SUBSCRIBE

mindful

Book Review – Mindful Dreaming: Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change by Clare R. Johnson, Ph. D.

March, 2019

Book Review
Mindful Dreaming
Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change
by Clare R. Johnson, Ph. D.

I
love dreaming! It is one of my favorite things to do! I have been
tracking and working with my dreams for years. But sadly, I have not
had much luck with lucid dreaming, even though I’ve read many books
on the topic and practiced lots of different techniques.

Author
Dr. Clare Johnson is the first person to write a doctoral thesis on
the topic of lucid dreaming as a creative tool. She’s
been a lucid dreamer since the age of 3 and is currently the
president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
So, she brings a real gravitas to the topic of working with your
dreams. Her book offers a different take on the practice of lucid
dreaming in Mindful Dreaming. She approaches “wakefulness” from
the vantage point of “mindfulness,” bringing your attention to
what is happening in the present moment. We bring our attention to
the present moment, not only while awake, but during the one-third of
our lives that we spend dreaming. The goal of mindful dreaming, as
she explains, is to become awake to our unconscious patterns, modify
them and heal our lives. “When we learn to be more present in our
waking life, we are more likely to discover how our thoughts can
shape our reality,” says Dr. Johnson. All this from dreaming, and
not years of therapy?? Yes.

The
key? Working with your dreams while you’re awake! For a
lucid-dreamer wannabe like me, to know that I can go beyond recording
my dreams and actually work with them and “change the movie” is
exciting. Dreams are not just random firing of brain synapses.
Rather, they are the doorway into our vast personal and collective
unconscious. Learning to understand their dense symbolic language
and decode their metaphors helps us to release powerful emotions,
fears and memories stored at the cellular level. When we unravel
unexpected associations that dreams make, we enhance our creativity.
If we pay attention to their messages, we are shown where illness
might develop. And we experience life-changing contact with the
numinous when we become aware of our “soul dreams.”

Dr.
Johnson takes us through the basics of working with our dreams: sleep
hygiene, dream incubation, dream recollection and journaling. These
are the first few of 50 dream practices and Lucid Dreamplay
suggestions present in each chapter. The beauty of the Lucid
Dreamplay practices is that many of them are done while you are
awake! You can change your “inner movie,” write, sketch or
dialogue your way into an understanding of a key dream image and tell
a dream to a friend in order to excavate its many layers. The
unconscious mind begins to build a blueprint for the possibility of
change in waking life and the direction that change can take. Your
unconscious will also begin to build new blueprints when you
consciously make changes in your dreams. The book contains many
examples of
how these practices work for different dreams and dreamers. The
techniques are valuable because working with dreams while awake can
mirror the experience of lucid dreaming and have the same powerful
results, as Dr. Johnson points out. She also outlines a nine step
program for becoming lucid in dreams.

In
addition to the useful and well-described techniques, Dr. Johnson
devotes individual chapters to understanding and working with
different types of dreams including nightmares; dreams of grief, loss
and death; sexual dreams; dreams of illness and pain; and soul dreams
or what I call “Big Dreams.” The book concludes with a chapter
on creating your own best life by working mindfully with dreams while
awake and asleep: “Dreamwork is a little like magic because it
allows us to dissolve the veil the covers our own hidden, unconscious
world. Once the veil is gone, we can clearly see the state of our
life; what it lacks and what it needs to be healthier and happier.”
Working with the Dreamplay practices will take you deep and keep you
busy, but just in case you want to go beyond Mindful Dreaming,
there is a Resource section. I am going to continue to use this book
to get to dream lucidity!

Mindful Dreaming: Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Susan
Rossi

is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time
explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body,
spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies
streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an
astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of
us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding
clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration
of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic
healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of
her practice.

Susan
trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax.
She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern
under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open
Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

Mindful Meditations

February, 2019

Guided
Meditation

This
month we have an Imbolc meditation that is meant to help you connect
with yourself around the three areas Brigid governs: Hearth, Forge
and Inspiration. So light a candle in Brigid’s honor and let’s dive
in!

Find yourself
in a comfortable position. Take a deep breath and as you exhale,
close your eyes and begin to relax into yourself. See yourself
walking down a path in a winter forest. Notice the quiet beauty all
around you. As you wander through the woods, think about how this
winter has been for you so far. Do you have the winter blues or do
you love the peaceful quiet of the season? Have you felt isolated or
have you been engaging with others? Have you been taking the time to
rest? Arrive back in this moment, accepting yourself as you are right
now. Notice there is a cozy home up ahead on the path. This is your
sanctuary. As you approach the entrance, you notice there is a Brigid
Cross hanging on the door, a symbol of safety, denoting this space is
blessed by the Goddess Brigid. You enter the space, giving her
reverence and thanks.

Brigid is
the triple Goddess of Forge, Hearth, and Inspiration. The first thing
you notice is the large inviting fireplace in the center of
everything. The hearth is the center of your home life, it creates
warmth and safety and provides the space to create nourishment. How
is the fire burning in your hearth? Gaze into the fire and ask
Brigid what can be done to increase the strength of your
personal hearth fire. (Pause) Thank her for any insight you gained.
Perk up the fire with another log and ask Brigid to bless your hearth
and home this coming year. She is also the Goddess of the forge,
which is what you create, the things you bring forth into the world.
As you look around the cabin, you notice a work station. It is
perfectly suited to help you do your craft. What do you see? What is
it that you bring into creation? You see a candle on the station, so
you take a stick from the hearth to light it. As you light the
candle, ask Brigid to bless all you create. Take a moment of quiet
with this flame to ask Brigid how you can be of service through your
creation. (Pause) Thank her for any new insight.

You see a
comfortable chair nearby, and you go to sit in it. The last aspect
Brigid rules is the Inspired Heart. You close your eyes and cover
your heart with your hands. What song does your heart long to sing?
What truth wants to pour from you? See Brigid before you in your
minds eye, holding a flame in her hand. Ask her to help you see your
heart’s inspiration. (Pause) Brigid approaches you and offers forth
her flame to your heart. Let her rekindle the flame within you. Feel
the warmth glowing from your heart and spreading though your entire
being. Feel the inspiration rising and thank her for her gift. She
smiles and gives you a blessing that your heart may stay inspired,
blazing and open.

Take a deep
breath and feel yourself back in this moment. Feel the ground below
you and take a deep breath, making little movements with your fingers
and toes. Take these blessings and new insights with gratitude, and
have a Blessed Imbolc.

***

About the
Author:

Rebecca
Coates
is a Tarot reader, sound healer, fire dancer, massage
therapist and witch who is based in CT but will be traveling around
the US soon. Follow her journeys both internal and external on
Facebook, Instagram or YouTube @GreenHeartHealingGuidance.

Mindful Meditations

January, 2019

Guided Video Mindful Meditation

***

About
the Author:

(Amy
Dubenetsky & Becky Coates, respectively; Writers of the Mindful
Meditations column & Coven Sisters.)

This
Mindful Meditation is brought to you by Amy Dubenetsky, a
Bodyworker/Reiki Practitioner/Witch based out of Manchester, CT whom
leads group meditations as well.  Amy is deeply involved with
her Coven, Organic Farming, and various Dance Communities across the
country.

Follow
her on Instagram and Facebook @bodyandbeyond444.

Mindful Meditations

September, 2018

 

     As we honor the energies of the West while entering Autumn — the season of reaping what we have sown during the second harvest of Mabon – we are encouraged to take a moment to show gratitude for our abundance. Our crops have borne fruit which is being stored for the darkening season and our fields are growing hearty vegetables which we will reap at the third harvest, Samhain.

 

Items Needed

-sunset location

-cup of drinkable water

-writing utensil

-paper (or the like)

 

Choose a preferably clear day to watch the sunset while sitting in nature. This mediation will still work from indoors but we are Pagan so nature is our place of worship. Face the West as you observe the colors of the sky, hear the sounds around you, feel the wind. Acknowledge that with each setting sun, completes the cycle as the day transforms into night, just as summer turns to autumn. Now get into a comfortable position and sit with your cup of water. Stare into the water, scry upon its surface. Reflect upon 20 things you are grateful for in this moment, this day, this year, this lifetime. Jot them down as they come to you. Feel free to write more than 20 but do not write less. When you are satisfied with your list, notice the feeling of gratitude within you. Imagine you are channeling that feeling through your hands and into the cup of water you’re holding. Imagine the molecules gently vibrating with warm, white light. Acknowledge your gratitude for the water and drink from your cup. Thank the water for nourishing you. Thank the West, the sunset, and nature around you, for holding sacred space during your Mindful Meditation. Thank yourself for taking the time to reflect upon your abundance in gratitude.

 

Blessed Be!

 

***

About the Author:

(Amy Dubenetsky & Becky Coates, respectively; Writers of the Mindful Meditations column & Coven Sisters.)

This Mindful Meditation is brought to you by Amy Dubenetsky, a Bodyworker/Reiki Practitioner/Witch based out of Manchester, CT whom leads group meditations as well.  Amy is deeply involved with her Coven, Organic Farming, and various Dance Communities across the country.

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @bodyandbeyond444.

Interview with the Author of We Are Magical Beings, Paola Collazos

July, 2018

Interview with Paola Collazos

Paola Collazos is a Reiki master, energy medicine practitioner and a licensed massage therapist. She is also the author of “We Are Magical Beings”. I had the chance to not only review the book, but also talk with Paola recently.

Deanna-In your book, We Are Magical Beings, you share the hardships that came with your childhood. You seem to have blossomed from that childhood once you found energy work. What would you say to your younger self?

Paola-To my younger self I would say I promise to nurture you and keep life light- hearted and fun.

D-Do you believe you would be where you are now, if you had experienced a different childhood?

P-I would for sure be somewhere else had my childhood been different. Our early experiences shape our personalities and decisions profoundly. But I wouldn’t trade my childhood, it was filled with lessons and I love myself the way I am today.

D-In today’s world, we are seeing a lot of high profile celebrities who have depression that are committing suicide.

What would you recommend to someone that is dealing with depression?

P-The thing about depression is that you have to catch yourself before you fall, and for that to happen one has to choose to be aware of the triggers way before you catch yourself falling.

BUT before wrapping your mind around that last statement, one must accept, and absolutely know within themselves that they are not alone, 44,965 Americans die by Suicide each year. The numbers show it, you are not alone. Even, I, with all the tools, experience lows sometimes.

Eliminate self-judgment and get to know your triggers, avoid them at all costs by keeping busy, work hard, volunteer, exercise, take walks, see friends, perhaps get a pet and breathe. I believe that breath is the closest thing to unconditional love. Oxygen is always there for you. Love yourself by taking deep breaths. Allowing the exhale to be longer than the inhale calms the nervous system by activating the vagus nerve which sends a signal to the brain telling it to hike up the parasympathetic nervous system and turn down the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic NS controls our rest and digest. It lowers our blood pressure and heart (this is an amazing natural effect of the human body. )

If you need to take medication then do so without judgments but do the self-work. Watch your self-talk.

Eliminate self-judgment and get to know your triggers, avoid them at all costs by keeping busy, work hard, volunteer, exercise, take walks, see friends, perhaps get a pet and breathe. Repeat, every day, and in every moment, that you can remember.

D-During your first Reiki session, you describe an emotional session that seemed to be a turning point for you. Do you feel that you would have reacted the same if the woman had not started crying?

P-I do. I feel that if the woman had not started to cry I may have been more open to energy the first time around. I have learned that with energy work people tend to be skeptical or perceive it as mumbo-jumbo therefore it is vital for the practitioner to be clear, professional and as informative as possible.

D-This book is packed with information on tuning into the energy that we are. For someone who might get overwhelmed easily, where would you recommend getting started?

P-They should find a comfortable quiet space, lay down, close their eyes and notice their breath, then they should notice their heart beating. Tune in to the simple things in life. Revel in the mastery of the human anatomy.

D-During this journey you went through a natural detoxing where your body’s chemistry started changing. You had a difficult time finding a deodorant that worked and you stopped enjoying the taste of meat. In your experience, is this natural detoxing a normal part of the journey for everyone when doing energy work?

P-This varies by person. It is different for everyone. One can even experience this natural detoxing by merely starting a yoga practice. So yes, it is a normal part of the journey.

D-After getting your Level One Reiki Certification, you waited a year before getting your Level Two. Would you recommend this same wait time for someone who is interested in obtaining Reiki Certifications?

P-Yes, I believe that one should take the time after level one to heal themselves before they start trying to help others however some people get both attunements and even the third all in one weekend. I’ve also heard of Masters not passing on the second attunement until years after the first.

For me, it depends on the student but I would encourage some time to explore their own chakras after the first level. There is a lot to explore within oneself and things start to shift. So, you want to be respectful and allow yourself the time to process.

D-Also, after waiting a year, were you able to obtain the Level Two Reiki Certification with the same Reiki Master that certified you as a Level One Reiki?

P-The First Reiki Master did my second level. The level three was done by someone else years later.

D-For someone who is serious about learning all there is to know about energy work, would it be more beneficial to study one area of energy work (Reiki) before moving on to something else? Or can different areas of energy work be studied and used at the same time?

P-Yes, they can be studied at the same time but it also depends on the person and their learning style. It also depends on what they are planning to do with the information. Are they curious for their own healing or if they would like to teach/work on others?

The energy systems are the same all across the board what changes are the ways in which the individual chooses to tap into the energies to keep them settled. One can get started with learning about chakras without having to get Reiki attunements however it does not hurt. It will certainly give you a boost.

When I got my first attunement the master provided me with a lot of information that I wouldn’t have known by merely researching chakras. Like that KAVA tea has spirit unifying properties and that it would help me with lucid dreaming. Once you get started with energy work things will unfold and one thing will lead to the other.

The Meridians or (energy channels) and five element theories are a little more complicated to understand and to apply and I only delved into that in massage therapy school however I do not think it is impossible to grasp. I tried my best to simplify these concepts in my book because I do believe it is necessary to understand. Think of the chakras as the Macro and the Meridians as the micro. Chakras governs the muscles, organs, veins, and ligaments within the chakra’s vicinity. They are super busy hubs of energy that receive and give out information. They also contain information about your life’s journey while the meridians are energy pathways that pertain to one specific organ.

And yes they can be used at the same time.

D-‘We Are Magical Beings’ contains many different areas of energy work. Out of Reiki, Meridians, Chakras, Auras, Yin and Yang, Elements, Centering, Inner Child and Visualizations; do you have a favorite energy work?

P-Picking one is hard because they are so intertwined. I do love visualizations and I think that visualizing and or tapping into the imagination is crucial for all of this work. So, visualizations are my favorite.

D-One of the quotes from the book is “There is perfection in imperfection!” This is very powerful. In today’s world it seems that we are constantly chasing perfection. This quote feels as if it is giving us permission to be who we are without worrying about perfection. Did you find it freeing once you rid the notion of being perfect?

P-Yes, allow yourself to be imperfect. Try your best but be clear about your process. Be mindful that you are not using this idea of perfection to procrastinate and not proceed with what you want. Remember the mind would much rather be safe in its routines so it will always convince you that you are not there yet.

It was freeing for me because I allow myself to have fun and try new things. I’ve heard so many people say they won’t try new things because they are not “good” at it. Allowing yourself to be imperfect is very freeing.

Thank you so much Paola Collazos for taking the time to talk with us at PaganPagesOrg!

If you would like more information on Paola Collazos visit her site at: http://www.paolacollazos.com/ or you can find out more about her book We Are Magical Beings by clicking the links or the book cover below. Enjoy!!

We Are Magical Beings: A Healing Guide for Earthlings