How You Can Use These Dreams to Keep Your Resolutions!
If you’re anything like me, you’re “all about” New Year’s Resolutions. I love them to distraction and I always have. Making a fresh new set of resolutions is such a traditional process for me that I’d never dream of breaking my streak.
I think it’s safe to say that most people either make New Year’s Resolutions or at least THINK about them in one way or another each January. I’ve noticed a trend with dreams around this time of year. Resolutions actually play out in dreams in several different ways. Best of all, realizing why and how they’re affecting your dreams can actually help you keep your resolutions.
Below are the main ways resolutions show up in our dreams (with examples!):
- Annie had a “frustrating” dream that stayed with her for days. Although she was actually bank teller, in her dream – she worked in a library. She said that as soon as she put a book on the correct shelf, it’d turn up somewhere else. She’d take the time to put all of the books exactly where they were “supposed” to go, but someone would always be unable to find the book they were looking for and when she went back to the shelf to get the book for them, it would be gone. She said the dream left her feeling “frustrated and helpless” and feeling like she was “letting everyone down.” Because the dream was around the first of February, I saw a correlation between potential resolutions and wayward books. I told her that the books represented at least one resolution that she’d probably made. The fact that she felt frustrated and helpless in the dream indicated that she lacked confidence in being able to keep at least one of her resolutions. Also, the fact that she felt that she was letting people down in her dream suggested that she was afraid of letting people down if she were unable to keep her resolution. She replied that she’d made a resolution to lose weight but that it had been the same resolution she’d made for at least 6 years in a row and had not been able to keep it yet.
- Jack began having a series of dreams in January that had similar themes. Although the situations in each dream were different, the gist of each dream was indecisiveness. Irregardless of what was going on in his dream, his dream self couldn’t make a single decision. In one dream, he couldn’t decide which top to wear to work and ended up being an hour late. In another, he was in a restaurant and couldn’t decide what to order and the server got angry. The third dream involved indecision in choosing a cell phone – and leaving the store without one because he couldn’t decide. Because each dream had its own consequence, they stemmed from the fact that he wasn’t fully committed to one of his resolutions. It turns out that, sure enough, he wasn’t 100 percent behind his resolution to give up eating meat. His indecisiveness was manifesting itself in his dreams. When he realized that he wasn’t really feeling this particular resolution, he changed it to simply cutting back on red meat and the frustrating dreams went away.
- Not all resolutions dreams are negative. In fact, many people are so inspired by their own resolutions (or, more to the point, by the promises they bring) that they dream about positive results that the resolutions will bring about. Someone who resolves to lose weight may dream of fitting into a smaller size. Someone who vows to control their anger may dream of being level-headed and calm (even in a trying situation). By providing a “taste of things to come,” dreams of this nature inspire the dreamer to stay on track!
Whether your dreams follow under one of the three categories above or branch off into their own category, spend a little time with the dream and try to discover what it’s trying to tell you. Is your subconscious mind inspiring you to stay on track because the goal is worth the struggle? Is your subconscious telling you that you need to find ways to build confidence if you’re going to be successful? Or, maybe, your dream is suggesting that your heart really isn’t even in it and that one of your resolutions should be scratched out altogether???
Only you can say for certain, but make no mistake about it – your dreams are trying to tell you something!
It All Depends on Your Feelings About Clowns
Clowns can mean many things to many people. In fact, you could say the word “Clown” to two different people and get two different reactions. When I hear the word, I think of positive words and emotions: Fun, laughter, free-spirits, happiness… But I know several people who actually have clown phobias and when they hear the word “clown,” they grimace like they just saw a three headed snake with a nasty attitude.
If, like me, you associate clowns with happiness, dreaming about clowns is an expression of happiness and fun. It could be that you’re having a lot of fun with life lately and your dream is just an extension of this fun. However, it could also mean that life isn’t all that fun recently and you’re CRAVING laughter and happiness. Needless to say, when you have a clown dream, you’ll know which of these is the case simply by thinking about where you are in life right now.
If you have a clown phobia – or even if you simply think they’re a little scary – your dream has a different interpretation. When we dream about our biggest fears, most of the time it indicates that we are apprehensive about something in particular. We know something lies in front of us that we’re fearful about and this fearfulness takes on the form or our biggest “real life” fear(s).
However, when we dream of personal phobias, it could also indicate that we’ve recently overcome a particular fear or faced a problem head on. The dream is sort of a celebration of this achievement! Generally, when this is the case… in the dream, we will either overcome the thing we fear the most or will simply see it with an absence of fear.
Usually This Dream Symbolizes Change of Some Sort
What does it mean to dream about Fall? My dream last night really doesn’t hold any interesting actions or occurrences. Nothing strange happened and no one unusual was in the dream. I was wondering what the dream meaning would be if the only thing that really stands out about the dream is autumn trees and colors? Thank you!
Autumn (or Fall) dreams generally are interpreted to dealing with “change” or “changes.” The dreamer could be excited about potential or actual changes or they could be apprehensive about them. The main thing is that a “change” of some sort is on their mind. Only the dreamer can say for certain if it’s a positive or negative dream.
Dreaming about Autumn can also have another meaning – IF the dreamer feels strongly about the season, one way or the other. For example, I love Autumn so much that a dream about Autumn, for me, can simply be interpreted to mean “great happiness” or “joy.”
On the other hand, some people cling so tightly to Summer and warm weather, that dreaming about Autumn, for them, actually indicates that they’re troubled or unhappy about something in particular.
Unless you feel especially strong about the season, your analysis is centered entirely around change – either…
- change you are going through
- change that is ahead of you
- change that you fear
- change that you know needs to take place
Only you can say for certain. I hope this helps!
How Physical Pain Affects Our Dreams
The more facts you read about dreams, the more you realize just how fascinating they are. This week’s “Fascinating Fact” is one you may have experienced yourself. Have you ever dreamed that you were in pain of some sort, only to wake up and find that the pain was REAL?
Some people believe they hurt themselves in their dream, but that’s not the case. What happens is this: When we experience pain with any type of intensity, we often “work” this pain into our dream. If our spouse inadvertently kicks us in the middle of the night, for example, we may dream that something has hit us in the leg.
Lab studies have actually been performed that prove a couple of ways dreamers respond to pain during sleep:
- If it’s a mild, annoying type of pain (for example, they’re foot has fallen asleep and they’re experiencing the pins and needles business), they may dream that their shoe is on too tight or that their foot is stuck in something.
- If they are suffering from something more intense (such as a broken bone or pulled muscle), the pain may manifest itself in the dream as something the dreamer is trying to “escape” from. Physical suffering often shows up in dreams as something that the dreamer is trying to out-run, hide from, or even destroy.
I once got an e-mail from a woman who was CONVINCED she’d cut herself in her dream. She said that, in the dream, she cut herself on the leg with a piece of paper. When she woke up the next morning, she noticed a scratch exactly where she’d dreamed of being cut. I told her that – although this certainly would make for the coolest of stories – it was physically impossible for a dream symbol to leave a mark.
I asked her if she had pets that regularly slept with her or if she slept with someone who might just need to clip their toenails! She said that she had two cats that slept with her and her husband.
When I told her that it was pretty obvious that one of the cats accidentally scratched her leg – she agreed that it was “possible,” but that she planned on sticking with the paper cut explanation.
I guess a “good” story appeals to some people more than the plain old truth!
It All Depends on What the Birds are DOING!
Most dream symbols can have more than one meaning. In fact, sometimes one THING (or person, place…) can actually have many different possible meanings. The mystery lies in what this thing is doing in your dream and/or how it makes you feel.
If you think about it, it all makes sense. After all, even in our REAL world, a single object means different things at different times. If we use a knife to spread butter on a fresh biscuit, the knife is kind of a ticket to deliciousness. However, if we cut ourselves with a knife, then it’s anything but delicious. It suddenly becomes a cruel weapon!
When I think of symbols that can mean many different things in dreams (based upon what they’re doing, how they’re behaving, how they look, etc) – birds come to mind. There are almost as many different dream interpretations for bird dreams as there are birds.
Below are some of the most common. Remember, when interpreting or analyzing your dream, always try to pinpoint what you feel is the most important aspect of each dream component. This is usually the thing that “stands out” the most.
- If you dream of birds and the thing that “stands out” in your mind the most is the sheer number of birds, this is a dream about being overwhelmed in life… of feeling that your problems, anxieties, or worries outnumber you.
- If the thing that you feel is most important about your bird dream is the bird’s nest, the analysis will have everything to do with your home. How did the birds react or respond to the nest? Was it a place of refuge? Was it too small? Was it empty? The dream analysis will lie in the details.
- If the birds in your dream are “watching” over something or someone, the dream analysis is one of observation. You (in your day to day life) have begun to observe or “watch for” something – OR, deep in your subconscious, you know you SHOULD begin observing something or someone more closely. There are, like, a billion and one possible explanations for this one!
- If the most important thing about the bird or birds seems to be their flight, this dream represents freedom. Most of the time, this is freedom from something unpleasant (bills, stress, pain, anxiety, family discord, a bad habit…) but it can also represent freedom from someone or someplace.
- If the COLOR of the bird(s) seems to be the central theme of your dream, you have to look at what the color symbolizes: Blue (usually means peace and contentment – but it can also represent sadness, as in “the blues”) – Red (usually represents strong emotions, power, strength, and drive) – Purple or hues of purple (royalty, healing, Spirituality) – Yellow (health, well-being, happiness, joy, laughter) – Orange (friendships, happiness, fun) – Black (often stands for something elusive or mysterious) – Green (can mean money, innocence, purity, hope, and healing… it can also represent a “green light” for something you’ve been contemplating).
- If birds are fighting, it’s a sign of discord in your life – either within your relationships or discord you’re having with yourself.
Why In the World Would I Dream of Madonna….
I’m a 20 something year old female who really loves your dream website. I read all of the dream interpretations and have even been helped by a lot of them. I had a dream recently that I’d love for you to take a crack at. First of all, I’m not a Madonna fan. I like her early music but think her later music was kind of embarrassing for her. I had a dream that I was helping Madonna, of all people, find an address. I’m not even a fan, but I was being SO nice to her and she was so grateful and nice to me too. I read in your dream interpretations that you say the dreamer should ask themselves what they associate with their dream symbols or the people in their dreams. With Madonna, I think of someone who is older than me. I don’t think she’s even really that old, but she is older than me and she looks pretty haggard a lot of the time. Withered and all. Anyway, old is the word I associate most with her. Why in the world would I dream about Madonna? -Am I scared of getting old? – Kelly
Well, easy there, you’re talking to someone who’s a Madonna fan! Seriously, I know every word to every song. Yes, even the later ones. Though I’ll admit, they weren’t quite as good as early, vintage Madonna. Also, as a fan, I also hasten to point out that pictures taken of celebrities are often meant to shock us. They make certain to photograph certain celebrities at the worst possible time and some even alter these images. No doubt the pictures you’re referring to have been some of these pics.
As for your dream’s meaning, you’re on the right track with the “associating” exercise, but – ironically – I think you’re going in the wrong direction. If there were any sort of fear, anxiety, or apprehension involved, the dream would have been more negative. However, it was a positive dream which means that it’s highly unlikely anything negative was hidden in the meaning.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this dream has a very positive interpretation. For whatever reasons, you are at complete peace with growing older. Maybe you realize that with all the products, information, and services available today, we can fight the aging process like never before. You’ve probably arrived at the place in your life where you realize that age is just a number – nothing more, nothing less.
I believe your subconscious mind produced someone who symbolized growing “older” to you. I also think that it chose someone who (whether you care to admit it or not) represents aging while still having fun and living life on their own terms.
Madonna represents many things to many people but has always been a sex symbol to most. She symbolizes being comfortable with who you are – whatever your age. She even represents an attitude of “If you don’t like me, it’s your loss!”
I believe that the fact your dream was upbeat and positive simply means you haven’t just made peace with growing older but have come to view it as an adventure.
A final note about your dream. You mention you were helping her find an address. When we’re LOOKING for something in our dream, it usually means we’re searching for something in life. However, you were helping her FIND an address which, to me, means you’ve found something recently – comfort with the person you see in the mirror today as well as the one you’ll see in the mirror 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 years from now!
A Frustrating Dream That’s Actually Telling You Something
What does it mean when you dream that you keep trying to get something but can’t quite reach it? I have had several dreams like this. In the first one, I needed to get on the other side of a fence for some reason (I think something was chasing me). All I knew was I had to get to the other side of the fence, but when I ran toward it, it kept moving away. The further I ran, the more it moved away from me. I couldn’t reach it and actually felt the frustration from this dream all day long the next day.
Another dream was similar. I was at someone’s wedding, putting floating candles in a pond. It was a stupid dream, really. I don’t know anyone getting married and I don’t care about floating candles. I’m a guy who loves football, baseball, hockey, and NBA games, I don’t care about candles or weddings! Anyway, one of my candles (can’t believe I’m even typing these words) blew out and I needed to get it back to me to re-light it. No matter which side I approached it from, I couldn’t reach it!
One more dream. I was playing cards with a friend and dropped one of my cards. Even though it was on the floor.. you guessed it… I couldn’t reach it.
What do these frustrating dreams mean and how can I make them stop?
I actually feel frustrated for you – just reading about your dreams. I can imagine how you must feel! Dreams like this often “build upon” one another because we’ll be thinking a lot about the last dream – even using descriptive words like “frustrating,” “recurring,” etc. We sort of invite these annoying dreams to keep coming around merely by thinking about them.
Problem is, how can we not?!
Frustrating dreams always have a message behind them – even if it’s a small one. The original frustrating dream could have been prompted by a number of things:
- A win that was “just out of reach” – either a sport you were playing, yourself, or a favorite team’s frustrating loss.
- A goal that you’re shooting for that always seems just out of reach. The frustration from trying to lose weight, kick a habit, work out, etc can spill into our dreams. The frustration we feel while we’re awake finds us while we’re asleep!
- An issue at work or school that’s frustrating can also “show up” disguised as something else in your dreams.
Each thing in your dream that was “out of reach” represents something in your “real world” that seems out of reach. Once you realize what this thing is, you can (and should) put together a “can’t miss” plan for reaching your goal. This, obviously, only relates to things within your control. If you’re frustration stems from, say, your favorite baseball team’s losses there’s nothing you can do about that… short of picking a new favorite team.
Very often, simply realizing what the dreams are trying to tell you will cause them to think, “My job here is done.” Then, mercifully, you’ll be rid of them.
Never a Fun Combination!
I was recently asked about “Lost Key” dreams – dreams that are obviously frustrating at best! The frustration is multiplied when the dreams are recurring, like this particular dreamer’s were. When a dream puts itself in reruns, it always leaves the dreamer perplexed.
Why is my mind doing this?!
The wonderful thing about “lost key” dreams is the fact that they’re usually pretty easy to interpret and analyze. Simply put… something’s missing! When we dream that we can’t find an object (or person, place…), the symbolism is generally of something we’re “looking” for in our day to day lives. This could refer to any number of things, such as:
- peace of mind
- an answer to a particular problem
- better health
- weight loss
- job or career
- car, house, or furniture
- better relationship(s)
- school or college
- how to find enough time for everything you need to do
It could be absolutely anything that you’re searching for on somewhat of a daily basis.
When you have recurring dreams, you can rest assured that your subconscious mind is trying to tell you something. More importantly, it’s actually trying to “work something” out in the dream(s).
Our minds are amazing and complex things. The mind knows that when you’re asleep, all distractions are gone. The mind sees this scenario as the perfect time to “work out” issues or even hammer things out in an attempt to find a solution or a “best possible answer.”
If you’re experiencing recurring dreams (whether they’re about lost keys or something else), your mind is working hard to come up with an answer that’s eluding it. It may or may not mean that the problem is huge. In fact, if the problem WERE really big, it’d be pretty obvious to you when you were thinking about the dream.
Here’s an exercise that works for analyzing key dreams:
- Write down the first 3 things that come to mind after reading this question: “”What am I looking for that seems to be eluding me lately?” You may very well answer only one thing – if so, you certainly know your answer!
- If you do come up with 3 different answers and each seem to “weigh” the same in your mind, you’ll discover that you’re looking for more than you realized. If this is the case, it’d certainly explain why this dream is recurring. You’re looking for more than one answer.
- When coming up with the 3 (and remember there may only be 1 or 2), DON’T force it. If you have to pause and think, the answer isn’t that important to your subconscious mind. The answer(s) that really matter will come to you almost immediately.
More about Recurring Dreams in the next post.
When Our Subconscious Mind Becomes a Nag
Recurring Dreams are a problem for a lot of people. The biggest problem with dreams that repeat themselves is the fact that they’re almost always nightmares, unsettling dreams, or – in the very least – frustrating dreams.
Most people think that recurring dreams are always more important than other dreams. In fact, most people think of recurring dreams as “emergencies” and that their interpretation is a life or death issue.
While some recurring dreams recur because the issue is a very important one, some recur for a couple of other, harmless reasons:
- Sometimes recurring dreams keep happening simply because we keep thinking about them! We talk to other people about our recurring dreams, we think about them ourselves throughout the day… pretty much we invite them to keep coming back by giving them so much press and fanfare.
- Sometimes a recurring dream is just a nag. The dream may not even necessarily symbolize a MAJOR issue – sometimes it’s actually a MINOR issue. The problem is that it’s a MINOR issue that isn’t resolved yet. Think of it as your brain saying, “I’m going to nag you about this until you fix it.”
Here’s an example of a dream being a nag: Jamie kept dreaming about his deceased brother in law. Each dream found the brother in law needing help that Jamie was unable to give. Because the two were very close (“absolutely best friends”) these dreams were very sad and gut-wrenching. After reflecting on certain things (their relationship, the circumstances surrounding his death, and Jamie‘s grief), the recurring dreams meaning came out: Jamie felt incredibly bad about the fact that his brother in law didn’t have a “really nice” headstone on his grave. While this may seem like a small issue, it was enough of one to sort of haunt his dreams.
His mind was nagging him to do something about it. When he’d think about it during the day, he’d simply think about how he wished he could afford a nice headstone. He’d also push thoughts about his brother in law out of his mind because they made him sad. However, in his dreams, his mind wanted him to know that the feelings weren’t going anywhere!
His mind nagged him until he faced the problem and actively began saving money to buy a lasting tribute to someone who meant so much to him.
He didn’t have to wait until the headstone was actually bought for the recurring dreams to end. They stopped as soon as he made the decision to save money until the very important purchase was made.
Nagging recurring dreams can’t be stopped simply by realizing what your mind is trying to tell you. Your mind has to know you mean business!
If your mind is trying to convey a message to you, do everything in your power to get to the root of the problem.
A great exercise for analyzing and even interpreting a recurring dream is to grab a pen (or pencil) and paper. Think about the dream and write down any details about the dream that come to mind. As you’re writing the details, ask yourself, “What could THIS symbolize” or “What could THAT mean?” Very often, the dream’s meaning will be right in front of you.
If you’ve determined that there isn’t a core problem or issue, ask yourself if you’re paying too much attention to the dreams. If that’s the case, do all you can to put them out of your mind. Right before falling asleep, particularly, think about something as far removed from the recurring dream’s subject as possible.
Below are a few ideas that some people use to “clear” their mind before falling asleep:
- think about fun times you’ve had with family members – times when you didn’t have a care in the world
- watch a sitcom that’s 100 percent fun and care free (I Love Lucy, cartoons, Andy Griffith…)
- read something “light,” such as a romance novel, comic book, magazine…
- listen to music
- read poetry
- write poetry
- write in your journal – focusing on the things that went right during the day
Bottom line – once you’ve determined the dream’s meaning, put it entirely out of your mind!