Book Club Chapter 2: Gayle Delaneys Living Your Dreams

Book Club, February 22, 2013.  Chapter 2
Thanks once again to everyone who came to Book Club.  It was another great discussion on dreams.  Thanks also to those of you who shared dreams, as the more we share the more we learn together.  The dreams are fascinating.
Chapter 2, Dream Incubation (or targeting Dreams for Specific Problem Solving)
The idea of Dream Incubation is not new; it has been used by many over the years, sometimes not knowingly.  Have you ever gone to bed at night thinking about a problem that has really got you baffled?    You feel that you have looked at it in every conceivable manner but have not come up with a solution.   This is the last thing you are thinking about when you fall asleep.  When you wake up, you have an answer.  That is Dream Incubation.
Gayle Delaney has developed a method that she calls “phrase-focused incubation”. )Pg 28)  You set the stage, sending your request to your “higher self, divine power, or collective unconscious”, whichever you feel most comfortable using.  The steps for doing this are as follows:
Step 1.  Pick the right night.  Make sure you are not over tired, have not taken sleeping pills or tranquilizers.  (She does say here if you are on these medications check with your doctor before stopping them).  Also, make sure you have time to write in your journal before going to sleep and also make time in the morning for writing your dream down.
Step 2.  Day Notes.  Before going to sleep, write down your day time activities to get your thoughts and feelings about the day out of your mind and onto the paper.  Just a few lines are fine.
Step 3 Lights!  Take a close look at the problem you would like help with.  Ask yourself if you are ready to examine this problem further and if you are ready to do something about the problem.  On page 30 she goes into the deeper questions to ask yourself.  The one that stuck out to me was asking yourself if living with the problem feels safer than resolving it?  This points out the importance of knowing if you are ready for change.  Get to as many feelings about this issue as possible and get them on the paper.  The more you grabble with the problem, the more likely you will be to get an answer from your dream maker.
Step 4:  Incubation Phrase.  After all your grabbling with the problem, come up with a one sentence question which you want answered.  It is important that this question addresses the deepest and clearest desire you have to understand this problem in a different light.  Once you have your question, write it down in your Dream Journal.
Step 5.  Focus, Camera!  Now, you put your journal beside the bed, turn off the lights and repeat your Incubation Phrase over and over.
Step 6 Action!  Now you sleep.  Now it is up to our unconscious to connect to our higher self or source of wisdom while we are in a sleeping state.  “…Our inner self sees our life and problems more clearly, more objectively, and from a far broader perspective than we usually do while awake.” Pg 33 “The dreams may redefine your problem, translating it from the way you consciously see it into the way your inner self sees it.  The discrepancy can be very enlightening.  The dreams may present alternatives to your dilemma, … introduce you to a whole new area of psychological awareness and understanding. “ pg 34
Step 7:  Record.  When you awaken, write the dream down immediately.  Don’t take time to judge or figure out what it means initially; just write down what you remember of the dream.   Include any feelings you recall from and dream and any feelings you were experiencing as you awakened.  Once you have done this write down any associations you make regarding the dream elements.
Gayle goes on to say that these incubated dreams are often easier to remember and once you have experienced an answer to a problem through dream work, you will experience a sense of achievement and excitement when you think about the dream process.
Dreams in general, incubated or at will dreams, can influence our daily lives if we are willing to take action based on the messages in the dreams.  We gain insights, feel hunches, or feel the need to take action in certain areas of our lives.  They can decrease the time it takes to resolve issues.  They can help us feel freer to try new things and explore new ways of handling difficult problems.  By using our dreams we seem to be able to access a deeper wisdom, giving us the courage to explore and the confidence to be less defensive.
This chapter also goes into individual dreams again and how they were interpreted.  Gayle states that “We do not fool ourselves in dreams, although we can and often do interpret dreams in ways that perpetuate a given cherished point of view.  When a dream is well interpreted its appropriateness and good sense will be apparent.” (pg 44)
I look forward to seeing you all next Saturday at 1.  We will have a different venue this week and will meet at Brioche on the square.  Call or e-mail Judi if you have any questions about this.  Have a wonderful week and sweet dreams!

Book Club: Living Your Dreams

Book Club February 16th  Living Your Dreams by Gayle Delaney
Thank you to all for coming today.  We had a small but interactive group so some good discussion on dreams.  Thank you also for sharing your dreams, as that is how we can all learn and grow together!
Gayle Delaney opens her book with her dream of visiting a famous movie producers home.  Sometime during the dream, she realizes that the home is actually hers.  When she awakens she realizes that the dream is explaining the idea that we are all producers of our own dreams.  We do not need experts to analyze and explain our dreams to us, we just need to learn some of the questions to ask ourselves or to have a dream partner with whom we can share our dreams.  After all we are the creators of the dream, so who better than ourselves to interpret it.  It just takes a bit of practice and a few pointers.
Gayle Delaney’s model of Dream Interpretation begins with the assumption that we are all the producers of our own dreams. The second assumption is that we are all the writers of the dream, these are our own “works of art”.  The third assumption is that we are the director of the show.  You pick which emotions are to be played out and how animated it needs to be.  The fourth assumption is that we are all the stars of our dream.  Other people may seem to appear, but they actually represent a part of yourself that is needing attention in some way.  The fifth assumption is that dreams not only have meaning, but they serve a purpose, they are bringing a message.  They are trying to help us in our day-to-day life.  Pg 6-7
On page 8 & 9 Gayle refers to incubating dreams.  She discusses this in more depth next chapter.  The idea behind incubating dreams is to ask a question about a current problem in your life and then dream on it.  Often a solution will be presented in the dream.  This is something that has been used historically by many cultures.
I like Gayle’s description of dreams on page 11.  “…the dreams themselves are not the same as the experiences with our inner resources.  They are instead translations of these basically nonphysical, nonmaterial comprehension into terms we can understand.  We, the dream makers, translate direct experience that is imageless, timeless, and spaceless into images and sequences that make sense to our three-dimensional, physical, world oriented consciousness.”  We put our experiences into a form that can relay the message in a manner it can be understood and received in a non-threatening way.  As she says “you don’t want to dramatize or exaggerate too much for fear that you won’t sell the movie”. Pg 12 “Dreams offer an experience of understanding, not a lecture or book describing the experience.” Pg 13
You can tap into your dreams with a bit of practice and guidance.  Some dreams are self-explanatory, others are more like dramas, and will take a bit more time to make sense of.  All are important.  She states that after all her years of working with dreams she believes like Freud that the major issues we dream about are “love and work.” Pg 14 Some people are afraid to discuss their dreams as they find them embarrassing, yet sorting them out and taking the time to find the message is so important.  Our “Dream Maker” is not trying to humiliate or embarrass, just to help us learn.  It is only when we ignore our dreams that the intensity escalates just to get our attention that something in our lives needs to change.  “Never forget that your dream producer is trying to touch your life in a meaningful way.  He or she will help you solve problems and will try, bit by bit, to renew and transform your life.  But your dream producer needs your help.”  Pg 22  We need to take the time to remember, look at, question and sort through the previous nights “story”.  These messages are interesting to receive.  Now for the important step of acting on what has been received.  We need to use this message by taking action, putting a new idea or plan into place in our lives.  Using our dreams this way can help us live our lives more fully.
Gayle gives several dreams and their interpretations in chapter one as well.  I encourage you all to read these as a starting step in learning how to interview.
Next week we will discuss chapter two, but please try to read Chapter 3 as well, as it talks more about interviewing for dream interpretation.  That way we can all actively participate in the interview process and the sharing of dreams.
This week, please keep a note pad by your bed so you can write down your dreams as soon as you wake up.  If you feel too tired and it is the middle of the night, do try, but at least write down the jest of it to help you remember in the morning.  Even if you only remember a snippet of a dream, write it down.  Bring your Dream Journals to Book Club next Saturday at 1.