Four Steps to Understanding Your Dreams

If I said there were four steps to understanding your dreams, would you learn them? Here they are. It’s easy. It is fun. Here they go!

Write it Down!

Something miraculous happens when thoughts flow out your head, through your pen, and onto a piece of paper. The thoughts become more real, more solid, and make more sense. You can recall them more easily and see how they fit together. If you want to make sense of your dreams, you really have to write them down. And do it in first person present tense. It puts you in the perspective of the dreamer so that you can recall details better.

Give Your Dream a Title

Titles encapsulate the main idea or at least create a central focus. This can also help you to clarify what is important and what is not – especially if it’s a long, complicated dream with many parts. A dream that contains a kidnapping, lottery win, blue eyes, anticipation, and pencils could be about walking in your courage or it could be about figuring out how to complete a project that has stalled. Go with your gut on this.

Look at Every Person, Place, and Thing as a Symbol

Write down every person, place, and thing. Also write down what the symbols could mean. You can consider archetypes, but be sure to include things that are idiosyncratic to you. If red is the archetypical color of blood, war, and love, but to you it symbolizes weddings because you love a movie where the heroine was married in a beautiful red dress, write that down. That will be far more important than what others think.

People like to take dreams literally. They rarely are. People tend to represent their roles, traits or characteristics. For hints on what things represent, look at how they are used, what purpose they serve, and what they want (as if they were people – for example horses, buses, bikes, cars, and trains could want to take you places).

If you had a great time while on vacation in Greece, dreaming that you are in Greece could be a message to get back to your happy place. If Greece makes you think of the Trojan War, a dream set in Greece could be about doing battle of some sort. All symbols are personal. They may not mean the same thing from dream to dream or from person to person.

Connect the Dots

Each bit of dream data is a puzzle piece. The emotion is the glue that holds it all together. Take each piece, look at the emotions, and see how they fit together. What picture pops out? Some people have the same dream over and over. Some people have different dreams that mean the same thing over and over.

When you don’t pay attention to your dreams, they often repeat. When you do pay attention to your dreams, you get more worthwhile information that you can use to guide your life. You are the expert on you. This means that the information that comes from your own unconscious is a wildly invaluable source for inspiration and guidance. When you pay attention, you will give yourself the key to understanding your dreams and yourself.

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