DREAM FAQ'sAnswers to Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A DREAM INTERPRETATION IS CORRECT? Once you analyze a dozen dreams, you begin to notice clues which confirm you have a true meaning such as: (1)A Positive Shift. You feel a positive, inner shift. (2) An 'Aha' Effect. There is an "Aha!" effect that feels like a light bulb just turned on. And (3) A Puzzle Solved. Like finding the missing piece of a puzzle, something falls into place. You recognize it and it puts a smile on your face.
WHERE DO DREAMS COME FROM? Dreams emerge from the mind, the soul and beyond.
The Psyche. Most dream messages come from your psyche, the part of the mind that never sleeps and is in touch with your past and present memories, thoughts, and feelings. Like a best friend, the psyche gives feedback about questions, feelings, and events as the bridge in awareness between being awake and being asleep.
The Soul. The soul can present dream insights, especially when you seek the truth. You may be the master of your ship but the soul is the ship's owner; at times it gives you guidance.
Angels and Spirit Guides. For those who believe in guardian angels, on rare occasions angels may whisper in your ear at night and you remember their message as a dream. Such dreams inspire and heal, as what you need at the time.
The Divine. Even the divine Voice at times pierces a dream to bestow amazing grace as healing or inspiration. If you have a divine dream as you sleep, you will know it. You wake up feeling unusual joy and peace, which changes you.
WHY ARE YOU THE BEST INTERPRETER OF YOUR DREAMS?
You are the best person to interpret of your dreams and fortunately, analyzing a dream is as easy as learning to drive a car. The Five Step Dream Analysis Technique on this website, explains how. Once you see where the controls are and what they do, you start the engine, steer, and go as far and as fast you want to! It takes a little of practice but once you find the meaning of a dozen personal dreams, you are well on your way. There may be times when asking an expert for help about a puzzling dream can be useful, but the goal is to become comfortable analyzing your own dreams.
SHOULD I USE A DREAM DICTIONARY? Looking up a symbol in a dream dictionary or website does not work. Why? Because a dream is a personal, one-of-a-kind communication. A cookie cutter approach to dream analysis is appealing; it gives the illusion of speed and ease but a message is uniquely tailored to you—and only you. A list of symbols can give very general ideas but cannot explain your dream symbol and its true message.
SYMBOLS AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Dreams are built from images that are linked to you experiences. If you see your dog in a dream as a pet that you love—your dog represents friendship, loyalty, and playfulness as a positive message. But when someone who was attacked by a dog has a dream about a dog, the message relates to danger, pain, or fear. One size does not fit all—which is why dream dictionaries do not work.
TRUST YOURSELF. A symbol always relates back to your unique experience. Instead of looking something up in a book, trust that your memories will lead you to its meaning (See Step Four of the Five Step Dream Analysis Technique).
I FORGOT THE DREAM—CAN I GET IT BACK? A Dream hovers at the edge of your awareness as you wake up. Sudden movements as you wake up tend to interfere with dream recall so before you jump out of bed, take a couple of minutes to get your bearings. When you forget a dream, sometimes you can coax it back. Review your feelings and thoughts. As you do, a dream segment may pop up. Savor the image in a relaxed way, and as you do, you may remember a dream.
When you sleep, you are lost in a deep, unconscious part of self. As you wake up, you edge back to the normal mind. During the two or three moments from being asleep to waking up, you jump through several hoops. The few transition minutes between sleep and waking is called the “hypnopompic state.” Some of your most creative ideas, thoughts, and solutions appear during this pre-waking interval, so pay close attention. Tread gently. A dream or an unconscious solution to a problem is like a deer in a quiet forest that feeds peacefully at sunrise. Sit and watch for a while, so as not startle it and make it run away.
IF YOU FORGET A DREAM, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MESSAGE?
Even if you do not remember a dream, the message can still get through. As you wake up, you may notice a new idea, perspective, attitude, or goal—that you did not have as you went to sleep. New thoughts or feelings can be remnants of a forgotten dream. The dream may have disappeared but the gist of the message and its underlying flavor remains. Did you ever wake up with a song playing in your head? Pay attention to the words as an indirect message or a leftover of a forgotten dream.
DOES EVERYBODY DREAM?
Dream research confirms that everyone does dreams—four to six times a night—about every ninety minutes. But not everyone remembers their dreams. The most common reason not to remember dreams is a lack of interest. Other factors that can interfere with recall are prescription drugs, sleep medications, anxiety, lack of sleep, and emotional trauma. Enthusiasm opens the door to recall and if you analyze dreams, you recall more, with time.
DO DREAMS HELP SOLVE PROBLEMS? The default stance of the sleeping mind is to problem solve with you and helping to resolve problems is one of the most important functions of dreaming. Dreams answer whatever question is on your mind. It can be a direct question about a person, a job, health, or finances. It can be a huge question about career options or a relationship, or a daily issue like choosing a new hairstyle or a pair of eyeglasses.
Indirect Questions. Questions on your mind are not always direct. The mind also notes indirect issues such as feelings or reactions, even if you cannot put a name to it. As you grope to understand daily issues and feelings, the mind treats each one as if it is a question. Like a night time Google session, the psyche investigates a topic, evaluates what it finds, and suggests a solution or direction that you can take, as a dream message.
You Can Harness the Problem-Solving Potential of Sleep. How fast and efficiently you can resolve questions and problems makes a difference. Whether the issue is personal or professional, using dreams as to problem solve provides critical insights—as an amazing potential of dreaming. Scientists, sports figures, businessmen and musicians have accidentally experienced the power of dream insights, experiences which history has logged. Yet ordinary people continue to share informal accounts of breakthrough dream insights that they receive in dreams. You can, too.
CAN YOU REACH THE WRONG CONCLUSION ABOUT WHAT A DREAM MEANS? When you begin dream analysis, jumping to the wrong conclusion is the most common error, which can happen for several reasons. A desire for the truth helps. Put aside your preconceptions about what you think a dream means—even if it appears obvious. Initial thoughts may be correct, but until you step back and use the Five Step Dream Analysis Technique, you won’t know for sure.
Symbols. A common misstep in dream analysis is to focus on the meaning of a symbol and base the meaning of a dream on symbols. While a symbol does occasionally hold the full meaning of a dream, a focus only on symbols tends to mislead. That is why the Five Step Technique starts with the Story Line (Step Two) which helps take a step back and see the big picture, first.
Emotions can Get in the Way. Finding the correct meaning of a dream can be tricky—especially if the topic is important and your feelings make it hard to be objective. Step Two of the Five Step Technique creates a distance between you and the topic and helps you look at options before you reach a conclusion. In step two, you summarize the gist using general terms like “someone” and "something” to see the big picture without getting lost in the details. Stepping back often opens the door to the actual message.
ESP IN DREAMS—CAN DREAMS REVEAL THE FUTURE? The experience of many dreamers shows that some dreams do relate to the future. Dreams that contain ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception) elements are one of 27 kinds of dreams. One way to think about ESP in dreams is to notice that the future is made up of today's decisions. Your mind is aware of all the decision you are trying to make. In an ESP dream, your mind creates a "best guess" about how a decision will turn out, based on your current path and inclinations. Examples of ESP dreams and how that works is explained in, “A Dream Guide—27 Kinds of Dreams and How to Recognize Them.”
DO DREAMS TELL THE TRUTH? YES, BUT ... Dreams tell you what is true, but first you have to interpret a dream correctly. Although there are exceptions, most dreams are about you, which is why the message should match what is going on in your life. Most Dreams Are Symbolic. Dreams are made up of metaphors and symbols. However, just because dreams are metaphors does not mean they are not real. We use metaphors and symbols to convey meaning all the time. Even language is a metaphor. Every language is composed of lines and squiggles that form “letters” and “words.” For example, the letters “s u n” mean nothing, except that we agree (in the English language) that it refers to the bright object in the sky that we collectively experience. Like a game of Charades, the story, people, and objects in a dream point to a related meaning—as a dream message.
DO ALL DREAMS MEAN SOMETHING? Even a single image or dream snatch carries a meaning. For example, Gary had a dream about a large wooden wheel, which at first seemed meaningless. Gary then remembered that in his childhood, there was a large wheel like the one in his dream on the farm where he grew up. As a child, he often sat next to the wooden wheel after his mother died. That was where he mourned. Gary realized that his dream was a message about death. He had recently lost a good friend; the dream was a reminder that he was still mourning the loss and needed to take time to grieve. The wheel was a single image yet it brought an important message.