Understand Your Dreams
Each night we enter a new world where we experience anything from the mundane to the bizarre. This world is the world of dreams. When we examine just how much time we spend in this strange existence, eight hours per night on average, we begin to realize that most people will spend one third of their lives in this alternate reality. By the age of sixty you will have spent twenty years in the land of sleep and dreaming. When we put that into perspective it seems prudent to make better use of our time in this strange world. During eight hours of sleep we spend far less time actually dreaming. Usually we sleep in ninety-minute cycles and within each cycle we experience about ten minutes of actual dream time. That means that the average sleep period will yield about four to five dream cycles. What happens within that ten-minute dream, however, has no limits. You can experience a dream that seems to last from hours to days. Many times you may jump from one scene to another. You may even experience an on-going story.
To begin using your dream time more effectively, examine your dream and seek to understand the apparent message within it. There are many different techniques offered to understand the messages within dreams. I have found some to be effective and others much less so. Some people even suggest that there is no message for us within our dreams. My experience, however, has shown that there is indeed a relevant message and that all it takes is a little time and effort to understand. My suggestion is to follow your heart and listen inside to see if what you see and hear rings true for you. The first shift in perspective to consider is that all of your dreams are about you. After all, you are the dreamer. That means that all of the people and things in your dreams are representations of your own consciousness. When you become angry with someone in a dream it reflects a part of yourself, not necessarily how you feel about the person who you are dreaming about. For example, you may dream about someone you know whom you see as being shy. If you are angry with this person in a dream it may represent that you become angry with yourself when you shy away from relationships and opportunities because of whatever fear may motivate you to do so. Realizing this one shift in perspective has helped many people who have tried to interpret their dreams literally.
Our dreams communicate to us in another language, a language that predates any known spoken language, the language of human experience. Some people call this the language of the mind. When we learn this language, in much the same way that we learn Spanish or French, we can begin to see and understand more about our life. To understand this new, or rather ancient language, follow these simple steps. First, keep a journal of your dreams. This will allow you to begin examining them and keep the information in the dreams accurate. Second, whenever you see a person in your dream ask yourself how you would describe that person in one or two words. This will give you insight into what that person represents within you. Third, when you see an object that seems important, like a car for instance, ask what function it plays in your life. In this example, a car is a vehicle, so it may also represent your physical body, which is a vehicle for your mind. Keeping these three keys in mind will get you started on your way to understanding these formerly cryptic messages from your inner mind.
Patrick Andries is a teacher and co-founder of the School of Intuitive Arts and Sciences. To learn how you can interpret your dreams consider taking our Dream Interpretation Course.