Our dreams can be deeply powerful intuitive messengers that hold keys and clues to our deepest selves. Far beyond their ability to amuse or terrify us, they hold a profound communication system that when we learn to understand we can use to heal and transform our lives.
Most times it is the frightening, confusing or worrisome dreams that cause us the most concern and when those doozies hit us in the wee hours of the night, we often wake, jolted from our sleep wondering, ‘What the heck does THAT mean?’
Here are some powerful yet simple steps to begin deciphering the intuitive messages held in your dreams. It is helpful to do this work with a pen and paper and write down everything you notice as you go through the process. If at all possible, do this interpretation before you get out of bed, so the energy and the imagery of the dream that has caught your attention are fresh and accessible in your mind and body.
#1. What is the energetic foundation of your dream?
What is the predominant emotion, feeling or sensation that was generated by your dream? Was it fear, frustration, worry, anxiety, terror, helplessness? Delight, passion, ecstasy, freedom, joy? Try to get as precise as you can at identifying it.
The reality is; the dream did not produce these emotions, feelings or situations, the emotions, feelings and energies produced the dream. The energy at the root of the dream is being held and replayed by your subconscious mind to be brought to the surface to be acknowledged, released or healed.
#2. Witness the foundational emotion.
When you identify the energy at the foundation of your dream; witness it. That is, observe the fact that this energy or emotion is there and it is real. But instead of saying, “I AM afraid. Or I AM angry. Or I AM frustrated,” say to yourself … “There is fear here, or there is worry here, or there is anxiety here.” Accept that this energy is in fact present in you and that it is there to teach you, but that it is NOT you. It is simply energy needing to be moved.
This shifts you into the position of ‘observer’ instead of ‘experiencer’. This simple yet powerful shift in perspective, allows you to witness the energy that the dream has brought to the surface without allowing it to take over and run the show, which it may be doing to some degree in your waking life anyway. Your dream life is only another reflection of where that hidden energy is having its way with you without your awareness.
Observing instead of becoming the energy allows us to regain our position of personal autonomy and we can then exercise our Free Will instead of having the patterns of hidden emotion continue to run as a disempowering loop.
Stay with this observation for a few minutes and write down what you notice.
#3. What is the symbolism that the dream carries?
Dreams are rarely direct and they are more rarely predictive. (Although they can be, so don’t throw the baby out with the bath water on that one) But because they are messages from our subconscious mind, they are more commonly symbolic, so they need to be interpreted via our personal and unique creative awareness, in order to find their deeper meaning.
For example: you may have a dream that you have a cancerous tumor somewhere in your body, or you are being chased or are falling or are being held against your will. Or you may have lost something very important to you, or you are the only waiter in a restaurant full of people, you can’t use the computer AND you are naked. (THAT was a big one for me in my waitress days)
Write down the story being told in your dream then ask yourself, “What does this situation symbolize to me?” Without analyzing or thinking about it, allow the ideas and thoughts connected to that question to flow. You may get, “I am afraid I am going to die without getting to do what I truly want to do with my life. I am afraid I am going to lose love. I am feeling a lack of control or safety. Or I don’t believe I have what it takes to be good at what I do.”
Whatever comes up for you; is correct for you. Allow those interpretations to have truth and meaning and allow them to BE without the need or desire to pick them apart as right or wrong, true or false or fact or folly.
Take a moment to just sit with what you have brought to the surface. Allow it to take shape within your awareness. Often times these discoveries will reveal a deeply hidden and subconscious belief that has been running for a very long time without your awareness – and the reason it is coming to the surface now, is because you are NOW in a position to do something about it.
Our limiting subconscious beliefs have great power in our lives when we are unaware of them. Becoming aware of them immediately shifts the base of power from unconscious to conscious … and once things are conscious they can be healed.
Once you have discovered this hidden pattern, decide for yourself if you want it to continue to be true for you or not. If the answer is ‘no’, which it usually is, then give yourself permission to let that pattern go and then decide …
#4. What action can you take in your waking life that can help to break this pattern apart?
Healing our lives or making any physical change always begins internally. But it only becomes real as we take action both internally AND externally. Ask yourself what inspired action can you take, today, that you have 100% control over, that will help you break apart the old limitations.
It might be to start writing what you really want to say in a journal, script or book outline. It might be signing up for a class that you have always been afraid of or making a phone call to initiate a conversation that you know needs to happen. Whatever comes to mind for you, is appropriate for you. But once you discover that conscious action, you must take it, for it is a crucial key to establishing new patterns that will determine your ability to heal or succeed.
Dreaming with our eyes open.
Our dreams do not have to be random frightening experiences over which we have no control. Once they are recognized as the powerful messengers that they are, we can start using our dream time as powerful healing time. When we learn how to recognize and use the power of the wisdom revealed to us when our eyes are closed, we can apply it to creating the life of our dreams when our eyes are open.