Dreams: Windows to Understanding Yourself

 Originated from an interview in the Huffington Post, with Stephanie Hallett, September 2017


Dreams are mysterious, curious, sometimes promising and other times troubling. Most people love to solve mysteries and know themselves better, and so dreams are a window to yourself and your intuitive wisdom. There is a wonderful example in the 2016 movie A Monster Calls. When the lead actor has a recurring scary dream, the entire movie is built around how he learns the lesson of the dream.

Yet it does not usually take two hours, the length of a movie, to understand what a dream is telling you. While you can take each dream symbol apart and analyze it, the main idea is to understand that the dream represents you – the subconscious and unconscious parts of you. So if you dream of a house, what kind of a house is it – does it need to be repainted (outer need for improvement) have leaky pipes (too emotional) poor wiring (negative thinking)? Or is it a beautiful home with a lovely garden reflecting how your life is going beautifully or how you are attracting that to yourself? Spiritual Fitness

It’s important to take each symbol in the dream and see if/how it reflects you. Sometimes the most unlikely dreams mean something fascinating that we would never expect! Dream symbolism can be very helpful, but only in combination with a full look at how the symbol occurs in the dream. So if there is a baby in the dream, which means a new project or idea, what is happening to the baby?  Is it starving (neglecting some aspect of your life) or laughing (experiencing a happy outcome)?

Classic dreams are of being late for work, and not knowing how to get there or not being prepared. Sometimes this same dream occurs with not feeling prepared for a final exam. These dreams suggest that someone is experiencing fear of some kind of failure or negative outcome. Dreams of falling or of trying to run or scream and feeling unable indicate fears of not being able to communicate about someone important or even critical or can mean a fear of losing control. Other times a dream of being lost can indicate that a person is lacking in direction. Dreams of another person may suggest something about your relationship with them or may relate to aspects of them that currently relate to you.

Since dreams can be reflections of unfinished thoughts from the day, at times they can feel like jibberish. But if you are thinking of a problem or question you want to solve, when you are falling to sleep, they can be very telling! Don’t ignore anything that comes up in a dream when you go to sleep in these focused states. Because anything can be relevant. A young person that I knew dreamed of a problem he was having at work, and deliberately focused on it when he fell asleep. He dreamed of an elderly person in the business and an alarm clock. The dream, once interpreted, revealed that he was having the problem of not having the respect of peers, due to his young age (the senior member of the team and the clock designating time/age, in his personal symbolism). These symbols would likely mean something different for another person.

Recurring Dreams are trying to get your attention.  After the dream occurs multiple times, it becomes hard to ignore. And once you pay attention, and you resolve what they are telling you, you will not likely have the dream again.

Dreams represent fears, wishes and remnants of the day’s thoughts and experiences. When I help clients or individuals in workshops see how the elements and themes of the dream relate to their life, I start by using a series of questions about the dream. And people gain a great deal of insight into their struggles and the solutions to those struggles through their dreams! One good technique for having productive and helpful dreams is to clear your mind before falling asleep to remove remnants of the day and focus on deeper dream revelations. See Meditation and Relaxation for an effective way to clear your mind before sleep.

You can deliberately program dreams to gain information from the subconscious. Books such as Living Your Dreams by Gayle Delaney offer these methods is a very effective way. And Dream Dictionaries by Tony Crisp, J. Cirlot and Gustavus Hindman Miller offer specific symbolism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *