- Laboratory studies show a person normally dreams 5-8 times a night.
- Edgar Cayce claims that dreams, prayer, and meditation are the three main ways that our "Highest Self" contacts us with guidance. To ignore these tools can cause enormous stress.
- Understanding dreams can give solutions to such issues as a fear of heights, sexual inhibitions, or irrational thoughts, for example. Your own issues can be resolved once the proper interpretation is brought to light.
Dreaming is something that we all do no matter where we come from or how old we are. Did you know that 95-98% of our behavior is determined by the unconscious? From the days of Sigmund Freud to the present, researchers have been proving time and time again that our decisions and behaviors are greatly influenced by our unconcious. Is it any wonder why dreams are so important? If our behavior is governed by the unconscious and our dreams are coming from the unconscious, shouldn't we pay much closer attention to the messages they are relaying?
"The dreamer is ALWAYS dreaming about the dreamer" which simply means that you are always dreaming about yourself. The unconscious is speaking to us through our dreams with vivid stories and symbolic messages that re related to current events in our lives. Take a few minutes to observe that you dream. Are your dreams similar? Are they often sad or scary? Do you have recurring dreams? Do you ever wake up laughing from a dream? While our dreams can vary significantly, they can be easily interpreted when we take a few minutes to examine them.
Always write the dream down or record it into a tape recording device so that you will be able to review it when you are awake. How often have you woken up in the middle of the night after a very profound dream thinking that you will be able to remember the details only to find that in the morning the majority of the dream has escaped your memory? It happens to all of us*. From this point forward, try keeping a pad and pencil on your night table so that you can jot down the dream upon wakening. Very importantly, write down the emotion attached to the dream. Did it make you feel happy, sad, or afraid? Whatever it was, make sure you record the emotional aspect attached to the dream. By noting your dreams, you will be quite surprised to learn how much you are dreaming and what you are dreaming about.
The importance of what your unconcious is saying to you should never be undervalued. Learning how to interpret your dreams will give you amazing insight into your thoughts and feelings about current events in you life and may uncover many areas (fears, anxieties, and wishes - all kinds of hidden emotions) that you may have not been consciously aware of. Get ready to set out on a new journey of self-discovery and awareness! Embrace your dreams!
The following two dreams were told to me by a friend of min who is a Professor at a major university in the United Kingdom. Marianne, although very successful, has been feeling rather incompetent lately. Although an expert in her field of study (Art History), she was born and raised in Italy and while she speaks perfect English, never felt that her writing abilities were very good. She also does not need to use a computer very often and frequently complains about how intimidated the computer makes her feel. She is in the process of a career change after 25 years of teaching and has always dreamed of starting her own business and working on her own.
"In one of the dreams, President Obama comes to me and asks me how I am and what my plans are. He's being very charming and reassuring. I explain how incompetent I've been feeling and how intimidated I'm feeling toward this career change. Obama sits down with me and tells me the story of how he came from nowhere and is now one of the most powerful men in the world. He encourages me to move forward in my decision. A few weeks prior, I had a dream that Oprah Winfrey is my new next door neighbor. She comes over to help me work on my new business and is quite supportive. She gives me the support and incentive to continue to pursue my new career as a business woman.
Although these 2 dreams may seem rather simplistic, the message they are sending is one and the same: Go forward with confidence and lose your self-doubt over what you cannot do. President Obama, although coming from a very simple background, has become one of the most powerful men in the world. Oprah Winfrey, who cam from extremely humble beginnings, now reaches millions every day. Her information spreads like wildfire. Both dreams are showing my friend that yes, she can do it too. They are reinforcing any doubts she may have about her abilities (her feelings of incompetence) and urge her to go forward with great determination. Although on a conscious level, Marianne was feeling so badly, so insecure about how to start her new business, her unconscious is pushing her forward into a new world of accomplishing her dreams.
A female client of mine shares the following dream with me. Before I tell you about the dream, let me tell you a little bit about her. "Julie" is a single, 42 year old woman with a history of physical abuse, low self esteem, and a recovered substance abuser. Needless to say, she has been surrounded by fear the majority of her life and has been working very hard on herself.
"The dream begins with me running down a long hallway. The hallway is unfamiliar and there are numerous doors on both sides of the hall. All of the doors are closed. When I reach the end of the hallway, the door opens ever so slightly and what emerges is at once terrifying and yet in a way, strangely comical. It is a large bale of hay with arms and legs. There is not face, no neck - just arms and legs sticking out of the hay. Rather than being on the verge of hysteria, I start to laugh at the hay and it becomes smaller and walks away from me rather than toward me. I wake up slightly frightened, yet realize that this is not a nightmare, but almost kind of a silly and even a little ridiculous".
This is a very powerful and very good dream for Julie, Although at first the dream appears to be a nightmare, it ends up being rather silly and comical. Keep in mind that nightmares are the way of the unconscious to get our attention. Let me explain. Prior to this dream, Julie often had dreams involving being chased by monsters/strange looking creatures and running away from them while experiencing an enormous amount of fear. This recurring nightmare was never discussed in our sessions and it started occurring more frequently over the months that Julie was in therapy. When Julie and I started working on her dreams, her unconscious was able to let-up and no longer had to band so hard on the door to get her attention. What did the dream really say? Remember the dream is always about the dreamer and in this particular dream, Julie is dreaming of herself walking down a long hallway with many doors. The doors are representative if the many unknowns in Julie's future. She is going through many transitions right now - new job, new status (she is recently divorced) and is also looking for a new home. When Julie gets to the end of the hallway and the door opens, instead of finding a hideous creature chasing her, she finds a "straw-man" similar to the Scarecrow in the "Wizard of Oz", who was the epitome of kindness and loyalty. Her unconscious is telling her to stop being afraid of the unknown, to stop running away from fear, and to take time to laugh at the unexpected. The dream reinforces the positive changes that Julie is making in her life and assures her that she no linger has to feel so afraid.
A male patient of mine shared this dream with me a few years ago. Rick was suffering from depression. He had lost his job due to downsizing, his relationship with his partner was shaky, and in order to cope was eating more and exercising less. He tried many fad diets but nothing seemed to work. The more weight he gained, the more depressed he became. He felt out of control. In the dream, Rick buys a brand new Volkswagen that doesn't work. He tries to have it fixed but it just won't run and he feel angry and frustrated. He decides that if he had the right keys to the car, it might run properly so he searches for the keys all through the house. When he finally finds the keys, the car still won't run. He ends up returning the new car to the dealer. He wakes up feeling horrible and even more depressed.
The car is representative of the "Body" - the vehicle that carries you and lets you "run". One of Rick's major frustrations was about his physical appearance. The Volkswagen is representative of Rick's physical body. No matter how hard he tries to fix it, (through diets and exercise), he remains overweight and feels like he can't be "fixed". Searching for the keys in the house represents Rick searching for new ways to correct what he perceived is his biggest problem - losing weight with new diets, new exercise routines etc., the feeling that if only I had the right tools to make it run, it would work. The message is clear - rather than buying a new Volkswagen ( a new body), concentrate on the present "self". Forget the new diets, the new exercise. Focus less on new trends to fix the physical, and concentrate more on the inner-self. When Rick started working on his real issues (fear over his job loss, anxiety about relationship), the weight loss started happening without him even realizing it. Becoming whole on the inside changed his need to overcompensate with food, and the results were amazing! Again, the unconscious spoke volumes: going out and buying a new "self" isn't going to change anything, Instead, stop what isn't working and look inside at what can be fixed.