Category Archives: spiritual

Movie Review – Doctor Sleep

Last night, I stayed up late and watched Doctor Sleep. As a teen growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I loved reading scary books before going to sleep. It’s partially why I have so many nightmares. But I think it also is what developed my love for story writing and writing in general.

I love horror movies. But every now and then I need to take a break. I was never a fan of gore or lots of blood in movies. For me, a good horror movie has to have a good plot.

As a kid, movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Birds, terrified me.

I’ve written about this scene before – but I’ll leave it here again. This scene still stays with me – all these years later. It’s no wonder I fell in love with Donald and Keifer Sutherland as actors over the years.

By age 13, I had read most of Stephen’s Kings books. The Shining was a terrifying read. The book was so much scarier than the movie.

I actually forgot that Doctor Sleep had come out and saw it trending last night on Twitter. So, I decided to watch it on my not so legal (but still okay in Canada) streaming website.

I won’t give too much of the plot away. Even though the monsters didn’t have a name, “The Shining” refers to a psychic gift or ability that some children have. The gift varies from child to child.

Some can see into the future. Some children can see spirits or evil entities. Some can astral travel while dreaming – or have out of body experiences while wide awake. While one of the main characters of the movie, could jump into other people’s mind and invade their private space.

As someone who astral travels a lot in my sleep this idea disturbed me. And so, I laid awake until about four in the morning almost afraid to even fall asleep.

My dreams are always “out there” weird. I travel to countries I’ve never been. I meet up with people I’ve never met. Once I traveled back in time and followed Mozart around on the cobble streets and watched with amusement as he drunkenly hit on women on his way to his local watering hole.

The dream felt so real. I remember learning in the dream that Mozart died from an infection and my mind ultimately went to syphilis or another STD. In today’s world, these can be cured with pills. In those days, syphilis was a silent killer.

When I woke up from that dream, I hopped online to learn what Mozart had died from. And the cause of death was “unknown infection from high fever.” I looked up his other symptoms and they matched common symptoms of early syphilis.

I laughed at that. The dream had felt so real it was as though I was getting a glimpse into Mozart’s life. I remember the feel of the cool cobblestone on my feet as I carefully stepped in between the stones. I could hear light music in the background and the sound of distant chatter.

So, when I watch movies like Insidious and now Doctor Sleep – it leaves me with all these thoughts and feelings and “what if’s”.

What is we really travel when drift off to sleep? What if our minds tap into other dimensions? There’s very little scientific evidence to back these theories or claims up – but there are lots of studies still being conducted today.

I just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the casting choices of the Torrance family. Actors hired to play the original family – did a brilliant job. I almost thought that was Jack Nicholson at the end in the hotel. Maybe it was a trick of the cinematography.

Sometimes I wonder if I should write all my dream experiences down and turn them into a book. Question is, would anyone read it? These are thoughts that keep me up at night time.

Doctor Sleep – if you’re a horror fan, check it out. It wasn’t entirely disappointing.

Shamanism: when the universe speaks to you – listen

As a kid, I remember the house being so hot and humid because my mother liked a warm house – even in summer months. With hormones developing at an early age, I found the heat unbearable. I still do at my age now.

I would sneak outside after everyone had gone to bed and would lie under the stars with a blanket or a good book. I think that’s what started my obsession with star gazing and space exploration.

Hours would go by and I would just stare up at the sky. It’s one of the things I miss now about living in downtown.

I remember staying up most of the night enjoying the cool summer air. Some nights were just too hot to handle. I’d put on some jeans and a hoodie and I would wander down the street to the local park. I’d sit on the swings and just stare up – at least until I saw something weird like a shooting star or something I couldn’t explain.

I became obsessed with star gazing and sky watching from an early age and it’s something I miss deeply now.

Tonight reminded me of those nights. It’s been such a hot and humid couple of days that I’m sweltering. But then something happened tonight that I can’t explain. Maybe it’s the heat getting to me or maybe it’s isolation. Or a combination of both. Or maybe someone slipped some good drugs into my drink when I wasn’t looking.

I was watching one of my all time favorite movies, Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers – it’s epic – when a giant moth flew into my living room and nearly landed on my face. I of course, screamed, jumped up and ran into the kitchen looking for something to arm myself with. I found a roll of paper towel.

I ran around my condo trying to find this giant moth wondering how the hell it got into my condo. I only had one window open. I finally struck it when it landed near my lamp, nearly knocking over everything on top of my desk with it – including my picture of me playing the piano a few years ago. I stood there for a moment dumbstruck – wondering if this was some kind of sign.

And then, a flash of lightning outside caught my attention. I turned off the computer, all the lights and sat near my kitchen window in the dark. All the feelings as a kid suddenly returned. It was like I was twelve years old again staying up way past my bedtime – watching the night sky, waiting for some kind of sign from above.

The symbolism of weather

Weather is a huge part of Native American Shamanism representing the four elements – air, earth, water and fire. And with tonight’s storm, I think we saw all four elements.

Storms give off this magical energy – it’s so powerful that you can sense when a storm is coming.

Watching an intense storm, you can also sense this intense magnetic energy- as the high winds and the thunder clouds roll in – you can’t help but feel a sense of awe. The energy is almost contagious. You can feel the anger of the earth rising.

The power of the earth. Mother Nature. Mother Earth.

Mother Earth is the goddess of all creations in the practice of Shamanism – one of the oldest forms of healing known to mankind.

“The thunder sounds like the planet itself is being torn apart, the noise makes humans fumble” – author unknown

Have you ever noticed the smell of ozone in the morning after a rain storm? Storms are a way of cleansing the earth from pollution, toxins and harmful energy we may not see or feel.

The smell is the fresh aroma of oxygen that comes with the rainfall. You can smell it before the storm hits – on a hot and humid day. It’s a powerful smell and one it’s one of the most beautiful smells to me.

Not everyone can pick up on the smell of ozone. Just like not everyone can sense a storm is coming. Those who can, feel a strong connection to nature.

To the earth.

It’s as if the earth is talking to you. And if you sit very still and listen, you can almost hear her crying out to you.

The sound of the rain hitting the pavement. The sound of the wind crushing trees against each other. The booming sound of thunder. Even lightning can make a noise – especially if it strikes which it does often in nature.

Storms are magical. Beautiful. Powerful.

Have you ever notice how quiet the world seems when a storm hits? I once got trapped by rain while hiking in Hinton at the base of a mountain. I pulled out my tarp from my backpack and sat under the protection of a large tree. I just sat there, closed my eyes and listened to everything happening around me.

I didn’t feel scared or worried. I’ve never felt more serene, or calm. I felt at peace. Connected. It was an amazing experience.

Everything around me – suddenly grew quiet as the storm rolled in.

Have you ever noticed that the animals get real quiet during storms? The birds stop singing. Even the magpies take cover. The world falls silent – as if they are all listening to Mother Earth.

As the storm grew more intense tonight, I couldn’t help but feel this nagging feeling like something was wrong. Something had happened. Or something was going to happen. I zoned out while watching the lightning. For a good five minutes – I just lost time.

The storm finally subsided and I turned my computer back on. I decided to look up the meaning of the moth and what it means when a moth appears in your life during troubled times.

What does it mean to see a moth in your dreams, or appear to you in your life during troubled times?

You have a strong sense of faith, but are not blind to your faith. Even if other people don’t approve of what you do or who you are – be true to yourself. Be your authentic self.

“Let the world know your real self – your genuine self because this is how you will know the people who will be there for you until the end.”

Okay universe, you win.

And so, I took in all of this – everything that happened tonight as a sign. The universe is speaking to me. I should listen to it. I think the message is that I should just be myself. Write about the things that I want to write about and not care what others think.

I should be true to myself, true to this blog. Accept the things I can’t change about life – and just be the best version of me that I can.

As I type this, that electric and charged energy I felt during the storm has faded. I feel once more at peace. The negative feelings, the anxiety – has been washed away with the now gentle rain I can hear outside my window.

I’ll be writing more articles like this on totem animals, spirit animals, and other things I’ve learned and experienced over the years during my studies. It was my original intent with this blog, and I’m going to continue with it – in addition to fitness posts as I continue my challenge.

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Dream Speak: Stress Dreams

Last night, I crawled into bed at exactly midnight. I tried staying up late but I was so tired that I gave up and caved in at 11:56. I put in a good effort. But sometimes my sinus issues makes me more tired than I actually am. Or this is life from now on. Who knows.

I woke up from a stress dream that left me a bit perplexed. I’ve had a lot of those lately. Random dreams about random stresses in my life.

Most of you who read my blog know that I play the organ for a small church in town. This is something I’ve done for 15 years. And love it. But when stress creeps into my life, it usually manifests itself in all it’s ugly glory and appears as stress dreams. Or even more fun, night terrors And even better than that – sleep paralysis. I’ve had fully blown hallucinations from sleep paralysis. Not fun at all, I tell you.

Last night’s dream threw me off a bit. I was sitting in a pew in a crowded church. It looked very much like the Catholic church my mother used to drag us to every Sunday. That’s where I learn to read sheet music. I was bored to tears and would sing along to the hymns.

I was surrounded by strangers who were chanting and singing along to “Now we thank our god” when all of a sudden, I found myself sitting at the organ. I had already missed playing a verse because I couldn’t find the hymn in their hymnal book.

I panicked as the crowd started singing the second verse. No one seemed to notice that I wasn’t playing. I played the first chord. And started having flash backs to the first wedding I played the organ for. It was a scary experience.

Everything I played on the organ, came out wrong. Then they moved onto the next hymn and I was still trying to find the hymn – the number 345 appeared on the wooden board where they displayed hymn numbers. But that didn’t make sense. To me, number 345 was Morning Has Broken – a favorite of mine (and my mother’s).

Finally, the singing stopped and I found myself back in my seat. Next to me, sat friends from the church were I play the organ. I couldn’t figure out how I got there so fast. That’s how my dreams are. They seemingly flip from one scene to the next.

And then I moved to another dream. A handsome and dashing man from the crowd honed in on me to tell me how amazing my performance was (huh? what performance?) and asked if he could take me home. I said yes. And the dream turned into… um. Let’s just go with, something else.

All I know is I woke up from that dream and scratched my head. I have no idea what it means. But … is it a bad sign that I started off a new decade with a stress dream about doing something I’ve loved for fifteen years?

Ponder that scenario for a moment if you will.

I hopped out of bed at 8:15 am and by 9:00 am, I had cleaned up my kitchen and had coffee and breakfast ready. Plans for a semi-productive day are now on hold as I’m considering crawling back into bed. I don’t even know why I got up so early on new year’s day.

Eh, fuck it. I’m going back to bed. Maybe I can slip back into the dream and find out what it all really means.

How does stress manifest itself in your life?

Asking for a friend.

Happy new year!