy people doing a lot of things all the time, but one of the things that few people have is a daily spiritual practice where they are consciously working on the purpose of life which is to acquire more positive qualities (virtues).   If you don’t have a daily spiritual practice, you put your life into the hands of cultural forces for your development.  They tend to make you materially minded and focused.   A daily spiritual practice keeps you in a continual process of growth that can counter the detrimental effects of cultural pressure to act in ways that are against your true nature.    What are the steps?

Everyone’s spiritual practice may look different.   The key aspect of it is that you do it everyday and it actually helps you to make a lot of changes.   If it doesn’t work, don’t use it.

  1. Prayer.  Prayer is the process of lowering yourself in humility in relation to the divine.   It is the nature of the spiritual dimension to be benevolent to you, but it requires that you be in state of where you are as nothing and the divine is as everything.   This puts you into a state of openness for the divine forces to work in assisting you to change in ways that are best for you.   When you are in this state,  it is much more possible to make rapid growth.    When you are in the opposite state, it is as if you are trying to be God which doesn’t work at all.    Try using prayers that ask for the divine will rather than your own because you cannot help but have selfish motives in your own prayer.  “O God please buy me a new house,” may or may not be what the divine has in store for you.
  2.  Read from Holy Inspirational Writings.   These have a great deal of positive  influence on your spirit.   Take your time when you read and reflect on their meaning.   These are universal divine truths that apply to everyone such as loving your neighbor.
  3.   Meditation/Reflection Work.   There are as many ways to do this as there are people on the planet.  My criteria for myself is whether or not it produces change.  The key dual processes are detachment from the negative forces in your life and in yourself and attachment to the specific spiritual energy you need right now.   The hard part is the detachment which is why it is the emphasis in almost everyone’s method.    I start with recognizing where my biggest issue is in my life.  I recognize it by what negative emotion is the most pressing on me right now.   For instance, the issue may be fear of poverty or worry about your appearance or sadness of the loss of a partner.    The issue and emotions generate behaviors in the category of flight or fight.   If you fear poverty,  you may avoid spending on yourself or others.  If you worry about appearance you may avoid being around certain people or become someone else around them.     Once I know the issue and behavioral pattern,  then I start the attachment phase which is going to be in the positive opposite direction to the issue and behavior.   For instance you can be generous in how you spend your time and energy with people,  practice what it is like to be free of thinking others are looking at you, or being enthusiastic about the new people you are going to meet.
  4.  Try out the new solutions in the world.   If you have done the work correctly, then the solution will work in the outer world.    The action will give you feedback of what changes you need to make the following days.    The next day you start all over.  If you have been following my blog, you know that I also rely heavily on my dreams for the guidance about the issues.

This is a summary of the steps.  They can get a lot more sophisticated at each step. Try not to get hung up in thinking one is that much better than other.  Do what works which is what makes the most change.

Fear is Your Best Friend When It Comes to Transformation

In the work I do with DreamsforPeace hardly a day passes when I don’t receive a message that goes something like this.  “Dear Richard, Last night I had the most disturbing nightmare…”    The first impulse when we have intense feelings of fear whether they are in dreams or real life is to do whatever is possible as soon as possible to get the fear out of the body and mind.   This is only logical.  It is the rational thing to do because the fear feels awful, it starts patterns of fleeing and hiding,  and upsets our emotional equilibrium.    Fear is an enemy to the body to be eliminated ASAP.    We feel this way, for the most part, because we don’t understand the positive purpose behind the fear.    Why is fear good for us?   Why should we make friends with it and love having it?    It is a very counter-intuitive and challenging process so see fear as your friend when our logical minds are using every ounce of energy to see it as something to get rid of as quick as possible.

In my counseling work I try to think of the friendliness process as if I am helping someone to take their fear on a holiday with me.    They can sit at the poolside or the beach with the “fear” in the chair next to them.    When we are friendly with our fear or even other emotions like rage or despair, we can take them on a holiday with us and relax with them because they are going to be the impetus for us to change into the person that we really want to be.  If we have no fear or other negative feelings, it is almost impossible to transform.   They are the catalysts so it is best to learn how to love them and look forward to them.   Does this sound peculiar?    It shouldn’t.   This is why.

We all have two natures, one that we call our true self, which is made up of all of our positive capacities, and one that is  our ego or our animal nature which has all of our protective instincts which include all of the negative emotions.    When we feel fear like the fear of being assaulted by others, it is a protective instinct from our ego or animal nature.  It helps our protective instincts to kick in so that we won’t be assaulted, but it often acts way out of proportion to the actual danger.   For instance, it may prevent us from going to do shopping or leaving our house because it always imagines the worst possibilities wherever we are so that we will look for them all the time.   It can literally paralyze us.   And then when we see the fear as our enemy,  it goes inside a bunker of protection so that we won’t get rid of it under any circumstances.    How do you make friends?

What we need is to take the fear on a holiday where it can relax for awhile because what ego conditions tell us above all else is that we are lacking a more positive higher energy which we sometimes call virtues or capacities.  When we have the fear of being assaulted, even though it is a safe area,  it means that we don’t have the capacity to reach out and engage with others fully.   Imagine being on the beach again with the ego state, the fear of being assaulted in the chair next to you and then a third person shows up.   That person is the you with the new capacity which is to reach out and engage with others fully.      The reason that you can be friendly with the fear is that if you stay in process and do the change work correctly,  it is going to be able to walk away and have a long sleep under an umbrella somewhere while the new capacity gradually becomes fully a part of you.

The key to making friends with our fear or other ego states is realizing that they are the motivating impulse for change because they tell us what capacities we don’t already have operating.   Everyday when we wake up or in our sleep, our ego reminds of what we don’t have developed yet.   It is as if the ego is saying, “come on, let’s go relax on the beach for awhile and develop this new you.”    But if you don’t acknowledge it, and try to stuff it, it feels like the enemy and then will do its ugliness.

Take your ego on a holiday today.


The Challenge of Being Strong in Your Self

For a lot of people who have worked in various organizations and businesses the big challenge is the realization that the CEO or head is often stuck developmentally around the age of 5.   If you think about letting a 5 year old be in charge of an organization,  they run into a number of big challenges.  First of all when they are under stress, their fall back position is to only think about their own selves and protect what they have.   What that often looks like is the use of power to  protect their own interests.  They can have a lot of fear about being innovative because a 5 year old cannot look very far into the future.   Does this sound like people you know or even some world leaders?  Scary thought!!

The difficulty, when facing immaturity, is how to stay strong within your own true self and move forward in actualizing a higher vision, and not reverting into your own 5 year old fighting back at them.   We have a few great examples in the not so distant past that can inform us perhaps of how to stay strong.   They include people like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and  Aung San Suu Kyi to name just a few.   It seems to me that in the face of governments or cultures that were run by 5 year olds they needed to have some very specific capacities.   If we were to apply those capacities in whatever situation we are currently in,  we too might be successful  with our long term visions.

What are they?

I think one of the great capacities they all had was patience.   5 year olds don’t have much patience.  If you think back to when you were actually 5, you may have heard an adult say something like “patience is a virtue”.   But I remember as a 5 year old that I hated that expression because I didn’t have a very long time frame.  Nelson Mandela spent 26 years in prison before the South African government abandoned apartheid.   Aung San Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (formerly Burma).   Patience allows you pick the right time to do things and to stop time internally.    It allows you to erase time as a factor because patience extends the amount of time you actually have to achieve something.

Another of the capacities was their ability to see exactly what they wanted in the future that was both positive and inclusive.  A 5 year old under stress is exclusive and destructive, but the vision of the above leaders has been  to create a society that includes everyone with equality and equity.    Even though Americans have a long way to go yet with racial issues, you can see Martin Luther King’s vision actually having been realized in so many places.

The other great capacity that they have had is the ability to let go of hurt and pain caused at the hands of the 5 year olds.  They didn’t take the path of revenge.   To me this may be the greatest capacity that they have had.   It is the ability to not fight back with vengeance even though the injustice has been horrific.

Patience- Inclusive Vision- Letting go of Hurt

I am sure that you can think of other capacities that were also in use, but these stand out in my mind as the ones you need to be strong in yourself when facing negative leadership.   If you practice them, you can hold a vision for decades.



The Fallacy of Going for Love and Affection: Why We Should Go for Playfulness

Many of the people I get dreams from or work with in counseling sessions suffer from a kind of internal obsession, which I have had myself at times in my life, that believes that if we only have love and affection from someone, then our lives would really work and we would somehow my whole.     In the midst of that belief this is what ACTUALLY happens step by step.

  1.   First of all we start from a position of weakness in a relationship that says the other person has all of the love to give and I have nothing.   The longing for love and affection is like believing that you are a dried up well that needs filling.  When someone else fills it, then you will be ok.    It is NOT such a strong position to start from.
  2.  Sometimes you can get into a relationship and get your well filled up for a short time, but if you are internally a dried up well, people will abandon you sooner or later because they don’t want to have to continually hang with a dried up well.   Seeking love and affection equals abandonment.
  3.  When you get abandoned from others because of being a dried up well,  then the tendency is to hide in the mind rather than living fully in the world.  The mind becomes a safe place where you don’t have feel abandoned.

To get out of the pattern that ends up in abandonment there is an easy switch which works amazing well.    Instead of believing that you need more love and affection, you can believe that you need more play.   The difference between seeking love as if you are dried up well and being involved in more play is that play takes you out of your mind and puts you fully into your body in the present tense, the now.   Not surprisingly when you are fully in your body, then you can connect with others more easily because you are  a well that is full of positive energy.

It is a bit counter-intuitive but it explains why when you come home from stressful work where you have had to face a lot of harshness or rejection,  that going out and exercising or playing re-energizes you when you are tired.    The natural tendency after facing the negative world is to return home and believe that what you need is love.  This is because the outside world has dried up your well.    If it worked to get love from someone, it would be a great strategy, but it just doesn’t work.  It just leaves you feeling abandoned.

Play re-engages yourself and puts you back into your body fully.   It starts from inside of yourself and then connects you back to positive energy.  When you are connected to your inner self, then you automatically with almost no effort connect to everyone around you.

So when you feel like your spouse or mother or father or someone doesn’t love you, then just make the mental switch and go for play.   You will forget them and be connected with everyone around you.

Releasing Enthusiasm Part 2: Getting Over the Fear of Other People’s Anger

I have a lot of natural calmness.  I think it was just one of those gifts that was placed in me when at the moment of my conception.   I don’t think it has a lot to do with genetics or environment.   It is what helps me do a lot of the inner dream work with people.     However,  I have recently had to come face to face with a negative calming aspect in myself that I am saying good by to.  This is the kind of forced inner calm to prevent other people’s anger.    I was fired three times in my education career, each time traumatic, and each time making me go to the forced calm as a kind of ego protection so that I wouldn’t be fired again.

What seems to happen internally which seems to be the common pattern is that I imagine  a big negative consequence is going to happen if I put myself out there in an enthusiastic manner.  Someone is going to get jealous and then angry and then down I go.  My historic reaction from my ego was to go into a calm place that tried not to disturb the possibility of someone else’s angry tendencies.   I got fearful of someone else’s anger.

It is a pretty simple fix for me now that it has come up.   Instead of imagining their anger and the consequences and then tensing up and going to the calm, do nothing place,  the process is to see what my true self really wants to do in terms of goals, ignore the anger of others and the consequences, and go for it.    How can I ignore the anger after all of those firings?   Here’s how.   When I go back over my history,  I see that each time I was fired my next job paid me nearly double of the previous job.   It was like the firings were an invitation to a higher salary.

Anger on the part of others was just a manipulative, controlling technique for the other side to get me to line up with what they wanted.   When I just ignore it now, and see where I am going and get enthusiastic about it, everything seems to work.    The ignoring part is not so easy because being fired is a real risk.    I am not saying that one needs to be rebellious or disobedient to authority to get to where the enthusiasm is.  That is a dark path that leads nowhere but fighting and wars.   What works is to maintain very high levels of enthusiastic behaviors by going for true goals.     It doesn’t require ignoring authority. It requires ignoring anger.  There is a big difference even though the two are often living in the same place.   Anger is what needs to be ignored, not authority.

So the practice is to be aware of when I am fearful of someone’s anger,  see that it makes me calm down and do less,  and then ignore the anger and go for the enthusiasm instead, because the enthusiasm is the engine that will drive the achievement of the goals.   Enthusiasm is up energy and that is what we all need.

Being Enthusiastic in a Know-It-All World

Enthusiasm is the capacity to feel up about going for a positive end in the future.    It is the energy that keeps you going despite setbacks and challenges.    It is difficult to imagine any enterprise succeeding without a great deal of enthusiasm.

One of the great thieves of enthusiasm is know-it-all energy.  Know-it-all energy is an ego state that believes it knows the truth without ever investigating the new things.    It seems to be more prevalent where people have a vested interest in holding onto current ideas.    Do pharmaceutical companies really want you to know that an alternative lower cost solution has pretty much the same effect as their drug?

When you are going after implementing new ideas,  you can be absolutely certain that the know-it-alls are going to show up because you threaten them.    The difficulty in dealing with them on a personal level is that they generally are not yelling at you in your face.  They are speaking with you with a lot of assurance as if they know and you do not.    It is the assured tone of their voice that rattles you.

What needs to happen in dealing with know-it-alls is to first realize that you have adopted the new ideas because the old ones were not working.  If they were working, you would probably be the first to adopt them.    Internally this means turning off their assured voice.  As soon as the voice is turned off in your head you can instantly return to being enthusiastic by focusing on your positive end.

Try this out when you are trying something new and are up against the know-it-alls.


Magic of Children’s Dreams

Dreams For Peace

“About a week ago I dreamt that I was flying and then I went on an amazing adventure and it was so wonderful. And then suddenly, in my dream, I went back home and something terrible happened. It woke me up and when I tried to go back to sleep and remember the great adventure, I could only remember the terrible thing.”

This dream was told to me this morning by an 8 year old girl in my wife’s grade 3 class. Debby invited me in to speak about dreams to her children for about an hour today. They just kept telling one dream after another mostly nightmares the whole time and when I had to leave, they just begged me to stay longer so that they could share a few more dreams.

I started the post with the adventure dream because it happens to so many children and so…

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How to Analyze Your Child’s Dreams?

Dreams For Peace

Someone asked the other day when I was doing a presentation on dreams to some young people if I thought that the books about dreams that tell you what each thing means are worth buying.    I told her that it can be problematic because most books don’t teach you how to read a dream and then analyze it.

When I hear a dream,  the first thing that I have to do is remember it.   You may think that that part is easy, but the most often asked question about dreams is how they can be remembered after awakening.   It took me a period of about 6 months of listening to dreams everyday before I could remember them after people told me them.   So it is not a bad idea to write your dream down and go over it several times.

After I remember it, then I try to make it…

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How to Transform Your Child’s Nightmares into Amazing Capacities

Dreams For Peace


It is not surprising to me that after I wrote my last post about Godzilla and the principle of opposition that, without having read the post, someone sent me an account of their 3 year old child’s nightmare with a dinosaur. The dream is as follows.

“I dreamed that a dinosaur was chasing me – it was big with blue skin that was really bumpy. And was scared, so I went into Mummy’s room, and I could see Mummy sleeping under the covers, but when I pulled the covers back, Mummy was a pirate! And she had a knife! I was so scared that I ran away from her, but he started chasing me so I jumped out the window. Mummy the pirate followed, and then killed her. “

This is what I wrote back to the mother with her permission.

“A dinosaur represents a huge fear of negative evil…

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Dreams about your Ex

Almost every week I receive a dream on the “free dream interpretation” page of this blog where someone is sleeping with their ex and then wondering what that is all about since they don’t have a relationship with that person anymore.   It can be very disconcerting to get sexually stimulated with someone you thought you were over when you have such a positive relationship with someone else.  What is that all about?   What do you do with a dream like?

The first thing I would like to tell you is to not worry about your current relationship.  It is not about that at all.   I tell you why.

There is a stage in life, in adolescence, when young people start getting attracted to each other and then enter into relationships.   We all need this because we need to learn how to interact with others in ways that work.    It turns out that we have a tendency to latch onto people who have something inside of them that we need for ourselves.      The problem with the latching process as in dating someone and then naming them your boyfriend or girlfriend is that we get so that we are dependent on the other person.   The more dependent we are the sooner the relationship goes bad.   When you depend upon a boy or girl  for something like being strong or assertive or being compassionate and caring, then when they don’t deliver, the fights begin.   Eventually the fights become greater than moments of joy so the couples break with each other.

The problem is that breaking up does not solve the problem that led to the break up. What you needed from your boyfriend or girlfriend is just as strong as ever.  Your inner being is not going to let go of it.   Fortunately the dream world comes to the rescue by giving you a steamy dream about your ex.   All this means is that your inner self still wants the positive quality they have in them. It shows you in the dream because the message is to be intimate, like you were having sex, with that quality.   To be intimate with the quality means having it inside of you and loving it until it is totally yours.      The new relationship will work a hundred times better when you find out what you were missing that your ex boyfriend had, and then incorporate it in you by working hard to develop it in yourself.

The good news is that you don’t have to have sex in your dreams with only your ex to develop yourself in a new way.  It could be that you could have sex with a famous person or with someone completely random.   They all have different messages and different qualities.

Who have you had sex with in a dream and what is the outstanding positive quality that they have?  That is the important question.

Dream Work and Exercise/Sport

When you fall asleep at night, your body and mind go through a series of cycles intended to give you rest and recovery for the next day.   At the same time,  your spirit or your true self, goes off on various types of journeys when you are in your deepest periods of sleep to further your evolution as a human being.   The dream journey is connected to your body and mind, but also detached from it.   You remember the dream in your mind and feel emotions from it your body,  but the purpose of the experience is always to help you grow as a human being by acquiring new capacities.

All of us as human beings are in a constant relationship with our bodies to get stronger, faster, more flexible, last longer, and be more coordinated.   We just want to be at our peak and not have to face sore muscles and incapacitating injuries and illnesses.   We miss it so much when our bodies are not able to act to our fullest potential.   But since we are human beings, we all have weaknesses.   Without them we would never know where we need to grow.

Dreamwork is about using the messages you get in your dreams at night so that you develop your inner self and your physical capacities.   What is a useful way to think about your dreams,  is that they originate in your body.    When you first start the work, your dreams will begin in the weakest part of your body.    For instance, your dreams may be in your knees or in your neck.  They may be in your lungs or your achilles or your shoulders.    Wherever you are weak, they will be there.

How does it work?   If you have knee problems, which are the most common for people, you may have issues around flexibility usually because of trying to control things too much.    The dreams will show you in a metaphoric manner where the issue is, like where your fear is.   Then you can overcome the weakness and develop the body part as well as the virtue such as being more flexible in your life.    When people start this process, they usually have long standing recurring injury problems.   They are almost always related to the family they grew up in and how that family interacted in its cultural surroundings.    For instance, if you have had an absent father, you probably will face some kind of back problems because of the lack of support.    When you do the work to give yourself more emotional support and then do the corresponding physical work to strengthen your back, then you get amazing growth in every way in your life.

Most of the work begins with negative emotions, usually fear, because most of us do not have methods for working through our difficult problems especially handling complicated emotions.   However, there are also dreams that are strictly positive such as flying dreams.   Flying dreams are related mainly to your lungs because they are about being in the air.    When you get a positive dream and know where it is related in your body,  then it means that that type of exercise movement is open and ready to really develop.

You can start the work fairly simply and easily.   If you are doing an exercise program,  you can notice which movements are the most difficult for you.   This is where your dream will be.   You can write me, tell me what kind of program you are doing,  where your difficulties are along with a current dream, and then I can point out some solutions for doing the developmental work.    If you can’t remember a dream, which is also common, that is great information for me related to the difficulties.


Dealing With Blemishes in Dreams and in Real Life

A blemish in a dream is an imperfection.   Everyone has blemishes because everyone is imperfect.   The modern culture seems to want me to be like this photo below.   I pick up my copy of Runner’s World Magazine which is full of good articles and good advice, but the cover shot is the perfect man image.   The visual image is the unconscious goal, not everything else about a healthy life style, good health, etc..  Look perfect like the guy in the photo!  That is the message.


How did we get here to where we have to look perfect all the time?   This is actually not a new phenomenon.  It has been with us for quite some time now, more with women than men.   Making mistakes, having weaknesses, blemishes in appearance have been and continue to be a source of great shame in the culture.   I wish I could say that there is a culture that has overcome the belief,  but wherever you go in the world,  it is always ever present. Being imperfect is shameful.   It is so bad in certain parts of Asia that if you make a leader look the least bit bad, even when they have acted horribly, you are the one who is going to get fired because they cannot stand the thought of themselves having imperfections.   They are supposed to be like God.  They even believe that they are God.

Trying to play God is always the problem when it comes to shame.  If you feel shame, it is because you believe that you should be God, perfect.  God doesn’t want you to be God.  He wants you to be human.  Having blemishes seems to be quite ok with God.  When I say my Baha’i prayers each morning, the thing that strikes me is how often they allow me to refer to my weaknesses and relax about them. It appears that God doesn’t want you to be perfect, but only that you are fully engaged with transforming your weaknesses into strengths on a daily basis.   Imperfections are what we call being human.

How do you deal with the blemishes, the imperfections?  The first thing that is important to understand is that shame is the negative emotion you feel when you feel horrible about yourself because of something that is wrong with you.   The way that the culture is constructed, despite all the advances in treatment and technique, makes us try to hide the weakness or blemish, rather than freely admitting it.   Hiding and covering up the blemish, which is what the culture loves you to do, is a strategy that doesn’t work, but just freely admitting it also is not that helpful even though it is better than hiding.

The important first step in dealing with the shame of being imperfect (not God)  is to have a bank full of positive memories that are accessed and available all the time.   This allows you to feel good about who you are despite the weaknesses.  You can freely admit to weaknesses, but if you don’t believe that you have strengths and capacities,  you will not have the motivation and inspiration to move forward in the process of changing weakness into strength.    The culture is based largely on finding weaknesses and exaggerating them.  In my current city in Vancouver I often pass women having a conversation where the tones illustrate the cultural difficulty.   The speech is often has 100% certainty in the negative point about someone.  The sentences are short and cut off.   It is like there is no room for acceptance of weakness.  Who would ever want to admit to anything in that kind of culture?  This morning I saw a taxi driver make a minor mistake in doing a right turn whereby a person on a bike and a nearby pedestrian started super criticizing the driver as if he were a serial killer.   There was no room for the mistake.   The shame is everywhere.   In a culture of encouragement where finding the positive is the rule rather than shaming others,  people are allowed their mistakes and then feel motivated to deal with them freely.      Building the bank of positive memories is what gets us out of shame.  It is the antidote and remedy of shame.   It requires almost always living in a state of positive memory.   It is not only how great of a run I had this morning.  It is also how well I can remember it and relive it. That is what lets go of shame.

Once I can relive my positive memories, then I can deal with my weaknesses because the shame is gone.  When my shame is gone, I can freely admit to the weakness and start transforming it.    Let’s say my weakness is core strength, which it is, by the way.  First I relive my runs and other aerobic activities.   Then the emotional issues blocking the core strength will open to me.

What are my issues?  Since I don’t have a lot of shame anymore after reliving my runs and being ok with imperfection,   it is ok to explore the negative energy blocking the core.   What comes up is a belief that despite doing a lot of work I am still going to be really weak way behind others.   This lets me know that I need to get out of the world of comparing myself to others, to just feel my own improvement and remember it the same way I remember the runs.

In summary,  to get rid of shame, we first need to have the belief that mistakes are part of what it is to be human, that the goal is to NOT become perfect, God.   Then we need to build a bank of positive memories about are capacities and strengths.  We do this by reliving our positive experiences repeatedly.   Then we are free to work with the next issue in front of us.