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’ 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 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. 


Discovering Gems

Happy, dreamy time in this new season!

Dreams are things of beauty, even when we don't understand that. And sometimes they lead to a world with so much challenge, the manifestation of beauty, happiness and joy is sacred. There is something about viewing an item of beauty that creates a sparkle within. We are drawn to it. I see it when I observe a person looking at art or a gem, and I feel it myself. Inside something releases, relaxes, the worries of the world are for a moment forgotten and I'm immersed in a moment of oneness with a manifestation of the Divine through the archetype of Beauty. We're meant to be happy and to enjoy life and to experience beauty.

Treasure Island by Vladimir Kush

Treasure Island by Vladimir Kush

In 1981, gem hunter Heitor Dimas Barbosa had an irresistible inner knowing, truly a waking dream, that there was something incredible and never before seen under the earth in Brazil at Batalha, in Paraíba State. It became an irresistible calling for him, so much so that he devoted 5 1/2 years to digging for it. Something beautiful was calling him. It was grueling…his neighbors in this poor, arid, remote area, with no electricity, population around 500, called him “Heitor the Fool”.* Then, in 1987, he found them, stones so rare and beautiful they have become legendary. I remember when they first appeared in the gem trade at the Tucson Gem Shows in 1990. No-one had ever seen tourmalines as neon colored as these. Fantastic. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Paraiba Tourmaline Crystal Photo by Rob Lavinsky

Paraiba Tourmaline Crystal Photo by Rob Lavinsky

Mr. Barbosa followed his inner dream voice. The voice that knows things.

We all have it, that inner knowing, and if we choose to pay attention it may be truly remarkable.

Paraiba Tourmaline Ring

Paraiba Tourmaline Ring

*From an article by Brian Cook, co-owner of Nature's Geometry, Tucson, AZ, published in Rapaport Magazine, October 2013,

Dreaming Spring Growth and Change

It’s spring and change is in the air for all of us in some way. How are you dreaming your way into new growth? Dreams, hunches, chance encounters, sudden insights and messages from our surroundings can certainly guide us along the way. It’s often surprisingly helpful to give it a little nudge by asking for ideas from the universe, and watching for interesting coincidences in things you see and hear as you weave through your day. 

And it’s helpful to play with an oracle deck. This week I had the delight of joining an open-hearted gathering of fabulous women of wisdom, hosted by my friend Anna Dorian of Vibrant Reiki in San Francisco, for a day of play. We dreamed up our own oracle deck and in the process gained brilliant insights and laughs. I love doing collage, and found the act of seeking images from magazines, cutting them out, and pasting them together in the form of a new visual dream to be magically surprising and so much fun.

These are two of my images and the corresponding readings that emerged. It’s all about change for me… and as I made my Changes card, I heard David Bowie singing in my head…”Ch, Ch, Ch Changes….”

Happy Spring and Buoyant New Growth!

Dream #15

Sink in. Travel within and through the Dream Gates to your own inner wisdom. There you will find what you seek. Your helpers are waiting to guide you along. All you have to do is ask. Tonight, before you sleep, ask for the dream that will give you the answer. Receive the dream that will come to heal you, right now, in this very night. You are an adventurer and your journey awaits.

Change #25

Change is good. Turn and face the change, walking tall and with courage, your ally at your side. What Golden Newness is waiting to be birthed, even as the fires of the Goddess flare and cleanse in all their magnificent intensity? You are not a witness to your life. You are the creator of unknown universes alive with gems of beauty and lasting effect. Step into this initiation in your full power.

Gems, Imagination & Archetypes

I’ve been away working with gems and pearls at the famous Tucson gem shows, and took these images of some fabulous quartz pieces carved by Hans-Ulrich Pauly and faceted by Glenn Lehrer. The features you see are carved on only a few sides and the images reflect on the remaining faces of the crystal. 

"Unity" by Hans-Ulrich Pauly & Glenn Lehrer

"Unity" by Hans-Ulrich Pauly & Glenn Lehrer

We're talking about playful inclusions in crystals and gems again. What does that have to do with dreaming? Plenty. Dreaming includes checking in with your imagination regularly to see what wants to emerge from that deep part of you that knows something about mystery and symbols. And gems may carry those symbols.



The brilliant psychologist C. G. Jung realized that across all cultures, past and present, there are similar symbolic images and energies, which he called Archetypes. These symbols bring associated emotions and a felt sense in the body. Examples are feelings of love and other emotions, and the feeling you get when you see (or think about, or dream) a particular image, like that of a mother and child, either in waking life or a representation of it in the form of a picture, a sculpture, etc. You get a certain feeling from that image depending on what it is. Other archetypes include things like the image of a warrior, a wise person, or a foolish image of a lion, or a mountain...or a house, or a temple, and so on. The number of archetypes is limitless and they can represent something deeper in your psyche you can imagine your way into. Because they are universal, and create similar feelings across cultures, Jung believed they represent a field of information, the Collective Unconscious, we access freely as members of the human collective. Typically these symbols are unconscious, but become conscious when we choose to pay attention to them, and this brings meaning. We find archetypal symbols in dreams all the time, and here are a few carved on the surface of these gems.

A friend emailed this photo of a wonderful quartz "egg" with inclusions that feature a figure of a mother and child, in other words, an archetypal Madonna figure. It’s hard to see, but eventually emerges from the image, and when I look at the photo I see another figure behind her, watching, and it looks like a male figure in a headdress. It reminds me of the archetypal figures I've seen of Christmas manger scenes. It's a form of dreaming to be available to this kind of daytime visioning. Perhaps another person may see something different in the patterns of inclusions and if so, that may be meaningful to the viewer.  

Do you see a woman holding an infant and a man with a headdress?

Do you see a woman holding an infant and a man with a headdress?

Looking at inclusions and other visual forms of meditation are a great way to step into your imagining, dreaming self. Just be present in the moment with it and see what shows up. Perhaps I've imagined my way into the collective unconscious and the Madonna archetype. I may ponder what the meaning may be of this symbol for me at this time in my life. Or I may choose to enjoy this crystal without the need to analyze it, because it makes me feel good, and it really doesn't matter why; it just is…a gem itself is an archetype, too.