Simple Tips to Understanding Dreams
It’s been said an unobserved life isn’t worth living. The same holds true for unobserved dreams. Dreams reflect our inner selves. They mirror back big juju going on in our lives and as such, observing dreams can give us an inside track about our most authentic, pure, deepest inner landscapes. That’s why understanding dreams is such a big deal.
Imagine you’re reading a wicked-awesome book. The images and plot are so riveting! To your dismay, you discover somebody came along and ripped out random pages throughout the book. Your missing crucial parts of this vivid world described in the book! That’s a close analogy to ignoring our dreams. Making the effort to understanding dreams reveals full-bodied treasures and opens a deep dialogue with our souls.
Our lives are complex, rich and diverse. Understanding dreams is like having those missing pages. Dream meaning and interpretation can fill in the blanks of our lives and provide more substance and brilliance to our experiences. With a goal to be our truest, most whole selves, I’m offering a few simple tips to understanding dreams. I hope these tips help you to get the full story of your beautiful life and your beautiful self.
Six Simple Steps to Understanding Dreams
1) Record it
Keep a notebook or a recording device by your bedside and record your dreams the moment you wake up. Do not delay because dreams are so whispy; the moment we engage in activity, dreams begin to blow right out of our memories. Record your dreams in small bits – it doesn’t have to be overwhelming detail. Odds are, if you record just the meaty bits of the dream, your memory can recall the rest. Record what seemed most important to you. Interestingly, studies have shown the process of recording our dreams actually helps us find meaning in them. The analytical mind becomes engaged with the creative mind, and this marriage creates new understandings.
2) Summarize it
After you’ve recorded your dream, take a few moments to jot down single words that best describe the overall feel of the dream. You can do this upon waking or as you go through the day. After you’ve safely recorded your dream, your perceptions of it may morph as you go about your day. Keep track (in a notebook or via a recording device) of the single words you’d pick to describe the pervasive feel of the dream. For example, if you were being chased in a dream, you might choose “panic” as one word to describe the whole feeling of the dream.
3) Compare it
By now, you are starting to concretize the feeling of the dream. By recording the dream and then putting single-word identifications on the feeling of the dream, you are fleshing out the dream and it is taking on substantial meanings. Now you can begin to compare the feelings and events in your dreams with those you experience in waking life. For example, if you were chased in your dream, think of instances in your waking, everyday life that make you feel the same way you felt as you did whilst being chased in your dream. By comparing dream feelings with “real-life” waking feels we begin the gap between two worlds – the conscious and subconscious worlds. And when we do this, dream meanings inevitably follow.
4) Revisit and Observe it
Revisit your dream and observe the people, places, activities, and events in your dream. Pay special attention to the people and animals in your dreams. What are they doing? What do they look like? What colors are dominant in the dream? What kind of activities are taking place? What is the season in the dream? Just play around in a free-associative way with the various elements in your dream. You can write down these thoughts, or merely ruminate in a “daydream” sort of way. Doing this will cause profound meanings to surface in your conscious mind.
5) Self-project it
After you have taken stock of the different people and/or animals in your dream, imagine these people are you. For example, if the main player in your dream is a yellow dog, imagine this dog is you. What does that mean to you? What was the dog doing that you also do? I’m taking this straight from the dream master, Dr. Carl Jung, who proposed everything in our dream is actually a projection of the Self. That means a mother in your dreams is actually the mothering aspect of you. The yellow dog in your dreams is the loyal aspect of yourself. That is, if you subscribe to dogs being man/woman’s best friend. If you have a phobia about dogs, the dream is speaking to a fearful or attacking aspect of yourself.
6) Putting it all together
If you’ve followed steps 1-5, you now have a great overall outline of your dream. Now you will put all of your recordings, impressions, single-word associations, observations and self-projections together. Invest in quiet time alone as you ponder all your dream interpretations. Ask your spirit guides to help you with interpreting dream meanings too – they often communicate through dreams and are happy to help with interpretations.
I hope you have enjoyed these simple suggestions and tips to understanding dreams. If you liked this article, check out the links below to other dream-related material that you might find helpful on your journey into Dreamland. As always, thanks for reading, and sweet dreams!
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