Years ago, I had a dream in which I met with Oprah Winfrey.

At first I was unclear about her presence in my dreams. Over the years, she returned many times to teach me about myself. She became a sort of dream mentor, helping to form an internal vortex from which a new self within me could take shape.

As seasons came and went, I grew to realize that Oprah's appearance in my dreams was intended to wake me up to my own potential as a voice of change in this world.

The challenge was in becoming more myself and less influenced by the barrage of concepts, strategies and ideas that taught "the way" to live, be and think. A war ensued within myself as the outer world seemed to taunt me to get in pace with the pressure of performing for the crowds.

Deep in my heart, I heard the words, "Just tell your stories". Too simple an approach it seemed. I was to be kept to this path of stories and simplicity but first I fought an inner battle that was only apparent to myself.

Dreams played a large part in unravelling the truth about what my true path in life was. They opened my eyes to a vision of life ever unfolding and flowering into something more beautiful and mysterious than I had ever guessed possible.

As I learned to decipher my own dream language, I saw that they drew a pathway through my life as a beacon guiding me ever onward to a purpose, at first unknown then clearer and clearer.

The story begins with an introduction to the causes of my deep struggle and search for wholeness and freedom. It was through my dreams that I first learned of the "Eastern Parasite", an entity locked within myself which fed off of destructive habits and old outdated beliefs from lifetimes gone by.

This parasite stole energy by siphoning off my will to live and accept good in my life. It came in a number of disguises, which confused my efforts to fully identify it and release its hold on me.

I came to realize that my mission was obscured by the underlying patterns induced by this entity and that overcoming them wouldn't be easy.

When I first asked to know my mission, it set off an unconscious mechanism inside me. The direction of my life changed simply from asking the question. Past choices had influenced my emotional states and many of those issues needed to be faced again and again so that I could gain greater spiritual and emotional strength.

My dreams also showed my future, many times letting me know the importance of decisions I was making in my life. I was often compelled to listen to inner directions, though it wasn't always clear why I needed to follow them. Learning to trust was a deep lesson of my heart and many times a painful one.

Over the years I would return again and again to my dreams of Oprah, until I understood that-- Oprah was me, the real me or Soul-- encased within the parasite shell. Soul is the real self. We don't have a soul. We are Soul, an eternal being, who is seeking to recall Its' mission as a co-worker with God.
Accepting this would take longer than I imagined, but the journey carved the way for others to benefit from my experiences.

Author's Bio: 

Darlene Montgomery is a well-known, public speaker on inspirational topics. For the last 25 years she has dedicated herself to the research and exploration of dreams, waking dreams and their spiritual application.
Her company, Lifedreams Unlimited, has sponsored hundreds of inspirational seminars designed to assist individuals to a more direct path of personal success and fulfillment.
Her work as a life-coach and author centers on directing others to their spiritual purpose. The focus of this work teaches the importance of developing a relationship with the spiritual force within us all.
In November 1999, Darlene published Dream Yourself Awake, a compelling account of her own journey in using dreams, intuition and inner knowing to overcome self-defeating patterns that kept her from experiencing abundance and success. Her book speaks to all who seek to know their own purpose and mission in this life.
Spring 2004, White Knight Publications released Conscious Women Conscious Lives: Powerful and Transformational Stories of Healing Body Mind and Soul, Darlene’s second book, which became a Canadian best-seller. Spring 2005 Conscious Women Conscious Lives Book 2 was released across North America. Spring 2006 Conscious Women Conscious Careers followed.
A frequent guest on television and radio across Canada and the US, Darlene draws us to topics of spiritual importance. Her work has been published, in a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul where she worked as publicist and associate editor for four years.