Saturday, December 10, 2011

Healing in Dreams

People have asked for healing dreams as far back as written records. Results came in dreams to the ancient Egyptians. Aristotle spoke of them in early Greece. From those days until now, sick people have wanted to experience a healing dream and believed it could happen.

Our minds affect our bodies, as demonstrated in modern times by hypnosis and biofeedback where patients modify their blood pressure, dissolve warts, stop the growth of cancerous cells, among other changes.

Scientific experiments have proven the placebo effect works, that is, one third of the time patients get well when they only take sugar pills rather than medication. Unfortunately the reverse happens too, and a person can sicken from the belief that he has been poisoned when he has not been. This is why curses sometimes work or why a patient dies from a misdiagnosis or from the doctor's statement that no one can recover from such an ailment.

There are three types of healing dreams:

First, dreams that show a problem developing in the dreamer's physical body. For example, a woman dreams she buys a pair of shoes that are mismatched; one has a flat heel the other a three-inch spike. Later she learns her shoes have caused her hip pain.

Second, dreams that prescribe a medicine, foods, or other regimen. For example, a man with painful dry eye dreams a cop stops his car and gives him a ticket for wearing sunglasses in a dark tunnel, citing him for not following the rules. The same scenario happens over and over. The dreamer can't understand why the cop is angry. Once he awakens the man remembers eye drops prescribed as a cautionary by his doctor in case of a problem. He starts using the eye drops, and the pain goes away.

Last, dreams that cure the condition directly. Some of these categories can overlap in the same dreams.

Barbara Menezes-Ferreira of Portugal relates a dream that cures. The dream story is complex and includes a mutual dream, a near-death experience, and a cure. Here is the dream in her own words:

Over twelve years ago, back when I was still married, my husband was dying in hospital in a coma.

The doctors had said he had no hope at all. His blood count was way too low and he was hemorrhaging. My reaction was and I quote what I told the doctors, "You don't know him. He's the kind of person that will do exactly the opposite of what you are thinking." They looked at me with a certain pity. I left him there because you cannot stay with the patient overnight in a public hospital. I picked up my daughters at school and took them home. I remember my mother-in-law calling me asking what the doctors had said and I replied, "He's going to be fine," without even thinking.

That night I dreamed I awoke with someone screaming my name over and over again. I sat up in bed and saw my husband standing at the foot of the bed.

I asked him, "What do you want?"

He replied that he didn't know if he should stay or if he should go.

I calmly explained that was his choice. If he wanted to leave, I would take care of our daughters and they would be fine, but if he chose to stay, he would suffer. He would have to change his life, and he would have to stop drinking. I could understand that this would be a big sacrifice, so I told him, "It's really up to you".

He disappeared then and I went back to sleep.

The following morning my brother-in-law came to pick me up to drive me into town for visiting hours. He was very concerned that his brother would not make it. I said I thought he would pull through because I had had a strange dream that had in some way told me he would be ok. My brother-in-law had no reaction whatsoever.
I arrived at the hospital and only three people could see my husband for just a few minutes. I told my mother-in-law to go in first. She came out very distressed and told us she thought he was going. I then told his brother to go in. He came out crying and shaking his head. Then I went in and saw my husband lying in bed asleep.
I kissed his forehead and he woke up and said, "Please tell me the truth. Am I dying?"

I smiled and said "No. You were but you aren't anymore."

The doctor called in the other doctors and they started to ask him questions: "What day is it? Do you know where you are?."

Two weeks later he was out of hospital.

Almost six months after, we were going for a walk, and he told me that he had seen a tunnel and a light and that he had gone towards the light, and as he was walking he had a long conversation with someone he thought was God where he was given a choice to stay or to go. He decided to stay because of the children.

The conversation he described was exactly the one I had had in my room. At the time I started to laugh and he thought I didn't believe him. I just told him that I had had a dream exactly like the one he was describing.

Any analysis of Barbara's dream and her husband's dream will likely mention they experienced a shared dream, in other words, they dreamed the same scenario. The husband's dream includes the popular dynamic of the near-death experience: the light, the tunnel, and the decision to live. His is a particularly revealing segment.

The husband's dream resulted in a cure of his condition.

Think a minute about a time you've healed, whether from a mosquito bite, a burn, or the flu. Perhaps you applied salve and bandaged yourself. Perhaps you visited a doctor. Perhaps not.

In all cases, who was the healer? The inner you. You probably had dreams that helped you heal even if you didn't recall them.

Although we all have this skill, some people need help developing it consciously. Some psychologists, including Ed Kellogg, offer workshops to teach health professionals and regular dreamers how to heal through dream work.

Here's a Tip
• The next time you have any ailment, from a cold to something serious, consult a medical practitioner if you normally would, but augment that visit with requests to your dreaming self to bring you healing dreams.
• Your dreaming self will definitely oblige.
• Oh, and ask to remember the dreams too. They are most empowering and among the most compelling evidence for the value of dreaming.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Book Festival Winner

I'm proud to say my novel Luke's Covenant got Honorable Mention in the Halloween Book Festival this month. For a scary read, go to Amazon and buy Luke's Covenant as an ebook or a paperback. Here is the blurb:

Willing to sacrifice his life on Nine Eleven, Luke instead finds himself required to live. He must protect himself and his family from an ancient vendetta at the hands of a man compelled to murder them all. Although failing before, Kegan has been reborn with paranormal skills that give him the advantage this time. He’ll finally get the revenge he deserves.

“A deliciously evil villain stalks the hero throughout time in a thought-provoking and mystical excursion into the realm of reincarnation. The novel explores the impact of psychic experiences and past lives on present lives and relationships.”
Michael J. Murphy, Suspense Novelist

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Problem Solving and Creativity in Dreams

A cool thing about dreams is they support you in your waking life. That is, they can help you solve problems or give a different perspective on them whether you remember the dreams or not. You may even consciously intend to dream about a problem and ask for help from your dreaming self.

I think of my dreaming self as a somewhat different persona from my waking self. I can ask her to dream about a problem and help me out. She has a different perspective on my problem because she doesn't have to consciously deal with any consequences from the solutions. She has a greater depth of memory of everything that has ever happened to me. She can access all of my long-term memories, as well as any human race memories, plus she lives in the dream world that I can only remember while awake. I guess you could say she and I have a different experience of living the same life.

During rehearsals for a production of the musical Pippin in 1980, I remember experiencing difficulty directing a particular scene in the show. It was a short love scene between the two leads, then the chorus came in and the action changed. Every time I watched the scene in rehearsal I didn't like it. When I told the actors it wasn't working, they agreed and one said, "Tell us what you want us to do and we'll try to do it."

The problem was I didn't know what to tell them. I drove home from school worrying about the scene and carried that worry through the evening and into bed. At that time I was recording my dreams and interested in them, but I hadn't realized yet that I could intend dreams, that is, decide in advance the subject of the dream. So I considered what happened with the Pippin scene just good luck.

During my dream I watched the troublesome scene as if I were in a theatre myself watching the show. The actor and actress moved around the stage in a different manner, a more interesting way, and the scene played perfectly when the chorus came in. I awoke excited to get to school because I knew exactly how to change the scene to solve the problem. At rehearsal I explained how I wanted to redo the scene, the actors did it, and it worked perfectly just as it happened in my dream. The actors liked it better too.
I felt extreme gratitude to my dreaming self for solving the problem.
Another time the influence of a problem-solving dream was not so obvious. One of my English students had begun to behave aggressively in class. With minimal provocation he snarled at other students and called me bitch under his breath. Because I'd had his older sister in class the year before I knew their home could get unpleasant with the father's threatening presence. I went to bed worrying about the boy's aggressive behavior and what I ought to do about it. My choices were to talk with him personally, to call the mother in the hope of her intervention, or to write a referral so the principal would deal with the situation. I feared none would solve a worsening situation. I also feared aggravating their home life problems myself.

Despite my worry I slept well. I did not recall a dream in the morning but felt confident my dreaming self had been working on the problem. I intended to trust the first impulse that came into my mind. When I started thinking about what I would do about the boy at school, I knew immediately the best action to take. I kept the boy after class and told him the truth, that I was worried he would follow his father's ways and spoil his chances to have a girlfriend. I told him girls would like him very much because he was handsome and loving and fun to be around, but I emphasized his aggressive behavior would spoil those chances with girls. The boy responded in an open and warmhearted manner. He didn't want to end up like his father, and he felt flattered that I thought he was handsome. I don't know what happened at home but in class the boy turned an amazing corner. He started talking to the girls so much I had to tell him to be quiet. He grinned like we had a secret. His grade went from a C to a B by the end of the semester.

Thank you, dreaming self.

There are well documented cases historically where dreams helped people solve big problems, including the invention of the sewing machine, the discovery of the benzene molecule, and artistic creations by such authors and composers as Robert Louis Stevenson, Voltaire, and Tartini.

Recent scientific studies have shown students do better on tests after they have slept because of the dream activity of shunting material from short-term to long-term memory. Other studies demonstrate the benefits of waking imagery, hypnotically-induced dreams, and regular dreams in solving problems and unlocking creativity. Psychotherapy uses dream analysis commonly because of the belief that dreams can help the client solve problems.

Here's a tip.

The next time you have a problem that seems to consume time and energy, try sleeping on it. It could be anything that bothers you, from a problem at work to your love life. Mull it over during the evening. After you get into bed, say, "Dreaming self, help me solve this problem." Don't imagine scenarios of how to solve it. Just trust it will be solved. Then go to sleep.

After you awaken the next morning, write down any dream or fragments or thoughts. If you have none, don't worry. When your thoughts turn to the problem, go with the first answer that comes into your mind. See what happens.

If it works for you, a little more trust will build between you and your dreaming self.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Emerging Novelists

I'm proud to be this weeks' Emerging Novelist and non-fiction writer.

Here's a link to my interview and works from some excellent fiction writers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An eBook Sale for Book Lovers on Kindle

We appreciate our readers. 50 award-winning ebooks are on sale from Twilight Times Books for $2.99 via Amazon Kindle until June 15th. Historical, literary, mystery, SF, YA and more.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Dreaming Self

Imagine your waking self without the responsibility of looking after the physical body and all its needs. That’s your dreaming self. There’s no reason to fear or to ignore the dreaming self. It’s one source of learning and self-understanding, one way of connecting to the higher power, however we define it—God, Goddess, Allah, Brahma, Universal Love, the Life Force. I even knew a minister who called that power Skippy.

Dreaming may be considered not so much a psychic activity as a different framework for the mind. When we’re asleep, we suspend many of our mental blocks. Our inner critic sleeps, the one that pesters us with thoughts that we’ve been stupid or rude or incompetent. In dreams, our creative mind can come out to play.

The dreaming self acts as our gatekeeper to the wider universe. I believe that the knowledge and love of the Higher Power flows through the dreaming self to the waking self. The best attitude is not one of awe but of appreciation. Just as our physical body gets us around in the physical world, our dreaming self gets us around the imaginal realm.

The openness of the dreaming self allows many different types of experiences to happen besides precognition, problem solving, or personality analysis. Encounters with dead loved ones pepper the literature.

Hello from Heaven by Bill and Judy Guggenheim describes visits from the departed to grieving loved ones. The messages, often in dreams, contain words of comfort, such as “I’m okay, I’m in a beautiful place. Stop grieving and go on with your life. I love you.” These are sentiments we all need to hear from those we’ve lost.

Patricia Garfield has codified many encounters in The Dream Messenger. In her view, whether one can prove the actual visit from the other world or not, there’s no denying its impact. Dreamers remember details for a long time, and the experience often makes a profound difference in their beliefs. That definitely describes the dream I had about my grandmother and uncle.

On the other hand, many people experience frightening or sad dreams about their departed loved ones. Often the dead seem even sicker, suffer more, or die more horribly. It’s normal in the grieving process to initially have such dreams then get past them.

What can we do about nightmares or other troublesome dreams? Turn and face them, fearlessly and with humor. The mind creates nightmarish elements like hands strangling or tigers chasing. We can make the threatening images do whatever we want if we just stand up to them. That takes some work, but it’s certainly possible. Dream work becomes more effective if we develop lucidity, conscious awareness while maintaining the dream state.

Excerpted from Out of the Psychic Closet: The Quest to Trust My True Nature. The book is available in Kindle, e-book, and paperback at,, and the publisher,

Monday, March 28, 2011

ebook sale for book lovers

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Monday, March 21, 2011


Last year I had the good fortune to participate in an anthology for writers published by Twilights Times Books, the publisher of my Psychic Closet book. The new release's title is How I Wrote My First Book: the story behind the story by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen, Editors.
Twenty authors tell amazing stories about the efforts that went into writing their first book.

Below is an excerpt from my chapter.

The Manuscript from a Mystifying Source
by Toby Fesler Heathcotte

An unseen source dictated my first book through automatic writing, a process where the practitioner enters a meditative or light trance state and writes without conscious thought of what words will be produced. I hadn’t a clue how to go about it or what it might mean in my life. Even now I can’t explain with any kind of certainty what happened, where the material came from, but maybe why. Confusion reigned in my mind despite the fact that I held a degree in English and hoped to become an author, so I should have understood writing techniques.

The year was 1983 in Arizona. I taught speech, drama, and English in a Phoenix high school. My older son had enrolled in college in Tuc¬son and moved away from home. The younger graduated from high school and worked at a fast food restaurant, saving money to join his brother. A difficult divorce lay two years behind me. My main emotional support came from my women friends, fellow teachers who had gone through divorces themselves. My friends encouraged me as I cast around for new ways to add meaning to my life.

Some odd dreams and intuitions began occurring to me, experiences for which I had no spiritual framework. I had always remembered occasional dreams. Now I became serious about writing them down, analyzing them, and trying to know myself better. These dreams proved significant both in my personal growth and as seed material for my writing.

One episode especially provoked me to search for answers. We had a gorgeous white cat that stayed outside at night. One morning I opened the door for him but didn’t see him on the patio. I lay down on the couch to wait for the coffee to perk, accidentally fell back to sleep, and dreamed I saw the cat in a plastic bag sitting on green grass. The cat did not come home all day. The next morning I found the caretaker for the condo complex, and he told me that he had found a white cat dead on the grounds, placed it in a plastic bag, and dropped it in the dumpster. By comparing times, we discovered that he had found the cat within a half hour of my dream. Needless to say, the cat never returned.

Although I did not understand the how and why of things like dreams that came true, a voice in my head, or intuitive knowing, they began to happen to me more frequently. I felt alternately afraid and titillated by these experiences. I felt a spiritual lack that was difficult to define. I had learned Christianity in a Methodist Church as a kid but abandoned the belief for agnosticism during my college years. After my divorce I attended a Fundamentalist Christian Church for a while.

One night I didn’t want to attend a Bible study, but a voice in my head said, “Toby, go to the Bible study.” I went without hesitation. That could have been Jesus or an angel speaking. Who knew? The subject for discussion at the Bible study turned out to be people who heard voices in Biblical days, like Daniel did in the lions’ den. The bizarre coincidence of subject matter with my experience of a few hours earlier awed me. I asked whether people heard voices in mod¬ern times. The answer? No, only in Biblical times.

end of excerpt

If you have a yen to write or know someone who does, this would be an excellent choice.

How I Wrote My First Book is available in many places. To buy it from Amazon (where all my other books are available) in paperback or for Kindle, go to:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The top prize in metaphysical fiction went to The Comet's Return, a novel by Arizona author Toby Fesler Heathcotte at the EPIC banquet held in Williamsburg, VA on March 12, 2011. The yearly awards presented by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition celebrate e-books in all categories. ( Another Heathcotte book Out of the Psychic Closet earned a finalist award in nonfiction.

The Comet's Return tells the stories of six souls who reincarnate after building centuries of karmic connections. In 2061 Arizona, Angela dreams of people she should recognize and events she should remember. With her career and her sanity in jeopardy, she goes to the trunk opening for Halley's Comet and finds her love. Remembering their previous lifetime opens Angela to the great knowledge. Kegan yet walks the world, intent on ending the blood feud from Celtic times. Nanci-Lee Roias said of The Comet's Return, " I am amazed at the storyline, very suspenseful. I had a hard time stopping to do anything else. I did not expect the ending at all." The book is the fifth part of the Alma Chronicles.

Out of the Psychic Closet: The Quest to Trust My True Nature is a self-help handbook in two parts that will show the reader how to step out of the psychic closet, to rise above anxiety and distrust, and to incorporate psychic abilities into a more honest model of personal reality. The first part narrates the author's psychic experiences. The second part details scientific research, historical background, and previously unpublished anecdotes of the paranormal. The second part also includes print and web resources.

Both The Comet's Return and Out of the Psychic Closet are available for sale in multiple e-book formats as well as in paperback on Look for further information on the author's website (

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Hello my name is Ronnie Cobb, I lost one of my best friends on May 1st, 2008; he was my father, Walter Louis Cobb. Let me tell you a little about my experience with the death of my father and my own personal experiences of seeing him since he’s been gone. On May 1st I had just gotten home from school when this all happened, I remember getting a call from my mom on my cell phone bawling her eyes out telling me that someone had died, I didn’t know who it was at first until I could understand her and realize that it was my father that was killed. I remember telling her that I had to go and I dropped the phone and started screaming my lungs out because I didn’t know how God could take such an amazing person away from the love of his life, his kids, the friends and family that love and care about him.

Anyways, after I hung up with her I called my best friend Ben and had him come over because I know that I wasn’t about to sit in my house all alone, and by that time I had all of my friends and people I didn’t even know calling me just to make sure I was okay. By that time my mom had called my girlfriend at the time (Allie) to let her know what happened and to have her come to my house to take care of me. An hour passed and by this time, all of my really close friends were at my house just being there for me, and my mom had arrived home and she told me that we had to go to Jordan to go to my dad’s house to see my dad’s girlfriend and my brother.
See, I lived in Waconia with my mom and my brother lived with my dad in Jordan
because they had gotten divorced in 2000 and my brother wanted to live with him and
I wanted to live with my mom because I had lived with my dad when they first gotten divorced and I just wanted to try a new lifestyle. I grew up in Jordan and always got picked on so I wanted to make new friends and try something like I said.

Anyways, back to what I was talking about; so my mom, her husband at the time John, and I got in the car and started driving to Jordan and all I could think about is how bad the rest of my life was going to be without him. When we got to the outskirts of Jordan on county road 9, I saw the train tracks coming up and I could see pieces of his bike still on the ground and all the marks from where the bike had been laid down and slid into its final resting stop. I’m not quite sure on exactly what had happened to him or how it had happened, but I guess he had been driving home from his work and he had seen the train, and I believe he tried to lay the bike down because he knew if he didn’t try to stop somehow he’d die. When he laid it down, he was thrown from his bike and was hit by the train.

So we got past the tracks and got to his house and everyone was there, all my aunts and uncles, all my friends, everyone that cared about him was there and at that time I really didn’t want anything to do with anyone except my family. I remember walking in the driveway and my brother hugging me as tight as he could and not letting go and crying his eyes out and I remember walking into the backyard and there was his girlfriend and I ran up to her and hugged her like I had never hugged her before. A couple of days later I had a couple of huge days to get ready for, my dad’s wake and funeral and my junior prom. I remember telling my dad that I was going to prom and I remember him telling me that he would be there for me.

A couple of days passed and I got ready for prom; my girlfriend came over and we headed up to the school to get ready for grand march and I remember walking with her and looking up in the bleachers and having my first experience of seeing him since he had been gone. He had been there right next to his girlfriend and I could see him just as I remember seeing him, and I remember him whispering to me that he loved me and smiled and I started tearing up, I know nobody else could see him but I know what I saw and I know it was him. I went to the dance that was in Minnetonka and had a great night, everything was just perfect and I had a feeling that my dad was right there right next to me the whole night. A couple days later his wake and funeral happened; I remember walking into the funeral parlor and seeing pictures of him and us boys and just random pictures of him, and seeing a casket with him in it but it wasn’t him, it didn’t even look like him, he looked like some model and I was used to seeing his smile and his red rosy cheeks. People came and went but some people stuck around to be there for us, a day or two later was his funeral and I remember seeing him in that casket one last time before they closed it and I cried and cried and said I loved him with every breath that I take and walked away and sat down. They played a song called “My Wish” by Rascal Flats and it resembled what he wanted my brother and I to do until we saw him next; then we carried his casket to the hearse and shut the doors, he wasn’t buried but he was cremated and we kept his ashes. Some were given to who wanted some and the rest went to my brother and I and close family.

Now, my dad has been gone for almost 3 years this May and it seems like it’s been a lifetime without him but I have seen him in all different forms, mostly as I remember him and yes I have talked to him.
I noticed my gift of being able to talk and see dead people when my grandpa died in 2000 from cancer. I remember sitting upstairs in their house and playing around with his guitars and him walking across the room and sitting next to me and telling me to look at him and to watch over my grandma and the family and he said he loved me and then we was gone, I haven’t seen him since but I think that was my first real experience of seeing the other side; ever since that first time I saw him, every friend or family member I’ve lost since then has come to me after they passed. One of the most recent times that I saw and talked to my father was actually about a week or two ago when I moved to Texas to be with my girlfriend. He was sitting there at the airport and he said to me that he was proud of me for all that I’ve done in my life since he’s been gone, and I asked him if he thought that I was going to be okay with Kacy and he told me that you two will be fine and he told me to follow my heart and never let go of something that I love more than anything. One of the times that I remember the most is when I was graduating, I was walking across the stage and I saw my dad standing there in the crowd, and it wasn’t just him, it was him and my grandpa and they had looked so happy.

Since my dad has been gone, I’ve been through a lot of things; I’ve been through deaths, I’ve been through heartache, I’ve pretty much been to hell and back since he’s been gone but I think everything that happens to me, no matter what it is, it all has a purpose and I believe that my father is preparing me for what’s in stored for me in heaven. On May 1st, 2008 my best friend was taken from me and no matter what, he will always be here right next to my side. Thank you for reading this, it took a lot of tears and thought to write this but I did it because I love to share my experience with others. God Bless, Ronnie Cobb.