petek, 25. junij 2010

Saying Thanks as a Habit

Over the last years I have gradually developed the habit of saying thanks. I start in the morning. I say thanks for all the good things that happened the day before and also for the »things« that are there all the time – being happily married, having found my vocation as a writer etc. This is a part of my morning meditation called maypole exercise, which is one of the basic exercises of the Phyllis Krystal method. I do this every morning, which sets a thankful atmosphere in me for the whole day.

It is one thing to say thanks for the good things, but what about the bad ones? I am grateful for the mental illness episodes in my past, for they had brought me to the point in my life, when I finally realized, what my true vocation was. On one hand it was hard to accept the illness and it took me about 13 years to come to the conclusion that it was all for the best. On the other hand it is easy to talk about the positive aspect of something that is over.

The truly hard thankfulness seems the one that we can develop already while a bad thing is happening to us. Let me give you an example. When I wake up with a migraine, I first get angry. Then I realize that anger will only make the migraine worse. Then I say mechanically: »Thank you God for this migraine. I do not know why it is good for me, but it might reveal itself later«. I do not really mean it and how could I, when my head hurts like hell. Nonetheless it helps to say thanks, for these sentences calm me down, while angry sentences would only make the headache worse. In retrospective I have been many times really grateful for the migraine, for I have realized that it had slowed me down, when I was either working too much or getting too emotional.

Last but not least I want to tell you a funny story in order to spice the serious subject a bit. Some weeks ago I was buying coffee from a coffee machine. When the sentence »Please remove the cup« showed up on the display, I said: »Thank you«. The next moment I was laughing at myself and looking around in shame. The lady that had heard me was smiling. We ended laughing together.

You can ask me more about my habit of saying thanks:

ponedeljek, 21. junij 2010

The Blind Car Driver in Me

This is another blog on dream interpretation. May I point out again that I only interpret the impressive dreams or the reoccurring ones. I dream almost every day, thus in my opinion it would be pointless to try to interpret every insignificant dream. I might even overdo it and get obsessed with dream interpretation. That is why I have set myself the limitation of interpreting only certain dreams. On the contrary a person who rarely remembers a dream in the morning would not need this limitation of course. May I warn you that you should consult your psychiatrist first, before you start any kind of dream interpretation, for you have to be stable in order to be able to do it. If one interprets his/her dreams during a mental illness episode for example, the interpreting might even make the episode worse.

In my previous blog I mentioned that I usually use the Phyllis Krystal Method to interpret my dreams. Nonetheless the example in my previous blog was interpreted solely according to my intuition. This time I will describe an example of my dreams that I have managed to interpret according to the above mentioned method. Dream interpretation is just a facilitating exercise that I use as a back-up next to other exercises according to the PK Method that I do regularly. It is not the core work of the method, but it gives useful hints at times.

The dreams: I met a very interesting woman. She was the head of the Union of the Blind People of my country — not the real head, just somebody who appeared as such in my dreams. She was driving a car. I was astonished. I asked her: “How can you drive a car? You are blind.” She gave me a most logical but at the same time a surprising answer: “I see with my third eye.” As much as I was dazzled by her self-confidence and supernatural capabilities I was also just as much disappointed with myself, for I had stopped driving a year ago.

This last bit regarding my driving is real. It is not an imagined story from the dreams. I had been trying to learn how to drive and be relaxed while driving a car for 4 years, but it only got worse over the years, so a year ago I finally quit. The real-life feeling of being a loser who cannot drive a car was combined with the imagined story of a blind car driver in my dreams.

When I woke up in the morning, I first thought the dream was telling me to try driving a car again. Later however I tried to interpret it with the PK method, because this is what I usually do, if the dream is impressive. According to this method the people that appear in our dreams represent parts of our personality. Similarly the car usually means our job or business. Thus the blind woman in my dreams could be interpreted as the brave part of me that knows how to pull off my book project, even though the skeptic in me is still having her doubts, for this is my first project of the kind. In my opinion the dreams were trying to encourage me in my endeavor to publish a book that will help other mental patients in their fight for a better life.

You can ask me more about my dreams and the way I interpret them:

ponedeljek, 14. junij 2010

Dramatic Dreams

Last week I had a somewhat weird but also an inspiring dream. A friend of mine appeared in it. We were running away from a flood. I spotted a pile of sand and said to him: »Let's climb up this pile and then we are saved.« He said: »Oh, I don't feel like climbing. It's too strenuous. I will go around the pile.« I looked back at the threatening flood and decided to save my ass instead of trying to persuade him to take the hard way.

It was one of those situations in dreams that are hard to explain, but you know what you have to do and it is the only way out. I knew there was no time to go around the pile, since the flood was approaching too quickly. Losing any additional seconds trying to persuade him would have gotten both of us killed. So I climbed up the pile. When I got to the other side of the pile, I knew I was saved. I looked back and at that instant the friend was carried away by the flood. He died. I felt guilty for a second, but then a great feeling of reassurance set in. I did what I could for him, yet he was not ready to fight. His reluctance to make an extra effort cost him his life.

When I woke up from the dream in the morning, I said to myself. »Jesus, how stupid dreams.« Later however I started thinking about them and suddenly it dawned on me that the dreams were telling me something. The friend from the dreams is a friend from my real life. I have known him since my high-school years. He shares the same diagnoses with me, but he is too reluctant to do anything about his life that would change things for the better. I tried to show him the way many times, but he was never ready to work on his thinking patterns or to change his life style to a healthier one. It broke my heart to see him all miserable again and again and at the end of the conversation he would usually say that I worry more about him than he worries about himself. So I stopped chatting with him. I left him behind.

The dream was telling me that there is no need to have any guilt feelings about my decision. I still e-mail him, but going out for a cup of coffee with him is simply too exhausting for me.

I often try to interpret dreams that leave a great impression on me or those that reoccur often. I believe that such intense dreams usually try to tell us something. I normally use the Phyllis Krystal method to interpret dreams, but it doesn’t always work. This time I simply used my intuition.

You can ask me more about my dreams and the way I interpret them: