Have you ever had a dream?
Have you had a dream that you felt had a deeper significance than just the movements of your crazy imagination?
Have you ever had a dream that came true?
Do you want to better understand the meanings of dreams?
If you answered YES then read on!
When I was a child, I dreamt about things that would later come true (for more on this, see C is for ‘Children’). I dreamt about small things like a street name that I’d never seen, then the next day I would find myself in that very place! I also dreamt about world events and a few days later, my dream would be on the news. At 8 years old, I started to write my dreams down in a dream journal. By the time I was 13, I was studying everything I could get my hands on about dreaming and sleep, and now, 13 years later, I am still amazed about what happens when we sleep, and mystified by what it means to dream. Even with advances in technology and science, ‘the dream’ is still a very mysterious and little understood entity and that’s what I love most about dreaming: there is so much still to learn.
I have thought at length about how best to approach dream phenomena in this blog post. There is so much to be said; so many exciting and surprising elements of dreaming that I want to share with you, but with limited space and time, I have chosen only one angle of dream and sleep phenomena that I hope you will find interesting. The angle that I have chosen is to explore what your dreams represent about you. The insights coded in your dreams give information about your personality, your nature and the way you operate in the world. So I decided to offer to you the top 15 most common dreams with a short interpretation of the meaning of each dream and how it expresses your personality. These ‘dream interpretations’ have been devised from a mixture of Freudian and Jungian theory, intuitive interpretation, and 13 years of empirical evidence, reports and experience, gathered from the many thousands of people who have attended my dream interpretation workshops, seminars, lectures and consultations- all of whom I thank for their input.
What have you been dreaming about lately? Tell us your dreams in the comment box below! Is your dream featured on this list? If so, is the interpretation meaningful to you? Let me know in the box below!
I dream about running away from danger but it feels like I’m running in treacle, or in slow motion.
I dream about shouting for help but my voice won’t come out or I’m being ignored.
I dream about trying to punch or kick but I can’t get any force behind my strikes.
The keyword for this dream type is: Responsibility.
Are you this person?: You choose to be overwhelmed with responsibility. You find it difficult to delegate tasks, you believe something is done right if you do it yourself, you are super-organized and you may experience symptoms of OCD. You tend to value routine and security and you feel that the best way to ensure that is to be responsible for everything in your life. You are great at organizing people and events. If your home, car or closet is a mess then your mind feels like a mess. You can keep many, many plates spinning at once.
…Or this kind of person: You are overwhelmed with responsibility not because you want to be, but because you find it difficult to say no to people. You are a people pleaser. You want to be helpful and you are very caring. You want others to feel loved by you, but your work is never done in trying to achieve that. You do too much. You say yes to working late although you’re tired, you say yes to lending money although you’re a bit short yourself, you say yes to listening to a friend’s complaints although your time is already over-stretched. Sound familiar? *NEWSFLASH!* No one is going to hate you if you say no. You will still be loved, even when you say no, and here’s the real kicker: maybe others will love and respect you more if you say no sometimes!
You may be a mixture of both of these responsible types. Your dream is expressing that your responsibilities are making you stressed out, perhaps consciously; definitely subconsciously! If you have any variation on the ‘lack of control’ dream, you need to look at how you can relieve yourself of some of the unnecessary responsibilities that you have taken on. Alongside this dream, you may also be experiencing disturbed sleep, waking anxities and feelings of stress, or sudden fears and phobias. To be naturally responsible and pro-active in life is a great thing, but not if it’s making you stressed, ill or scared. Lose some responsibilities and lose this disturbing dream type.
I dream about my teeth falling out.
Your Keywords: Communication and Ambition.
If you dream about your teeth falling out, then you are a person who has many ambitions for the future. You like to try new things, and you live with at least half your mind always on a goal. You may sometimes experience doubt or issues with motivation surrounding your ambitions: your dream reminds you not to give up and to give yourself a pep-talk every now and then! You may have struggled with communication: the feeling that others are not communicating with you in a meaningful way, or that you have not been correctly understood when you have made the effort to communicate. You may feel that your parents did not listen to you when you were a child, or you may have noticed that your romantic relationships have consistently featured communication issues. Your dream tells you that you have the potential to achieve great ambitions, and that successful communications will be central in your journey towards success.
I dream about my loved ones who have passed away.
Your Keyword: Visitation
This has been one of the most significant dream experiences in my life. If your dream about a loved one who is no longer with us is positive, loving and comforting, then it is a visitation from that person’s spirit-self. If the dream is upsetting or scary, then it is not a visitation; a spiritual experience can only be facilitated by love, not fear. I could write a book about the amazing connection between dreaming and mediumistic experiences! I have affectionately coined the name ‘dreamiumship’ for such experiences. I wrote an article about ‘Dreamiumship’ for the Psi Review (Issue 5, August 2012) which you can get from the Scottish Society for Psychical Research.
I dream about being pregnant.
Your Keyword: Ideas
If you dream that you are pregnant (male or female!) then it represents that you are gestating an idea. You have a natural gift for self-employment and you are likely to be very happy and successful if you choose to be your own boss. You are a person who is interested in life and you have a curious disposition. You are a natural leader and you may find it difficult to be led by others. This dream means that you have good ideas, be aware to develop them fully and get to planning before you rush to put them into action. That initial ‘mental gestation’ will be the difference between your ideas succeeding and failing. This is a wonderful dream- good luck with your good idea!
I dream that I can fly.
Your Keyword: Spirituality
This is a very positive dream. It indicates that you are somehow aware that your ‘self’ is made of composite parts. Whether you think of it as mind/body, physical/ethereal, or earth/spirit. You are a creative person who has a great imagination. In terms of work, you need to be doing a job that fulfills both your material and spiritual needs. It is important to you that you are making a worthwhile contribution to the world. The only warning contained in this dream is: you can sometimes become obsessive or focus very intently on one thing- be careful of developing addictions and repetitive habits in all their forms.
I dream about something terrible happening to a person I love. (Cheating, drowning, going missing etc.)
Your Keyword: Appreciation
The mind is a curious thing. Often, the more we love and appreciate something, the more we dream about something happening to take that thing away. The meaning of this dream is the opposite to its contents. If you dream about some harm coming to a person you love it simply represents how much you love and appreciate them, and nothing more. It is not a premonition that something bad is actually going to happen, nor is the dream cause for alarm. This dream represents that the love between you and the person in your dream is very strong and very real, hence why the threat of losing them is so prominent in your subconscious mind.
I dream about water.
Your Keyword: Emotion
The form that water takes in your dream indicates your emotional state. Is the water in your dream wild, contained, frozen, still, flowing, warm, raining down, choppy, cold, scary, soothing? Meditate on the shape and form of water in your dream, it will tell you about what’s going on with you emotionally, and this knowledge can help inform your actions and guide your choices in life in the way that is best for you.
I dream that someone dies who is actually alive in my waking life.
Your Keyword: (Re)birth
Have you heard the old wives tale that dreaming about a death means a birth? Well, it’s kinda true! If you are dreaming about someone dying who is alive and well, it indicates a pregnancy close by, or your re-birth/the re-birth of a person in your life. Think of the caterpillar that goes into its chrysalis and comes out a beautiful butterfly: similar idea.
I dream about houses that I used to live in.
Your keywords: Parenting, family, foundations
This is quite a complex dream, the meaning of which changes depending on other factors present in the dream. You may be a person who is a natural parent. You take others under your wing and you are great with children. You may have considered fostering or adoption. You connect well with your inner child which allows you to connect with the inner child of others. You may be a person who is still working through past family issues. Perhaps you only had one parent around when you were little, or you’ve found it difficult to forgive the mistakes that your parents made in the past. Whatever it is, your dream is asking you to see the benefit in forgiving and letting it go. Finally, on a more practical level, dreaming about houses asks that you look at the health of your skeleton. Have you been experiencing sore joints? An old break that keeps aching? Could you benefit from more calcium? Take care of your skeleton particularly around the time of having this kind of dream.
I dream that I turn up to work/school naked or with no pants on.
Your Keyword: Judgement
When someone asks me about this dream, it always makes me chuckle! It doesn’t seem that funny at the time though, right? If you dream about turning up naked when you should be clothed, it represents that you have a fear of being judged. You don’t like others to know all your business and you care too much about what people think of you. What matters most is what you think about yourself and your own decisions, and your dream is trying to tell you that you need to let go of your judgements, about people’s judgements, about you. Everyone is too busy trying to not do anything embarrassing in their own life, to notice or care what you’re doing in yours, so the judgement, like the naked dream, is very much in your own mind.
When I fall asleep, I get the sensation that I am falling and I wake up with a start.
Your Keywords: Sixth Sense
When you fall asleep, the sensation of falling is a very powerful way in which your sixth sense expresses itself. When humanity was in its infancy and we lived a life that was much more exposed to danger than we are today, we had to develop a way to protect ourselves from danger. We did not have natural armour, poison, sharp claws or teeth…but we did have the power of our minds. So when our ancient ancestors slept, there was an intuitive aspect of their minds that could sense when danger was nearby, adrenaline would be released in the brain and they would wake up with a start. The sensation of falling is that process occuring in your mind today. Are you a light sleeper? People who sleep lightly tend to experience the sensation of falling most often.
I dream about being in a car, walking, being in an aeroplane or other mode of transport.
Your Keywords: Life Path
If you dream about a mode of transportation, it reflects where you feel you are on your life path at the moment. Is the vehicle moving smoothly? Great! Has the vehicle crashed? Not so good. This represents that you know you need to be more in-tune with your authentic self and more in a place of allowing yourself to fulfil your life the way you really really want to, rather than the way you think you ought to. Cars are your general direction, boats are your emotional direction, aeroplanes are how mentally fulfilled you feel, walking is about the pace of your life path. Meditate on what you really want out of life when you have this dream.
I wake up in the middle of the night, sure that there is someone in my room or sitting on me. I am so scared that I can’t move.
Your Keyword: Stress
Many times, rational and sceptical people at my workshops have taken me to one side, wide-eyed and ashen-faced and whispered to me, ‘Can I tell you something? I think there’s a demonic entity or ghost in my room. I’ve seen it several times.’ and I ask them, ‘When you see it, are you so scared that you can’t move?’ and they reply ‘Yes’, and right away I know that they are suffering from sleep paralysis. If you are suffering from sleep paralysis, I really feel for you- it can be terrifying. I know because I’ve experienced it a couple of times. Here’s the good news: You’re not going insane and you do not have a demonic entity in your room. I promise.
Here is what I know about sleep paralysis: you will experience it when you are stressed. When you are stressed out, your consciousness cannot cycle through the different levels of sleep in the proper way, so when one aspect of your mind is deeply asleep, another aspect can jump awake very suddenly. When you are in a very deep level of sleep, your brain releases chemicals which paralyze you and prevent you from acting out your dreams: peeing in the closet, falling down the stairs and roaming the streets in your nightie is not a good idea, so your brain does a good job of protecting you from that. So if you wake up suddenly from this deep cycle of sleep, you are still paralyzed because your mind remains partly in a deep sleep, and here’s where the terror begins! Because your mind is in an unnatural state (literally half asleep and half awake) your mind will try to logically justify why you are paralyzed, so you hallucinate a ‘reason’ why you cannot move: A demon on your chest, a witch, an alien being or other unsavoury character gets the blame for your paralysis, but there is nothing there, just a confused, tired, stressed and sleepy mind. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis, you need to try and get calm at bedtime. There are several steps you can take:
1. Don’t watch anything too stimulating before bed.
2. Make a concerted effort to not think about stressful life situations before bed or in bed.
3. Try to go to bed around the same time every night, and wake up the same time every morning.
4. Creat a positive trigger experience before bed, like taking a bath, drinking some warm milk or meditating, that lets your mind know that it’s sleepy-time.
5. Limit your intake of drugs and alcohol- reduce caffeine throughout the day, aiming for no caffeine after 4pm.
6. Don’t eat later than 2 hours before bed.
7. Resolve issues and arguments before bedtime. (This will make a huge difference)
8. Get into the habit of sleeping on your side and not your back. Sleep paralysis has been linked to the inner ear and can be triggered by sleeping on your back.
9. Get some exercise every day. If you are too pooped to be stressed, that is a good thing!
10. Most importantly, don’t worry! If you are in the throes of sleep paralysis, the worst thing you can do is panic and try to get up because your brain thinks that you are still asleep. Take a few deep breaths and know that it is just stress, close your eyes, and go back to sleep.
I hope that you have enjoyed learning a little about the meaning of the 15 most common dreams! The next time your friend says, ‘I had the craziest dream last night!’ perhaps you will be able to guide them as to its meaning.
Until Next Week: Keep a dream journal. Sit it next to your bed and write down your dream as soon as you wake up. Include the date and how you felt when you woke up. Return to the dream diary at a later time and see if you can gain insight and meaning: you may just discover the wisdom of your subconscious.
Next Week: E is for ‘Evidence’.
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