Archive for May, 2010

In previous posts, the Angels addressed hallmarks by which to recognize true guidance from that advice thoughtfully provided by your very own ego.  These hallmarks are useful for the times when you are awake and conscious.  As you are asleep, an entire new world opens up before you, a world in which your ego is totally out of the picture and you are able to grasp and assimilate a variety of information.  Your only requirement is to be mindful and alert on awakening.

What is mindful dreaming?  This is the ability to be aware of those dreams which have a message for you from your Guides and Angels.  This ability, like all states relating to your native intuition, can be developed through practice, practice, practice. 

What is the importance of developing mindful dreaming?  Mindful dreaming allows you to identify those dreams which contain important information for you from the Heavenly realm.  Most of our dream content is irrelevant.  When you are able to distinguish between your types of dreams, you can begin benefitting from the messages sent to you in them.

Example from my personal experience:  I have three different types of dreams.  The totally unimportant are what I call the “garden-variety” dreams, which are nothing more than my processing stressful events from the previous day, or sometimes a jumble of images from my previous day’s activities.  Nightmares come from this category of dreams.  If I am overheated in bed, as when I am under too many blankets, I have the most vivid, bloody dreams imaginable, with people firing guns at me and my being able to actually feel the bullets piercing my back—with attendant emotions of horror and terror; or angry men chopping my limbs off with axes while I scream in pain and terror.  Although there is usually a great emotional component to this type of dream, the dreams, themselves, have no informational value.  

The second category of dreams that I have are what I call informational dreams, i.e., they let me know the status of my relationship to others around me.  For example, several of my love relationships had been rather rocky, but the men were not honest with me.  In several dreams, I learned just exactly how they felt, their motivations, and what to expect from their interactions with me in the future.  Scarily, all of it came true. 

Lastly, my most important dreams actually come with a little “tag”, which lets me know to pay close attention to this one.  These dreams are all prophetic and all of them occur just immediately before I wake up, so that I have no choice but to mull over them and to receive the Heavenly message.  I have taken to recording some of these dreams because of their huge import and because of the way in which they were sent to me.

How does one develop mindful dreaming?  Upon awakening, search your mind for your dreams.  If you have had several that you can remember, compare and contrast them.  Look at the events presented, the emotional content, your thoughts and feelings while in the dream, as well as your thoughts and feelings now that you are examining the dream.  Do any of them feel as though they may be more than “just a dream”?  Are any of them giving you answers to a thorny problem which you have not been able to resolve?  Are any of them pointing the way out of a stressful situation?  Talk about your dreams with someone of like mind who may be able to shed light on them.  Be actively involved in sorting through, evaluating, and critiquing your dreams.  After a short time, you will be surprised to discover that you are able to distinguish your types of dreams, thereby recognizing those dreams which have important messages for you.

I would like to share two short dreams with you of the third variety mentioned above, the dreams that occur just before awakening and that come with a “tag”.  The first deals with, of all things, my ancient wooden floors.  Just after I acquired the house (built in 1790) in a divorce, I began interior work on the peeling ceilings, peeling wallpaper, and peeling paint.  The beautiful hardwood floors, which were original to the house, also had layers of lead paint on them.  I had in mind to hire someone to remove the old paint, sand the floors, and bring them into the 21st century.  No one would remove the paint because of the lead.  That left moi to do the job, all 1200 square feet of the upstairs, down the stairs, into each and every closet, and the front hall.  Gamely, I set about doing  just that.  What a nightmare!  The paint stripper I used took off the lead paint, but underneath was another layer, a brown one, that was untouched by the stripper.  Luckily (guided?), through research on the internet, I found that this layer dissolved in denatured alcohol.  After one day, though, I was very nearly overcome with despair at the amount of work involved, the fumes, the mess, and the sheer size of the project.  With heavy heart, I lay down to sleep, dreading awakening to the monumental task before me.  Just before waking, there flashed before me a full-color view of the upstairs floors, stripped, sanded, and varnished, gleaming pumpkin-orange (as aged yellow pine looks when done correctly), worthy of publication in a magazine devoted to historical houses.  Immediately on waking, with this vivid picture before me, I knew that the floors would be done and they would be done by me.  My attitude completely changed.  From dreading this horrendous task, I now reveled in it.  On the rare occasion when I became bogged down with the immensity of the task, I replayed that vivid picture of the completed floors and knew the task would be completed.  It took me 4 months, 27 gallons of Strip-eze, and 7.5 gallons of denatured alcohol to finish the task, but you should see my floors now!  That dream was sent to me to keep me on track and to give me the certainty that I could and would complete the task.

The second short dream took place just before awakening on January 21, 2008 and has not yet manifested.  I share with you the information as I wrote it down in my notebook:  I was lying on a surface (bed? couch?) with a young man lying across me.  He had a full head of sandy hair, was of medium height, very well-muscled (thick, bulging muscles).  He was naked from the waist up and I did not see his face.  “I’ll see you in a few years,” he said, “I’m a junior now.”  “In high school?” I asked, then laughed heartily, noting distinctly the huge age difference between us and thinking “yeah, right!  You’ll see me in a few years, right!”  Keeping his head down, he just repeated with certainty/inevitability, “I’ll see you in a few years.”  Poof.  End of dream, and I woke up, perplexed.  The feeling was that he was in a learning situation and needed to mature/ripen more before he was ready to meet me.  He had already progressed to a respectable degree, which was why he was so proud when he told me that he was a junior.  The way he said it was “I’m (already) a junior”—pride of accomplishment evident in his manner of speaking.  So, dear readers, time will tell.  I can only state that in the past, all of the dreams like this have manifested as dreamt.

Pay attention to your dreams and you, too, will find the message of hope and help contained in them.

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Yesterday we began discussing the hallmarks of guidance; how to recognize when the message you receive truly comes from your Angels and Guides.  Hallmarks discussed were rapidity with which opportunity appears; a flash of light connected with a thought or idea; hearing a voice, seeing words.  Below follow more signs of true guidance.

The entire world seems to be giving you the same message.   You hear it from your friends, you hear it from your co-workers, it plays on the radio, you see it on billboards, strangers come up to you with the message. 

The most recent and most vivid example I can give you occurred in late 2007 when the then-husband demanded a divorce.  Both of us assumed that he would get the house:  he, because it had been his “dream” house; and I, because I, too, had always regarded our mutual dwelling as “his” house.  Imagine how disconcerted I felt when the Universe began telling me that the house would be mine!  The messages started when my sister called me one day.  As I answered the telephone, her voice said, in no uncertain terms, “if you even dare to give up that house, I will beat your butt!”  As she was speaking, I could literally feel my “other” ears enlarge and throb as I heard her words.  Instantly, I knew that the Angels were using my sister for their voice.  She was adamant that I need to stay in the house. This was totally out of character for my dear sister, who is the wiser for allowing people to make their own decisions.  Then, my niece, who rarely contacts me, sent an email with the same message.  People at work began to berate me with the idea of staying in the house.  All I heard all day, every day was “stay in the house”, “don’t give up the house”, “fight for the house”, “you’re staying in the house, aren’t you?”, house, house, house, house, house!  The Angels literally beat me over the head with their idea.  I had no choice but to understand the message coming at me from all sides.  There was only one teensy hitch:  the then-husband had a death-grip on the idea that the house would be his.  How was I to follow guidance when a determined man stood squarely in my way?  Remembering that the how was up to the Angels, I told them that they would just have to convince him themselves, if they truly desired that I should continue living in the house.  How they convinced him in the space of an instant is a story worth telling.

He stormed over angrily one day, demanding that I acquiesce to the divorce agreement.  As he specifically brought up the subject of the house, I sent my Angels a quick thought:  “if you want me to have the house, help me out.  It’s up to you.”  Full of righteous wrath, he pointed out what a great deal he was offering me:  he would buy me out for 1/2 of the present worth of the house; I wouldn’t have any more worries about repairs to this 250 year-old house; I could walk away with $200,000 and a clear conscience, choosing where I would live with nothing hanging over my head.  His passionate presentation was full of all the benefits I would receive if I would only acquiesce to his demand to give up the house to him.  I listened impassively and when he stopped talking, I heard myself quietly say, “I can offer you the same thing.”  As the words registered in his mind, his face literally changed.  It went from anger, irritation, annoyance, and a bitter, pinched look to one of amazement and discovery, as if he had seen a beautiful, bright future.  “I’ll take it!” he said.  And suddenly, this ancient mausoleum, with all of its guts and glory, was mine.  In less than one nanosecond, everything changed.  As I retell this story, I am aghast anew at the power of the Universe to aid us on our journey.

One really great hallmark of true Heavenly guidance is the solid feeling of knowing the truth of the message.  For myself, I find this the rarest occurrence, but which happens to me on occasion, nevertheless.  The most amazing example occurred in the spring of 1988 in Atlanta at Emory University where I was doing research for graduate school.  Former president Jimmy Carter was known to visit Emory University frequently, and it was nothing for us students to be bowled over by serious-looking, blue-suited Secret Service agents with phones in their ears and guns on their hips as we walked about the campus.  Jimmy Carter often held town meetings at the University and I was anxious to attend, to see how he conducted them and what kinds of topics would be discussed. 

The night of the meeting, I entered the large hall where it would take place.  The hall had rows of seats in semi-darkness, while the front of the hall, where Mr. Carter was to stand, was brightly lit.  As I was moving down one of the aisles toward a seat, an announcement was made that a basket would be circulated into which we could place a question.  Mr. Carter would draw questions from the basket and discuss them with the audience.  I sat down and waited for the basket to come around, having no plans to ask a question.  Soon the basket made its way to our aisle.  As soon as I touched the basket, I instantly knew beyond any shadow of any doubt that Jimmy Carter would read my question.  It was also emphasized to me by this absolute knowing that my question must be worded carefully because both the question and the discussion would influence important people’s thoughts and attitudes for the future.  Taking all of this in stride (pressure, anyone?), I proceeded to write a question, wording it for maximum effect and so that I could participate positively in the guidance I had been given.  While I cannot remember the question, the town meeting occurred amid intense anger and debate over a woman’s right to her own body, while Operation Rescue attempted to barricade Healthcare Clinics, invading women’s privacy.  Mr. Carter did, indeed, pick my question!  I, as all others, stood when he read the question, then sat while he and the audience discussed it.  It was a lively discussion, with much heat and noise; it seemed that everybody had an opinion.  Whether anyone’s outlook was changed in that discussion, I cannot say.  What seemed to be important was participation in the discussion and the airing of views.  So, my feeling of knowing was correct and I followed guidance in drafting a question that would rise to the occasion.

To summarize, then, important hallmarks of true Heavenly guidance are as follows:  rapidity with which opportunity appears; a flash of light connected with a thought or idea; hearing a voice, seeing words; the entire world seems to be giving you the same message; the solid feeling of knowing the truth of the message.  Keep these in mind as you practice, practice, practice listening to your Angels.

We are aware of Guides and Angels and the many benefits they provide for us in our lives, particularly when we listen to them and follow their advice.  Most of us are also aware of our own egos and the trouble they can cause for us.  Differentiation between Guides and the ego is, therefore, crucial.  So, the sixty-four dollar question is,  how can we recognize when a message truly comes from the Heavenly realm?  Some hallmarks of guidance follow.

When opportunity presents itself before you with the speed of thought, when things seem to be moving too fast, that is a sure-fire sign of guidance.  The Universe drives a 5-speed; get used to it!

Example:  several years ago, the then-husband had been driving a really unsafe car.  We went to a Subaru dealership to window shop with the intention of test-driving one, then after a few months of thought, perhaps to buy one.  We test-drove a nice Subaru, returned to the dealer’s showroom, and prepared to leave.  The salesman asked us what he could do to put us into a Subaru.  Without a second thought, I pointed to a forest-green Outback in the showroom window.  “That one,” I said, “that’s the one we want.”  The salesman got a strange look on his face.  “I’ll be right back”, he said. 

While he was gone, I tried to ignore the look of annoyance flashed to me by the then-husband.  Quickly, the salesman returned.  “I can offer you that one for $22,000 with 0% financing for two years,” he said.  Instantly, I recognized the hand of the Angels in this offer.  For one, a used Subaru at that time was selling for $24,000, and there was no 0% financing on used vehicles, anywhere.  For another, 0% financing was unheard of at that time.  It seemed, too, that by a happy coincidence, we had visited this particular dealership just as they were expanding to a new location within the city, so they were really anxious to unload all of their existing cars and replace them with the newer models coming out soon.  And, most importantly, this offer came quickly and was totally out of the blue.  Clearly, the Angels were making us an offer that we could not refuse.  Except that my then-husband was refusing it.  He thanked the salesman and said he would think about it.  I knew better.  Strike at that opportunity while it is before you, because once it’s gone, regrets will abound.  I asked the salesman to allow the two of us to talk.  The salesman quickly departed.  I explained to the then-husband about the Angels and how quickly they move; that this was a sweet deal from Heaven, which we could not afford to pass up; that the terms were excellent; that his present car was a death-trap.  I give the man credit for listening and believing.  We did, indeed, buy that car, and he has had no trouble with it for these seven years.

Another hallmark of guidance is a flash of light in your head when a particular thought arrives.  That lightbulb turning on over someone’s head in cartoons has its counterpart in reality, for some ideas and thoughts from the Heavenly realm truly have a flash associated with them.  You might also get goosebumps as you realize the full import and far-reaching effect of the thought or idea.  Flashes mean that this idea is important; pay attention.  Flashes come with practice. 

Sometimes you may actually hear a voice or see words in your head.  Example:  when I was presented with the suggestion to buy an iPhone in connection with this website, my skepticism knew no bounds.  I barely could stomach the idea of a cell phone, never mind an iPhone with all of its bells and whistles.  What on earth would I want with this latest technological terror?  Giving my own self credit, the next day I contemplated the potential use of this smart phone.  As I sat quietly, wondering, the words appeared, “you need it to keep in touch with your people”!  And before me spread a vast network of souls, all connected to me via iPhone.  How could I argue with that?  So, I am now the proud owner of an awesome iPhone which does everything except make my morning coffee.

These hallmarks of true guidance  are presented for you as food for thought and practice.  Tomorrow we will explore further recognizing the signs of true guidance.

The topic of what to do with your free will and how to reconcile it with the guidance you receive is such a source of conflict for so many people that it deserves additional comments, according to my Angels.  Has not nearly everyone a sad story entitled, “I knew what I should do, but I didn’t follow my gut feelings”? 

From knowing that we’re marrying the wrong person—as we’re walking down the aisle, no less— to leaving our umbrellas at home, to— enter failure to follow gut feelings— here, we have all been there, done that, and have obtained multiple T-shirts.  So what keeps preventing us from following that still, small voice?  Some of it is fear:  fear of the unknown, fear of what others will say about us,  fear of the “devil”,  fear of the consequences.  Some of it is pride:  even though I have heard clear guidance, my way is better.  Some of it is incomplete information:  your Guides:  “take your umbrella”;  you:  “but it’s sunny outside right now” and then ten minutes later you’re in a downpour because you didn’t see that huge black cloud five miles away, heading for you at top speed, but your Guides saw it.

Why should we follow guidance, anyway?  The most obvious answer is, because your life is better when you follow guidance than when you don’t.  Ignoring guidance means that you get yourself into a mess from which you must then extricate yourself (usually messily) and then you have to backtrack to the point before the mess and begin again.  Whew!  That’s a lot of effort for having said “no” to guidance.  A fine example of this last statement is that of knowing you’re marrying the wrong person, but doing it anyway.  Without a doubt that marriage will end in divorce, but not after much, perhaps years, of unhappiness.  There may be children involved.  Relatives will have taken sides.  Finances will be entangled.  Divorce lawyers will suck you dry.  Recriminations, tears, horror stories abound when these marriages unravel.  In the final analysis it would have saved everyone oceans of tears and heartache to have called off the wedding and faced ridicule/derision/lack of approval at the time, rather than having to face it (and more) at a later date. 

This example is not meant to frighten anyone into following guidance, rather, it attempts to point out the extreme importance of following it.  The advantage is obvious:  since your Guides and Angels have your best interests at heart, always, it makes sense to follow their advice.  Following their advice helps you to be happy and content.  Not following it brings more pain and a sense of having wasted years of life that would have been better spent.  Trust me, I am speaking to this through the hard voice of experience.

What can you do about it?  Practice trusting.  In small steps.  Slow down.  When you get a clear message, stop your headlong rush and pay attention.  When you get that clear message and you automatically think, “no, I’m going to do something different” stop, replay the message in your head, then abandon your own idea of what to do and follow guidance.  Practice, practice, practice.  Keep your ego in check.  It hasn’t helped you in the past, what makes you think it will help you in the present?  Pay attention to your feelings as you follow your guidance and most importantly, after you have followed it.  What was the result?  Did you have a positive outcome?  Contrast that with what would have happened had you followed your own idea.  Were you better or worse off for having followed guidance?  All of this helps you to develop trust that your Guides and Angels are truly out for your best interests and helps you help them help you.

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Happy May Day, Peeps!  Continuing the theme of learning to trust your Guides and Angels, I am again reminded that they have a sense of humor.  Many of you know that I live in a very old house (think French Revolution) which has lots of holes for critters to creep through.  For years, I have had one or two little mice who just don’t understand that they would be much happier in the great Outdoors than in my old house.  Last winter I had a time trying to trap them, since I didn’t want to kill them.  They were trying to make a living, just like me, only they happened to be doing it in my house, not outside, where they belong.  Anyway, I rigged a booby-trapped paper towel roll by sawing it partway through, making it look whole, but with the weight of a little mouse, it would tip, allowing the mouse to fall into a deep bucket, cushioned by soft rags.  At the bottom, too, was some food and water so the little one could refresh itself before going outside.

This contraption actually caught one mouse, but not the smarter one.  For a while, I tried to capture that one, too, with the sawed paper towel roll, but it was too smart.  So, for another year, we were playing cat and mouse.  Guess who was the mouse.  Tonight, the little one showed its face.  I was instantly alert and told my angels, “help me catch this mouse”, then assumed that I would catch it.  Can you believe it, within five minutes, that little mouse was in a Tupperware container, lid in place, and secured with rubber bands.  I personally chauffered that little guy ten miles away, and let it loose in the woods, where it scampered away.  (I had heard that they must be taken many miles away from their homes, because they can find their way back through their keen sense of smell). 

What’s the message for today?  Many messages, Peeps.  First, when you ask for help, ask with authority.  No wimpy, “well, if you think it’s best, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeze let this happen”; no “well, I hate to bother you, but in your spare time, could you help me catch this mouse, if it’s not too much trouble?”; no “I know that I’m really not worthy, but could you deign to lend a hand?”.  None of that.  You want this request granted and you want it now.  Period.  End of story.  Secondly, ask with confidence, then proceed as if the thing you are requesting will happen.  This last is extremely important.   Act as if you already have your request in hand.  So, with the mouse, after telling my Angels to help me with catching it, I didn’t worry how this would be accomplished.  That wasn’t my problem, the how was up to the Angels.  I got out the Tupperward container and the lid and went to work, herding that mouse into the bowl.  And in went the mouse, on the sunny side of five minutes, when up until now, I had spent nearly a year trying to catch it.  Lastly, give the problem to your Guides and Angels.  Do not agonize on how, whether, when, or in what fashion your request will be acted upon.  Proceed as if you had it in hand and trust that you will, indeed, have it, because you will, indeed, have it. 

Make small requests of your Angels daily.  This constant communication keeps them on their “toes” and helps you to develop trust.  Trust will stand you in good stead when they have a request in change of lifestyle for you that puts you out of your comfort zone.  Daily communication also keeps you in the practice of tuning in to the world of Guides and Angels, increasing your listening power.  Then, you, too, will be able to capture critters with confidence!