You may find yourself in a fairy tale – a completely false life. You may not even notice it. You may be asleep to it. Like the story of Sleeping Beauty, the first step is to awaken.
Often when you first awaken, you will encounter your obstacles. You’ll feel the pain, shame or sadness that set you to sleep in the first place.
When you seek greater success and abundance in your life, strong, loving relationships, meaningful work and fulfilling right livelihood, you will hit up against your false story. The one that stops you. It will stop you from a greater expression and expansion of yourself, and of your true story.
That false story resides in your subconscious mind as a subconscious construct or blueprint with corresponding beliefs, thoughts and feelings, decisions and choices attached to it. It feels true, but none the less is not. It may be time to let go of the past; to make a new blueprint that supports your new visions and dreams, and the abundance you desire.
Please visit my coaching page to learn more about my program on transforming your story.
Once upon a time…
In a galaxy far, far away…
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
The structure of the story is the structure of consciousness itself. We all tell stories all the time. We can’t not tell stories”
— Mike Daisy
Our lives are a story.
Our brains are wired to recognize story from day one. Stories are an integral part of our life from birth. As children we learned fairy tales, fables, family stories, songs, and poems. We communicate to ourselves and each other through story. Narrative is woven into everything.
It’s important to examine your story, to shine a light upon the old narrative and see what is really true.
You may not be able to control what happens to you, especially in childhood. As infants and children you are imprinted and influenced by others in your life, both in positive and negative ways.
But your story is continually unfolding – alive, vibrant and responsive to you.
You can rewrite the parts of your story that began long ago and just carried forward, but no longer represent your life today or reflect who are now.
Please visit my coaching page to learn more about my program on transforming your story.
Your subconscious mind cannot make decisions, but it can take direction.
Tips for using affirmations:
Here are some tips to remember when working with your subconscious:
When you want to program something by using affirmations, it is important how you talk to your subconscious. It knows when you are telling a lie.
If you say to your subconscious, I am healthy, as your way of affirming health, your subconscious will look at your current level of health and say, OK, if you call this health, we will maintain this level for you. If you say, I am becoming healthier every day, it gives the subconscious a process to work with.
If there is data in the subconscious that contradicts the affirmation you are using, the subconscious will bring that forward for you to clear. It is important to acknowledge your resistance rather than be afraid of it. Once the resistance is cleared, the affirmation becomes more powerful.
Another way to put the affirmation: I am willing to receive more and more good health and vitality into my life every day. You will become more willing and more able to receive good health. Here’s another example of a good way to talk to your subconscious: I am healthy enough – and becoming more healthy.
Three is a magic number to the subconscious. It will pay attention when you do or say something three times. It will begin to form a pattern. This is known in advertising as the “power of three.”
Your subconscious cannot make decisions. Decisions are always made on a conscious level. Your subconscious must follow it’s programming, regardless if it is positive or negative. If the programming is that you should always finish everything on your plate, it will always give you the message to clean off your plate until you change that message.
When you are working on a problem, or want to find the answer to something, try incubating it. Imagine an incubation chamber, locker, or cupboard and place the problem in there. Some people need to sleep on it, others will receive the solution when they are busy with something else. If nothing comes in three days go back to the incubation chamber and open it up. Spend some time with the issue and try again.
When you want to create something, use your imagination consciously. It doesn’t matter if you do not see an actual picture. You can sense it. When it comes to visualization, some people are seers and some are sensors. For example: you have a sore shoulder. You imagine a warm towel placed on it. The subconscious responds by dilating the blood vessels in that area to promote healing. What you imagine doesn’t have to be literal or accurate. Your subconscious mind understands your intention.
Your subconscious is a significant part of your mind. You can use it to help yourself create your own positive reality. Over time, you can become proficient at working with your subconscious mind. Once you understand how to talk to your subconscious, your affirmations will be effective and authentic.
Visualization is a potent tool to reach your subconscious mind.
Working With the Subconscious
With effort, you can learn to go directly into the subconscious when you want to change, heal or create something. I have found guided visualization to be a potent tool to get into the subconscious. The subconscious mind loves images and responds well to them. Image combined with feeling – even more powerful.
Image + Feeling + Repetition = Clear Result
You can do a guided visualization for yourself, by reading into a tape recorder and then playing it back. Or maybe you can get a friend to read it to you.
As you prepare to start any kind of meditative work it is important to find a comfortable position to sit or lie down – to have a comfortable, safe space. If you have your own special way of relaxing, go ahead and do that. Or you can take three deep breaths, stretch, then relax. Set your goal of what you want to work on in your subconscious and then begin the visualization.
Your Subconscious Mind
Imagine your subconscious as a maze-like structure such as a big library, maze, warehouse or high tech lab. These particular images will allow you to more solidly connect with your subconscious.
Create a guide to help you navigate the vast, subterranean territory of the subconscious mind – a librarian, warehouse manager, lab tech, who knows everything about your subconscious and can guide you where you want to go. Every time you enter your subconscious, call your guide first, then tell them what you want to do or where you want to go.
Imagine going down into the library. Perhaps an elevator or stairs or manhole where you exit and there is the vista of your place. You go to the door of the library and step inside. There your guide meets you. If it’s a library, in the main room you’ll see rows of shelves with books that contain information. (I will use the library image for description purposes here but change the images according to what you’ve decided yours looks like.)
Your subconscious is a busy place. You may see workers shelving and sorting books. Off the main room are doors that lead to other areas of the building. There are maze-like hallways that have many rooms off them. Some hallways lead to stairs that go to other floors with more hallways and rooms.
To begin to familiarize yourself with your subconscious, you may want to start with a personal work station or a room where you can go and sit to visualize your goal.
There are many areas of the subconscious that you may want to explore over time. You can ask your guide to take you to the room of beliefs. There you can find the book of beliefs that holds all your beliefs. You can change a limiting belief into an expansive or healing belief.
If you are dealing with a health issue you can ask your guide to take you to the chamber of healing, where you can do some healing work. There, you may meet a healer or see a table with potions or medicines.
The forbidden zone is a place where you put all the things you do not ever want changed or accessed. As a child you hid painful experiences, traumas you never wanted to revisit, and decisions you made to help you survive. It’s painful, but you can be taken there by your guide to revisit those things. You can review old contracts stored in the forbidden zone and change or destroy them. You can plant a garden and seed it with new hopes, dreams and visions and let your subconscious work at manifesting them.
Once you have solidly connected to the subconscious, you can create a signal as a short cut to get there faster. Tap your wrist three times or say a secret word and you find yourself at the door to the library, warehouse or lab with your guide there to greet you. Remember that it’s your subconscious. You can discover all kinds of places in the subconscious that work for you.
When doing a self-guided visualization you can end it by counting from one to five and bring your attention back to your body and the room. Take a deep breath and reorient yourself. It is fun to be able to go in and out of the subconscious at will and work with it as an ally.
When you take the time to solidly connect with your subconscious mind via a visualization like this, you begin the amazing process of taking ownership of this important and powerful part of your mind.
If you would like a hypno-recording that you can use time and time again or a personal session together to get you started, go to my contact page.
Your subconscious holds all the information about you – your self image, your world view, your beliefs, and attitudes.
It is a good idea to every so often go into the subconscious and clean out some of the old programs that are running that no longer work or serve your higher good. Like cleaning out a closet that is stuffed with old worn things.
There are many facets to the subconscious. Rooms if you like and chambers, and areas of the subconscious where information is stored.
Here are some examples:
The room of beliefs.
The chamber of healing.
The forbidden zone.
The incubation chamber.
The room of expertise.
The control center for the body.
The information warehouse.
The room of self-image.
The door to the past, the corridor of time, the river of time.
The hallways of future-think.
What do you believe?
A belief is a firmly held conviction you have accepted as true. You could go as far as to say that a belief is a personal rule you have decided you must abide by.
Your beliefs actively exist in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious works to consistently maintain your beliefs. It refers every piece of new data to existing beliefs and does it in less than a nanosecond. Accept or reject. The subconscious rejects what doesn’t fit with your belief system. But once the subconscious accepts an idea, it begins to execute it immediately. Simply put: What you believe is what you create.
Exploring old beliefs
It’s time to explore the messages you have accumulated through the years; that you got from the authority figures in your life when you were a child.
Perhaps they said things like:
You are bad, not good enough, unworthy, undeserving.
Success comes with too high a price.
You are selfish to want success or abundance.
Love is painful.
Find these messages, understand what they are and where they come from. See the patterns. Then you can go into the subconscious, review the seed events, feel the feelings of the child and adolescent, do the healing and reprogram the subconscious to reflect who you are becoming now.
You can change your beliefs:
You are good and worthy and deserving.
Success comes elegantly and effortlessly.
Abundace and success are your birthright.
Love is healing.
What do you think?
You are always communicating with your subconscious. There is a continuous loop, a flow of data between the subconscious and conscious mind. You convey information to the subconscious by thoughts, feelings and images and it sends messages to your conscious mind.
What do you dwell on?
Your habitual thinking is your story, script, tape. If you are not aware of your thoughts, then it is likely you are just running old thought patterns. You are telling yourself the same old stories and following the same old scripts. Can’t get a break? Nothing works out for you? You’re always unlucky?
You can learn how to work with your subconscious mind.
The function and structure of the subconscious is the same for everyone. However, the content is unique in each person based on your life experiences and conditioning.
Two people can have the same external experience and two completely different responses. For one person, going on the ferris wheel is thrilling and fun. But if a person has a fear of heights, it is threatening, even terrifying.
Your unique and powerful subconscious mind can become your ally and work for you rather than against you. The data in your subconscious is available to you to explore and change as you need to. It belongs to you! You control what goes into your subconscious and what you remove from it. As you clean out those closets, clear the old beliefs and change the old scripts and stories, it functions more positively and elegantly than ever before.
In part 3, I will show you how to enter your subconscious and work with it. You can learn to easily enter and exit your subconscious at will. You will create an image of your subconscious – mine is a library, where I go, using a quick signal to take me there. In my subconscious I may incubate a problem in my incubation chamber, or change a nagging belief in the room of beliefs, or create a new program. My subconscious guide is a young, hip librarian, who meets me at the entrance and sometimes we go to a seating area where I talk to her about what changes I want her to make for me. My (and your) subconscious is a vast and beautiful place to discover and explore more of through the years.
For more information about how to work with your subconscious mind go to my hypnosis page or my Hypno-to-Go page.
You can shape your dreams. Like a sculptor with clay, you can mold them into a form that will actively serve you. You can produce a thing of beauty and usefulness that will sustain and enrich your life. – Patricia L. Garfield
Remember your dreams
The Art of Dreaming begins with remembering your dreams. It is important to have good sleeping habits for regular dream recall. Otherwise sleep-debt occurs when you regularly do not get enough sleep. When sleep-debt builds up, the sleep you do get is so deep that it makes it harder to remember dreams.
You can develop almost total recall for your dreams. Accept and value each dream no matter how foolish or fragmentary it may seem at the time. Keep a dream journal and record even those fragments. A dream journal can be auditory (using a recorder) or written. You can include drawings, mind-maps, even create collages from the dream.
When you record your dreams over a span of time – as in years or decades – you get a view that can illuminate your inner world and the journey you have taken.
Your dreams can give you remarkable insights.
Sometimes you can find significance in a dream that is years old. Linear time does not exist in the dreaming mind. It can give you a dream in childhood that speaks to you for the rest of your life.
When going to bed, plan to remember whatever dreams come to you. Place a pad and pen or recorder within easy reach of your bed. The best technique I have found for remembering dreams is to repeat three times before going to sleep, “Tonight I will remember one dream.” When you are regularly remembering one dream, change the message to, “Tonight I will remember all my dreams.”
Once you remember your dreams and record them: you can begin to decode them. What kind of dream is it? There are different types and categories of dreams.
Some examples of dream categories are:
Television dreams, containing characters from TV, movies and books.
Precognitive dreams about the future.
Symbolic dreams; they contain symbols and metaphors that hold messages about your life or a current life situation.
Therapeutic dreams where every aspect of the dream is a part of yourself.
Guidance dreams from your Higher Self and Soul
As you become skilled in dream recall, you can program for specific dreams using the same technique of self-suggestion. For example: Tonight I will have a healing dream. (three times) Tonight I will dream my next (creative project or goal.) Tonight I will have a guidance dream about… (problem.)
The best time to begin developing skill in dream recall is during an unpressured time in the morning when you awaken naturally.
Only you can interpret your dreams. Your dreams emerge from your psyche. The part of you that creates them knows what each dream means. Only you, the dream’s creator, know what you wanted to communicate to yourself via the various elements and events in your dreams. As you begin to work with a dream, its meaning and significance will start to unfold.
All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.
— Jack Kerouac
Dreams play a significant role in processing what is going on in your life. They help you grieve a loss or heal disconnected parts of yourself. They help you through life-changing events and help you learn. Your dreams can do a lot of the work.
Ask yourself what step or steps can you take to follow the advice of the dream. Is there anything you can do to paint, draw, dance, sing or sculpt the dream or some aspect of it?
Your dream journal holds the record of the dream and its meaning. It should be titled, dated and recorded in the present tense, which brings clarity of understanding to the dream.
Dream-sharing is another way to enhance your dreams. As you share a dream with another person or in a dream group, new insights often emerge. It is especially valuable to share the significant dreams you have. Always make sure that you share your dreams with people who are respectful and positive.
The Magic of the Night
Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night.
— Andrew Lloyd Webber, Music of the Night
I love the night. I love the mystery of the night and dreams. I love to wake up with a dream in my mind. In fact, I count on my dreams to help me, guide me and heal me.
I love going to bed and wondering what my dreams will bring. Or calling for a specific dream, knowing that when I wake up in the morning, I will have new insight. Or the creative block will be cleared. My reality will be different because of a dream.
I have been recording and working with my dreams for most of my life. Even as a child, I recognized that my dreams had value, that somehow they were important. Through them I receive communication from my soul and Higher Self. My dreams are a bridge into other dimensions, into the wisdom and freedom that I don’t have time to access during the day, yet need in order to feel whole.
In my counseling and hypnotherapy practice, I have been privileged to have others share their dreams with me and to help them find meaning in their dreams. Something happens when you share a dream with someone who values it. It is a kind of validation. It is an acknowledging of a deeper self we each carry within us.
Dreams are powerful and beautiful, healing and entertaining. Many people find a group with whom to regularly share their dreams. It is a different and deeper way to know others. Dreaming and sharing our dreams is part of our humanity.
So tonight when you crawl into bed and close your eyes with the intention of going to sleep, remember to take a moment to give a thought to the dreams you are going to dream, the messages you are going to receive, and the healing and insight that will come through the night.
My dream self meets friends, strangers, the dead, the living … and holds both rational and irrational conversations with them upon subjects which often have not been in my waking mind and which, in some cases could never have been in it.
— Mark Twain
In my 2 part series, The Art of Dreaming, I want to share information with you about the function and use of dreams, and how to consciously work with your dreams. I hope this series will open you to the amazing possibilities your dreams offer, and help you to value them in a whole new way.
I love the world of dreams. In fact I count on my dreams as a valuable source of knowledge, wisdom and healing.
When I discovered that I could participate in my dreams and consciously open the doors to those places beyond my everyday world, I was filled with joy, curiosity and enthusiasm. My life is richer because I dream.
THE PURPOSE OF sleep is not only to rest and renew the physical body and mind: it is to dream. Your subconscious mind is responsible for dreaming. As your conscious mind and body sleep, your subconscious takes over.
The Art of Dreaming is about stepping through the looking glass of your dream life and participating in your dreams in a whole new way. When you bring them to life, your dreams, in turn, provide you with information, problem solving, healing and creative ideas to enhance your daily life.
Dreams have been fascinating us human beings since the beginning of time. There have been cultures, such as the Masai of Africa, that have venerated dreams and integrated them into the fabric of their daily lives. There are also cultures, like ours here in North America, that tell their children their dreams are unimportant and to forget about them: “After all – it’s only a dream.”
We don’t teach our children how to dream.
— Stephen LaBerge
Even animals dream. As they lie beside you, asleep, their legs may move, muscles twitching as if they are running, even a little growl escaping from time to time.
Function and use of dreams
You may already have sensed a hint of the possibilities that exist in dreaming. Some dreams are a release from the day. They finish the unfinished emotions, creating a safety valve for our unprocessed emotions. By finishing off experiences from our waking life, dreams free us.
Some dreams are a trying out of probabilities. We “try on” different scenarios in our dreams first, before we manifest them. Some dreams reflect the function of our body renewing and recharging itself through sleep. Many dreams are coded messages from our soul.
Marion Woodman, noted psychotherapist and dream analyst, states:
Dreams are the language of the soul and our soul’s gift to us that we can learn to decode.
As we begin to look at our dreams this way and value them, they will respond in the most powerful, magical and beautiful ways.
Altered state of sleep and the language of dreams
Sleep is an altered state in and of itself. Your conscious mind and body go to sleep: your subconscious mind never sleeps – in fact it becomes the control centre. During sleep, your problems, fears and hopes are viewed from an entirely different standpoint.
The sleeping mind communicates in scenes, actions, stories, symbols and metaphors. This is the language of dreams.
Problems can be solved when you are awake through logical reasoning – but also during sleep when they are passed on to the deeper mind. Dreams are the vehicle the subconscious mind uses to work on our problems and issues. We awaken in the morning with new ideas, a new perspective we did not have the day before. Hence the saying “Let me sleep on it.”
People say they are responsible for their illness. We are not responsible for our illness, we are responsible to our illness. We are not responsible for our incarnation, we are responsible to our incarnation.
— Stephen Levine
The fall Max turned 11, a normally healthy, happy kid, he stopped growing. He began getting headaches, nausea when eating certain foods. He went to his Mom in October and said, Something is wrong with me, I need to go to the doctor. His Mom, a nurse, had already scheduled his yearly checkup with his pediatrician for later that month.
Tests were scheduled to find out the meaning of Max’s odd and various symptoms.
Fall had turned into winter and Christmas was nearing. The tree was up, presents bought, family plans made, holiday cooking underway.
That week, the morning of Dec.23, in a continued effort to pinpoint the cause of Max’s symptoms, a CT scan was performed of Max’s abdomen that revealed an 8cm mass on Max’s right kidney.
Within an hour, gathered in a room at the children’s hospital were Max, his mom, his dad, the doctor and head nurse. The tumor was diagnosed as Wilm’s tumor, a type of childhood cancer with about a 90% cure rate. He would need surgery and 6 months of chemotherapy.
Further tests the following day (Christmas eve), showed no spread of the cancer. Surgery was scheduled for three days later to remove the kidney. With both parents in the medical field they knew what Max was in for with surgery and chemo.
It is not clear all of what Max took in from everything that was discussed in that room that afternoon.
He knew he would not be playing hockey, which was disappointing to him, but his main concern was that he did not want to be in any pain. So the nurse spent lots of time with him showing him what would be done to alleviate any pain, especially from needles (which Max hated).
But from that moment on Max was courageous and willing. He was in the moment, had faith in the best possible outcome, and trusted his parents and siblings and extended family. He let himself be loved.
A new reality had been set in motion. There were calls to make. And Christmas to be celebrated. His older brother and sister needed to be told. His sister Robin immediately stepped up and became Max’s main support. Sam, age 16 was also told late that night when he returned home from his activities and he rearranged his hockey schedule that night and was also part of the team.
Each member of the family was struck by how everything had so abruptly changed. They woke up in one reality and went to bed in a completely different reality that they would now have to learn about and live in.
They were a sports-oriented family with all the children playing hockey and other team sports. They knew how to be a team. Before the day was out the whole family instinctively teamed up and moved forward as a unit.
The parents kept an open forum for questions and discussions that flowed through the days that followed. They continued their tradition of going to church on Christmas eve and coming home to a family meal and opening a few choice presents. Everything took on a greater intensity and poignancy.
When Max’s mom asked who wanted to open their present first, Max instantly put up his hand and said, Kid with the tumor goes first! He was told immediately by everyone – that he would not be milking that one for long. Max put up his hand once again and said, Kid with one kidney goes first! Max was known for his sense of humor and joking around.
There were many laughs and much joy as the family held a space of love, teamwork and support. Every Christmas, all of Max’s aunts, uncles and cousins came over for Christmas day. Everyone arrived by noon and stayed till evening, celebrating, visiting, eating, opening presents, singing and playing music, and general overall loving chaos. They were a happy, caring extended family.
Anytime one looked around that day, Max was on someone’s lap being held, or hugged, or massaged, or kissed and altogether and completely loved. He felt safe. His siblings felt safe.
Over the next three days there emerged in a most organic and authentic way a resonance of love, peace and joy. That frequency was held and maintained with a depth of integrity by everyone involved. Prayers were being sent out for Max from many places in the world from Switzerland to around the US and Canada.
The night before the surgery, Max’s dad and his sister created a website to inform and update friends and loved ones on Max’s status over the coming week. It was a singular place where everyone could go to check in. It relieved the family of phone calls, emails and endless explanations.
There was also a page on the site where people could leave messages and prayers for Max to read. Robin took on the job of webmaster and updated everyone throughout the week. Over the following days, Max and the family read every one of the many hundreds of messages and prayers for the boy.
Max had a bubble bath that night, after which he did a run – naked and joyful through the house. He then crawled into his parents waterbed with his sister, mom and dad and fell into a deep sleep.
The next morning Max had his surgery. His right kidney was successfully removed and a port was installed in to prepare for the coming chemo. The surgery was about 3 hours long.
While Max was in recovery, not awake yet, something amazing happened. The tumor was analyzed under the microscope and was diagnosed as a rare, benign tumor and should be cured by the surgery alone. No Wilms, no cancer! No chemo! Surgery was the cure. It felt like a miracle. A Christmas miracle.
Before the website was shut down for good, when Max was going home, this was his final and only message:
Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:42 AM, CST
Hi this is Max I am doing well. I am getting ready to get some more tubes out and maybe eat. I want to say thank for praying and keeping me in your thoughts. I will see you soon!!!!!!!!
Over a period of four days this small, eleven year old boy attracted to him 1690 visits to the website and constant prayers, love and well wishes coming to him.
His parents, believe the tumor was malignant, but through the prayers and blessings of all the people the best possible outcome came about. It was felt by all that something extraordinary most definitely happened during those days.
Max made a full recovery. When asked about healing, he said,
“It is feeling better, leaving what felt bad behind.”
There is more to this story that is yet to be written, it’s impact may be far reaching in their lives. They all rose to the occasion and surpassed themselves beyond what they knew they could be. Where each will take that in the future and how each will use their unique strengths, capacity for love, trust, deep caring and compassion is still a mystery to unfold.
These stories explore the energies of well-being, hope, health and healing, and what that means in our daily life. We have all had experiences of healing whether it is a cut finger that goes away or the common cold or a serious illness or an addiction we have overcome.
In many ways healing the body seems like a mystery and healing, beyond our control. Feed a cold, starve a fever. Wash your hands. To bandage a cut or not to bandage. Yet we know we have a capacity and a drive to be healthy.
We can try to treat, cure and support our bodies during illness, but can we direct and focus healing? Is healing the same as recovery? Is health something static or is there a continuum of health? What are the connections between life and health, healing and wellness? As we explore these ideas it is always good to find the questions and start there.
In any exploration it is important to listen to the stories around you. Through these representive stories perhaps we can begin to distill some keys about healing, health and well being. (In essence these are true stories, but in some cases the names and various details have been changed or cloaked to give a bit of anonymity.)