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Dream Back Your Life: Taking Your Dream Messages into Life Action — A Practical Guide to Dreams, Daydreams, and Fantasies
by Joan Mazza, MS
Perigee/PenguinPutnam, July 2000



Part One. Sleeping dreams

1. How dreaming can help you take back your life

 • Functions of dreaming
 • Personal core issues: problems that keep returning
 • Future projection: a message from your future self

2. Pivotal dreams

 • What is a pivotal dream?
 • Signs of pivotal dreams
 • Examples

3. Nightmares

 • What is a nightmare?
 • Myths about nightmares
 • Causes of nightmares
 • Understanding the value of nightmares
 • Violent dreams
 • Special significance of nightmares
 • Recurrent nightmares
 • Remedies for recurrent nightmares
 • Conclusion

4. Childhood dreams

 • Techniques for working with old dreams
 • Recurrent childhood dream or nightmare
 • Examining old dreams for today's guidance
 • Limitations to working with old dreams
 • The value of working with old dreams

5. Dream signposts and endings

 • What is a signpost?
 • Signpost characteristics
 • Tracking signposts
 • Dream endings and outcomes
 • Changing endings
 • Using the insights

6. Conscious dreaming

 • Intention
 • Dream incubation; programming dreams
 • Steps for dream incubation
 • Steps for programming a dream
 • What you can expect
 • Interpreting bizarre or "off topic" dream answers
 • Trouble-shooting in the absence of dream answers
 • Lucid dreaming

Part Two. Waking dreams

7. When I grow up…

 • Childhood dreams and fantasies
 • James Hillman's acorn theory
 • What were the signs of your acorn?
 • Childhood games
 • Imaginary childhood friends
 • Dress-up
 • Childhood vision of adulthood

8. Day dreams, fantasies

 • Functions of daydreams and fantasies
 • Where your mind goes
 • Hobbies, avocations
 • Winning the lottery
 • That little rush
 • Doodling and drawing
 • Hot buttons
 • What do you complain about?
 • Private passions
 • Cravings and longings
 • Romantic fantasies
 • Sexual fantasies
 • Envy and jealousy
 • Morbid or self-critical fantasies
 • Fantasy and meditation
 • Fantasy and the shadow

9. Creative visualization and guided imagery

 • Visualization techniques: passive or active
 • Passive visualization
 • Active visualization
 • Steps for passive creative visualization
 • Guided imagery
 • What you can expect
 • Creating a personal library of images that work for you
 • Interpreting bizarre or "off topic" images
 • Trouble-shooting the absence of images

10. Waking nightmares: crisis and trauma

 • When a life event feels like a nightmare
 • Breakdowns
 • Depression
 • Symptoms
 • Resilience
 • Reframing
 • Spiritual emergency
 • Making meaning of tragedy
 • The victim trap
 • Asking questions
 • Mentors, role models, and support systems
 • Empathy and compassion
 • Expectations: hope and vision
 • Traits of people who rise above difficulty

Part Three. Dreaming your future

11. Self-expression and self-talk

 • Socialized silence
 • Your story
 • Finding your voice: the power of words
 • Visual arts
 • Action and movement
 • Music
 • Creativity
 • Self-talk: listening to yourself
 • Learned optimism
 • The three P's of pessimism
 • Boundaries and saying no
 • Saying no
 • 10 Ways to say no with a smile
 • Obstacles: internal vs. external
 • Locus of control
 • Speaking your truth
 • The perfectionism trap

12. Finding your purpose

 • Solitude and silence
 • Ritual and your quest
 • 10 Steps to Design Your Ritual
 • Using ritual to define, clarify, and strengthen your purpose
 • Defining your purpose
 • Exploring your gifts
 • Pointers to your special skills and talents
 • Making meaning of your life
 • Discovery by the via negativa
 • Values
 • Spiritual components: compassion, service, acceptance
 • Spirituality vs. religion
 • Curb your dogma

13. First steps and strategies

 • A journey of a thousand miles begins with….
 • First steps, baby steps
 • Ask questions
 • Mentors, role models, and coaches
 • Enlisting a mentor or coach
 • 10 Steps for finding a mentor
 • 16 Attributes of a good mentor
 • Responsibilities of a good protégé
 • Taking advice (or not taking it)
 • Motivation
 • Calculating risk and consequences
 • If you think it's too lateand other excuses
 • The usual excuses
 • Perceived obstacles: inside or outside?
 • Thin things
 • Criticism and mirrors
 • Balance
 • Flexibility
 • Alternate plans, parachutes and contingency strategies
 • The learning curve
 • Redefining failure

14. Writing a mission statement

 • Why write a mission statement?
 • Mission statement as self-talk
 • Distinguishing goals from mission
 • Elements of an exceptional mission statement
 • Review and periodic revision
 • Mentors, role models and support systems
 • Staying focused

15. Conclusion: Dream back your life

 • Taking charge of your own life
 • Vision
 • Nurturing your Self


In this book:

 • Tips for keeping a journal
 • Reasons why we don't remember our dreams
 • Steps to improve dream recall
 • 20 Steps for dreamwork
 • Tips for working with dream (or fantasy) images
 • Considerations when choosing a dream partner
 • 10 Steps toward lucid dreaming
 • Steps for conquering nightmares & recurrent dreams
 • Suggestions for tracking fantasies and daydreams
 • Tips for choosing a support group
 • Suggestions for creating a support system
 • 10 Steps for finding a mentor
 • Attributes of a good mentor
 • Responsibilities of a good protégé
 • Suggestions for reframing
 • Setting boundaries
 • 10 Ways to check in with yourself
 • 15 Ways to say no with a smile
 • How to be more tenacious
 • Steps to design your ritual
 • Guidelines for writing a mission statement
 • Ways to use a role model

Call Joan Mazza at (540) 872-2332 for more information.


  Joan Mazza, M.S. LMHC