Patricia Singleton has tagged me with a request to share personal, quirky, eccentric facts about myself that you might not know from reading Shift Your Spirits. I hesitate to be so self-indulgent, but then I truly enjoyed reading all the other participating posts. There are literally hundreds of random things that come to mind when I consider my entire life and go digging in the past, so for the sake of whittling down the list, I've limited the following to random, "weird" things about me that are either currently true -- or, if from my past, are still true to this day:
I sleep with books
I physically sleep with a book. When I was three or four years old -- before I could technically read, but was old enough to be read to -- I believed that if I fell asleep while holding a book (or kept it near enough for me to continue touching while I slept) that it would act as a magical dream gateway to the world of the book. I believed that I could program my consciousness to fall into the world of the book and visit it during my dream state.
I was aware that most people used a stuffed animal as a similar prop, and although I tried to willfully transition to sleeping with a soft, cushy, lovable teddy bear instead of a hard-cornered object -- this substitution was a no-go.
While I don't recall this technique's ever being particularly effective, I never really ceased to believe it was possible on some level and that I just needed to work harder at it -- keep trying.
I no longer attempt this; but, to this day, I must read until my eyes close on their own. The only way I can fall asleep is while reading, and the book must stay beside me, like a sleep anchor.
I am rarely ever aware of my dreams
I do not dream. I'm sure that I (clinically) enter R.E.M. states and all that… I am barely exaggerating when I state that I can count on both hands how many times in my entire life that I've had dreams that I'm consciously aware of having, remember upon waking, etc.
I'm deeply envious of people who live an entire second life, filled with fantastic creativity, special effects... Yes, I'm aware of all kinds of techniques and strategies for working with dream states -- I've tried them all at some point. It's an absolute bust (for me).
More recently, on the rare occasion that I consciously remember or awake with an awareness of my dreams, I am disturbed to discover that I've dreamed someone else's life -- like I've been doing a reading for someone in my sleep.
I can't be hypnotized and I meditate in a completely non-traditional way. More than one psychotherapist has suggested that because I cultivate, train, and practice transcendental states in my waking life that the required shift in consciousness happens, but goes undetected -- I don't recognize it.
I sleep on top of the covers and fully clothed
This may be the weirdest thing about me of all. This sleeping habit began in 2003, and corresponds exactly with the point at which my spirit guides began to communicate with me on a whole new level -- loudly, clearly, and daily.
Since that morning, I have never been able to sleep beneath bed covers. I feel like I'm smothering, drowning, suffocating, forcefully held down, or tangled up in something.
You know how you will lie down on top of the bed when you nap during the afternoon, without really getting into bed in the same way you would at night or undressing or putting on pajamas? You just pull a small throw on top of your legs and doze off for an hour or two.
I still make my bed religiously; and I change the sheets as often as anyone -- even though I never even touch them. My sleep resembles an 8 hour nightly nap.
I do not use an alarm clock
I can not sleep with a clock in my bedroom. I can't stand the sight of one and the thought of waking up to an alarm makes me shudder.
I have an uncanny internal clock. I always know what time it is. If you woke me up in the middle of the night and said "Quick! What time is it?" I could probably tell you with a margin of error of 5 minutes in either direction.
I wake up at exactly the same time every morning -- 12 minutes after the hour.
I wear a magic ring
I love jewelry, but I despise wearing it, with one major exception.
One of the last "real jobs" I had was as a jewelry buyer for a private metaphysical retail boutique/gallery. But I have never in my life been able to wear a single piece other than the ring you see in my picture above. You can't tell from the photograph, but it's an enormous, chunky carved piece of silver in the form of a horned owl (my totem) with his wings wrapped around the entire first digit of my index finger.
If I point my finger at you, his eyes are staring straight at you. He's absolutely obnoxious as rings go, but he's very significantly charged. I am always in either a Receptive or Projective state, magically, and I switch the owl from one hand to the other accordingly.
For example, when I'm typing or working on the computer, he weights the "mouse" finger of my right hand. Writing is a Right-hand Projective state.
When I am listening to someone, feel I need to be protected during dangerous circumstances such as driving, asking for divine guidance, or in some kind of prayerful state, I wear the ring on my left hand. Left-hand Receptive state.
All circumstances in which I find myself, without exception, require one or the other state of consciousness.
I also wear red shoes when I am feeling particularly powerful or when I need to feel more powerful. I am conservative and classic in my taste in clothes -- meaning, I aspire to the fewest amount of basic, classic, timeless articles of clothing one can own.
For instance, I bought a new winter coat this fall -- I LOVE it. It's a basic black cashmere top coat. I could've worn it a hundred years ago, I could wear it a hundred years from now.
I aspire to own the "one perfect" representative of any article of clothing. A friend once told me I have my own personal "uniform."
I never wear any pattern of any kind. I rarely wear any colors that aren't neutral with one major exception -- red.
In my personal fashion philosophy, the perfect pair of jeans, the perfect T-shirt, and the perfect hoodie sweatshirt is a staple uniform. Slap on a Red Shoe, and it's the only ingredient you need to turn Plain Ol' Whatever into a Meaningful Statement.
I could ramble on about the magical power of Red Shoes at great length (but I realize you may not really care to know the ins and outs of my personal wardrobe spellcraft.)
I read very, very -- very -- few New Age books. Go figure...
This is a major confession -- and perhaps the #1 thing you would never even suspect about me from reading this blog -- I have a low tolerance for reading New Age material.
Don’t get me wrong, I have read (past tense) an entire bookstore's worth of texts that would be shelved as Religion, New Age, Metaphysical, Personal Development, Self-Help, and Spirituality. I have degrees in English Literature and Holistic Ministry...
Trust me, I have done my time studying other writers in this genre or publishing niche. I have a long list of favorites, and I continue to keep my eye on the industry.
My spirit guides explained to me exactly two years ago, January 2006, that studying, reading, and researching this type of subject matter is not the same thing as contributing to it. I could choose to keep reading and studying other authors in this field or I could become one.
The launch of Shift Your Spirits marked a fork in my path -- or, honestly, a breaking point. If you put a brand-new, current New Age book in front of me my eyes will absolutely glaze over.
There are, of course, precious exceptions -- the work of my contemporary blogging peers, my clients, and my colleagues. You can easily tell from my posts and my comments whom I read, adore, encourage, and support.
This confession may sound incredibly snobby to you -- to me, it represents a change much more like addictive behavior modification. I am not unlike the food addict who becomes a culinary artist or food critic as a way to transcend and transform a shadow purpose into a productive mission.
I simply can't do both. I was given a choice between reading and writing -- I chose to write. When I need intellectual inspiration these days, I turn to hard-core natural science, cosmology, and social politics.
Living Weird and Feeling Truly Random,