Month: February 2013

Double Vision: Lifelong Recurring Nightmare

Dear Susyn and Oceania:

I have had the same dream over and over for years. It’s as if I’m someone completely different, yet I know this person is me. I’m walking home with my five children. Two are walking beside me, three are being pushed in a trolley. The street is very wide. It feels like we’re almost home, though I’ve never traveled here before. Suddenly, we’re chased by two men who are yelling and screaming at me and my kids. It feels like they’ve been after me for years. I make my children run alongside me. I know they’re after me and my family. We run into an alleyway, where I make my oldest child take the trolley and hide, telling him to change your names, be safe and know that I’ll always love you. Crying, I leave my kids and try to save myself. I hide in a house under a sofa. One man comes in breathing heavily, smelling of dirt and sweat. Knowing where I’ve hidden, he drags me out by my hair as I play dead. The other man that couldn’t find my kids enters the room panting. I hear him groaning as he lifts something heavy. As I lie there knowing that I am about to die, thinking of my children, I feel a gush of air and a loud thud as a very large rock gets thrown at my head. I try so hard to stay still. The man stands over me, his sweat dripping on my body as my eyes flicker with fear. He holds the rock over me and forcefully throws it at my head. I know I’m dead. I hear them leave as they wipe their hands of dirt and talk to each other, now trying to find my children to obviously do the same or worse. The dream is always the same, and I can’t explain how horrifying it is to experience it over and over again. I’ve had many dreams that have come true throughout my life, but this one is different. Sometimes I have it six or seven times in a night, however many times I wake up. I would love your opinion on it. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Susyn’s answer:

This speaks to me of a past life memory. Because of the intense nature of the dream, your recall of specific details, and the fact that the events are always the same, it’s my opnion that this is definitely a scenario you have experienced in real life. Our dreams are designed to process ideas, fears or experiences we are unable to access in our waking hours. They can also reveal past lives or play out as historic trauma. Repeating dreams are often an indicator that we need to pay closer attention to them.

Once you come to realize that this is an event from the past, it should alleviate some of the upset it causes you. However, you may want to investigate this one-on-one with a psychic to get more information. The fact that you are reliving it so frequently suggests that you may need to do some past-life healing therapy to release the hold it carries over you.

The description of your dream calls to mind the terror and horror of Nazi Germany. If you are of Jewish, Polish or Austrian decent, this could hold a clue to the past life you are dreaming about. As the Nazis began to occupy Europe, their brutality knew no bounds. In eerily similar fashions to your dream, men, women and children were murdered without a second thought; they were chased down in the streets and forced to hide or separate. While there were other eras in history when this type of brutality took place, based on your description, I am inclined to target war-torn Europe between 1939 and 1945 as the source of this past-life.

As we travel from lifetime to lifetime, we are usually accompanied by the same people. Hence, the five children you have now were likely the same children you lost during this past incarnation. It is even possible that you will or have encountered the two men in your dream. They may not play a key role in your life, but you will know when this happens, for you will feel an inexplicable sense of fear or unease when you are around them.

You may see no reason for these men to be after you, but if you watch movies like Schindler’s List, The Pianist, Life is Beautiful and other films related to World War II, you can see how people were tortured and killed for no reason other than being a certain race. Though difficult to watch, you may want to explore these movies to see if they evoke unusual memories or feelings for you.

As you do more research into this dream, remember that this incident happened in the past and will not be repeated. Once you consciously identify where this disturbing recurring dream is coming from, you will likely stop having it.

Oceania’s answer:

Given that there are vulnerable children in the dream as well as men who have been after you for years, this dream may reflect a traumatic event from your early life. Dream children often represent our own inner child; likewise, angry perpetrators may represent our own aggressive impulses and repressed anger.

That you manage to save your dream children may provide temporary gratification of your wish that someone had saved YOU as a child. You play dead in your dream as if you had to shut down and hide your feelings as a child. Many who endure sexual or physical abuse mentally separate from their bodies or “dissociate,” which is similar to playing dead.

Your vivid description of your attackers (who stand over you, breathe heavily, pant, groan, are forceful and smell sweaty,) along with your use of the word “dirt” (which could be short for “dirty,”) all point to the possibility of sexual abuse. Since recurring dreams are part of PTSD, you might look online to see if you have any of the other symptoms. If so, I urge you to obtain The PTSD Workbook by Williams and Poijula, or meet with a therapist who treats this disorder.

You might also consider consulting a psychiatrist, since anti-depressant medications can break the cycle of recurring thoughts that seem beyond one’s control to stop. It’s as if neurons in the brain have formed a loop and a particular thought or scenario keeps repeating, usually as a means of preventing you from thinking about something ELSE that may be even more anxiety-provoking. If you do feel trapped in an obsessive dream, medication might help disrupt that pattern.

Dreams about being chased are common, and while they often reflect running from the past, they can also point to current stress. Your fight or flight response has been triggered and you’re running from rather than confronting a situation. Even when you’re attacked in the dream, you don’t fight back to save your life, which suggests you fear confrontation. It’s not that you necessarily fear the anger of others, but that you fear your own unfamiliar anger. You may worry that if you “go there,” you’ll end up harming someone. A counselor could help you practice expressing your anger constructively so that it no longer scares you.

Avoidance is not a long-term solution! Since you’ve had this dream for years, you might try to pinpoint when it started, because that timeframe may point to an unresolved event. A counselor or healer could help you face what is troubling you and also provide support while you explore your options.

Our advice columns are a great way to get personal, expert advice for free. If you have a question you’d like to ask any of our columnists, please see Ask a Psychic.

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Double Vision: Regular Spirit Communication with Departed Loved One

Dear Susyn and Oceania:

Is it possible to get a regular presence and communication from my departed spouse? My late wife, Myra, passed away in April 2012. She visited our daughter in her dreams a few days after she passed and told her that she loves her always. She also made her presence known at my mother’s house around the same time. She sent a sign that she is around by moving the vertical blinds at the window. The very last strand of the vertical blind was swaying back and forth for a very long time; it was the only one moving. I checked thoroughly to make sure that nothing else could be causing the blind to move that way. Then there was another situation when she came to me while I was driving with my window open. A butterfly flew in the car and landed on the steering wheel. It slowly worked its way to crawl on my hand, which was holding the steering wheel. It then went up by my arm, up to my shoulder, and ended up on my cheek. I was overwhelmed by all of this, because I knew it was her. I was very, very happy. There were many other sweet subtle signs from her, so I tried to experiment and call on her in my mind. I told her that I was going to my mom’s house and asked if she could be there, and she showed! Five minutes after I got there, the vertical blinds at the window started moving and swaying. I did this experiment twice, and she keeps responding. What I would like to know is if I can ask her questions and get anwers from her by having her simply respond yes or no to my questions by using the vertical blinds at the window. Am I being silly or what? Because this is exactly what she would say to me if she were living! Ultimately, I really would like to be able to communicate with her on a regular basis. It’s not that I can’t let go – I think I’ve done that – it’s just that ever since she passed, I have had this extraordinary interest in learning as much as I can about life after death. I have done a lot of research and started basic meditation exercises. Which way do you think is the best way to communicate with departed love ones?

Susyn’s answer:

How wonderful that you are in touch with your wife’s spirit! As long as we remain open to this possibility and trust in what we experience, we all have the ability to carry on our relationships with loved ones who have passed.

Many times, our loved ones attempt to connect with us after they have passed. If we ignore those signs or doubt what we hear or see, it can be quite frustrating for them. Your description of your wife’s visits to your daughter, the butterfly who worked its way onto your cheek, and her moving the vertical blinds in response to your requests that she make her presence known are all strong confirmation that Myra’s spirit has never left your side.

We should not be afraid to test our loved ones or make requests of them. If they are able, they will accommodate us. Your wife has shown that she is very capable of not only hearing you, but responding in the manner you request. The idea of asking her yes and no questions via the blinds is ingenious and just one of the many ways you can communicate with her. I highly encourage you to use these means to get answers to important questions. I would also involve your daughter in these processes, as her mother will be anxious to talk with her as well.

In my experience, focusing on a certain object attached to a loved one can also open the door to greater communication. I moved shortly after my mother passed and in the process, placed a clay sun face she had given me on the upstairs balcony of my new home. That’s when I discovered that at night, the face would glow from the solar rays it had been exposed to during the day because its paint was luminescent. I had had this clay object for years and had never known that it glowed. I took this as a sign that she was near, and I began to communicate with her whenever I wanted to by meditating on the face.

The more you practice communicating with your wife, the stronger this connection will become. You will hear Myra’s voice in your head and know that she is speaking directly to you. Spirits can also communicate through other people, the media and electronics. A clock that stops or starts for no reason, a special song that comes on the radio or a favorite rerun on television can all be considered signs of your wife’s presence.

The methods you use to connect with your wife will vary and expand as you both move forward and develop a new level of your relationship, which will involve melding the physical and spiritual in beautiful ways. Because you are both open to this new way of being with each other, you will always feel connected to Myra on a deep spiritual level.

Oceania’s answer:

I use tarot cards when my clients wish to communicate with a departed loved one. I invite the spirit to join us and speak through the cards if they wish, after which I usually perceive a strong presence and sense the message they are trying to convey. If this visual approach appeals to you, I recommend the Voyager tarot deck unless you already have a favorite. Begin by moving into a meditative state as you shuffle the cards, and then invite Myra to join you and communicate through the cards. Pose a question or invite her to share a message. Allow her presence to guide you as you choose a single card. Don’t concern yourself with the traditional meaning of the card; just notice the impressions you receive as you gaze at it.

If you are more inclined to communicate with words, you might experiment with automatic writing or typing. Again, take some slow, deep breaths, and enter a meditative state. Begin by writing or typing “Dear Myra,” and allow your own thoughts and feelings to flow. When you finish, invite Myra to reply by writing or typing through you, and get it all down without interpreting it. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or making sense. When you have completed your dialogue, read it out loud.

It sounds like the two of you may have developed a system of your own using the vertical blinds. You might further experiment with that method and see if you can develop a yes or no system. I would point out, however, that the two methods I suggest above would not limit her replies to yes or no answers.

You said you’ve let her go, but I’m not so sure about that. It hasn’t yet been a year since your wife transitioned. The first year of a loved one’s passing is the most poignant because you are experiencing the seasons, holidays and anniversaries without them for the first time.

Myra was part of your daily routine for many years, so it’s natural that you’d like her to remain part of your life. It’s possible you are focusing so intently on your communication experiments as a way to forestall your grief about losing her physical presence, and that’s okay. Just know that there may be more sadness to feel and express, and even anger at Myra for leaving you. As she is now in a place of well-being and higher wisdom, you do not have to protect her from your pain.

When we stop holding back uncomfortable feelings and allow ourselves to express them fully, we reap all sorts of rewards on all levels: our physical and mental health improve, and by traveling to the depths of despair and releasing our emotional energy, we create space for new blessings to flow into our lives.

Our advice columns are a great way to get personal, expert advice for free. If you have a question you’d like to ask any of our columnists, please see Ask a Psychic.

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A Critical Gift

by Alan Cohen

During an overnight airplane flight, I perused the entertainment selections and discovered the audio book Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. I liked what I heard and found Ms. LaPorte to be an articulate, poetic exponent of living a juicy, authentic life. She had my attention.

One of the ways to recognize your talent and passion, LaPorte suggests, is to consider what other people have criticized you for. I had heard, What you thought was wrong with you may be what’s right with you, but the idea of using criticism as a compass to greatness takes the lesson to a whole new level.

Consider, for example, humor writer Dave Barry. In junior high school, Barry was the class clown, often dismissed to stand in the hall after disrupting the class. One day Barry’s teacher told him, You’d better get serious, Dave Barry – You can’t earn a living making people laugh.

Fast forward five decades: Barry’s weekly columns have been syndicated in over 500 newspapers, he has written 30 popular books, and The New York Times dubbed him the funniest man in America. Oh, and by the way – he also won a Pulitzer Prize.

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, shy and unpopular as a child, was teased by his friends for spending more time with dogs than he spent with them. They nicknamed him, El Perrerodog boy. Since then, he has starred in a wildly successful television series broadcast in 80 countries, written five bestselling books, produced a line of pet products, established dog sanctuaries, and donated large sums to charities.

Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and other genius inventors were chastised by their early teachers for not paying attention in class. Their minds were about other things. Einstein later declared, Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Let’s reframe the verbal and emotional arrows that others cast at you for not fitting in, and regard them as arrows pointing you in the direction you were born to walk. The world rarely welcomes genius in its early stages; more often it is ridiculed. Jonathan Swift said, When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. Einstein echoed, Great spirits have always encountered violent resistance from mediocre minds.

Another way to appreciate your holy weirdness is to recognize that your biggest challenges can become your most helpful assets. Nearly all successful teachers have risen to greatness by passing along the skills they gained through overcoming their undesirable traits. The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous had to get beyond their own drinking problem; weight loss teachers were overweight; yoga teachers were stressed; relationship gurus have had bad marriages; and on and on. Your biggest problems offer you the most fertile opportunities for personal transformation and service to others. So don’t criticize yourself for your problems or apologize for them. Turn them into rocket fuel for awakening, a dazzling livelihood, and world upliftment.

You will gain far more by authenticity than by conformity. Conformity is safe but boring; realness is risky but empowering. After I gave a lecture an audience member told me, I took a course in public speaking, and as I observed you giving your talk, you violated eight of the ten rules of public speaking. But of all the speakers I have heard, you are my favorite because you are the most authentic. I took his statement as a compliment. (I didn’t ask him which rules I broke. I refuse to spoil my career with training.)

I know many people who have either quit or been fired from straight jobs because they couldn’t survive as a cubicle dweller. Then they went on to become successful entrepreneurs, selling unique products and services they never would have developed if they remained in their cube. Sherrie Baxter became sick living and working in the rainy Northwest. She contracted Seasonal Affect Disorder. In finding her way back to health, Sherrie discovered full-spectrum light bulbs that compensate for lack of natural sunlight. As a result, she now has a thriving business ( providing SAD sufferers with the products that helped revive her.

In the New Testament, we are told that Jesus told a sick person, This is not an illness unto death, but unto greater life. Thus we might regard the barbs and pains you have been dealt for not fitting into the cookie cutter mold. That mold is appropriate for some cookies, but not for all.

There is nothing wrong with you. Self-criticism is based on illusion. A Course in Miracles asks us to remember, Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved, and then, Let me recognize that the problem has been solved.

Every experience is a gift, including criticism. If criticism is valid, you can take the feedback and improve. If it is not valid, affirm your strength and your purpose to the contrary. Thank the world for criticism. It is your arrow to positive destiny.

Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the newly-released Enough Already: The Power of Radical Contentment. Join Alan beginning March 1 for his acclaimed Life Coach Training Program. For more information about this program, Alan’s other books, free daily inspirational quotes, and his weekly radio show, visit, email, or phone (800) 568-3079 or (808) 572-0001.



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