A Season of Change

 

 

Fall always reminds me of Demeter’s anger and sorrow at the seasonal sacrifice of her daughter Persephone to Hades. The coming of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), a pagan fall festival at the end of October, the time of year that the ancient Celts marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. And this past weekends Hunter moon, the first of three  SuperMoons of this year. No pun intended, but this is huge. Watch what happens around these SuperMoon’s. That’s the goddess within me speaking.

SuperMoon or not, fall is a time for reflection before moving on to whatever comes next. I think back over the last ten months at all that has changed in my life and in the world. I look forward with curiosity to what the remainder of this year will bring. Personally, this has been a year of tremendous spiritual growth for me and continues to be. I have grown in other ways as well.

I have recently launched my website: lsheridan.com which is still in its growth period. And this year will see the publication of a children’s book, “Last Night I Dreamt…. A Guide to Dreams and Dream recall” It’s a guide for tweens, teens and parents of younger children, but really everyone will get insight from reading it. And, I hope to publish another book next year. Now I understand what my dream of babies was about! Giving “birth” to something new.

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“You reflect on the people who used to be in your life and it’s like, ‘Wow. I can’t believe that person was ever really in my life.’ But people are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons and to teach you lessons.”

~Selena Gomez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

THE GIFT

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THE GIFT

Writing is not what I aspired to. In English and History classes in high school, I dreaded writing and barely got past the first paragraph. College papers, when they were required, were the bare minimum. My papers resembled lists and I repeated myself in those essays or reports. I did not enjoy writing. It may have been explained in English class, but I did not really know how to construct an essay, a story or a report. So, I could never have imagined then that I would become a published author.

It is said that to write well, you need to read to understand how sentences are structured and how to put a story together. Growing up, I loved reading books. I read classics like, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” ;  Guy de Maupassant’s tragic short story, “The Necklace” twice, and every book by Tracy Chevalier.  I would read biographies on almost anyone and I still do,  for school and for enjoyment.  I read magazines from cover to cover, the New York Times and watched television news programs. This is how I learned how to deliver and write a story.  I saw writing as a way to obtain information or for entertainment, never as an art form.

And then, in late 2008 I had a life change. After twenty years working in the accounting department for a  media company that included a newspaper and a magazine, I was laid off. During the first year of unemployment when I had related the story of my spiritual journey to someone, it was suggested to me that I had a lot to tell, and that I should write books. I thought to myself “Never. That is not something I would remotely be interested in doing.” I did not like writing….I could not write. On reflection I wondered if that was because I did not think I had a story to tell.

Well, I did not think about that exchange again, until two years later when I took classes at a community college and found myself looking at the college’s club bulletin board. There were clubs and organizations for nearly everything and everyone.  I found myself looking straight at a notice for the college newspaper. I was led to it. I felt it was a sign, so I humored my spirit guides, even though I still did not believe I could write anything.  So, I attended the first meeting and I got a positive feeling. Something inside of me changed.  Shortly after that, I wrote my first brief on an  event at the college. A simple paragraph. I could not write any more than that. Still, I kept at it. There must be a reason why I joined the college newspaper.

My next assignment was to be an article on plagiarism. The publisher said there had been increased issues with students copying papers and cheating on tests due to the availability of cell phones. I took my time with it and really got into investigating and interviewing people for  the piece. I really enjoyed what I was doing and the writing came easily: I wrote over 900 words. The editor told me the writing was good and nothing needed to be edited. I remember thinking: what happened in that one month from the first piece that was a basic paragraph of information that I scraped together to this 900 plus word story? I never took a writing class. I was never a journalist. So, how did this transition happen? Where did this sudden burst of writing come from?

I don’t know how else to explain it other than it was meant to be. Destiny. The universe led me to it. Specifically, on a soul level, it was planned before my current incarnation. We all have “blueprints” of what our human experiences will entail. The who, what, when, where and how  of our souls journey. Who our parents will be, what lessons our souls want to learn, where we will live, who we will marry, how  many children  we will have, and when our souls current mission will end. I believe my spirit guides and guardian angels, who were with my soul during the planning stages for this incarnation, gave me gentle reminders about events that were pre-planned and guided me through the implementation of those plans. They led me to that bulletin board and subsequently helped with the writing of my book, “Sweet Dreams”. While the characters in the short story are composites of people I knew in this life-time, and are now on the other side, I am very certain one of them  also assisted with her part of the story.

Everyone has a story to tell whether it’s happy, tragic or inspiring. Writing is only a part of  mine. Although it did not come naturally to me until a few years ago, I really enjoy it now. For me, writing is a gift that I share with everyone. It is not mine to keep.  I am grateful for this gift. Who knows where it will take me or for how long. Everyday, I look for something to write about; or an idea will “pop” into my head – divine intervention. Be grateful for your gifts whatever they are.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for all great things in 2015.

Sweet Dreams