Archive for December, 2012

Dreaming

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Josh Reeves  Sigmund Freud described dreams as a way of thinking.  That’s an interesting point when looking at the common assumption that dreams are a window into what we really think. 

We can perhaps apply Freud’s description as well to feeling, or moving.  They are ways of thinking, and in the same way thinking is a way of dreaming, a way of moving, and a way of feeling too.

  I don’t know about you, but when I look to my thinking to tell me how I feel, I get in the way of how I feel.  When I look at how I feel to tell me what I think, I get confused.   Of course all of the above stated uses of mind and heart are related, but each have a language of their own.  All transcribe this thing called spirit or consciousness via our uniqueness.

  Our dreams should not be investigated to see what they say about what we think or feel, but what about our consciousness they communicate.  What do our dreams have to tell us in their own unique way, about who we really are?

  I recall a dream I had several years ago.  I’m at a sports bar I attended regularly with some friends and in the dream the cocktail waitress began to talk with me.  At first the words were clear and crisp, easy to understand.  And then, as if I had been submerged in water, the words were being spoken, but I couldn’t hear them at all, from my mouth or hers.  The communication didn’t cease however.  It kept going.  I was aware of our energies exchanging…of feelings, and vibrations, and what we might call the “non-verbal” communing but loud and clear.   And then deeper still, as if our soul’s had been communing this whole time, having a very different conversation than the one being exposed with words.  At that point in the dream, the waitress showed me her checkbook.  It read, “The purpose of the living is the communication of the dead.”  Then I woke up.

  That meant something powerful in the dream.  As I think about it, I know I probably take meaning from it, but what it says to me is that communication happens at many different levels and from areas of ourselves we are not as aware of as others.

  Dreams, as a way of communicating within ourselves, have something powerful to say.  A dream, like a grand idea or realization, can be an epiphany that reveals and allows a part of ourselves to become, that wasn’t quite before. 

Listening is Understanding

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

revjosh1.jpg  Fundamental to listening is understanding.  I would go so far to say that true listening isn’t hearing, it is understanding.  It is not remembering, it is not the number of times we utter “mhmm.”  Listening is understanding.

        Listening begins with a willingness to understand.  If you don’t approach it with that, you’re not listening.  You’re judging, or validating, or evaluating.  It is a good exercise after a conversation (cause if you did it during you wouldn’t be listening) to inquire where you were seeking to understand what was being shared and where you were evaluating what was being said in relation to what you assume.  How much were you listening to some one’s perspective versus a confirmation of your own?

        A good example is when we are faced with criticism from a partner?  “You know, I feel so disrespected when you are late from work and don’t tell me.”  Now if we are listening, what might we hear?  My partner feels neglected and that I’m not caring for her when I don’t call her when I’m going to be home late from work.

        What might we do instead with this information?  “How selfish you are not to appreciate how hard I work for us.”  “If I would have stopped to call you I would have just been home later.”

        What is misunderstanding?  It is not disagreement.  It is not listening.

Another example:  A friend says, “Obama and the Democrats are driving this country right off a cliff.”

        How do you respond?  “Well you know, the last republican administration squandered financial surplus, went to war without financial accountability greatly expanding our nation’s debt, and added huge new bureaucracies to the country.”

        You might be right, but would you be listening?  No.

        “Tell me more about what you mean by that?”

  It always upsets me when I hear anyone bring up that phrase “No religion or politics.”  “Bummer,” I think to myself,That’s all I ever want to talk about.”  Why are politics and religion off limits in so many social circles (especially apparently in churches and congress)?  I don’t think it is because religion or politics are really all that controversial, it is because we don’t listen well.  It is because of a deep insecurity that I might be wrong…or may not really know what my core beliefs are at all.

        The truth is, when it comes to the truth, we can become scared to listen.

        It might be easier to misconstrue feedback from my partner as an attack and affirmation that she doesn’t really love me then to have my comfortable view of the way things are threatened in any way.

        It might be easier to dismiss republicans or democrats as brain washed by religion or liberal media than to listen to how someone’s own principles are guiding them to beliefs that might be contrary to my own.

            Sakej Henderson said, “To truly listen is to risk being changed forever.”

        This speaks to the heart of listening.  Listening calls us to be vulnerable.  It is in a sense a form of surrender.  It involves a willingness to be changed.  The investment, however, offers a return. To in turn be truly witnessed.  To be understood and known.