Dream Telepathy

Once upon a time I wrote my newsletters and blogs more frequently. Two years ago I opened my fine jewelry appraisal business, and (imagine!) it's thriving. Which means I have less time to write. It's a mixed blessing because I love to write these blogs, but the beauty is, with commitment to take action what we dream up will come to pass. 

The busyness of my life and work left me feeling hungry for some fresh dream magic. I was ready for a little effervescence, and in June I attended the International Association for the Study of Dreams Annual Conference, where dream scientists, psychologists, artists, philosophers, and dreamers of all kinds come to gather and share.

A highlight every year is the Dream Telepathy Contest. During one night of the conference, the person chosen as the  "Sender" randomly selected a sealed envelope with an image from four that were previously prepared. During the night she set her alarm to wake every two hours and looked at the image with the intention of telepathically broadcasting it to the sleeping conference attendees, including dancing and singing and embodying the image. (Thank you, Maureen!) And during the night or in the morning the contestants filled out out a form with their dream reports. The next morning the reports were submitted and the one that came closest to the actual image wins first place. There were many “hits” by attendees during the night, including dreaming into the three images that weren’t the selected one.

That night I dreamed a long dream that included two children, a boy and a girl, which I observed at the end of the dream standing with their backs to me, slightly turned to each other, engaged in looking at something. I was watching them from above. As I woke I remembered the contest and kept my eyes closed as I asked to see the image. I then had a vivid image of a large round red sun on the left side with horizontal lines of colors in oranges, yellows and reds, warm sunset colors. 

I was surprised when I saw the selected image the next morning and won the contest! 

Dream a Little Dream: The Dream Telepathy Contest Image

Dream a Little Dream: The Dream Telepathy Contest Image

I missed the Santa Claus, the toys, and the window. What I find interesting is how the two dreams blended into one. The two children in my dream were modern children but were positioned in the same way, and the sun on the left became a fire in the fireplace, with the round form present in the wreath. The warm colors and the horizontal lines were similar. In my dream the children seemed to be looking at an object, perhaps a toy. Not a perfect, exact dream of this image, but enough is present to make it fun.

My predictive dreams are usually like this. They are not typically an exact representation of a waking life experience, but carry elements/symbols and feelings that manifest later, usually within a two week time span. And sometimes they're a blend of more than one waking life experience. I've learned this by reviewing my dream journal, where I find surprises like this. It's one of the fun features of keeping a dream journal and reviewing it periodically, and I'm convinced you'll find similar surprises in yours. 

All dressed up for the dream ball, where we come dressed as a character from a dream. I was Fire.

All dressed up for the dream ball, where we come dressed as a character from a dream. I was Fire.

The International Association for the Study of dreams is a marvelous resource to connect with other deep dreamers. Attending their annual conference is a great way to learn about recent dream research, and to be inspired by participating in lectures, dream groups, art events, and other fun experiences like the Dream Ball and the Dream Telepathy Contest. https://www.asdreams.org

Golden Dreams in the New Year

"Peace comes from within." - The Buddha

"The purpose of our lives is to be happy." - The Dalai Lama

Happy New Year Dear Dreamers,

Does this sound familiar? I had all kinds of intentions of getting tons of things done to close out the year. Only a fraction of those things were accomplished, and my dreams have reflected my over focus on work. I’m working by day and in my dreaming at night... my dreams have been, well, mundane!

On the night of the Solstice as I turned out the light I asked for a big dream, something inspiring. In the early morning I dreamed I was in a huge convention center, like a giant version of the jewelry trade shows I attend, and on the outskirts of this “village” live the shamans, the healers, and the psychics. I stopped to talk with a woman of power and said “I think it would be good for me to get a reading.” She answered, “I’ll be happy to advise you but in exchange you’ll need to bring me a sacred jewelry object.” I woke happy and intrigued.

Coincidentally, my first client the next morning brought four sacred items that my dream woman would like...a vintage gold Rolex watch, two Victorian-era gold medals of honor, and my favorite: a little golden Buddha object d’art...an adorable Chinese laughing Buddha, with a fat little belly to rub for good luck. My dream guide asked for a sacred jewelry object and I can’t think of anything better than that little Buddha. It’s a great synchronicity.

Go ahead! Rub my belly.  PHOTO: JANE CARLETON

Go ahead! Rub my belly. PHOTO: JANE CARLETON

I love the symbolism here. Time is precious: how do I use the valuable time I have to live my best life? Two medals of honor...how do I honor myself and the two sacred gifts I have in service to others?  And taking a moment to gaze upon that little Buddha, I smile and feel delight and peace. In that moment I feel I can meet that voice within me that reminds me of why I’m here. I feel relief. It reminds me it just takes a moment to pause and dream myself into that deeper, restful, inspired, perhaps laughing place.

Robert Moss calls me a Dream Appraiser. As a gemologist/jewelry appraiser and a dream specialist it’s been challenging this year to manage two careers. I opened my new office in May, with a gem lab/appraisal office combined with a sweet room decorated with Asian art for private dream sessions and dream groups. Gratefully, I’m busy with both, and there is still so much to do to create the balanced life I envision for the year ahead. Sometimes it feels like I’ve taken on way too much. But so many people feel this way. We all have so much to do. The week of this dream I really needed something to perk me up.

Finding an object that reminds me of my heart’s desire and connects me to my deep soul helps. When life feels too mundane, a talisman is a portal to a memory of a deeper, brighter, perhaps more golden way of looking at things. The alchemists knew something about this. That little Buddha made me laugh and was another unexpected reminder of something encouraging that runs through the fabric of life, popping up at just the right time. I offer the little Buddha to the woman of power in my dream, and to you.

May you have all kinds of surprising golden dreams in the year ahead!



Esalen Sunset Photo: Jane Carleton

Esalen Sunset Photo: Jane Carleton

Dreaming Again Like a Child in Bali

Dear Dreamers,

I returned to the land and people I love in Bali during the past two+ weeks, and what a gift a little time to dream there was!

I'm super inspired by a workshop I led for children, aged 8 - 12, hosted by holistic educators Susan Allen and her husband Susiawan at Yellow Coco Creative Nest, their marvelous center for children. Dreaming with children is absolutely magical.

Here's what we did during our two hours together, and if you feel drawn to do something similar with the kids in your life, please do. Take what feels fun and make it your own, experiment, play, and give children the opportunity to share their dreams with each other in empowered ways. It will inspire them to value their dreams and imagination, and the seed you plant may be with them for life. I remember vividly my favorite teacher, Mrs. Berlin, sixth grade, who reminded me to always value my imagination, even when I grow up, so that I won't lose it as so many adults do. I took it to heart, the best advice ever for living an interesting life.

We started with questions and answers, leading to surprising dialogue and dream sharing. Kids ask astute questions. I was stumped by some of them. One question was, "If dreams come from us, why don't we know what we're going to dream ahead of time?"  It's OK to say, "That's a good question. I don't know the answer to that." This leads them to ponder their own creative answers, and models the truth that we don't always know the answers to everything, which is perfectly alright.

Then we moved into an opportunity for the students to experience their live imagination. Stepping into guided imagery led to excited sharing. The secret is using guided imagery that is non-specific so the dreamer finds their own place in the imaginal. "Close your eyes and get comfortable. (Lying down is great.) Imagine right now you're somewhere beautiful in nature. It can be a place you dreamed, you make up right now, or a place you've been to in waking life. You're moving through this place and you come to a beautiful body of water. Look at the edge of the water and see if you can find a helper there. Perhaps it's an animal or a bird or a sea creature...this is your friend. What happens next?"

Every child found a place in nature, a body of water, a friend, and had an adventure! And they loved sharing that with each other, as engaged storytellers.

Dream Theater is Fun!

Dream Theater is Fun!

A quick watermelon break led to Dream Theater. We acted out two dreams with the dreamers acting as directors for their dreams, with guidance from me. Both were nightmares that had left an icky impression and the dreamers were eager to create a new, better ending for them. They liked the idea that these dreams are like a story, unfinished, and that they have the power to change them. We had a spider-spitting scary man in a dark room defeated by a blazing Phoenix leading to a new open doorway,  and a murderous teacher struck down by a lion, given the opportunity to become a nicer person. The light shone in the eyes of the dreamers, and the consensus was that this was "awesome!", and there was a tangible sense of relief for the original dreamers.

Notice at no point did we do dream interpretation. The idea is to alert the children to the fact that they have power as dreamers, and are not just observers of their dreams or their lives.

Did I mention It's fun?

Did I mention It's fun?

Next, the kids were outfitted with drawing supplies. I drummed for them as they closed their eyes and allowed a dream to form, with the instructions to open their eyes and start drawing when they felt ready. I continued to drum for about ten minutes as they drew, and it was remarkable how focused they were during the drumming, with no fidgeting, jostling or distractions. They were creatively engaged in their dream worlds. Afterwards, a few were not finished with their drawings and said they would like to finished them later. They were eager and happy to share their drawings with each other and their parents. 

Drumming up a Dream

Drumming up a Dream

It was a resounding success. At no time were the children bored. They engaged with each other and listened to each other. They played and laughed, and encouraged each other, even when working with a scary dream during dream theater. They left wanting more!

You can do these things with kids. Encourage your children and grandchildren, your students and friends, to talk about their dreams, and to find power in them. Find moments for little impromptu dream theater, even at home. Play with it. 

If you would like to learn more about this, I'm available as a consultant and facilitator. I am a former school teacher and my final Master's Degree project was teaching dreaming at the famous Green School in Bali. 


Dreams and Gems

If you have an impossible choice to make, how can a dream or two help you make that decision? In my case, I’ve learned to be alert for a certain voice that shows up on the fringes of consciousness that brings clarity and comfort. I’ve written about how this voice led me to meet my ancestors and my brother in an essay for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions, and how that literally changed my life.

Since 2006, when I decided to pursue my academic study of the healing power of dreams I’ve felt a tension between my two careers. I like gems and jewelry, and I’ve worked as a gemologist since 1984. It’s been my livelihood and my other passion. How can I walk away from that? And is it crazy to try to do both? I really didn’t know what to do about this.

Then that familiar inner voice came in a dream, stating boldly...”dreams and gems”. OK...I noted it in my journal.

Followed by more internal struggle about this as I continued working my day job as a freelance jewelry appraiser, and my evening/weekend work as a dream specialist.

Another dream came. I woke with the voice saying...”Ask for help.” I was thinking of how I could open my own fine jewelry appraisal office without the financial resources I felt I needed. So I started asking for help, as hard as that was. And it showed up in marvelous ways; support for my project came from friends in the form of donated furniture and cheers. Peers in the world of gems supported me with advice, some equipment, and cheers. And my dream community supported me with opportunities to do my dreamwork and to teach, with cheers, too.

1.48 carat Carletonite cut by Art Grant, photo by Michael Bainbridge

1.48 carat Carletonite cut by Art Grant, photo by Michael Bainbridge

Dreams and Gems. I’ve realized I don’t have to choose. As I reviewed my dream journals I saw the dreams have been telling me this for quite a while, but worry and narrow thinking prevented me from listening. Dreams do come to help us expand our habitual way of seeing the world and ourselves if we allow our old patterns to drop even just a little. Worry is a difficult habit to break.

Another little dream symbol came to me last week. I received a newsletter (well worth subscribing to!) from gem company Pala International, with a delicious article written by Accredited Senior Gemologist Elise Skalwold honoring the life of master gem faceter Art Grant. And I saw something I didn’t realize existed...a gemstone with my name, Carletonite, which hit me with a big "AHA". I saw it as a personal symbol of my ability to blend of the world of gems and dreams. The faceted gem has a wonderful dreamy inclusion cluster that looks like a little galaxy, and the rough crystal has two distinct areas of color that coexist quite beautifully, like gemology and dreamwork...all nicely packaged with my name on it.

Carletonite Crystal, photo by  Luciana Barbosa

Carletonite Crystal, photo by Luciana Barbosa

So, to honor my dreams and my livelihood, I’ve opened my new office in Walnut Creek, CA. It has two rooms: an appraisal lab, and a waiting room/dreamwork office. And both are so marvelous I find myself grinning as I work. It is many dreams come true. I'm convinced everyone has life clues hidden as little gems in dreams to help us along.

Incubate a Dream Tonight

“One of the most adventurous things left us is to go to bed. For no one can lay a hand on our dreams.” - E.V. Lucas

It’s a good season to incubate a dream. Yay for spring and new life!  The hills are still carpeted in green, the multi-colored wildflowers are waving hello in Northern California, and the days are warm and just right. Swim season has begun and outside in the fresh air, marvelous things are growing. Inside you new growth is forming, too.  

Try indulging in a peaceful moment before you go to sleep…slowly breathe in and out…and set your dream intention for the night. You can simply ask for a dream you can remember. Or you can be specific. Would you like to fly tonight? Or find a solution to a challenge? Do something adventurous? Maybe have a healing dream that helps you wake refreshed and vital? Or travel to someplace marvelous? Or have a visit with a guide or someone you love? Dream incubation often works. We can ask for a special dream and sometimes they actually appear that night. Sometimes they show up later, with patience and perseverance and a continued nightly focus on what you desire. Write your dream incubation in your journal and be ready to receive a dream. It’s always interesting to look at the dreams you have after setting an intention for the night.

Magic Spring by Michael Parkes

Magic Spring by Michael Parkes

I was surprised two nights ago to find I had incubated a dream without realizing it. Thursday night we talked about visitation dreams during the university course I’m teaching this semester. A visitation dream has the appearance of a departed loved one, or an ancestor, or a guide of some kind, and are typically felt to be inspiring and spiritual. We watched a deeply moving Tedx talk by Dr. Christopher Kerr on dreams and visions of the dying. He speaks of his experience working in hospice where he witnesses the sacred passing of individuals at the end of life, and has been inspired by the peace and comfort that is possible at this initiatory time when a departed loved one appears.

You can find the video here.

That night I saw my friend Dana in a dream. We were dining at a large round table with friends, and he was talking in his oh-so-Dana way, giving advice, and laughing his Dana laugh. I woke so happy to feel something of his presence and to remember him again. I was delighted that I had a visitation dream, which are such special dreams, apparently incubated without effort after the discussion we had in class.

The idea of dream incubation is thousands of years old, practiced by multiple ancient cultures, and it still works. You can experiment with this any night you wish, and you may even find you have a dream come true.

Indian Summer by Michael Parkes

Indian Summer by Michael Parkes