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Episode 148 The Dream Show: Intense emotions in dreams

A virtual coffee

Episode 148 The Dream Show: Intense emotions in dreams

We begin with the light-hearted, a bit of fun and a laugh to illustrate just how far the unconscious can go to try to save us from feeling pain, yet how that same unconscious can speak loud and clear in waking life once you know how to look and listen. It speaks even more clearly in dreams, once you know how to read them, and in this episode we plunge into the kind of dreams where you vent and scream and act in ways that terrify you, to discover how to understand them.

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonMany people who are quiet and considerate towards others in waking life dream of expressing such rage that it spills into violence. In dreams, you may find yourself so angry that you shake someone violently, squash them, or hurt them in ways that are not even physically possible in waking life. You may be thinking these dreams are simply arenas to release deep emotions, and you’re right in part. But there’s more, and it’s in the deeper understanding of these dreams that you stand to gain the greatest light. We go there in this episode. You’ll emerge smiling. Enjoy.

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When you wake up crying

You feel much better after a cry.

When you wake up crying real tears, or simply feeling profoundly sad for no apparent reason, it’s because you have finally touched upon some buried grief through a dream. You may have released it all, or there may be more to come. Either way, this is good and healing. (Don’t you always feel much better after a cry?) Even if you don’t remember the dream, rest assured that tears are better out than in, and although you may become more aware, in the next few days, of a past event that caused you grief, you are well on the way to finally letting it go and moving on.

There will be times, in your past, where you were unable to express your grief, or where you felt you should try to hide it.

There will be times, in your past, where you were unable to express your grief, or where you felt you should try to hide it.

There will be times, in your past, where you were unable to express your grief, or where you felt you should try to hide it. Perhaps ‘boys don’t cry’, or you were advised to ‘keep a stiff upper lip’, or you accepted a hurtful situation as normal or something to be endured, so you packed grief away, out of sight. Or perhaps the only way to get through a situation was to pretend to yourself that it wasn’t happening, or wasn’t important, or that you were coping wonderfully, or needed to smile for others, or that you had already healed.

The deeper wound still hurts, affecting how you live your life.

The deeper wound still hurts, affecting how you live your life.

These, and other forms of denial, are like bandaids. They work on the surface, but the deeper wound still hurts, affecting how you live your life.

One day the grief finally breaks through – perhaps accompanied by a dream of a dam bursting, or a tsunami breaking – and you wake up crying.

If you can remember your dream, look for clues about your grief, as understanding the past will help you to accelerate your healing.

 

What age is the child?

What age is the child?

Look for a young child or younger person who seems sad, or hurt, or trying to cover up his or her feelings.

What age is the child?

Ask what happened for you at that age, or that number of years ago. It doesn’t matter whether the child or person looks like you. He or she most likely symbolises the event or your hurt.

Also look for historical markers in your dream, perhaps cars, houses, clothes, or numbers that help to give you a time period to explore.

When you have found the source of your grief, do this dream alchemy practice:

Visualise hugging and comforting yourself as you were back then, or hugging and comforting the child in the dream.

Visualise hugging and comforting yourself as you were back then, or hugging and comforting the child in the dream.

Close your eyes, and visualise hugging and comforting yourself as you were back then, or hugging and comforting the child in the dream. Let her cry all her tears dry, then let her smile and laugh and grow strong and happy. Tell her how wonderful her life will be now that her tears have washed it all away, and see her growing, before your eyes, changing and becoming a strong, happy, powerful, and relieved new you. Merge with her in your mind’s eye, and take her, fully healed, into your heart.

[Extract from 101 Dream Interpretation Tips, Jane Teresa Anderson]

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Dream interpretation: Recurring dreams

Do you have a recurring dream theme? I asked this question on my Facebook page on Monday, to gather some material for today’s blog and to provide some glimpses into what these dreams mean. So thanks for your contributions, guys, and read on!

First up, remember that a dream reflects your conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 24-48 hours of your waking life. So, when a dream theme recurs it’s because your waking life experiences are recurring. If there’s an unresolved issue in your life that keeps coming up, you probably have a dream theme that goes with it, appearing one to two nights later.

So if you have a recurring dream theme, look back over the previous two days each time you have the dream until you see a pattern. Your quest is to note the issue that precedes your dream. You’re halfway there before you even interpret your dream.

Next, ask yourself when you first had this dream. Think back to that time. It’s probably when the issue first raised its head, or when it really became important.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the dream themes listed on Facebook:

Kellie dreams she's forgotten about the fish and they're barely surviving.

Kellie dreams she’s forgotten about the fish and they’re barely surviving.

 

This recurring dream has plagued Kellie for years. She finds one or two fish aquariums that she’s forgotten about and the fish are barely surviving.

Everything in a dream reflects something about the dreamer, so Kellie might ask herself, when she has this dream, what she has been neglecting to nourish in her life.

Daniell dreams she’s just had a baby but keeps losing him in odd places like a couch or another state. I’d say that Daniell has plenty of ideas and ‘births’ new projects but loses touch with them, or holds back for fear of losing interest. A clue might be to look back to the first time she had this dream to identify what was new in her life then and why it didn’t work out as she had planned.

Talking of lost opportunities, Renee’s recurring dream is of a delivery man who delivers her a package. She’s signed for it a few times, but never opened it.

Renee might like to look over the two days prior to each return of the dream and ask herself what opportunity she signed up for but didn’t pursue.

Of course, dream interpretation goes much deeper than this, but in each example, the dreamer gets to ask a question that helps them identify the waking life issue.

Here are some more:

For the past year Cathie has had a recurring dream that her husband is going to die from cancer. She wakes with a deep heartache and sobbing. So, first of all, Cathie can ask what change occurred in her life a year ago, as this probably triggered the dream. Death in a dream is often about something ending in our life, not the death of a person, but an end of an era, attitude, belief, study course, hope, goal … anything. There are times for letting the old die so the new can enter into our lives, and there are other times when we may let things end prematurely and need to energise them back to life. Either way, there is grief to feel, and that is why Cathie wakes up sobbing. To move on, we need to release grief for our old hopes, plans, attitudes or ways of life. Again, this is a superficial interpretation, but a starting point for Cathie as she contemplates her dream.

Bonnie Belle looks for toilets or even pees in public in her dreams, often accompanied by celebrities, so she’s releasing or letting go of some issues around the difference between her public and private life, I’d say.

Beverley used to have her dream “very, very often” but not so much now. She might like to look back to when the frequency of the dream began to slow, and ask herself what changed in her life then. Whatever changed softened the waking life issue, so that it only comes up now when it occasionally becomes more pressing. There’s a big clue for Beverley here. In her dream, she is happily doing craft with children when a man arrives and she’s happy to see him: a classic case of finding your passion (being creative, in the flow).

Barbara dreams of lots of cameras. I’d need to hear more about the dream, but it probably reflects the way she frames her experiences, different perspectives and views. What would she see if she stepped back from life to look at the big picture? What would she see if she focused on one area? Why is she not in the picture herself, perhaps taking an objective view of her life? If Barbara answers these questions she’ll gain some insight into a recurring waking life issue. 

Christine comes face to face with a harmless crocodile after rescuing a baby that turns out to be herself from its mouth.

Christine comes face to face with a harmless crocodile after rescuing a baby that turns out to be herself from its mouth.

In her dream, Christine comes face to face with a harmless crocodile after rescuing a baby that turns out to be herself from its mouth. My feeling is that Christine may have had recurring dreams of crocodiles but this dream looks like a once-off, a healing dream, the end of the issue. Christine overcomes a sense of danger that has been holding her back in some way, and feels able to move forward without ‘bite’ and without fear of being bitten.

Jennifer has several recurring dream themes, one being living back in the Bronx (NYC) and walking up a hill, rather unsuccessfully, back to the apartment building where she used to live. The issues going on in Jennifer’s life whenever she has this dream most probably began when she used to live in that apartment building. That’s the key to healing the issue, yet Jennifer resists exploring those times: the hill, and the difficulty climbing it represent her hesitation and fear.

These are tip of the iceberg interpretations only! Listen to The Dream Show podcasts to get a feel for how to explore your dreams deeply and meaningfully.

Come over to my FaceBook page and join the conversations.

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Dream Alchemy – secret spells

I’m about to give you some magical formulae you can use to transform your life.

I’m about to give you some magical formulae you can use to transform your life.

I’m about to give you some magical formulae you can use to transform your life. They’re simple, yet powerful. They’re serious, and they work, but for a bit of fun I’ve arranged them as magic spells from an imaginary book of alchemical secrets. Before we delve in, though, let’s look at the theory so you understand why these work and how to apply them.

Imagine you dreamed of a huge dark cloud. The cloud was suspended above you, throwing its darkness and gloom all around. The air was oppressive, heavy, and still. What is the meaning of this dream?

You might have this dream if you were feeling oppressed by dark, gloomy, negative feelings. You might think about your dream and see that this is indeed true. You might then think about where these dark, gloomy, negative feelings are coming from. You might decide they’re coming from you and your negative thoughts about life. You might suddenly see that you have been going about your life dragging this negative outlook with you wherever you go. Other people in similar circumstances might see the sunny side or be uplifted by the silver lining in life’s challenges. Rather than being motivated to create something wonderful from the silver lining, your dream shows you bogged down in the heavy stillness of your negative outlook on life. Okay, so far so good. You have interpreted and understood your dream.

You may even go further and say the dark cloud is the gloom cast by a relationship break-up, job loss, or major disappointment. You may think about this and decide the gloom is your anger about the disappointment (like a thunderous cloud before an angry storm) or you might decide the heavy cloud is your unexpressed grief (like a cloud that hasn’t rained itself free of its tears).

Okay, so far even better. You have interpreted and understood your dream even more deeply. Is this enough then? Is this the power of dream interpretation?

Does it end here? Does going forward in your life understanding your gloomy, negative outlook help you to dispel it and substitute an uplifting, positive outlook in its place?

Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes awareness is powerful enough to enable you to make a change. For example, each time you feel the presence of the gloomy, black cloud pervading a situation you might think, “Enough! Where’s the silver lining? How can I look at my situation positively?” Some people can make the switch effectively. Many need a little extra magic to make the change.

It’s better to cry away the black cloud, to feel the grief and let it go, or to feel the anger and let it go, so that looking at the world positively becomes natural rather than forced.

It’s better to cry away the black cloud, to feel the grief and let it go, or to feel the anger and let it go, so that looking at the world positively becomes natural rather than forced.

Sometimes you cannot effectively make the change until you get in touch with associated emotions and work through them. For example, if you have not cried away your grief, then when you switch from negative to positive outlook you push your grief further down into your being and this will certainly give you discomfort at a later stage in your life. It’s better to cry away the black cloud, to feel the grief and let it go, or to feel the anger and let it go, so that looking at the world positively becomes natural rather than forced. If there’s no grief or anger in your way, then naturally things look good. If there’s still grief or anger hanging around, it’s hard work to keep remembering to switch on a positive outlook, and, besides, your grief or anger will keep returning in your dreams until you hear it, feel it, learn from it, and let it go.

So how can you do the magical bit to move from simply understanding your dream to transforming your life in a long-lasting (deeply healing) way? The solution is dream alchemy (those alchemical spells).

Dream alchemy is the magic of transforming symbols from your dream. In this example, you might visualise transforming the gloomy, black cloud by letting it rain itself away over a dry field, causing beautiful sunny flowers to bloom. Dream alchemy practices always sound far too simple, silly even, but they work because they involve symbols that your unconscious dreaming mind understands. When you do dream alchemy, you are talking the language of your unconscious mind and it is listening, responding, and transforming. These alchemical spells, correctly done, change the beliefs you carry that are affecting the way you see the world and the way you act in the world. When these things change – when you see the world differently and act in the world differently – your experience of life changes accordingly. In other words, your life changes for the better.

You can get quite creative with your dream alchemy practices. In the example, I added the flowers blooming to ensure that something wonderful blossomed from the release of grief.

You can get quite creative with your dream alchemy practices. In the example, I added the flowers blooming to ensure that something wonderful blossomed from the release of grief.

If you had the black cloud dream and you did the dream alchemy visualisation described above according to the correct method you may first feel the grief or the anger, but this will feel deeply cathartic and healing. You will naturally traverse through these feelings, and emerge feeling light and free. From there forward, you will move through the world in a different way.

You can get quite creative with your dream alchemy practices. In the example, I added the flowers blooming to ensure that something wonderful blossomed from the release of grief.

The key to designing the best dream alchemy practice is to understand your dream first. When you understand your dream you gain self-awareness, a precious gift, and when you understand your dream you are best-equipped to pick the right symbol to transform through dream alchemy.

As a general guide, be inspired by these secret formulae from my imaginary book ‘Alchemical secrets’.

Alchemical Secrets

Dream
dark cloud,
understood by dreamer as negative outlook due to grief

Alchemy
let the cloud rain its tears away over a desert, making flowers bloom

*

Dream
starving horse,
understood by dreamer as a passionate energy you are not feeding

Alchemy
feed the horse until you can feel its strength and passion in your body

*

Dream
old man close to death,
understood by dreamer as a belief you need to put to rest

Alchemy
embrace the man and thank him for all he has taught you

*

Dream
old man close to death,
understood by dreamer as old values you want to revive

Alchemy
give the man a job or role that restores his sense of value and vitality

*

Dream
going round in circles,
understood by dreamer as needing a new approach

Alchemy
half way round the circle take a straight route to an exciting place

*

Dream
unable to fly beyond power lines,
understood by dreamer as trapped by power games

Alchemy
fly around the power lines to the place you want to be

*

Dream
shaky ground,
understood by dreamer as losing your sense of confidence

Alchemy
make the ground firm and feel its solidity beneath your feet

*

Dream
shaky ground,
understood by dreamer as changes around you feeling exciting

Alchemy
shake that ground into where you would like to be

*

Get the picture? As you can see from the dreams of the old man close to death and the dreams of the shaky ground, the secret is to understand your dream before creating your dream alchemy practice and casting your alchemical spell. (Two people may each dream of shaky ground, but the different details in their dreams reveal the different meanings.)

Remember to check the detailed methods for doing your dream alchemy practices, and if you need a little help from me in understanding your dreams or creating dream alchemy practices you can consult me by Skype or phone.

[Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, July 2007. First published as a Dream Sight article.]

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