Recently, someone on my email list sent me a question asking if you needed to be at an advanced stage of communicating with the self in order to work with dreams. It is an interesting question in that you would think that a neophyte might run into all sorts of problems when trying to work with those amazing and sometimes frightening messages that come to us from our deep inner self. However, psychologists have long noticed that dreams only tell us what we are ready to hear. We are always protected and will be given only what we can deal with. So it really doesn’t matter what stage of personal growth you at, a beginner on the journey inward or a seasoned traveler, you will be cared for appropriately by the dreaming mind. One of the positive messages about nightmares is that even though they might be scary, they are letting the dreamer know this is something the dreamer can handle!
What is Necessary to Work with Dreams: An Open Mind and Trusting Heart
Generally, being willing to work seriously with dreams over an extended period of time requires a certain level of comfort and curiosity with the unknown and emerging sides of one’s self. After one sees that this emerging content in dreams is healing on all levels of mind, body and spirit, one gains even greater confidence and trust in the process. This is what eventually enables a person to experience a great deal of growth through dreamwork. I attribute my kundalini awakening in 2007 to the many years of my dreams preparing me for the experience. I certainly give credit to my dreams for guiding me and keeping me sane in the transforming process of the kundalini clearings! Through dreamwork, you learn to ask questions of dreams and get responses. As a result, after several years of working with dreams, you will find that you can indeed communicate well with the inner self, no matter where you started at the beginning!
You are not alone if you have or have had nightmares. Everyone has them from time to time, and many people are literally jolted awake by their power and intensity. Quite often, nightmares are the vehicles that bring people into dreamwork, and that is a good thing. Working with nightmares is the best way to mine the gifts hidden within them. Ignoring nightmares often makes them worse, especially if they turn into unwelcome repetitive visitors.
What to do if you have a nightmare:
Remember that nightmares are most often blessings in disguise. They are trying to tell you something that is very important to you. Often, the content of nightmares represents emerging consciousness of something or someone we didn’t know about before. This presentation of new information is in itself an indication for the possibility of growth or even transformation. The fact that the dream is a nightmare may mean you are just having a hard time accepting this new awareness. Dream Example: I am in a house that has caught fire. Flames are shooting up behind and alongside me, but to the front of me I see an open door leading to escape.
Before you begin to think that you will actually be caught in a burning house, look at all the symbols, the theme and process of the nightmare. Often nightmares contain clues which will provide insight that will help support our acceptance of, or even ease, the new awareness.
Make associations with the energy in the dream. What in your waking life is full of fire, or burning you? Could there be an untenable work situation that makes you “burn” to the point it is hurting you? In relation to that, can you see an exit to get you out of that harmful or uncomfortable situation? If it is work, look around. There may be an avenue of escape such as a new opportunity. In that case, in waking life open your eyes to look for the exit.
Reflect on the meanings in light of the associated context in your waking life. Ask what insight you dream is trying to give you. In this case the dream is trying to tell you how to resolve this “burning issue” in waking life: you can escape, and get out.
In my experience with dreams, I have found that it is the nightmares that provide the greatest opportunities for healing, blessing and resolution of major issues in life. They are the dragons that contain the hidden treasure. And it is your job as the warrior dreamer to tackle the dragon!