A great way to do self-healing is through insights from your dreams. It takes persistence because listening to and understanding dreams is not a skill we learn these days.
Why learn this skill?
- Dreams come from your own wisdom. You and your higher power deliver a message from you to you. It is empowering.
- It uses or wakes up a part of the brain that enriches your life – the creative side.
- You may begin to use this ability to intuitively understand what is going on in your waking life.
My dreams introduced themselves to me when I was doing some therapy in the mid-nineties and were incredibly helpful. I was hooked and became a “dream worker.” I’ve posted examples of my dreams interpretations below.
A few thoughts:
You will probably tell me that you don’t dream. You do. You just don’t remember them.
Dreams seem meaningless. They are not. They just use a language we aren’t fluent in – symbols.
Quoting Jeremy Taylor’s Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, “all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness.”
Interested in trying this out?
First, you must remember your dreams.
- Put a notebook and pen by your bed.
- Tell yourself before you go to sleep that you’d like to remember your dreams.
- When you remember a dream or dream fragment, write it down. If you don’t, you won’t remember it. Writing it down saves it to your memory “hard drive” – if you don’t write it down, it’s like typing a Word document and then closing it without saving it.
- Repeat as necessary.
Next, you have to jump into the fun world of symbols.
Dream Interpretation Book
Dreams communicate with pictures, puns, symbols, metaphors and analogies. Get a decent dream meaning/interpretation book to get started.
My favorite dream interpretation book is
Dreaming Remembering * Interpreting * Benefiting
by Derek & Julia Parker.
Use the book as a guide; not the only meaning. Go with your own sense of what something means. One person might dream of dogs and think they represent a friend who’s a lot of fun; someone may see them as scary because in real life, a dog killed their cat.
Look for puns – double meanings for words or words that sound the same but mean different things. George Carlin’s phrase “Atheism is a non-prophet institution” is a great pun. (My healing story used a pun.)
Titles and Thoughts
Give your dream a title. Write down your thoughts about the people, emotions and other things in your dream. See if this review sparks some connection to a situation you’re dealing with in waking life.
Find a Friend
Link up with a friend you trust. After sharing a dream say, “If this were my dream,…” and tell them what comes to mind. Sometimes it resonates but sometimes it’s not quite right. After hearing your friend’s interpretation, you might say, “No, I think it reminds me of a situation at work/at home” and you’re on your way.
Dr. Delaney’s Dream Interview Technique – I call it the “I am an alien technique”
If you need insight into a person or object in the dream, use the technique I learned from Dr. Gayle Delaney.
Say you dreamed about riding on a bus but got off before your stop. Have your friend say, I’m an alien and I have no idea what “buses” are. Please explain them to me. So you do. Then have your friend say, using the same words you just did, Do “big vehicles that drive people around on a set schedule over a set route for very little cost” remind you of anything in your life?
Oh yeah, you might say, the job I have with a large corporation sets the time I come in and the things I do every day – not much change in routine – for very little money.
What is the dream saying about your job? Do you want to get off the bus and go in a different direction, metaphorically speaking?
The Light Bulb Effect
When you’ve got the interpretation right, you know it – it literally clicks in place. Picture the light bulb over the comic strip character’s head.
Real Dream Examples
Walking the dogs
I dreamed that I was walking my dogs and noticing how much they loved the exercise. I was pondering the dream and realized that they represented my physical body. It was telling me that it craved more exercise outside! I ended up adjusting my exercise routine.
And I also learned that my body has a separate consciousness that can communicate its issues with me if I listen. Did you know that dreams can tell you about symptoms or illnesses your body is dealing with?
I had a dream in which I was following my mom in a car. Driving always means to me the direction I’m going in life, how I’m getting there (car? bus? motorcycle?) and who’s in charge of getting me there – who’s the driver.
In this case, it wasn’t that my mother was running my life – she wasn’t like that. Following my mom in the dream told me I was still using childish beliefs about what I would do with my life. I hadn’t yet developed my own direction; I needed to think more deeply about what the right direction was for me.
Dreams are not for the faint of heart as they sometimes use unacceptable imagery to get your attention.
“Pissed off” is a term my mother disliked, and in the US, it means “angry.” Since my dream couldn’t say, “you’re angry,” it used this phrase visually. It was awful; urine all over the place. It was reporting that my anger was out of control. In my waking life, I started acknowledging my anger and looked for better ways to deal with it than taking it out on others indiscriminately.
Garbage disposal volcano
In another dream, I saw that all the food that had been put down the garbage disposal erupting out of the sink like a volcano. At this time, I had stopped overeating and was having a really hard time with it.
The dream helped me understand that my overeating had pushed uncomfortable emotions into my gut so I didn’t have to deal with them. Now that I had stopped overeating, the emotions were coming up forcefully. It was a great metaphor for me!
Again, this helped me understand what was happening in waking life. I was able to forgive myself as I learned to handle the return of emotions I had suppressed through overeating.
In the last few years, I’ve woken up with song lyrics in my head – a shorthand version of a dream. I’ll leave you to ponder the implication of the latest song I woke up to – AWOLNATION’S Kill Your Heroes, which says,
“Never let your fear decide your fate.”
A Healing Story
This section will feature stories about healing modalities and experiences. If any of my clients want to provide a story, please contact me and we’ll share your story.
Did you know that you can ask your dreams a question and get an answer?
It’s called dream incubation.
When my children were in grade school, I did a lot of yelling in the morning. I was trying to get everyone out the door in time for school and work.
I asked my dream for some insight into why I was yelling all the time. I really didn’t want to have those kind of mornings with my kids.
I dreamed that I was in a house in Russia meeting with a number of women.
Now what does that have to do with yelling at your kids in the morning?
So I looked for the puns.
A house in Russia ->
A Russian house ->
A RUSHING house!
My dream told me we were trying to get too much done in too little time – we were rushing.
I started looking at what we could do the night before to be more prepared.
Obvious, right? Not to me until I had help from my dream.
More preparation the night before resulted in less yelling in the morning.