Dreams Articles

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder: Do You Have an Abnormal Sleep Pattern?

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Circadian Rhythm Sleep DisorderI was always bad at sleeping. My mom still talks of nightmarish times trying to get me to sleep as a baby and toddler. As a child, I kept a flashlight and a book on my nightstand so I could stay up after lights-out to read. As I grew, this trend continued.

I’m never tired at a “normal” bedtime. In fact, late nights are when I do some of my best writing. I am, however, exhausted in the morning.

I spent years trying to fit the mold, and always just figured I was a night owl until I finally heard about circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Your Dreams Are Your Own and Bring Both Warnings and Gifts

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Woman Dreaming

“Letting go of the past means that you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”

- Don Miguel Ruiz

I grew up on a small cattle farm in the very small farming town of Savannah, Missouri with my grandfather and great grandparents.

My great grandmother used to sit outside on the back porch and string green beans or peel apples when the weather was mild, a worn dish towel over her knee and an ancient paring knife moving with practiced ease. As a very small child I would often sit with her, watching, and sometimes we would talk.

One evening we shared a conversation that would come to influence me for the rest of my life, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Alive in My Dreams: Grieving During Sleep

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons/Devin SmithI dreamt I was walking out of a bar because I didn’t know anyone there and everyone appeared to be leaving. Outside I saw my friend Don speaking to someone. From the steps of the bar I dove into his arms and hugged him. He hugged me back and laughed. It sounded like him. It felt like him.

He turned to leave, and I took his hand. It felt like his hand. The sky was pink and purple like the sun was setting somewhere behind us. I said, “Wait, I have to tell you something before I wake up. I love you.”

“It’s so embarrassing,” he told me, like he didn’t want to talk about his suicide.

4 Ways Dreams Can Help You

Friday, July 4th, 2014

4 Ways Dreams Can Help YouI tend to have bizarre dreams. Perhaps they feature sporadic compilations of the day, current happenings, abstract symbols or completely random montages. But sometimes, my dreams assist me; my land of nod attempts to tie up a few loose ends from waking life.

If you look closely enough, dreams could serve as a portal to resolution.

Here are four ways dreams can help:

The Mysteries of Sleep Explained

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

The Mysteries of Sleep ExplainedWe know we need it. If we don’t get it, we’re cranky, have trouble concentrating, tend to overeat and are more likely to make mistakes.  Yet, with the crush of demanding schedules, bad habits, or sleep disturbances, we don’t always get enough.

So what is happening during those precious hours when we’re asleep?  Is it really a time of restoration for our brains?  And is it possible that it’s more than that?

What happens in our brains while we’re asleep is a question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer.

Fresh Perspectives from Shambhala

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Fresh Perspectives from ShambhalaOne of my treasured books from favorite author Linda Schierse Leonard, “The Wounded Woman,” had the most beautiful, sacred, royal-looking design on a deep purple cardstock page insert, simply announcing the name of the publishing company, Shambhala.  That card, alone, I remember, was as fascinating to me as the book’s title and the mysterious, wise teachings of Carl Jung, brought to life by the woman author devoted to sharing archetypal insights.  (“The Call to Create” and “Creativity & the Veil of Addiction” are just two others Schierse-Leonard penned.)

Back in the ‘80s — before the age of websites — I filled out the card and sent it in to receive their catalog of books and see what else they had up their sleeve.  Over the years, it seemed I’d only sporadically receive a brochure (as fits and starts to publishing houses’ marketing efforts came into the digital age). 

Having the same effect as the cardstock insert, though, as soon as the first one arrived some 20-plus years ago, I was captivated anew.

Connecting to Your Intuition to Enhance Your Life

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Connecting to Your Intuition to Enhance Your LifeEveryone has intuition, a “wise inner guiding system,” according to Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed., an international expert on intuition, and author of six books on the topic, including her latest book Divine Intuition: Your Inner Guide to Purpose, Peace and Prosperity.

And everyone can develop their intuition and use it to navigate their daily lives, make fulfilling decisions and discover and realize their dreams.

That’s because “when we pay attention to our intuition, it points us in the right direction.” Intuition “provides an additional level of information that does not come from the analytical, logical, and rational side of the brain,” Robinson writes in Divine Intuition. She describes intuition as “a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations.”

Intuition can take many forms. According to Robinson, it might be an image, feeling or physical sensation, like goose bumps. Or it might arrive in a dream. Also, “Some people say they just know the answer.”

Don’t Ask Me What I Do, Instead Ask Me Who I Am

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Don't Ask Me What I Do, Instead Ask Me Who I AmI carry a few different business cards in my purse. Because I never know what conversation I will have with a stranger at any given time.

A month ago I fetched cream for my coffee at a café in South Bend, Indiana. Naturally my family didn’t know a soul in the joint. However, by the time I returned to my table, I knew some incredibly intimate (not to mention interesting) details about the daughter of the man next to me who was reaching for a napkin: his daughter is bipolar; she was anorexic as a teenage ballerina; and she’s on some of the same meds as I am.

I ended up giving him a business card with everything but my email scratched out.

I didn’t want to have the conversation of what I do for living.

It doesn’t have anything to do with who I am.

And that’s why I get so annoyed that we have to start all of our conversations with that question.

3 Myths about Vulnerability

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

3 Myths about VulnerabilityVulnerability is scary. But it’s also a powerful and authentic way to live. According to author Brené Brown, Ph.D, LMSW, in her latest book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.”

She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” Think about the vulnerability it takes to love someone – whether it’s your parents, siblings, spouse or close friends. Love is filled with uncertainties and risks. As Brown notes, the person you love might or might not love you back. They might be in your life for a long time or they might not. They might be terrifically loyal or they might stab you in the back.

Think about the vulnerability it takes to share your ideas with the world, not knowing how your work will be perceived. You might be appreciated, laughed at or downright skewered.

Vulnerability is hard. But what can make it even harder — needlessly so — are the inaccurate assumptions we hold about it.

Brown shatters the following three myths in Daring Greatly.

Talent Isn’t Everything: Persistence Is

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Talent Isnt Everything: Persistence IsWhenever I see a cocky musical sensation laugh hysterically at the performance or audition of a desperate wanna-be pop singer on “American Idol” or any of its tacky knockoffs, I want to take the mic cord and wrap it around the celeb’s body like 235 times because I know what it feels like to be that girl going after a dream that seems to get farther away with each piece of painful feedback.

“Success is 99 percent perspiration and one percent talent,” my business-savvy father told me back when I was unloading Thin Mints as a Brownie Girl Scout. “The only thing that separates the winners from the losers is perseverance.”

Dr. Seuss was rejected 43 times before his first story was published; a skinny 5’11″ Michael Jordan was cut from his varsity basketball team; Colonel Sanders drove from restaurant to restaurant with his pressure cooker and famous recipe of 11 herbs and spices before he made history with KFC; and didn’t some opinioned jerk tell Katie Couric in her early days that she didn’t have a face for TV?

Uncovering Your Dreams: 12 Universal Themes

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Have you ever been chased by someone in your dreams? Been naked in public? Flown like a bird around a city? Or just felt utterly lost in a maze-like building?

Psychologist and dream researcher Patricia Garfield asserts that these examples are part of 12 basic dreams that all of us dream, regardless of who we are, what we do or where we live.

These “universal dreams,” as Garfield calls them, are far from a dream dictionary packed with generic terms from A to Z. On her website, Garfield writes: “Like a hearty stew that is rich with local produce, the universal dreams differ among different peoples, but they are all nourishing variants of the same wholesome meal. They are as old as humanity and as widespread as our globe. Possibly further.”

In her book The Universal Dream Key: The 12 Most Common Dream Themes Around the World, Garfield explains that dreams differ based on four factors.

3 Fascinating Facts About Dreams

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

3 Fascinating Facts About Dreams“The biggest myth about dreams is that they are frivolous manifestations reflecting basic occurrences of our daily experiences,” said Chicago psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber.

But dreams are actually an important part of self-discovery. (More on that later.) Below are a few fascinating facts and findings about dreams.

1. People with disabilities dream as though they don’t have them.

The following is an excerpt from a person who participated in a dream study:

“I was supposed to and wanted to sing in the choir. I see a stage on which some singers, male and female, are standing… I am asked if I want to sing with them. ‘Me?’ I ask, ‘I don’t know if I am good enough.’ And already I am standing on the stage with the choir. In the front row, I see my mother, she is smiling at me… It is a nice feeling to be on stage and able to chant.”

What’s particularly curious about this dream is that the dreamer was born deaf and doesn’t speak. Recently, two studies published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition have found that people with disabilities still dream as though their impairments don’t exist.

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