Cascading through a minimalist white house. Faceless creatures are clamouring over one another, reaching out for their vampire feast -- me. I’m panicking and dodging their intention through cloud-coloured empty rooms. Every move feeling like a dead end. Spotting some exposed beams, I matrix my butt on top of one and feel safer, but doubtful as to how long I’ve got. Having watched the film The Faculty during a thirty-something going on thirteen gab fest with friends the night before, my REM sleep went to town that night on the horror genre. Substituting vampires for (spoiler alert) aliens the tone of my dream echoed the need to escape threatening humanly-challenged thingies.
Dreams are a treasure box of info giving us front row seats to our desires, fears, the repressed and overlooked bits of ourselves, and the unresolved situations that we are ignoring or in the midst of processing. Our dreams become a creative expression influenced by events, our inner knowing, guidance from our higher-self, and our ego. To paraphrase Carl Jung, dreams are a cocktail mix of our external and internal world. My friends saw the same film I did, but I was the only one who dreamt of vampires that night. Since we create the script, characters, props, and backdrop of our dreams, Fritz Perls, goes on to point out that dreams are projections based on our predispositions, feelings, experiences, and biases. So, every aspect of the dream is a reflection of a part of ourselves. Dream interpretation can be part of the process towards integrating the fragmented parts and be a motivator for action.
When interpreting dreams it can be easy to resist some aspects. When I took on the perspective of the vampire, I felt a void and loneliness, not malicious intent. This rang true to how I’ve felt in my waking life and its part of my own healing work. It’s precisely the spots that we want to avoid that provide the richest insights. I love interpreting my dreams because it connects me to me. I’ve also appreciated the support of using dream work as part of therapy. Here are a couple of techniques for getting into the groove of dream interpretation:
- Remembering our dreams is the first step! Set the intention before going to bed to remember your dream. You can even ask the Universe to dream for your highest good and to remember your dreams in the morning.
- Dreams can fade fast, so keep a dream journal or your phone by your bedside to record as much as you can upon waking. Don’t worry about it making sense, just get it down.
- Retell the dream in the present moment. This helps to relive and connect with the feelings of the dream.
- Relive the dream from the perspective of the different props, cast and landscape. Consider the emotions and motivations of each character and object. We can discover what we haven’t totally owned in our waking hours from these different points of view.
- Your body can be part of dream interpretation too. Make a posture that exemplifies the overall tone of the dream. Notice where in your body you’re relaxed or tense and what feelings come up.
Be kind with yourself. Dream work is insightful and eye-opening. Know its okay to seek out extra support for your dream work and what it brings to light. Dreams edge us towards owning our truth. Blessings on your next REM cycle!