Saturday, November 13, 2010

Relational Homeopathy: The Transformative Power of Erotic Energy

“Wherever there is erotic energy, there is also the potential for transformation.” These are wise words said by a therapist I once knew. And she was right: What better crucible for personal growth than intimacy? There’s nothing like a relationship to get things cooking in your psyche’s kitchen. But where does the alchemical power of sexual attraction come from? It all starts in a very innocent place: childhood.

The first people we “fall in love” with are our parents. Our relationship to them programs us for future intimacies. The people we choose to be our lovers often come with the same qualities—helpful and unhelpful—that our parents brought to us. Enter the concept of relational homeopathy, a term introduced to me by the same insightful woman mentioned above.

In medicinal homeopathy, an extremely small amount of what causes an illness is administered to heal it. For instance, there is a homeopathic remedy made from onions (Allium cepa) that treats hay fever’s watery eyes and nose. (It’s not a complete analogy because onions don’t cause hay fever, but you get the picture.) Relational homeopathy happens when you find yourself engaged with someone who reminds you a little of Mom or Dad. Sometimes when you are relating to her or him you feel just like the hurt and powerless child you once were. However, this person’s behavior is not severe enough to cause more wounding or recreate an abusive environment. It’s just really irritating. One way to know that the stage is set for this kind of “homeopathic” healing is when you have a big reaction to a relatively small event. The magic happens when you shine your adult consciousness on the young part of you who feels so sad and angry.

Here is an example: You feel intensely rejected—like a hurt little girl—when your partner doesn’t say hello to you when he comes home. I’m willing to bet that the part of you that is feeling so dismissed is stuck in childhood. Maybe your Dad wasn’t very emotionally attuned to you, and one of the manifestations of his lack of presence was that he ignored you when he came home. But unlike your father, your partner is usually pretty emotionally responsive. However, when he’s stressed out, he does have a habit of not acknowledging you when he first steps in the door. It’s not a terribly harmful behavior, but nonetheless does trigger strong feelings related to an experience from the past. This is the optimal situation for “homeopathic” healing to occur.

And what would that healing look like? Well, it may mean that instead of lashing out at your partner, you have a kind word with your inner five-year-old. This young part of you probably thinks that your significant other’s current aloofness and your dad’s past unavailability is/was indicative of your lack of worth as a person. Now is the time to sit your sweet self down and tell yourself that that idea is a flat out lie!

Remind yourself that:

1) your parents’ inattention had nothing to do with you
2) your partners’ inattention has nothing to do with you
3) you are and always have been inherently worthwhile

Once you’ve eased your inner kid’s sense of rejection, you can respond to the situation at hand from the position of an adult, not a child.

It’s relational homeopathy. Your partner’s temporary inattention, approached with an eye towards self-awareness, functions like Allium cepa: It has the ingredients to make you weep, but it also carries the potential to help you access and resolve the true source of your tears—the childhood experience of feeling unworthy of affection. By using the feeling of rejection to love yourself more—not less—you take another step towards wholeness. Apply this “remedy” to all of the difficult situations in your life, and nothing can stop you from growing.

Where Am I? Facebook!

I'm interpreting dreams on the Facebook page for The Night Is Jung Come join us!

Here's an example of how I work.

DREAMER: I was wearing my blue beaded sparkly dress I wear for dancing while looking for a job in flower nurseries. As I was having lunch with a friend, a woman approached me to say her man was “off limits.” I said, "I do not even know his name," while the handsome man smiled largely from behind her.

THE NIGHT IS JUNG: I wonder if your animus is courting you, but maybe you feel like it's not OK to go after him. He's "off limits." By animus, I mean your "masculine" qualities such as assertiveness, direct communication about what you want, taking initiative, feeling confident (maybe even feeling confident with men), and general empowerment. It's interesting, because in Jungian theory, a certain deep blue is a symbol of the feminine. So you are all dressed up in garb to express your feminine, looking for a job with flowers (a kind of feminine job, as it is earth-oriented), feeling attracted to a masculine character. Maybe this is happening because your feminine knows that you need the help of the masculine to get the job. Maybe that's why she/you is in a dress that sparkles--to get his attention. So is there a job of some kind, literal or figurative, that you want? Is there something you want to cultivate (as in growing flowers) in your life, but need a little umpf to help you take constructive action? Is there anything at all that you desire that you think is somehow wrong to want or have and so you don't pursue it? If you were to imagine in your mind's eye a conversation between your dream self and that handsome man, what would they say to each other? See what happens. Maybe he's not as "off limits" as he seems.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Where Art Thou, Beauty?

“As a rule, a beautiful woman is a terrible disappointment,” Jung remarked. Why would he say this? Why would he make such a gross generalization? Truthfully, I do not know the context of this quote, but here is my take on it: Beautiful women and men are terrible disappointments because of a little psychological menace called projection.

Projection is a phenomenon in which we perceive our own personal traits, whether positive or negative, as outside of ourselves—like a film projected onto a screen. Many of us think, either consciously or unconsciously, that beauty is something other people have—not us. And not just beauty, but ideal, transcendent love—the kind we can really only get from our connection to God and ourselves. If we’re unsuccessful in experiencing this kind of love within, we look for it without—by getting involved with unsuspecting “beautiful” people. And maybe for a while the projection is successful—time stops, we’re euphoric, we think we have fallen in love. Until, that is, the beloved person behaves in ways we don’t like, proving to be something other than the glorious image of All Things Wonderful that we have projected onto her or him. Usually, we become extremely disappointed when this happens—hence Jung’s remark—and we want to leave our formerly fabulous lover, perhaps demonizing her or him along the way. But as a very wise woman once said to me, the real relationship begins when the projection falls. It takes courage and the willingness to look at ourselves to stay with someone after we’ve perceived his or her foibles.

Think about this: If we are sinking into disappointment about our beloved’s sudden lack of stellar qualities, maybe the person we are really displeased with is ourselves. Why? Because we failed to see our own beauty—and then went looking for it in another! Viewed in this light, we can see our disappointment as serving the sacred purpose of returning us to the source of that which we seek: our own hearts. Our relationships become powerful teachers of the most valuable of life lessons: the love and beauty we crave is within.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pregnant with Possibility

What does it mean when a woman without a lover dreams that she is with child? I always think it’s a very good sign, for such a woman is pregnant with herself! The girl abandoned in childhood returns to be cherished by her own grown-up heart. When we are neglected or abused as kids, it is common to forsake our authentic self-expression in an attempt to survive the behavior of our parents. A woman who is pregnant with herself knows that it is time to emerge from the darkness of repressed feelings and needs. She is getting ready, nourishing the miracle of selfhood in her psychic womb until she feels safe enough to speak her own truth, live her own wisdom.

Maybe it’s necessary to do this kind of gestating apart from a romantic relationship because otherwise too much energy is spent on taking care of a partner. Likewise, a woman can get lulled into expecting someone to nurture her, never discovering her capacity to be tender with herself. Either way, she is disempowered. The dream child comes to teach that self-love is the ultimate power. The soul understands that this fundamental lesson must be learned before a fulfilling partnership can be created.

A woman who is pregnant with herself is preparing to birth her own worth. Having delivered herself, she will be ready to explore the possibility of uniting her soul force with another’s.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dreaming into the Body

Dream interpretation can be a cerebral joy ride. Yet reveling in intellectual understanding of your inner world is like hanging on to a treasure map—the gold still waits to be found. Want to unearth the real wealth? Look to the body, as well as the mind.

Emotions are energy. When energy arises, but we don’t express it—whether it is grief, anger, or humiliation—it stays in our bodies until we let it out. Feelings may be buried for years—a whole lifetime, even. And if they are not released, they can emerge as illness, chronic pain, or dysfunctional behavior patterns. And, yes, stuck emotions often come out in our dreams, too: The marauder, murderer, starving child, wild tiger come to speak to us about our repressed rage and sadness. How do we help ourselves express the feelings that these imaginal figures carry? Sometimes just talking about our dream images with a safe person helps. There are also specific therapies that unwind knotted up energy by bringing body and image together.

For example, Arnold Mindell’s Process Work employs a variety of techniques to help dreamers integrate their imaginal and physical worlds. A Process Work practitioner may ask the dreamer to find the most compelling character in her dream, and then inquire where the image “lives” in her body. “Where in your body do you feel the tiger? How is the tiger moving? What kind of sounds is he making?” a practitioner may query.

Some find sandplay therapy helps them access long-held pain. A Jungian process, sandplay involves exploring repressed experiences through arranging figurines and other objects in a small sandbox. It sounds simple, even child-like, but using your hands to arrange concrete representations of psychic images can yield profound psychological healing.

There are many other body-centered therapies that, while not dream oriented, are nonetheless transformative. Here are a few: Hakomi, Somatic Experiencing, Brainspotting, EMDR, and Rubenfeld Synergy Method. It is advisable to find a trained professional counselor, and not just a massage therapist or other healing arts practitioner, who practices these or any of the other techniques I have mentioned.

Once you find a qualified guide, the rest is up to you, your imaginal world, and your body. You are the ultimate source of your own growth. Your dreams bring you sacred clues that, used in combination with focused attention on your body, can help illuminate your darkest places, doctor your deepest wounds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Be Human Is Divine

“If it is someone’s karma to suffer consider it your dharma to help him.” When I first heard that (paraphrased) message of one of my spiritual teachers, I thought, “Well that idea’s either a ticket to enlightenment or the next Codependents Anonymous meeting.”

When it comes to contemplating how and when I serve people, another quote—this one from Jung—brings me balance: “I’d rather be whole than good.” Ahhhh. Yes, the fresh air of acknowledging my humanity delicately greets my body and mind, and I deeply breathe it in.

I truly love to help people, but I do have my limits. I’m not sure if saying No to a person in need is going to get me kicked out of heaven, but it may keep me from losing my sanity.

Being whole is about acknowledging our myriad feelings and needs and not shaming any of them. Getting to know the different parts of ourselves is a long process; some people (especially Jungians) say it takes a lifetime. If our psyches are set to “Automatic Care-take," we’ll never know when we genuinely want to help someone or when we are just playing a role, i.e. “being good.” I’m not going to doubt the direction of an enlightened person who says that selfless service is the way to God, but I do think that that service needs to be authentic.

What is “being good” to you? And does it keep you from being whole?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Great Buzz Kill

My living space is full of photographs of divine emissaries: the Dalai Lama, Ammachi, Yogananda, Jesus, Babaji, Neem Karoli Baba, Mother Mary. I love the celestial buzz I get whenever I gaze at their jubilant faces. But a quote from Jung on my refrigerator keeps me from staying giddy on God for too long. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,” my Jungian fridge proclaims, “but by making the darkness conscious.” What? You mean in order to get to those elevated states of awareness I so revere, I’ve gotta stop staring at my beloved spiritual teachers and start looking at myself? Yes, Jung says.

Well, shit.

I am as about as interested in excavating the dark corners of my psyche as the next person. However, I know Jung is right. Waking up is not a big game of Let's Pretend. If I want to heal, I need to be honest with myself about who I am. It would be wonderful if I could express unconditional love to everyone. However, pent up anger and hidden insecurities are part of who I am; they don't go away just because I and my cherished ideals want them to. In fact, avoiding them is the surest way to arrest my evolution. I adore my photos of the great saints because they remind me of what's possible. But, in the end, I know I'm not going to arrive at enlightenment's door with anyone's face other than my own.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Red Book

Sitting before me is a piece of buried treasure: an over-sized manuscript with a red fabric binding and a very simple title: The Red Book. I open the cover and gingerly thumb through the thick pages, setting my eyes on beautifully ornate paintings of mythical creatures paired with calligraphic text. I find myself transfixed, and I know I am not the only one. The whole of the Jungian community is abuzz with W. W. Norton's 2009 publication of this more than 350-page volume. Carl Jung's personal journal, The Red Book has been kept in a Swiss bank vault for decades—until now. Why is its release such a big deal? The answer to that question rests in the heavy tome's history.

In 1913, at the age of 38, Carl Jung had a crisis during which he found himself shaken by visions of gods and demons. He dealt with his breakdown by sequestering himself in the evenings with a red-leather bound volume of parchment paper in which he wrote about, and elaborately illustrated, his emotionally charged imaginal world. What is now called The Red Book served not only as a forum for Jung to process his chaotic inner life, but also as a chronicle of the evolution of his fundamental theories.

In an NPR interview, the book’s editor and translator, Sonu Shamdasani, described The Red Book as the story of "how Jung recovers his soul, recovers meaning in his life through enabling the rebirth of the image of God in his soul. In so doing, he created a psychology that created a vehicle for others to regain meaning in this."

Wow! So Jung found the sacred within himself and created a whole new genre of psychology just by what amounts to some serious journaling time? Imagine what any of us could do by paying equally close attention to our dreams and images. Granted, Jung’s soul-rattling visions were a little more than dreams. But, still, even with just our lowly nightmares and imaginal visitations by ex-lovers, we have the power to do what Jung did: heal ourselves. That’s what I love about The Red Book: It’s concrete proof of the psyche’s innate capacity to achieve a sense of wholeness. If Jung can do it, so can you.

Want to know more about this much celebrated work? Check out the trailer for the book on YouTube, as well as Sarah Corbett's in-depth New York Times article, "The Holy Grail of the Unconscious," which served as the primary source for this blog entry.

Want to know more about yourself? Start recording your dreams!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Way of the Dream video clip

The late Canadian Jungian analyst Fraser Boa (mentioned in the previous post on Death in Dreams) made a documentary series called The Way of the Dream, which was based on interviews with Maria von Franz. The film series is no longer available. However, there are clips, such as this one of the film's introduction, on YouTube. Fraser Boa is almost comically stilted and self-conscious, but von Franz is full of verve and conviction. She was the real deal. As an aside, if anyone knows of a way for me to get my hands on a copy of this film series, please let me know.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Death in Dreams

Last night you dreamed your lover died of botulism. Should you worry? Well, I wouldn't. Though people do have dreams that foreshadow their own or others' demise, I think those imaginal car wrecks and accidental poisonings are usually just metaphors to be interpreted. Death dreams are often terrifying, and for good reason: They have a message to deliver about an urgent psychological matter, and eliciting fear is a good way to get us to listen up.

Take, for instance, Tina's dream, in which her best friend of 15 years, Marcia, died. Tina was completely unglued about this because she had heard about people having prophetic death dreams. However, as Tina described her life challenges to me, it became apparent to me that she was most likely not dreaming about the literal Marcia, but about an aspect of herself.

Tina had recently gone through some major changes: she had had a baby, and her husband had taken an executive position that required a great deal of travel. She saw herself as a very strong, independent woman, and was not at all prepared for the exhaustion and vulnerability she experienced as a stay-at-home mom whose partner was often unavailable. Though Tina and Marcia generally had an egalitarian friendship, and Tina felt supported by Marcia, Tina generally saw her friend as a "little sister," someone who was more in need of care than herself. Given her recent life overhaul, and her perception of Marcia, it made perfect sense to me that Tina would have a dream in which Marcia perished.

Tina's circumstances presented some serious obstacles to getting her own need for nurturing met: Her new baby was utterly dependent on her, and her primary support person, her husband, was frequently out of town. Was she even allowed to have needs? Tina was too scared to consciously ask the question. So her unconscious took over and gave her the image of Marcia—the "little sister" friend—to help her understand her experience. She felt, deep down, that her need to be nurtured and taken care of would simply have to die, and that idea is what truly terrified her. When she realized this, she took steps to tend to herself: She asked her husband to call a sitter so they could plan an actual date; she let her friends, including Marcia, know that she would be phoning them more often (in between feedings and diaper changes); and she bought a journal so that she could jot down a line or two about her feelings while the baby was sleeping.

What if the death dream isn't about a friend or lover, but about you? Sometimes we dream of our own death to shock ourselves into facing our mortality, or because some piece of our psyche that is essential to our emotional survival is suffocating in our present way of life.

The late Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung's protégé, addressed this in a conversation with the Jungian analyst and author Fraser Boa (also deceased) in Boa's book,
The Way of the Dream: Conversations on Jungian Dream Interpretation with Marie-Louise von Franz (Shambhala, 1994). Boa asked von Franz, "Are there dreams that announce death, that say a person is actually going to die?" Von Franz wisely replied, "Well, I would say that until they are actually dead, you are never quite sure." She continued with this account of a client's experience:

"A woman consulted me once who had cancer, metastases all over the body. She had shocking death dreams. She dreamt that her watch had stopped. She brought it to the watchmaker, and he said it couldn't be repaired. She dreamt her favorite tree was felled in the garden. I didn't even have to interpret the dreams for her. She said sadly, 'That clearly tells the outcome of my illness.' The doctors told her in the usual way, 'You will get better. You will be all right.' But she was sure she was dying, and that terrible shock made her pull up her socks and face her problems. She had a problem she hadn't faced, and I can only say she's still alive after fifteen years. She had death dreams to give her a death shock. She could have died, and she could have not died. Out of shock, she chose to live.

"After that experience I would say that even if people have death dreams, it might only mean that they should face death. It doesn't mean that death will actually happen but that they must come to a naked confrontation with the fact that their life might come to an end."

Sometimes the life-threatening issue that needs to be confronted isn't cancer, but blocked creativity. A friend of mine awoke from an odd dream about a murderous mad scientist with a horrible feeling that she did not have much longer to live. She had recently turned 50, and had been mulling over various aspects of her life with which she felt dissatisfied, in particular her career in advertising. The sudden, visceral feeling that she only had a very limited time on the planet catapulted her into taking the leap of applying to graduate school to get her master's in education. She had always wanted to be a teacher, and had been holding herself back because of her age. Her death dream gave her the impetus to charge after her life dream. And the rush of energy she felt after she applied to school told her that she was absolutely making the right decision.

In her famous book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés discusses the necessity of embracing the Life/Death/Life nature of human existence in order to truly experience our creative power. If new, juicy experiences are to be born, the worn-out and stagnant must die. My friend let go of her advertising career so that she could make room for more rewarding opportunities in education. Tina said goodbye to her "rock of the family" role in favor of acknowledging her authentic needs. Von Franz's client had to face her mortality before she could release her most troubling issues and engage with life. Each of these situations teaches that, while death dreams may be scary, they are often not a harbinger of pain as much as an invitation to a deeper, more satisfying life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Waking Dream

Dreams don't always happen when you're asleep. Your daily life can serve up metaphors that reflect your inner world just fine. Don’t ask me how this happens, I just know that it does. It goes something like this:

You've run into your oral surgeon (of all people) at Borders, Trader Joe's, and the children's museum over the course of the last week. You haven't even thought of the guy since the wretched day he yanked out all four of your wisdom teeth eight years ago. "What's up with that?" you ask. Well, it could be that you're experiencing what Jungians refer to as a waking dream. Just as with a nighttime dream, the key to deciphering a waking dream's message is figuring out what the "characters" represent to you. Take our dear dentist: Maybe he's letting you know it's time to extract something, like a relationship that's run its course, or the dead-end job that you hate, or the negative thinking that keeps you from enjoying what you have.

The unconscious has no bones about letting you know what it thinks, even in the dairy section of the grocery store. Dreams are everywhere, you just need the right eyes to seem them. Sharpen your perception and you'll be rewarded with more awareness about who you are and what you want and need. Who knows? You may even discover a little magic along the way, too.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Harnessing Your Active Imagination

It seems that dreaming is a passive process; dreams happen to us. In the case of nightmares, this concept may leave us feeling rather disempowered. Enter active imagination, a potent Jungian technique. The gist of it is to use your imagination to engage a dream character—a person, object, or even a feeling—by speaking to it, fantasizing about what it might do or say, or what you might do or say in relation to it. (It's best to work with whatever dream experience has the greatest emotional impact.) This kind of process can be very revealing—and healing.

Here's an example: A woman is left rattled by a dream in which a strange man threatens to attack her. During an active imagination exercise, she screws up her courage and decides to envision confronting the ominous figure. "Hello. What are you doing here?" she asks, with no small amount of trepidation. To her utter surprise, the beastly fellow suddenly transforms—into a weeping boy! The little guy is scared and wants his Mommy; he just needs to be held. Immediately her apprehension disappears. "Oh! I can handle a sad kid!" she exclaims with relief.

With some guidance, she comes to understand the intimidating figure as an expression of her own unrecognized fear, a feeling she didn't want to acknowledge. Why? She unconsciously thought that if she admitted she felt more like a trembling child than an authoritative adult she would no longer feel in control of her life. She did not validate her freaked out inner kid, so he (yes, females can have male inner children) went under cover as a terrifying man. Quite a handy device for getting the dreamer's attention, wouldn't you say? The process of active imagination allowed the woman to see her inner child despite his guise and experience feelings of great tenderness for him. Amazingly, validating her fear and giving herself some TLC turned out to be the key to regaining the sense of control and power she so desired. Who could've imagined that? Well, she could and did.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ditch the Dream Dictionary

It is the unique quality of dream imagery that makes dream symbol books virtually irrelevant to me.  Page 57 may say that dreaming of an apple tree denotes an "abundant future," but page 57 doesn't know anything about your circumstances: You had a nasty fight with your significant other last night, or you just found out your job of 20 years is on the line. If you ponder that apple tree and sit with it for a while, it may bring up wonderful memories of your grandmother who had a big ol' apple tree in her backyard. She had a knack for calming you down when the "crazies" hit you when you were kid. And now, here she is, reminding you to take kind care of yourself, and even make room for pleasure, during tough times. "Have a bite of this red beauty," she says. You won't find that in a dictionary.

Dreams Never Lie

Dreams are a gift if for no other reason than that they are completely trustworthy. A friend's advice may or may not help you, but a message garnered from your own psyche is always one worth listening to. Sometimes this can be rather unpleasant, as dreams can be quite confrontational. You (and your companions) may be trying to hide from the less enjoyable aspects of your personality, but your dreams aren't afraid to tell you the truth about them. By the same token, your nocturnal images may offer you the key to perceiving personal talents that have somehow gone unacknowledged.  But whatever your dreams convey, you can be sure the messages are crafted especially for you by your adoring Unconscious whose greatest wish is that you become more whole. How can you doubt a motive like that? Trust your dreams. Trust yourself.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Divine “Ah-ha!”

Ordinary people were having flashes of profound clarity way before Oprah made the "Ah-ha Moment" a regular celebrity feature in O magazine. Dreamworkers are visited often by such enlightening shifts in perception. You can tell they've arrived by the "Oh!" that spontaneously emerges from their lips. In fact, it's this exclamation—sometimes uttered in surprise, other times thoughtfulness—that is the telltale sign an interpretation is complete. "Mission accomplished!" the Unconscious declares, taking a few moments to sit down and relax before readying the next treasure chest of images for excavation.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Third Voice

Should you pursue your creative dreams or your career? This potential partner or that one? Start a family or stay child-free? Big decisions are rarely simple ones, and it can be frustrating to feel caught between two seemingly opposing options. When this happens to me, I like to remember the Jungian principle of holding the creative tension between the opposites. Rather than use my rational faculties to argue for one choice or another, I give my decision-making process some breathing room. I don't think about the situation for a while, and when I do, I spend some time entertaining both possibilities as equally valid. The point is, I don't force a move. I sit with my embattled mind, and then I listen...for the Third Voice. "What's that?" you say. It's the part of us that is more interested in integrating new awareness than in a knuckle-whitening conclusion. If we wait, it will use the frustration of our conundrum to forge insights about what we truly need. Take for instance, an age-old romantic predicament: a woman finds herself torn between two lovers (violins, please). If she resists the urgency to act and lets herself just be with her dilemma , she may discover that what she really wants is a greater sense of selfhood in her relationships in general. That Ah-ha! Moment (apologies to Oprah) could mean she decides she doesn't want to be with either person, but with her own fine self. By holding the tension between two opposing choices, refusing for just awhile to decide one is absolutely better than the other, we are giving priority to the process of becoming more conscious over trying to be right. The mind might think this is not such a great idea, but, believe me, the soul will be overjoyed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fear Not the Dark Side

One of the wonderful things about doing dreamwork is that scary dreams don't have to be so frightening anymore. Perhaps you wake up, heart racing, because you dreamed someone was robbing your house. From a Jungian perspective this isn't such a bad thing. It's merely a communication from your shadow, a part of yourself or your experience that you've cut off. If a thief has appeared in your dream, you could ask yourself: Am I robbing myself of energy by putting my needs on hold? Am I letting someone else rob me of my sense of self-worth? Do I feel like I need to steal others' affection in order to feel loved? The answers to these questions could result in a new awareness that actually creates more equanimity in your life. Sometimes your dream world shakes you up so you can come back to center. It scares you to let you know something is out of balance, but simultaneously gives you the keys to calming yourself.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Be Who You Are

"It's easier to try to be better than you are than to be who you are." —Renowned Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, from Coming Home to Myself, by Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick (Conari Press, 1998)

It may be safer and easier to live on automatic, letting the roles we have chosen for ourselves lead the way. But the soul calls us deeper, letting us know through our dreams who we really are, what we really want and need. Are you bent on staying in control, rising to every duty with perfect aplomb? Be prepared for dreams of overflowing toilets, says Woodman. But no worries. All that sewage is just letting you know that you're human: You're pissed you have to go to work. You're too tired to do the laundry. You don't want to smile at the person who's just said hello.
Jungian wisdom says that acknowledging these kinds of less-than-perfect feelings (easier said than done, I know) will most likely keep you from wading your way through an imaginal flooded bathroom. As you grow into greater self-acceptance, you might find your nighttime wanderings take you, instead, to a wide open field, or to a large living room with high ceilings, places your psychic self can stretch out, run around, and just be.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A message from my psychic self (everyone has one). May it be useful to those who read it.

Trust in the process of your life. There are so many ways we hold ourselves back.
Divine guidance is available to us if we tap into it. Just close your eyes, breath, and allow the truth of your being to emerge. Notice the tension you hold in your body and gradually release it. Notice what you wish you would have said but didn't say, and release that too. Increase the flow of awareness by allowing yourself to dip into gentleness. Honor your potential, and recognize your capacity to grow and learn with experience. Listen.

What I Do

I am a clairvoyant and clairaudient healer who has been a student of psychology (via my own inner work) since 1990. I've been studying Jungian philosophy for nearly a decade, and for 15 years have practiced various forms of energy work. I interpret dreams through a combination of intuition, channeled information, logic, and analytical skill. (Please note that I am not a psychotherapist.) Dream imagery contains potent psychic energy that, when unleashed, can transform the understanding of self and others. Through one-on-one phone consultations, I help dreamers decode the messages of their personal myths and metaphors so that they may live their lives with greater integrity, awareness, and power.

The Night Is Jung is intended to be a chronicle of my explorations of the imaginal world. I will write about how I interpret dreams, with the dreamers' permission, and will share my musings as I explore the works of Carl Jung, founder of contemporary Western dream analysis, and his main protege, Marie-Louise von Franz, as well as other Jungian scholars.

 Call 505.820.0848 or e-mail for more information or to set up an appointment.