Dreams! We all have them. Some of us dream of peace and quiet, others of riches and fame. We dream of cool waters and whispering winds, of wealth beyond comprehension, of love, care, joy, health and happiness. In our dreams we fly, are young and energetic, meet fate and make friends with it.
In other dreams we meet the dark: we fall into endless darkness; we face monsters and dark corners; we see death and experience fear. We may awake with terror or find ourselves wet with cold sweat in the wee hours of the morning.
Everybody dreams. Dreaming is a vitally important part of our daily rhythm. Without it we wouldn’t be able to survive. People who, for whatever reason, have not been able to go into the dream phase of their sleep for several days in a row quickly face severe health problems.
Dreams have been called prophetic and they have been dismissed as simple results of the metabolic process. They have been interpreted and analysed for centuries. But whatever dreams are, however we interpret them, they are a part of us. Dreams take us into a world that is at the same time strange and strangely familiar. We can use them to find new strength, new meaning in old patterns, and to co-create the life we always dreamt of.
Dreams express a part of our soul that doesn’t often come through in the light of day. They show us a part of ourselves that we aren’t usually aware of. The images and pictures we experience in our dreams are chosen by our soul to express itself as best it can. This soul-language is compiled of the symbols and images of our fears, hopes, and memories, conscious and subconscious. It won’t always be possible to interpret these images with our waking mind in a way that does justice to the soul’s intent. But if we can learn to understand that language we have a new, powerful tool to help us create change.
There are as many ways to interpreting dreams is as there are dreamers. General symbols can be helpful guidelines, but a meaningful interpretation is only possible if the dreamer takes the time to explore his/her own individual symbolic language. Aside from symbols, dreams contain another powerful source for interpretation that often is overlooked: feelings. Not only the feelings we have in the dream, i.e. “as I am running down the stairs I am happy, looking forward to seeing the gift”; but the feelings we have upon awakening. All too often we are so eager to remember the images and symbols (or too busy to get to work in time) that we don’t pay attention to those first feelings upon awakening.
But those first impressions are very important in the interpretation of our dreams. They give us the code to this particular dream. The difference between a warning and a promise in the image of a rose lies in our feelings in the very moment we encounter it. Do we concentrate on the flower or on the thorns? Did we feel joy or fear when we woke up? There is another, more direct advantage in taking more careful note of our feelings upon wakening in the morning: we know from the start of the day what the mood of the day will be – and we might be able to put it in proper context, and out of the way.
If we get into the habit of listening to our dreams we will remember them more often. We will learn their language, learn to differentiate between images created by last night’s dinner and those that are created by our soul. As we learn this language we will also better understand how to translated the messages of our dreams into our everyday life. And that is where our dreams become powerful tools in the creation of our lives.
So, here are some practical, easy to use tips on how to work with your dreams on a daily basis:
Give Yourself Time To Sleep
Dreaming only happens when we sleep (daydreaming is a topic for another day). If you only have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep each night the soul won’t have much of a chance to convey any messages. Create a sleep experience you enjoy – and give yourself enough time for a restful night’s sleep. It’s not only helpful for your soul: your body will thank you, too.
Keep A Dream Journal
Every morning as you wake up, write down what you remember from the night: dream images, your feelings upon awakening, the number of times you woke up. It doesn’t matter if you remember a lot. The purpose of the exercise is to give your soul the message that you are listening. The more you do this, the more you will remember. If you wake up in the middle of the night because of a dream, write down whatever you remember. Again, you don’t even need to switch on the light if you are afraid that you might not be able to go back to sleep. It’s the message that counts more than the details.
Wake Up Slowly
Set your alarm to a few minutes before you need to get up and give yourself time to linger in the first feelings of the day. This helps to strengthen the images and impressions of the night and to take the general mood of the dream into the day. Thus your dream can work on during the day. You might be surprised at what can happen.
Create Your Own Dream Interpretation Book
When you interpret your dreams, use your own symbols and follow your intuition. If you are afraid of dogs it won’t make much sense to interpret the dog in your dream as a symbol of true dedication and unconditional love. Write down your own interpretations of the symbols – and stay open to changing them as needed. In the beginning it may be helpful to use a store-bought interpretation key. Just make sure its interpretations make sense to you. Some of those books have questions attached to the symbols rather than giving pat-answers. This is an interesting approach that can help you in your quest of developing your own interpretation.
Stay Aware That Your Dreams Are Only Part Of Your Wisdom
No matter how much you dream and how accurate your interpretations are, never forget that this is only part of your truth and life. There are many aspects to every experience, every decision, and every event. Your soul has many ways to express itself. There are contracts you may have with others that influence your life. And you always have free will to follow the voices of soul, spirit, and body – or not. Interpreted properly dreams can provide useful information. And it can be fun to play around with them. But they are only one tool in a vast array of possibilities.