Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weight loss dream pulls no punches

Our dreams are directly responsive to our waking thoughts and dilemmas.  We can “incubate” a dream on a particular issue using a formal set of procedures.  But often the incubation is taking place by virtue of our regular habits of thinking.  Today’s dreamer presents a case in point.

Dear Carolyn,

Every day I think about my weight problem.  The problem is that I am stuck and can’t seem to lose a single pound without regaining it.  I swear I watch what I eat and I walk a couple of times a week.  I’m not expecting miracles, but nothing happens in spite of what I do.  Last night I dreamed about it:

I am in a large restaurant.  Maybe there are 400 or 500 people seated at tables.  It is a raucous scene in that they are all waiting for their meals or eating their meals and talking loudly.  I enter and the restaurant is a few steps down so I have a clear view of the entire seating area.  I have to find my own place to sit and have a meal.  A waitress has directed me to do this.  I see a single seat here and there.  I approach a table with a family.  It has an empty seat and they invite to sit down and join them.  But I know I should not sit and eat. 

In another restaurant scene, again I am looking for a seat in a place that is full.  But ultimately the restaurant begins to thin out and I do find a seat and sit down to have my meal.  But before I can get started a nerdy young man sits down uninvited and says he wants to interview me as I am the expert.  This makes me laugh.  I say wait what am I an expert in?  He says “dieting.”


Counting Calories

Dear Counting,

Agreed.  Your Dreaming Self is most likely responding to your regular and repeated waking thoughts about your weight and dieting.  And, the second part of the dream states plainly that you are an expert in dieting, indicating that you already know what you need to know to achieve your goals.  Then your dream presents a blunt self-assessment:

You find yourself overlooking a large, full restaurant.  Consider this a view of your own body.  It’s full, yet you are looking for a place fit in another meal.  Dear Dreamer, do you continue eating when you are already full or there is little space for more food?  The 400 or 500 people in the restaurant may be a reference to the number of calories appropriate to any meal.  Filling up every empty space works against you.

Finally, in your dream you say, “I know I should notsit and eat.”  Time for honesty with yourself Dear Dreamer.  Are you truly and consistently following the tried and true methods for weight loss, or are you more like the people in your dream – waiting for your next meal, eating a meal while talking loudly about dieting? 

Sweet Dreams to You!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Sometimes sex in a dream is sex!

Medication can affect our dreams.  In the case of today’s dreamer, her new medication has changed her thinking about an important aspect of her life – her sexuality.  Her new state of mind shows up in her dreams.

Dear Carolyn,

Two things are going on with me that might have influenced my dream:  First, I feel that my semi-retirement is only semi-rewarding.  So I've been thinking about taking on some volunteer work with young people.  I think that's where the child rescue comes into the dream.

Also, I recently started taking estrogen and it's has brought my libido back – at age 70!  In the dream I had very strong sexual feelings regarding the actor Scott.  Although I do find Scott attractive and sexy I only know him from TV shows.  

Here’s the dream:  In my dream I didn't have or even want to have sex with Scott Bakula; he was kind of an unemployed bum living in a somewhat ratty hotel.  But I found out that he engaged in rampant promiscuity.  He slept with100 women in one day!  I saw a TV movie in which he portrayed a gay man.  It showed him in steamy gay love scenes.

An important part of my dream, though, is having saved the life of a young child.  Because he was wearing a strange costume he could not walk.  The 3-year-old was dressed to look like a toy game board piece (flat on the bottom).

I was outside a hotel when the tide came rapidly rushing within a couple feet of the front door.  The child didn't move and I grabbed him and got him safely inside.  

I'm looking forward to your interpretation of my peculiar dream.


New Life at 70

Dear New Life,

You’re right – the waking life changes you're experiencing from your new prescription of estrogen are showing up in your dreams. 

The resurgence of your sexuality is portrayed in a couple of ways in your dream:  First in your attraction to Scott Bakula.  Your dreaming self has chosen him as an object for you to focus this new energy on – someone whom you find sexy and attractive in your waking life. 

Dreams of gay/lesbian love/sex may have to do with self-love.  And since Scott appears as poor and even homeless (living in a ratty hotel) your dream may be reflecting neglect in the arena of self-love contrasted with the new rush of interest ~ the large numbers of women he's having sex with, the promiscuity, and the flooding waters.

Secondly, the rescue of the child may well be tied to the volunteer work you're considering; and it may also speak to rescuing or saving a childlike playful part of yourself from the onslaught of emotions portrayed by the rising tides.  It will be for you to say, Dear Dreamer, if in the past your sex life was “flat on the bottom.”  Maybe you felt bound and unable to move, or controlled like a game piece.  Not any more!

Sweet Dreams to You!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Plays on words reveal much in dreams

One way to get a handle on the meaning of your dreams is to look for puns or plays on words.  What better way to generate a shift in a dreamer’s thinking than to make a verbal shift?  Our dreams employ plays on words to turn our thinking upside down, to shake us up and force us to see things in new ways.  This is called for often when the dreamer is stuck in a self-defeating pattern of behavior and doesn’t see it – like today’s dreamer.

Dear Carolyn,

I’m in my late 20’s and have a pretty good job making decent money.  I do still live with my parents even though I could probably move out and make it on my own.  Both my brothers are college graduates and are my parents’ favorites.  Most of my friends are married already!  I’m not ready for that!

Anyway, I like things the way they are – my parents and I get along really well.  They can travel and not worry about the house or the dog, so to me, it seems like a win-win.

Anyway, I keep having this dream every couple of months.  Let me know what you think it might mean:  Every time I have this dream, it’s different.  Maybe it’s in a different place or with different people, but it always ends the same way.  In last night’s version, I was hanging out with some of my friends from high school.  We decide to go to another place, a party or a bar or something.  Next thing I know, they are way out ahead of me on the road and I’m just sort of standing there.  Then, a police officer comes up and puts me under arrest!  Hands on the car, being frisked, the whole nine yards.  Every time, I try to tell the officer I’m innocent.  I didn’t do anything.  But I wind up in jail, arrested for something I didn’t do.



Dear Frustrated,

Your dream most likely is pointing something out to you through its use of a play on words.  In it you are arrested for something you didn’t do.  In waking life, this might be a situation of mistaken identity or false accusation.  But your dreaming self is not mistaken.

In your dream, your friends have left you behind.  Just as in your waking life, they are further down the road, finding mates, progressing to the next stage of life and the next.  You on the other hand are ‘arrested,’ stopped in place, unable to move forward because of something you have not done.

Maybe a first step would make the difference for you Dear Dreamer:  Move to your own place – you can still house-sit when your parents need you.  Or perhaps you want to further your education and your prospects.  Have you thought of starting your own business?  Whatever it is, you must take one step and then the next, or you will continue to be arrested for something you do not do.

Sweet Dreams to You!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dream interpretation - Don't slay this dragon!

Many times our physical state will find its way into our dreams.  So, if on a freezing night, a dreamer’s foot works its way out from under the covers, he may well dream that his foot has turned to ice and shattered to pieces.  Today’s dreamer has a similar experience.

Dear Carolyn,

I dreamed I was burning up with fever (which was true; I was down with a bug that made me burn up a bit – 38.1C – or 100.6F!)

I was in the deepest part of my sleep when I was so hot that I could feel heat coming out my mouth!  Then I saw myself as a dragon breathing this hot air out.  This golden yellow white dragon became me until the fever broke.  From that point I still felt ill, but the fever was gone.

What do you think?  I've never had a dragon dream before.  And I love dragons.  I did feel protected.  Anyway I'll leave it with you. 

Thank you!


St. George

Dear St. George,

Many times our physical state will influence our dreaming state.  Pregnant women, for example, report dreams of objects, animals as well as themselves changing shape and size, likely reflecting their consciousness and concern about their own changing shape and size. 

Similarly, our dreams can make us aware of problems within our bodies by depicting them before our waking selves are conscious of the issues.  Ernest Hartmann, M.D. writes in detail about these phenomena in his book Dreams and Nightmares.  He cites many examples including one of a man anticipating surgery who dreamed of a side of beef being sliced up in a butcher’s shop though he claimed to have no worries about the impending operation.  

In another case, a man dreamed of an engine with clogged and rusty pipes prior to being diagnosed with cholesterol hardened arteries.

Another noted dream researcher, Patricia Garfield,Ph.D., reported she injured her wrist and believed it to be a sprain and so did not seek medical attention until she dreamed of seeing a man draw a diagram of her own broken arm!  X-rays confirmed the break afterward.

Your dream seems tied to the fever you harbored ~ with one added element:  You say that you love dragons and felt protected in your dream.  That suggests that in addition to your high temperature, for which a fire-breathing dragon would be a metaphor, that same dragon protects you from any untoward impact of the fever.  Who better to usher you through fire than a creature of fire? 

Your dream suggests that even though you've been ill, you are safe from deeper damage from the illness.

Following the tradition of the Senoi tribe of Malaysia, look for dragons in future dreams!  Their appearance will offer that sense of safety, perhaps even serving as guides in your dream adventures.  The Senoi say to ask, or even demand, a gift from such a dream guide.  Once you have the gift, re-create it in your waking world for growth and expanded awareness.

Sweet Dreams to You!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Don't let bad habits harden into place

Dreams of houses may relate to the dreamer's state of mind ~ where she lives mentally or emotionally.  Consider also the implications of houses holding key relationships and the qualities they embody.

Dear Carolyn,

My husband and I live in our current house alone along with our baby and puppy.  I remember when I was pregnant I just wanted to get things done (nesting).  I was on a mission.  I was tired but I didn't want to sleep.  That's how I felt in this dream:

I was in a house that looks totally different but feels familiar.  Somehow, I knew it was my house.  Most of the dream took place at the top landing of our stairs.  There were many people I don’t recognize in the house.

I was tired but I didn't want to sleep.  My husband was busy with calls for his business and I kept missing him.  I would see him and make my way to him but not catch up to him in time. 

But the problem here is that my house seemed to be falling apart.  There were coral-like growths all around the house especially at the top of the stairs and in my master bedroom.  I tried to get my husband to call someone to come and fix it.  But I am the only one to see it – or see it as a problem.  I wanted to fix it or do something to get rid of it.  I remember getting upset and thinking why does nobody think to remove them!


Anxious New Mom

Dear New Mom,

The house in your dream is a metaphor for your state of mind – the place you live with a nagging feeling that things are not right.  You find yourself concerned that things are calcifying around you. 

Because the major part of the dream takes place at the top of the stairs near the master bedroom, it may be speaking to your relationship with your husband.  As a new mom, you have many new trains of thought (the many people now in your home).  And you find some thoughts, or patterns of behavior, that are growing at the same time they are solidifying, like coral.  It is significant that these are parts of the walls. 

As you know, walls or partitions create separation.  In your dream, you are concerned about this and you keep trying to connect with your husband about it, to no avail.  You miss him, literally and figuratively, and you want "to fix it or get rid of it."  But he doesn't see the need to worry or to take any action.  Your worry is that the patterns of communication around you now will solidify into long term isolation.

It seems that you are trying to build a home with your newly expanded family and you feel alone with your worries unheard.  Your dream urges you not to sleep, Dear Dreamer, but to resolve the mission you're on.

Sweet Dreams to You!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Gruesome dreams serve a purpose

Our dreams may present us with shocking and gruesome images to shake us out of our passive thinking.  Today’s dreamer cannot ignore the ugly truth of her feelings about the important differences between her boyfriend and herself.

Dear Carolyn,

My boyfriend and I are planning on getting anapartment together that I'm not really too excited about.  For one thing, I'm more conservative on the whole, but he just wants to spend it all as soon as he gets it.

We always argue; it's literally a love/hate relationship.  Whenever I did have this dream I felt terrible.  We may fight and all, but I don't wish any harm on him.

I was basically kicking it with this guy with an unfamiliar face; we were in my bed sitting.  He was on his computer while I was watching him.  Eventually we were arguing about money.  I ended up killing him by chopping his head off (to take his money).

When his head fell, his face turned into my boyfriend.  I covered the face up and threw everything in the closet.  The eyes were still showing.  He woke back up from what I did and he was just looking at me.  He started talking about how could I do this.  Then I started to gouge out his eyes while he looked at me doing it!  I told him "I don't won't you to have a bad memory or to be bitter about women."  That was the final straw, my body finally let me wake up.  

The whole time I could not wake up!  Finishing a dream never happens, but this time it did.  What does that mean?  I literally woke up after I stared at him for a few seconds with his gouged eyes.  Please help me understand.  The whole time the dream didn't have anything to do with him but then unfamiliar face turned into him, why?  Why am I dreaming about murdering my boyfriend?  What does all of this mean? 



Dear Love/Hate

There is no need for you to worry about taking your dream literally ~ you're not going to kill your boyfriend!  But your dream does spring from the depth of anger you feel over the important, fundamental difference between you two.

With its graphic images, your dream suggests that you'd like to cut off your boyfriend's way of thinking (his head) and gouge out his way of looking at things (his eyes).  This is about the money you're arguing about in the dream and based on your conservative ways vs. his free spending ways.  You want to pretend everything is OK and hide your differences and your anger in the closet, but you cannot escape it!  It's there – a fact of life with him.

No wonder you're "not too excited" about getting an apartment with someone with whom you always argue Dear Dreamer.  Consider the life/situation you might be getting into!  It’s easier to do than to undo!

Sweet Dreams to You!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dream Interpretation - Falling? Find help on solid ground

Stressful times bring stressful dreams.  Today’s dreamer brings three quick examples of how our dreams can point out the urgency of the situation.  They also show by omission what our dreamer is missing.

Dear Carolyn,

Owning my own business is my dream come true.  I love being my own boss, but the first year is also very stressful.  I am learning as I go and sometimes the lessons are hard ones.  There is nowhere to turn when things go wrong.  I am responsible for everything, good and bad.  My anxiety level is high.  I am pretty sure the business will make it, but sometimes I am scared it won’t.

 In addition to work worries, I am trying to help an elderly, frail parent.  With that and then the ‘regular’ family and home duties, I feel pretty stressed out most of the time. 

In a rare moment yesterday, I had a chance to take a nap and I had three scary dreams!  Bam!  Bam!  Bam!  All were based on me falling down and not being able to get up.  Once by a pool; the next was on a pier at the ocean.  The last one I was walking to a friend’s front door and fell over and again wasn't able to help myself up.



Fearful of Falling

Dear Fearful,

Dreams of falling are among the most frequently reported of 'bad' dreams or nightmares.  Most often they will occur when the dreamer has a waking life feeling of insecurity or lack of support.  When coupled with water – as two of yours are – the feeling of drowning or being overwhelmed contributes to the frightening rush of emotions.

While most dreams aren't literal, it never hurts to get a checkup if you have physical worries associated with this dream.  Stress can have powerful physical effects!

More likely, your dream images are working on a metaphorical level.  Chances are, in some facet of your waking life, you find those parallel sensations.  You mention three areas of stress in your waking life – work, home and eldercare – and you have three dreams with the same theme of finding yourself without support or on shaky footing.  Even when close to a friend’s house, you fall alone and cannot get up.

A couple of remedies for such unsettling dreams: First sit quietly and re-imagine the dream in all its detail - see it, feel it, hear it, even smell it.  But this time, give it a new ending.  Perhaps you don't fall at all.  Or you fall onto a cushion.  Maybe the fall turns into flying.  This activity can help with the emotional stress of the dream as well as opening up alternate methods of dealing with the precipitant waking life stressors.

Your dreams point out that you find yourself alone in these stressful situations.  But you are not alone in your waking life, Dear Dreamer.  Reach out to friends and family, fellow businessmen or professional organizations established to assist fledgling businesses.  You’ll feel stronger and more sure-footed.

Sweet Dreams to You!