Guest Post by Kelly Lydick
There is so much information out there on how to be or become healthy, and how to balance the facets of life. It’s easy to look at diet and exercise, or how much screen time you consume, or how to meditate to manage stress, but people don’t always think about looking at their dreams as a path to wellness.
All my life I have been an active dreamer. I’ve religiously kept a journal about my dreams and read many, many books on the topic. My long-time favorite has always been Betty Bethard’s The Dream Book, a simple dictionary-like book with a Jungian slant.
Over the years, I have amassed notebook after notebook with details on my dreams, my interpretation of my dreams, and other missives. Years ago, at the recommendation of a friend, I decided to begin studying mysticism with a Rabbi. Shortly thereafter, I decided to attend graduate school for creative writing.
It was then that I realized that the ancient mystics who knew well the mysteries of the unseen, believed that our perception of dreams was merely one of limited view—that if we were to look more deeply at the world, we would see that the waking life and the dream life were like mirrored reflections of one another. And, that peering into the mysteries of the unseen would require that we understand that waking life and dreaming life are nearly reversed.
So I started to write about it. Soon, I found that my master’s thesis was already underway, this study of the mysteries of the universe at the helm of a ship, which I certainly was not navigating. I finished my master’s thesis in record time, sent it off to a publisher, and got word back that the publisher wanted to publish my thesis as a book. It happened in record time, and Mastering the Dream was released late in 2007.
Just when my speaking engagements were at their height, I started to feel tired. Too tired to do very much. My head hurt, and I was woozy. My blood sugar went up and down, my heart rate was too high, I felt out of sorts, and didn’t know what to do. I had just recorded a radio segment for NPR & KQED’s The Writers’ Block, and the next morning, I could barely get out of bed.
I called my doctor who soon thereafter told me that I had an extreme imbalance in my metabolic system. I had, in fact, been very sick—so sick that I couldn’t sleep, I could barely walk without getting winded, and my mind was feeling pretty foggy. It was one of the scariest times in my life.
And there I was those years ago, at a loss for what to do to bring wellness back into my life. So I did the thing that I knew how to do—consult my dreams. And it ended up changing my life.
My sleep was interrupted, so I dreamt little during this time, but the dreams I did have seemed profound. They were pointing the way, showing me my path, and guiding me back to wellness.
I enlisted the help of a metaphysical healer. My health started to improve, and I continued to dream and journal my dreams. I knew that I needed to dig deeper to bring balance back to my body, so I started searching for the right program to propel me forward. I was doing deep inner work on my mind, my body, and my emotions, and I knew I was ready for a breakthrough.
By synchronicity, I happened to stumble upon Denise Linn’s Gateway Dreaming™ professional certification course, and I immediately knew this was the exact right thing for me. I registered for the program, and went back to my dream journal eager to see the signs of a new beginning, a new path to balance, wellness, and health.
I started incubating my dreams, a technique I now teach to others, and began the process of inquiry through my dreams. My health continued to improve. I started meditating daily, and became committed to balanced health. I knew that the mind–body–spirit connection was the right way, and Denise’s program reconfirmed this. I continued my studies with my Rabbi.
As I continued to inquire into my dreams, I saw the outward results. I confronted things about myself I didn’t want to admit, much less change. I vastly modified my diet and cut out caffeine and alcohol, and most sugar. I continued to consult my dreams.
About halfway through the program, something inside me shifted. I was reclaiming the lost parts of myself that I had long forgotten, denied, or hadn’t yet gotten to know. My health improved and I stayed the course.
Six months later, I found myself at the end of the dreaming journey with Denise and my cohort. I didn’t feel ready to be done and I didn’t want it to end. I had come too far and made too many changes. I was fearful of what would happen when I didn’t have the support of the group. But I continued to dream, and continued to journal my dreams, and they continued to provide the answers to every question I had, from dietary recommendations to the existential.
It was a short bit of time before I started working directly with clients and their dreams, as I continued to be propelled into further training, study, and professional-level work in other areas. But it was always the dreamscape that continued to anchor any other modalities with which I decided to work.
There is something that happens in a person, when they choose to directly engage with their dreamscape. It’s a vast world, but it’s also the gateway to the subconscious, the part of the mind that often runs the show behind the scenes, so to speak. Without this engagement in the dream world, there remains a missing piece in the path to wellness. Part of the mind–body–spirit connection necessarily must include dreams as dreams reflect our emotions, are products of our mind and spirit, and act as a conduit to the world of the unseen. They are, in my best estimation, the quickest way to the deepest level of self-understanding possible. And without self-understanding, balance and wellness can be very challenging.
If you’re looking to achieve balance and optimal wellness in a holistic way, here’s what I recommend:
- Begin paying attention to your dreams. Start keeping a dream journal, and write in it as often as possible. Look to the symbols of your dreams to guide your way. Ask your dreams to provide you with the wisdom that will support your path.
- Create a dreaming ritual on a weekly basis. Dreams are essential for mental and emotional health and well-being. They give an opportunity to process our life’s events each night when we retire to sleep. Devoting time to your dreams will help create balance in the waking life.
- Commit to a meditation regimen. Give yourself a break and allow yourself the time to tune in. We all have stressors in our life, it’s how we handle them that counts.
- Tune in to what you know is true in your heart. Walk your talk, and remain dedicated to the deepest most authentic expression of who you are. Let the world see this core of you every day.
- Ditch the drama. Healthy people do not thrive in environments of drama and high-conflict. But, they don’t run from them either. If you find yourself involved in situations that resemble a soap opera, find the right strategies to manage these situations, and reduce the impact they have on your life.
- Evaluate your daily habits, including your diet. Junky food will make your body feel like junk. Too much screen time is proven to make people more irritable and angry. Also, determine your time wasters, and reduce or eliminate them as best as possible.
- Take care of your mind and your emotions. Take the time you need to process the events of life and use this information to make good decisions about your future.
- Dream, dream, and dream some more. Not just during sleep, but while you’re awake. Get in touch with the exact things you want to do in this life. And get out there and do them.
For more wellbeing & spirituality posts from Kelly, please visit her website here.
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