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Let the Little Girl Carry Her Own Bag

Excerpted from Dream Network Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn 1995), reprinted with permission. (Updated [2007] Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams [PMID])

Background: I am an accounting professor. I am also a dreamer. Now that I’ve discovered the link between these two “professions,” my waking and sleeping lives are vastly enriched. In this article I share a dream that demonstrates the link between the two worlds as well as tells how I used the dream.

Dream: Someone is talking to Dolores Mays about a little girl who has an opportunity to go someplace. It seems like the little girl wasn't going to go, but when someone asks Dolores Mays about it, Dolores says all she knows is that the little girl has her bag packed. Either I see the bag, a pure yellow bag, sitting in my hometown school house hallway between the superintendent's office and the third and fourth grade room, or Dolores says it is there. Dolores is standing in the hallway while she is talking. Dolores says to the effect she has no decision in the matter. It is entirely the little girl's decision. It is up to the little girl who is a capable, independent-thinking little girl.

PMID Step 1: Day-before-your-dream event(s) that connect to this dream.

The day before this dream, a former student, Becca, came to my office and gave me an update of her life since she graduated and then we discussed her growing up years. She told me how she misses her mom who passed away a few years ago. She told how she learned to read at three years old after her mom said she couldn't "ride the big yellow bus" with her brother until she learned to read.

She told about her continuing commitment to the church and concerns for the church. She told how she really would like to have time off work to take a trip to a national church youth meeting. She told me how she delights in her work as an accountant and the joy it was when she passed the CPA examinations.

PMID Step 2: Connect day-before-the dream thought(s) to dream by treating the dream as a responsive answer to pre-dream thoughts.

Yesterday, when Becca told of her “load” of missing her mom and her concern for the church, I thought how much I would like to help her.

PMID Step 3: Major dream phrases (and symbols) defined in the context of this dream.

  • Little girl in the dream: Descriptive of Becca, capable and independent-thinking.
  • Dolores Mays: A "backbone" of a church in my past. She dedicated herself to the Sunday school and guiding little children according to her own strong standards.
  • Little yellow bag: On the one hand, may be some "baggage" Becca still has to unload from the missing her mom and the times with her mom such as the nine months of asking "Mom, why can't I ride the big yellow bus now that I can read?" (Something she told me the day before this dream). On the other hand, the little yellow bag may be Becca's preparation for her life's journey ahead now that she has made the decision to "go someplace."
  • Setting of the dream in a school: Represents that Becca is progressing on the journey. Here she did make it to school.
  • My hometown school: Represents I am basing my thoughts on how to help Becca from my own experiences and standards.

PMID Step 4: Dreaming emotions compared with waking life emotions about issue in this dream.

None recorded in the dream at the time of the dream. In retrospect, my dreaming emotions could have been compassion and then surprise about Becca’s independence. My waking life emotion for Becca’s welfare was compassion.

PMID Step 5: Solutions or suggestions for changing thoughts, attitudes or behaviors.

My first thought when I recognized the dream was somehow connected to my desire to help Becca was to send a book to help her. I thought of an appropriate book and wrote an order for the book. As I was ready to seal the envelope, a quick knowing flashed through my mind: “The independent thinking little girl in my dream is Becca.” The solution in this dream is “Don’t come rushing in with ‘help.’”

My dream is answering my pre-dream thoughts on how to help Becca. In the dream, Dolores is resigned that the little girl has made the decision on her own. The dream is saying the little girl can handle her life. Don't come rushing in with "help." The decisions are Becca's. Like Dolores, I "have no say" in the matter: The "little girl" has complete say.

When, at three years old, Becca, learned how to read so she could "ride the big yellow bus," she proved she is most capable of using her own resources in her journey through life.

PMID Step 6: Dreaming and waking life reactions to each person in this dream.

[PMID Step 6 is not applicable for this dream. It is applicable for “relationship dreams,” dreams about emotional stress from relationship experiences.]

How I used the dream: As a result of interpreting this dream, I sent a letter of congratulations to my young friend on passing the CPA examinations and asked her to keep in touch.

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This next article was originally published in Dream Network, 13(2) (Spring 1994) “Professor Uses Dreams as Guides in Working with Students,” and reprinted with slight modifications, in Evelyn M Duesbury’s Book (2007) Living Dreams, Living Life, a practical guide for understanding your dreams and how they can change your waking life. Trafford Publishing.

Don't Ask Your Students to Wash Their Dirty Laundry in Public

Background: In my work as a professor, I am catching fascinating glimpses of an ever-present Counselor who has finally caught my attention by speaking to me in my dreams. Imagine my delight at discovering my theater of the night also acts as a light by day as I teach students.

Dream: People are washing clothes in a laundry area of our apartment building. They brought the clothes up from the basement. I bring my clothes to wash also. A woman who was washing in the basement is now washing upstairs in this public laundry sort of area. A young man, probably a college student, is standing close to her and when he sees me, he says very loudly and possessively to me, "I'm next."

I take my basket of clothes downstairs and talk loudly in mimic of the young man's "I'm next" as I go down the stairs. However, when I arrive in the basement, I understand why these people aren't washing in the basement. Either there aren't machines here now, or they aren't working. The upstairs is more like a public laundry than the basement.

PMID Step 1: Day-before-your-dream event(s) that connect to this dream.

[The day before this dream] we discussed an ethics case I had assigned to my business students. The case involved a graduating senior who had job interviews at two separate companies in the same city. Upon discovering he would be reimbursed for interviewing expenses, the student billed both companies for the full amount of his expenses.

In our brief class discussion, a couple students openly said they would have done the same thing; that is, take double reimbursement; it would help on college expenses. Some other students said they would not have taken the double reimbursement; it did not seem ethical to them. I reminded my students that it is needful to be considerate of all people involved in circumstances.

Later, when I read the students' written responses to the ethics question, I was surprised to find that several said they would have taken the double reimbursement.

PMID Step 2: Connect day-before-the dream thoughts to dream by treating the dream as a responsive answer to pre-dream thoughts.

[Yesterday after the class] I decided to talk about the case in class again. I gave considerable thought to how I would approach the matter without inhibiting the students from feeling free to express themselves openly and honestly in class. In early morning the day I planned to give my "little talk," the above dream came.

PMID Step 3: Major dream phrases (and symbols) defined in the context of this dream.

  • Clothes: Often symbolic of the personality.
  • Public laundry: Public place to cleanse the personality.
  • Wash dirty clothes in public: What I would be asking my students to do if I ask them to discuss in class what I consider unclean ideas about taking the double reimbursement.
  • Upstairs more like a public laundry than the basement: Basement represents the privacy at the depth of the mind in this dream. Assigning the ethics case provided an opportunity for each student to cleanse personality attitudes and emotions in privacy, or depth of their minds.
  • Student loudly and possessively telling me, "I'm next:" Represents his lack of consideration for others while watching out intensely for his own interests. Here, the dream symbolizes what I considered taking the double reimbursement would represent. I considered it would represent lack of consideration for others.
  • My mimic, repeat, of the student: Points out that for me to repeat the students' comments about accepting the double reimbursement would be taunting insults to my students.
  • Basement washing machines inoperable for me, too: My planned talk was not coming from my inner resources.
  • Had dirty clothes to wash, too: Let the one who casts the first stone. . . . .

Author: Universal meanings expanded by the dreamer’s personal experiences make sense of the dream symbols. Clothes and levels of a building are universal symbols.

PMID Step 4: Dreaming emotions compared with waking life emotions.

My dreaming emotion, by implication, is surprise at there being no washing machines in the basement. Before this dream, although I had given the matter considerable thought, I still did not feel completely at ease with what I planned to say.

PMID Step 5: Solutions or suggestions for changing thoughts, attitudes or behaviors.

The dream answers my day-before-the-dream thoughts by showing that my planned talk about the students’ responses to the ethics case in class is like asking my students to "wash their dirty laundry in public." Discussing the matter further in class is like asking my students to reveal in public what each student should be allowed to contemplate in private.

PMID Step 6: Dreaming and waking life reactions to each person in this dream.

[PMID Step 6 is not applicable for this dream. It is applicable for “relationship dreams,” dreams about emotional stress from relationship experiences.]

How I Used My Dream: When I went to class, I gave each student a copy of the textbook authors' comments on the ethics case and made a note to myself to assign the ethics cases from most chapters we will cover. I did not give my planned little talk.

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Next is the second dream in the “Professor Uses Dreams as Guides in Working with Students,” in Dream Network, 13(2) (Spring 1994). (Updated to show the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams [PMID], current to 2007)

The Gymnastics-Audit Team and the Coach-Mom

Dream: I am an observer. There is a coach and young athletes - perhaps nine or ten. The coach is at the head of two parallel bars on which the young athletes are doing training. It seems like they are turning over the bars. The bars are two rows close together and the athletes are boys and girls. They are probably the same age, but the girls look more mature.

At first I only notice the boys and one in particular. He is tired and thinks the coach is expecting too much. The boy says he has some injury and crawls between the bars toward the lady coach. She doesn't stop the practice, but keeps on going. The boy now does half-hearted turning over the bars.

Now it is the end of the day's session and the boy quits the team! And now others quit the team and there are only six girls left; they don't complain. They seem to be willing to work. The coach is discouraged though. I believe she is wondering if there will be enough participants on the team for the next competition (but the dream is unclear on that point).

Now I seem like the coach and am standing just inside the door at the house of the boy who quit first. It is dusk-like in this modest room. The boy's mother is in the room. She is very discouraged about the boy quitting. She is very disappointed. She had high hopes of how well things were going. She knew he had something to overcome - fight back from something - but had thought her son was making progress.

PMID Step 1: Day-before-your-dream event(s) that connect to this dream.

The dream came in early morning the day there was major auditing case work due as well as an important basketball game that night. I prepared for the class presentation the day before this dream.

PMID Step 2: Connect day-before-the dream thoughts to dream by treating the dream as a responsive answer to pre-dream thoughts.

None recorded. I dreamed this dream before I recognized the great impact that pre-dream thoughts have on subsequent dreams. In the context of this dream, I certainly was thinking about the major case being due.

PMID Step 3: Major dream phrases (and symbols) defined in the context of this dream.

  • I an observer: (At the first of the dream). My non-recognition of myself in the circumstances of the dream.
  • Coach and young athletes: I use a team approach in teaching an advanced auditing class where the class size ranges between twelve to fifteen students. We sit around oblong tables pulled together and act as an auditing team with me, the professor, as the partner-in-charge.
  • Parallel bars: Reminds me of gymnastics. My husband often uses the word "gymnastics" in referring to frustration from excessive paperwork.
  • Bars being close together: Setting for the auditing class. This spring I purposely used only one long table in order to bring the students in close eye-to-eye contact. The arrangement of the young women and young men in the dream was basically the same as in the classroom with the young women on one side of the table and the young men on the other side with the coach at the front end.
  • Boy who thinks the coach is expecting too much: In the context of this dream, one of the hardest working students in the class and also a star of the University men's basketball team.
  • Intense practice: My practice of making intense assignments.
  • Boy crawling toward the lady coach: Shows this young man’s desperate need for relief.
  • Coach not stopping the practice: I had not decreased the intensity of my assignments prior to this dream.
  • Boy quitting the team: Although the young man symbolized in this dream didn’t actually quit the auditing class, my dream is using that symbolism to show the damage I am doing with my excessive paperwork assignments.
  • All the boys quit the team and the girls (six) not complaining: Here, I believe my dream is using a general symbolism that I subscribe to for masculine and feminine characteristics of every human being - the masculine meaning the objective reasoning, and the feminine meaning the intuitive and feeling aspect of all humans. So here says, professor, you are demanding too much objective reasoning in your assignments. (One universal symbol meaning of the number six is “intuition.” There are less than six young women in the actual class.)
  • I seeming like the coach: My recognition for the first time in the dream that I am acting like a demanding coach to my auditing students.
  • Boy’s mother: My mothering nature I display toward my students, a caretaking role.
  • Boy’s mother having thought her son was making progress: This young man being one of the hardest working students in my class, I honestly thought he was keeping up with the type and amount of work I assigned.

PMID Step 4: Dreaming emotions compared with waking life emotions.

In my dream, the mother’s emotions (very discouraged and disappointed about the boy quitting) represents the mom in me who is concerned about the young man in a more compassionate and understanding way than the coach professor in me who has a greater interest in the team's being able to do well than in the physical, emotional or mental well being of the gymnast-students. I don’t recall feeling concern about whether I was assigning too much “paperwork” before this dream.

PMID Step 5: Solutions or suggestions for changing thoughts, attitudes or behaviors.

My dream shows that I am assigning excessive paperwork for my auditing students. For the young athlete-scholar, the intense practice is his style. But the "gymnastics" (unnecessary "paper work") required as a student in my class, coupled with the demands placed on him as a superior athlete are de-energizing.

How I used the dream: I immediately cut back on the work assignments for the auditing class.

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Excerpt from “The Mind is Willing,” New Accountant, March 1990, by Evelyn M. Duesbury, CPA, CMA [at the time of writing this article].

Student marketing. Although the job search for the physically challenged student is much the same as for the able-bodied student, there are some dramatic, but common sense, approaches which universities and colleges are using. Among these strategies are:

  1. Perform self-assessment tests to identify skills and abilities in the accounting area
  2. Utilize the resources provided through the university and government
  3. Capitalize your (dis) ability. In accounting we make the decision of whether to “expense” or to “capitalize” an item, when we determine that it will provide future benefits. Profile your assets (abilities) and “capitalize” on them: Benefit your future.

The American Institute of CPAs’ slogan, “The Measure of Excellence” also recognizes that intelligence, integrity and wisdom are contained in the minds of men and women of all races -- whether . . . they are [fully] able-bodied persons.

Excerpt from:  Article written by Eva Marer, freelance writer, “dear diary, what do my dreams mean?” and edited by Abigail Walch, Health, (June 2002), section “Let’s get personal,” p. 178.

“dear diary, what do my dreams mean?”

Evelyn Duesbury, inventor of the Personal[ized] Method for Interpreting Dreams, says dreams are like the game show Jeopardy--they provide the answers but not the questions. To create your dream diary, follow this shortened version of the six-step method. Remember to jot down your dream as completely as you can before tackling these questions.

  1. What did you do yesterday that set the stage of this dream?
  2. What were you thinking about that may have prompted this dream?
  3. What people, places, or objects appear in this dream, and what further associations do these bring to mind?
  4. What emotions did you have toward these people or objects in the dream, and how do they differ from your waking emotions?
  5. What is your dream telling you about how you might change your thoughts, attitudes, or behavior in regard to this person or object?
  6. What relationships or issues need to be explored further or in other dreams?

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