decoding Your dreams: Part 3
Last month, we chose one of our dreams to begin working with and started expanding the image by looking for clues and new insights in the words we used to describe our dream. For more information on this process, you can revisit Part 2 of this series. This month, we are going to continue expanding our dream image by uncovering our personal associations with the symbols that make up our image.
Delving deeper into our dream by exploring our personal associations with the image does two things. First, it gives us an easy place to start because all we have to do is record our feelings and memories connected to the dream. Secondly, we get to clear our minds of all the thoughts we have about what the dream might really mean by writing them down.Keep in mind that our personal associations with the dream image go beyond our own ideas about the dream. These associations also include the beliefs of our families, culture, communities, friends, and anyone significant in our lives regarding the image we are working with and more specifically, how their views influence ours. This makes some of our dream images more uncomfortable than others to work with because we fear they might be unacceptable to the people around us. But these prickly dreams can be the same ones that provide us with exciting knowledge about ourselves that was previously hidden in our unconscious minds until we uncovered the meaning inside that particular dream image.
Now it’s time to take out your dream notebooks once again and begin! We’ll start by writing down the image we were working with on a new sheet of paper, and title the page “Personal Associations.” Next, we are going to break the image into separate pieces to uncover signs of why our dreaming mind constructed the image the way it did. I’ll use an example dream image to make it easier for you to follow along and mimic the process with your dream image and own set of questions.
Let’s say the dream image you are working with is a blue car, you are in the car, and it’s wintertime. The first thing you would do is look at the color blue and write down everything that comes to mind around that color. Here are some of the questions you could ask yourself.
Next, you would investigate your thoughts around the symbol of the car, and answer these questions.
If this car exists in real life, try and visit it either through pictures, videos, or in person. Bring your notebook and spend some time recording your impressions of the car now that you are looking at it outside of the dream in its physical representation. Again, keep working with this image until you are out of questions and answers.
Finally, we’ll explore the possible meanings of the winter setting in the dream.
Using this technique to work with your personal associations connected to the dream image allows you to dig into the dream a little deeper. Dream images aren’t random. There is an order to why the image takes a certain shape, has a certain color, size, name, smell, or taste. You are this age, in this location, at this time of day for a reason. They are all parts of the puzzle.
You may have more than three pieces of your dream image to explore, and you can combine or separate the image into as many segments as you desire. For instance, in the example I used, you could create a separate list of questions regarding “you” in the dream. You could examine what you were thinking or saying in the dream and anything about your appearance, age, physical abilities, etc. Each piece will have its own rhythm. Some pieces will be relatively quick to explore, and others will take more time. However, focusing on individual parts of the dream is the foundation for creating your own dreamer’s dictionary. Once you know what the color blue, cars, and winter symbolize in your dreams, you can then begin applying these meanings to other dreams that contain these images.
Next time, we will further expand the image in a different direction to glean even more information. Until then…
Lisa Finander is a published author, developmental editor, and consultant/teacher specializing in mind, body, spirit subjects.
Throughout her college coursework, Lisa created Independent Studies combining subjects such as tarot and dreamwork with personal development, resulting in her completion of a B.A. in Psychology & Symbolism from Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
She is the author of Disneystrology: What Your Birthday Character Says About You. For Disneystrology, Lisa incorporated the teachings of astrology, tarot, and numerology to create 366 unique birthday entries with a corresponding Disney character... read more about Lisa
Copyright ©2014 Lisa Finander