Your Dreams Have a Lot to Say!
Imagine you have a close friend who truly loves and knows you better than anyone else, but can only communicate by playing a game of charades. This is a good description of your subconscious mind. It thinks in pictures, myths and metaphors. Although many dream symbols tend to be universal, your dream images are unique to you. Your subconscious sends you these images—like smoke signals from the deeper mind—because it knows what these images mean to you and how they make you feel.
It’s common to dream about water. Water represents how you feel about the subconscious itself and the world of emotion. Swimming is often related to our feelings about our sexuality. Are the waters clean or murky? Is swimming a pleasure or do you struggle to avoid drowning?
Do you dream about a house? A house is often a symbol of our own mind, particularly when it has several floors which often describe the state of our conscious and subconscious minds and the higher self. Driving in a car can represent what our life journey feels like. Is the drive dangerous? Are you bogged down in bumper to bumper traffic? Or is it a smooth, uplifting journey? The state of the car represents our personality and/or physical vehicle and how well it is running and how we feel about it.
There are several ways to unravel your own dream symbolism. First, look for metaphors or figures of speech translated into images. I once dreamed I was introducing my then boyfriend to my father. In the dream the boyfriend was about 18 inches tall and I had to almost lie on the floor beside him to present him. The dream was saying that this man had no real stature. It was telling me that he wasn’t as great as he seemed. Over and over again in my life and the lives of my clients I have seen dreams illuminate the reality of our intimate relationships and foretell their future outcomes.
Another way to analyze a dream is to write it down. Write every dream image in a long column on one side of a page. Forget about the dream and instead read each word separately; for example: horse, bridge, river, fog, sky and ogre. Quickly, without analyzing or censoring your thoughts, write the first three words or phrases that come to mind beside each dream image word. When you look at your list of words, the story that emerges may amaze you. For the horse you might have written freedom, uncertainty and risk. For the ogre you might have written, grumpy, sad and professor so-and-so at school. Suddenly the dream unravels, telling you about your life at college and how to handle that experience in a new way. Most dreams are symbolic messages from the subconscious that can teach you about yourself and your life.
There are four other types of dreams that can be distinguished from our regular dreams once we have become accustomed to analyzing those. Some dreams are literally prophetic and what we dreamed of happens just the way it did in our dream. Dreams of flying, often where we feel we are swimming through the air, are sometimes astral travel dreams. Occasionally they have mixtures of dream images included, but they are often not just regular dreams. Sometimes we dream of another person whom we are actually sharing and communicating with in our sleep. I call these contact dreams, and sometimes they accompany astral dreams. Other times we are talking to the person who is right in front of us, while at the same time texting or talking to them on the phone. This is another example of the subconscious mind’s use of metaphors—we really are having distant contact with this person.
The final, rarer type of dream occurs when we are replaying a memory from a previous lifetime. Past life dreams tend to be recurring dreams and often have a sense of realism to them—no ogres or pink elephants. These dreams can give us clues to heal past life traumas or to bring past gifts and talents into our current life experience.