Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dream Power

I just got this book from the library - Dream Power by Cynthia Richmond.
I thought this book might be a bit boring, as I imagined it would only contain a bunch of dreams and interpretations of them.  However, it was much more than that, and even though I am not finished reading the book, I have found it very motivating. 

The introduction to the book may be a bit hard for most to swallow - Cynthia talks about an idea that sleeps is like "recess for our souls."  While we sleep, our souls gather around with other souls, talk, experience, and basically play.  Dreams are how they communicate important information to us.  Like I said, hard to swallow, but her ideas about dreams did motivate me to start paying more attention to my dreams.  I have some crazy ones but never really think twice about them.  It will be exciting to try and see if I can uncover any information in them.  Even if it is a bit wacky, I don't think there will be any harm in becoming more in tune with myself.

Cynthia says her method for remembering your dreams works for everyone in two weeks. 

Here are her instruction for remembering your dreams:
  • Create the intention to remember your dreams.  When you go to bed, tell yourself you will remember your dreams because they are important to you. Also tell yourself, "When my alarm clock goes off, my dreams will come vividly to mind"
  • Make sure your environment is comfortable - nice temperature, comfortable bedding, non-restrictive pajamas
  • Use a gentle alarm clock if your body will wake up to it - soft music, quieter sounds, etc.
  • Keep a pen, journal, and small flashlight near your bed to write down your dreams as you have them (like if you wake up in the night and/or when you wake up in the morning)
  • Date each entry in your notebook
Here are her instruction for recording your dreams:
  • Lie still when you first wake up and then immediately write everything you remember in your dream journal
  • If you can't remember the whole dream, write down any fragments you recall.
  • If nothing comes to mind, ask yourself what feeling you woke up with and record that
One of the most interesting parts of the book so far has been on recurring dreams.  I have some really weird, random dreams, but I haven't experienced many recurring dreams.  Here are some dreams and her interpretations of them, to help you get started on your own.

Recurring dreams:

Cynthia says recurring dreams are urgent messages from your unconscious and a gift, as they can provide important information we are yearning to understand. 

Grace's dream:

I was in a bad relationship that started off great.  My husband made me feel beautiful and I throught the universe was rewarding me.  After a few months, my husband changed and started talking about his past relationships, in a negative way.  He got really moody and was verbally abusive.  We would have bad days and good days and it was very confusing - it felt like a roller coaster I couldn't get off.  I didn't know what to do and I began to have recurring dreams.

I dreamed about bathrooms and needing to find a bathroom - urgently.  Sometimes I would go through a maze, thinking it was leading to a toilet, but when I opened the stall door, there was no toilet.  Or, the toilet would be filthy or some primitive hole-in-the floor toilet.

Cynthia's interpretation:

This dream was Grace's unconscious trying to provide a strong warning.  Bathrooms represent cleansing and where we go to let go of what is no longer benefiting us.  It was time for Grace to let go, but she was having trouble doing that. Once she broke up with Earl, she stopped having the toilet dreams.

Andre's dream:

I have had this dream for at least 5 years now.  I have wings like an angel and am flying through the sky when a flying red devil starts chasing me.  The devil gets closer and closer, gaining on me.  I worry about what will happen when he finally catches up to me.

Cynthia's interpretation:

This is a dream depicting conflict between good and evil.  Andre sees himself as good, free to fly or proceed with his life unobstructed.  However, the flying devil represents temptation and evil.  We are all constantly put in a position of deciding for ourselves how we want to deal with temptation.  Sometimes we are a little tempted to do something we may later feel bad about (in Andre's dreams, these may be times the devil gets particularly close).  However, temptation and evil serve an important purpose in our lives, forcing us to define ourselves by rejecting them.  As long as Andre continues to have this dream, he may feel insecure about whether he can resist temptation that, at time, hovers near.  Asking "What do I find tempting or threatening" and "How can I reinforce my commitment to what is right," could shed light on any insecurity and help squash his flying devil.

Jenny's dream:

Jenny is a busy woman in her thirties, up for a promotion that she hopes to get (even though it is not her dream career).  Her boss heaps extra duties on her, and she worries if she even has time for vacation, let alone a date.

In my recurring dream, the details vary but the gist is the same.  I come across a birdcage with a bird I have forgotten to feed.  I never seem to get around to feeding this bird, as I can't find any food.  Then my dream goes on to something else.

Cynthia's interpretation:

Birds generally represent freedom. A pet represents a living thing within our care and responsibility.  The cage represents being cooped up, a loss of freedom, but is also a trap we can see through.  Food is required to sustain life and is symbolic of nurturing, love and spiritual sustenance.  So this suggests Jennry is not nurturing her free will and feels part of her is locked up, unable to express itself. Asking a question like "Where in my life do I feel trapped" could help her decide what to work on.

Those are just some quick snapshots from the book, but I wanted to give you an idea of how Cynthia goes about interpreting dreams.  I am going to try and start recording mine, and see if I come across anything interesting.  If anything, it will be a fun experiment to try.

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