Morning Coffee – 2017

As the rain pours down outside, I greet this day with a delightful cup of coffee. I haven’t shared a cup with you for quite some time. Pull up a chair. Pour yourself a cup. Let’s talk awhile.

So when was the last time you actually sat across from another human being in a focused way and had a conversation that didn’t involve your thumbs?

Can you remember the most recent time you listened with your full attention to someone share something with you?

I’ve noticed that people can’t be without their ‘phones’ even for a few short hours. Even when in a class, I often see a subtle checking of the phone. I don’t like the ubiquitous presence of these electronic attention-grabbers. It takes the person out of the present moment, and according to all the wisdom teachings, the present moment is the place of true power.

The power to change our past, our futures, individually and collectively. But we’re too busy checking our emails.

Recent research shows, and some programmers that are ‘in the know’, have begun to speak up about how our devices are being engineered to capture our attention. Our basic human instincts are being used against us, to cause us to become addicted to our electronic devices.

I’m beginning to be concerned that the newest form of slavery has invisible chains. How is this going to change the trajectory of the collective? That remains to be seen. The one thing I hang my hopes on is the power of our free will to choose what we will and will not allow in our lives.

I long for the days when the phones were tethered to the walls of our homes, and if you wanted to make a call when you were away from home, you had to find a ‘phone booth’.

When is the last time you saw one of these? They have virtually disappeared from the landscape, and nobody even seems to have noticed.

Think about it: if you needed to make a call, you actually had to stop what you were doing, and make that call. You didn’t have the ability to walk down the street and make a call. You had to pay attention to what you were doing in the moment. You had to fish for coins, find the number, dial the number, wait for the other party to answer, have your conversation, and then hang up before you continued on with your day.

Now you shoot them a quick text and wait for the ping of your phone to let you know they’ve responded. So, how present are you, anyway? So much is lost in written communication. Where is the voice inflection? The expression on the speaker’s face? Their body language is also an important part of the process. It’s ironic to me that despite our increased ability to stay connected, we are actually more disconnected from each other than ever.

Since when is it inspired advice to have a ‘family dinner’ one night a week? When did dinners around the table complete with conversation about our day go the way of the phone booth?

Our awareness has been shrinking of late, not expanding. I encourage you to spend a day, yes a day, without your phone. Turn it off. Leave it home. Notice your physiological responses. Notice how many times you reach for it to check your ‘messages’ and perhaps you will begin to understand how ‘dependent’ you’ve become. Then ask yourself if it truly benefits you to be constantly ‘connected’ in that way.

The next time you meet someone for lunch or a cup of coffee, why don’t you both turn off your phones and spend the time fully engaged with another human being? They are worth your attention. You are worth your attention.

Well, my friends, the coffee cup is empty, and it’s time for me to go about my day. Thanks for sitting with me. Thanks for listening.

All original material is (c) 2017, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Indifference and neglect often do more damage than outright dislike. ~ JK Rowling

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Brother Crow – A Full Circle Moment

When I was on the West Coast recently visiting my daughter, I had a powerful experience that I know was a full-circle moment. I know there is a powerful message there for me, and I wait for it to be revealed in the fullness of time.

CrowbywaterYes, it involves another encounter with one of my closest Spirit Animal allies: Crow. You can find the story of my first encounter with crow here. Over the years, I have had more than one luminous, unusual encounter with the power of Crow Medicine. This month, I encountered Crow in the very same fashion as when I first walked past the crow that was lying dead in the gutter by the curb.

I threw my back out while visiting my daughter and needed to drive to Tacoma (the town I lived in when I was opened back up to the Voice of Spirit). The chiropractor that used to treat me when I was in the military still practices there, and is always happy to squeeze me in if needed. Now, I could have gone with my daughter and her boyfriend, but if I had, I doubt I would have had the experience I did.

I arrived in Tacoma early for my appointment, and there was a Starbuck’s across the street, so I went over to the store to get a coffee and something to snack on. I didn’t want to sit in the store because it was a wonderful day and I didn’t want to sit in the parking lot, either. I got in the car and drove slowly – I now realize I was following Spirit -until I came to a place behind a box store where there were some trees and some shade where I could eat my breakfast sandwich.

As I pulled up to park under the trees, I was shocked to see a crow lying in the parking lot. It had obviously been recently hit as the blood pooling underneath the creature was still bright red. I was overcome with a full-on sense of time wrapping back upon itself somehow, and knew this was NOT an accident. I finished my snack, then used the bag the sandwich came in to pick the bird up and put it in the ivy growing under the trees  where I was parked. I apologized to the bird that I could not do more in the moment. It was better than leaving the bird lying on the pavement in the sun.

As I drove away to the appointment, I felt as if I were in two times at once, pondering the odds that I would 1) be in Tacoma, 2) go to the chiropractor while I was there, and 3) find a dead crow that needed my help. Again.

If I hadn’t thrown my back out, I would not have needed to drive to Tacoma. If I hadn’t arrived so early, I wouldn’t have had time to kill. If I hadn’t been hungry, I wouldn’t have stopped at the store, I would have waited in the office. If it hadn’t been such a nice day, I would have eaten the meal in the store. The timing was perfect, and I did follow the subtle current of energy that was gently leading me.

To the crow that gave its life so I could receive my message, I give thanks. And I will do my best to hear it so that your sacrifice is not wasted.

Since our waking life can be worked in the same way or sleep dreams can, I will share what I learn when I work this experience with my dream Teacher next month. Until then, thank you, brother Crow, for your constant companionship on my spiritual journey.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016 -, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

We do not create our destiny; we participate in its unfolding. Synchronicity works as a catalyst toward the working out of that destiny.                                         ~David Richo

A Time of Resurrection and Renewal

Photo of green leafy plant

Finally! The days are longer, and I begin to wake from my winter hibernation. The sap is flowing in the trees, there is early morning birdsong as my alarm, and my energy levels are starting to come up again. No more running on empty – at least for the next 7 months or so.

The world makes resolutions on New Year’s Eve, and by the end of January, most of us are back to our old habits or patterns. Working to make changes during a time of hibernation can be extremely difficult, at least for me. I exercise patience. I wait for a time when the energy is on my side. I don’t fight the inertia of hibernation I experience during the deep of Winter – which is a time of slumber for the entire planet anyway.

Resurrection means coming back to life, coming back into practice or use, revival; and renewal means a state of being made new.

The Equinox is just passed. During this weekend of balanced energies, I attuned six people to Reiki Master in a weekend intensive format. These people felt called to bring to life – or back to life – their connection to healing energies.

As I worked with this group, I contemplated what I wanted to resurrect in my life this Spring. I renewed my commitment to certain personal goals I set for myself this year.

I am aware of my human failings. Some things take me more than one attempt. It took me over 8 years and six attempts to quit smoking. I tried more than one method, including hypnosis (didn’t work for me), cold turkey (worked, but I started back up again). It was the worst mistake I ever made because it took me an additional 5 years to (finally) quit. It was  tapering the number of cigarettes per day with the addition of a tobacco substitute to take the edge off the craving that finally allowed me to free myself of the chains of that addiction.

I did a lot of behavior changes before I took that final step. I quit smoking after eating. I stopped lighting up every time the phone rang. I separated the act of smoking from every other activity I did, and made it extra-tough to light up by putting the cigarettes, lighter and ash tray in a room far away from the main part of the house. If I wanted to smoke, I could only smoke. Smoking lost its grip on my life one butt at a time. I am an addict. I know that now.

I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to my herbalist friend Denise in Washington State for her smoking mixture that has no tobacco in it. (www.MountainSpiritHerbals.com for those who may be interested.) She has wonderful personal care products that are chemical free (I adore her Lizard Cream, especially in winter), and a nice selection of loose herbs. This wise woman is a cornucopia of herbal knowledge. I used Shaman’s Blend to wean myself off cigarettes after I cut the cigarettes down to less than 6 per day. The Shaman’s Blend has valerian and chamomile in it, which helped calm my craving for nicotine.

This year, I am renewing my promise to myself to clear out anything that no longer serves me. I sold all my acrylic paints. (I figured out why I had them in the first place, and now no longer need them. I can express my artistic side with pencils and pastels, as I have been doing for decades.) I have donated household items twice, and there will be another large donation after the moving sale that is coming soon.

I am looking at all the objects in my world and am asking if there is value in it for me. Does this thing  contribute to my life or does it drain life force from me? The biggest challenges are with items that have sentimental value for me.  I still have some work to do, but I am renewing my commitment to do this work so I can make room for whatever it is Spirit desires to bring my way.

What are you going to resurrect in your life? Perhaps there are some New Year’s resolutions you’ve already given up on. Now is an excellent time to plant seeds of success for yourself. It is, after all, Spring, the perfect time to plant  what you would like to see harvested come Fall.

Do you want to explore your connection with Spirit? Develop your intuitive connection? Learn how to paint a picture? How about personal training to improve your physical health? Yoga? Martial arts? Meditation? What will you renew your commitment to for your personal growth and development? Do you have something you used to do that you  let fall by the wayside? This is the time to contemplate renewing that practice .

Take some time to find something, just one thing, you can renew a commitment to. Then take the actions needed to plant that garden of positive change. It’s Spring. The Light is with us. Now is the time.

Starting a new way is never easy, so keep starting until the start sticks. ~Tim Fargo

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

 

The Power of Sharing Dreams

220px-Caveman_5Ancient dreaming societies understood the power of dream-sharing. Often, the first order of the day was for members of the tribe to gather over the morning meal to share the dreams of the night.

Some call dream work ‘New Age’. Humans have been dreaming for  tens of thousands of years,and continue to dream even though there is a disconnect (in the West at least) from our dreaming lives. A colleague of both Jung and Freud, Hungarian Sandor Ferenczi, theorized that ‘dreaming itself is the workshop of evolution’. EVERY dream asks (and symbolically answers) the same question: Who is the dreamer in this now moment, and how did the dreamer come to be this way? Who is the dreamer in the process of becoming?

If you are looking for another way to accelerate your spiritual growth, working with your dreams in a projective format would be something you should seriously consider. It has opened new doors for me, and just when I had reached a place where I thought it was not possible. I am now more conscious than ever of just how far I have yet to travel to reach awareness, but am grateful to my dream Maker for leading me to this path.

Our dreams bring us our ‘next step’. We just have to pay attention to them, and sharing in groups is especially helpful because each of us is uniquely and selectively blind to our own symbolic material (our ‘issues’). Another reason group work is helpful to a dreamer is because of the many layers each dream has. Usually, there will be at least one member of the group that resonates with a certain ‘layer’, and that is often their focus during group dream work.

The primary consideration to keep in mind is that all dreams come in service of our healing and wholeness. Our dreams precisely point out the neglected or repressed parts of our experience that need our attention in order for us to grow in awareness.

There is also always a theme in the dream that deals with the dreamer’s current physical health and condition of the body. Most often, this ‘report’ runs in the background because all is well with the dreamer, but when there is something that needs the dreamer’s attention this ‘track’ will be moved front and center. The scary dreams we call nightmares take the form they do so we will remember the dream, because it is important that we do so for at least a little while after we awaken.

Sigmund_Freud_LIFE

Sigmund Freud

Freud was correct that all dreams do have an element of sexual energy and desire woven into them.

jung

CG Jung

Jung was right when he stated – after having devoted much of his life to intense exploration of archetypes – that all dreams indicate where the dreamer is on their path to psycho-spiritual development regardless of the dreamer’s conscious attitudes about religion. Researchers who conclude that every dream is simply the result of the transfer of random short-term memory traces into the long-term memory banks are also correct.

Our dreams also always contain a level of collective significance. In other words, they give a report about the current state of the society and culture in which the dreamer lives. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine that we can change the world by working with our dreams.

mirrorMost importantly, all dreams are reflections of our native creativity. Dreams are like the magic mirror of the fairy tales, the one that never lies. Our dreams always tell the truth. This applies to the truth about our shortcomings, but also about our positive traits. The more willing we are to look in the mirror, and accept all that we see, the more self-aware we become.

If we live completely, we surrender to the lives (of the ancestors) and redeem them. ~ CG Jung

 

All original material posted to this site (c)2016, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

How Can I Remember My Dreams?

Everyone dreams. Without exception. Some of us don’t remember them. There are things you can do to help ‘catch’ a dream or two.

We will start with the most important thing to remember: intent is everything. That applies to the catching of one’s dreams in particular. The most important thing you can do to improve your dream recall is to focus your intention and your desire. Decide you really do want to remember your dreams, even if that means you may have to face some unpleasant information about yourself.

As you drift off to sleep, you can imagine yourself writing down dreams in the morning. You may even decide you want to share your dreams with others in a group setting. What seems to happen once a person sets an intention to work with their dreams, is they begin to remember their dreams! When your Dream Source  knows it’s being heard, the messages will start to flow again, and you will begin to remember your dreams.

It's important to record your dreams in one place.

It’s important to record your dreams in one place.

FIND YOURSELF A JOURNAL FOR RECORDING YOUR DREAMS         Do you need to have a detailed  dream experience in order to be able to uncover the treasures awaiting you in your Dreamtime? No. Whatever you remember, you are remembering for a reason: it is important.

Don’t discard those fragments or snatches of dreams. Give them the same respect you give the longer dreams. You will soon learn how complex a simple image is once you work with one of these in a dream group.

When you wake up in the middle of the night, it is imperative that you take a moment to scratch a few notes down. I keep a simple composition notebook by my bed to capture the crux of my dream experiences before they can escape. In the morning, I transfer these notes into my dream journal over my first cup of tea.

343px-Ice_coffee_imageIf you want to increase your chances of remembering a night dream, drink a large glass of (non-caffeinated) liquid before you go to bed. You will increase your chances of waking up in the middle of a dream cycle because you’ll need to answer nature’s call. Before you move, take a second to ask yourself: ‘What was I just dreaming about?’

When you first wake up in the morning, remember to ask yourself ‘What was I just dreaming about?’ before you turn your attention to your morning routine. If all you have the time for is a few words, jot them down in your composition book and transcribe the notes into your dream journal at your earliest opportunity.

Another tactic that works for some dreamers is to use the following morning’s date, and to write out their intention: I intend to remember my dreams when I wake in the morning.

If you still cannot recall any of your dreams in the morning, make one up. What would your dream have been if you had one? Record this in your journal. You are sending a signal to your DreamSource that you are serious about working with your dreams.

Half-Dome-Fire-1024x688Some dreamers choose to use a digital recorder to capture their dream notes. At some point, you will have to transcribe these notes, and often the words are not intelligible when you listen back. Some use a computer to keep their dreams. I prefer the journal approach. It is important you honor your dreams. The more energy you put into recording your dreams, in drawing images that come to you in dreams, the more likely it is that your dreams will reveal their vast potential to improve your life.

Pile of notebooks and papers

Copyright 2012, Julia Marie.

If your dreams are scribbled on stray scraps of paper, or in many notebooks, the quality of your dream catching will reflect this haphazard approach. If you take the time to set up a proper journal or file where you keep a record of your dreams, the more meaningful your dream experiences will be. You may even consider decorating the front cover of your journal. If you are artistically challenged, consider using images from magazines to reflect some of the dream themes or recurring images contained in the journal. For example, in 2014, one of the recurring images in my dreams was ships. These were all sizes, and included a massive space ship. Some NASA images and images off the internet of ships that closely matched what I saw in the dreams grace the front cover of this journal.

An interesting way to decorate the cover is to wait until a theme or recurring image shows up. You will be able to identify the themes more easily if you keep all your dreams in the same journal. Save a few pages in the back of the book so you can create an index of your dreams for easy cross-referencing. You will quickly recognize the value of this practice.

HOW TO SET UP THE JOURNAL

When you go to bed,  make sure to write the date in the composition book. Jot a few sentences about what happened during the day. (These notes will be important later. Context is critical to understanding the messages of your dreams.)

When you transfer these rough notes to your permanent journal, write ONLY on the right side of the page, leaving the left side blank as a place for images and any insights that come when you work with the dream later. Record your dream using first person, present tense. Using past tense when recording your dreams creates a barrier between the waking mind and the dream experience. In addition, sometimes there will be past experiences in the dream, and it is more difficult to sort this out if the dream itself is recorded in the past tense.

Give the dream a title, whatever comes to your mind even if it doesn’t seem to ‘fit’. This is often another clue about the dream-message. Do not hesitate to sub-title your dreams when you review them days or even weeks later.  If you can remember how you felt when you woke up, record that, as well.

Once you have a number of dreams in your journal, take the time one day to go back through looking for and cataloging common or recurring themes or images. Cross-reference these dreams whenever possible. (I do this in the index in the back of the book, as well as  with each dream.)

Angel in the SkyIf you get inspired, make art from your dreams, or turn a dream into poetry. Any way you can engage with the energy of your dreams and ground it into your waking life, the more intense your dream life will become and the more active your interaction with your dreams during your waking life will be.

Next time, we will take a look at some of the layers every  dream contains.

May you dream well this night. And may you remember them.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016-Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it (come) true.                                                                                                                   -Richard Bach