Dreamwork: An Art of Interacting with and Learning from Inner Wisdom

The soul can be a guide if we let it.

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Dreamwork is the practice of working with dreams to learn from and interact with them.  This can include keeping a dream journal of important dreams, reflections on the content and feeling of dreams, use of various methods to better understand them, and applying the information obtained from them to enrich our lives.  When done over a period of time, the practice can be life changing and transformative as one comes to see before one’s very eyes the insights and eventual healing taking place within the dreamer.

For a person new to dreamwork, some claims made by dream experts can seem unreal, such as asking for a dream that will help with a specific issue.  Most people don’t know that you can ask for a dream and expect to get a response which can be creative, insightful and healing.  For most people, inspiring dreams, like intuitive insights, are seen as flashes in the pan—a great fortune when you get them but not the type of thing you could ask for or intend.

One of the things that gives me great satisfaction as a dream minister and mentor is to have a person I am working with report that they asked for a dream and actually got an answer!  Usually they tell me this with awe, wonder and the joy of discovery in their voice.  It is so empowering to the dreamer, and that person can readily see the long-range value in a practice that could help them for a lifetime.

Dreamwork Is Essential for Spiritual Growth

The dream is a door in the soul to the cosmos..

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While it has been said that neurosis is a cry of the soul wanting to be heard, there are various positive ways that our souls speak to us, if we take the time and the effort to pay attention.   One way is intuitive insight.  Perhaps another is reverie when we are relaxed and allow our minds to meander without control, being fed by stirrings deep within us.   Another very important way is dreams.  Freud called dreams the “royal road to the Unconscious” for a reason.  These night time scenarios are the most direct and readily available means of receiving undiluted messages from the soul.

It stands to reason then that anyone who is seriously interested in spirituality and the care of the soul would take dreams seriously, but sadly this is often not the case.  There are plenty of people who try to follow a spiritual path and ignore their dreams altogether!  Even many psychologists who are in the field of “the study of the soul” don’t take their own dreams seriously or use dreams as a therapeutic method.  The most common reasons given are that dreams are hard to remember, or are weird and hard to figure out.  An often not-stated reason is that dreams can be frightening and disturbing.  Also, some religious people of certain persuasions feel dreams may be the work of the devil despite the fact that the Bible recounts numerous stories where people used dreams to listen to God.

There is in Western society and in Christianity in particular, an abiding distrust of the Unconscious that has not encouraged us to explore our dreams—something not shared by our ancient ancestors and indigenous peoples who all took dreams seriously.  We need to reclaim this respect if we are going to mature spiritually in a truly holistic fashion of mind, body, and spirit.

Get to Know Your Dreams

If dreams are strange and so frightening, it is perhaps like anything else we fear: it is a fear of the unknown that can be remedied by getting to know what we fear.  One gets to know one’s dreams by making the following intentions and following through with them:

  • Take dreams seriously.
  • Tell yourself you will remember your dreams.
  • Write or record them in a dream journal. Review them on occasion.
  • Reflect on them for several levels of meaning rather than seek a quick and superficial answer.
  • Consider that every dream has a spiritual meaning.
  • Consider everything in the dream as representing an energy within yourself.
  • Make associations between things and people in the dream with those in your waking life at the moment.

Doing these simple tasks of dreamwork on a regular basis will provide a profound portal to the soul, teaching much about the soul and what it has to say. You will come across an amazing, undiscovered country and you will have practiced a very effective spiritual method!

Dreamwork: A Path to Explore Outside the Box

Dreamwork: Pathway Out of the Box

What’s the Box to You? Image via Pinterest

One of the best ways to get outside the box to discover new approaches and receive profound insights is to do dreamwork. There comes a time in our life when it becomes necessary to step beyond safe or confining boundaries because our world can no longer gives us the nurturing support we have come to expect. Sometimes our world, our box, often a fabrication of our making, can no longer give us the answers we need.

We grow up in a world that is our own box, at first sustained by family, friends and community, and then later by ourselves. We learn how to navigate through this world and work with its rules. As we become citizens of this box, and even experts and using it to our advantage, we strive to enjoy and run things in this world of our box, taking pride in what we can accomplish. But at some point, the box either gets too confining or we are kicked out by others who control the box, illness, old age or fate itself.  We no longer belong in the box.  This is when dreamwork can be very helpful because dreams can pierce the limitations of the box and birth us into a much larger reality. Usually this birthing is difficult at best. Dreams can help us by:

  • Providing visions of what life outside the box will look like.
  • Showing us the way to get out of the box if we are ready to leave it.
  • Showing us what our role and contributions can be to those still in the box, and those ready to leave the box.

I have often thought that this is one reason why dreams can be so bizarre. They provide symbols that want to pull us away from the usual ways we perceive things so that we can look at something from a different and fresh viewpoint. I think they want to us to see beyond the box.  For example, if I dream of a red eagle talking to me, I may try to imagine what the eagle is telling me beyond its words. How would the eagle perceive me? What is the eagle trying to tell me? Why is it red, and not the usual brown with a white head? Asking and learning from the eagle will provide a new perspective that is entirely out of the box of my conventional, waking mind. Heaven only knows what message will be given.

Working With Dream Themes: Repetitive Dreams

Repetitive dreams need to be taken seriously.

Dreams Can Reflect the Soul’s Purpose

Perhaps the most frequent question I get asked is, “Why do I have the same dream over and over?”  This is so is probably because everyone at some time or other has had a recurring dream.  A recurring dream presents itself over and over, sometimes as often as nightly but more often, at odd times over a period of months or years.   The dreamer usually feels that if the dream is repeating itself, it must be important and therefore wants to ask about it.  And the dreamer is right!  Repetitive dreams are important and should be taken seriously.

Repetitive Dreams: Like a Visitor Knocking on the Door

A repetitive dream is like a persistent visitor knocking on the door and will come back if no one answers the door.  The visitor has something important to say and wants to say it, and won’t give up so easily.  Therefore, the best way to deal with a repetitive dream is to open the door and listen; that is, pay attention to the dream, ask questions of the dream, and see what it is trying to say.

Possible Types of Repetitive Dreams
  • Warning dreams.  These dreams act as alerts on how the dreamer is not living his or her life appropriately.  For example, if a person is not exercising enough over a long period of time, the dreamer may get a recurring dream about an athlete or a doctor coming into the room.
  • Prophetic dreams. Prophetic dreams provide a glimpse into possible future directions.  Repeated dreams about a person filling a role not currently held may be the call to a new vocation or job that would enhance the quality of the dreamer’s life.  The dream is trying to encourage the dreamer to take steps towards getting into the new work.
  • Commentary dreams. Actions or symbols occurring in a repetitive dream might be trying to make a values statement to the dreamer on how the dreamer is handling an issue in life.  Is the dreamer living according to his or her true inner standards, as opposed to someone else’s standards?  For example, a repetitive dream of losing one’s wallet may indicate that the dreamer is susceptible to losing his or her identity or sense of worth, and should trust more in life and the process that is going on in life.
Ending a Recurring Dream

Whatever your repetitive dream is, take it seriously by reflecting on what it means and by asking what association it might have with something important in your waking life at the moment.  If you get an “Aha” response, act on it.  Chances are if you have heard and acted on the recurring dream, it will stop coming because it has served its purpose.

A Source of Spiritual Insight: The Appearance of Animals in Dreams and Intuitive Insight

Jesus likening himself to a mother hen

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The animal-human relationship has had a big influence in human psychological development. One way this can be seen is the deep attachment and communication that can happen between a pet owner and the pet. Even with animals in the wild, humans have long looked on magnificent and tiny creatures and wondered at their various gifts such as speed, flight, cunning or strength. It is no wonder that animals often appear in our dreams or intuitive insight. Perhaps we are either being given, or given insight, into that animal’s energy to meet a particular challenge of the moment. It is no wonder that ancient people worshiped animals. They wanted the particular energy associated with that animal to face the tasks ahead so they called upon the spirit of that animal to help them.

Even Jesus recognized the special energy that each animal exhibits. In Luke 13:34 he resonates with the deep caring nature of the mother hen as he compared himself to that humble bird who gathers who her brood under her wings. He could have compared himself to a grand animal of any sort like an eagle or a horse. Instead, he feels great compassion for his people and wants to protect them from the many dangers. Perhaps he is calling on this energy within himself for the tasks lying ahead for him.

Notice when an animal appears in your dreams or meditation. Ask yourself what energies you associate with that animal and then ask why you might need this energy at this time in your life. As a follow-through, try to act with the energy of that animal to meet the challenge facing you.

Methods for Getting Unstuck

Getting unstuck can be a challenge met by dreams and meditation.

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For anyone trying to move along in a creative project such as writing a book, getting in shape or developing one’s spiritual life, there are times when we get stuck and it seems like we are going nowhere.  Beyond just stepping back from the situation for a moment (and sometimes that is all it takes,) we encounter times when the obstacles and inertia seem to take over, and one feels like a boat drifting nowhere in the middle of the ocean.  At this point, dreams and meditation help a great deal.

Using Meditation to Get Unstuck

There are various types of meditation which can release a sense of feeling stuck.  One is the Inspired Heart Meditation developed by Henry Reed, Ph.D. based on many years of research.  Like many meditations, one is calmed and more detached in a process of observing the breath.  In this meditation, however, the person is asked to experience gratitude for the breath coming like a gift. Gratitude, like hope, has a tendency to raise the person above the concerns being experienced and opens one to what is new and to come.   This gratitude not only opens the heart to receive positive energy, it also opens one to receive intuitive insight, especially if one has asked or prayed for it just prior to starting the meditation.  One emerges not only rested and re-energized but also inspired, helping one to get unstuck because getting unstuck often means getting new insights on which way to go, resolving a problem and being rejuvenated!

Using Dreams to Get Unstuck

Asking or praying for a dream to help get unstuck is another approach which can often bring profound insights on many levels, as dreams often do.  While the answer may come in seemingly unrelated symbols, events and people, this oddness might be a way of just getting us out of a box and see the world in a different way!  Working with the dream in a manner that sees every object in the dream as symbolizing some energy within myself helps unravel the oddness and often brings home amazing results.  For example, with the holidays over, I am going back to work and wanted a dream to inspire and motivate me because I have been feeling lethargic from all the down time and good food.

Dream:  Many New Workers

I am in an Information Technology office with a couple of co-workers.  I look up and am amazed by the number of young men lined up, coming  through the office door to work in my workplace!  One of the workers already in the office looks and me and gives me a reassuring smile.

When I awoke, I was at first thrown off in dismay that the workplace was an Information Technology office like one I used to work at many years ago.  Like many people who try to interpret dreams, I took the dream literally and dreaded that it might mean I would be working in that kind of job again with its fast past and high stress–great for those times but not for now.  The symbolism seemed at odds to what I expected.  Then I reflected on what it is I wanted from the dream, and that was information if I would be up to working–not where I would be working!   I realized the dream was really telling me this:  the “Information Technology” office was the dream space where I was doing the dreamwork to get information!  It could also be the mental space where I would be doing my work. The fact that I had plenty of workers to do the work filled me with amazement and happiness.   They symbolized a lot of work energy available to me, letting me know I would be ready and “able bodied” when it came time to start work.  I knew the vacation mode mindset would be fading soon.

High Blood Pressure: Getting a Second Opinion from Dreams

BloodPressureKit

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On occasion, you and your doctor will be faced with a medical issue which won’t have a clear-cut answer. It is in times like these that getting a second opinion from dreams can be very helpful. By having or asking for a dream that can bring more awareness to the issue you might be gifted with a dream that provides a clear diagnosis, a remedy for the presenting issue or more information on the issue. This happened to me recently.

My overall health situation is very much influenced by the fact that I had a kundalini event about nine years ago. As a result, the heightened energy in my body not only brings me great healing energy and very good health; it also causes my heart to beat more rapidly and my blood pressure to rise when an energy surge is taking place. Because western medicine can’t do much to treat a rapid heartbeat, doctors tend to ignore it once the heart and vascular system are determined to be healthy. High blood pressure is another matter. They want to treat it because they have an arsenal of drugs that will do the job. However, the big question is, if you don’t have the usual medical problems that cause high blood pressure, will drug treatment of high blood pressure be the best way to go—especially when the pressure can return to normal very suddenly?

Kundalini and Blood Pressure

Along with many kundalini experts, I believe that the kundalini energy does influence blood pressure. I would think that just the force of the energy alone going through the body must have an effect on blood pressure. On top of that, any negative energies that get released through the kundalini surge such as anxiety, anger and fear, will also cause blood pressure to rise when the person experiences them in the release. If the person also has “white coat syndrome,” a fear of going to the doctor, there can then be a third factor simultaneously causing the blood pressure to rise—all of which have nothing to do with the actual physical health of the body.  Then there could be added stress factors like having a bad day or dismal week.

Such was my own situation recently. My blood pressures were reading a little on the high side when I visited my doctor. Along with my doctor, we agreed that I would test my blood pressure at home and observe when I felt little if no kundalini and when generally feeling rested and peaceful. Because even taking a home blood pressure makes me nervous, I felt it would great to get some advice from dreams. It turned out that I did receive a most wonderful dream!

Dream: Two male physicians dressed in white coats come up to me. I ask them if they want to take my blood pressure. They tell me they are not worried about my blood pressure.

This dream told me not to worry about my blood pressure. If they aren’t worried, why should I be? The presence of two doctors in the dream told me I was getting not only one opinion but two from the dream! Knowing that, I feel I can relax more so that I can give a more true reading of blood pressure in a relaxed state. To be on the safe side side I followed the advice given at biologyofkundalini.com website to drink plenty of water and eat three to four stalks of celery a day. Celery, it seems, is a food that can help lower blood pressure naturally. With meditation, I am learning to relax even more when faced with a situation that is scary to me personally. Perhaps the kundalini will release me from “white coat syndrome” but one thing for sure I know is that one day I will give healthy blood pressure readings through this process of working with dreams. Why? Because I not only dreamed that I have good blood pressure but have dreamed of giving resting results! Recently, I had another dream where my doctor was examining me and she said jubilantly, “We did it!” Well, the thing “we” have been working on is getting the blood pressure down to normal while showing relaxed readings through natural means! This is good news. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life being in a panic when I see the doctor or have a blood pressure done. Now I see through dreams that it can be done.

How to Listen and Ask Questions When Someone Tells You Their Dream

Marks of a good listener

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When someone tells you about a dream they’ve had, you can consider it a compliment. In most cases you are being entrusted with something special, no matter if it is a nightmare or a grand adventure. Dreamers have their reasons for telling someone about a dream, but they might not necessarily tell you why. Is it for validation? For interpretation? Or do they just want a listening ear to process their own understanding of the dream? If they don’t come out and tell you why they are telling you the dream, and it is a bit awkward to ask, try to intuit the reason and act accordingly. It is important to get a sense of why someone wants to tell you the dream because then you can better help them understand it.

From listening to people’s dreams over many years, I find that most people will readily share a dream when it is something they feel is positive—such as a dream giving them great insight, encouragement or feeling. People tend not to share nightmares and problematic dreams so readily. No matter what kind of dream the dreamer has it is important to be a good listener and supportive questioner.

Listen and Then Ask Questions

The best way to listen to dreams is, of course, to listen and then ask questions that will lead the dreamer to reflect more deeply—and thereby gain deeper appreciation and understanding of the dream. Genuine, non-judgmental listening encourages the person to feel accepted and open to exploring hidden and sometimes scary meanings in dreams.   Questions may be asked that shed more light on the color, feeling, nuance of an object or person in a dream. One of the best questions to ask is to have the dreamer describe every object in the dream as representing some form of energy within himself or herself.  Asking such questions can help the dreamer find insight by considering the dream from different angles and perspectives, opening more possibilities for discovering the many levels of meaning that dreams often have.

Some people want validation for a dream because they really want to believe the dream is special. Asking questions that make them realize why the dream is special will do that. Also by saying something affirming like, “If it were my dream and I dreamed that, I would feel like things were going well.”  Using the words, “If it were my dream…” clearly indicates that this is your personal opinion and may perhaps be totally different from the dreamer’s. This is important for the free exploration of another person’s dream.

Don’t Attempt an Interpretation

Quite often people will ask you to interpret their dreams. Remind them that you can’t.  Since the dream is all about the dreamer, it is really not possible to interpret another person’s dream, as much as you want to.  As much as you think you know the meaning of the dream, try to refrain from giving a specific interpretation like, “Your dream means you don’t have a chance to get the job.”  If your interpretation happens to be right on, it might feel threatening if the person isn’t ready to deal with it. If it is wrong, the person will feel misunderstood. However, it is helpful to suggest common interpretations to a dream image, such as driving a car may represent how the dreamer is getting along in life—and then ask them to consider if this interpretation is a possibility. Or you may suggest that they look at a good dream dictionary which gives various meanings to a symbol, rather than one pat answer. By listening and asking questions, you will go far in helping the dreamer unlock the dream’s secrets. You will know when they blurt out something like “A-hah!” that they have discovered a significant meaning.

To learn more about dreams, visit my website at http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Have a Problem? Ask for a Guiding Dream!

Dreams are an effective way to problem solve.

Creatively Problem Solve with Dreams

Are you beset with a question that needs an answer, and you don’t know where to look? For example, do you wonder why you might be having a recurring nightmare? Do you wonder why you have a pain in your hip but you aren’t ready to go to the doctor yet? Or do you wonder why a friend is giving you the cold shoulder but you are too shy or afraid to ask?

The Dream: An Effective and Creative Problem-Solving Tool

No matter what the issue, next time you have a problem—just be sure it is a genuine concern—try asking for a dream that will give you the answer. You will be doing yourself a tremendous favor because you will be tapping into your own higher consciousness to get an answer. Also, since you are not relying on someone else’s often predictable opinion, conventional wisdom or your own ruminations that tend to go around in circles, you most likely will get a fresh point of view that comes out of the source of your own creativity. And what’s more, it’s free advice!

People tend to doubt this approach to problem solving until they have tried it. What many people don’t realize is that our dreams are constantly problem-solving for us without us even asking for help! They are helping us understand our world and the challenges we are about to face. Chances are, you may have already had a dream about the problem on your mind but were too unaware of the happenings in your dreamtime to pay attention.

By making the conscious intention to pay attention to dreams and write them down—and to ask questions of them with the expectation of getting a response—is usually all the impetus our shy dreams need to start telling us what we need to know.

“Need to Knows” about Asking Information from a Dream

If you start asking for an informative dream, here are few things you need know:

  • The first dream that comes is usually the one that has the answer, even though it might seem highly far-fetched and unrelated to the problem at first glance.
  • You need to start making associations with images, especially the symbolic ones, and processes in the dream by asking yourself questions as to why this particular dream was given to you.
  • Remember to use one important dream method: try viewing everything in the dream as a type or expression of your own energy. For example, dreaming of a flying butterfly might represent some new hope you have that is taking flight.
  • After appropriate reflection and processing, be willing to act on the wisdom given.

For more information, check out my new user manuals manuals on intentional dreaming and intuitive meditation for healing and spiritual growth at my website, the healingdreamgarden.com.

A User Manual on Intentional Dreaming for Healing and Spiritual Growth

Harvesting the Healing Dream Garden

Intentional Dreaming for Healing and Spiritual Growth

Now Available! Harvesting the Healing Dream Garden: A User Manual on Intentional Dreaming for Healing and Spiritual Growth.

This practical booklet in PDF format includes:

  • How my dream journey began with me being in a hijacked plane
  • Reasons why dreams are important to healing and spiritual growth
  • Why dreams are all about the dreamer and why this works for you the dreamer
  • The health benefits of working with dreams to heal
  • A tried and true basic method of intentional dreaming
  • Working with symbols, themes and processes in dreams, especially as they relate to health and spiritual growth
  • The how’s and why’s of keeping a dream journal
  • Good dreamwork practices
  • Many examples of working with dream themes such as the appearance in dreams of dream lovers, snakes, huge waves, etc.  Examples can be found in this blog but in the booklet, they are all in one place and easy to find!

Great for people who are good at teaching themselves, Harvesting the Healing Dream Garden provides the basics on what you need to know about intentional dreaming. Currently in PDF formatting, the manual is usually emailed to the shopper within 2 business days of purchase. The PDF formatted copy is free if the Dreamwork Fundamentals (DF) Consulting Session Package is purchased. Then, the book is a good accompaniment to the coaching session. Price: $19.99, now on special store-opening sale of $9.99! Offer good until May 11, 2015.

Order yours now at my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.net/user-manuals.html