Book Club, March 23, 2013 Chapter 5 Your Dreams and Your Body

Gayle Delaney starts this chapter off with the history of using dreams to help diagnose and also help heal physical problems.  Over the centuries many cultures have engaged in this practice.  I found it interesting that Hippocrates (460-377 BC) believed “the mind and the body are interdependent parts of the human totality and that a physician gains a much improved chance of healing the mind/body organism if the aids of both parts are enlisted”. (pg 146)  He also believed that patients should pray for their own healing.  He believed that “Prayer is good, but while calling on the Gods, a man should himself lend a hand.” (pg 147)  More and more now the medical field is acknowledging the connection of thoughts, emotions and illness.

Because of the connection of body, mind and spirit, using dreams to help one when ill or engaging in a habit that is no longer working well can be very helpful.  Once again, Gayle talks about incubating dreams where the question can be “why am I sick and what can be done about it” (pg150) or “what am I trying to avoid or get out of?”  (pg 152) “Why do I drink so much?”  “Why am I fat?”  “Help me, inspire me to drop this habit.”  “Why do I always get so nervous (angry, jealous, etc) when?” (pg 157)

Gayle also addresses dreams after age 50.  For some these dreams are about losing their resources, or about forgetting their identity or forgetting names of old friends.  Often these are the dreams of people who have become quite passive in their lives.   (pg 163)  This is a good time to ask the question of your dream maker “what useful and satisfying thing can you do in your life now that the struggles of youth have passed.” (pg164)

This chapter also addresses sexual dreams.  She states that sexual dreams may be a way of working through sexual issues or you may be working on integrating or accepting parts of yourself that previously you have not acknowledged.  When the identity of the sexual partner is known, it is often the characteristics of this partner within yourself that you are working to acknowledge or accept. (pg167) This can be same or opposite sex partners.

Once again, this chapter points out the importance of using our dreams to help us live more fulfilling, healthy and rewarding lives.  All we need to do is ask and be open to receiving the answers by listening to our dreams.

Thank you to all who attended our group today.  Thank you for sharing your dreams.  With your sharing, we are all learning more and more about ourselves!

Next week we will discuss Chapters 6 and 7 and we will also discuss dreams.  See you there!

 

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Book Club: Gayle Delaney’s Living Your Dreams Chapter 4

Book Club Notes March 9th, Chapter 5.

What is really going on in your relationships?

What a great chapter for all of us, particularly when experiencing challenges in any relationship.  Whether it is work situation, dealing with children, parents, spouse or partners, we will all go through times that seem like “oh oh, here we go again”.  Our dreams can help us see our part in these relationships and what we can do to change our part of the dynamic, if we but ask and then pay attention to the answer.  In our group discussion we talked about the difficulty looking at or paying attention to answers we don’t like because we want another outcome.

Relationships, particularly our intimate relationships are about feeling loved.  Gayle Delaney goes on to say that “…being loved will not bring us happiness if we don’t know how to recognize, accept, and return the love we receive.” pg 115 Most of us at some time or another struggle in our relationships.  Often we “lack insight into the ways we relate to the people in our lives”. Pf 115 We are often unaware of our own difficulties in relating to others, it is far easier to see what is going on in the other person.  We need an outside observer to help us identify some of our more troubling ways that are interfering in our lives.  A therapist can help us with this or we can use our dreams to help us see the situation with new eyes.  Our dream self is the part of us that works behind the scenes, is outside of the everyday confines of our community shoulds and shouldn’ts.  It is our greater wisdom that speaks to us with love and compassion and many times with humor.  And when we refuse to acknowledge our dream messages they become more and more dramatic.

When we tune into our dreams to help us with relationships, we can see dramatic growth and change in ourselves.  We often also see shifts in others with whom we relate, based on the changes within us.  It can be so rewarding and refreshing.

When we choose to ignore our dreams or minimize the message, we will often have repeat dreams or escalating dreams that are harder to overlook.  Our dream maker really wants us to learn and grow and to do so in a less painful and traumatic way!  It is up to us to tune in and find the wisdom in the message.

In Chapter 4, Gayle presents many dreams with the wonderful interpretations that can be truly life changing if we put into practice what we learned in the dream.  I encourage you to read these dreams and interpretations and practice asking yourself some of the questions posed in this chapter, when you awaken from your dreams.

Next week we will not have Book Club. We will meet again on March 23 at 1 PM. Thank you all for being a part of such wonderful discussion.  Sharing your dreams with us in the group helps us all gain insight into our own dreams. Have a wonderful week and see you on the 23rd.  We will discuss Chapter 5 Your Dreams and Your Body.

Book Club: Gayle Delaney’s Living Your Dreams Chapter 3

Book Club Notes, March 2, 2013
Chapter 3, Only You Can Interpret Your Dreams
Dreams come to “show you something you have not yet fully grasped.  They serve a purpose and have a message.  It is up to you to grasp it.”  This seems easier said than done, but learning some of the techniques in this chapter can help you along the path to more understanding and to helping others understand their dreams.
In this chapter Gayle Delaney talks about Dream Interviewing, learning what questions to ask without leading others too much into your bias or way of thinking.  On page 77 she goes in-depth into the interview process but on page 110 she summarizes them; 1) What do you feel the dream is about?
2) Describe and relate the setting in waking life
3) Who is each dream person and what is he or she like?
4) What is each dream object and what is it like?
5)How does each feeling, person, or object relate to waking life?
6)Describe the dream events.  What do they remind you of in your present life?
Mostly, what each of us needs to help us interpret our dreams is an inquisitive mind.  We need to keep in mind that dreams often speak in metaphor and or puns, which can be quite humorous.  This often makes the dreams much easier to recall in the morning and fun to look at more closely.  It is important when awakening to write down how you are feeling, as well as what was happening in the dream, as the feeling part is as important as the action part of the dream.  Often when recalling a dream you will have a hunch or get a feeling about what the dream may mean.  Jot it down.
When discussing dreams it is important to remember that almost all dreams directly concern the dreamer, even if it just seems like a rehash of your day or of what you watched on TV the night before.  “Each person we dream about can be seen as representing an aspect of our personalities …or you may be dreaming about the dynamics of your relationship with that person.” Pg 53 “Negative figures may reflect conflict in your some area of your life.” Pg 55 “Benevolent figures tend to evoke the dreamer’s strengths and achievements.” Pg 55
“The action part in our dreams describes the dynamics of conditions in our lives.” Pg 55  “Often a dream concerning a particular conflict will not only describe the dynamics but go on to point a way out of it.” Pg 56
“Dreams offer us new insights.” Pg 56  Even though it seems like you are just reliving what happened in your day, if you look deeper you will gain a deeper understanding of some aspect of your life that is being represented by this dream.
“Dream producers (ourselves) often use images collected from the previous day or two.” Pg 57  It is up to us to sort out what these images represent in our lives, (anger, aggression, love, etc.) and look at how this dynamic is played out in the dream.
“Some common dream images tend to have similar general meanings in many people’s dreams.” Pg 57  Gayle goes on to list a few images that have common meanings, yet it is important to keep in mind that we each need to look at what personal meaning these same symbols hold for us.
Some of the symbols she lists are: 
Snake, may be a spirit and guide, also represents sexual concerns (Freud), spiritual or integrative forces in the personality (Jung). Pg 59
House, often represents the mind, various rooms signify slightly different areas of mind.  Notice what shape the house is in, the style, etc
Vehicle will often represent the physical body.  Once again, what condition is the vehicle in, notice anything that stands out.
Water frequently signifies the spirit of life.
Shoes may signify dreamers understanding
Figures dying or appearing dead in a dream may signify this person’s influence is not such an influence in the dreamer’s life anymore.
Dreams “…often use sequence and juxtaposition as an expression of cause and effect.  Dream action is neither accidental nor simply coincidental.” Pg 62  When you have several scenes in a dream and they don’t seem to make sense or follow a particular story line, consider this…”the action in the first scene “causes” or results in the action of the second scene.” Pg 63 This pattern continues, so just write down what you remember and look at the dreams as a series of actions, each one causing the next one.  Pg 63
“The concept of underdogs, top dogs and secret saboteurs can be useful in working with some dreams.” Pg 65 Top dogs know all the shoulds of our lives, demand perfection from us, even in our sleeping state.  The underdog is the part wanting to do certain things that the top dog sees as detrimental to the perfect plan.  Often dreams like this occur when we are experiencing an inner conflict.  The dreams often help us to see how silly it is to demand such perfection of our selves.
“Dreams on the same night are often about the same issue.”  Pg 68 The issue is just presented in a different manner and often a different setting.
“Images that transform themselves in dreams tend to illustrate past, present, or future transformations in the dreamers’ life, attitudes and feelings.” Pg 68
“Recurring dreams and nightmares are the dream producer’s method of last resort to try to impress upon the dreamer something he or she needs to understand but has not recognized.” Pg 69
“The dreamer’s mood, feelings and reflections on the dream, as he or she dreams it, are as important as the dream action itself.” Pg 69
“Dreams that can be interpreted literally can also be true symbolically.” Pg 71  It is important to dig deeper, looking for new insights.
“The dream itself says it best.” Pg 70 Learn to appreciate the unique way your dream maker presents your dreams to you.  It is common to have similar symbols, colors and or numbers show up in your own dreams.  Observe the pattern; it will help you identify issues more easily.
This chapter is such an informative chapter, as she goes on to describe the interview technique in-depth.  She demonstrates how the interview helps elicit information that previously seemed hidden away.  This starts to unlock the mystery of our dreams.
For Saturday the 9th, please read chapter 4..  We will meet at Tomi’s office at 1PM.  Thank you to all who joined us on Saturday, another good discussion and some very interesting dreams.  Sweet Dreams and see you on the 9th.