Are You Dreaming? By Guest Writer, Lois Weber
Every night most of us enter a dream state and have the opportunity to receive guidance, messages, insight and inspiration through the dream images and story we experience. While it may seem like mysterious territory we have entered, it is possible to glean and decipher meaning.. Dreams have fascinated me for much of my life. For many years, I was mostly amused by the images and stories that came forward during my sleep time. I would tell a friend a dream and ask if they thought it was funny or weird as I did. It took several dream workshops, time with a counseling minister, and reports from clients I saw for massage therapy and Reiki for me to gain deep respect for their value. Over time, I saw that they seemed to come from a very loving place within and with a willingness to assist one’s journey and healing. I found that many dreams were affirming my choices about life and love. Some gave insight into perplexing situations that were invaluable in keeping me from reacting too soon. Some that seemed initially as entertainment left me with vivid pictures of how amazing life is.
Many theories abound about the origin of dreams and their purpose. Some might say that the source for the dreams is God while others claim that the mind is just clearing out from the mental processes of the day. Carl Jung is probably the most quoted person about dream symbols. Last year I met a man named Stanley Krippner, a psychologist, who has spent much of his career studying dreams and dreamers. He was an amazing man, well traveled and educated with a simplistic approach to dreams. He would give suggestions for flushing out the meaning of a dream and encourage us to notice what images in the dream caught our attention or spoke to the heart. During a weekend workshop, he gave each dream shared a place of honor and merit for giving insight that might help the dreamer. His patient and careful attention and gently probing questions would allow the dreamer to look at the dream from all sides. With his guidance, the dreamer could see those aspects, images or feelings that were the core of the dream’s message. Every image or feeling in the dream can have some piece of information for us and each person in the dream may represent a part of the self or a quality in someone we know that our own inner self wants to strengthen…or let go of. Even a fragment of a dream can bring forth an aha! moment.
Usually, the intentional attention to the dream life strengthens the frequency and recall. There are many resources for learning more about dream interpretations and some of them are very good. I tend to not like the dictionary-type ones as they are a little too black and white in their interpretations. I do like these two in particular by Connie Kaplan: The Woman’s Book of Dreams, Dreaming as a Spiritual Practice and Dreams Are Letters From The Soul, Discover The Connections Between Your Dreams and Your Spiritual Life.
In some cultures, dreams are shared at the breakfast table as a way of connecting and understanding the inner life of family members. In ancient times, one waited until they had a dream and the healing path would be contained or prescribed in the dream. I have participated in a Dream Circle for several years. A person shares a dream and then one by one the rest of the group shares impressions or responses to the dream. We stay away from making an analysis or assigning meaning. We are simply listening for a theme or feeling or possible pattern being revealed. A friend was in a dream group who started their response to a shared dream by saying, “If it were my dream…” Sharing dreams allows us to glean just a little more than when we are on our own. Really, in the end, you are the only one who can say what the dream means but it can be helpful to share with a friend or therapist for expanding on your first hints of meaning.
You may be one who recalls dreams frequently or you may believe you never dream. We all dream and usually, it’s nightly unless we are especially stressed or just not settling into restful sleep. Writing down the dream as soon as we recall it can help capture the images. I continue to notice my dreams and believe they sometimes help me to see something I was not noticing or paying attention to. At other times, they give me an expanded view of the world and my place in it and I am filled with a sense of gratitude. They also inspire me to see that perhaps the seemingly impossible challenge or idea really is possible! Perhaps we dream while asleep that we may dream bigger for our waking life. I like that idea. Maybe we are all dreaming to wake up more, dreaming so we don’t miss the hugeness and sacredness of life, and dreaming to give us hope and to have hope for the world. I wish you a good night’s sleep and a dream to explore. Enjoy the exploration and may you be amazed and possibly led to deeper healing and wholeness!□
Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master
Owner, The Remembering Place
Gretna NE 68028
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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