Contrary to much of conventional wisdom, our dream life is just as real as our outer daily life. We sleep and dream for many reasons. Two of the most important reasons are for daily regeneration and balancing of our subjective nature with our objective self. Therefore, some of our dreams provide vital communication from our subjective nature (Soul) to our outer conscious self. Consider these to be key dreams. Our remaining dreams are a simple communication process from our subconscious self to our conscious self free from the interference of our outer daily life. These dreams are also helpful, but not in terms of this spiritualizing habit.
There are a few good indications that a dream is a key dream. First, they more often than not occur in the middle of the night and wake us up. Unfortunately, these are usually the dreams that we do not remember or document in the morning. So, you need to begin documenting these dreams in the middle the night, or at least jotting down keywords to recall the dream in the morning. A second good indicator of the key dream relates to its vividness, including your psychic reaction to the dream. Excluding nightmares which come from our subconscious, you may wake up with a start or powerful feeling that this dream is important. Strong psychic reactions to dreams usually make them fairly important.
Let's begin learning this new habit with a spiritual sense that most of us already have developed to some degree or another.
Step One: Learn to trust your intuition.
An instinctual part of our personality is our imaginative nature. Within this more inner part of ourselves that is usually conditioned to be repressed or disregarded, we have what are called "psychic senses." Clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience are three of these senses. We can use these senses to better understand our personality nature. Beyond these "psychic senses," we can also develop spiritual senses of intuition. These senses help us communicate with our higher Self, Soul and other spiritual Beings. The best way to develop intuition is through meditation. The various techniques of meditation that are taught within various disciplines mostly involve creating a channel of communication into the spiritual worlds. Meditation can range from a specific discipline to more generally a process of self reflection. Implementing a specific process for meditating on a daily basis is a great way to strengthen your intuition. So, if you're not doing so today, learn some form of meditation or daily reflection to help build your intuitive skills. Beyond this, instead of dismissing most intuitive impressions that come to you regarding your issues and/or times of crisis, write down these often very subtle insights whenever possible. Then begin to act based on these intuitions. Watch to see how things or individuals around you will confirm your true intuitions, while haphazardly affirming your daily mind chatter. The key here is that intuitions are normally subtle and fleeting, they are real and the basis of learning truth.
Step Two: Watch for key dreams when evaluating times for change.
9th Spiritualizing Habit:
Know When It’s Time for Change
by Jef Bartow
As our ninth spiritualizing habit, knowing when it’s time for change is probably the most difficult one for us to live in life. It isn’t surprising though, based on our conditioning. Most of our relationships from childhood condition us to create safe and secure connections with others. These safe and secure connections usually involve loyalty, sympathy and attachment, all instinctive forms of relatedness. Breaking attachments is never easy. The most fundamental teachings of Eastern mysticism involve becoming non-attached to everything in life, including matter itself. The reason why is that our attachments create suffering. If we are to resolve our suffering, we must detach. As with much in spiritual growth, it is easy to say but difficult to do. Change involves becoming detached in order to then move in another direction regardless of whatever circumstances or individuals are involved. As we all know and feel, there is insecurity involved in change. Beyond our selves, the insecurity in those others involved in our changes powerfully impacts our own confidence and motivation for change. Another major factor is matter itself. The inertia in the matter within our bodies (physical, instinctual, emotional, mental, etc.) greatly inhibits change.
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The Spiritual Path is all about change. A simple way to put it is that the Path is a process of change from personal and material to impersonal and spiritual. At one time or another, everything must change within us and around us. If we define some simple keywords to describe spiritual, it's fairly easy to see how much change will be involved for the human nature part of ourselves. These keywords include objective, meaningful, detached, other oriented, compassionate and purposeful. Obviously, we need a lot of help in moving from a human nature oriented personality to a spiritual beingness. By design within the human kingdom, we have the capacity to develop a spiritual Self and spiritual senses to help us overcome our inertia. Our higher Self includes the potential of 15 spiritual senses. An early one we develop is intuitive perception. As we persevere on our spiritual journey, we also have the potential to individuate others including divine reasoning, realization, comprehension and discernment as part of our spiritual Self. Utilization of these senses can be a profound way in learning to know when it's time for change. First, when the situation cannot benefit from working smarter and you must work only harder to resolve it, it's likely that it's time for a change, whether your attitude, behavior or your involvement. When you can't make adjustments that will help the situation, then you know it's time for change. Second, when you see that you're more and more compensating for the existing problem, situation or individuals involved and your mentoring is falling on deaf ears, then it's time for change. Third, when you're mindfulness regarding the situation produces no further learning or good answers, it's time to become mindful of what change is best for the future. Fourth, relationship issues, work issues and lifestyle issues should normally get resolved through our fourth habit of solving problems while changing causes. At the point you feel that the causes are not changing and problems persist, then determine what change you must make to resolve the problem. Fifth, it should be fairly easy to see win-win solutions to most situations utilizing our fifth habit. When you determine that either there is no win-win solution or others are not willing to pursue win-win, it's time to move on.
Sixth, when those involved with you will not live their agreements and you've made consistent and persistent efforts to live yours, it's time to change the agreement. Seventh, when the current situation stops getting better and you see that your focus and efforts do not bring positive change, it's time to bring proactive change in your involvement and commitment. Normally this means leaving. And finally, when you look at the situation objectively and cannot see the glass getting more full (of water), realize that your efforts are now being wasted. Utilize your spiritualizing habits checklist to bring some objective unattached clarity to your life and needed changes to continue your spiritual journey without detours. Our unwillingness to change is an overwhelming factor in how we take detours in life and even fall off the Spiritual Path. A third indicator relates to the specifics of dreams. Obviously if a seemingly spiritual being is talking to you in a dream, then consider it a key dream unto you complete your evaluation of the dream. Your evaluation and conclusions will confirm or deny its validity. Oftentimes, key communications will come as your waking up, but not in a dream format, like out of nowhere. Consider these to be subjective intuitions and meaningful to you. Beyond these, learning a good dream analysis technique will go a long way toward opening clear channels of communication with your Soul and inner teachers.
Step Three: Listen to and trust your mentor’s input and feedback.
It would seem to be a no-brainer to say this about learning to know when it's time for change. Unfortunately, our human nature and subconscious find a myriad of ways to cloud our thinking and judgment. When many spiritually committed individuals do not like what they're hearing, even from a trusted mentor, chances are what gets processed will not accurately reflect what was communicated. It's like intuitions, our personality will subtly or obviously diminish the importance of truly objective detached observations.
Step Four: Utilize all of your spiritualizing habits to decide when it's time for change.
By developing and internalizing our first eight spiritualizing habits, we have an ideal checklist to evaluate when it's time for change. This may seem simple, and it is. Whatever the particular situation, issue or crisis is involved, review your habits to bring clarity as to your next step.