Entering the world of dreams can be an overwhelming and disorienting experience when we first begin to pay attention. One of the first priorities when we start to work with dreams is to distinguish what to focus on as not all dreams are created equal.So how do we discern which dreams contain our deepest wisdom as opposed to those that perhaps have “come to pass”. Over time we can begin to categorize dreams and recognize when we are being asked to pay attention. Some of the different dream forms I have become familiar with include: anxiety dreams, compensation dreams, dreams of the life not lived, junk mail dreams, affirmation dreams, collective dreams, pre-cognitive dreams, energy dreams, creative and inventive dreams, dreams of one’s personal myth and symbolic dreams of specific guidance.
I am not going to deal with everything in this blog. I encourage you to build your own library of dreams but a great starting point is looking for dreams that affirm or discourage your current life’s journey through the simple use of metaphor.
Recently, I have been witnessing dreams that come as an affirmation of our current life journey. It is as though the soul wants to assure us that we are on the right path. One dream-partner shared a dream of being able to sing beautifully, it was an amazing moment as she has always aspired to sing and now the voice in the dream was the one she had always longed for. When we investigated the meaning of “finding her voice”, she knew immediately that the dream was not about a vocal miracle; it was a declaration that she had found her voice in the world in which she lives.
This is a wonderful example of an affirmation dream: simple, precise with an exquisite metaphor for the message. So pay close attention to any dreams that feature a metaphor that is easily seen. For example you have found a key, you have missed the bus or the train, you have lost your purse. Simple metaphors that can easily relate to something in your conscious life.
Shoes have become a significant symbol in my dream world. From very early days of working with dreams I learned that shoes in my dreams represent understanding. It seems corny, the idea that you stand on the underside of the shoe so it symbolizes understanding yet I sense my unconscious likes these kind of metaphors. So when I lose shoes it can be I am not understanding something and when I replace them it is about some new understanding I am engaging.
When you have a dream with a simple theme begin by asking yourself how may this apply to my current life. Frequently the answer will just “pop” into your mind. If not just release it, let it go and wait. We can’t force dream meaning but we can do our part by bringing attention to them. I have heard it said, “Having a dream and failing to explore it is like receiving a gift and not unwrapping it.” If the dreamer honours the dream the unconscious will respond.