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.

Fall Foods: Introducing Butternut Squash

It’s October, what color does October remind you of?   I bet many will say ORANGE!  SO, it’s time to make sure you are getting orange foods in your diet like butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin!  Let’s take a closer look at butternut squash.  Below is a fabulous easy soup from kriscarr.com our last book club pick.  Other fall foods include broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, pumpkins, spinach, and kale.

Butternut Squash is classified as a winter squash.  It is an absolute Vitamin A giant, weighing in at a whopping 22,868 IUs per cup.  Butternut is also high in both beta-carotene and it’s less well-known brother, alpha-carotene, which has many health benefits of it’s own.  And butternut is unique among the squashes in that it has a substantial amount of beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid that may lower the risk of developing lung cancer.

Cinnamon Butternut Squash Soup
by Kristin Richardson on kriscarr.com

-1 butternut squash
-½ cup filtered water
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-paprika
-cinnamon
-sea salt
-parchment paper

Peel butternut squash and remove seeds (but do not throw them away! They are delicious roasted or on salads.). Chop into cubes. Add butternut squash to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until squash is easily speared with a fork. Add butternut squash to blender, Add ½ cup filtered water to blender. Blend until squash is smooth. Add more water to desired consistency.

Add extra virgin olive oil to blender. Follow with cinnamon and sea salt to taste. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika. Excellent served both hot and cool.

Crazy, Sexy Diet: Book Club Notes: Chapter 7 & 8

Book Club August 11, 2012
Chapter 7
First off thanks to you hardy souls who stayed for Book Club after a 2 hour work out with Sandra!!  You are terrific!
Chapter 7 is a bit of a switch within the book, going from food intake for self-care, to outer physical care and mind/soul/emotional self-care.  As Kris says “self care extends beyond the food in your fridge.”  It is important to take time for reflection, exercise, rest, relaxation and paying attention to what you are applying to the outside of your body.  So much of how we live our lives is dependent on what our inner message is telling us.  Our narrative becomes our life.  Our narrative can be either positive or negative, and whichever we choose will determine how we live our lives.
Kris encourages all to “create new habits and new routines that support your highest good.” Pg 124  Treat yourself with compassion and love.  She encourages daily morning meditation as a way to start the day feeling balanced and relaxed.  This quiet is important for self-reflection.  “The space between the noise is where God/dess lives.  There are many answers there.  Don’t shy away from visiting.” Pg 125  The more consistent you are, the stronger you get.  Sharon Gannon shares two beautiful prayers with which to start the day.  “Lord make me an instrument for thy will… “ and finishes with a blessing for all beings upon the earth “May all beings everywhere be happy and free…” pg 127  Start each day in this way and sending blessings to particular people in your life.  It is interesting to notice the changes all around you as you change your early morning habits.
Yoga is important for purifying the physical body.  “Roll out your mat and tend to your temple.” Pg 129  “ (Yoga) sages knew that the ultimate hot spot waits for us in our mind.  The only way to get there is to meditate regularly.  However, if your body is frozen and squeaky, it can be wicked painful to sit in lotus position while trying to clear your mind and focus.  Let asana – yoga positions-thaw you out.” Pg 129  This comment surprised all of us in the group.  “The body heals eight times faster when you exercise regularly.” Pg 130
What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, so know what is in the creams, make-up and perfumes you are using.  There is not much testing done on these products and many contain toxic compounds.  (pg 131)  Another chemical hazard to avoid is antibacterial products.  Someone in the group said that if you go to the site mentioned on page 134 (safecosmetics.org) you can put in whatever products you are currently using and find out if it is safe or not.
Dry brushing of the skin before a bath or shower feels so good and is so good for exfoliating .  Kris states that we dump about a pound of waste from our skin on a daily basis.  Pg 134  She recommends using a natural bristle brush or loofah gloves.
Essential oils can be soothing, relaxing and healing. “These oils harness the healing power of plants.”  Pg 135 There are many essential oils on the market, do some research and get the best quality there as well.  Essential oils can be applied to the skin, into a diffuser, into bath water and into a drink of water.
Sinus problems are one of the main reasons why people visit doctors.  Cleansing the sinuses is a daily must as and she recommends using the neti pot to do this.  This is a natural and gentle way to irrigate the sinuses using lukewarm salt water.
Do a body scan, check your breathing.  Focus on breathing deeply and focus on the exhale.  (In other words do Sandra’s breathing!)
Massage and acupuncture are both good for removing blockages, stimulating energy flow, and improving circulation.  Instead of thinking of these as luxuries, see them as one more step in self care.
Craniosacral Therapy restores harmony to your central nervous system by manipulating the cerebral spinal fluid.  This can help with stress, migraines and neck pain.  Pg 138
Lymphatic drainage massage uses light sweeping strokes that gently move the “waters” (lymphatic fluid) pg 139  You may notice your urine smell changes as the toxins are released from your body.
Reiki means universal life force energy.  If you life force is low you are more likely to get sick.  When high you are more apt to be happy and healthy. Pg 138  You can do Reiki on your self, by applying the energy that comes from your hands and applying it to any part of your body that needs it.
Saunas and Steam Baths are a good way to detox, especially organs such as your liver and gallbladder.  Therapeutic baths are calming and deeply therapeutic.
Sleep is a very important part of overall health and well being.  Eight hours is the ideal for nightly sleep, preferably between 10 pm and 6 am.  Also, when you are able take a nap in the afternoon for about 20 mins.
Taking care of your self is not trivial, it is an important part of living a happy, balanced and healthy life.

Chapter 8  Getting Started
This chapter discusses the planning for changing your old habits and creating new ones.  Clear the cabinets of those things that no longer serve you, like junk food that will be tempting when you are at low ebb.  She then discusses the shopping plan, as this will be very different from what you have been doing.  (for many of us)  Follow these guidelines when shopping:  if it has a longer shelf life than you don’t buy it and if it was made in a laboratory, it takes a laboratory to digest it.
Guidelines for shopping:
The longer the ingredient list the more processed the food. Go for the short list.
Avoid artificial colors
Avoid artificial flavors
Avoid artificial sweeteners (and not so artificial)
Avoid preservatives
Do buy lots of veggies, gluten free grains and noodles,  gluten and non-gluten breads and snacks, (pg 150 she makes recommendations of brands she thinks are good), beans and legumes, fruit but do limit this to 2-3 servings per day, sweeteners such as stevia, agave syrup and yacon syrup, organic and stone-milled flours (pg 151)  she gives suggestions for egg replacements but recommends against the processed egg substitutes as they “contain chemicals and aren’t really food” pg 152, mock meats are also an option and she gives suggestions on pg 152 for ones she likes, also nuts and seeds , seaweed, and naturally fermented foods (pg 153) and purified water and teas.
On page 154 she lists many snack ideas that are gluten-free.  She even includes Green and Black’s Dark Chocolate which is available at Central Market!
It is important to eat good fats, as they help with absorption of vitamins and minerals and they can help increase metabolism which helps with weight loss.
Avoid trans fats and saturated fats.  Use extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, walnut oil and Udo’s Choice.  For cooking use sesame oil, coconut oil in moderation and grape seed oil.
When buying veggies try to research your local growers and find organic close by.  Look for Food Co-ops, or community supported agriculture (158) if it is in your area.  Try to buy organic when possible, and she has included a list of dirty and clean veggies.  I made a copy and carry it in my purse, to help me decide when to go organic and when it is ok to buy regular. Buying frozen is a good option as well, Cascadian brand is her recommended brand for veggies and fruits.   She also suggests taking up gardening and growing your own produce, that way it is fresh and you know that no chemicals have been sprayed on it.  Plus, gardening is good for the soul.
I like her paragraph at the end of chapter 8.  “If every dazzling person would make just a few changes, just think how much healthier we could be.  Our planet would thank us; the animals would lick us.  That’s the goal my friend.  Do the best you can and if you stumble, don’t marinate in guilt.  Get back on the shiny wagon and start anew.”

Book Club will meet again on September 1 to complete the book and to share a healthy dish and it’s recipe.  See you then.

Share Your Inspiration: Barb Wise

WHY I LOVE YOGA!!!!
by Barb Wise

I never would have thought I would be writing an article on Yoga! If you had asked me if practiced Yoga 10 years ago, I probably would have laughed.   Thoughts like “Why in the World?” and “What for?” would have raced through my mind.  Oh how we change and learn.

Now Yoga is such a part of my life that I actually plan my life around my Yoga Classes!! For real!!!! I show up now at Rotary, Political lunches, Chamber of Commerce lunches in my Yoga clothes.  I know people in Weatherford think that I have no other clothes to wear.  In short Yoga has changed my life…. WHY? And HOW? You may ask!

The Simple perspective I have come up with is that Yoga makes you feel good.  It’s relaxing. It’s energizing. It’s strengthening. You feel better at the end of a session than before you began, and life runs more smoothly when you maintain a consistent discipline than when you don’t.  Yoga enhances your experience of life.  It changes your perspective.  You thereby find yourself spontaneously embracing a larger, more accurate conception of who you are, how life works, and what and who God is.  You start seeing things differently, with less distortion-which results in more peace of mind, Better Health, more enthusiasm for life, and an ever-growing authentic sense of inner well-being.

Let’s go back to Better Health! This past March I went for the dreaded Well-Woman exam, long story short, my Thyroid test showed normal, I am now OFF Thyroid medication. My Bone-Density test showed NO bone loss or weak bones, I am now OFF my Osteoporosis medication.   On Friday April 20th I went to my primary care doctor because my pharmacy would not refill my Cholesterol med until I saw my doctor.   Of course after the dreaded weigh-in they took my Blood Pressure and it was 100/60!!! Like WOW!!  Pre-Yoga (just two short years ago) my BP was 150/95, my doctor was so impressed he took me OFF my BP medication.  He then did a blood draw to check my Cholesterol~ if the results are good then he will take me OFF Cholesterol medication!  Folks I contribute all to my Yoga Practice.

As I practice Yoga, a subtle sense of feeling good gradually becomes so natural and genuine, so much a part of my life that it carries over into the whole of my life.  Yoga helps clarify my deepest longings, motivations and aspirations, by renewing my optimism, hope, meaning, and purpose in life.

When I began Yoga two years ago, it was damn hard and painful.  I remember the first time I tried to put my leg on the wall for my first “Wall Class”, I could not lift my leg four inches up the wall.  For real my leg would not lift!!! I thought OMG I am so out of shape, even though I didn’t think I was, at time I was walking two-five miles a day (as I still do), I rode my bike (as I still do).  But I could NOT lift my leg.  So painful, yes only because growth hurts when you resist change  (and I have an inclination to resist change) it’s an attempt to remain comfortable by staying the same.  But hey life is change. Change happens, especially when you’re involved in a powerful transformation process such as Yoga.  You grow.  You can’t not change.

Why I love Yoga ~because I like feeling good.  I like peace of mind.  I enjoy being joyful, peaceful, energized, and relaxed.  I feel better and I’m actually happier than I was two years ago.

Sandra always says that “Yoga is like brushing your teeth, it is an acquired habit.”  When I was young I didn’t like to brush my teeth.  It required my parents’ daily reminding to get me to do it.  Now I brush my teeth not only as a prevention against tooth decay, but because I prefer the way my mouth feels when it’s clean.

The same has been true with my Yoga practice.  At first it took conscious discipline and deliberate effort to establish a daily practice.  Now I practice not only because it’s good for me, but because I prefer the way I feel when I do.  I feel clean and new; much like the way brushing my teeth makes my mouth feel.  My entire motivation has changed.   Yoga helps keep my energy-tone at a level I like.

To sum this up LOVE, but what is love: “Love is the most practical thing in the world.  It’s what is needed most.  And this is what it is:  Love is the willingness to see that which is real in each and everything.  It’s the willingness to let go of what you think of something is in order to see it clearly as it really is.  Love, therefore, is the supreme healing power because it looks beyond what appears to be true to what is true.” -Schiffmann

To me YOGA is LOVE!

For more information on Indra’s Grace please visit www.indrasgrace.com

The Power of Affirmations

Our body goes through seasons just as nature does.  Our longest cycle is obviously birth to death.  There are, however many shorter cycles of expansion and contraction in terms of our health.  Just as nature has four seasons a year our body also moves through cycles of spring (growth), summer (abundance), fall (breakdown), and winter (death).

When a “breakdown” or illness manifests inside the body we may tend to believe this is negative and that this state is “forever.”  Thoughts of defeat and depression may appear.  This is a time to put your spiritual awareness into high gear!!  Use heightened awareness to work your way through life challenges.  I love the quote below.  It always brings me peace and reminds me that there is a reason for everything even if I don’t see it.  There is a hidden blessing even in our suffering.

“Your joy is divine, and so is your suffering. There’s so much to be learned from both.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

When fear lurks inside the mind my hope and prayer is that you can immediately recognize it as such and move towards shifting your thoughts towards ones that are constructive and healing.

“The things you fear do not really exist except as thoughts in your mind.”

Remember that your subconscious mind doesn’t know how to take a joke. It takes you for your word.  You alone can choose to plant seeds of healing or seeds of illness according to what you let “garden” inside your mind.

Next time there is a break down in your body try repeating some of these affirmations the moment you become aware that your thoughts are affirming your illness.

* My healing is already in progress.

* I trust the process of Life.

* I am in the process of Positive Change.

* I release all fears and doubts.

* Life supports me.

* My future is GLORIOUS!

* I am SAFE.  It is only change.

* My life works beautifully.

* Divine wisdom guides me.

Focus on these affirmations and absolutely refuse to give any power to the negative conditions or to admit for a second that healing will not come.  This attitude of mind brings about the harmonious union of the conscious and subconscious mind, which will release healing power.

See if you can plant these positive and constructive seeds inside your mind and remember that winter is ALWAYS followed by spring.

New Documentary: Hungry For Change

There is a new documentary out called Hungry for Change. It’s free online for the next 48 hours.  Take time to watch it, it’s free!  I am so happy we are starting to see more and more films about the nutrition/diet crisis that faces the west.  We are eating less and gaining more.  This film goes into detail on what is going on.  I hope you enjoy!

http://www.hungryforchange.tv/online-premiere

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