Dreams are strange things, one minute you might be independently flying through soft billowy clouds, and then suddenly the next having a full-blown argument with your best friend. When you wake up, dreamy and confused, the one thing you may ask yourself is, “what does that mean?”
Our dreams like to hide little personal secrets and scattered symbols that often link back into our lived reality. However, if you’re willing to dig deeper into your own personal movie of the soul, your dreams can provide intuitive inner guidance.
On a recent episode of Lean In podcast, I spoke with the leading world expert on the human shadow, and innovator on breath work and consciousness research, Jeremiah Abrams.
Here are some great tips from Jeremiah on how we can approach interpreting our dreams so we can try to unravel our own psyche:
Write or Draw it Down
Although opening up the dream dictionary might give you a hint of guidance after a dream-filled sleep, you might need to search inwardly a little deeper to find its true meaning. “It’s an expression of your soul, and the soul is not a thing; it’s a perspective on things,” Jeremiah explained.
“If you can capture the dream and write it down, that’s the most important thing. Train yourself to do this, keep a pad by your bed, ask yourself for a dream before you go to sleep, and when you wake up it should be the first thing you think of.”
I can’t vouch for this method enough – it’s such a simple and valuable practice. You want to be writing down the aspects of your dreams that seem to give you some kind of emotional charge. You can write this down in note form, but apparently, one way to get the most from these images is to draw them – if you’re anything like my husband Pat, this point is easier said than done. Okay, so you don’t need to be Rembrandt, you just need to get something down on paper.
As you’re taking the time to sketch out the images or visions, you will start making some feeling tone-connections that will be the avenue towards a better understanding of the intentions behind your dreams.
This great practice should be part of your nightly ritual. Build the habit and keep it consistent, because if you’re like me, when you reflect back you may start to see symbolic patterns and narrative. Follow that story because it can give you an access point to all the parts of who you are – mind, body and spirit.
Amplify the Imagery
When we have a dream, it’s a condensed statement, one you can try unravelling using amplification. “You take each image in the dream and amplify it,” Jeremiah explains.
Say you’ve had a chaotic dream, one where you’ve been chased by a ferocious tiger – I think we can all agree that’s an incredibly terrifying concept, and a highly emotionally charged situation that you’ll surely remember upon waking.
Now, ask yourself questions that would connect you, metaphorically or otherwise, with tigers – what is your personal link with tigers? What do you feel about them? Have you experienced a tiger themed dream before?
“You’re amplifying, literally making the image larger until it makes sense,” Jeremiah says, explaining that this allows for us to further deconstruct the personal connotations associated with a dream’s most symbolic messages, and collect them for future reference.
Read the Underlying Thread
My dream journal reads like a book. Why is that? Well, as Jeremiah points out, “one dream flows into the other – they’re related.” It wasn’t until I personally started writing my dreams down and focusing on them, that I saw the inner narrative, one that had been part of me for years without me realising.
In the moment, you can’t see the dots and lines, but looking back at my dream journal it becomes obvious.
“Dreams are personal. We all have our own symbology based on what we’ve experienced in life.”
To hear the full conversation with Jeremiah Abrams, click here.