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.