Category Archives: Creating A New Life

16 Principles of Dreamwork/Changework with Jail Metaphors

A prisoner shared a dream about being in a house looking for his wife and he found her in a bedroom sleeping with another man. This dream brings to mind some key principles of the Dreamwork/Changework process.

  1. A house in a dream is a metaphor for the Self.
  2. Human beings have a Higher part of themselves and a lower part, characterized by positive virtues & qualities which uplift themselves and others or negative fears & behaviours which hurt themselves or others.
  3. Dreams reveal unconscious fears which are controlling the individual.
  4. If fears have been allowed to unconsciously develop for the lifetime of an individual then they may become imprisoned within their own “lower self.”
  5. When an individual is imprisoned within their own lower nature (caged in with fears, anxieties, jealousies, rages, etc) they may be hurting themselves and/or others often.
  6. Individuals imprisoned in their own fears can be living inside of a jail OR living in their own house. All human beings everywhere deal with this fundamental truth of human experience.
  7. When someone identifies their unconscious issues (fears & anxieties for example) and learns new skills they can cut themselves free from the fear and then live more fully in their Positive Self.
  8. When someone identifies their anxieties and learns to repeat their gifts & talents more regularly they free themselves from the images which box them in and they can live in their Positive Self more fully.
  9. When someone in jail dreams of a house and the dream is positive then the dream is giving a message about how the prisoner can move forward practicing their strengths to face what is happening in their lives and to change things for the better.
  10. When someone in jail dreams of a house and the dream is negative then the dream is giving a message about how the prisoner can let go of the old and flip the negatives to positives.
  11. When someone who has never gone to jail dreams of being in jail it means they need to get the message that they are imprisoning themselves in negative memories, thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They need to do some serious work to break free from the negative past.
  12. The positive parts of dreams reveal positive qualities, traits, skills & talents in the dreamer. These positive qualities can be used to solve the negatives.
  13. Whenever a dream comes with a lot of fear or negatives in it, like what some people might call nightmares, the solution is to become friends with the fear, notice it, become aware of it, embrace it.
  14. When we can embrace our deepest fears and use our strongest qualities to face the fears then, in time, with daily practice, the fear can be nearly entirely eliminated.
  15. The inner transformation always happens in the pattern – There are inherited, learned and innate qualities and they develop in order (described in section ??)
  16. When an individual is growing new skills & capacities, healing from past trauma, and moving forward towards their goals, ambitions, and bright future the process affects them first, then their family, then their community.

COMING SOON: A New Dreamwork Book “Dreams From the Box ~ Exploring Transformation With Jail Metaphors”

To support this on-going initiative with inmates please contact

Dreams From The Box ~ How a Dream About Being Helpful Transformed a Prisoner and his Range

DREAMS FROM THE BOX – Update – The four prisoners who are sending dreams for the book were on the same range. One of them had a dream about helping others and I encouraged him to keep developing this quality even in jail. Then he understood the message of the dream and with a lot of enthusiasm he said to the others, “Hey guys! We can make this range different! It doesn’t have to be like the other ones. We can be safe here in this one. We can help each other. We get to choose how we want it to be!” And he did lots of things to help others. They agreed and for a time they were living in a feeling of safety which none of them had experienced on the other ranges.

He said to me, “my personality is that I like helping other people so I just keep helping and the guys are getting it. They get it. And this place is different now.”

Then a new guy was transferred to the range and he was only remembering the old way that things are in jail on the other ranges, so when he saw this range was different he wasn’t willing to change. Then he and two other guys ganged up on the dreamer who was envisioning a positive future for this range. They beat him so bad he had to be removed from the range and is in segregation with ice packs and medication.

When I talked to him next I was afraid maybe he would have become hostile and disappointed but my fears weren’t justified.

He said to me, “When I got here in segregation I just thought to myself, ‘well, there must be something for me to learn here. Maybe I’ll see something out the window here that I couldn’t see from the other range or maybe there’s a guard or nurse here who I need to help. I can just think of it as a vacation from the non-sense in jail.”

He’s in a smaller cell now, and he is only allowed out EVERY OTHER DAY for 20 minutes to go to the yard and to have a shower and then back to segregation. Kind-hearted guards who see he doesn’t belong there and feel bad for him are sending books under the door for him to read, one of them is a Bible-study type book. His food is delivered to the door three times a day. He can use the phone for 20 minutes 3 times a day to call out. No TV. No radio. Nothing.

He told me, “There’s no reason that the guy would have come after me except that I am a nice guy and I was trying to create a new environment on that range so that no one had to fight anyone. He didn’t like that and he’s a 6 foot black guy whose used his muscles to get his own way in here so it’s all he knows. I’m not angry. I don’t blame him. I get it.”

It seems the guards saw the attack and have removed the threats from the range but our dreamer friend, who is First Nations & black mix, doesn’t know if he’ll be sent back to that old range or another one. But now he knows that where ever he is he can be helpful and that changes everything for the better even on the inside of a prison.

He’s excited about the dreamwork book which is nearly ready for publishing now. Three of this guy’s dreams are featured in the book. What an amazing story he has to tell and he’s excited about sharing it!

Why the Future World is So Unrecognizable to Us

Published March 23, 2013 Change work , emotions , encouragement , reflections ,transformation , virtues 1 CommentTags: futurevision
O Thou our Provider! Send down Thine aid, that each one gathered here may become a lighted candle, each one a centre of attraction, each one a summoner to Thy heavenly realms, till at last we make this nether world the mirror image of Thy Paradise.       Abdu’l Baha

The future world is very difficult for most of us to imagine because of some of the structures and ways of being in the current world.   For instance, the leadership in the present day society is largely seen vertically. There are a few people at the top who usually act out of self-interest and power and then there is a whole culture trying to climb vertically.   There is a small percentage of people who have an abundance of the resources and then everyone else trying to be like them and worshiping them.     When we are striving to advance to the top or fighting against the top,   we fail to see and participate in the way the future is going to be.     The easiest way to begin glimpsing the world of the future is to look at things around you right now, then think of a world that is exactly the opposite.

A vertical way of operating in the world which the few at the very top love to perpetuate is gradually crumbling.   What is going to replace it is world that is much more horizontal.   Just how that will look is hard to say, but if you add the word shared into things like leadership and ownership and resources,   you can begin to see a new world.   It sends shivers up the spine of the very top, but it is a much happier place for the rank and file and I would guess for the people at the top as well. When you are a leader of a group, if you do something like have a shared agenda rather than one that you dictate, it is amazing the change you can create by that simple act.

The key to living in the future world right now is to stay out of the struggle with those who want to keep things as they are because as long as you are in a fight, you remain tense and are thrown out of the joy and wonder of the new world.     It is better to believe that the new world is already here and it is already functioning.   We just have to find it, be in it, and help it to expand. For instance, the future world is about creativity. When you practice the virtue of creativity and then surround yourself with others who have this virtue, everything changes all the time.   Everything becomes new and fresh.     I think that maybe the most positive aspect of the future is closeness.   When we have unity, it seems as though anything is possible.   So if we are going to live in the new world right now, we need to live in unity with others.

My problem, ever since I first went into the U.S. military, has been that I am in a wrestling match with tradition and authority so that I can bring them into the future with me.   What is finally dawning on me is that the traditional practices that sustain exclusion and favoritism do not want to go into the future.   They get their life blood from being in the past and keeping things the way they are.   When I fight with them to bring them into the future, I always lose.   It is 100% guaranteed.     So the answer to tradition that excludes others is to let it be.   It is hard for me to do. I guess it is because I am a Taurus.

When I let exclusion be, what happens is that opportunities for inclusion open up all around me.   So this is it. The final day of my transformation program is about letting the old world be and finding opportunities at every moment to live in the new world.

Here are the transformation questions.  What virtue do I want the future to have? How can I start acting with that virtue right now? What part of the past traditional practices can I let go of?


Richard Hastings has created an innovative and transformative approach to dreamwork with a fundamental difference than most other self-help methods out there. Dreamwork & Changework is about transforming the negatives, not just “getting rid of them.” The 19-Day Transformation program is a step-by-step guide to recognizing the biggest challenges in your life and flipping the negatives to positives. You can read more about The 19-Day Transformation Program or purchase by clicking on this link.

How to Apply a Metaphor to Your Real Life With Positive Results

The key to changing is being able to understand the biggest mess in your life, identifying the origin and bringing in a new positive quality to solve the challenge. There is a positive solution to every single problem which can be created in this beautiful world of ours. Whenever a challenge shows up there is always a quality or characteristic within you that can solve the challenge. Always. You can count on it.

The work comes in when its time to look at some things which are negative and being able to have a lot of Patience and Peacefulness about it. Knowing that the outcome will be positive sometimes helps to replace any anxieties with these more calming qualities.

Here is a step-by-step approach to working with a metaphor. Ask your Self:

  1. What is the biggest mess/challenge in my life right now?
  2. When did it start? When is the first time I remember a mess like this happening?
  3. What quality or virtue can help me solve this? Do I need Patience? Justice? Courage? Enthusiasm.

The answers to these questions are the starting point to launching your new life and solving every challenge you face.

Happy Solving!

Dream: Floating in the Clouds


I am swinging on swings and the swing detaches so that I am flung high
into the air. I was filled with excitement as I rose higher and higher
into the clouds. Then I get to a certain point and am able to just
float. I spin around and drift, filled with awe and joy. I was so
happy to be able to do this.

I thought about others and thought it
seemed I was doing something no one else could do and I felt grateful
for the gift for me to be able to do this. I wanted to tell others
about it but thought no one would understand but that I will enjoy
this experience anyways. Then I would float back down and then go back
up again.. It happened several times and when I went high like that I
was released from all fears, all worries, everything. It was just
bliss and joy.
Then later I was talking with my sister. She told me that there was a
weather abnomility reported that day that showed a gust of wind and
air pressure that was in the park where I was in. I said, yes, I felt
that. It lifted me up and I explained what I had experienced and then
I thought she would believe me.

But she didn’t. She looked at me with a condescending expression conveying, “what are you talking about?”

I said, “Oh nevermind.” My sister, like my Mom & Dad, only have a high school education and sometimes complex though paradigms seem to confuse them.

Regardless. For me, I liked knowing that there was a scientific explanation for what I experienced.
14681699_10157746974450595_8501161778339029874_nThe beauty and wonder of the skies when I was up there was amazing.
The blue was the most beautiful blue and the clouds fluffy and soft. I
felt protected and safe by the air. The temperature was perfect. I felt like God was with me, smiling at me, giving me this great experience. I was surrounded in a hug from the air. I was filled with awe & wonderment!

( I wonder: What is air energy? Breath? What do Natives say about air? This dream had a big impact on me when I woke up and it has put back in the fore-front of my mind the sacred nature of life and living and has filled me with a renewed energy and passion for my work.) (April 2011)