January 14th – “Someone who you thought you would never see again will pop back onto the scene today, although probably not in person.”

People have told me that they rarely dream, and when they do, they do not remember their dreams. I have never been one of those people. I dream almost every night and remember most of them vividly the next morning. Sometimes they’re prophetic, sometimes there are those repressed thoughts that Freud theorized. When my health is declining, nightmares are of abundance. For the last two nights, an old friend popped up in my dreams and nightmares.

I’ve been fighting a minor cold, so it’s no surprise that I’m having nightmares. What is strange is that this old friend (who I am no longer friends with) is floating around in my unconscious. I am grateful that we no longer have a relationship because I can clearly see now that we were codependent.

In the first dream, my friend and I were taking the train in the city. On the ride, there was a group of young college kids wearing tuxedos. Naturally, I was curious so I started talking to them and found out they had just come from a ballet in which their friend was dancing in. We had a great time getting to know these folks.

In the second dream, we were having a party. This became a nightmare because everything went wrong. Guests were arriving and there was no food, not enough seating, and my friend kept inviting more people! I was overwhelmed and trying to pick up the pieces for her as usual.

What was my unconscious trying to tell me?

I have been thinking a lot about the city because it’s the subject of a few projects I’m working on. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been back to my old haunts and I have been feeling very nostalgic. The trouble with nostalgia is that we like to see what we want to see. We like to remember the past as something magical, perfect, and positive. We like to forget all the bad stuff and pretend that it never happened.

When I think of my best memories of the city, my former friend is in many of these images. We had a lot of fun, good times, and unique moments that I shared with no one else. With that, there were also awful moments that I do not want to experience again.

As much as I would like to see the city in a certain way, perhaps my dreams are a word of caution: beware of romanticizing the past or you’ll risk becoming a preservationist! Okay, maybe it’s not so dramatic, but it would be a good idea to take another look at my map if I see myself on the path to nostalgia.

November 13th – “Beware of self-fulfilling prophecies, especially unconscious ones.”

Self-fulfilling prophecies are the worst because there’s no one to blame but yourself!

I don’t really like this ominous zodiac prediction, but it’s probably giving me good advice. Hey, it can’t be rainbows, kittens, and butterflies every day!

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I would not like to scold my future self, so I took time to think about my thoughts and actions. I asked, “What am I doing unconsciously to sabotage myself?”

I’ve been juggling a lot recently and the coming week won’t be any easier. I usually work part-time, but next week, I’ll be at the office full-time. I’ve been telling myself that I won’t be able to get any non-work work (i.e. painting, baking, and all the other fun stuff) done because I won’t have time. I better change my attitude and not throw in the towel before the week has even started!

To help me accomplish all my non-work work, I’m going to make sure that I sleep well, get plenty of exercise, and have a specific focus each day. I usually hate schedules, but I’ve been so frazzled that I need a plan.

Monday – Submit Application

Tuesday – Painting

Wednesday – Baking

Thursday – Submit Application

Friday – Painting

Saturday & Sunday – Article, Reading

My revised self-fulfilling prophecy: I’m going to be a ROCKSTAR next week and get all my projects done on time AND have fun doing it!

October 6th – “Sometimes the unconscious mind and the conscious mind aren’t on the same page.”

I consider myself to be someone who has self-awareness. The trouble is that even though I am aware of many of my own thoughts, actions, and feelings, there are still more aspects of my unconscious that I am unaware of. That’s part of the process of awareness – to be able to admit to ourselves that we do not know everything! The unconscious is tricky because it’s different for everyone and there are so many schools of thought.

I thought it might be useful to do a quick Google search to see what else I can learn about the unconscious. I found an article on Psychology Today  that was pretty interesting, particularly this section:

Does not process negatives: The unconscious absorbs pictures rather than words. So if you say, “I don’t want to procrastinate,” the unconscious generates a picture of you procrastinating. Switching that picture from the negative to the positive takes an extra step. Better to tell your unconscious, “Let’s get to work!”

I knew about negatives, but I didn’t really think about how the unconscious really only “sees” things. That makes sense because the unconscious is related to dreams. In my dreams I definitely say things and have conversations, but the recollections are really just images. The words that are in my dreams become part of the visual landscape, and do not stand alone as an aural memory.

From now on, I will try harder to use positives when I want to give instructions to my unconscious. Tomorrow, I’ll tell myself:

  1. Let’s wake up early!
  2. Let’s go on a wonderful run!
  3. Let’s do an awesome ab work out!
  4. Let’s get to work on that amazing article!
  5. Let’s finish those pretty paintings!

The exclamation marks make it extra motivating!