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The Dream by Henri Rousseau

I love a good night’s sleep and I love to dream.  I love the rich symbols, archetypes and messages I get from my dreams.  I’ve certainly had some bizarre ones, as well as those that were so incredibly powerful that I woke feeling a profound shift had taken place within my psyche.

 

Years ago a wise friend taught me to always write down my dreams and to keep a journal.  I found over time that I remember more of my dreams, and I also have a better understanding of them.  I see certain patterns and themes more clearly now.  For example the house that I grew up in used to be featured in my dreamscapes a great deal, particularly when I was actively healing past issues. 

 

Some of my dreams have turned into great sources of inspiration for me.  I picked this one dream and story to share, because it’s timely to my current process, but I also have a strong sense that many others may resonate with this as well.  The work that this particular dream led me to do illustrates how we can use our dreams to our own benefit.  The following came from a dream I had several years ago.  It left a lasting impression on me, and provided great material for my growth.

 

I dreamed that I was with my friends Bernice and Doris, and we were standing in my grandparents’ garage.  My grandfather had the most immaculate garage you could imagine.  It was clean and uncluttered.  The garage door was open and the three of us were looking out.  As far as the eye could see, there was nothing but swamp, and it was flooding, and beginning to creep into the garage where we were. 

 

I stood looking at the swamp, and thinking about the bugs, snakes, and feeling really overwhelmed and anxious.   Bernice was fascinated by it, and kept saying, “How interesting, how interesting.”  Meanwhile Doris just went right out into the swamp.  That was the end of the dream sequence and it seemed very incomplete to me.

 

When I woke up I decided to try to experiment with this interesting material my dream life had presented me with.  I went into meditation and went back to the swamp.  After connecting with the three characters there, we mutually decided to drain it, so we created a drain to help it drain off and become this lovely green space.  That was the intent anyway, but I got this image of the drain being clogged up.  So we all went out into the swamp with a gigantic plunger.  I guess I thought that might take care of the situation,  as I realized that was exactly how I had been feeling in certain areas of my life, all clogged up. 

 

But as the day progressed, I continued to feel clogged up.  Finally I went back into meditation to see what could be done.  Once I connected, I discovered that this time we were all struggling with this gigantic plunger together.  Suddenly Bernice said to me, “Gwendolyn, go get the Spiritual Draino!”  So, I went back to the garage, and got this stuff, that was basically three bottles of White Light that we poured down the swamp drain.  That seemed to do the trick and I went about my normal routines for the day.

 

Several hours later, I realized it really had worked and I was in a great mood.  Being open to the potential gifts of this dream helped me understand the meaning and how to work with it. I saw how this swamp represented my new venture in self-employment, and the three characters were all aspects of me.   All of their reactions were really what I had been feeling about becoming self-employed.

 

The character of my actual self was my very frightened ego, as she looked at all of the terrible things that could come out of the swamp, or all the terrible outcomes of my decisions.  Bernice, who stood beside me and kept saying, “How interesting,” was the observer; right there in the moment and able to take in the broader meaning.  While Doris just delightfully plunged into the swamp for further investigation.  When I understood that this dream was reflecting my problem, and I understood the role that each character represented from within, I was able to go back there and do some internal shifting for myself.  The result was a shifting of my energy and a release of the anxiety and blockages I was experiencing in moving forward.  This kind of dream work is both fun and productive and I often feel that I can bring my sense of humor and whimsy into the dreamscapes to further aid in my process.

 

I so admire the work of Jungian analysts and writers who dive so deeply into archetypes and symbolism.  But at the same time, I caution people when it comes to buying cheap self-help books on the subject of dream interpretation.  So often they suggest they will unlock the secrets of your dreams for you.  Dreaming for Dummies isn’t a valuable option, if you are looking to gain the real gifts from dreams.  There are some incredibly gifted people who can guide you in the process of understanding dreams.  Just don’t let yourself be seduced into thinking that there’s one book, CD, pathway, etc.  that will give you all the answers.  Mostly this work is about self discovery and requires that you begin the work of interpreting the unique language of your own dreamscapes.

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