Category Archives: Dream interpretation

Posts about dream interpretation, or where dreams are interpreted.

Episode 164 The Dream Show: Danced by love

The Dream Show Episode 164 Danced by Love

This episode marks the sixth anniversary of The Dream Show. Now, I’m not sure which is the most popular episode, but I do know which of my blog posts is the most popular, most viewed, most commented upon. Which do you think it is? What dream subject do you think might attract the most interest? Have a guess. I will reveal all at the end of this episode, and read it to you.

On the way to the reveal, we look at dreams where you find yourself in front of an audience, unprepared, expected to perform, and we look at the words of wisdom we are given as young children, how these influence us in our lives, and the power of revisiting these with fresh eyes.

Where does Danced by Love come into it? Listen to find out, to be uplifted, inspired, and to discover more about the art and science of dream analysis.

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Bodywork and dreams

Bodywork and dreams, Jane Teresa Anderson

When was the last time you had a good, deep, foot, neck, shoulder, or back massage? If you closed your eyes and surrendered to the process, what feelings came up for you? Were you able to name those feelings – relief, grief, foreboding, panic, bliss, vulnerability? Or did you notice tears flowing but find yourself unable to say why? When painful knots were found and massaged, did you see any images, symbols, or experience dreamlike visions?

What did you dream that night, or the next night?

Our muscles and other tissues can hold our painful emotions and associated memories in an often unconscious attempt at protecting ourselves from being hurt in the same way again. Imagine gripping the ground with your toes in an effort to stand your ground, to not budge, to stay put for fear of letting go because of a painful letting go experience in your past. Or because you learned this fear from your parents or guardians or the culture into which you were born. Imagine those toes never really relaxing, never really letting go, even when you’re sitting down or sleeping, partly because you’re on alert whatever else is happening, and partly because your muscles have forgotten how to stretch, or have stiffened and become limited in their range of movement.

Now, what happens when that massage therapist stretches out those muscles for you, cajoling them to release their hold? Perhaps you feel the fear or panic of letting go, perhaps you feel the accumulated pain of holding on, of standing your ground, of victories won or opportunities lost. Perhaps you feel the vulnerability that you have kept under lock and key of muscular tension so long that you can’t even name this strange feeling. Perhaps you feel foreboding, sure knowledge of forthcoming danger, or perhaps you feel relief, discovering that when you are made to let go you find yourself safe, or you find yourself as excited as you were as a one year old when you took your first steps into a whole new and wonderful way of being.

Sometimes the massage is enough to move you forward, to release you into the discovery that it is safe to move beyond your previous limitations, that there is relief in letting go, in change. Sometimes the massage is enough for now, but you return to the status quo, to your comfort zone, to gripped toes, and holding your ground, to fear of change, because the unconscious beliefs you hold remain the same, and the unconscious painful emotions and memories those beliefs are built to protect you from remain in need of healing.

This is where dreams enter the picture.

Dreams are the result of your mind processing your conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 1-2 days, comparing these recent experiences to your entire past, either consolidating your beliefs (your mindset) as a result, or changing them. When we experience highly charged emotions, our dreams can be extremely vivid, and their content extremely revealing and potentially healing.

So your dreams following the foot massage in this toe-gripping, ground-gripping example, might find you comparing the released emotions you felt during your massage with similar situations in your life now, in your life past, and even as far back as the original experience that created the unconscious belief that has had your toes grippingly limiting you ever since. Once analysed (for the dreams will be surreal and symbolic), such dreams can help you to understand why – in this example – you tend to grip, to stand your ground, to resist moving forward in wonderful, life-enhancing ways.

Once you are aware of your pattern and you understand its genesis, you are on the road to healing. You may choose various healing modalities, but with the blessing of a dream to work with, dream alchemy would be a good choice, working deeply and directly with your unconscious mind.

Toe-gripping is just an example. Foot massage may release all kinds of protected emotions and memories, as may massage of any part of the body. A person who is rather ungrounded, who lives in the head, who has lots of ideas but can’t make them happen, may find that a deep foot massage brings them back in touch with the emotions and memories they have been trying to flee. Their dreams may help them to understand their disconnection, and ready them for healing, grounding, feeling safe to put down roots, to manifest, and grow.

Other forms of bodywork, apart from massage, can feed your dreams in a similar way, by actively or passively encouraging your body to move beyond the limitations that it has habitually adopted in the name of protection from painful emotions, or as a result of unconscious limiting beliefs acquired from parents, guardians, or society. Keep your dream journal handy following a massage or bodywork session, and go to bed with the intention to recall your dreams to deepen your insight and open the way for healing and long-lasting positive change.

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Episode 163 The Dream Show: Pan and the pagan ritual

 

Episode 163 The Dream Show Pan and the pagan ritual

“It’s a really gross dream,” said Vashti, my guest in this episode, “and I was shocked by it. I’m curious, because how I was in the dream is not like me in waking life.”

Some of the elements include a baby that someone keeps putting into a toilet on a nest of toilet paper floating on filthy, disgusting water, and a pagan ritual in a forest where things begin quite hopefully with a small, handheld idol of Pan and move into darker territory.

Vashti’s behaviour in the dream is not like her behaviour in waking life, but the dream, once analysed, helped her to see some of the issues underlying the choices she is making in her life, issues she hadn’t been able to see clearly before.

Have you ever had a gross dream, a dream that shocked and disgusted you, a dream that you probably kept to yourself? We all have. It’s healthy, and helpful.

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Sometimes, when we are making big positive changes, or when we’re on the verge, not of madness but of healing and transformation, old, deeper, darker, unconscious issues, beliefs, and emotions, find their way into our dreams. Think of this as a cleansing process, a readiness to flush out old stuff, to become more aware of our old ways and limitations as we let them go. Analysing and working with such a dream has enormous benefits, helping us to move forward confidently beyond previous blocks, limiting self-judgements, beliefs, and fears.

Listen as Vashti shares her dream and we explore and analyse it, relate it to what is going on in Vashti’s life, and create dream alchemy to support Vashti in crafting her best path.

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I-Sight

I-Sight

I have just emailed Issue 200 of our monthly Dream Sight News out to our subscribers, and shared the article I wrote for our first issue, back on 11.11.1998. The story is old, but still true. I guess it’s the story behind my dream sight, my in-sight. I called the article I-Sight, and thought I’d blog it today to celebrate those 200 issues! Enjoy.

I-Sight, first pub 11.11.1998

I was intrigued by the team of white-coated people who arrived at our Infant School one week, calling on each class in turn to line up outside the Head’s Office and read letters from a chart propped against the wall. Special children came away with envelopes addressed to their parents. I was five years old, and I hoped I would be special enough to take home one of the envelopes. As the days passed I heard that the visitors had come to test our eyesight and that the letters were for those singled out to wear glasses. My wish escalated: Oh, wouldn’t I be really special if Mum and Dad had to take me to choose glasses! I guess I must have wished pretty hard for a five year old, because by the time I got to the front of the line I couldn’t see the big letter at the top of the chart and I’ve worn glasses or contact lenses ever since.

It was a revelation to me a few weeks after taking home the precious envelope to discover that houses were made of bricks all the way up to their roofs, rather than being brick near the ground and then a kind of reddish smudge the rest of the way up. Trees grew leaves to replace the green clouds that had floated around them, and the night sky was neatly scattered with precise pin-point designs instead of huge, glaring, intermingling white blurs.

I wonder if it was then that my dreams opened stunning new vistas – worlds beyond worlds and worlds within worlds? My previous babyhood dreams of being threatened by wolves or finding myself waist deep in snake pits gave way to a recurring dream of mirrored lakes which, if I laid on the ground and looked sideways in a special way, revealed their hidden depths teeming with tropical fish. In those dreams I used to plead with everyone to look at the water in my special way, to take my sideways look at the magnificence that thrived below the surface of an English lake where the presence of tropical fish, to the uninitiated, was merely a ridiculous fantasy. No-one ever looked.

Now I can see, with or without the aid of my glasses, that in the same moment that I was a child needing to feel special and loved for who I was beyond the surface, I needed to learn that the world did indeed have depth of meaning. My short sight became a blessing enabling me to experience a different view, to see different perspectives and to have faith that what may seem confusing one day can leap into clear focus the next. Through short sight I learned INsight – I learned to see within.

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Episode 162 The Dream Show: The hidden key

 

Episode 162 The Dream Show The hidden key

My guest, Domonique, asks about a dream that begins with a trip in a car that looks like a spaceship and ends with her firm refusal to be a witness for the Court Marshalls against her friend, Jules. “I’m older than I look,” she states, richly, and melodiously, standing her ground.

There are two hidden keys featured in the dream, and Domonique knows where they are and how to lay her hands on them. How do these dream keys relate to her life? How long have they been hidden? How have they just come to light, and what can she do with them from this day forward?

There are mysteries to playfully explore as we delve into this dream: why does the car look like a spaceship, why is Jules being evicted from his apartment, and what does the letter T stand for?

You might like to notice the kind of questions I ask, and see how you can apply similar questioning when you’re exploring your own dreams. There’s some word play and recurring themes at work in this dream, and you’ll pick up tips on how to identify these in your dreams and how to gain deeper self understanding as a result.

As with all our guests, Domonique relates the analysis to what’s happening in her waking life and shares personal insights that enrich and inspire all who listen.

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All the world’s a stage

All the world's a stage, Jane Teresa Anderson

The moment has come to step out on stage and perform in front of an audience but you haven’t prepared. Worse than this, you know zilch. It’s a common dream theme, and you’ve probably had a variation of it at some point in your life. What did you make of it? How did you relate it to your life? How did it help you to understand yourself more deeply, or to make a change?

Your dream might involve a theatre performance, giving a presentation at work, teaching a class of eager students, delivering your artwork for public exhibition, flying a plane, or any number of situations, all of which come down to you not being able to deliver because you haven’t prepared or don’t know enough.

In a recent dream, I was to play a classical orchestral piece on keyboard. It was to be a solo performance. The auditorium was packed, the audience looked discerning, an anticipatory silence descended, and all eyes were on me, seated at the keyboard at the very centre of the room. Not only had I not studied or practised the piece, but I’m not a musician. I might have been able to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star with one finger, but then again, maybe not. I wondered what to do. I thought I was alone in this, but to my surprise the conductor came into the room, sat opposite me across the keyboard, and held me in her mesmerising gaze. I woke up before playing a note, although now I knew what to do.

Every dream is as unique as every dreamer, so there’s no blanket interpretation that applies to everyone for this kind of dream theme. All dreams reflect your conscious and unconscious experiences of the previous 1-2 days, and it’s most helpful to begin by looking at a dream as a metaphor for what’s been going on for you during those couple of days. Look for the metaphor in your dream. What feels accurate? Where in your life did you feel unprepared? Or was your metaphor more along the lines of over-promising and under-delivering? Or being over-prepared, leaving no room for changing your approach? Or being fearful of judgement? Or feeling you lack talent? You’ll know when you’ve found the connection. You’ll feel a tingly sensation, a kind of knowing, though your logical mind may say, ‘No way!’ Respect the tingly sensation, explore.

There is so much more to dream analysis, but this first step can open your eyes and bless you with new understanding about yourself, your inner world, your unconscious mindset.

My dream reflected the decision I had just made about the new book I’m writing this year, and the last throes of inner conflict about a change of writing approach and style. I came through. By the end of the dream I had resolved the conflict and knew what to do. I woke up feeling confident and energised. I was ready to begin, to place my fingers on my laptop keyboard, to orchestrate words into being.

My previous books were all planned in detail before I began writing. I named chapters, summarised the intended content chapter by chapter, decided upon a style, created a template for each chapter, specified the path I would take to guide readers through a process, or to get my message across. There was rationality in the structure, a solid plan. I was so prepared for each book that I even knew how long it would take me to write. My writing days were planned, x number of writing days at y number of words equals first draft completed by z date. And it worked for each of the six paperback books I have written. Safe within that structure, the actual words I chose were free to find their own expression, as if I were the observer, to surprise me with new twists, insights, metaphors, to write their own examples, to make me smile.

So I have decided on a complete change in approach and style for this new book. I haven’t prepared in my usual ‘classical’ way. I haven’t prepared a structure, marked out days in my diary, plotted the path or even the message. I feel the music. My dream reminded me that some part of me knows how to conduct the flow, to hold my attention in the mesmerised moment. All I need to do is lean into the keyboard and let it flow.

That much I understood at the end of my dream. On the caffeinated wings of my morning coffee, I realised that some part of me is also the musical keyboard in the dream, the instrument or channel for the music, no doubt conducted by my mesmerised in-the-moment intuitive self, free to break free from a pre-planned, logical structure. (Sticking with the metaphor, this may sound like big-noting myself and my abilities, but in dream analysis it’s helpful to look at everything as well as everyone in the dream as representing something about the dreamer.) In short, if I get stuck while I’m writing, I will imagine being the music. This is a form of dream alchemy, moving into a potent dream symbol, giving it – and yourself – more life.

Now, dear discerning audience, there are no big promises here. I may write something wonderful, something inspirational, something profound, or I may write something more akin to a one-fingered rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but whatever it is, I will enjoy the process.

The night before this dream, I dreamed I was on stage performing in a Shakespeare play. Everyone else knew their lines. I didn’t. I hadn’t prepared. But I got by. As I whispered to one of the other actors, “It’s ok, I don’t know the lines, but I know the general gist”. Much to the other actors’ amusement, I reframed Shakespeare’s beautiful poetry to fit the theme, and even had the audience laughing at one point with my Shakespearean puns. I’m sure they were far funnier in my dream, and I would certainly have been booed off the stage in waking life, but, as a precursor to my keyboard dream, it rather fits the bill, don’t you think?

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Episode 160 The Dream Show: I dreamed I had died

 

Episode 160 The Dream Show: I dreamed I had died

My guest, Alexandra, dreamed she had died. She stood on the path outside the church, and calmly watched the priests emerge from the funeral service into the courtyard, dressed in celebration regalia emblazoned with a glowing fleur-de-lys pattern. They walked in her direction, carrying trays of silver containers, as if bringing her – in her soul form – an offering.

Alexandra’s dream was short, but deeply meaningful. As you’ll hear, Alexandra describes the feeling of standing on the path as being like an out of the body experience, and says she’s had that experience once before, in her waking life. This is a key to understanding her dream, and you’ll hear Alexandra share an experience she’s never shared before.

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When we talk about a dream, our unconscious mind is engaged – just as it was during the dream – and it often prompts us to recall experiences that are related to what was going on in our life at the time of the dream. You’ll witness that whole process – and the insight and healing it brings – as you listen to this episode.

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Episode 159 The Dream Show: The old and the new

 

Episode 159 The Dream Show: The old and the new

Patti, my guest, was keen talk about her dream because she’s at a pivotal point in her life. She’s taking time out, making major decisions, and wanting to gather as much insight as she can to assist her in creating the shape of her future.

Patti has worked with me before on a dream and found the dream alchemy profoundly life-changing, so when she noticed signs in this new dream of dilemmas and not being able to see her way clearly, she decided to enlist my help while sharing the process with you on The Dream Show.

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Patti’s dream features two bikes, her new one, and one she had 10-20 years ago. At one point she’s riding in the dark, unable to see clearly, frightened of crashing. At another point she panics about leaving the front tyre of her old bike behind. There are places to back out of, places to explore and enjoy, and a mysterious DVD that Patti would prefer to check out than buy for the $43 asking price. Why $43?

Join Patti and me as we journey into her dream, relate it to what’s going on in her life, draw the deeper insights she’s seeking, and create dream alchemy for her to do to ensure best outcomes.

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The secret of life

The Secret of Life

The Secret of Life

 

When I was about six or seven, an aunt gave me an autograph book for my birthday. I can still picture it, a padded matt white vinyl cover with an illustration of a modish 1960s lady, pen poised in her hand, and lots of different coloured, invitingly blank pages. My dad wanted to be first to write in my book, and he spent what seemed like hours looking through a ‘quote a day’ calendar to find exactly the right saying.

I treasured that book, and all these decades later I can still remember some of the quotes and sayings and who wrote them. I took them all to heart.

My grandmother chose a 1950s favourite:

 

“Little puffs of powder,
Little dabs of paint,
Make a girl’s complexion,
Look what it ain’t.”

I always took that to mean that too much makeup smothered your authentic beauty, but now I look at the words again, it could also be about the positives of the grownup art of beautification. My grandmother and my mother used puffs of powder and lipstick, nothing else. I just use lipstick. I wonder how much that autograph has influenced me throughout my life.

My school teacher chose:

“Eat no green apples
Or you’ll droop,
Be careful not to get the croup,
Avoid the chickenpox and such,
And don’t fall out of windows much.”

I’d already had the croup and chickenpox, so all I had to do was avoid green apples and windows. I’ve just Googled, so now I know these words were originally penned by Edward Anthony.

I loved the rhyme and rhythm of those autographs, and the thinking they made me do, as a child, because they seemed to be straightforward and yet they weren’t.

Dad sat at the table, surrounded by 365 little tear-off pages from last year’s calendar, arranged into piles of suitable autograph sayings. Finally, he couldn’t decide between two, so I got “The person who knows everything never gets far,” and:

“The secret of life is not to do what you like,
But to like what you do.”

Mr Google hasn’t been able to help me find an original source for Dad’s choice which has both puzzled and inspired me, sometimes to like what I do, and sometimes to do what I like.

Surely the secret, as adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step programs from Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer is:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

Plus a little Buddhist attitude:

“Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water.”

Where, in your life, have you chosen to like what you do? How has this approach blessed you?

Where, in your life, have you chosen to do something you like, something you otherwise wouldn’t have done if you were focussed on liking what you do? How has this approach blessed you?

Recently I have been enjoying writing my own sayings or musings and popping them onto images to share. Here’s one:

Danced by Love Jane Teresa Anderson

You choose, Jane Teresa Anderson

“Driven by fear or
Danced by love?

You choose
Heartbeat by heartbeat.”

Does it resolve the issue of whether to do what you like or to like what you do? What do you think?

The tricky bit is that we often don’t know when our choices and actions are driven by fear. We are all too easily driven by unconscious fear. The other tricky bit is that sometimes we need to discover love and how to be danced by it.

As a dream analyst I am blessed to be able to do the work I like, and to help people look into their dreams to see their unconscious fears and the enormity of their love, to help them know which of their choices in life are driven – consciously or unconsciously – by fear, and to help them surrender to be danced by love.

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Episode 158 The Dream Show: A house with potential

 

Episode 158 The Dream Show: A house with potential

Meet Lisa, my guest, who dreamed of a derelict house with a mix of funky and antique furniture, and great views from the steeply sloping garden. Should they buy the house? There were pros and cons, and because this was a dream, some of the cons were pretty outrageous: beds floating in an elevator shaft, a sinkhole in the garden, but, then again, it had some good things going for it too, and they were prepared to do some work.

How to decide between the pros and cons, in the dream and in life? Or are the pros and cons figments of the imagination, dependent on our personal experience, beliefs, and ways of looking at the world?

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There are some strong emotive elements in Lisa’s dream that help her to connect with her deeper feelings and gain fresh positive perspective on her situation.

There’s something for everyone in this episode: tips on dream interpretation, dream alchemy, and life lessons to explore and share. Enjoy.

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