Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dream Interpretation - Sleeping on the Chairlift

Dear Carolyn,

My husband said I should pass along a dream that I have had at least 5-6 times.  It relates to downhill skiing, a sport I learned last year to prove to myself I could.  I love it! 

I had a very busy day before the dream, preparing for a meeting with a club in which I participate.  I attended the club meeting and had people over for a potluck dinner too!  Went to bed about 10pm and had this vivid dream.  It was in color and everything!  But it is confusing to me. 

I dreamed that instead of taking regular Tylenol before I head to the slopes that I take Tylenol PM by accident.  When I get on the ski lift I fall asleep.  I remember getting on the ski lift, but then I doze off and the ski lift operators could not wake me up.  I went up and down 6 times before they physically removed me from the lift, which is when I woke up.  What does this mean???


Sleeping on the Chair Lift

Dear Sleeping,

You may have read a column or two in which I’ve admonished dreamers not to ignore the literal implications of a dream.  In your case, it can’t hurt just to double check your bottles of Tylenol and Tylenol PM.  Be sure they’re labeled correctly and that there’s no chance you’ll accidentally confuse them!  Oftentimes our dreams are looking out for our well-being.

In a similar vein, your dream could be suggesting that since you’ve learned to downhill ski, you may have become lax in your attention to safety procedures when you’re skiing.  Maybe you’ve become too relaxed while skiing, going through the motions, doing it with your eyes closed. 

Of course, there is a possible metaphorical meaning associated with these images.  You mention your preparation for your club meeting, and all the activities you engaged in on such a busy day.  Your dream may be suggesting that what was once fun and challenging has become repetitive and even rote to you.  Maybe you’re just going through the motions as you do on the ski lift in your dream, going up and down, back and forth, without the thrill that you first associated with it.

You say this dream has recurred 5 or 6 times.  One of the best ways to get insight into any recurring dream is to make a note of it when you have it.  It sounds very familiar to you, so you won't need to write it out in detail unless you want to.  Just make a note like, "dreamed of sleeping on the chairlift again."

Then ~ and this is key ~ make another note of what's going on in your waking life in the days around the dream.  Chances are excellent that the dream recurs when certain circumstances or trains of thought are prevailing in your waking life.  Does it always come on club days?  You'll only need to make notes like this two or three times before the connection to your waking life presents itself to you!

Sweet Dreams to You, Dear Dreamer!


This dream originally appeared here January 28, 2012

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dream Interpretation - Recurring Dream Reveals Dreamer's Inner Strength

Dear Carolyn,

I read your column in my local newspaper, and here is a nice recurring dream that I have had every few months for over 20 years.

I am in a cavern with an underground lake that covers the entire bottom of the cavern.  I am on a ledge hewn into the rock walls about 30 feet above the calm clear water.  The ledge circles the lake.  The cavern is lit as if it were daytime but I don't know how.  At one end of the lake there is a waterfall pouring warm water into the lake.  It sounds like a bathtub being filled, and the air in the cavern is pleasantly steamy from the warm water.

An 1870's Mississippi paddle-wheel steamboat comes into view with all the passengers alongside the boat's railings looking at the cave and the waterfall.  I wave to the boat and the passengers wave back.  The Captain blows the boat's whistle to acknowledge me.  Sometimes he maneuvers the boat up to the rock wall and a deckhand places a plank from the bow to the ledge and I board the boat.  Sometimes they just sail by heading for a closer look at the waterfall.

Then the dream ends.  Any insights would be welcome!

By the way, I work in a high-stress job in the maritime industry.


Sailing Along

Dear Sailing,

I agree ~ your recurring dream is lovely!  So many beautiful images!

The best way to get a "bead" on your recurring dream will be to make a note of it when you have it.  I'm sure it's very familiar, so you won't need to write it out in detail unless you want to.  Just make a note like, "had the cavern/steamboat dream."

Then ~ and this is key ~ make another note of what's going on in your waking life in the days around the dream.  Chances are excellent that the dream recurs when certain circumstances or trains of thought are prevailing in your waking life.  You'll only need to make notes like this two or three times before the connection presents itself to you!

Now, having said that, Here are some more general/universal observations about your dream images:

The underground cavern and lake suggest a reservoir within you, a serene pool of inner strength that sustains you.  The entire setting is suggestive of your being in tune with the beauty and power of nature and your inner self. 

If you have a particular connection or affinity with the 1870's era, or steamboats in particular, and given your stress-filled work in the maritime industry, old-time paddle wheelers could definitely represent your desire for serenity!  The reference might also be a link to a long-standing personal calm and self-assurance, one that harkens back to another peaceful time without your current stressful hurry and hubbub.  Your spiritual self is well established and feeds you gently.  It is a source of wonder and appreciation for those around you.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful dream! 

More Sweet Dreams to You, Dear Dreamer!


(This dream originally appeared here in January, 2011.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jeremy Taylor in Benicia!

Join us and spend the day with Jeremy Taylor!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dream Interpretation - Taking no action is an action!

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

Dear Carolyn,    

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

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

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


Do I Really Need to Be Afraid?

 Dear Do I Really,

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet dreams to you!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Success is right behind you

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

Dear Carolyn,

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

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

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

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

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


Confused Fan

Dear Confused,

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

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

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

Sweet Dreams to You!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Rearview slows you down

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

Dear Carolyn,

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

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

Is this bad news for the promotion I want?


Hopeful Things Will Go My Way

Dear Hopeful,

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck and Sweet Dreams to You!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dream interpretation - Everything new is old again

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

Dear Carolyn,

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

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

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

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


At Loose Ends

Dear Loose Ends,

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

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

Sweet Dreams to You!