Would you change your life because of a dream? I always encourage dreamers to get the dream’s message and do something in waking life to honour the dream; to bring its message to conscious light for growth and for change. But would you do it? Do you really want to shift your life based on a dream? Most people love to get clarity about their dream and their life but don’t actually want anything to change, which can be very uncomfortable. People fear change, I’m told, more than they fear death! I am no different but I decided that I need to practice what I preach. Of course this puts me in a tight spot vis à vis the change or death choice!
I was walking with a rather tall man in robes- maybe 7′ tall- in a quadrangle, a large courtyard in what felt like a campus setting. He says, “Your job is death.” I ask, “Well how do you mean it? Symbolically or literally? As a psychotherapist my clients have mini-deaths, (symbolic endings and releases) all the time.” But before he can answer, I am awakened. End of dream.
Since that dream, nine years ago, I have looked at it every which way possible and it never produced an “aha” of new insight. Maybe it was simply a confirmation that I’m on the right track but I follow the wisdom of Jeremy Taylor who says that dreams don’t come to tell us what we already know. I know all about the symbolic ways of death; the endings, letting go, new beginnings and the symbolic fires that scorch our souls so that something new can grow from the charred but enriched inner destruction. Nine years of working on that dream off and on simply produced “Ya, I know that” kind of reactions. So I decided to take the dream literally. The man in robes had the feel of a teacher or guide (perhaps from other realms) and since all the symbolic approaches got me no where, I thought I had nothing to lose by going literal.
So I signed up for a series of courses at the University of Toronto on grief and bereavement. There’s another course I’m eyeing too. Will it change my life or the direction of my work? It’s too soon to say. However, I know I’ve run from this interpretation for a reason. Years ago, I helped start a charity whose goal was to create a hospice and when I left, I couldn’t get far enough away from the topic, though that wasn’t the reason I left. I just felt gun-shy and started avoiding the field, even though I passionately agree with everything about the hospice movement. Of course my “job is death” could be about the dying process or the grieving process. [On an interesting side note, a psychic once told me that I was a “rescuer”! Not an emotional rescuer but one who apparently helps people who don’t know they are dead, get to the other side. Supposedly I do this in my sleep and that’s why I wake up so tired! And I do wake up tired!] But again, why would the dream tell me what I already know? Dreams bring forth material from our subconscious that we are ready to look at. They may also carry precognitive and other psychic information. In either case, it won’t be old material.
A Dream Uninterpreted is Like a Letter Unopened~ The Talmud
This quote from the Talmud is right! We are getting nightly letters from our unconscious mind, our higher mind and sources beyond that, so how long will we let the mail pile up? It’s time to open our letters. Spend some time with a dream and get someone to help you if you are stuck. Once you feel you know what it means, here are seven ideas to move the dream and its messages into your waking life.
- Post it! Write the message on a Post It note and stick it on your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car or on your computer monitor. You can even put it on your phone and see it every time you power on. It will help keep the dream’s message in your conscious awareness.
- Stick it! When was the last time you added a bumper sticker to your car? You can imagine (or even create an actual bumper sticker) that the message of your dream was put into a clever phrase and made into a bumper sticker. Every time you walk up to your car, you will be reminded of your message.
- Draw it! You don’t have to be an artist to draw your dream. Stick figures can show the dream action just as a crayon scribble can show emotion. Doodle your dream message and stick it on your fridge or draw your dream, photograph it and put it on your computer as a screen saver.
- Move it! Just as you don’t have to be an artist to draw a dream, you don’t have to be a dancer to move it! Put on some music and move the feeling of the dream through your body and out, or beat a drum and move your message using rhythm and movement.
- Create it! Creating the message of your dream isn’t just for drawing. You can make a Dream Stick by taking a walk and as you think about your dream, glance around for a stick and see what appears. Decorate it with string, yarn, beads, feather and whatever you have on hand, in a way that expresses the feel of your dream. If you like to write, create a poem, short story or blog about your dream.
- Learn it! As in my “your job is death” dream, see if there is a course you can take, or a new skill that the dream is encouraging your to learn. One of my daughters dreamt about riding a bike, then went out and taught herself to do it!
- Do it! Speaking of “do it”… Don’t wait nine years like I did. Experiment. Take action. Explore something new. In a quickly changing world, change is the only constant. We might as well embrace it…and do it!
So, at the end of the day, would you change your life because of a dream? I’m going to try and before I know it, I may be adding coaching for loss and bereavement. Who knows? But to leave my dream, to abandon it, without taking action in the waking world would just be too sad. What a waste. Will you join me? Will you change your life because of a dream? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you!