I first learned about a great way to analyze dreams several years ago, but didn’t make much use of it at the time. Lately, though, every time I turn around, someone says: “I just had the strangest dream and I think it had something to say to me. I wish I knew.”
And so we plunge in and analyze, knowing that the symbols in dreams are very individual per dreamer and it is our job to open them up to reveal their secrets.
And guess what? It turns out that I have a special gift for dream analysis—I love it and I’m really good at it. I find it’s another great tool for personal growth and freedom we intuitives can use.
I’m going to spell out the methodology below; perhaps you’ll find you have a knack for it as well. But if not, or if you want to validate your own findings, I would be pleased to work with you. I’ll tell you more at the end of this email.
You can analyze any dream and it will reveal something to you. It’s a deep and time-consuming process, but well worth doing when you have “that feeling.” You know, that sense that there is a message there somewhere, even though the dream doesn’t make sense to you now.
If you aren’t remembering your dreams, you can consciously set out to change that. Put a journal and pen right next to your bed. Before you go to sleep, tell yourself, “I will remember my dreams.” And when you wake up—at whatever time—immediately review and write down any dreams or dream fragments. Don’t assume you’ll remember them for long, no matter how vivid. Write it down now!
I have come to the conclusion that our dreams are symbolic messages from our higher selves, not from the lower sub-conscious (whatever that really is). Even if the dream is troubling or violent, don’t assume that it is just bad feelings being expressed. And don’t be afraid to find out. If you have that feeling about the dream, there’s a higher message in there that you want to receive. And if it’s a recurring dream—well, that’s obvious, isn’t it? Find out what it means!
The Dream Analysis Process
I learned this basic technique from a book: Steering by Starlight by Martha Beck. I was on a business trip some years ago, checked into the hotel, tired from the trip, but suddenly felt I just had to go to a book store. So I drove out to the local mall, walked into the store and ran my hand across the books out on a table. When I reached this one, my hand stopped.
I read the book and enjoyed it, but frankly, it wasn’t really significant to me at the time. But now, years later, people suddenly started asking me about their dreams and I remembered there was a technique in that book. (Does that happen to you? You buy a book and it sits on your shelf or doesn’t impress you deeply at the time, and years later, it is exactly what you need? It happens to me a lot!)
So here’s the technique, as updated with what I learned in my own personal experiences:
1. Write down the dream.
I’ll use a recent one from my client, Lynn. She’s walking up a hill, carrying a child. The child is so heavy, Lynn is stumbling and not sure she’ll make it. She doesn’t know why she has to carry the child, just that she does. She finally has to set the child down and rest before she can continue her climb.
2. Go back through your description and pick out the major symbols: people, actions, places, things, whatever feels important.
3. Write down each symbol and describe it in a few words.
Three descriptive words or phrases are good, but there’s no firm rule about that. In Lynn’s dream, she described the hill as rocky, steep and difficult to climb. The child she was carrying was a young girl, heavy and sound asleep.
4. Now, go through all the symbols again. This time, step into the symbol; be the symbol. Then ask the symbol: What is your purpose in this dream? How are you trying to help the dreamer (me)?
Don’t worry about the precise question or whether the answer matches exactly what you asked. Just ask and then write down the very first thing that comes to you, even if it doesn’t make sense now. This is not about engaging your rational mind. This is about using your intuition to engage your higher self, so capture that first impression right away.
When I do this with a client, we each write down our intuitive hits and then compare. The dreamer’s intuition counts most, because you are the one who truly knows what this symbol means. But sometimes you get confused by fear or doubt, and the impression of another intuitive can be helpful. If the symbol does not want to reveal itself at this point, you could try questioning some aspect of the symbol, like the shape or color. Or you could let it go for now and see if the next step will open it to you.
It is OK to expand upon the dream. As you go through the analysis, you may notice details that you didn’t capture when you first described the dream. Go with the flow. Perhaps your higher self is kicking in and supplying you with even more information right now to help you receive the message.
In Lynn’s dream, the hill said it was there to help her find her way and go where she wanted to go. As for the girl, Lynn suddenly realized she was not just asleep; she was unconscious. That was all we could learn about her at that point.
5. Now go through all the symbols yet again. This time, as you step into the symbol, ask it: what aspect of the dreamer’s waking life do you symbolize?
In Lynn’s dream, the hill said it was the path Lynn wanted to walk, the enterprise she was working to build. The girl said: I am you, your inner child.
6. At this point, it is often immediately obvious what the dream is saying to you. If not, retell the story, substituting the symbolic meanings.
Lynn’s dream was clear: She’s trying to build a new company, but she is carrying the heavy burden of her unconscious inner child. She needs to set her down before she can complete her journey and reach the success she is seeking.
The symbols often seem obscure at the beginning of the analysis and do not all want to reveal their truth to you. Then, as you go through the process, you can feel it begin to shift; you can feel the dream wanting to reveal itself. At this point, feel free to go back and readdress any symbols that were a bit stubborn in the beginning, if they seem significant. Or, as was the case with Lynn, when you suddenly understand the message, the details are not necessarily important.
Let your intuition guide you as to what matters and what does not. This is your dream and your higher self. Somewhere inside, you know the message that wants to be delivered to you.
Your Life as Dream
I once studied meditation for a week with Deepak Chopra and David Simon. David Simon started the week by having us sing the well-known round:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
He suggested that when we die, it is like waking up. You rub your eyes, shake away your sleep and say: “Wow, what a dream I just had!”
Now, as then, this strikes me as an entirely possible scenario. It is possible that in this life, you are both a Dreamer and a Dream Walker. As the Dreamer, you are your higher self, the creator of the dream. As the Dream Walker, you are here in your physical body living out the dream through this physical experience.
Think about the dreams you have when you are sleeping. Don’t they seem absolutely real when you are in the middle of the dream? It’s only when you wake up, that you realize you were dreaming.
What Does it Mean?
If you allow yourself to follow this train of thought, of Life as Dream, you will see that it explains a lot of things. Coincidence and serendipity are very difficult to explain in a physical world with physical laws, but incredibly common in dreams. Miracles, so amazing in real life, are everyday occurrences in dreams, aren’t they?
And if this is so, if this life is a dream you are having, then the people, places and events of this life are probably symbols that carry meaning, a message that the Dreamer is trying to pass on to the Dream Walker.
Try it Out
Write down the primary drivers in your life as if they were symbols in a dream. Then go through the Dream Analysis Process above, but using the symbols of your physical life.
For example, you wonder why you lost that job. Identify the job and perhaps your boss and coworkers as symbols and ask them what they are trying to help you understand. Ask each symbol you identify if it has a higher message for you. Put it in the context of your story and the other symbols in your life, your family members, your work and house.
And of course, as you do this, be within your intuitive self to receive the answers.
Is It True?
Is this life a dream? And if so, I need to ask: are you only an aspect of my dream? Or are you an actual outside presence and our dreams are overlapping? We can’t really say, can we?
I can say that when I have gone through this Life as Dream exercise with friends and clients, the “real-life” symbols do reveal themselves, just as in a dream. And the answers they reveal can be deeply insightful. The overall feeling when you complete the analysis is one of relief. Regardless of what may be true, looking at life this way allows you to view things more at a distance, so that an overwhelming problem may show itself to be a communication for your greater understanding or a catalyst for necessary change.
If you’re one of those people who likes to say “Everything happens for a reason,” this should work well for you. For in this context, everything that happens is symbolic and meaningful and wants to reveal its meaning to you.
So we ask, what can I do if I don’t like the dream I am living? We can wake up! That has to be the answer, to shake ourselves awake and enter the state of the Dreamer instead of the Dream Walker. Ah, yes, in fact that’s exactly what we are working toward as we walk our spiritual path, isn’t it? For what is enlightenment, if not an awakening?
Give dream analysis a try. Try it on your sleeping dreams and your life itself. You may find it as fascinating and important as I have.
If you would like my help in analyzing your significant dream or your Life as Dream, I would be so honored to be of assistance!
Just sign up for a Private Session and we’ll schedule a phone call. I’m including a link, to make it easier for you. I’m pleased to extend you my lowest rate, which is $111 per hour.
(If that link doesn’t work for you, then cut/paste this: http://www.1shoppingcart.com/SecureCart/SecureCart.aspx?mid=0F2344DA-C63D-4632-8C15-F38EEACB2249&pid=ac2c89670f644e3991f0dadaed29d109 )
And now, start capturing those dreams in your journal. Your higher self has so much to tell you!
Love & Peace,