Everyone dreams. Every one of us dreams, but many of us tend to dismiss our dreams as bizarre experiences that don’t really appear to mean anything. Nor do our dreams seem to be of any practical use, as we often assume that we cannot readily use any of our dream experiences in the real world of waking life. However, we keep being drawn back to the dreams that we create every night because they may contain information that can help us realise our ambitions in waking life.
The word ‘dream’ has two meanings for us. It can be the adventures that we create for ourselves every time we sleep and it can also represent our greatest hopes and aspirations in our day-to-day reality. Although our night-time dreams may just seem to be a distraction from our pursuit of health and happiness in everyday life, they can provide us with vital insights that enable us to ask ourselves powerful questions about how we can turn our dreams into reality in our waking lives.
Trying to find a way to work out what your dream means can often be as bewildering as the imagery from your dream experience. There appear to be countless theories about dreams and seemingly endless debates about the function of dreams, where they really come from, what they are, if they actually do exist and so on. Although this debate and opinion is very healthy, it often means that dreams end up being viewed as quirks and curiosities, rather than being used as a fundamental part of human experience that can help us to live the life that we want to live. The theories and opinions about the dreaming process have become polarised into two main areas.
These two areas are the academic and esoteric approaches, which usually tend to firmly oppose each other. The academic approach often tries to work with the dreaming process by using outside-in methodologies. These methods involve studying the physiological and neurological activity that occurs during dreaming as a way of trying to understand why dream imagery is being produced. This is valuable work, but it can result in a dream being treated as a biological phenomenon rather than being seen as an opportunity for personal development.
The more esoteric approaches to dreaming tend to view the dreaming process as an experience that happens to the dreamer. This is also an outside-in approach that takes the ownership of the dream away from the dreamer by suggesting that the dreamer is merely a type of psychic receiver. This can result in the dreamer becoming disempowered and reliant on a process that offers little practical help in actually getting to a positive and healthy outcome. Instead of trying to make a compromise between these two opposing perspectives,
I take a different approach, which is to engage with the language and imagery that the dreamer is creating emotionally. Rather than using the outside-in methods of the academic and esoteric approaches, this is an inside-out process that enables a dreamer to clearly express the imagery that they are creating, so that they can take full ownership of it and use it as a basis for practical action. This is not just an attempt to be different but a robust process that enables the dreamer to reach a specific outcome so that they can take action to step into their power and positively transform some aspect of their waking life.
This inside-out approach is highly practical and has proved very successful for my thousands of clients. The basis of this inside-out process is realising that dreams don’t just happen to you; you create the dream and all the imagery and emotions that you experience in it. Understanding that you are the author of your dreams immediately begins to empower you by allowing yourself to question why you created that particular dream experience. Instead of being unwelcome neurological intrusions or mysterious visitations, your dreams become a form of self-expression that can help you to understand more about who you actually are, what you really need and what you truly believe.
As you expand your self-understanding, you naturally begin to connect more deeply with your hopes and aspirations in waking life. This encourages you to step into your individual power and take action on your dreams. The guiding principle that I use in working with the imagery that a dreamer creates is that ‘A dream is just a dream until you put it into action’.