Dream Interpretation at a porn convention

Dream Interpretation at a Porn Convention

Dream Interpretation at a porn conventionA funny thing happened a few years ago when some of us were kicking around potential places and events to go use our dream interpretation skills. Our team regularly sets up in events like Burning Man, Mind, Body and Spirit expos, ArtWalks, film festivals, and such. Each event requires careful planning, fundraising, and things you might not think about like learning the culture and language of the community we intend to serve. Each new venue can be somewhat daunting as we assess our skills and discern how to best apply them.

But this time we scared ourselves as we decided on something new: A Pornography convention.

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Brakes and detours in life

Detours of Life

Brakes and detours in lifeLast week my brakes suddenly went out. They were fine and then they weren’t.

Since I’m working two jobs and rarely have much time off, I had to wait till Saturday to find a fix for my brakes. In a city new to me, I didn’t have any favorite mechanics or familiar places to go, so I ‘randomly’ picked a place close to my house so I could walk home if necessary.

I took my car in, they said it might take two hours, so I started walking. I got almost home and they called…of course, there was more wrong than just needing brake pads. I hurried back to discuss and see the damage (anxiously but bravely pretending that I knew anything about brakes).

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Don't Die without a few scars

Don’t Die Without a Few Scars

Don't Die without a few scars

I cannot get his precious face—and his story—out of my mind. It was one of those priceless moments for me where I knew I was in just the right place at just the right time, many hundreds of miles away from my home, on Holy Ground, just to intersect with Justin.

It was a hot and dusty afternoon at Burning Man, a desert arts festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. I was sitting in my ‘reading room’, a small, tented area that was part of our Encounters Camp (more about that in another blog), and Justin and his girlfriend walked in, sat down, and asked for a dream interpretation, which was one of the offerings on that week’s menu (see photo).

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Short and simple in dream interpretation

Short, Sweet, and Simple in Dream Interpretation

Short and simple in dream interpretationSome of us are mega-dreamers, not just in amount of dreams, often several every night, but also in length.  It takes considerable time to record or recount epic adventures with intricate plots, rich details, and elaborate thoughts and emotions.

How does a dreamer keep up with it all?  Who has several hours a day to write down all of the dreams, and how does a person interpret them?

Keep it simple!

While every detail in a dream has potential significance, not every one is critical.  If we are able to single out five to seven most important symbols and details of a dream and interpret them, we can arrive at an accurate dream interpretation.  Factoring in too many details and scenes makes it difficult to discover the main message.

Practice and experience teach us to identify the major symbols, sensing the ‘weightiness’ of each in relation to each other.  We learn to focus on what is most essential, and use the lesser details to support or confirm.

Simplifying works for dream interpretation–and also for recording your dreams.

Most of us only consider recording a dream by writing it down line by line in a notebook or online dream journal, but there are quicker ways that are more creative and less linear, such as drawing a picture of the dream, diagramming it out, using lines or boxes or doodles.  Jotting down the major symbols first thing upon awakening helps jog our memory later if we need to get the ‘bones’ down on paper—and come back later to add ‘meat’ to those bones.

For some of us, visualizing the dream as a snapshot instead of reading through lines of writing will unlock the interpretation.  In my teaching and working with people, I often will draw out the dream—it helps us to conceptualize the whole ‘big picture’.

In ancient scriptures, Daniel was a nationally sought-out dream interpreter.  Once, when he had a massive and momentous dream, we are told, ‘Daniel wrote down the main facts.”  (Daniel 7:1)

Relax and enjoy your dream time, and don’t get overwhelmed or perfectionistic about requiring every fine point down on paper.

This principle generally works well in life, too.  We can choose to simplify the complex, or to complicate the simple.

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Dream girl

It’s Time to Dream Again!

Dream girlA year ago, after a series of traumatic events and some terrifying and bold decisions I made, I was facing perhaps the biggest test of faith I had ever faced. Exactly a year ago, I experienced some technicolor panic, two days away from being utterly homeless–before breakthrough came and my circumstances dramatically turned around.

The previous two years were quite a tumultuous blur….I was going through a divorce after 33 years of a difficult marriage. I made the decision to leave my city to get away from decades of memories, crushing rejection, and judgmental people so I could get a fresh start in a new place.

Unbelievably generous and loving people took me in as I put all my stuff in storage except what I could fit in a spare bedroom–to heal and sort through the broken pieces of my life, facing the trauma of all my fears as I asked myself, “Will I be able to survive?”

Bravest thing I have ever done, to step out and try, when inside I felt like an utter failure. Only a handful of people knew and understood and stayed with me. Some gave me hell for my decisions, but they didn’t know the whole story. Most of my friends kept their distance because it was awkward and they didn’t know what to say, I think. Their silence hurt, though. I know I put up some protective walls as well.

I felt devastated, having to leave my own beautiful home and yard to learn a new city, find new friends, doctors, and routines, live with new families and their house rules, and not have any of my own personal space other than a bedroom, though extremely thankful to have that much. Mildly put, my ’style’ was cramped. It hurt to breathe sometimes.

I moved between a couple of homes, with my two doggies, working as best I could and saving everything I earned, which wasn’t much, because I was barely functioning. My new ‘families’ let me process my pain with them and they prayed and loved me back to life in too many ways to count. To enjoy their blessed roofs over my head was a miracle—what a sacrifice for them…to do…for Me.

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incompatible

Defining Incompatibility

incompatibleIncompatibility. That word to me has always evoked a feeling of frustration. It means,”so opposed in character as to be incapable of existing together”. Or “not being capable of being used together in combination.” Blocked. Can’t go any further. All progress stopped. All relationship cut off.

I feel I have experienced too much of it in my life.

In technology, it is discovering that a project you are working on requires two programs cooperating, and they don’t–like recently when my Microsoft Office software program got corrupted and I no longer had the capability of opening any Word or Excel documents. I was blocked from opening documents to do my work. Microsoft insisted I had to purchase the whole program again. I began to stew about earning enough money to make the purchase.

Until my precious new webmaster linked me to the *free* OpenOffice that will allow me open up any documents and work as before.

I love solving mysteries, thinking outside the box and asking for help–and receiving answers that are free and even better than what I was originally imagining.

I don’t love those seasons of feeling blocked and having no answers.

But often that season is the ‘waiting room’ where we have to churn and process feelings and priorities, ask questions, and get a shift in perspective—before the key comes to unlock the situation. We need time to open our minds and hearts to receive answers that we might not be expecting.

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Burning Man 2011

What is Burning Man?

Burning Man 2011 Imagine 70,000 people trekking out to a desert wasteland to set up camp for a week and to participate in a temporary city life where there they assume different ‘playa’ names, live in tents or operate artsy theme camps. No running water, clothing is optional, and virtually any form of self-expression is encouraged.

Burning Man is a week-long annual event that began in San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set alight on Saturday evening. The event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.

Friends at Burning Man 2014Burning Man is one of the largest arts festivals in the world. It is located in a dusty, dry lakebed a three-hour drive from Reno, Nevada, the last week of August every year through Labor day (website: burning man.org it’s explicit, so surf carefully). People come from all over the world to become a ‘burner’, to experience ‘freedom’ for a week. Artists create massive colorful displays, costumes, theme camps, troll the desert city in art deco vehicles. The culmination is the last night when they burn the constructed ‘man’ and the other art.

Most burners seem hungry for beyond-the-ordinary experiences. They are longing for deep connection and spiritual fulfillment. For a week, a city is built, folks live in community, sharing food, relationship, art, and handmade gifts.

Each year, our team aims to bless the other burners. We hand out water to drink, offer food or shade in our large tent, and serve from a ‘menu’ of spiritual activities, such as dream interpretation, root recovery, spiritual ‘enemas’, treasure readings, encouraging words, father or mother blessings, etc. This year we are adding a special event: Fire pit with bacon S’mores (with peanut butter cups–you gotta try it). We love burners because of their friendliness, openness, and desire for deeper things in life.

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Playa Girlfriends

Who’s Got Your Back? Teamwork at Burning Man

Playa GirlfriendsHow often do you get to work with folks that you know you instantly ‘belong’ with—a group that is so strikingly ‘comfortable’ you feel you can call them FAMILY?

Our team at Burning Man is just such a group of people for me. I’ve traveled there with three different groups over the years—Spirit Dream Camp from Streams (my training ground), Freedom Lounge, and the last two years and now this year with Encounters from Redding, CA. Our groups grow and multiply, so every year it is like a huge family reunion for me!

Each year, we spend over a week together, rubbing elbows in close quarters, sleeping in tents, cooking, eating, and serving together in a ‘testy’ environment of dust, heat, 24/7 blaring music. Meltdowns are few as everyone comes prepared to put their own needs on a back burner and to serve each other and the other burning man participants.

We are from all over the USA. Most of us don’t know each other as we plan our camp throughout the year.

Encounter team at Burning ManWith a team of ‘strangers’ coming together, you organize, communicate,, and trust for the best for that week of close togetherness. I mean, how many people are willing to schedule a trip or vacation with people we don’t even know?

Our team is always divinely orchestrated. From the very beginning of everyone’s arrival, we quickly get to know each other and cooperate together, each finding our own niche as team players with individual ‘specialties’.

Everyone pitches in. Camp set up and tear down is quite rigorous in the heat and dust. Meal preparation and cleanup, and everything in between—requires everyone’s willing cooperation.

Everyone’s unique abilities quickly fire up. We have ‘barkers’ or greeters—folks that are welcoming and bring people to our tent for encounters. Some teammates specialize in give healing momma or daddy hugs that bring tears. Others have the ability to see into hearts, to speak truth to what hurts. Others sing, lead drum circles, cook for a crowd, clean up and organize, fix bikes—it is all needed to make everything come together. Our camp abounds with creativity, seer gifts, dance, song, art, music, and spiritual depth to boot.

We laugh a lot. A sense of humor makes everything go smoother. Some people really have the knack to help others lighten up. And sometimes things get so tense, a good belly laugh is the instant remedy.

Also, folks back home paved the way by continually supporting us with their sacrificial offering of funds, time, and many, many prayers. They are with us on the playa, too.

Encounter Team at Burning ManFolks that visit our camp routinely tell us that they ‘ love our energy’. They feel the unity and love among our team and they come stay, often bringing their whole group to join us for dinner, S’mores, or for encounters in our tent during the day. People safe and accepted in our midst.

A mature team that covers each other with honor and a watchfulness and an anticipation of each others’ needs–is a priceless, rare treat these days.

I always return home from our team experience at Burning Man feeling stretched and sharpened in my own abilities, lovingly in awe of the special folks I get to serve with, and so very grateful for the common bond of Spirit we share that brings peace and unity in such a tangible way.

Please consider helping our team with a financial gift for Burning Man 2015.  Click on www.MerryBruton.com to give a tax-deductible gift.  Message me if you would like to receive Facebook updates during our trip (starts Aug 26). Thank you!

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Israeli friend at Burning Man

The Nations at Burning Man

Israeli friend at Burning ManOne of fascinating things about Burning Man is getting to meet burners from all over the world. It amazes me that folks would come all the way to the desert of Nevada to camp in the dirt for a week, but the international flair is one of sweetest parts of our experience there.

Our team spends our days in our huge Encounter tent talking to people about their treasures inside, the things they want cleansed off of their minds and spirits, their strengths and destinies. At night we trek all over the playa in the crowds, experiencing the art and strike up conversations with people. At the end of the week, we’ve visited with hundreds of folks from every continent. Wow! What a treat!

Dream interpretation in the desertMany of you have heard some of my stories that I tell in my dream classes about meeting Stephan from Poland, and helping him turn his life right side up. And a lady named Liv from England that was tattooed from head to toe that was so hungry for some inner refreshing. A prince (or at least he said he was) from Saudi Arabia who never had a mother tell him he was significant and we fixed that. Another man from Australia who came in fuming and cursing and left beaming and peaceful. Precious faces and so many stories that I will never forget. Their lives impact mine in a powerful way.

One day in our camp seemed to be ‘Israel’ day…
nearly everyone who came into our camp that we spoke with was Israeli. How does that happen? Divine appointments, I believe.

Going to Burning Man is one way to reach the world with your message of peace and light…the nations come right to us. What a privilege! And I can’t wait to do it again.

Our team is gearing up and excited. To partner with us or to sow into this event, please go to www.MerryBruton.com Your gift is tax-deductible. Thank you for reading and for your support!

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Dream Team at Burning Man

Heartaches of the Big Party

Dream Team at Burning ManI think about her pretty much every day. I vividly remember her in my mind’s eye—a precious girl from a neighboring camp—seeing her every so often, staggering down the dusty street, scantily clad or wrapped in a thick nasty blanket, with playa hair designed by nature’s sweaty days, dust storms, wild nights, and no showers for 9 days. She had come to us when a camp mate of hers raved about us and told her whole camp to come encounter the Light and get a Mother Blessing.

It was fairly early on during the week. We poured into her and she was deeply touched as we spoke to her heart and her spirit about her beauty and significance, her value, her unique gifts and special qualities that needed to be guarded and protected.

I always hope to shore up as many girls as I can while out in the desert of Burning Man each year. Many people go out there hoping to experience a week of partying and ‘freedom’ of expression or free love or lots of sex or a week-long high. When we meet, I always ask them how many years they have come to Burning Man. Most say, “This is my first time…and I am so excited to be here.”

We pour into them and try to create a safe place for them to return to if need be. Because many of them do not realize what they are getting themselves into.

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Dust at Burning Man

The Raw Truth About the Burning Man Experience

Dust at Burning ManI’ve been writing every day a little about why our team goes to Burning Man, the exciting parts that drive me to go nearly every year since my first time in 2006. I come back each year with powerful stories of helping folks find their way, bringing healing to some part of their lives, encouraging folks along their journey. I love Love LOVE that part!

But there are costs to this kind of trip. Things that don’t get mentioned much.

Financially, the trip is very expensive. Plane fare, Burning Man tickets, team fees that cover shuttles, food and water for the week, all of the camp structures and necessities, including tent decor to make our camp nice and welcoming. Personal camping gear. Camp clothes and costumes. The expenses add up quickly.

We have to pack everything in that we need for a week, so it takes careful planning to make sure we have everything, because we can’t just zip down to Walmart to pick up what we forgot to bring.

Physically, our week out there is very difficult. We contend with the heat, the alkaline dust (that sucks the moisture right out of your skin), portapotties, loud music blaring 24/7, crowds and little privacy, sleeping in tents. Camp set up and tear down is exhausting, especially  in the scorching sun when the shade is gone. Lots of walking and biking to get around. We have no A/C to escape into. And, no showers for over a week. This last one especially puts this girly girl to the test!

Emotionally, we get to experience sights and events that many people will never see, and it can take its toll. The need is great out there—lots of people with lots of problems and you can only do so much. We pour into people day after day, and while we love what we do, often at the end of the day, we are absolutely spent.

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Lost in the Desert

Lost in the Desert

Lost in the Desert
Her name is Jessica. She had heard our camp might help her so she waited in line to see us, and when I first saw her, I knew something was terribly wrong.

Dressed only in panties and a bikini top (common Burning Man attire), this beautiful young girl looked traumatized and shell-shocked. But to see that, you had to look beyond the bleeding scrapes on her face and swollen, bloody lips and black eyes. She was shaking and choking back sobs.

We had to pull information out of her…she didn’t know who to trust. She had come to the desert of Burning Man with some friends, not knowing what she was getting herself into. Many people come to this desert arts festival thinking it is a big happy party. While there is some of that, there is also great darkness and potential harm for unsuspecting innocent kiddos.

Anyway, she got drunk and got on a bike and decided to trick ride on a ramp. She rode over the end and crashed face first in the concrete-hard playa floor. She busted her lips and her face. Her friends left her passed out in the dark shadows of the late night, and then someone raped her.

She was unable to find her ‘friends’ (no cell service or wifi out there), didn’t know where her camp was. She didn’t have any of her clothing or personal things, no food, no water, no place to stay. She was stranded and understandably desperate.

We fed her and got her some water, lotion, and lip balm, wiped her tears, and began to talk to her about getting some help. We would take her to a ranger station and report the rape and get her some medical attention. They we suggested she try to find a way to get back home to safety.

Getting into and out of Burning Man is no easy feat. You can’t call home. You can’t bum a ride safely. The nearest city is a couple hours’ drive away.

“My mom will kill me if I go back home like this,” she said. It wasn’t a figure of speech, she really meant it.

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Breathe

Breathe!

Breathe

Have you ever experienced a sucker punch so hard your breath was knocked completely out of your lungs?

When a massive blow hits, shock and pain convince us that we just might actually die right there on the spot. Our life flashes before our eyes. We may experience blackout, confusion, terror, and desperation. It takes what seems like several lifetimes to push through the panic, searching for ability to gasp, and then finally the moment hits where we find the ability to suck in air again, just in the nick of time.

Sweet breath. Essential for life. Breathing in, breathing out. It is a repeated action that we spend most of our life automatically doing without even being aware of it.

Till it suddenly gets taken away.

A negative life-threatening medical diagnosis, tornado destruction, overwhelming bills, the pain of divorce, the betrayal of a friend, the tragic loss of a precious life, backstabbing words that shred our hearts—we’ve all experienced these and other disasters that often cause so much despair we want life to end so we don’t have to feel the pain anymore.

There are those seasons where every breath is an effort. Every motion and every decision, every delay, every disappointment stirs up confusion as our current default ‘operating system’ gets thrown into a blender and shredded, and life will never be the same again.

We have a choice when this happens. We can get bitter about the loss and change, or we can take advantage of our circumstances to rise above the turmoil and become better people. We can choose to trust someone and lean on them to get through.

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Time to upgrade

Time to Upgrade!

Time to upgradeI have not upgraded my version of iPhone yet, but when the time comes, I’ll spend a day or two investigating the new possibilities, learning the new programs and tricks, enjoying and celebrating new technology that makes life easier.

Who doesn’t love new upgrades? We have come a long way in the communication world from those old rotary phones with no voicemail!

Better than gadget improvements though, are those upgrades we receive in our relationships, circumstances, and in our mindsets. Better than homemade buttercream icing on killer chocolate cake!

An upgrade is when you get something that is better than what you had originally, to replace what you have with something better, newer, or more valuable.

I’ve recently moved into a season of upgrade in many areas of my life. I’ve found that sometimes you don’t realize you’ve been upgraded until you go back to something that was once familiar, only to realize that what once tempted you and satisfied you no longer works. It’s not even on your radar anymore.

For instance, if you lived in fear of bad news and you turn into being unafraid and trusting in positive outcomes—you move from the Land of Dread into a Playground of Many Delights.

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Declarations for dreams and sleep

Dream Declarations

Declarations for dreams and sleep

Dream it and live it

Our words have powerful influence when we speak them out loud for the whole universe to hear, but they radically transform us when we say things for our own ears and hearts to listen and believe. I talk to myself all the time. Do you?

What are you saying to yourself? Hopefully you are being kind to yourself, because everyone needs encouragement and building up instead of tearing down.

I’ve been working with a life coach for a season, and part of my daily assignment is to speak positive affirmations over myself—to reinforce good things until I really, really believe them.

Since I am a dream interpreter and talk to lots of dreamers, I am noticing many people seem stuck in their dream life with various issues—not remembering their dreams, dreams getting interrupted at night, troublesome nightmares, and insomnia.

I’ve experienced those seasons as well, so I’m sharing a portion of the things I regularly say to myself regarding sleep and dreams. Doing so turns things around. Perhaps you would like to try and see for yourself if you want to gain more dreamy momentum.

Print these out, put them by your bed and read them out loud before you go to sleep. Do it for 30 days and see if you notice a huge difference in your dream life:
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Effective Frequency

Effective Frequency

Effective Frequency Do you have a message that you want the world to hear? Perhaps you are called to get the word out about a particular issue, whether it is a personal lesson learned, a job that requires advertising for your product or service, or something else you are quite passionate about. How do you get people to listen…and take action?

The marketing world emphasizes the principle of Effective Frequency.

What’s Effective Frequency? Effective frequency is the number of times people must be exposed to a message (or advertising) before they act on it. Experts debate on how many times are necessary–every person is different. Statistics show that on average, people need to be exposed to a message or see an ad seven to twenty times before they ‘buy’ into it.

A London businessman, Thomas Smith, wrote the following in 1885 regarding advertising. I’ve modified it a little bit to expand the idea beyond just sales:

1. The first time people look at any given ad or message they don’t even see it.

2. The second time, they don’t notice it.

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Headlines Instead of Sidelines

Headlines Instead of Sidelines

Headlines Instead of SidelinesRecently I dreamed that I was relaying a story to someone, and as I spoke, the person was reporting what I said to the media outlets, except they enhanced many of the details, I thought in an attempt to get headlines and more attention for their ‘news’. (I literally ‘saw’ the dramatic captions being scripted by a hand). I felt frustrated at the seeming sensationalism of my ‘facts’.

At first I took this dream as a caution to monitor my tongue carefully–to watch what I say–as well as better discern my audience. To develop more awareness of the power of my words, as well as the potential of being used or misrepresented–intentionally or not–by someone else.

It seemed to be a negative dream.

But I got to thinking how Creator sometimes works things out by taking our insignificant ‘details’ and adding his divine spark to what we do or say, in order to make our life messages more effective, more powerful, more far-reaching. The goal is to draw people closer to him.

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Get Your Dreams Interrupted, interpreted

Get Your Dreams Interrupted

Get Your Dreams Interrupted, interpretedMy English major buddies or left-brained friends will probably enjoy what I’m about to say. The rest of you might read with perplexity, wondering, ‘What is the big deal?” The subject: Spelling and Proofreading! I can hear some of you groan already.

Many years ago, I worked my way through college editing and proofreading…for English professors. I was trained to spot and correct grammatical errors with the fluent red ink pen, much to students’ dismay. Hence, my friends would never let me read anything they wrote…for fear I would find a mistake and call forth the Spelling Nazis.

Over the years I have mostly learned to silence my criticism and take it all in stride, because let’s face it—there are a lot of poor spellers out there, and it does little good to complain! I confess, though, that I am a closet punctuation perfectionist.

Even with the famous computer spell check, I’ve noticed that the ones who don’t spell well, don’t care and therefore, they refuse to use this fabulous tool.

We can get piqued by errors, or sometimes use them for entertainment, as long as our reputation isn’t being tarnished by association. We must have grace for our linguistically-lacking loafers.

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