Avoiding Jealousy like a Lion Leads to Empowerment

In the dream, I am being arrested. My sentence? Some kind of community service training thing – and then off to women’s prison. What worries me the most in the dream is not the conditions of the jail or losing opportunities in the outside world but the thought of what the newspapers will print of my arrest and how my family will react. What they end up doing when they find out is withhold affection from me and shun me.

When analyzing this dream, I remember dozens of times throughout my 20s & 30s when I was striving to get to a higher state of being and then I was STOPPED aggressively by people around me. In real life I’ve never been arrested by police for any reason but I have felt the metaphoric condition of “being arrested” when I tried to go for something I really wanted and was stopped in my tracks due to fear or embarrassment or any other range of negative emotion. In real life, when I tried to blow up the positive and do a lot of transformative work, I was shut down, shut up, and shut off by people closest to me. The dream is reminding me of those painful memories and the solution now in real life is to not let the memory of what stopped me in the past continue to affect my day-to-day present life.

I know for certain that many readers of this blog have experienced painful trauma, abuse, and control at the hands of people who flaunted false-authority over them. Whether the negative actions were coming from a spouse/partner, or a parent, sibling, employer or colleague, the actions were painful and stopped all positive progress. The reason people do these kinds of horrible things is primarily because of their own issues with jealousy. Jealousy is a horrendously negative emotion which makes a person fearful of losing a perceived position of power or authority. It is one of the hardest emotions to work with and often leads to conflict and contention in an environment. It’s nearly impossible to grow or change in an environment where jealousy is running rampant.

That’s how I know that the main negative emotion fueling the engine of the destructive behaviour from people who tried to arrest all my positive actions in the past is JEALOUSY.

The dream is basically telling me to blow up the positives, detach from all inclinations towards expecting connection or acknowledgement from people who aren’t capable of giving it, and move forward towards my goals unimpeded.

This is an important lesson for anyone who has been fired by jealous employers, divorced a jealous spouse or been mistreated by a jealous parent or family member. The key is to avoid the negative behaviour like it was a poisonous snake or a vicious lion. Avoid the behaviour and then move forward determined to have the goal achieved.

It truly works.

Dreams Bring Attention To Strengths

When dreams come with clarity, the purpose is either to bring the dreamer’s attention to something they are doing well and can continue repeating with a lot of confidence or to show the dreamer areas in their life where they can grow. Part of the biggest issue that everyone in the world is facing right now is that we have old & outdated ways of thinking & behaving which are not conducive to the growth and development of humanity. Why be concerned about the growth of humanity? Good question. It’s worth exploring. 🙂

When I first started interpreting dreams with a focus on Transformation, city streets were a positive symbol of progress, entrepreneurial endeavors, and connectedness.

Today I’m reflecting on anger. It’s one of the most powerful vehicles for change because there’s so much energy behind this emotion. When I feel anger then I know it’s an opportunity to open up tranquility & calm. In my childhood, I saw angry people around me regularly and it used to scare me but that’s because some people don’t know how to feel the emotion and process it to get to the positive opposite. What I’ve learned in the transformation work is that anger is a signal to be calm & tranquil because if we fall into the anger it makes us lose our minds. When I was a child and encountered someone who was angry I would suddenly feel so frightened that I couldn’t think straight and all I would want to do is hide. But it’s not like that anymore. I can see the anger, detach from the negative, embrace the passionate energy and stay calm and get curious.

Getting curious instead of furious is a fantastic way to dissolve anger.

Ask people why they are doing something. Or ask them how’s it working out for them and genuinely be open to the response. This approach helps build understanding & compassion. BE ALERT though because if you are in a relationship with a narcissist then this cooperative approach will never work. This approach is useful between partners who equally support & honour one another, who grow together through life’s challenges and nurture one another with compassion and respect.

Recovering Little By Little

Yesterday when I woke up at 11:30am my mind, body & soul felt rested. Finally! After the collision with the pole last January sleep evaded me more than ever before. I wanted to sleep and rest deeply but it was like reaching into the fog and trying to grasp it. Fog cannot be held in the hand and a deep restful sleep could not be had.

Immediately after the Ford Focus I was driving slid down a hill into a steel lamp post, every time I slept images of cars crashing clouded my mind. Cars crashing. Me tumbling to my death. My head getting smashed in or my body ripped apart. The dreams, haunting & horrible, continued nightly. Then I became aware of a troublesome tick in my leg – it would twitch when I was trying to sleep. As soon as I relaxed my body would flinch violently as though falling through the air or like a seizure. I’d shake aggressively out of my restless, nightmare-filled dreams with my heart racing, sweating. Dizzy from the shocking dream images I’d pull covers over my head and try to calm my mind & body with deep breathing and visualization. But the invisible injuries I was dealing with far exceeded my capacity to handle them with consistency. Sometimes I could calm myself and enjoy my day. Other times, the pain, shock, fear & trauma from the collision and the nightmares would saturate my day – making it nearly impossible to do much of anything besides lay on the couch, surrounded by cushions, pillows & blankets, watching endless episodes of Netflix specials and eating frozen food dinners which take 3-5 minutes to heat up.

On my best days, energy & enthusiasm would compel me out of my slumber. Thoughts & images would play out on the screen of my mind, giving me ideas & vision for what I wanted to do that day. But then, inevitably, the energy would drain from me, the brain fog would set in, and my ambitious plans would come to an abrupt halt, over & over again. This disappointing pattern repeated itself so regularly that I eventually stopped believing I could do anything I wanted to do. I stopped planning. I stopped making commitments. I stopped having any expectations for myself or my day or my life. Unfortunately, this frustrated, hurt or disappointed a lot of people who were counting on me for one thing or another but I had no control over what was happening and the only choice was to surrender.

Last night, in my dream, I was on a train, going somewhere I wanted to go. The details are not all clear to me but the sensation of movement propelled me forward in the dream and now that I am awake and writing I can still feel that sweet beautiful energy of progress. As I write, I’m tapping into that energy so that I can have flow; so that I can finish what I started.

Sometimes I wonder: what was worse? … The actual 2 minutes of the sliding & colliding with the unforgiving pole? Or the hundreds of thousands of minutes which followed … moments of reliving the event, or suffering the physical, emotional & mental trauma from the accident. Having a vision to do something and then not being able to do it made me feel … so powerless. I was alive, yes, but my spirit felt dead.

Yesterday though, yesterday was a beautiful day. Waking up with energy, clarity & focus felt amazing. I moved through my morning routine with grace & ease. I cooked. I cleaned. I worked out. I connected with friends. I took care of the pets. I rested. I ate well. I felt calm & peaceful. Now today the sensation continues. Calm, strong & grateful – I move forward into the day with an open heart, energized mind, and strong body. Ready to follow through with many tasks which have been waiting for me.

I’m getting there! Little by little, day by day, I’m getting there!

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Trauma, Self-Destruction and….dreamwork for prisoners

For the past three years, I’ve been receiving dreams from men who are incarcerated in one of the largest correctional centers in Ontario, Canada. When they first send their dreams, I don’t ask what charges are held against them, nor do I ask how long they’ve been in jail, or how much longer they expect to be in jail. Instead, I just listen to what they want to tell me about their dreams. Sometimes they voluntarily share their charges, sometimes they don’t and both ways are fine. The reason I don’t ask about this directly is because I believe that True Justice is about seeing through one’s own eyes, and not through the eyes of others. I want to hear the dream and talk to the person and connect without judgement. Most times when others here of the work I do, one of their first questions to me is, “What was the guy charged with?” and my answer is usually, “I don’t know. I didn’t ask.” The work is about transformation not about assessing guilt or innocence. It’s not about focusing on the mistakes but about blowing up the positives.

One of the biggest problems in our culture today is that people tend to not want to see Truth for themselves and they tend to want others to do the work for them, such as leaving the decision to the courts. The reason this approach doesn’t always work is that there is always more to the story than what the courts can hear; moreover, the justice system as we know it today is an archaic & antiquated system which has not yet adapted to modern scientific knowledge about the brain, or new discoveries about how childhood trauma affects someone’s psychological make up in adulthood, or about how positive community environments can curb criminal-tendencies replacing them with unity-building capacities for well-being and achievement. As frustrating as the large-scale problem of the so-called “justice system” is, the solution is quite simple and easily achievable. To solve this problem, the key is to learn how to see through one’s own eyes and not through the eyes of others. The reason this is so very, very difficult at times is because it requires having the ability to recognize the Negative Truth about a situation and having the skills to know what to do with that knowledge.

What is Negative Truth? Negative Truth is what we see when we are looking at a situation and we realize something which is negative. Sometimes we so vehemently want to believe something is the way we want it to be but then we see it is not that way and in fact may even be the opposite of what we want, and in that case we must submit to the Negative Truth about a situation in order to deal with what is real, instead of engaging with an illusion. I’ll give you an example of what I mean so it is more clear.

In summer of 2013, I re-located from Fort McMurray, Alberta to London, Ontario when I accepted a teaching position at a private school. I accepted a lower-than usual salary in exchange for my daughter attending the school free of charge and this was a suitable arrangement for me. I’m breaking custom here to speak about my salary publicly but I am doing so in order to make a point. Not only did I accept a minimum salary for a teaching position, I also gave up a lot. At the time I was teaching830410_10152608938305595_760791799_o English as a Second Language at a college, plus I was publishing articles weekly in the daily newspaper, with my articles also publishing online. My career was exactly where I wanted it to be. Getting paid well to teach, getting paid well as a journalist, what could be better? The answer to that came when my daughter was offered a position at a private school and I was willing to give up my career path in order to adjust our lives to accommodate her education. I let go of my beautiful two-bedroom apartment, which I loved. I detached from a community-building initiative which I loved. I left my car. I left every item clothing and everything I owned and I accepted the teaching position and my daughter started school. Because I had given up so much for this new path in our lives, I had a lot of expectation about the good that would come out of it. I envisioned her attending this school from Grade Four to Grade 12. I envisioned teaching at the school for a decade and enjoying the benefits of working in the field I had studied and earned a degree in. I envisioned becoming an active and contributing member of our new community, sharing my talents, skills and enthusiasm with the school and nearby neighbourhoods. Little did I know that the vision I held in my mind was an illusion and it could never materialize. I thought I was re-creating the success I’d experienced in the city I’d been living before but I was wrong. 858902_10152608938905595_1160308277_o

Within months of my relocation across the country, whispers began spreading around the school that it was closing. The school closing would mean not only would I lose my job, but also that my daughter would lose the educational path her father and I had chosen for her. Before we even had time to unpack our belongings, we were already having to face the Negative Truth that moving had been a mistake and we had to find somewhere else to go. My own personal Negative Truth was that in fall of 2013, I had only been separated from my marriage for three years and had not yet rebuilt after that financial disaster. I didn’t use credit cards. Didn’t have a savings. Didn’t have a car. Didn’t own a home. And the only clothing I owned was what I had packed into a suitcase when I had left for vacation in the summer. I had packed a suitcase planning to visit friends in Ontario for a month but while I was visiting I was offered a job, which I accepted and then stayed in the city to begin settling in. That’s why when the school started to close in fall & winter of 2014 I was in such a terribly devastating position. Eventually I found new work, settled my daughter in a new school, and made the best of our new situation. But that experience taught me a very powerful life lesson about seeing the Negative Truth. Sometimes people will paint a picture with their words and give you a vision of what you can go for but then in reality that vision is unattainable and will never be achieved. I had a vision of teaching for a decade and providing my daughter with a quality private school education. But the Negative Truth is that there were hints that the school was closing even before we arrived and I had to face the fact, sooner than later, that the vision I had was just an illusion. In truth, I may have made a huge mistake when I left my teaching and journalism work in Alberta. But we can’t turn back the clock. We can’t take back something once it’s done. We have to just learn the lesson and move forward with what we’ve learned.

Even though this example of my story is not related to a “crime” per say I can still understand and have compassion for people who make choices which leads them on a path of self-destruction. I have done the same thing.

When I take calls from inmates & listen to their stories, I remember that we are all equal here on this earth. No human being is valued higher or lower than any other. We are all equal. And when I keep this in mind, I find the learning truly goes both ways & I am so grateful for this experience.

Bear Dreams: Living in Your Empowerment

On July 23, 2018 I dreamed I was in a house which was being invaded by bears the size of Sasquatch. Someone told me to not worry they know what they are doing, and they had some sort of trick to get them out, but it seemed to me the bears were going to attack. I felt so small. The presenting feeling was being over-powered – standing close to the bear and it looking down on me. But when I saw it that close it looked like a person in a bear costume who stood about 7 feet tall.

Author Richard Hastings says empowerment is the ability to be able to finish what you set out to achieve by doing what it takes to get where you are going.   It means that you are using your power, your strength, your skills to get to the positive end.   You need strength and skills because any goal worth achieving puts up a lot of obstacles that makes it challenging to get to.    Bears, especially in northern climates, represent empowerment because they are big, powerful creatures who go unchallenged.

In this dream, someone is trying to dominate me with a show of false power or strength. They are just human but dressed up as a threatening bear. This is a metaphor for the way some people get so addicted to power they let their ego take over. Then there is very little left of their True Self as they are covering it up as though by a costume.

In my real life, when I had this dream there were a number of people in my life who were acting like the big bears in this dream – trying to invade my life, my home, my sense of Peace. At times, I felt as though I did not have what it takes to withstand the aggression but then, just like in the dream, I discovered strategies to remain Peaceful and Determined despite the negative behaviours people were demonstrating around me. I learned to avoid the conflict, which Buddha describes as The Middle Way, and I learned to detach. It was not easy and it didn’t happen over night but dreams like this were helpful reminders to stay the course, learn as I go, and not to feel threatened by people who were putting on a false show of strength out of their own sense of fear and insecurities.

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