The Dream World

EP59: Death, Grief & End of Life Dreams

February 13, 2024 Amina Feat. Jeanne Van Bronkhorst Season 2 Episode 25
The Dream World
EP59: Death, Grief & End of Life Dreams
The Dream World
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Show Notes Transcript

Working in hospice, Jeanne Van Bronkhorst would start to talk to patients about their dreams, and through this, she opened up the beautiful world of the purpose dreams serve at the end of life. We talk about the current qualitative research about grief dreams and visitation dreams, and how to differentiate them. How do dreams serve as an intermediary between life and death?


Jeanne's Links
Website
Books
Dreams at the Threshold: Comfort, Guidance, and Healing at the End of Life

Premonitions in Daily Life: Working with Spontaneous Information When Rational Understanding Fails You.

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00;00;00;00 - 00;00;20;29
Unknown
I have died in my dreams so many times. And one thing that my dreams have been for me is give me a piece about the afterlife. I am not scared of death, and my dreams play a huge role in that because I felt the process before in my dreams. I felt that detachment from my physical body and my consciousness continues on to new adventures.
And sometimes I'll think back to the people I left behind and I'll feel for them because I know they will be hurting. But my consciousness is still very much alive. The Tibetan Buddhists always talk about the process of death and how it's very similar to the dream state. They compare the process of dying and reincarnating to the process of going to sleep, having a dream and waking up into a new day or a new life.

00;00;42;25 - 00;01;04;08
Unknown
And regardless of what you believe, today's episode is really special because I'm talking to Jean Van Bronckhorst, who has graduate degrees in clinical psychology and social work, and she's looked into a lot of the research regarding the dreams that people have at the end of life. And we also talk about premonition, dreams, grief, dreams, visitation, dreams, everything involving dreams and death.

00;01;04;09 - 00;01;30;22
Unknown
So I hope you all enjoy this episode. And if you have any fears of death, maybe this will help dissipate some of those. So I've always been an avid dreamer, a strong dreamer. So I got interested in dreams early. But then it was when I was working. Later in life, I was working in hospice care, but I realized that I was having a lot of really busy conversations in hospice care as a social worker in the United States.

00;01;30;26 - 00;01;52;13
Unknown
A lot of the work is focused on keeping them safe at home and making sure they have meals and making sure there's caregivers and that all good things to do. But I would come in and say, How are you? And they'd say, Fine. They knew I was there for a reason. And there was this just this sense that they were feeling like we were doing a transaction about their health care only.

00;01;52;17 - 00;02;17;01
Unknown
And I really wanted to let them know that. I wanted to know how they were doing. How are you doing with all of this? And one day I just said, Well, how are your dreams these days? And that question just opened up amazing conversations with people. It's a question that says, I'm interested in who you are as a person, rather than trying to make sure you know you've got the care that you need in the house.

00;02;17;05 - 00;02;37;00
Unknown
There's two different levels of care that are going on. That leads to one of them is that that spiritual emotional care. Like how are you? How are your dreams? What are they telling you? And the answers that came from that ranged from, you know, ever since I started this new medication, my dreams have gotten really weird and I don't like them.

00;02;37;02 - 00;02;54;19
Unknown
And so we could talk about changing the medication with the nurses and the doctors. And some of them were like, well, I started dreaming about my daughter and I realized I really haven't talked to her in a long through or I had this dream where I was journeying somewhere. I was in a boat, someone somewhere, and I'm not really sure what it was.

00;02;54;19 - 00;03;19;03
Unknown
So people being able to talk about where they were in this journey and this process of coming to the end of life. One person said, A couple of people said, You know, I don't dream at all my dreams. In a dream, I'm an atheist, which really to me is like showed how clearly dreams and spiritual concerns are interwoven in our collective imaginations.

00;03;19;09 - 00;03;39;18
Unknown
And so we talked about what it was like being at the end of life when you don't think there's something else going on, what do they hope for? Whether they long for what are they worried about? And it led to really interesting conversations. And then people would have conversations with their families. And I'm pretty sure it was clear that families were also dreaming.

00;03;39;19 - 00;03;59;01
Unknown
And it just became this way of connecting with people that was so powerful and so life giving. It was it was it was beautiful. So I decided to write a book. I love that you help open up that conversation. Sometimes people just need to know that it's okay to talk about dreams, and then all of a sudden they get so excited.

00;03;59;01 - 00;04;20;28
Unknown
I love seeing that. Are there any fascinating stories from your book that you can share with us today? You know, the one that comes to mind that I'm thinking of right now is a man named Daniel, who was a father of a friend of mine. He had a life where he mostly worked by himself. And he came home and he dinner and he watched TV and he went to bed and he and his wife had a very quiet kind of life.

00;04;20;28 - 00;04;50;03
Unknown
And then he got really, really sick. And he had all kinds of multiple episodes questions with his brain where he was losing his cognition, losing his memory, losing his ability to be safe. And he ended up very quickly going into like a nursing care where he was miserable. And when he was lucid, he was completely despairing. And when he wasn't, he he just didn't have ways to talk to people and his friends and family drifted away and his wife's just hung in there.

00;04;50;09 - 00;05;08;06
Unknown
And then one day she came in to see him and he was all relaxed. He said, You know, last night I went dancing. And her first response was, No, you just she just that was the first thing she wanted to say. But she waited and she actually talked to the nurses later and they said if he's happy with what he is dreaming, let him be.

00;05;08;11 - 00;05;27;02
Unknown
Let him have what he has. And for six months he had the most amazing dream experiences, which he never considered dreams. Last night we went out and played baseball. Last night I just got back from Italy. Camping trip. Last night we went skydiving and then we went to dinner after and it's like all these all these amazing adventures.

00;05;27;02 - 00;05;54;28
Unknown
And he was still himself talking about. It was a very particular kind of man. And so, you know, he would talk about how long it took to drive there and what kind of gas they used or what kind of fuel they needed for the plane and those kind of things. But he was so lively and so enlivening. So he was having these wonderful experiences at night and he was reliving them and having the experience again during the day so that his day was taken up with remembering and reliving.

00;05;54;28 - 00;06;14;22
Unknown
And then as he spoke about it with his family and friends, he came back because they wanted to see this too. They wanted to join in all this. So it was like all of a sudden this community came back together. And by the time he died, it lasted about six months. And then it ended then. And he died eventually.

00;06;14;26 - 00;06;39;27
Unknown
So but what happened was the family, as they were left with not just the tragedy of losing someone they loved, and not just with the despair of watching him kind of crumble into him self, but also this six months of amazing stories and delight and sharing. And it was like he built a community again. It was like he reclaimed his soul.

00;06;39;29 - 00;07;20;10
Unknown
For this family, that is always hard, that always feels traumatic. And the dreams won't take that away per say. But what they do is they give a new meaning and a new hope in the middle of all that. That's what really counts. So the dreams that people have at the very end of life, when they start having visitation dreams, those who do have like an exact impact on the dying and the people will have either dreams or visions where they are talking to people that they know who have died, who they love, who love them, who seem to be there just for the purpose of helping them, helping them move on.

00;07;20;16 - 00;07;47;25
Unknown
And so those dreams become very powerful in that sense of helping people feel like regardless of what's happening with their physical body, their their spirits, their self themselves, the people who they are are going to continue that there's something more that's going to happen. And so I talked about a little bit about Journey Dreams, where people will start dreaming about taking trips or going across an ocean, or they'll dream about preparing for something.

00;07;47;25 - 00;08;11;07
Unknown
They'll be standing in line or waiting for tickets or looking for somebody that's just kind of on the other side. And then these visitations question just comes and says, I'm here waiting for you. It gives people all kinds of permission to let go. One of the people I interviewed was as a chaplain in a hospital, and he met with the family where the mother, the matriarch, was dying.

00;08;11;07 - 00;08;30;10
Unknown
And she had been a widow for like 1015 years. And she was frail and she was elderly. And the doctors, it was a teaching hospital. The doctors had new things that they could try if they wanted to try. And so the adult children were gathered in one room trying to figure out what to do because they didn't want her to suffer.

00;08;30;14 - 00;08;47;23
Unknown
But they wanted to be good children. They didn't want to be the ones saying it's time to stop. And they wanted to let her know that they wanted her to stay if she could. So they were caught between this kind of hope. But also a lot of risk and their their worries about her and wanted her to stay.

00;08;47;23 - 00;09;11;29
Unknown
And so the chaplain was there to try and help them kind of navigate this conversation. So they all went into the room to talk to her. And he started by saying, you know, I just had the treatments out. Your father, Joe, he's here with me, actually, and he's waiting for me. So I think I'm ready. And that gave them all the permission they needed to be able to still be good children and still be loving of her.

00;09;12;01 - 00;09;36;24
Unknown
And letting her go, knowing that she was going to be okay. Those kind of little vignettes are powerful, but then when you see the numbers with it, it becomes just kind of shocking to see this, that there was a study done to learn rapid. I remember the last names, not the first names. Of course, they did kind of a meta analysis that they were looking at through charts in hospitals of people who were dying.

00;09;36;24 - 00;10;12;25
Unknown
And they started comparing those people that the nurses had witnessed this kind of a visitation where the nurses would come in and they said, I'm talking to somebody, somebody is here with me. So it doesn't happen all that often, but happens. So she compared their final hours and days with the people who did not have that experience. What they found is astounding is just that when they looked at the amount of medication people needed at the end of life for anxiety and pain, the people who had had this visitation experience, the need for the pain medication, anxiety went way, way down.

00;10;13;02 - 00;10;33;14
Unknown
They just didn't ask for it. They didn't need it. That calm and peaceful death that everybody is hoping to have became something that was almost like 90, 95% of the people had calm and peaceful deaths, as opposed to the people who didn't have those experiences. A lot of them still had come in peace with us, but some of them there's a significant portion that didn't.

00;10;33;21 - 00;11;02;18
Unknown
People who had terminal restlessness, which happens a lot in hospitals, that's the kind of picking of the clothes and trying to physically just feeling so uncomfortable. And that went down to almost zero. So the people who had had that visitation, so on every metric they looked at from pain, anxiety, restlessness, and then finally that good and peaceful death, every one of them moved in in the direction of calm, peaceful and out of suffering before they died.

00;11;02;20 - 00;11;19;12
Unknown
So you can see it. You can see it when you when you actually take a moment to do the well, take a moment, take a year to do the research. You know, they say that dreams kind of prepare us for death and not only for the person that's dying, but for their family and everything. I had a really old dog pass recently.

00;11;19;12 - 00;11;36;22
Unknown
He was like 17, you know, he was really old. He was hanging on by his last leg, literally. And it was like my family was kind of the one that was holding on and not really ready, kind of like you said. And I actually had a dream with him because I was the one that was like, Hey, are you ready to go?

00;11;36;22 - 00;11;53;21
Unknown
Like, do we need to make that decision to put you down? Because he was in pain? Like it was just obvious. And in my dream he basically told me like, yeah, I was waiting on you guys to be ready, like I'm ready to go. And that kind of helped my family, like, make that call. And I love that I was able to do that in the dream.

00;11;53;24 - 00;12;14;09
Unknown
Oh, I love that too. Were you were you able to talk to your family afterwards? Yeah. I used to dream kind of. I did it intentionally. Like I wasn't lucid, but I incubated the dream like, I'm going to talk to my dog tonight and try to get an answer. And that's what I got in the dream, that he was just kind of waiting for us because I've had him my whole life, you know, he grew up with us.

00;12;14;11 - 00;12;43;07
Unknown
And after that dream, my family started to come around to the realization. So I think it helped for sure. There are a lot of stories of people who, as much as people who are dying, will dream of packing and getting ready to move. There are other people who in their families who are having the same kind of dream where they're sitting on a bed watching them pack, or they are walking with them to the ship that is going to take them away.

00;12;43;09 - 00;13;08;11
Unknown
And I think all of that is emotional preparation for that, that major parting that happens. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And what about visitation dreams after somebody passes on? You know, I've had a lot of dreams, like of my grandparents and things like that. How can we tell, like, if a dream character is such a visitation dream or is there like a way to, like, differentiate what that means?

00;13;08;14 - 00;13;28;22
Unknown
It's it's almost too early to tell in the research. I mean, there are definitely different ways that people talk about them. And I kind of go back and forth on it. You know, I'm writing a book now. I'm writing about visitation dreams and and thinking about this a lot. And the thing I keep coming back to is the importance of all of our dreams of them.

00;13;28;24 - 00;13;51;19
Unknown
So even if it's a grief dream and it doesn't feel like a visitation, they're still really important, those dreams. But there are some differences that that people have found, though most of the research, like I said, is mostly qualitative. So we're mostly getting this from people describing their own dreams. And really the research started with a woman who was writing about grief, dreams, and so she was interviewing people about grief, dreams.

00;13;51;26 - 00;14;13;04
Unknown
And at the end of one of the interviews, one of the people said, So I've told you all the grief changed. You want to hear about the dreams? When they visited me and they had such a different experience between the two that they hadn't actually put them in the same category. So when you think about the difference between them, grief dreams tend to be more plot driven.

00;14;13;06 - 00;14;36;01
Unknown
There's a sense of we were here, we were doing this, and then this happened, or I went this way and they went that way. Or and the dreams often carry with that a fair amount of the hardest feelings of grief. So I was on the phone with my brother who died, and I'm trying to reach him. I'm trying to call him and I'm getting a static and feeling like I'm in some.

00;14;36;01 - 00;15;06;20
Unknown
I wake up feeling that that missing connection that's been lost people will have dreams about. I watched I watched my father and he was walking down the road and I called to him and he turned around. But then he just kept walking. So the dreams have this sense of of emotion to the end of emotion and emotion. And when my mother died, I had grief, dreams of her, where it was both kind of being in a plot, but also kind of revisiting the different aspects of our relationship.

00;15;06;20 - 00;15;24;03
Unknown
So there were dreams where I got irritated with her dreams, or she got irritated with me and and dreams where I was missing her own dreams, or she was interacting with my brothers and sisters. And and so there was all this other stuff going on. And every one of those dreams I woke up and wrote down and felt like it was another piece of the puzzle.

00;15;24;06 - 00;15;48;04
Unknown
Visitation dreams, on the other hand, feel very immediate. There's people who have visitations, often are aware that they're dreaming, they're aware that they're asleep. They're aware the other person has died. The other person is aware they've died. So there's a lucidity to them, but there's also just this one moment of connection. So I was holding his hand and I could feel his hand.

00;15;48;06 - 00;16;07;16
Unknown
And we just sat there and I. I could feel him. I could. I knew he was there. People who talk about their children who have died. So a mother talked about a child who was pre-verbal. But when she had a visitation of this little girl, the little girl was now able to talk. So there's that piece of it.

00;16;07;22 - 00;16;39;16
Unknown
Visitation dreams. Also, the people who come back are also now healthy and whole and they look younger. Most of them look younger, like in their their glory days, which I know is about them. And there's this sense of them being themselves, but being their best selves. So the pieces of them that were harder, the anxieties and the anger and the the pieces that just were hard that we kind of hit against each other, those are all gone.

00;16;39;16 - 00;17;00;28
Unknown
And what's left is this person who's kind of free from the pain of being alive and are now just existing in this plane that feels filled with love. And I think that's the last part. So in grief, dreams, the emotions range. They run the gamut from love to guilt and fear and anger and loss and all of that.

00;17;00;28 - 00;17;23;04
Unknown
But but visitation dreams just feel like this steady, all encompassing love and wanting to be together. So there are differences. People wake up from visitation dreams, feeling like they have been in the presence of that person. But we wake up from grief dreams. We often feel like, Oh, that was a dream about so-and-so, and this is what I did.

00;17;23;07 - 00;17;46;21
Unknown
Yeah, it makes sense. I get this question a lot. Like people say, Oh, is it really them? Is it just my mind? Is it another trickster being and you know, I tell people whatever you choose to believe, it could still be healing and help you. And I know that this is something that's so hard for science to really research because we don't necessarily have the capability to research interdimensional things.

00;17;46;24 - 00;18;10;07
Unknown
Do you have any thoughts on how we could do that? Like, do you have any visions for the future of researching this? I mean, I don't know. There are people in the States who are researching mediumship and looking at that. But but I think that's part of that's part of Western culture, which is the sense of unless it's objectively real outside of me and outside of my longing, that can't truly be real.

00;18;10;12 - 00;18;31;10
Unknown
It can't be something that I pay attention to. I think you look at the dreaming cultures around us and through history, and what we find is if you are looking for someone and dreaming, hoping to dream about them, hoping to dream with them, and then you do take it, run with it. It doesn't make any sense to me to try and second guess ourselves.

00;18;31;10 - 00;19;02;06
Unknown
On whether it's real enough to be important. All of those dreams are important, whether it's about them or with them. They all have importance. So that's why I tell the true story about Daniel, because it was so clear Daniel never went skydiving and never went out to dinner with friends afterwards. But that's not the important piece. The important piece is he got to experience something that he hadn't experienced before in his life, and it brought him joy and pleasure and calm.

00;19;02;11 - 00;19;28;24
Unknown
And I had a visitation with my mother as well as grief dreams. And it was powerful. It helped a lot. And I don't know that it was more powerful than the grief dreams they staged with me in a different way. But the question of whether it was really, really hurt doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I feel like in some ways it's my dreaming muscle that's making the dream, that's making the 3D piece of it, right?

00;19;28;24 - 00;19;51;05
Unknown
So it's but the connection that I'm feeling, maybe that's the real part. So the connection is real. Everything that I am dreaming about in order to make that feel physical and in there is coming from my dreaming mind. So we're creating a bridge between the two and I think that's fair. I think it's fair to say it's both of us.

00;19;51;11 - 00;20;13;02
Unknown
It's my dreaming sense of who she was. But it's her. It's her connection with me, that is. I know what you say. Piercing the veil or sneaking through the mail every now and then. That's a great way to put it. That makes complete sense to me intuitively. Like their energy can still come through and our brain needs a picture to put the story together so that we as humans can understand it.

00;20;13;02 - 00;20;32;27
Unknown
So it's both its answer. And then you start when you started asking people about their dreams, did you already have an interest in dreams? Like what was your personal experience like in becoming interested in Dreams in the first place? Oh, I did. I had a lot of dreams growing up and a lot of dreams that I was interested in, just trying to figure out how this works.

00;20;32;27 - 00;20;59;20
Unknown
And I had dreams that came true, which were very modest, concerning, but just I didn't I couldn't figure out how. I kept trying to figure out how does this work? We are very western, very Western cultures, mind here. And so it kept me, it kept me close to them. And then I had dreams where I was with people who were dying when I was in my teen years.

00;20;59;20 - 00;21;18;09
Unknown
And those were so, again, powerful because I wasn't sure quite what was going on. But it's kind of what led me into hospice in the first place. It's just like, okay, so, so what is this? How does this work between life and death? And our dream is one of the paths we take from one side to the other.

00;21;18;12 - 00;21;43;20
Unknown
And so that's kind of how I got interested in the hospice to begin with. And then so I had the dream interest as I went into it and then just started asking people and being careful not to analyze. So it wasn't about analyzing the dreams or interpreting them or delving into the images. It was about letting what I say, letting the dreams do the work and just the fact of the dream, whatever they want to share.

00;21;43;22 - 00;22;03;15
Unknown
Knowing that people have lots of dreams and they only remember of us and we choose which ones we're going to share. And we often share it as a way of communication with each other. So I won't share. I won't share all my dreams with people. I'll share the ones that I feel will fit this, you know, relationship, this communication.

00;22;03;17 - 00;22;22;14
Unknown
So knowing that all of those things are happening and feeling very honored when people would share a dream and then we would just together. So how did it feel? What did it feel like? What does it feel like now? Does it remind you of anything? I just let people talk about why they're why they're sharing the dream and what the dream is.

00;22;22;14 - 00;22;47;19
Unknown
Powerhouse for them. Yeah, that's important. I love what you said about not trying to interpret it, because sometimes that not necessarily helpful people just want to be heard and talking about dreams and normalizing that can be so revolutionary. Yeah, I think so. I've got a research paper and article, I guess from a a psychiatrist, Freudian analyst, kind of at the peak of Freud's popularity.

00;22;47;21 - 00;23;09;23
Unknown
And even he said, when people are dying, you just you just listen. You just let them talk about whatever it is they're bringing as far as the dream goes, as no and no interpreting meanings. I was also like reading a book about how people can prepare for the afterlife in their dreams to like, you know, kind of make arrangements for how they want to die or how they, you know, what they want to do after.

00;23;09;23 - 00;23;29;20
Unknown
So dreams prepare us for death. So I've always kind of thought that, too. Yeah, I've heard that. I haven't heard about them preparing for an actual afterlife, but I like that idea. Yeah, I've understood that. There's so much we don't know about how the world works. Yeah. So what about this premonition and dreams? How does that work? What's your experience been like?

00;23;29;20 - 00;23;50;29
Unknown
I have no idea how they have any theorizing, so I read a lot of theories out there. It's just. And we don't really know what time is. Yeah, you know, and that's that's been true for for as long as people have been writing things down. I think St Augustine, somebody has said, if you ask me what time it is, I could tell you.

00;23;50;29 - 00;24;10;19
Unknown
But if you ask me what is three nine. Oh yeah, it's just like so it moves in funny ways. And so a scientist is looking at déja vu and noticing because he had so many dreams and he took care to write all of them down that he could go back in his dreams and find those images in the dreams.

00;24;10;26 - 00;24;34;22
Unknown
So it could be that we are dreaming of our near future. A lot and just not remembering. And then every now and then we kind of, Oh my gosh, I've done this before. I've been in this position before and that could very well come from dreams. I know for sure that we don't remember most of the dreams that we have, Even people that try to remember their dreams, there's so much that we just don't consciously remember.

00;24;34;22 - 00;24;58;01
Unknown
Like we probably have a whole other life in the dream world, the whole job and everything, and we don't even know about it. I might. I might really be. That might very well be. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. So I did. I wrote a book about that, too, about premonitions. And what I wanted to get at was because we there's no way for science to tell us what premonitions are, how they work unless they're scientists working on it.

00;24;58;01 - 00;25;34;13
Unknown
Most people in the Institute of Noetic Sciences, they're doing a lot of research there to prove that it happens. But how to make sense of it is really the job of every person who goes through the experience. So I interviewed six people who had six very different stories for what their premonitions meant and how they worked. And it was really interesting because they had they had developed a story about the premonitions that fit their experience, but it also turned out that their experience was molded to fit their story.

00;25;34;16 - 00;25;58;03
Unknown
And so you found this this dialog going on between the meaning and the experience back and forth so that as people's meanings changed, the experience changed to fit the new confines of the story. Fascinating. So one man is a police officer who said, I have premonitions and I look for them. They help me catch bad guys and they keep me safe.

00;25;58;10 - 00;26;19;00
Unknown
And that's all they do and that's that's what they're for. And in fact, that's what his premonitions did. They kept him safe. They helped him catch bad guys. He didn't have premonitions about his wife or his children. He didn't have premonitions about his brother. He figures his brother never had premonitions because his brother didn't have a scary job, a job that put him in danger.

00;26;19;03 - 00;26;47;08
Unknown
And so it's like the experience set his story so well that I don't know if he didn't see other premonitions, he didn't pay attention to them or if they just the experience itself was molded by the expectation. So there were two people tell you about two different people. One of them was a Philip who understood premonition. He understood time to be set and premonition events were about a set future, and so there was nothing to be done for them.

00;26;47;08 - 00;27;06;08
Unknown
So what he could do is he could prepare himself emotionally for what was coming, and that's what he did. And so he was on a plane one day and he dosed and he woke up with a sudden understanding that the wheel was going to fall off on takeoff and the plane was going to lurch across the runway and it was going to come to a stop and people would be okay.

00;27;06;08 - 00;27;29;07
Unknown
But he'll be really, really scary. And so he got himself ready for that. He didn't tell anybody. He didn't ask to be let off the plane. He didn't warning nobody to warn. He just he just got himself ready and then the plane took off from any casualty. So. Well, you know, so I was pretty sure that was a premonition because it kind of followed my my list of what they're like.

00;27;29;13 - 00;27;51;28
Unknown
And it turned out to be a different plane about a half hour later, leaving from the same airport that had that accident. So and then another person, Julie, who for her premonitions were just about changing the direction of her life. They were there to guide her and to support her. So it wasn't about a fixed future, but about an open future and that she was going to go this way rather than that way.

00;27;51;28 - 00;28;15;00
Unknown
She was going to take extra care here rather than there. She was going, so she let the premonitions kind of died her through her life to give her a better chance at being safety and and having a good life. So two totally different ways of looking at the premonitions and looking at time. And they both worked. They both worked for each person.

00;28;15;02 - 00;28;46;23
Unknown
So, you know, I'd be hard pressed to say one was right and one was wrong. I think they both were good ways of looking at it. I think the hard ones are when we see premonitions as a sign of mental instability or something wrong with us, then I would caution people to to find a new story. Find a new story because there are stories out there about premonitions that will let you let you work with them and let you both trust them and question them at the same time.

00;28;46;29 - 00;29;03;09
Unknown
So Philip was really good. He had a list. So they have to be this, you know, if I'm having a premonition, they have to be sudden, they have to be out of the blue. They have to be. They have to be not something I was thinking about. They have to be about something I can't do anything about. So they had kind of a list that he went through the checklist before.

00;29;03;09 - 00;29;26;15
Unknown
He said, yes, this is probably a premonition. That's good. Yeah. Because I people ask that a lot like, Oh, how do I know if this is just an anxiety dream or a premonition? So like coming up with that criteria by like understanding what has come true and kind of identifying those types of dreams for yourself. And I also think maybe like the different types, not everything is meant for us to change something, maybe just to prepare.

00;29;26;15 - 00;29;46;29
Unknown
Like you said, sometimes we can't do anything about it. Sometimes you can't. So figuring out what you can do and sticking to that and giving yourself some compassion and some forgiveness for the things you can't change. And what about like having dreams of somebody dying? Those can be so scary and like, jarring, you know? And a lot of times maybe they're not premonitions.

00;29;46;29 - 00;30;22;16
Unknown
What do you think people should do about that? Really tricky doesn't because because dreams of us dying are really powerful and 99% of the time they're not about us actually, physically dying. They're about transformation. They're about letting go of some old way. They're about the fear of having to let go of some old way. They're about that that sense of transition and yeah, so we need to look at them carefully, but with a strong heart, I guess mostly I tend not to think that those dreams are about an actual death and sometimes they are.

00;30;22;16 - 00;30;59;21
Unknown
And so I'm kind of trying now on several different people who've told me stories about dreaming about the death of someone they loved and that person then dying later. I can't. It's a kind of how we talk about it. What is our story about why that might be that we have that experience? So for two of the people I talked to, they knew they couldn't do anything to change the assignment, but what they could do was just love that person while they were still alive, and they spent time like just loving them, just holding them close to letting them know, appreciating them in a way that maybe they hadn't for a while.

00;30;59;26 - 00;31;19;20
Unknown
That one woman, her a teenager, her teenage son was very young. He was maybe 28 or something, and he had had a hard life. And she she just spent the next few weeks just loving him and letting all the rest of it go. And she warned him. She tried to warn him against whatever the accident was, that she saw it.

00;31;19;27 - 00;31;39;14
Unknown
It didn't work and he didn't he did end up dying. But in addition to the pain of the loss, she felt gratitude that she had had time to love him without all of those reservations and fears about how he was growing up. And that really helped other people have faced that and felt so bitterly betrayed by the dreams.

00;31;39;14 - 00;32;03;01
Unknown
You've given me this terrible event and you haven't given me any way to change it or any way to solve it. And so I've just been unwilling witness to disaster. That is a really hard way to look at it. So I can they can happen. It's how we decide, how we decide for ourselves what that experience means. That can be the biggest shaper of how it feels to us.

00;32;03;03 - 00;32;18;27
Unknown
Yeah, because I've had scary dreams like that of people passing that. I obviously don't want them to and I never take them as premonitions. And I wake up so thankful. Like that's one thing they do for me. I wake up with this immense gratitude because I'm like, Oh, it was just a dream. I can go hug them now.

00;32;18;27 - 00;32;34;01
Unknown
I can go love on them and, you know, appreciate them more. And it kind of reminds me, especially if I'm having a not talking to someone or having a problem with them, and then I have that type of dream. It kind of wakes me up to reality, like, Hey, just appreciate people while you have them. Yeah, I like that a lot.

00;32;34;07 - 00;32;51;10
Unknown
I think that's that's really the gift of those dreams. Even if we can't do anything else, we can love each other. Yeah, You know, it's hard. Everybody's going to die one day, so there's only so much we can do. So in your personal dream experiences, do you have lucid dreams at all? How often? I do. Every now and then.

00;32;51;11 - 00;33;11;11
Unknown
I don't. I don't go chasing them like I know some people spend some time doing that and I tend to do that. I tend to just let the dreams come when they when they will. And I do more of my work on responding to them. And sometimes I will like that intentions for myself to dream like especially like you had with your dog.

00;33;11;18 - 00;33;34;11
Unknown
That sense of I have a question trying to sort this out. I just moved. I will feed on that from. I used to live in Toronto and moved to Victoria and for maybe six months before we made the decision to move, I started having all these dreams of being out on an island and and walking paths that were through the big fir trees and seeing the water.

00;33;34;11 - 00;33;59;18
Unknown
And it was like everything was kind of pointing to this area and that was good. I like that. So I wasn't lucid through those, but it was watching the my daily concerns of wanting to move kind of intermingle with the dreaming concerns of, well, you could move here or you could move you, it could look like this. Yeah, I love how dreams kind of guide us through life and help us out and give us therapy.

00;33;59;18 - 00;34;23;18
Unknown
And so do you have any, like, thoughts on people that say that they don't dream? Oh, any advice for them? That's really that's an easy one. Because because our dreams are our us, right? It's our brains. We're dreaming. We can practice remembering dreams. And even more than that, we can give ourselves the intention to dream. So it's kind of like, here's an exercise that I learned in high school.

00;34;23;23 - 00;34;50;04
Unknown
It's like if you close your eyes and think about all of the colors that are in your room, then you open your eyes and you look around. You see all the colors and close your eyes and say, I want to see the color blue. And when you open your eyes, blue will pop out from everywhere. And not because you're searching for it, but because you've just told your brain, Take blue from the background, You put it into the foreground and our in our attention, our attention muscles will do the work for us.

00;34;50;06 - 00;35;06;28
Unknown
It's like when you're driving, you don't notice what's in the storefronts, but you notice if there's somebody walking across the road. We know we kind of train ourselves to what's most important. So we do the same thing with our dreams. Put your head on the pillow and say, I want to remember my dreams. I want to remember my dreams.

00;35;07;00 - 00;35;25;29
Unknown
If you put your head on the pillow and say, I wish I remembered my dreams, but I never do, that will work. But if you remember your dreams just I want to remember my dreams. Oh, my gosh. My stepmother did that. And my father had died. And she knew my mother, who had died earlier. And she had her first husband.

00;35;25;29 - 00;35;41;29
Unknown
And she just was feeling alone and lonely. And I was telling you about dreams. Because I never dream. I never dream. I never said I'll just try. I look terrible. But she did. So within a couple of weeks, she was dreaming about all those lovely people who had died that she loved. And they all came back and saw her.

00;35;42;01 - 00;36;00;16
Unknown
She had a really good couple of looks and then she then she let go of the practice and went away again. So, yeah, it's just about what we intend, what we want and what we let ourselves look for. Yeah, that mindset is definitely a big thing, you know, and allowing yourself to be open back up to your dreams and wanting to pay attention and believing it.

00;36;00;22 - 00;36;21;27
Unknown
Yeah, that's a lot of it. And there's always going to be people who don't remember their dreams anyway. And you know, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just lot of people saying, I want to remember and then taking time to remember them. It's enough to have them all come flooding back. So if anybody is interested, I have put the Amazon link to both of your books in the description.

00;36;21;27 - 00;36;42;01
Unknown
I've read one of them and it was great. I really loved it. Is there anything in particular you want to share regarding your books? They were both a delight to write to figure out how to write this book. Is Is there anything on your heart maybe like closing thoughts for people listening? Because I know this is such a powerful topic for people.

00;36;42;03 - 00;37;07;08
Unknown
Yeah, I just it's like we almost need to just teach ourselves to trust ourselves. I suppose trusting that the experiences you're getting are coming for a reason. So if we think that dreams are us, they are our right. And because they're us, they're coming for our benefit. And because they're us, we can talk back to them and we can form a relationship with them.

00;37;07;10 - 00;37;34;14
Unknown
And I think those three things are really important. But I also think to let ourselves trust our experience is real and earth is good enough that we can we can ask a little bit and in the good experiences and the ones that are hard or bad, we can talk to them about going away and set our intention to go towards the dreams we want to have and kind of we haven't really talked about nightmares much and that's fine.

00;37;34;19 - 00;37;57;14
Unknown
They do happen, but because they are us again, we have some say in them and if we can take the time to kind of move towards them and decide to change them a little bit, re-imagine them and change the ending or change the middle or change the beginning or change the outcome. We can do that. We can we can teach ourselves to have better dreams.

00;37;57;16 - 00;38;18;20
Unknown
Yeah, that's true. And I get that a lot from people online, like, Oh, I hate my dreams, I just don't want to remember them. And they kind of run from them because they're scared. And yeah, you have to take back the dream it So for whatever reason. True. Yeah. And you know, it's part of life to confront our fears and dreams, kind of prepare us for scary possible things that might happen.

00;38;18;20 - 00;38;42;12
Unknown
So confronting them with, like, love and lucidity and so to speak, can be really transformative. For my experience, that was one of the first lessons I learned. That is that I used to have a nightmare of being chased by Bigfoot through the woods. Like, just scared me from childhood up until I was like 20, 21. And I was talking to someone and she said, Well, why is he chasing you?

00;38;42;15 - 00;38;58;21
Unknown
It's like, I don't know. It was chasing me. It's just chasing me necessary to. Well, maybe next time you're having the dream, turn around and ask, Why are you chasing me? That's not all. That's. And that's the thing. I did get lucid for this because the next time I had that dream, I was running and I remember what she said.

00;38;58;21 - 00;39;23;26
Unknown
So I turned around and said, Why are you chasing me? And he stopped. Got all continues is like what you wanted me to, didn't you? I'm just showing you how I protect the treasure. So, like, really? Well, just then, he led me back to the woods. This, like, he's, like, demonstrating how he was, like, are doing that for everybody else, chasing everybody away from me to this this cave with this wonderful jewel encrusted walls.

00;39;23;26 - 00;39;43;27
Unknown
And so this part is yours. And you kind of show me this little part of this little leech. And it had a whole range of jewel encrusted shoehorn. You know what shoe holders are? They're shiny little things. They protect shoes you could have in. They're like little. Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. You play the heel goes in without without.

00;39;43;27 - 00;40;10;15
Unknown
Right. But these were jewel encrusted, so solemn over function, there was no way to use them shoe hoards because they were jewel encrusted. It was get over. So I was holding on to them and just laughing at the absurdity when I woke up. But I loved that and I loved thinking about that later and thinking that it's interesting that Bigfoot was chasing me with this big soul and be these horns weren't going to work anymore for me.

00;40;10;15 - 00;40;33;05
Unknown
And I kept the treasure. Then I wasn't going to be able to fit into whatever little, little place I had prescribed for myself as part of my family. So it was a really it was a really good dream. Wow. Did you have the nightmare? Oh, yeah. This wasn't because I changed it. So after that, I think I've been chased like, four times since then.

00;40;33;12 - 00;40;52;00
Unknown
And each time I turned around and said, Use your words. Stop chasing me. But change is the dream. Oh, yeah, that's incredible. Sometimes we add fear to a dream because we just don't know that there's more that we can do to really figure out what it is. And it turns out it's not that scary. Turns out it was a good monster trying to help you out.

00;40;52;06 - 00;41;20;13
Unknown
Turns out he was on my side. Yeah, I knew that was really a turning point for me in my dreams. That's incredible. Well, thank you so much for taking time to chat with me and tell me about your experience. This has been really great. Welcome. I've really appreciated it. Thank you so much for inviting me.