Keeping a Promise

Have you ever dreamed of a loved one who has died? I did recently. In what seemed more like a visitation than a dream, Ray, who was my brother-in-law in life, appeared. Even though he passed away in 2002, I didn’t seem surprised to see him. However, I did feel guilty. 

Keeping a Promise
Only the day before, while working in my studio, I had seen a watercolor painting of Ray’s, laying in a basket. After Greg’s father passed away, we sorted through a house full of furniture and knick knacks and treasures. Ray, who was Greg’s older brother, gifted his mother with a small painting of swans on a lake. According to the note on the back of the framed artwork, Ray created the painting in 1983. The gift hung on the dining room wall until I packed it away and brought it home last year. 

That little watercolor has been in a basket in my office for more than a year. Every time I caught sight of it, I would think I need to display that. And yet there it remained. 

When I dreamed of Ray, the first thing I said to him was I’m sorry. I apologized for not doing something yet with his work of art. I didn’t want him to think that I was unappreciative of him or his painting. 

Keeping a Promise            Baby Ray

Keeping a Promise         Ray and his dog Robbie

Additionally, I felt like my apology could have been for not understanding Ray better while he lived. Although he was my brother-in-law and we got along fine, I never knew him as well as I could have. What I did know was that Ray was creative and artistic and like all of us, trying to figure out how to fully be who he was and live out of his heart. 

And like all of us, Ray didn’t always know how to do that. He moved to a big city, hoping for greater opportunities there to create the life he dreamed of. He worked in jobs that didn’t utilize his gifts and longed for something more. He hid his disappointments behind a sharp wit and oft times, sharp words that effectively kept people at a distance. My heart breaks now as I recognize he sought understanding and compassion and acceptance. 

As he entered his middle years, Ray expressed himself through his art. He dabbled in watercolors and acrylics, creating beautiful paintings. He took an early retirement so that he could focus on his artistic talent, turning to a new passion, pottery. Sadly, a few years later he died, his life cut short by cancer. 

I have regrets about Ray. I wish I could have spent more time with him and known his heart better. I would have enjoyed talking with him about art and the creative life, and welcomed his advice. I would have listened more. Expressed appreciation. Offered from my own heart. 

All those emotions were packed into the words I uttered in my dream, as Ray sat with me…I’m sorry. But you know what? He wasn’t upset with me…for leaving his painting laying in a basket or for any shortcomings on my part during his life. He smiled. He laughed. We talked about creativity and art and living as our authentic selves. It was an inspiring and joy filled conversation, that ended with me promising to retrieve his swan painting and display it. 

Keeping a Promise
I marveled at the dream when I awoke. I believe that often, when we dream of loved ones who have died, their spirits are visiting us. That seems especially true when the encounter is a one on one conversation. I thought about Ray throughout that day…and then promptly forgot the dream and the promise. Until tonight. 

Rummaging in my studio for supplies for a creative project I was about to do, I once again spied Ray’s painting, laying in the basket. I hesitated, staring at the swans. I promised. I wavered between doing something with the artwork…and continuing with my planned project. As I stood looking into the basket, my eyes filled with tears. Ah. There was the nudge, the tap on the shoulder from the Divine. 

It was time to honor my promise. It was time to show Ray that I appreciated him and his art. 

In a few moments I had found the perfect space for Ray’s swans. The painting rests on an easel, on the table near my front door. I will look at it often and think of Ray. 

Keeping a Promise
As I prepared to write my blog post, I suddenly remembered that I had another painting of Ray’s. He gave each of his family members a cup or mug, hand painted with birds or flowers, as Christmas gifts in 1995. I searched through a cupboard until I found the five that he gave to me and my family. My mug has a cardinal on one side and a kingfisher on the other. 

I have never used my mug, fearing I would break it. But the problem with keeping an item safely packed away is that it is forgotten. I don’t want to forget any longer. I washed the mug and brewed a cup of nettle tea in it, to sip on as I wrote. 

Cheers, Ray. Thank you for visiting me in my dream. Thank you for expressing your creativity so beautifully while you journeyed here and for living your life as best you could. I want you to know that I understand now. And I won’t forget. 

Keeping a Promise

The Question

As much as I enjoyed being a travel blogger for a couple of weeks, I am excited to return to being guided daily by inspiration and being wide open to creativity. As I fell asleep last night, I wondered what creative opportunity would present itself today…what invitation would come. 

Inspiration did arrive, in a totally unexpected way. 

The Question

I am a lucid dreamer, one who is very aware during the dream state and who recognizes the symbolism inherent in the mind movies the subconscious creates. Often my most meaningful dreams occur in the early morning hours just before I become fully alert. 

Such was the case this morning. 

I was leading an art workshop. We were drawing, coloring, creating collages and models around a travel theme, using a variety of mediums and techniques. I enjoyed the class very much, feeling energized and enriched by our collective creativity. 

As I was loading my car after class, a colleague, another realtor named Brenda Murray, approached me. She was not present in the class. And yet she knew what I had been teaching. 

She asked me, “Is this what you want to do?”

“Offer creatively?” I asked in return. “Yes! I want to write and draw and travel and create and help others live well and enjoy life.” 

“And what will you gain from living this way?” Brenda asked. 

I smiled. “Joy, freedom, opportunities to fully express my creativity in all the ways it can be manifested!” I felt incredible happiness as I gave my answer. 

I awoke from the dream at that point. Outside the darkness was just beginning to give over to morning light. I felt that surge of joy still from the dream…and the sting of tears in my eyes. 

The Question
Lying there quietly in the shifting light, I unpacked the dream. It was no surprise that I was teaching a class…I’ve taught many over the years…or that it was an art workshop with a travel theme. Easy enough to see where my subconscious pulled those elements from. 

What intrigued me was what happened after the class. A realtor approached me to ask a crucial question. Is this what you want to do? In my dream the face belonged to a friend of mine. But it wasn’t really Brenda asking the question. In my dreams, every person is me, playing out a crucial role that helps me to see something about myself, something that is often hidden from my conscious mind. 

My realtor self was asking an important question…is this what you want to do? Do you want to live more out of your creative self? My creative self didn’t hesitate with an answer. Yes! Yes I do. 

This Year of Inspiration is all about freeing my inner artist and living a more creative life and about making life a little more tender. The dream allowed me to affirm the direction my journey is taking. And it came at the perfect time. 

Invitations to offer creatively are arriving, as opportunities to submit stories and essays and photography. If I wondered, at some deep level, whether to accept these Divine invites, the dream gave me permission to say yes. Actually, I gave myself permission, through the dream, to say yes. 

I won’t be walking away from real estate yet. However, I will remain open to the opportunities and inspirations that come. I will be saying yes more and more. 

Since returning from Italy, I have been going to bed very early and waking up extremely early, as my body tries to adjust to a different time zone. This morning I saw the early awakening, with the dream’s lingering message, as another invitation. 

Bringing my laptop, writing notebook and a cup of lemon water into my bedroom, I set up a makeshift studio. For the first time ever, rather than free writing or journaling, or turning over to go back to sleep, I instead began working on a couple of submissions for creative writing projects that have found me. 

It was a great start to a promising day. 

The Question

Journey 308: Between the Dreaming and the Coming True

I awoke this morning, from a very vivid dream. As I did my three pages of free writing, I explored the feelings that lingered as I moved from dream to wakefulness. And those thoughts have stayed with me all day. The dream marked a milestone on my journey, and reminded me how far I’ve come in the last four years. 

I grew up with a great deal of fear. I’m an intuitive and the veil between this world and the spirit world is very thin for me. My earliest memories are of experiences no one else in my immediate family had. I saw things, heard things, sensed things that the other members of my family could not. At least, not at that time in their own journeys. My intuition is a gift, passed down through generations on both sides of my family. 

But I didn’t see it as a gift then. It made me different. It made me fearful. And the fear drew more scary things into my life to fear. Being alone, in the dark, was terrifying for me. And remained so…until I was well into my forties. My life began to shift when I recognized that not all that happened around my intuition was frightening and that I was surrounded with God’s light, protected more than I knew. 

Finally, just four years ago, I felt ready to face down my fear and embrace fully who I am, which included my intuitive self. I learned to bring Divine light and peace around me and through my home. Fear ebbed away, little by little, until I could sleep alone, in the dark, without fear. 

What I have found incredible is that my dreams at night reveal the state of my mind and heart. I have always had very detailed and visually rich dreams. As a child I was plagued by nightmares, dark snapshots of what was going on in my waking life. As an adult, gripped by fear, I continued to have bad dreams that would cause me to whimper in my sleep or breathe erratically. I’d wake in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, afraid to sleep but afraid as well to be awake in the middle of the night. 

When I accepted that I am intuitive and combatted my fear, the first changes took place in my dreams. The scenarios no longer made me wake trembling. Rather I was able to watch what was unfolding in a more detached way. The first time I spoke during a dream and firmly said “Stop it”, I woke amazed at my courage AND the fact that the bad dream did stop when I spoke. Over the last four years my dreams have continued to reflect the changes in my life. I still dream of spooky stuff, experiences that have scared me in the past, but in my dreams I am taking control of the situation and watching more with curiosity than fear. 

The dream I had early this morning showed me the current state of my mind and heart. People were having frightening experiences in a huge house that held negative energy within it. I was asked to clear the house. There was absolutely no fear as I visited the home and saw the dark entities there. I assured the owners I could handle it. And then I took charge and assembled a team of competent people to assist me. We showed up at the house, we faced the darkness, and I led them in speaking the words that cleared the negative energy away. 

What a difference between taking charge…and waking in terror. This dream showed me how much my life has shifted. It perhaps showed me as well that I’m watching a lot of Doctor Who. A lizard man was part of my team! What an amazing dream. I woke feeling empowered and confident and courageous. 

As those super charged emotions have stayed with me today, the title of a book came to me, written by Robert Benson, “Between the Dreaming and the Coming True”. It’s been years since I read that delightful book. I never quite understood the title. Suddenly, this afternoon, those words made sense to me. As I am growing in my journey, my subconscious is feeding the shifts into my mind, where the changes play out as dreams. They are running ahead of my reality, the coming true part of my life. I exist in that “between” space, between the heroics of my dreams and the realization of what’s possible. That’s where my journey is.  

I am thrilled to have had such a powerful dream. Fear has no place in my life. And my subconscious is making that known to me. I accept that. I believe. And if the need arises, I am ready to assemble my team! 


Day 301: Ask and It Is Given

dream conversations

For several weeks now, I’ve drawn one of my affirmation cards repeatedly. It states, “Everything that shows up in my life is an ongoing conversation with the Divine.” My awareness of that truth has increased greatly. By way of synchronicities, songs, words, nature, signs and books, I am having a conversation with God about my life and the path I am on. Recently, I’ve been asking questions: What shall I do next? Is this the right path? And I’ve asked to be taught more deeply about abundance and my purpose.

This morning, after a very short night due to not feeling my best and melodious thunderstorms, I decided to lie back down and rest a bit longer. As I relaxed drowsily toward sleep, I requested, “Please teach me as I hover here between wakefulness and slumber. Teach me.” What happened next was definitely a first for me. Although I am a lucid dreamer and have very detailed and sometimes astonishing dreams that I not only participate in but control, I have not experienced a sequence of dreams with instructions and commentary, as I did this morning. Much of what I received was very personal to me and the imagery accompanying the “lessons” was pulled from my experiences. However, there are basic truths in each of the seven principles that were shared with me that apply to anyone.

To my delight, my Keller Williams Team Leader, Vicki, was the person and the voice accompanying me on this dream journey, although it was the Divine speaking through her image. I’m not sure why my mind produced Vicki, except that she is an amazing person in my life and a dear friend and colleague, someone I respect. For those who don’t remember their dreams, much less draw any lessons from them, this post is an invitation to enter into an adventure. Adhering to my desire to move beyond my comfort zone, it is important for me to share!

I was given seven very distinct life principles:

  1. Life flows. Money flows. I was told this as I was handed a check for $2500.00. Everything is energy, including abundance and money as it flows in and out of my life.
  2. Gratitude is the key to abundance. Be thankful, for everything. These words were simply spoken to me.
  3. I was reminded to foster playfulness and fun as a vital part of my relationships, especially when I’m feeling weighed down by circumstances surrounding others. Focus on the good in people, not the negative, and let go of the past.
  4. Through the imagery of caring for a pet, who actually died years ago from old age, I was told to take care of what I can, and those I can, and to not worry about what I can’t do. I was given the easy to remember saying, “Do what I must, then trust.”
  5. A question was put to me, if I was doing all that was required of me, so that I could focus on going beyond. I knew immediately which tasks I’ve been procrastinating on, in business and in life, because I don’t like doing those things. I was reminded to get caught up on those tasks and get them out of the way, so I can focus on extraordinary things that will bring me great joy.
  6. I was told that every situation, no matter how difficult, is temporary. The time frame of six months was shown to me, for a situation in my own life. When I understand that there is a bigger picture, and all that I am encountering now is temporary and small, I can keep journeying with confidence, keep overcoming, keep learning and growing.
  7. This last sequence in the dream had to do with being in a house that wasn’t mine, filled with stuff from previous occupants. I was told I could use whatever was there, if it was beneficial to me. I was also aware that there was a lot of junk, and trash, that needed to be cleared away. I was shown that I could bag up this trash and remove it, carrying it outside to be picked up and carted away by the trash truck. I suddenly understood that I was seeing limiting beliefs, handed down to me by others, that have accumulated in my inner space. I can clear these away. I saw bags and bags of “trash” already waiting at the curb, yet I looked around the house I was in and saw more that needed to be disposed of.

I came fully awake, after the seventh truth, and knew I had experienced something different! I wrote careful notes so that I wouldn’t forget. As I moved through my day, conversation continued with the Divine, confirming what I had received early this morning. I am listening. I am acting. I am being. I am ready. What an amazing journey!

dream conversations 2