Thursday, April 26, 2018

Dream Tending

"When we interact with these imaginal presentations of the night/day, we hear the myth, the dream that is moving through our life. Implicating us in all aspects of our engagements with family, friends, and our work, dreams bring inspiration, as well as insight. Dream Tending teaches ways of evolving a sustained relationship with imagination and the figures/landscapes of psyche. Cultivating these engagements and learning to interact with regard creates an on-going living relationship with the figures of soul." - Dr. Stephen Aizenstat

Investigate the dream's details. 

In the evening before bed:

Say, "Tonight I'm going to remember my dreams." 

Morning:  Keep a Dream journal bedside. Write details as soon as you awaken. Get a sense of the dream.

Bring the dream into awareness. Dreams are like friends. Get involved.

Notice what dream has to offer.

What is the most peculiar fragment?

Acknowledge the dream. What's the context? Place it in circumstances of life.

Find a pun or metaphor.

Tend dreams from the inside out. Go beyond and explore. Find the myth.

Dr. Seuss claimed, "My alphabet began where yours ended. Most people stop with the Z . . . not me."

Learn more about Dream Tending by Dr. Aizenstat.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Write into Solitude

On a leafless branch
A crow's settling
autumn nightfall
                 - Basho

Basho's Haiku investigates the value of a singular moment. In Japanese, the word sabi describes an alloy of beauty and sadness. Sabishi expresses loneliness and solitude. An essence of impermanence pervades his observation.

What does alone feel like?  Notice if sensations of impermanence percolate.  

Define words like loneliness, freedom, or solitude.

Develop metaphor and sensory imagery.

Invite the reader into a moment of solitude.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tips for Resilience

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters to what lies within us. - Ralph Waldo  Emerson

In Time magazine's, "The Science of Bouncing Back," Mandy Oaklander explores strategies for resilience. Oaklander reveals that while traumatic stressors can have a devastating impact on our health, “countless smaller stresses take a toll” on our bodies.

Resilience is defined as "the capacity to adapt successfully to challenges." The small things rather than the larger issues of life can bring us down. One resilience researcher feels the way we cope with little stressors strongly predicts how we’ll do when big stressors hit. 

Coping results in the small choices we make, rather than our personality traits.

Oaklander presents “Expert Tips for Resilience” as 10 ways to train brains and bodies to cope and bounce back. 

1.   Tap into your core (unshakable) beliefs.
2.   Use each stressor as an opportunity to learn.
3.   Do what you can to remain positive.
4.   Learn from a resilient mentor or coach.
5.   Don’t run away—confront those things that scare you.
6.   Look for and reach out to your support network in   difficult times.
7.   Keep your brain active and learn new things as often as you can.
8.   Exercise regularly.
9.   Live in the present—don’t dwell in the past.
10.  What trait, characteristic, skill or talent makes you the strong person you are? Own it and give yourself credit for this strength.

Ask yourself questions about your level of resilience. 
How do choices help you fit into the points above? Which cause the most challenge?
Do you have a resilience plan for the coming week?