Our dreams have fascinated people for millennia. In this post I want to outline an approach to learning from your dreams.
A couple of words about this approach. It is not about predicting the future. It presumes that the dream is produced by the person having it (that it is not a message from angels, spirits or anyone other than the person who had the dream). It concerns the dreams we remember once we wake up. It presumes that the dream relates to our waking life. It lets you discover the meaning of your dream for yourself (there are books that give the meaning for particular kinds of dreams – unfortunately they don’t agree with each other. This means that you have to sort out which one to believe based on your experience. I think you may as well go straight to your experience and not bother with the books based on the experience of others.).
1. I have found that it helps to pay attention as soon as you wake up. For me writing helps – but I’m a very wordy person. I find that if I go on with my day presuming I’ll remember the dream just as well later, that I can’t remember it later. For you it may just be staying in bed for a few minutes recalling the dream.
2. If I have a disturbing dream that leaves me with intense emotions, I will usually be able to remember it later. It can be helpful for me to do something routine to get myself back into the waking world and out of the dream world. I then come back to the dream with this bit of distance.
3. Start with the most vivid part of the dream.
4. Take note of any emotions you are feeling. Ask yourself if you are feeling these kinds of emotions in any part of your life (perhaps less intensely).
5. See if you can give a name to this part of the dream. It may be that you find a personal name (if so then over subsequent minutes, or years, you may get to know this person). It may be a quality – in which case ask about the presence or absence of this quality in your life at the moment. Another approach is to imagine writing this part of the dream and then giving a title to it. (Alternatively seeing it as a play, movie, sculpture or some other art form and giving it a name.)
6. Ask what would be perfect for this part of the dream. If this part of the dream is a person ask what would be ‘heaven on earth’ for this person.
7. Do these things for any parts of the dream you have strong feelings about (including a strong feeling that you would like to ignore it).
8. If two parts are in conflict or competing, make sure to do this process for both. If possible it can be helpful to have the different parts of the dream relate to each other. It is best if they can come to agreement or come together in some way.
[In one dream I had a shark and a scientist came together. The scientist melted into the shark and looked out through its eyes: I can spot the point of an argument that needs to be attacked and tear it apart, so that it becomes food for me. In another dream Tarzan agreed to look after his child companion: I found that I could care for the childlike part of me and not judge it harshly.]
I hope this isn’t too abstract. If so, please let me know in the comments. I have found that listening to my dreams can lead me to vivid insights as to what is happening in my life. If you have had vivid experiences from listening to your dreams I’d like to hear about them in the comments too.
Would you like to feel less stressed?
Could you do with more joy in your life?
The answer is living authentically. Buy the book or sign up for the course now from my Living Authentically website.