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.

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.

******

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.

20160723_182524.jpg

**All photos by Leslie Sheridan

Nightmares & Sleep Paralysis

 

20151025_081857.jpg

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.

20150331_193956.jpg

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

001_1

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.