It’s time for a change…

Dreambook3DI’ve been dreaming a lot about houses and apartments. At first I thought it was because my spouse and I are due to find new rental lodgings this year. But as I’ve collected the fragments and written them in my journal, I’ve noticed that the central theme of the dreams isn’t about moving or relocating at all. It’s about changes…at a more personal level.

I’ve been emptying the basement and cupboards and closets of all the ideas, notions, and behaviours that I once thought important because I have now come to realize they no longer fit with the life I am leading and want to lead.

I no longer want some of the concepts or biases that I’ve held on to for so long, and I no longer cherish some of the hurts and prejudices that I’ve been lugging around with me for all these years. I’m ready to move on from the slightly seedy, poorly lit place I’ve called home, and I’m now looking at a brightly lit, very sunny, sparsely furnished, 3-room flat. Even the stairs leading to this new place are more direct, and there are only 3 steps instead of the treacherously winding and exhaustingly long staircase that I had been struggling with.

So, what does all of this mean? It means that I’m finally finishing one of the big life lessons that I’ve been dealing with for the past few years, and I’m ready to move on. However, moving on means leaving behind a lot of old ideas while clearing space and making room for the new ideas that I’m anxious to start learning. I no longer want all the old ‘baggage,’ so I’m making room for just those things I need, while knowing that if I need more room, I can always move again.

I may not be sure exactly when this ‘move’ will take place, or who (if anyone) will be helping me with the move. Yet, despite all the questions that remain, I’m looking forward to these changes, even if they seem somewhat scary. Sometimes scary is good, and this is one of those times. So, let the changes happen.

If you’re having dreams and wondering what they mean, you can read my book for some inspiration and instruction, or you can email me and I’ll help you figure it out.

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Black Holes and the Art of Writing

blackhole1Wow, I can’t believe it’s been just over a year since I put anything new out on the blog. Forgive me dear readers for being so neglectful of you. I hope you will forgive me once you find out the reason for my neglect.

You see, I had dreams of writing another book (a novel this time), and thought that I could do that and continue my blogging, too. Unfortunately, I found that writing a novel is like getting sucked into a black hole. At first I merely crept up to the edge of the blackness and peered inside the void. I would gaze down into that dense blackness and wonder if I could actually fill enough pages to create a book. After all, I’ve spent the greater part of my life writing short, novelty pieces, how-go guides (which are by their very nature short), and short stories. (Do you see the pattern there? Everything is short…).

However, after spending enough time gazing into that black hole, I decided I was ready to give it a try. After all, how difficult could it be? I’d been writing my whole life, and if the story didn’t take off, well…no harm done, right? I’d simply back away from the black hole of authordom, and continue being the writer of short pieces.

So, I started writing—a paragraph here, a chapter there—but nothing that really interfered with my “real work” of writing (for my blog, for my paycheck, for myself). But after a while the little bits I had created started to come together into something bigger, something more than just a short story or a novella. Soon, I was caught up in the fever of the characters I had created. Their needs and their desires became all important; they began to run my life. Before I knew it, I was no longer standing on the edge of the black hole, I was falling into it. (And let me tell you, once you start falling, it goes on forever.)

Here it is, fourteen months later and I’m finally at the other side of that black hole. I have a completed book, I’ve written a rough draft of the second adventure for my characters, and I’ve done up an outline for book three. Wow! It’s like waking from a dream and finding out that it wasn’t a dream at all.

It may have seemed as if I fell off the face of the Earth (and in a way, I guess I did), but the results are worth it (at least to me). If nothing else, I proved to myself that I could survive falling through a black hole. But I also learned that writing a book is hard work, and writing the story is only half the job. There’s so much more to do and I may make a lot of missteps along the way, but you’re welcome to journey with me.

I assure you, the journey is mystical, mundane, mind expanding, and life enriching.

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Sleep Walking

dreamer2There’s a passage in one of Stephen King’s books where he talks about how his protagonist is avoiding life by burying himself in his writing. SK goes on to say that to the protagonist, the characters in the story he is writing are more real to him than the world and people in which he actually lives. I mention that because for a while I felt as if my life was that way.

I had been burying myself in a pretense of life to the exclusion of what was important. I went into work and I busied myself with how-to guides, indices and table of contents, images and tables. I scurried to meetings, and followed agendas, and answered phones, and all the time all I was really doing was avoiding life—real life.

Oh, I can see you going, “Whoa! Wait a minute; what you described is life.” But you’re so wrong. For me life has never been about creating a physical product or object, or going to meetings so I can listen to someone worry about whether deadlines will be met, or whether we should change the template of our how-to guides. For me life has always been more about why people act the way they do, care about what they do, or say what they do.

Seeing beneath the surface of the games and dramas that people participate in has always been easy for me. So easy, in fact, that I rarely got caught up in the dramas myself—at least not for any length of time. I think this is why, when I realized what I was doing, that it hit me so hard. Here I was, going through the motions of living every day and thinking that this was what it was all about, this was living; then suddenly realizing that what I was doing was really avoiding life.

I literally became a sleep walker during the days—I came into work, did my “thing” and then went home, never recognizing that what I was doing served little purpose but to occupy my mind and keep me from actually seeing beneath the surface to my real life.

I suddenly recognized just how much people do things out of habit. We’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that if we don’t have gainful employment that we’ll starve, if we have nowhere to live, we’re failures. Yet, look at how many people manage to do what they want and still get by. How many people are painting, sculpting, selling poetry, hanging out at the beach riding surfboards and just enjoying life?

There’s nothing wrong with any of those options, just as there’s nothing wrong with “working” for a living. I think everyone needs to make their own choices. It’s just for me, I finally recognized that what I was calling “working for a living: was really “hiding” from life. While I want to write, and I want to make money enough to support myself and my husband, I also needed to unbury myself from this false life and continue my search for what’s real—for me. And what’s real for me is understanding the BIG picture—who we are, what we are, and where are we going.

So, although I still work writing how-to manuals, and I still participate in “normal life”, I’m also spending much more time in the astral plane. In the astral plane I can interact with others like myself who are ready to know, who are ready to see what lies beyond. Then during the day, rather than lull myself back into a walking sleep, I study the people around me. Not in a disinterested, mad-scientist way, but rather as stranger to a unique and extraordinary world that I need to understand and figure out.

I see the world through the eyes of someone new; and, like a child, I revel in the beauty and simplicity of a raindrop, or marvel at the sound of bird’s call. I enjoy the fragrance of fresh brewed coffee, or the sight of someone laughing.

Every day is a unique and marvelous occurrence just waiting for me to experience, and experience it, I do. I no longer sleep walk through life, but instead I try to make each day something joyous and positive, even if all I am doing is going to work. Every day is a wonder, and every moment a precious gem.

Coming Soon

I know I often write about my dreams, but that’s because dreams are important to our lives…and because I know a lot about dreams (hence, the book On dreams and dream symbols). But while this post is about another of my (bizarre) dreams, it’s also about a series of events of which the dream was just the latest.

brokenmirrorfrontThe dream was about me being trapped in a mirror, one of those large cheval-type mirrors. I could see a rather spacious bathroom, all done in black and white tile with an old-fashioned claw foot tub. This same scene was reflected behind me in the mirror world, but I needed to get out of the mirror world or I would be late (late for what, I’m not sure). Frantic, I began beating on the glass hoping someone would come and help me. Instead, the glass broke apart and landed in the tub and I stepped out of the mirror world and into the tub containing the broken glass.

About a month ago, I attended a milestone birthday party for a friend. Her husband had hired a tarot reader to entertain everyone and predict their futures. My friend thought it was a wonderful extravagance, and encouraged each of us to sit with this reader. Being the skeptic that I am—I can’t help it; having the abilities myself makes me aware of just how often psychics-for-hire are merely entertainers looking for a payday—I kept avoiding the tarot reader. Eventually, my friend goaded me into it and I finally sat down and let the lady do her schtick. While she may have been in it for the money, she had enough intuitiveness to get many things right.tarot cards

I’ve used tarot cards before, and I can do my own interpretations of the layouts, so I didn’t need to rely on the tarot reader’s interpretation; although, her interpretations and mine were pretty spot on. But overall, it just seemed like another step along a path that I had started in my teen years.

When I was 18, a friend wanted to learn about palmistry, so she asked her pals to make copies of their palm prints. She took those palm prints and, using several books that she either bought or borrowed from the library, she began to translate all the lines, loops, and breaks into a series of “predictions”. When she finished, she gave us each back a copy of our palm print with her notes. I read it through, and then filed it away and forgot about it.

That is, I forgot about it until all of these other events started up.

palmAccording to my girlfriend’s notes, my Fate Line shows a complete break between two decades of my life (this decade and the next, in fact). When the Fate line restarts, it starts as a V, with 2 distinct paths. One of those paths is short-lived, the other lasts for several more decades.

The tarot cards indicated a major life changing event occurring soon (although with tarot cards there is no way to easily define “soon”).

And the dream…well, the dream says that I’m trying to break away from my current world view and adopt a new world view. I’m facing (or will be soon) some inner or worldly issue that will require my strengthening or changing aspects of my character in order to survive. Seeing broken glass or mirrors means a change in my life, and I will find that a situation will come to an abrupt and untimely end. Meanwhile, escaping from the mirror world and into the real world bathroom/bathtub indicates a need and desire to escape from overwhelming issues and for self-renewal.

So, what’s coming? I don’t know. But it seems as if all the warning signs are there and they’re all saying the same thing: 

Danger! Life Altering Event Ahead!

Do I have any idea what kind of changes are in store? Not a clue…but if it’s a windfall (like a winning lottery ticket), I’m ready (and waiting).

The Closet

clutterI’m exhausted again this morning. It’s not easy spending most of the night holding the closet door closed against all those boxes and objects that keep trying to fall out. There’s just so much you can do when the closet is too full, but you just can’t bring yourself to empty it.

However, last night, I had to let some of the boxes tumble out into the hallway. It upset me to have my things exposed where anybody might see them. But I had to rescue several puppies that had somehow found their way into my closet. They were so cute and absolutely adorable, and for some reason someone (I have no idea who) was trying to poison them, so both the puppies and I hid in the closet, which meant that some of the boxes had to be displaced.

Yes, I’m describing a dream. But it’s a strange, repeating dream, with odd variations played over a central theme—a too full closet the contents of which I’m having difficulty containing.

Sometimes, I can keep all the boxes hidden within the closet, and at other times (like last night with the puppies) I have to make a choice to let some of the contents out of the closet or allow something or someone to come to harm. Each time, I’ve chosen to “rescue” the person, puppy, kitten, bird, or whatever, and each time I’ve had to allow some of the “boxes” to escape the closet.

My initial reaction to this dream (besides the exhaustion from fighting to hold the closet door shut seemingly all night long) was that I was trying to contain my “secrets”. You know the type of stuff I mean—information that I didn’t really want people to know about me; information that I deemed too personal; or information that might make me “too human”. Usually, though, once I figure out what it is a dream is trying to tell me, it stops. But since this one hasn’t stopped, I had to wonder if my interpretation was off.

OnDreamsCover_Smashwords_withtextDuring a luncheon with a friend, I brought up the odd recurring dream, and was surprised by her take on it. She posited that perhaps I was attempting to hide (from myself and others) those aspects of myself that I wasn’t fond of, no longer needed, or had outgrown.

She thought that if I tried accepting all these hidden or no longer wanted aspects of myself, that maybe I wouldn’t have to hold the closet closed anymore. She also thought the puppies and other pet-like creatures that I was finding in the closet were to help me understand that not everything I was shutting away was really “bad”. That I was closing off good things along with the (perceived) bad, and I should stop shutting off pieces of myself and just accept myself, all of myself, for who I am.

I was so surprised by how accurate her insights seemed to be, that I had no response for her. I realized that I needed some time to think over everything she said, and to read over my notes of each occurrence of the dream. So, this morning I’ve been doing just that, and I think she’s right.

Over these past few months, I have been trying to move forward with my life. For a while I was caught in a chasm of depression, but now that I’ve climbed out of the pit I was in, I want to move on. To do that, I thought I had to lock away all those pieces of me that I didn’t think would contribute (in a positive way) to the new me I wanted to be. I wanted to shed the parts of me that wouldn’t help me move along the path I wanted to take. But, locking them in a closet (metaphorical or actual) is unrealistic. All those pieces that I locked away in boxes and tried to hide away are part of me. They have contributed to who I am, and without them I can’t move on.

So, instead of holding the closet closed tonight, I’m going to fling it wide, and then I’m going to open every one of those boxes and let everything out. I’m going to let the pieces fall where they may…I’m ready to change, but not until I can accept who I’ve been and I am now.

Oooooh, More Kudos

Ooooh, more positive reviews. I just love hearing from the folks who have read my books. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a positive or negative review—though I prefer the positive responses—it’s just nice to get feedback. After all, how can I improve my writing if people don’t tell me what does or doesn’t work for them? So, thank you all for your comments, and please, keep ‘em coming.

On dreams and dream symbolsOnDreamsCover_Smashwords_withtext

From Mr. W:

I’ve tried a lot of different ways to interpret the dreams I have, and this book seems the best. A lot of other sources don’t have the symbols or objects that were in my dreams, but this book does. It’s been really helpful.

From Ms. T:

This is one of the more interesting and (I think) accurate dream dictionaries in a long time. I found the introductory section about the different stages of dreams very fascinating. I’ve been using it now for a while to help interpret my dreams and it’s been spot on. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to know what their dreams are about.

Escorting the Dead: My Life as
a Psychopomp
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From Mr. A:

This book was great! I’ve been working with hospice patients for several years, and the information in this book has helped me tremendously. Several of my patients even requested that I read the book to them, and I was amazed at how it seemed to ease their fears of what awaited them. Very helpful and very hopeful.

From Ms. S:

I especially loved all the examples that the author included. They helped make the information more personal and definitely added pathos to the experiences. I also appreciated the bits of humour that the author used to express his/herself.

I do wish the book had been longer; I was disappointed to have it end, and do hope that there is a second volume with more examples and more quotes from the Masters.

Hugs, Puppies, and Dreams

I was dreaming of puppies again.doxies

There were four of them. Four adorable, cuddly, and very frisky little doxies (dachshounds). They were quite a handful, literally and figuratively, as sometimes I seemed to have them on a tether, and other times I was trying to carry them in my arms, and in some instances, I was carrying two and trying to hang on to the tether for the other two.

I call it a tether, rather than a leash, because it wasn’t strong enough for a leash. In fact, for the two friskiest dogs, the tether was more like a long, thin strand of thread. I was constantly afraid that it was going to break with all their pulling, twisting, and antics, and I tried hard to control them without holding them back too much.

The two less frisky dogs had a tether that was more solid. I kept wondering why I couldn’t exchange the thread-like tether on the two friskier dogs for this one, which was sturdier. Yet, I could never keep the frisky dogs quiet long enough to swap out the leashes. So, eventually, I stopped trying.

I stumbled behind the foursome of dogs letting them lead me where they will, often picking up the two quieter ones so that we could all keep up with the two rambunctious puppies. Eventually, realizing that I just couldn’t keep up with them, I let loose of the tethers for all of them and let them take off.

Feeling bereft and alone, I turned to go back home, but then the two quieter dogs came back and insisted on cuddling. I picked them up and they licked my face and seemed genuinely glad to be with me. I waited a few moments more, hoping the other two would also return, but they never did.

Although, it broke my heart to give up on the two rambunctious puppies, I realized that they didn’t really want to be with me. So, I went inside with the two puppies that did.

So, what does all that mean? Well, what it means to me, is that I need to understand that not everyone wants to be my friend; not everyone is going to care about me; and not everyone is going to accept me…and that’s okay.

That’s the big key…it’s okay. I’ve been trying so hard all my life to be accepted, by myself and others, that I couldn’t see the people who did like me. I never saw that I had friends and family who cared, because I was too focused on winning over those that didn’t. I get it now, though (it’s taken long enough;-). But instead of trying to win over those people who just aren’t ever going to understand, don’t want to understand, and who don’t want to know or like me as I am, I need to appreciate those people who see the worth of me. I need to appreciate who I am and what I bring to “the party” (as it were), and I need to appreciate all those people who have liked and loved me for who I am all those years.

We’re all special, and we all need to recognize and appreciate that. It’s taken me way too many years to understand that. But for all of you have seen something special in me…I thank you. And I hope the hugs I send in this message can in some small way show you how much I appreciate all of you.