Working with Dream Themes: Signs of Endangering Creative Potential

Dreams are like blooms in a garden.

A Pick from the Healing Dream Garden

After working with dreams for nearly forty years, I know that even the worst nightmares contain a kernel of hope or healing.  The following nightmare took me a long time to understand.  I had several repeats until it finally “hit” me what this dream offered as its healing insight.   The dream took a while to sink in perhaps because it chose as the motif of one of my greatest fears: hitting a person while driving.  To make things worse, in the dream the feeling of hitting a person was so realistic—as if it really did happen.

Dream

I am driving very slowly because I sense some danger.  Then, a group of kids surges in from the left.  I see a young boy of 4 or 5 years old either fall or lunge into the left front of my car.  Although I slam on the breaks, I hear the thud of something hitting my car.   A shock wave of raw realization explodes from my chest as the force of emergency breaking flips the car on its side, throwing me on to the ground.  

Stunned, I jump up and grab the child my car struck, looking for injuries.  He has a little welt on the right side of his forehead, but otherwise seems well.  A huge sigh of relief surges through me and I embrace him in my arms.  I see his mother, the other kids and his father at a distance.  Oddly enough, they just look at me and smile.  They do not seem to be worried so much about the child as about me.  Somehow, I know that they won’t take this matter to the police.  

On waking the first impulse was huge relief from the realization that this was just a dream!  Then, the fear arose that this might be an event which will happen in the future because so many of my dreams, especially the realistic ones, often manifest in the material world just as I dreamed them.  I reviewed the dream, looking for clues to indicate this wasn’t such a prophetic dream.   While the dream was extremely realistic, especially the feeling I had when hitting the child, there were elements that seemed symbolic.  For example, I noticed that in the dream my car was red.  I don’t own a red car and probably wouldn’t buy one since I find the color too intense to look at for long periods of time.  So I decided that this dream wasn’t prophetic of actually hitting a real child and left the dream alone.

For a long while, and after several repetitive dreams which clearly were begging for attention, I finally summoned the courage to look at this dream.  I chose to use the dreamwork paradigm of everything in the dream as being a part of myself.  The young boy in the dream, because he was male, represented something work related, and because he was young, represented creative potential that was still developing.  The age of the boy indicated a work related project that has gone on 4 or 5 years.  I thought of my creative and meaningful work in teaching dreams which had gone on for about 4 or 5 years.  A sinking feeling in me told me I was hitting on the correct interpretation.  At the time, I indeed felt like this child of my creative labors had taken a hit, not by anything deliberate on my part but just because of the choices I felt compelled to make as I tried to earn a living. Each time I had this dream of hitting a child, I was considering putting my major efforts and energy into taking a well-paying but less than desirable job that would meet my financial needs.  However, in doing so, I would endanger the growth of this child.  The guilt, grief, and horror were rising to consciousness.  Fortunately, the kid’s parents, perhaps representing my higher self, were telling me not worry.  They understood.  Indeed, when reflecting on this dream while still in bed, a voice from my intuition said in a gentle but informative way, “Don’t make a big deal of this!”  Just getting this message provided an odd counter balance to the guilt, grief and horror.

While the child took a minor hit, it was OK.  After I felt the child was safe and comforted, I wondered how I would upturn my car to get on my way again.  Now, the real problem was how to get back on track after such a near disaster.

Since then, I noticed that every time I considered taking a paying job rather than taking the financial risk of continuing to do the creative but less financially reliable work of writing, teaching and life coaching, this dream of either hitting or nearly hitting a child would repeat itself.  My dreams were telling to trust more and continue to nourish and not endanger the creativity within me. Later, as if to confirm my interpretation, I dreamed of three children telling me they want to take me some place I considered special.  It gave me hope and made me realize that failing to nurture my creative endeavors would be as traumatic as hitting a child.

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.

Intuition Helps Us Plumb the Depths of Spiritual Paradox

Both/and Instead of Either Or

Intuition Brings Light to a Limiting Either/Or Situation

Many of the great spiritual truths are couched in a paradoxical conundrum. They are like Zen koans which can drive us crazy if we resort to rational thinking alone to understand them. For example there is the great question, “Are we saved by faith or by good works?” Is it God alone who saves us or do we have to do our share? This debate has gone on for centuries and most people view this as an either/or choice of rational thinking rather than the both/and perspective of intuitive insight.

To Take Either Side is to Miss the Mark

If we take the view that God alone saves and our part doesn’t mean much, we miss the point of the Deuteronomy 18:13 which enjoins, “You shall be perfect with the LORD your God,” and Matthew 5:48 which commands “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We open ourselves up to childish, narcissist thinking which entails the rules don’t apply to me so I don’t have to follow them. God becomes the big all-powerful parent who we can blame when things go wrong instead of owning the blame and power that rightly belongs to each of us as children of God made in the image of God. We humans have a tendency to blame God or the devil when we refuse to acknowledge our own power or responsibility to fix things. We need to grow up.

If we take the view that it is by our good works we are saved, as many good church-going people of all creeds do, then we open ourselves up to “do-goodism” that only has selfish benefits, we become prey to scrupulous thinking that doesn’t allow for spontaneous and genuine decision-making, and we begin to think we are better than other people because we do good. We need to be reborn as innocent children who don’t know the rules of right and wrong, who can’t read the sign that says “Don’t Walk on the Grass” and who really don’t care, knowing only they are loved by devoted and protecting parents.

The Center Point Holds the Power and the Tension

Real power lies at the center point of this continuum. I must act as if it all depends on me with the goal of not being perfect—because that is impossible and who is to say what perfection is—but with the goal of trying most perfectly to meet the needs of that person or situation as a responsible adult would do. It is a 100% effort full of humility and sincerity, with no game playing that seeks to “win,” unless it is a “win/win” for all. On the other hand, I must 100% let go of my attachments to my efforts. I must leave it all to God, trusting that it all depends on divine power. This is no easy task. It is a test to live so faithfully in paradoxical mystery; however, to act any less demeans our human dignity.

Lao Tzu: The Old Child

Intuition tells us these two truths must be held together. We have to be old and young at the same time like the ancient sage of China, Lao Tzu whose name means Old Child. It takes a lifetime of growing up and growing down to reach this level of understanding.

8 Steps to Invoke Intuitive Healing

St. Michael, 13th Century

St. Michael, a Healing Angel in the Christian Tradition (13th Century Icon in St. Catherine’s Monastery)

Whether one chooses to use prayers, dreams or intuitive methods as a practice to invoke the power of intuitive healing, there are eight steps the person seeking healing may do to shape his or her attitude and ability in a way that encourages receptivity to healing. The first five steps prepare and bring the practitioner to the necessary trusting, child-like intuitive heart space which is the healing center, no matter if the healing is done for oneself or for another person. The last three steps help accomplish and follow through with the mission. This means relaxing, getting out of the head and seeing with the “eyes” of the heart. Only then is one open to receive the intuitive healing information that may come in many forms such images, sounds, voices, sensations, smells, or memories.

  1. Acknowledging the need for healing. Before all else, this awareness is pre-requisite. It often implies a humble acceptance that one cannot alter the condition without help, usually after many attempts have been made to heal on one’s own or through commonly accepted medical practices. This is a challenge for those of us who are used to being “in control,” and may require a relinquishing or putting aside that mindset.
  2. Believing I can be healed. This step is perhaps the most difficult for those of us who haven’t developed a strong faith in things that cannot be measured or predicted. It is, however, the most important step. If I cannot believe in my healing, then I should pray or intend that I may grow in my capacity to believe it.
  3. Tuning into my Ideal. This step may be done in a variety of ways. After quieting the mind and relaxing, I can imagine or “summon’ my ideal to make its presence fully felt in my mind and heart. I may see the face of a divine healer or imagine the power of healing energy. I can take this imagery work further by imagining this divine being holding me in a comforting or healing embrace or see a warm wave of energy enveloping me. The quality of my ideal will play a big part in determining the type of healing I draw to myself.
  4. Initiating and intending a healing. This may be a prayer or simple intention, imagining the results as already happened. Be as specific as possible in the prayer or intention.
  5. Confidently expecting a response. Know that healing in some way, shape or form, has already begun.
  6. Tuning myself into the communication coming to me. Healing may take many forms, along with a message to you what is happening. I can expect anything like imagery, sounds, sensations, thoughts, smells or a memory to convey something. The trick is to be very “tuned in” as these immediate responses which are often very illusory. Sometimes it might be just a subtle feeling of peace.
  7. Reflecting on and learning from the communication. I may need to ask myself what is the meaning of the information I have received. For example, if the image of an Oriental doctor doing acupuncture came, I might ask myself if I need to try acupuncture. Usually, the first association holds the clue. You can then amplify on this by asking more questions to clarify and get more information.
  8. Acting on it. If you get a specific insight to take action, such as cutting down on your salt, do so.

For more information, and consulting sessions and user manual on intentional dreaming and intuitive meditation, please see my website at:  www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Class: Working With Healing Dreams and Intuition in the Tradition of Edgar Cayce

Father of Holistic Medicine

Edgar Cayce circa 1910

Edgar Cayce is considered by many to be the father of holistic medicine. This course will explore how Edgar Cayce intuitively diagnosed and healed, viewed dreams and intuition and show how his tradition continues today in the methods developed by the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies.

Sponsored by the Osher Life Lifelong Learning Institute, Univ. of Hawaii
Instructor:  Fran Kramer, Intuitive Heart™ Trainer, certified by the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies. (2011)

Dates: June 12, 19 and 26, 2014
Time: 10:30 AM to Noon
Place: Honolulu, Hawaii.  For specifics, inquire on registration.

To register call:

Rebecca Goodman, Director
Phone: (808) 956-8224
Email: rgoodman@Hawaii.edu

My Intuitive Heart™ Soul Reflection Experience

Heart Art

“If you wish to know someone’s heart, look into your own.” Heart Art by Henry Reed, Ph.D.

After doing the Inspired Heart Meditation and the short Memory Divination that followed this is what transpired for me in the Intuitive Heart Soul Reflection Experience which is explained in the previous post at http://wp.me/p45aiq-4J.

My Memory Which Surfaced:

I am in the dental chair in my dentist’s office. My dentist has just finished putting in two new inlays which has been part of a several-years-long effort to gradually replace my 45-year-old worn out gold and silver fillings with new fillings and inlays. It has been a long and drawn out, costly restorative work, but the end result is that all my teeth are now in excellent shape with fillings the exact color of my teeth, making my smile look beautiful and my dental health great. My dentist makes the comment, “Now that you have gotten through all this with good results and no major mishap, it is up to you to keep your teeth in good shape by cleaning them regularly.” I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for having gone through this long and arduous process. Also, I do get complimented on how great my teeth look—a real blessing at age 66 which few people even today can have or afford! I also realize the importance of what the dentist says about it being up to me to keep my teeth in great shape. The simple but important practices of brushing and flossing are things I need to do every day.

My Reflection on the Memory:

The memory reminded me of my long kundalini clearing process which began about seven years ago and was a real challenge to deal with at all levels, spiritual, psychological and physical, especially during the first several years. The last four years have been challenging at a values level: making choices that reflect the new “real me” despite the fact that I need to take bold risks, especially financial ones, to get where I want to go. Like my dental restoration process, it has been long and arduous but I am now starting to realize some of the kundalini lore benefits such as my good health getting even better while giving me a youthful appearance that belies my age. The major clearing away of the old has been done, as even my dreams have told me, but it is up to me to keep it all clean now: eat healthy food, think positive thoughts, make good choices, brush away any negativity, etc.

Lesson for Me:

Be grateful for the amazing blessing I have undergone. I should be more aware of the simple but important ways of keeping what the Buddhist call the “mirror” clean by brushing away negative thoughts. I need to keep my body healthy by avoiding as much as possible foods and substances that could be harmful or de-energizing. I need to make choices which reflect the integrity of who I am.

Hidden Question: How can I enjoy my life more comfortably, with less effort and more confidence?

My soul’s reflection on this question: By doing the simple daily “polishing of the mirror,” eating right and making what the Hawaiians’ call pono or right choices; I can enjoy life more because it will be easier to stay healthy and happy, without any kind of negativity dragging me down. Removing negativity at the get-go is a lot easier than dealing with it after it has grown from an idea or a bad choice to an embedded feeling or disease in the body. Feeling positive will also promote a greater sense of confidence in what I am doing and where I am going.

Try an Intuitive Heart™ Soul Reflection Experience

Heart Art

“If you wish to know someone’s heart, look into your own.” Heart Art by Henry Reed, Ph.D.

There are many exercises available to awaken intuitive abilities but this one is a favorite because it is so simple and so effective. Also, it surfaces an issue that really matters—one the participant may not even realize as a conscious issue before doing the exercise. Lastly, it facilitates a resolution or process for working with the issue that is line with the soul’s need. The exercise was developed by Henry Reed, Ph.D., Director of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies  and can be found at: http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/. The instructions are at http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/memory-divination-instructions.html which involve:

  1. Doing the 7 minute Inspired Heart Meditation followed by the Memory Divination Exercise. Both can be downloaded as one meditation in a free mp3 file at http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/ihmemdiv.mp3
  2. Processing the memory received according to the instructions. Basically, what does this memory remind you of in relation to something important in your life right now? How do you feel about this current concern? What are the challenges?
  3. Going to http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/selected-important-question.html to find a random question generated. Reflect on this question in light of your memory and the processing of it. What comes to light?

For a description of my experience doing this exercise, please see the sequel post at http://wp.me/p45aiq-4N.

Luke 12: Radical Intuitive Awareness as the Way through the Worries of the World

Field of Lilies (222275926)Perhaps one of the biggest challenges Jesus makes of his disciples and to us today is written in Luke 12: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.” There are very few of us who have never worried ourselves silly about any one of these things. To actually make the choice to NOT worry about these things, and be able to pull it off, requires a deep trust and a profound intuitive insight into the love that provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields as well as each of us.

Caught Up in Dualistic Thinking

Asking what gets in the way of being able to trust so deeply challenges us to dig deep to recognize our fears—fears that indicate our waking consciousness with its limited understanding is ruling the day. Waking consciousness is governed by the rational mind which sees only dualism: right and wrong, life and death, health and disease, strong and weak, rich and poor, insider and outsider. It is the outcome of the human condition, of eating of the Tree of Knowledge, knowing good and evil. We can be blinded by our fears, producing anxious greed, insecurity and endless striving for what we think will help us. If we do get what we want, we become like the rich man who thinks he is on top of the world with his riches that will last him for years, not knowing his riches will be worth nothing when his life is taken that night. Caught in this duality, we will always prefer and strive for one over the other, not recognizing there is another way of understanding the world.

Intuition as the Road to move beyond Dualistic Thinking that Traps Us in Worry

Intuition is the awareness of oneness, that we all part of the whole and, as a result are informed and supported by the whole. This awareness as expressed in relationship is love. The more we can rely on intuition, the greater the result. Edgar Cayce said in reading 792-2, “The more and more each is impelled by that which is intuitive, or the relying upon the soul force within, the greater, the farther, the deeper, the broader, the more constructive may be the result.” ‪ A developed intuition, one that has been tested and proven true, can trust that the Spirit will come to inform us in times of crises, and that our needs will be provided, freeing us to recognize the needs of others to be just as important as our own.‬

Jesus was well aware that his teachings which are based on the radical intuitive awareness that we are one with each other is not in accordance with the ways of the world. He said his words would pit mother against daughter and father and against son. And yet the radical intuitive awareness known as love is the way out of the limitations of dualistic thinking.

Senior Wisdom: Using Intuition to Master the Gray Areas

Senior Wisdom and Intuition

Senior Wisdom:
Mastering The Gray Areas

As people age and the odds of getting sick and out of sorts becomes greater, it becomes increasingly important to rely on intuition salted with good common sense and a lifetime of experience to get through confusing symptoms and bad days. The odd tingling here, the unexplained headache there—not to mention feeling downright irritable or depressed—can lead one’s imagination to run wild, prompting questions like, “Is my diabetes acting up, am I having a stroke?” These events can be serious but they also might be nothing but instigators for bewildering and frightening experiences—especially if they come on a bad day when a person is lonely, or otherwise not feeling “up to it.” More questions surface, “Should I call my doctor? Can I afford another medical expense?” A whole litany of concerns pop into the mind, compounding the problem by adding to any anxiety or depression already manifesting itself.

Naturally, if a person suspects or has reason to believe a serious issue is presenting itself, a visit to the doctor would be appropriate. However, where there is reasonable doubt, a lifetime of having to solve problems requiring responses where one doesn’t have all the answers can encourage the senior to rely on intuition, common sense and previous experience. A decision to call the doctor will then be based on deep insight coming from the body itself, and can really help the doctor treat the person accordingly.

Most of us have had little motivation to develop intuition

However, most likely, we have not developed intuition for a number of reasons. For one thing, it was almost never taught in school despite the fact that most scientific advances come as a result of intuitive insight. Also, perhaps in younger days there weren’t so many “gray areas,” especially concerning health. Chances are, when we were in the full bloom of youth and health, we only dealt with issues that have ready solutions, or had a medical problem for which the doctors were able to heal or at least adequately address. The chronic conditions were a lot fewer. If we broke a leg skiing; we got a cast on our leg. If we contracted a strep throat; we were given an antibiotic to fight it. Most of us didn’t “listen” to our bodies. We took our good health for granted and lived in blissful ignorance.

So aging seems to bring, along with the gray hair, more and more gray areas in life, especially health related issues, where there are no set solutions to matters of mind, body and spirit A little more than an apple a day is needed to address the problem of an arthritic knee, and no one person has all the answers. In some cases, there simply are no answers or cures. One must somehow forge one’s own path ahead to get light and definition in the gray areas. This can be done through intuition.

Never too late to Build Intuitive Skills

Intuition is something all of us are born with, but few of us make a point to work on as we would work on building our muscles or financial portfolio. Yet like our muscles and portfolios, it’s never too late to work on our intuitive abilities as long as we are mentally competent.

At first this effort to develop intuitive skills most likely will seem completely stupid, especially if one hasn’t tried it. After all, within is where all the problems are felt—between the pounding heart, the tightened stomach and splitting headache!

Where to Start

It helps beginners to read a few good books on intuition or maybe take a class in intuition. It takes a little guidance for most adults to go from the head to the heart, a journey described as one of the longest anyone can possibly make. Like every serious undertaking, a little groundwork and the learning of a few techniques are required. And being serious about it helps. You can’t just say a few “oms” and expect to feel better. For some seniors, reading the books and applying the self-help techniques to develop intuition are quite enough and could prove very beneficial. Others will become fascinated by what they learn, and realize they possess special intuitive gifts which they may want to develop through the help of a trainer. Most will certainly become more confident in making decisions regarding the “gray areas.” The discovery of these gifts could open up a new phase of life not only for self development but for helping others.

4 Suggestions to Be More Intuitive

Reflection Opens Us to Intutiion

Reflection Helps Open the Depths of Intuition
Image by Svornik

I need to recognize that with my waking mind alone I do not see, and will never see, the complete picture.  There will never be enough facts.  Life is entirely too complex to fully understand a person, an issue or an event.  That is why the Buddha said we are each like blind men touching one small part of the elephant.  What part of the elephant I feel is what gives me the definition of an elephant.  Maybe the guy touching the elephant’s side gets an idea of the huge size of the creature, but he has no clue to the column-like legs while the guy holding the tiny tail thinks the elephant is like a tiny snake. I need to ask if I am seeing the bigger picture.

    • I need to recognize when my waking mind is on overload, hopelessly yet valiantly trying to figure it all out.  A good indicator of an overworked mind is the constant replay of scenarios or endless chatter going on in the head which can totally absorb and suck me in. It’s time to bail out, and give the brain a rest!
    • I need to step back.  When I feeling I am getting sucked into this internal whirlpool I need to step back and try something else.  Taking a walk, just walking away from the problem or listening to music can really help give the mind a rest.  Ironically, effective and problem-solving intuitive insights often just “come” after I let the problem go and take a breather.
    • I can explore methods that work safely and quickly for me to not only get me beyond the pull of the internal mental whirlpool but also can provide desired insights that address the need of the moment.  I can act proactively to get the results I want and not just wait for them to come.  Asian religions and the Judeo-Christian mystical traditions have long explored ways to do this.  Nowadays, non-sectarian methods have been developed based on the findings of these religious traditions. Basically these methods involve:
    • Stating or write down the situation or concern needing a resolution.
    • Invoking higher or inner wisdom to provide an answer to the situation or concern at hand. This can be done either in prayer form to a deity or inner guide, or can be done with intention to learn from higher wisdom.
    • Stilling the mind by focusing on the breath or a still point.  There are many techniques out there to do this.  Try several and use the one that works for you.  A simple and very effective method was developed by Dr. Henry Reed, Ph.D., Director of the Edgar Cayce Institute of Intuitive Studies.  It is called The Inspired Heart Meditation and can be downloaded at: http://edgarcayce-intuitionschool.org/intuitiveheart/world/Inspired Heart Meditation.pdf.
  1. Relaxing the body.
  2. Allowing any sensations such as images, feelings, sounds, impressions, etc. to well up.  Look for the particularly subtle impressions.
  3. Observing these sensations.  No matter how bizarre or irrelevant they seem, there most likely is a connection to the problem at hand.
  4. Asking what these sensations have to do with the problem posed
  5. Observing the responses that come to mind.
  6. Reflecting on the associations that come to mind.
  7. Forming a conclusion.
  8. Lastly, but most importantly, acting on the new information received and the conclusion arrived at!

It is important to understand that this exercise is like any other; the more often it is done, the faster you can do it; and the easier and more effective it becomes.  Like riding a bike, in the beginning it may feel a bit awkward but eventually the person gets the “hang” of it.