Our dreams tell us a lot. Sometimes the brain is simply uploading and organizing information while we sleep, and this is one of the reasons why sleep is critical to our overall wellbeing. However, our dreams can also give us insight to our internal workings when we are processing information from our waking life. If you are trying to sort out an emotional situation or if you are ignoring something, the brain and subconscious have a way of bringing you to attention by sending you a whopper of a dream. Some people experience recurring dreams. Some experience chasing, scary or euphoric hero dreams. All of this is your subconscious sorting out situations and input from your waking life.
The study of dream analysis has been varied over the years. In ancient Egypt and Greece, dreams were seen as a supernatural communication or as a means of divine intervention. In Europe toward the end of the 19th century, dreams were used as an integral part of psychoanalysis, and the perceived content of those dreams was said to reveal the latent meaning to the psyche of the dreamer (Sigmund Freud’s work The Interpretation of Dreams is a famous and relevant example of dream interpretation.)
While I believe that dreams offer us some juicy symbolism for our waking lives, I also like the word “dream” for how we see our lives unfolding. Our hopes and aspirations are also “dreams.” When I was younger, I had a number of dreams: go to college, grad school, get married, have a couple of children, own a home, etc. I have achieved all of those dreams, yet I still see my complete dream as unfulfilled. I continue to expand the idea of that dream and fill it in with some very interesting and fun experiences, new people and brighter outlook.
How do you feel about your dreams? Are they still alive? Have you ever felt like your dream was shattered? I have. When my marriage ended, I had to examine what my dream was, why it felt shattered into a million bits, and whether my dream was really my own, or something I had worked toward because I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing. I have since learned that my dreams were tied into what I believed I was supposed to be doing, what I believed I should dream of. I had coffee with an amazing coach, Margie Warrell, and she said we all need to stop “should-ing on” ourselves. The moment we use the word “should” we are already wrong, because “should” automatically places judgment on ourselves or others.
I want to tie this to dreams because as my life unfolds, I open myself to all the possibilities and watch everything come together, I recognize that when I stopped “should-ing on” myself and allowing myself to dream of what I really want, I started to feel free. That freedom has allowed me to expand my dreams and aspirations. Now my dream includes expanding my business, helping people change their lives, hopes for my children, our life together and a whole host of future experiences.
Would you like to fulfill your dreams? How can you do that? I can help you get the ball rolling, with a few easy steps. What lies ahead might seem somewhat disjointed, but I assure you that you will enjoy changes and see results almost immediately if you open your mind and heart to creatively choosing a new path for yourself.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” - James Dean
1. Dream big. Write down what you want from life. Be adventurous, bold and aim high. Write it out with specifics like places you want to visit, things you want to see, the salary you know you deserve and how you envision your life in the bigger picture. When we put it down on paper, it becomes more real to us. You can get more specific by setting mini-goals to keep you going, or keep it big picture, stretched-out across the horizon.
2. Pay attention to your dreams. Your dreams can shed a lot of light on your waking life. If you have a very symbolic dream that leaves you scratching your head, write it out and jot down your thoughts on what it could mean in your life. I often refer to a dream analysis website when I have a crazy dream that needs some more thought, and I pulled some basic symbolism for you to shed some light on your own dreams:
Recurring Dreams: indicates unresolved issues or unhealthy patterns
Nightmares: suggests that there is an unresolved issue with emotional or frightening content, perhaps a health issue you have been avoiding
Chasing Dreams: a metaphor for some type of insecurity. You are avoiding a situation you think is not conquerable
Animals: your own physical characteristics, primitive desires or sexual nature, depending on the animal.
3. Try lucid dreaming. Lucid dreams occur when you are somewhere between asleep and awake. In a lucid dream, you can actively participate in, and manipulate, imaginary experiences in the dream. You can confront perceived threats and improve your self-confidence. Using lucid dreams can help you sort out a problem from your waking life and visualize and practice asking for what you want and need - practice a speech, prepare for an event, ask for a raise, etc.
Set high goals for yourself, give yourself permission to touch and embrace your dreams. Be mindful of what your subconscious is telling you while you sleep. Use the symbolism to sort out issues you may have buried that need attention. Your dreams can guide you to your better path, to the life you want, if you are willing to listen and take action to change your life.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.