You may not be aware of it, but you dream regularly. Your dreams are a manifestation of your mind, and your mind has no off-switch, so, whether you remember or not, you have dreams. Even better, you can put your dreams to good use in creating the life you want to live.
There are generally considered to be three stages of dreams:
- The first stage is often referred to (although it's a bit of a misnomer) as Wishful Thinking. During it, you simply go over the details that have recently occurred in your life. Dreams from this stage are least likely to be remembered.
- Next, you experience the Precognitive Stage in which the information you've just gone over is used to make predictions about your future. On occasion, one of the predictions is too frightening to accept, so you wake up in order to keep from having to experience it. When that happens, you will usually be left with a frightened, unpleasant feeling. Your heart may race, you may feel sweaty, and your breathing might be accelerated. You may not even remember the details of the dream, but you know you feel afraid.
- The final phase of dreaming is called the Venting Stage. These are the dreams you have last before you wake up naturally. If you remember these, they, too, might have an unpleasant feeling, but that's actually a good sign. These are the details of your life that your subconscious mind feels ready to release.
Those in the dream analysis field make some generalizations about the meanings of common dream symbols, although there are no hard-and-fast rules. Flying, for example, is often thought to represent the desire to escape. If you have an unresolved issue from childhood, you may dream you're back in school. A dream in which you're falling might mean you feel you don't have anything to stand on, or you don't know where you're going to land.
Here are a few ways to use your dreams to bring about a change you'd like to make in your life:
- Keep a journal. Write your thoughts, feelings, and what happened that day on one side. Write your dreams on the other.
- Write a question you'd like the answer to. Put it at your bedside, and repeat it as you go to sleep. Expect the answer to come in your dream.
- Because your subconscious is bringing the elements in your dream up for the purpose of letting them go, express gratitude to it for that. Acknowledge consciously that you are ready to release these aspects.
- Write on a tri-fold piece of paper, "I remember to remember my dreams." Stand it up like a tent, and set it where you'll see it as you fall asleep and first thing when you wake up. Doing so will help you to remember. It may not work immediately, but you'll soon find that, more and more often, you do remember your dreams, and you're able to use them to make positive changes in your life.
Frances O'Brien is a certified hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner with a private practice in Tarzana. She is also an author, teacher and speaker on a variety of natural healing techniques. Her most recent book, Your Three Clicks: Find Your Natural Healing Technique is available on her website.