Our own dreams are the most fascinating things ever. Other people’s dreams? Hmmm, not so much. For this post, I asked Jo to interview a dream interpreter. I’ve written about dreams before (and how you can use them to train yourself for tough decisions)…scroll to the bottom for a special reader offer. But, now, over to you Jo….
Weird dreams that don’t make sense? Who better to ask about them than someone who spends their days as a dream analyst, therapist, and alchemist. I chatted to Jane Anderson about some weird and wonderful dreams a few of us have been having lately…
q. Sarah and I were talking. She has ‘breast-stroking through the air’ dreams. What’s the deal?
Sarah describe it like this: “I’m usually chased and have to springboard off precarious surfaces – like tree limbs or balcony bannisters to get “traction”…I have to breaststroke for hours, trying to keep off the ground, and trying to get “traction” from the air.”
Jane: You feel that aspects of your practical life are precarious, and respond to this by exploring ideas you’d like to get off the ground. You’re working hard at this but your efforts may be unconsciously more driven by escaping practical issues than finding solutions for them. You may feel that you springboard from one precarious situation to another, but you always hope that this time hard work and the right mental approach will save the day. To manifest ideas, to make them happen, we need the right balance between mind and body, between developing ideas and establishing practicalities.
[Actually rings very true – Sarah]
q. Your job is to investigate and interpret dreams. How did you get into that?
Jane: My curiosity grew throughout my years at university studying science where I specialised in developmental neurophysiology – how the brain interprets the world. In the end, it was a leap of faith, driven by passion, that got me into this field.
q. This reader dreams about wolves…?
The reader asked: “Wolves howl at my bedroom window. I think I’m safe because they’re outside, but they howl for ages, and their voices raise in pitch, until finally the high pitch shatters the window. And then just as they’re about to come into the bedroom I wake up.”
Jane: The wolves represent an energy or instinct you’re trying to keep at bay. It all depends on how you see the wolves. If you see them as hungry, ask yourself what hunger you are trying to keep away. If you see them as having to raise their pitch beyond howling simply to break through, ask yourself where this applies in your life – where do you feel you would have to scream to be heard, and why are you trying to ignore this inner voice? This is about setting your personal boundaries and keeping perspective. Imagine having a conversation with the wolves. What might they say to you and how might you negotiate a peaceful outcome?
q: How can we train ourselves to wake up from a dream that is upsetting?
Jane: It’s best to run the course of a dream if you can, as the dreaming mind will often find a solution, and this is healthy for you in the long run. You may dream that you are falling and be feeling all the terror of that, but when you stay in the dream and hit the bottom, you’ll often bounce, or step out of your dead body and move onto something pleasant.
When a dream finds a positive solution, the rewards spill into waking life the next day
when you find yourself suddenly feeling ready to release something, or automatically seeing a solution to a problem.
q: what about recurring dreams?
Jane: If you have a recurring dream that terrifies you, and your dreaming mind doesn’t seem to be able to find a solution,
the most powerful approach is to interpret your dream so that you understand how it relates to your waking life
and follow up with dream alchemy. The dream is unlikely to recur, but tell yourself that if it does, you’ll change the ending of the dream. When you understand your dream and its symbols, it’s easy to rewrite a better ending that not only transforms the dream experience but transforms your waking life for the better too.
q: secrets, balloons, and the inability to speak. What’s happening here?
This from a reader: I’m trying to tell a friend a secret, and I can’t speak. My body freezes and shuts down. Then she hands me balloons and we laugh, and I can talk while I’m holding the balloon, but not when I let it go. When it pops, I wake up.
Jane: The secret is something you need to admit to yourself, but fear has been freezing you out. What feels shut down in your waking life? Why are you afraid to speak your truth? A light-hearted approach helps, so try to not to take yourself or heavy issues so seriously. Balloons are uplifting; have you been feeling depressed? Have you experienced breathing difficulties (asthma), the body counterpart of feeling restricted, of not having enough space to express yourself? Think of the balloons as lungs filled with air.
q: Let’s talk about sex dreams.
Jane: Your sexual drive can spill over into your dreams, but not all sex dreams are the result of hormones. Look at who you’re having dream sex with, how you feel about it, and how the sex fits in with the rest of the dream story line.
One tip is to give three words to describe the personality of your dream sex partner. Since everyone in a dream represents something about you, your dream suggests you’ve been intimately bringing at least one of those personality traits on board in your life during the last couple of days. Good dream sex suggests you feel good about this; bad dream sex suggests it’s time to reconsider your approach.
q: What about the old ‘don’t eat cheese before bed or you’ll have bad dreams’ deal? Valid?
Jane: Food, and a number of external stimuli such as ringing alarm clocks, sudden temperature changes, drink, a blocked nose, can find its way into a dream, but usually not in a literal way. Your dream might interpret a biting mosquito as a syringe injection, or that cheese-induced indigestion as an intruder sticking a knife into your guts. Like sex dreams,
the interesting thing is how your mindset works the mosquito or indigestion into the dream story line.
q: There’s a lot of talk about some dreams being the outworking of past lives. True?
Jane: Dreams set in a past era are more likely to be symbolic – a soldier symbolising conflict, or a serf symbolising servitude – than actual past life memories.
If there is outworking of past lives to be done – and yes, I believe this is likely – then remember that this is done in the context of your present life. Dreams process your experiences of the last 24-48 hours, so look into your dreams to understand how your current mindset is processing your current life. You have the power to transform any unconscious belief that is currently operational for you, and there will be enough references to your current life experiences to be able to understand context.
q: What happens if someone we love dies in a dream?
Jane: Dreams are symbolic, not literal. What does this person represent to you? Which three words would you choose to describe their personality or approach to life? Your answers define something you feel is dying (ending) within yourself.
Jane consults worldwide through her website.
Readers can enjoy a 20% discount on Jane’s services (Dream Therapy by skype or phone; Interpretation by Email; Life Coaching) until Friday 3rd February 2012.
To claim, email Jane at [email protected] to make your booking.