Thursday, July 23, 2009

Deciphering dreams

I went to the most fascinating talk last night at WomenSpace, presented by dream expert and "dream alchemist", Jane Teresa Anderson.

Jane Teresa has been analysing dreams since about 1991 and has written a stack of books on the subject of what dreams mean and how we can change our lives if we pay attention to our dreams. She frequently appears on radio and TV, and seems to do presentations all over the place.

She talked about some of the common dreams - like the "tidal wave" dream, the "flying" dream and the "slow-motion" dream - it was reassuring to know that other people in the room had faced that giant tidal wave like I've done in various dreams over the years.

Dreams give us an amazing opportunity to explore how our subsconscious mind works. Jane Teresa said that we would all be really ill if we did not dream - that dreams are a way for the subconscious mind to process the day's events.

She also said that because we were so busy these days, it could sometimes take a couple of days for the sub-conscious mind to catch up - so that whatever I dreamt last night for example, is probably processing "stuff" from 1-2 days earlier.

She said that generally, if you dream about "stuff" that happened in the past, it typically means that something that happened inyour current day triggered a memory (typically a negative memory) of something that happened and made you feel the same way when you young.

Another interesting point was that if you dream about a person, it typically has nothing to do with that person at all - but rather something IN or ABOUT that person that mirrors what needs processing in yourself. So it may be for example, that you're dreaming about someone who is extremely angry - Jane Teresa's take on it was that it would be about anger you're feeling yourself. A dream expert would work with you to explore the dream in full detail and explain what was really going on.

Yet another curious fact was that if we're presented with the opportunity to kill something in a dream - like a monster or animal, or something or someone that is attacking us - that we shouln't kill it off, because that represents killing off a part of our psyche. We ran out of time for her to go into too much more detail about that, but it was all quite fascinating.

Jane Teresa has a stack of resources about dreams on her website at, including free dream analysis podcasts, ebooks and dream glossaries. She also runs workshops and seminars.

One final point - we all dream. Whether or not we remember our dreams is another story, but if we work to understand what our dreams mean and what underlying issues they represent, it can help us to unblock and reach our full potential.

Have you had any interesting dreams lately?

No comments: