A Visitation

“Sweet Dreams”, 2019 Lettra Press

‘Janie called me on the phone. “Rockin’ Rosie Mahoney!” “Janie! Where are you?” I cried. ‘

Our loved ones appear to us in our dreams. Loved ones calling us on the phone or talking to us through a radio in our dreams. These are visitation dreams. Our loved ones just want us to know that they around us and that they are okay. Sometimes they just want to check in and say ‘Hey’ and sometimes they have a message to give us.

Very often our crossed over loved ones choose to reach out to us while we are sleeping. And that is because they do not want to frighten us. They do see us during our waking hours and many young people can see still see spirits of loved ones even if they transformed to the spirit world before they were born. I can feel their presence and I know they are around  me. But how can they communicate with us? Birds, feathers, coins, suddenly hearing a word or phrase or a song on the radio in answer to a question: “Show me a sign that you’re around me. “

Six months after my high school best friend died suddenly, I received a message from her in a dream. She called me on the telephone to tell me that she was safe and alright. As a teenager, I did not know what happened to us when we died. Do we die and that’s the end? Or do our souls/spirits continue on to another life? What I learned from that dream was that she had crossed over and was communicating to me through a medium that I would understand. After school, we would talk for hours on the phone about everything and nothing. (A 1980’s landline telephone; cell phones were not created yet.)

I believe that all dreams are messages and a visitation from a crossed over friend, relative or co-worker is a special message that they are safe and watching over us.

Wishes Can Come True

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~ Walt Disney

 

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*photo by Leslie Sheridan

 

Keep moving forward. I first heard these words spoken in the Disney animated movie, ‘Meet the Robinson’s’ 10 years ago. I now know that these words were prophetic for me. A year and a half later a major life change happened. Alas, I did not remember these three words at the time. It might have helped me a little if I did. Change is constantly happening but I’ve been feeling it with such intensity these last few years. And so, I’m reminded of those three words rather frequently now. They’ve become my mantra.
Keep moving forward. Logically, what other choice do we have? I guess we could stay where we are but nothing new or better would come of it. Although it’s easy to get into a rut, getting out of it might be something like struggling to get out of quicksand. My point is if we choose to dwell on being sad, negative or fearful, three guesses where we’re going to end up – right where we are.
However, if we accentuate the positive or day dream about what we want our future to be, that is, use our magical powers of manifestation, we are moving forward.
This time of the year, as we get closer to Halloween and Samhain (SOW-in, the Celtic New Year) the veil is thinnest. Which means our dreams and wishes can manifest quicker. If we stand still we might miss an opportunity. Let’s keep moving forward towards positive change, towards our dreams despite the fear or worry; let the forward motion get momentum.
It’s the Law of Attraction. What we think about, talk about and do is what we are manifesting right now. What we set our minds to whether it is a career, relationship, a new house or anything we desire will come to us. (If you need a visual to help you get started – vision boards are great!)
Walt Disney was the master of change and positivity. He believed in magic. He believed in his dreams. Let’s all make some of our own magic and keep moving forward towards our dreams.  

Totem Animals

129_129I have always loved butterflies. Their beauty and the gentle fluttering of their wings; they’re so easy going and free. And they were everywhere. I collected and received as gifts (because my family and friends knew how much I loved butterflies) almost everything with this beautiful insect on it: journals, note cards, jewelry, home décor and clothing. And they could be seen nearly everywhere: outside, in magazines and in the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. I was in heaven – there were hundreds of butterflies flying free.
I recall when my love for butterflies began as a young adult. Around that time I remember hearing an older song on the radio by Elton John whose song had the line, ‘…You’re a butterfly and butterflies are free to fly.’ I remember thinking that it was a message for me. It was. The butterfly was my totem animal for many years.

Not only do we have guardian angels and spirit guides (loved ones who have passed on and have chosen to help us with our journey from the other side), we also have spirit animal guides or totem animals. They are messengers that come in and out of our lives depending on the need for them and where we are on our journey. We can have more than one spirit animal at any given time during our journey here. We don’t choose the animals to be our guide, they choose us. These messengers can be a favorite animal. How can we explain why they are our favorite animal? If the animal chooses us, then we must know this consciously via our subconscious that we really love dogs or horses or butterflies. Totem animals can also be our pet; they can be animals that appear to randomly cross paths with us; and they can visit us in our dreams.
In my book, “Last Night I Dreamt…a guide to dreams and dream recall”, I talk about a young woman who told me of her dream involving a tiger. It walked up to her and got her attention; it wanted her to follow it somewhere. The tiger was leading her to where she should be going on her journey; it was helping her move forward. While I was interpreting her dream it came to me that the tiger was not a symbol, but rather her totem animal. I had asked her if the tiger was her favorite animal and she confirmed that it was.
There have been a few random animals that have made contact with me. Recently, a rather tall turkey (a symbol of sacrifice and abundance) stood next to my car for almost half an hour; I waited until it left before I got into my car.  And, a few years ago I had stopped to write something down in my journal while I was hiking and with my peripheral vision I noticed something walking next to me. It was a coyote (relaxation, have fun, be present) going about its business, but close enough to get my attention. It all seemed random until I read their meaning on spirit-animals.com and interpreted the messages. (*FYI- I have found this website to be an excellent source of information for interpreting not only your totem or random animal but dream interpretations for animal visitations as well.) Spirit-animals.com says that animals that we feel a strong connection with are influential to us and will teach us something about ourselves. My cats Zippy, Mimi and Max have taught me much and I’m still learning from them.

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My butterfly totem of twenty years fluttered away a few years ago (I still see them occasionally). The butterfly symbolizes transformation – think about the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis – and accepting change. Having accomplished that, a new totem flew into my life a few years ago. The dragonflies come to see me every day on my veranda. They’re here to help me on the next wing of my journey.

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**All photos by Leslie Sheridan

Seeing the Future

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As we get ready to leave this year behind and look ahead to 2017 there will be wishes, New Year’s resolutions and goals that we will set for ourselves and try – not always unsuccessfully – to see through and attain.  Career, love life and making or saving more money are the usual desires. We pray and hope that they will come to us. There is another way to clearly see what goals or dreams we should aim for and ways to find out how to begin achieving them. It’s something like magic. This process or tool is called divination.

Divination is a method for getting messages from the universe: God, angels, ascended masters, goddesses, saints and even the fairies. It’s okay if you don’t believe in any of them. It’s not required. But it may help to know who may be communicating with and helping you. There are different spiritual divination tools and some we use every day. There are dreams (the night time kind & day dreams – where we zone out), crystals, tarot cards, and meditation. 

 Carl Jung was the first to say that dreams came directly from Source and that they come to us while we sleep. He studied his dreams, symbols and archetypes and decoded them. From his research he identified what symbols and archetypes were and how to interpret dreams, the types of dreams and where they come from.  He believed, unlike his mentor Sigmund Freud that the messages came to us – that they were not our unconscious thoughts – decompressing and de-stressing from the labors and events of our human day. So, through our dreams we receive symbols and archetypes (universal symbols for example mother, mountain and numbers). Every symbol has usually one or possibly two different meanings and is not always the same for each individual – it depends on the other symbols in the dream, the context of the dream and what it means to the dreamer. We can use intention to find the answer to a problem. Very simply say what you would like a solution for before you go to sleep and if the answer doesn’t come to you by the time you wake up, it will eventually come to you…when it is meant to.

The stereotypical picture of the gypsy fortuneteller with a scarf wrapped about her head staring into a crystal ball originated from a divination method called scrying. Scrying was popular for many thousands of years from the ancient Celts up until the early 20th century. Scrying methods included mirror gazing, water viewing, fire gazing as well as crystal gazing. By staring into the crystal, mirror, water or fire, one could “see” what their future held.

The most popular divination tool for the last twenty plus years is the tarot card. Probably created in the 1700’s as a card game, it is now used by anyone who wants to foretell their future or divine answers and solutions to problems. Anyone can learn to read their own cards, however sometimes a more comprehensive card reading can come from a psychic/medium. They can “see” or “hear” what the average person cannot. And it’s fun and therapeutic at the same time.

Awareness is by far one of the best spiritual divination tools. And all we need to do is make sure that we are aware of signs: butterflies, birds, songs on the radio, and repetitive phrases and numbers to name a few. Hone your “gut” feelings and act on your intuition. You can incorporate your crystals or give yourself your own tarot card reading. A meditation practice also helps with awareness.

Set your positive intention, divine it –by whichever method you prefer –and then pay attention for the signs that your wish has been acknowledged and is being worked on by the angels, saints, a deity or even God or Source if you would rather use that name. The important thing is to choose which method works better for you for the manifestation of your dreams.

 

 

Past Lives: Dreams and Memories

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I am walking next to a little girl with blonde curly hair, underneath a black straw boater hat adorned with a few flowers. She is wearing a black coat down to her knees, white stockings and black ankle boots. She is walking on top of a rock wall as I walk alongside, her small hand in mine. I cannot see myself or what I am wearing; I feel that I am not her mother, but someone like a mother. I believe that I am her governess.

That is where the dream ends. As soon as I wake up, I know that the baby growing inside of me is going to be a girl and that I have known her in another life.  Since my daughter was born, I have been a mother and a teacher to her as well. I introduced her to story time and parks; books and Opera and classical music; daytrips and Broadway shows; art museums and painting and drawing since she could hold a crayon.

We get glimpses of other lives we have lived in this life via dreams or memories during our waking life.  Déjà vu moments; things that come easy to us; a feeling that we’ve known someone we just met a long time; an uncanny longing to visit a place we’ve never been before. We dream about events that may happen in the future. In dreams we may find answers to questions, problems or clues about ourselves. We can also get clues to whom or what we were in another life.  A past life dream will come to us just like any other dream.  It may look and feel different than a typical dream. Instead of a dream that seems weird or may jump around from one scene to another, past life dreams, in my experience give us glimpses of another life that happened millennia, centuries or decades ago.  In that snapshot of a former life, the subconscious gives us – our conscious self – the details. We know the rest on a soul level.

Past lives, for anyone who may not understand what exactly a past life is or how it is even possible – you may not believe in past lives or reincarnation and that’s okay – can be explained like this.  Reincarnation is when a soul chooses to live in a certain time or place; the soul chooses the people it will live a life with and other people who will help it along its journey in every life time.  Many of our souls have lived several lifetimes.  A soul chooses to reincarnate on earth or anywhere else. The universe is vast; we are not the only solar system out there – it may be very possible to live in another solar system.  We, that is, our souls, our guardian angels and spirit guides begin the process of putting together our life plan or blue print for the soul’s (our) next journey.

Past life dreams can be in color, black and white – as most dreams are, or in sepia – which for me is indicative of a past life in ancient times. I have had a glimpse of a past life that was in sepia – an antique type of color – that may have been in ancient Egypt. In one single flash of a past life you will know when and where it was; who the person or persons are in your current life; when this past life occurred; and feelings attached to those memories.

Occasionally, we will get a flash of a past life memory while we’re awake. Sometimes it comes to us when we suddenly experience a déjà vu.  It could happen while we’re at our computer at work; driving somewhere in our car; even visiting an historic site – there’s a reason you’re there.  Something will trigger a past life memory and it will resonate with you.

Past Life Regression Therapy is another way to discover a past life.  Regression therapy is conducted by a regression therapist who specializes in past life therapy and is generally conducted to help heal a mental, physical or spiritual issue which may have originated in a previous life or multiple lives and is  coming to the surface during this incarnation to be addressed.

Through dreams, memories and past life regression I know that a few of my past lives have involved moving west in a covered wagon; being part of an aristocratic family; and religious persecution.  The purpose of reincarnating is to learn lessons, such as compassion or perseverance, until our soul has reached enlightenment. It may take several lifetimes.

 

Nightmares & Sleep Paralysis

 

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The only thing that nightmares and sleep paralysis have in common is that they are frightening.  All comparisons end there.

Nightmares are thought to be brought on by anxiety in the dreamers waking life.  In my research, I have spoken with adolescents and adults who shared with me their nightmares and more often than not they told me about their anxious feelings prior to that night’s sleep. The actual events in the dream did not depict what the anxious feeling was about every time; however they were mostly about school, work, and other life events that may cause stress, but not always.

Sometimes a message is contained within the nightmare but the events in the dream may seem freaky, grotesque, horrific and incredible.  The dream may resemble a horror movie in that way.

Here is one nightmare I had that illustrates this.

A young man I work with was the junior manager on duty the night there was a huge explosion. Blood and body parts were everywhere.  A rock band was playing on stage – the explosion happened after the first set. He was overwhelmed with the aftermath of the massacre. His boss – the senior manager – would not help him; instead she walked away, leaving him to clean up the mess. No sooner that he did that, that the explosion happened again, after the bands second set. At this point, I knew the perpetrator wasn’t the senior manager (in this dream she is the one who is overwhelmed).  It was someone I did not recognize. My search to find the senior manager was futile. I knew she wanted no part of this. She was not supportive of the junior manager.  I helped him to clean up the body parts.  I noticed that blood saturated the carpet.

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Occasionally I have had a dream where suddenly I’ll be unable to move or scream for help. It feels as though someone or something is sitting on top of me, keeping me from moving and not only that but I cannot breathe. I’m aware that I must be dreaming as I struggle to get out from under the thing that is holding me down and force myself to roll off the bed or kick the person next to me so that they’ll hit me and I’ll wake up.  If feels as though I know I’m dying.  Sometimes I’ve stopped fighting. Other times I keep fighting so that I can wake up from this nightmare. Only it’s not a nightmare.  And, as I will explain, this “dream” is not brought on by anxiety. This is a phenomenon called sleep paralysis. The psychic Sylvia Browne called it astral catalepsy because this happens during the soul’s astral travels.

Every night while our human bodies are at rest our souls leave the body and travel or visit.  Our soul astral travels to different planets, universes, or the other side. The soul’s home is the other side. Our human bodies are the home to our souls while it is learning here on earth. The same is true on other planets or universes. Our soul keeps learning on the other side, too, but on earth the learning is more accelerated.  Likewise our soul can travel or visit anywhere on planet earth as well.  If this is hard to wrap your mind around, stay with me.

What is happening during sleep paralysis is that our souls are leaving the body while it is sleeping. The soul can also leave the body during meditation, too, but the body isn’t sleeping. The mind and body are only semi-conscious. And so what happens when the body is either just leaving or just returning from its nightly travels, the semi-conscious mind – not fully asleep – panics. It knows that the soul is half in and half out of the body. Whatever we see or hear in that dream is what the soul is experiencing at the time it gets “caught” entering or leaving the human body while it’s in the unconscious or semi-conscious state.

Nightmares, recurring, pre-cognitive and visitation dreams, as well as other dreams that we experience every night that may not fall into a type have information to relate to us. Sleep paralysis does not have information or a message for us. What it does show us is that our soul does move around while the human body is sleeping. It shows us that we are more than just our physical body.

Visitation Dreams

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Every night we dream and whether it is a nonsensical dream – or so you think – or a nightmare, every dream that we have has a meaning or a message. I have been led to write about visitation dreams. Usually in these dreams it is our loved ones who have crossed over that visit us. I say usually because we can also get visits from our guardian angels or a deity.  They visit us in dreams because they’re just checking in to say hello and to let us know that they are okay. For those of us who have  loved ones – humans or pets – who have crossed over,  this is a chance for us to see them one more time.

So how do you know if your dream is a visitation dream? I can tell you first hand that a visitation dream will stay with you for a long time. You know it’s real. You know that your loved one who passed away is truly visiting you. Where a nightmare sticks with you and is frightening, a visitation dream is anything but.

I have written about a close friend in high school who died tragically and how devastating it was for me to lose someone so close to me at a young age. A precognitive dream told me of her impending death less than a year later. Nearly eight months after her death I received a visit from her. In my dream she called me on a pay telephone (this was long before cell phones) to tell me that she was in a safe place and that she was okay. I woke up with a great sense of relief and joy. I heard from her. She was alright. My grief had been lifted, but I still missed her.

I have also been the bearer of messages to those who have lost loved ones. They appeared in my dream with a message for a family member or friend.  Some believed it, some  did not. And that’s fine. The important thing was that the message was delivered. I may have gotten it because the person for whom the message was intended was not open to it. And the message needed to get to them. Spirit will find a way.

What visitation dreams do for us is give us an opportunity to start the healing process. These dreams, these visits must be believed. Our loved ones have assured us by showing up in our dreams that they are okay. We need to have faith that they are, drop whatever guilt or regret that we have and move forward. We don’t have to nor should we forget them.  Our loved ones are always around us albeit not in the physical world but in the spirit world. They can see us and hear us. They’re present at our graduations and weddings or other happy life events as well as being around when things are not going so well. If our loved ones want us to know that they are nearby, they will find a way of getting our attention. Sometimes they will send us a butterfly, a bird, feather or a coin or coins to signify their presence.

I have had a beautiful visit from my grandmother Shirley that I wrote about in my book, “Sweet Dreams” (Balboa Press) where she was actually sitting at the end of my bed talking to me. What she said to me I couldn’t hear, but I saw her head moving. At the time of her visit, it had been eleven years since she had passed away. That dream is still clear to me and has stayed with me. It is so reassuring to me that she is around me. Grandma Shirley taught me good life skills and I got my love of baking from her. Sometimes when I am unsure of what to do in a particular situation that I need assistance with, I find myself asking, “What would grandma do?”  And then she answers me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dream Recall

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Earlier this week I woke up and began journaling my dreams from that night. I wrote down three dreams. Then I got out of bed and started my morning routine and was getting ready to leave for work when I realized that I didn’t have any breakfast. Maybe I could pick up something on the way to work, I thought.  But then I opened up my refrigerator and looked inside and “ping” I remembered another dream. A fourth dream.

I have been concerned about my overall health lately, specifically my thyroid. It runs in my family, but I don’t believe in prescription medicine for myself. I won’t even take an Advil or Motrin except in the case of a migraine.  Over the last year I’ve researched natural and organic foods that can help reduce the size of the small thyroid goiter that I have.

Back to the refrigerator moment…

I instantly recalled another dream I had that night. In my dream I was told that the root of my thyroid was (and this may not be true for everyone) my immune system. My immunity needed to be boosted and that I should drink orange juice. The vitamin C would be beneficial.  In my dream I felt that I should continue to take care of this naturally without medication.

The point of this story is not my health or  my thyroid. My point is that you can recall dreams when you wake up at two o’clock in the morning or upon waking at your regular time or even in the oddest of places. Usually it’s a word or phrase, a song or a place or thing, such as opening a refrigerator, that will trigger your dream recall.

The key to recalling your dreams is never doubt them and be consistent about writing them down. It’s a practice. The  more you do it the better you will be at it. Dreams will seemingly begin to flow and your recall will become a habit. That’s not to say that  you will remember all of your dreams. We can have many dreams in one night.  Some will be forgotten, but the important ones, the dreams you are  meant to get will be shown to you while you sleep.

Several people that I have met and talked to have told me that they dream but they don’t remember them, if they have any at all. Others share them with me or ask me to interpret their dream for them. We all dream every night. Whether we remember them or want to is a personal choice. I feel that recalling dreams is a helpful divination tool.  The point of recalling and interpreting your dreams is to get the message that the universe has for you.

 

Next: Types of Dreams

What are dreams?

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Dreams are messages from the universe that we receive while we sleep. The dreams are specific to the individual who receives the dream. There are some occasions when a dream is meant for someone else. In that case the dreamer is the messenger ( in which the dreamer gets a message from someone’s loved one in the spirit world to give to a friend or family member, for example). There are also daydreams where we let our minds wander – like taking a mental vacation. And then there are the dreams for ourselves – where we want to be in our career or where we want to be in our lives in a week, a year, ten years or someday. But, the dreams I’m speaking of are the sometimes scary, sometimes weird or wonderful but mostly you-just-can’t-make-this-stuff- up type of dreams that we have every night when we go to sleep.

Dreams come to us at night while we sleep and are completely at rest. Our subconscious mind acts as the conduit through which information is communicated to our conscious mind.  The information comes from as I said,  the universe: angels, God ( the source), our spirit guides, our loved ones on the other side and others. The information being downloaded, if you will, come as images sometimes played out like a movie; sometimes just a few random symbols.  Dreams occur during the R.E.M. cycle. If you’ve ever watched someone while they sleep and see their eyes moving from left to right under their eye lids, it appears  as though  they’re watching a movie or an event play out in front of them while they sleep.

Is there a reason why we dream? Yes, actually, there is a reason for everything, including our dreams. Sigmund Freud, the famed Viennese psychoanalyst, wrote that his own personal dream analysis convinced him of his wish fulfillment theory. These were dreams that were close to daydreams in that they were made up by the dreamer. He also believed that the dream released stress that the dreamer could not express during his or her waking hours and that they were a way for the individual to go over his or her events from the day.

 Dr. Freud’s fellow psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, did not believe in the wish fulfillment theory. Rather, he believed that dreams came to the individual at night during sleep.  He also believed dreams or messages come to us while we are awake in the form of ideas and daydreams. He did not believe that they could be made up. They just flowed from a greater source and into our subconscious while we slept.

I will be writing about nearly everything dream related: what they are, who dreams, when we dream, where our souls are when we dream and why we dream what we dream. We find the answers to our dreams within. 

Next: Dream Recall

 

Dream No. 1

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  • * Note: This is the first in a series of dreams and dream recall and interpretation.

 

The oldest dream that I recall having was a nightmare. I wouldn’t realize it was in fact a pre-cognitive or prophetic dream until nearly a year later.  After 30 plus years this dream is still vivid.  In the dream I am supposed to be going to a record store (this was the about 1980 when there were still just records in record stores) with my best friend in high school, Spacey.  I get to her house and knock on the door. When no one answers the door, I open it and call out her nickname, Spacey – after Ace Frehley (Space Ace) of KISS- but no one responds.  I look in the living room, the kitchen and run down the hall to her bedroom. She isn’t anywhere. Curiously, no one else is home either. In the dream, I begin to feel my heart race. I can’t find her. I call her name again as I run back up the hallway toward the front door and I see her….hanging from a coat hook on the inside of the front door. There is blood everywhere. On her neck and running down her fully clothed body.   In my dream I know she was dressed and ready to go out with me to the record store, but she didn’t quite make it out the front door.

Recall of this dream did not come until three months later while I was visiting my grandparents in Florida.  It happened while I was sitting in my grandmother’s mustard yellow vinyl recliner reading a collection of rock and roll history from the 1950’s through the late 1970’s. It was relaxing – the first somewhat relaxing day I’d had in a few months. Grief over my friend’s loss had consumed me all day, every day. I replayed memories of us in school, talking on the phone after school and that horrible September day that I learned of her death.

On Thursday that week I wished Spacey a happy birthday. Three days later on a Sunday afternoon I called her house. When I asked to speak with her I heard gasping and crying from the first two family members who answered the phone and then the third person, her uncle, barked through the telephone,    “Who is this?” I explained who I was and again asked to speak with her. He told me she had passed away the night before in a vehicle accident.

What’s interesting to me is that this was my first dream recall that I could recall at that time.  I did not recall the dream the morning after I had it, nor did I recall it anytime prior to or just after the accident.  I wasn’t ready for it, perhaps? Instead, I had a flash of that dream sitting in my grandmother’s recliner.  In that flash, I knew I’d dreamt it before and was able to recall the entire dream.  Perhaps I was relaxed enough to allow it to come into my consciousness, when I had stopped obsessing over my friend’s death. In other words, the information was already out there in the universe, but I was too busy to receive it.

What I’ve learned is that dreams grab our attention just after we have the dream – even if it wakes us up at 2:00 in the morning – or at a later time. The dream may be recalled upon waking; when a song on the radio triggers the dream recall; or sitting in a chair reading a book.