Working with Dream Themes: Dream Lovers

Lover as Muse

Gustave Moreau, Hesiod and the Muse (1891)—Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Meeting and possibly making love with a very attractive person in a dream is a quite common dream theme, no matter whether it is someone we know in waking life or a mysterious lover who only populates our dreams. In the dream, these encounters are often marked by passion, beauty, and wonder so vivid that upon waking we feel driven to act on the dream—no matter if the person is someone in waking life who is unavailable, a poor choice or someone we don’t know or haven’t even encountered yet!

The importance of the dream is not so much the person referred to but the energy that is evoked in the dream. Powerful energy does, indeed, need acting upon and that is what the dream is asking us to do. However, before going and doing something foolish or regrettable, the thing to remember is that the dream is all about the dreamer. That highly attractive and lovely soul you are encountering is perhaps an aspect of your own loveliness or quality, and it is that which is asking you to recognize in yourself!

Example:

In the dream you are falling for a writer who is physically attractive and highly competent as a writer. Before you go associating this person with someone you know who is a writer, you might ask yourself: Have you thought about becoming a writer? Do you have writing skills you haven’t developed? If so, this dream perhaps is telling you that the profession would be attractive to you and that you would be competent at it! It is like your muse inviting you to this possibility.

If you actually know a writer in waking life that you think this dream symbol represents, you may want to pursue the relationship in real life if the person is available emotionally or otherwise. That person may have a lot to teach you about writing and life itself. The good news is that if this person is a jerk in waking life, or is married with three kids, or you are married, you can still nurture that wonderful energy by recognizing that it is part of you—you can value it by learning about the craft of writing, starting writing, and getting feedback on your writing. Your love will blossom to fruition with the development of a whole new aspect of yourself and you will have avoided a possibly disastrous relationship!

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Too Much of a Good Thing: An Ashlynn Acosta Intuitive Discoveries Mystery

What do we own?

A Lady Desires a Painting
Artwork by Christine Soltys

For the many who have asked, Ashlynn Acosta will be making her second appearance as the intuitive teen sleuth in Too Much of a Good Thing, a young adult mystery novel set in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In the intriguing story, our heroine deals with issues of hoarding, ownership, greed and possessiveness that lead to a crime.

The problematic relationship with her single dad, a “just the facts” police detective, has healed through the challenges met and shared in Dead Men Do Tell Tales. Relishing this lively new connection with her dad, Ashlynn suspects any woman seriously claiming her father’s attention. When a beautiful redhead enters the scene, Ashlynn faces the need to solve a mystery in the midst of a budding romance between her father and this most surprising lady. Pressure builds when her buddy group divides into romantic couples and she is paired with a guy who evokes new feelings in her! She is overwhelmed by it all.

Ashlynn’s very first date takes place as she tries to uncover the real mystery in the midst of too much of too many good things. Intuition and real dreamwork are the tools Ashlynn uses to help her understand and act on her new feelings as well as unravel the secrets in a mansion on a hill where a rich old lady has been found dead.

In a Reader’s Guide at the end of the novel, you can learn more about the intuitive tools Ashlynn uses and learn how they can be employed to unlock your own mysteries and solve your own problems.

A Blog Tour: On Intuitive Understanding

Fran Kramer, Educator

Fran Kramer

About two weeks ago a long-time friend, Gwen Plano, invited me to join her on a Blog Tour. I thought it would be an interesting way for us to tell about our books and encourage others to do the same. Gwen has just published what I would call a spiritual memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. I suggest you visit her blog and check out this profoundly moving book.

For the Blog Tour I was asked to answer four questions, which for me were ones I often address when people ask me about my books.

The Four Questions:

1) What Am I Working On? I am currently writing the sequel to a book published last year called Dead Men Do Tell Tales, a teen mystery novel that pits the intuitive and informed dreamwork talents of a teenager, Ashlynn Acosta, against the traditional gumshoe methods of her detective father. This book’s working title is Too Much of a Good Thing, and has our teenage sleuth entering her first romance amid the throes of a complex theft and murder brought on by hoarding. Her single dad is in the throes of a first romance since his wife passed away several years before. Again, father and daughter find they have much in common as they each must trust intuition in their own ways to navigate the shoals of romance and crime.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? My mystery stories are different from most in that the protagonist uses tried and true dreamwork and intuitive meditation methods learned from a dream mentor to help solve a crime. As a result the reader gets a thrilling, fast paced mystery with the added benefit of learning about developing inner skills. A Reader’s Guide in the back gives detailed explanations of the how-to’s.

A couple of reviewers have called my book something like “a New Age Nancy Drew,” a good teen mystery with the added enticements appealing to the current fascination with dreams and deeper intuitive understanding.

3) How does my writing process work? I usually resist sitting down to write but when I do, the floodgates open and I just let it flow. I often can’t type fast enough as the ideas start gushing. Eventually I reach a block and then take a break. New ideas emerge when resting, meditating or driving.

Why do I write what I do?

I write because I have a message that I am passionate about: how to access inner wisdom through dreams and meditation. I write all sorts of things for different age groups, based on their various needs for different forms of intuitive insight. Usually, I find it very easy to write because I write about things that energize me such as creative problem solving through dreamwork and the creative process itself.

It is my pleasure to introduce two very interesting and accomplished women who will continue the Blog Tour:

Diane Brandon

Diane Brandon

Diane Brandon has been an Integrative Intuitive Counselor, Intuition Expert and Teacher, Corporate Consultant, Author, and Speaker since 1992. She brings other modalities into her work, including Dream Interpretation, Individualized Guided Meditation, Regression, Natural Process Healing, and Customized Exercises and Affirmations.

She’s the author of Intuition for Beginners – Easy Ways to Awaken Your Natural Abilities and Invisible Blueprints (one of only two books on intuition that Ananda Village, based upon the precepts of Yogananda recommends), as well as several articles, and a contributing author to The Long Way Around – How 34 Women Found the Lives They Love and Speaking Out. Her next book, Dream Interpretation for Beginners, will be published in Winter 2015. Diane was the host of “Naturally Vibrant Living” on Web Talk Radio and Blog Talk Radio and “Vibrantly Green with Diane Brandon” on Ecology.com. She also has Meditation CDs available, including “A Journey Within Meditation,“ “Natural Process Healing,” and “Brainstorm in the Boardroom with Great Leaders,” as well as exercises for intuitive development.

Diane has appeared extensively on radio shows throughout the country, having been interviewed on dreams and intuition.

Her two websites are www.dianebrandon.com and www.dianebrandon.net. She may be contacted at diane@dianebrandon.com.

Jean Raffa

Jean Raffa

Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops, dream groups, and study groups. Her job history includes teacher, television producer, college professor, and instructor at the Disney Institute in Orlando and The Jung Center in Winter Park, FL. She is the author of four books, a workbook, a chapter in a college text, numerous articles in professional journals, and a series of meditations and short stories for Augsburg Fortress Publisher.

Her newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World was launched by Larson Publications, Inc. at the New York Book Fair in June of 2012. In 2013 it won the Wilbur Award, which is given by the Religion Communicators Council for excellence in communicating religious faith and values in the public arena and for encouraging understanding among faith groups on a national level.

Jean is also the author of The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth, and Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dream Work.

Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Ebook versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords,and Diesel Ebooks

Dr. Raffa’s websites are http://jeanraffa.wordpress.com/ and www.jeanraffa.com.

4 Coaching Tasks of a Dream Mentor

Ashlynn Acosta with Dream Mentor

Ashlynn Acosta with her Dream Mentor, Maeve Merton

A dream mentor is very much like a midwife, but instead of helping the mother birth a new person into the world, the dream mentor supports the dreamer who is like a mother birthing of a new consciousness into awareness and action. Dreamwork, when done with the help of an experienced mentor, is an intentional exercise used to facilitate the process, much like a midwife would instruct the laboring woman to breath or sit in a position that will help the birthing process along.

A dream is a symbol for a new awareness waiting to take on life, and it is the role of the mentor to not create the new awareness but just to help it along. Dream mentoring is basically a helping and facilitating role, not a directing role. It is guided by nature’s way of bringing new awareness into our waking world.

Towards this end a good dream mentor will prepare the dreamer to give birth to new consciousness by coaching the dreamer:

  1. To record and remember dreams. For many people, just making the intention to do these two things is a major step in a new direction and often prompts the dreamer to remember his or her dreams. Following through on the choice alone quite often helps people to become more aware of their dreams.
  2. To work with dreams through various kinds of processes such as association, storytelling, improvisation, and re-enactment.
  3. To proactively seek solutions for problems and concerns through dream incubation and lucid dreaming. Instead of just waiting for an answer from a dream, the dreamer can request a specific answer from a dream by asking to have a dream that will provide the answer. Writing the dream down and making the intention the night before helps a great deal to get a good result.
  4. To work in a dream group whereby members can help each other with their dreams or can dream for each other such as is done in Henry Reed’s Dream Helper Ceremony.

For an example of how a dream mentor works, please read or have your children read Dead Men Do Tell Tales, a teen mystery novel. In the story thirteen-year-old Ashlynn Acosta learns how to work with dreams from a dream mentor, Maeve Merton. With this assistance she learns to turn nightmares into problem solving tools, heals grief and helps save a friend suspected of a murder. She has learned skills that will help her for life and set her above her peers in accessing an important inner resource that can be relied upon in time of crisis.

4 Reasons Why Dream Talk Goes Well with Breakfast Toast and Orange Juice

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams

If given the slightest encouragement, most of us—even teenagers who are usually reluctant to talk about what’s going—enjoy talking about our dreams, especially the fun ones like flying or exploring new places. We also like to explore the meaning of a particular dream and get feedback when it is done in a respectful and supportive manner. This practice, especially if carried on regularly and informally in a comfortable setting like breakfast when the previous night’s dream is still fresh in the mind, has the following benefits. It

  1. Brings kids and their parents together in a conversation to which all can contribute and offer advice.
  2. Acknowledges that dreams play an important role in our lives and are not just side shows that either entertain or scare us.
  3. Lets the maturing child know that dreams are not something to fear, repress and forget but are gifts from our sleeping life that want integration into our waking life. They are messages from an important place inside of us which can give us insight on how to problem solve, create and heal.
  4. Introduces the child to a basic method of working with dreams and other insights from the unconscious which empower that child to draw on and use his or her own inner resources, thus giving the child a competitive edge most kids don’t have in dealing with problems.

In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Ashlynn initiates the practice of talking to her father about her dreams. Like many people, he doesn’t hold much faith in dreams and in his own way is perhaps afraid of them. Ashlynn, however, has had the advantage of working with a dream mentor who helped her recover from her mother’s death through dreamwork. She knows dreams are important and wants to get her father involved in this important side of her life. She succeeds when her detective father realizes her dreams offer important insights into a crime he is trying to solve.

4 Reasons for Teaching Meditation to Teenagers

Ashlynn Acosta Meditating

Ashlynn Acosta Learns to Meditate

Learning to meditate is basically learning to use the inner intuitive resources we all have within us—resources which unfortunately are rarely recognized in our society as an educational necessity and are almost never developed in a conscious fashion until we are in middle age. Considering that the great breakthroughs of science and artistic creativity involve using these internal assets, it is a wonder that education hasn’t been more systematic in developing programs to help younger people access and develop this dimension of being human. Learning to meditate is important for teenagers because:

1) Our Educational System Usually Works Counter-Intuitively

The big irony is that we are already born intuitive, and as small children dwell in a world alive with the insights and wonders of the imaginative mind. It is education itself that often whittles away at our natural instincts by telling us to act rationally and be realistic, whatever that means, trusting only what can be seen with the eye and be proven by statistics. In a sense, it is like asking us to operate on half a brain, seeing things in black and white and ignoring all the shades of gray.

2) Teaching Meditation Goes Far to Bring Along the Child’s Sense of Wonderment into Adulthood

Teaching meditation to teenagers is important at a time when kids are losing that magical state of childhood to the demands of social and peer pressure with the need to conform and measure up. Kids need to know that important aspects of their childhood, like their sense of wonder, their love of stories and oneness with things, is not to be forgotten. Just the opposite, these memories and abilities are meant to be nurtured and brought forward into adulthood. Meditation brings the mind and heart back to the mindset of a child lying under a tree looking up at the clouds with all the time in world gaze at the wonders of the world.

3) Teaching Meditation Gives Teenagers Access to Inner Resources

All of us in life will be faced with uncertainty, and be put in dilemmas where there are no concrete answers or where we are powerless to act based on what is available to the waking mind. In these cases, accessing and gaining intuitive information can go far in making choices that reflect the key values of the person—informing choices that a person can live comfortably with later no matter what the consequences. Dead Men Do Tell Tales is a teen mystery novel where the protagonist, Ashlynn Acosta, learns how meditation can help her in a powerless situation. She discovers resources she didn’t know she had to solve a crime and save a friend.

4) Discovering Inner Resources Builds Confidence and Self-Esteem

Much has been made of the role of parents in building self-esteem and confidence. These are factors coming from without and depend heavily on the child’s relationship to the parents. However, when a child discovers his or her own inner resources and power through meditation, the chances of that new level of self-awareness sinking in are much greater. Here is a case where” seeing is believing” is really true.

Bringing Gratitude, Caring, Focus and Intentionality to Creative Problem Solving

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams:  Meaningful Symbols Appear in Dreams

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams: Meaningful Symbols Appear in Dreams

 

Dreaming and intuitive work are important tools teen detective Ashlynn Acosta uses to find clues in Dead Men Do Tell Tales because they are intentional and proactive methods used to get a focused result that can be trusted in a rather short amount of time.

This is very different from the way intuitive insight is often handled in mystery stories where the detective may be lucky to get a vague gut feeling relating to the case.  Often the detective doesn’t know why he has the feeling or what the feeling might be connected to in the vast number of variables related to the case.  This gut level method suggests that one needs to sit around and wait for some “Aha” to arrive out of the blue to give understanding to the hunch.

However, Intuition and information from dreams are gifts that are available to us almost all the time when we have an important problem to solve.  We just need to set the stage to receive those gifts, and readers of Dead Men Do Tell Tales discover along with Ashlynn how this might be done.  Here are some prerequisites for making oneself ready to receive intuitive insight, either in waking or the dream state.

  • Be thankful for any insights you have received in the past from dreams and gut feeling
  • Focus on a specific issue that you are genuinely concerned about, either for yourself or someone else.  Studies by Henry Reed, Ph.D., of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies indicate that intuition works more strongly when used in service to the needs of others.
  • Before meditation or going to sleep, ask or make an intention that you want information about the specific issue.  Be precise as possible about the information you are seeking.  For example, instead of asking how to bring about peace in the world, you would ask what you could do today that would contribute to peace in your part of the world.

An attitude of thankfulness opens your heart out to the providence of your inner resources.  Focusing on a genuine problem with an attitude of helpfulness directs and jump starts the flow of energy in the Universe. Being specific helps control the type, quality and relevance of information you receive.  With the stage set, you can expect to receive useful information and will be one step closer to connecting you to the many gifts that lie within.