Posted by: Jenny Davidow | August 26, 2015

Dreaming of My First Love

Maybe your first love was years, even decades ago.  But somehow, this early love sneaks back into your dreams even now and tugs on your heart.  You didn’t realize there were such deep wells of tenderness, or regret, hidden away inside you.  Sometimes the dreams repeat and repeat.  Sometimes you wake up with tears and a heavy heart.  What does it mean?

People are often confused when they dream of the past, or it seems like a memory of someone, or a wish fulfillment kind of dream. We tend to take such dreams literally, as in “I’m just remembering my ex,” or “I wish I could see him/her again.”

But our dream wisdom has much more to say than the literal meaning our conscious mind wants to assign to such dreams.

Whenever we dream, our subconscious is wisely choosing what, who and when – in order to send us a message that can help us in our present life. How does that work, you may ask?

So, for example, you’re dreaming about your first love, from years ago. You’re remembering what made him/her so special. You’re remembering how you pushed her away and didn’t appreciate her till it was too late.

In dreams, your deeper wisdom is using the symbol of your lady love, and the memory of what was lovely as well as what went so wrong, to bring a lesson to you that is timely for your present life and relationships.

Is there a way that you are learning (or still need to learn) to appreciate tender and affectionate love when it is offered to you?

Or even more deeply, is there a way you are learning (or still need to learn) to be more vulnerable and bring some tenderness and affection to yourself and others?

Or is there a way in which you are still pushing that dear part of yourself (or someone else) away?

For many of us, it’s a “work in progress” all our lives to overcome a deep fear and learn to trust ourselves enough to offer tender love, as well as to receive it.  We need to get to know our own vulnerability and to accept both the beauty and the risk.  It’s like there are two parts of us: one that deeply hungers for love, and the other part which wants to run away from the risk.

In my book, Embracing Your Subconscious, I provide steps to help you dialogue between these parts of you, to work through this inner conflict and more easily become friends with that vulnerable and tender part of yourself. Check out my book excerpt on my website. You can also buy the book as an ebook, or other products for understanding dreams, at my webstore.

Lastly, simply daydreaming and imagining a more satisfying conclusion to your dreams of an ex can really make a difference. This is a form of “lucid dreaming” while awake. Your subconscious understands and remembers the positive images and healthier alternatives you imagine with all your senses – seeing, feeling, and hearing an outcome that feels healing.

You might, for example, imagine telling your ex how you feel as you remember him/her now, at this point in your life. Tell him/her what you appreciated about him/her. For example, tell her how you’d like to have changed your response to her.

Then imagine interacting with your ex in just the way that you would like: Imagine being more vulnerable and affectionate – and feeling comfortable at the same time. Try this over a period of days or weeks, and you’ll most likely no longer need to have sad or recurring dreams about your ex.

And the most wonderful benefit of all this is that, while awake, you will probably start to feel more in touch with yourself.  Without even planning it, you may become more willing to express these tender parts of yourself that before seemed shut off or lost in the past.

Copyright (C) 2015 by Jenny Davidow

Please reprint only with author name and live link back to https://nightmarerelief.wordpress.com/

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | December 12, 2013

First-Aid for Nightmares

Fortunately, you can influence your dreams, and even your nightmares, to be more positive and satisfying. Your subconscious is receptive to new solutions and ‘re-do’s’ that you can visualize for any dream. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Imagine that you can view your nightmare like a movie, separate from you, on a TV screen. See it in black and white with the sound turned down. Use the remote control to “freeze” the action.  

2. See and feel yourself in the most peaceful, safe, quiet place you can imagine. Experience the comfort of this place with all of your senses. Breathe in the freshness of the air. Notice how the ground feels under your feet. Look around and notice details of this comfortable place.

3. In this safe place, make a drawing of the nightmare “movie” or imagine it on a TV screen again. You see it over there, separate from you. See or sense it in black and white, with no sound. You *don’t* have to feel it again.

4. Write a short description of the “story” that was told on the TV screen and in your nightmare. Instead of writing from your own point of view, write it as if you are just one of the characters in the story. Use your own name, rather than “I.” For example: “Sally” (the dreamer) is …”

5. If you are ready to try, imagine that you can ‘re-do’ your nightmare. This time, exert your own power to fight off dream adversaries, speak out your truth, or invite in helpers and allies who can help you defend yourself. Imagine yourself victorious at the end of the dream.

6. Be a gentle witness to your dream story or movie. Consider that this story may offer some kind of hidden value or message. Regard the emotions you and the other dream characters experience as important clues. Later, these clues will help you to explore the symbols in your dream using Inner Dialogue.*

Translating a Nightmare

Dreams are vital to our well-being – and our sanity – because they help us to learn and evolve. Every night, we can “dream our way forward,” using the deeper part of our intelligence that isn’t available to our conscious mind. Our dream mind puts together creative and brilliant stories every night, to help us discover valuable parts of ourselves. Our deeper wisdom wants us to turn toward parts of us that maybe we’ve forgotten or ignored.

Disturbing dreams and symbols are also valuable parts of our energy – but they’ve been shut away for too long and their energy has become dark and polarized. When we peel away the symbol’s scary wrapping with dreamwork,* underneath it is only energy – our energy – which we can claim and use to bring more balance and awareness into our lives. (See my post, ‘Tidal Wave Dreams, Revisited’ for more)

Dreamwork helps you to translate the metaphor or symbolism of these nightmare themes. Symbol books only give you general interpretations, missing the rich and creative associations and choices present in your unique dreams. Your dream’s message has many layers and is very personalized, drawing from the emotions, responses and varying details of your symbols and dreams.

*Read an excerpt of my book, Embracing Your Subconscious, on my website,  www.JennyDavidow.com.

Visit JennyDavidowStore.com to buy the book or Dream Visualizations CD.

Copyright 2013 by Jenny Davidow.
Reprint only with live link back to https://nightmarerelief.wordpress.com.

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | May 22, 2013

How Dreams Teach Us Compassion

Have you ever dreamed that you found your beloved pet injured or half-starved?

Louise dreamed that she saw her beloved cat walking in her yard. Then suddenly, he grew weak, his tongue hung out of his mouth, and he collapsed. She ran to him, racked by deep sobs as she bent over his limp body.

We tend to take such dreams literally – “Oh, I’m worried about my pet.” But actually, the dream is about you.

I suggested to Louise that she could explore the dream by shifting to her cat’s perspective. First, I asked her to tell me what is special about her cat. Speaking as the cat, she said:

“I am full of life. I am playful and affectionate. I love to go on adventures. I live completely in the moment.
But now I’ve collapsed. I’m dying.”

Then I asked Louise to be herself, as she was in the dream, and speak to the cat:

“I am crying and sobbing over you. You are so important to me.
I love you and can’t cope with the grief of perhaps losing you.
I keep wondering if I neglected you. I took you for granted.”

So, what does this dream have to do with learning compassion?

I asked Louise, “Is there a part of you that feels on the verge of collapse?”

Louise’s eyes widened. Well, yes, she told me. She’d been devoting all her time to taking care of her family’s needs, with no time left for herself. She tended to undervalue the importance of her own needs.

And so she had this dream, in which the cat symbolized the exhausted, neglected part of her. No wonder the cat’s distress was so extreme, and evoked such strong grief in her.

I asked Louise, “What would the cat like to say to you in this dream?”

Louise spoke as the cat: “I need you to give me more time.
I need you be playful and affectionate with me. Stop rushing around and ignoring me!”

Louise’s dream was giving her a lesson in compassion: The message was to take better care of herself and not put herself last. Like many people, she could more easily feel the compassion for her cat than she could for herself. But that was only the starting point. Now she needed to turn that same compassion toward herself.

I asked Louise, “Is there a way that you can put a kind arm around this part of you that feels like the cat,
that is so worn out it is collapsing? This part has been neglected, not given enough to sustain it.
This part has so much natural playfulness and affection, but needs you to help it feel better.”

Louise nodded, while tears streamed down her face.

I asked her, “Can you also put a kind arm around the part of you that is sobbing in the dream?
The part of you that feels such intense shock and loss?
The part of you that doesn’t want to lose its own beloved and playful nature?”

The purpose of this dream was to get Louise to recognize her own suffering, and to turn toward this neglected part of her with compassion. Over many years, I have found that when people work with their dreams as Louise did, they very naturally develop more compassion for themselves and for others.

It seems that, first, we need to recognize the parts of ourselves that are suffering, sick, injured, or sad. Then, later,  it becomes much easier to recognize those parts — which ask for our tenderness — in other people. This is one way in which compassion can become a meaningful response to our own and other people’s suffering.

(c) 2013 by Jenny Davidow, author of Embracing Your Subconscious

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | November 16, 2012

Lucid Dreams: Ride the Wave of Consciousness

Lucid dreams are the mind-expanding superfood of your subconscious: You are aware that you are dreaming. You can observe your dream and at the same time participate fully in your dream.

Perceptions are heightened. Choices are more clearly seen. You can make decisions that will improve any part of your dream. You can create a positive outcome for your dream, even if you recognize it as one of your most troubling nightmares.

Lucid dreams often involve brilliant colors, pleasurable sensations and a significant communication.

When you know you are dreaming, you can ask questions, demand cooperation, experiment with your responses, make lucid choices, and change the outcome of your dream to manifest your heart’s desire.

In this lucid state, there ceases to be a sense of separation. You interact with your dream symbols with heightened clarity, loving connection and compassion. You enjoy a sense of boundless energy and power. Confidence and mastery are the norm.

Lucid dreaming was first studied in sleep labs by researcher Stephen LaBerge. Dr. LaBerge’s findings gave scientific validity to lucid awareness in the West. But lucid dreaming is not new: it has been recorded and practiced by many cultures—Native American, Tibetan, East Indian, Malaysian, and others—for thousands of years. Like these ancient lucid dreamers, you, too, have the ability to explore the rich dimensions of your own consciousness.

When I first decided that I wanted to experience a lucid dream, I was not sure what to do to make it happen. For several weeks, just before going to sleep I would say to myself, “Tonight I will have a lucid dream.”

I tried to imagine how a lucid dream would feel, look, and sound when I was lucid. I sensed that imagining it ahead of time would help to incubate lucid dreams.

Then I noticed that one of the most striking things about my dream states was that I had recurring dreams: I would dream about a certain person or situation, then dream about the same person or situation a week or a month later. Sometimes I would even remember earlier dreams and say to myself, “This has happened to me before.”

Previously, I had thought of my recurring dreams as something unpleasant that I’d rather avoid. Now, because they could cue me to “wake up” inside my dream, I chose to seek out and use my recurring dreams.

Although I had more than one recurring dream to choose from, I picked my “Tidal Wave Dream.”  This dream appeared so regularly that I could almost predict its return within a month.

In the dream, I am standing on the shore watching the ocean. It is a warm and sunny day. Everything is fine, until I look up and see a huge tidal wave advancing toward me.

The wave is coming too quickly for me to get away from it. I become more and more afraid as the huge wall of water gets closer and closer, towering over me. I feel powerless as it crashes over me. I am so afraid that I wake up.

To incubate becoming lucid in my dream, I practiced seeing, hearing and feeling the tidal wave – while awake. I practiced saying, “There’s a tidal wave — I must be dreaming!”

Within a month, there I was again, confronted by a huge tidal wave.

This time, I am in the water, being lifted very high to the top of the wave. I am afraid the wave will crush me under its weight when it breaks. At this moment, I become lucid. I say to myself, “I am having another tidal wave dream!”

Even as the wave lifts me higher, I say, “Since I am dreaming, I know this can’t hurt me!” For the first time, I feel liberated from dream terrors. I am certain the wave can’t hurt me — and I no longer feel that I have to get away.

I realize I am experiencing a lucid dream for the very first time. I feel an amazing surge of excitement—a new world of possibilities has opened to me. At this point, I can do anything I want — fly, ride the wave, discover something magical.

Then I start to worry. “What should I do now? I should think of something really good.” My worry disrupts the delicate balance of lucid awareness, and I wake up.

My first lucid dream showed me that when I thought about my dream too much, my rational mind interfered with the dream state and I woke up.

Many dreamers, when they first become lucid, have difficulty in continuing to be lucid. This is because when you start to think and plan, you change your brain waves. Your efforts to problem-solve engage your rational left-brain hemisphere, so your brain waves speed up, causing you to either lose the lucid state (and return to normal dreaming) or wake up.

On awakening, my consolation was that I was on the right track. I had succeeded in having my first lucid dream! I had the right formula for becoming lucid—what I needed now was a way to stay lucid and enjoy the dream.

Over the next few weeks, I practiced a rehearsal for lucid dreaming: I imagined becoming lucid and then doing something pleasurable with my new-found lucidity. Very soon, another tidal wave dream presented me with another opportunity:

I am swimming in the ocean. Suddenly a tidal wave builds up near me, lifting me higher and higher.

I look down from what seems a great height, and just before I panic, I realize that I’m dreaming! I say to myself, “This can’t hurt me, because it’s a dream!” Then I add the thought or intention, “Now I can have some fun with this dream.”

This time I feel comfortable and playful. The next thing I know, I am riding the wave! Like a surfer, I am being propelled in front of the wave’s curl. My long hair is streaming back, the wind and foam flying by me, going very fast.

I ride the wave for miles. I am filled withl tremendous exhilaration and freedom.

Adapted from Embracing Your Subconscious by Jenny Davidow, © 2012

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | July 1, 2012

Tidal Wave Dreams, Revisited

Tsunami dream
Tidal waves have enormous power. In dreams, the power of the wave represents valuable energy in you that needs expression.

Tidal Wave Dreams, Revisited

by Jenny Davidow
Copyright 2012. Please reprint only with author name and live link back to this blog.

Of all the posts I’ve written in the last two years, this post is the most read and most “searched.” Why do tidal waves have such a powerful impact on our subconscious? Is there some kind of primal force or symbolism at work here? Read on, and let me know what you think!

Suppose there’s a huge tidal wave coming toward you. The moving wall of water is so large, you can’t ignore it. It is moving so fast, you can’t out-run it. Suddenly you feel alone and very small, paralyzed on the shore.

But what if you could go deeper into this dream or nightmare, and discover what the tidal wave has to say to you? The meaning of the dream is hidden inside the symbol of the tidal wave, and in the opposition of the large and powerful wave to the small and powerless dreamer.

When I help a dreamer explore a tidal wave dream, I ask the dreamer to imagine being in the dream again — and then switch perspectives, to step into the “tidal wave” as a symbol. This step is the beginning of a process I developed and named the Inner Dialogue.  By speaking as the “tidal wave,” the dreamer gets to the deeper layer of subconscious meaning. The process is spontaneous and not something you would normally think to do. But switching perspectives always reveals much more than what the dreamer consciously thought he or she understood.

Here is an example of what a tidal wave might have to say in the Inner Dialogue:

I’m an angry wave. I’ve gotten bigger and bigger over time. I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being “shored up.” Now I’m going toward the dreamer, so fast she can’t escape me.

What I want to say to the dreamer is: I’m angry because you have ignored me for a long time. You think I’ll just stay in the boundaries of the ocean and not come onto land where you are. I’m sick of being shored up by you. Now you’re going to feel the full force of me.

At this point, some people would argue, “This is not an energy I want to get to know.” But even when a dream symbol comes dressed in a scary wrapping, its energy has  value and offers a larger awareness or perspective to the dreamer.

Inner Dialogue allows the dreamer and another symbol to communicate with each other, as if still in the dream. Right away, when the tidal wave addresses the dreamer, you can detect how angry it is at being ignored and expected to “stay in the boundaries.”

More is revealed when the dreamer takes her turn to speak to the wave:

I am the Dreamer. I feel very small and powerless.

What I want to say to the Wave is: I’m paralyzed with fear, looking at you, Wave, coming toward me so fast. I am sure you’re going to crush me beneath your enormous mass. There’s nothing I can do.

Even a common symbol or dream, like this tidal wave dream, has very personal information embedded in it. Every dream is like a letter from your wise self, telling you what you need to know so you can have better balance between your head and heart, your logical and intuitive abilities.

Every detail of a dream is an important clue, pointing you toward the meanings that will give you surprising insights and new awareness of what has been going on inside you. I have found that dreamers react to these insights with relief and recognition.

Notice that puns and slang expressions give clues too: “I’m an angry wave. I’m tired of being shored up.”

Translating the Dream Metaphor

To translate the metaphor of the tidal wave in this dream, I took the details and wording of the wave’s dialogue and then posed it as an open-ended question to the dreamer:

Is there a way in which you feel angry, ignored, and expected to stay in certain boundaries?

The dreamer in this example had an immediate reaction. Before now, she had only identified with her “dream self,” feeling powerless and small in the face of this angry wave. But when asked if something in her felt angry, ignored, and expected to behave a certain way, she easily recognized herself.

There’s a way in which I stop my anger, my assertiveness.
I’m afraid of ‘making waves.’
I feel I have to be ‘nice.’ But then I get ignored.

In a very short time, the dreamer had touched on the core of a hidden problem, an inner conflict that had produced her tidal wave dream. When she shored up or stopped her assertiveness and anger, she disconnected with an important part of herself. The huge energy of the wave is also her energy, I told her. It is a natural part of her, a beautiful part of her, and part of the whole of who she is.

The wave had been angry because it felt ignored by her. Surprisingly, under the scary wrapping, the energy of the wave could be experienced as something positive. On a certain level, the wave was actually seeking out (chasing after) the dreamer in order to restore balance. It rushed toward her, wanting to reconnect with her.

I reminded her,

The energy of every dream symbol is also your energy. That wave’s power is yours too.

Can you imagine having even a few drops of that wave’s power inside of you?
If you had a little bit of that wave’s power and used it in your life, what would change?

She answered in a firm voice,

I’d “make waves.” I’d tell people how I feel, assert myself rather than let people push me around.

Dreams want to change. They point out imbalance. Through Inner Dialogue, we have the opportunity to reclaim the energy that has been split off from our conscious awareness. We can turn toward the energy that seemed at first foreign to us, fearsome or destructive. We find, when we dialogue with any symbol, that it has something of value to offer us. We discover strength and beauty where we hadn’t expected it — in ourselves.

In the last part of the Inner Dialogue, I invite the dreamer to turn her insight into action. She thinks of some current situations in her life where a few drops of the tidal wave’s energy would help her.

She imagines and senses the tidal wave energy inside of her in those previously difficult situations. Now the tidal wave is giving her the strength to stand tall, to move forward and be true to herself — even if it means “making waves.”

A remarkable characteristic of dreams is that they are very fluid. Once you understand a dream and translate its message into a constructive action you can take, the dream changes. The energy stuck in a repeating symbol or recurring nightmare, like the tidal wave, is now free to morph into something new.

In later dreams, the dreamer may find herself riding a wave with great pleasure. Or she may discover new dream symbols appear in place of the wave — perhaps friendly horses and other animals that represent this energy which she now values as an essential part of herself.

Have you had a tidal wave dream? Or a dream that brought up similar feelings? Read Jenny’s comments on readers’ tidal wave dreams here.

What do a tidal wave and a speeding train have in common?  Read more…

Whether you’ve experienced a tidal wave dream or not,
I invite you to share what this post has evoked in you.
(There is a free, one-minute sign-up with WordPress first.)

I look forward to hearing from you.

Copyright (C) 2015 by Jenny Davidow

For more information about the Inner Dialogue, a method I developed to work with dreams and subconscious images, please visit my website, www.JennyDavidow.com.

Get a *free* mini dream session for 20 minutes when you buy Jenny’s ebook or any other product on her store!  (Phone sessions only)

Visit www.JennyDavidowStore.com for more information about her book, Mp3’s and dream sessions.

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | March 30, 2012

Inner Journeys into Awakening

by Jenny Davidow, M.A.

Like the mythic Hero who faces challenges, struggles with uncertainty and overcomes fear, we are each on an inner journey.

Each night, while we dream, we dip into an expanded state of consciousness. This natural intelligence is our subconscious mind, which holds vast memories and deep knowing. Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, describes this phenomenon in detail. Gladwell, as well as neuroscientists, tells us that we experience this natural intelligence as intuition or a gut feeling while awake. But this inner knowing is often censored by the conscious mind unless we are asleep or deeply relaxed.

The subconscious is not a chaotic “spam filter” for our conscious mind, where the “junk mail” of our emotional and mental lives gets dumped. Today’s science now recognizes what other cultures have known for thousands of years: Our subconscious gives us insight and wisdom that is complementary, and necessary, to balance the abilities of our conscious mind.

What is generally not understood is that the subconscious adds deep perception and a healing dimension to our awareness. This undervalued part of us is the doorway to our memories and creative abilities, as well as the mythic dimension and collective unconscious. Journeys into this realm are both transpersonal and intensely personal at the same time, expanding your awareness to include a a larger perspective.

According to mythologist Joseph Campbell, we are creating and participating in myth every day of our lives. He defines myth as “the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human culture.”

What you may not realize is that today, you too can go on an inner journey that awakens you to your deepest needs and desires, as well as to timeless visions that can guide you and offer creative inspiration.

Your higher consciousness speaks to you through your subconscious. Through discovering what your dreams are telling you, you can discover what your deepest wisdom is wanting for you, what your soul is whispering to you.

I have helped countless people go back to their childhood during hypnotic journeys. There, with gentle guidance that keeps them feeling safe, clients may recall an early childhood memory for the first time. These experiences are real. They come back in vivid detail as a memory that was stored in the subconscious, sometimes for forty or more years without coming into conscious awareness.

In a regression to a childhood memory, my clients view a previously forgotten memory and quickly discover its significance. And yet these memories are also open to influence. In a comfortable state of relaxation, I invite my clients to step into the scene of the memory and be a protective, loving friend to their child self. In this way, each client is able to give herself or himself what was missing before. This imagined “do-over” fills in the incomplete experience, brings about a perceptible mind/body shift. The result is emotional healing.

For thirty years I have guided clients to heal painful experiences that were blocking them, often without knowing why, from loving relationships, being confident, creative, or comfortable in their own skin. Regression work goes to the deepest level of experiencing and transforms the stored memory, expanding awareness, compassion, and vitality.

As a result, the subconscious accepts the new experience and stores the happier outcome the same as a “real” memory. These new memories act like medicine for the soul, and the memories of actual, harmful events recede and lose their charge. Inner journeys have a profoundly positive effect on each person, removing painful blocks and creating new self-acceptance, choices and loving connection.

On your inner journey, your best ally is your subconscious. In this realm, you can see yourself and others with new eyes. Suddenly, your ears will open to hear with deeper understanding. Your senses can awaken to experience more fully than ever before.

 

Copyright 2012 by Jenny Davidow. All Rights Reserved. When reprinting, please include live link to: http://www.JennyDavidow.com

Email Jenny to schedule an Inner Journey session, by Skype or in person.

Free phone consultation to discuss your needs.

This article was adapted from “Embracing Your Subconscious” by Jenny Davidow. Read an excerpt on http://www.JennyDavidow.com


Posted by: Jenny Davidow | January 21, 2012

How to Fly in Your Dreams

“Angels fly because they take themselves lightly,”says philosopher Alan Watts. To experience a flying dream, we must also take ourselves lightly and recapture some of the playful wonder of a child.

You can incubate a flying dream by using all of your senses to imagine to a place of transcendent beauty; or you can imagine swooping out of a fall and soaring comfortably above the trees.

When you experience the pleasure of flying in your imagination while awake, you plant the experience in your subconscious – so you can dream about it later. Your dream flights will become more playful and exciting, and your confidence both awake and dreaming will “soar.”

Even more, while in dream flight you can become aware that you are dreaming – and fly across the threshold to experience lucid dreams and the wonders of another realm of consciousness.

As children, we often fly in our dreams. As we get older, though, many of us lose this natural ability. Instead of the lightness and energy of flying, our dreams get heavy and anxious, sometimes taking the form of falling dreams.

The good news is that you can learn what your flying (and falling) dreams mean on a personal level. And you can also learn how to change the anxiety and fear of falling dreams into the pleasure and freedom of flying dreams.

Surprisingly, falling and flying dreams are connected: the physical sensation is really not that different. With just a little bit of intention and incubation, the anxiety you feel in a falling dream can be transformed into the excitement that propels you into unlimited flight.

The degree of freedom to fly in your dreams can help you gauge the degree of freedom you feel to “take off” and be empowered and in charge of your life.

Four basic levels are possible for dream flight:

Falling Dreams: You experience your worst fear – that you are falling from a high place and will be hurt or even killed. In these dreams, you feel panicked and out of control.
As a symbol or metaphor for your life, falling dreams indicate that you feel afraid or insecure about a certain situation or aspect of your life. Further, the dream may indicate that subconsciously you feel powerless to change a real-life situation into a “safer” experience.
Pleasurable Falling Dreams: Like diving into a pool, you are falling downward, but now it feels more like gliding or flying.
Any fear you have is more than compensated by the sensation of pleasure and excitement and the knowledge that you will not be hurt.
“Flapping” Dreams: Like a bird that has wings but cannot fly, you have to work very hard to get off the ground. You may flap your arms vigorously and struggle against gravity to “lift off.”
Unlike the burst of energy that comes with successful flying and soaring dreams, when you “flap” the energy is uneven or seems insufficient to get you into the air.
The experience is frustrating. Sometimes you may lift off a few feet or inches above the ground, and then you may have fear you will fall.
Flying and Soaring Dreams: You feel like Superman or Wonder Woman. You are in control of your movements and able to direct your flight.
You feel confident, powerful and playful. You can go anywhere you want to.
As a symbol or metaphor for your life, this power and freedom of flight indicates that you are “taking off” in your life and that you are energized and confident about your goal and accomplishments.

Try visualizing this tonight before bed:

Imagine and feel yourself in dream flight … use all of your senses…

…Leap into the air and fly. A pleasant surge of energy propels you lightly above the trees. You direct your flight higher, then swoop down and up again.

…Feel the wind in your hair and on your skin. See the landscape below you. Sing or hum a song as you playfully turn somersaults and dance in the air.

Way up here, there is wonder, beauty and power…

© Copyright 2012 by Jenny Davidow
Excerpted from “Embracing Your Subconscious – Bringing All Parts of You into Creative Partnership, ” available now in print and soon in ebook formats.

Visit www.JennyDavidow.com for more information.

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | September 14, 2011

Resolve Your Recurring Nightmares

Sometimes I wonder what he dreams about.

Resolve Your Recurring Nightmares

by Jenny Davidow


Nightmares can change, with a little help, into medicine for the soul.

Dreaming is a universal experience. If dreams didn’t serve an important function, they would have been dropped by thousands of years of evolution.

Like me, you’ve probably watched your dog or cat dreaming: the feet tremble and churn through the air as your pet dreams he is running and jumping. He may breathe heavier and whimper, reacting to something he encounters in dreamland.

My cat Ziggy does this. But when he’s awake, I think his worst fear is of the VCR. Whenever I turn it on, it whirs and clicks, the red and green lights come on, and he freaks out. This silver box seems alive to him. It is something mysterious he can’t understand. Its inner workings are completely hidden to him.   

As soon as it comes alive, Ziggy jumps and his eyes get big. His ears flex this way and that. He goes into stalking mode. He runs up to it wanting to scratch its green and red eyes out. Then he vaults a foot in the air when the DVD drawer pops out. Not knowing its purpose, he finds the VCR very stressful, an intruder. Sometimes I wonder if he has nightmares about it.

Ziggy’s reaction to the VCR reminds me of how many people react to their distressing dreams and nightmares.

Though these strange stories come from inside of us, they are something mysterious and alarming whose purpose we can’t understand.

Bad dreams seem like intruders that break in, make us jump, and leave us shaken and bruised.

The Inner Battle

I began noticing nightmares at about age 8.

I had a recurring dream that I was a soldier on a battlefield, running and afraid, overwhelmed by the opposing army.

In my early 20’s I explored many ways to understand dreams and developed my own steps, the Inner Dialogue, to explore my dreams and nightmares. Through the Inner Dialogue, I learned about a hidden part of me that, surprisingly, offered helpful messages in every dream, even the scary ones. I was able to finally decode my battlefield dreams.

Then I was amazed to have another — but very different — battlefield dream, ten years after that nightmare had morphed into a different theme.

In the new dream, I am meeting with the “enemy” on the battlefield – but now it’s to negotiate a peace.

I see the other person face to face at last. We are up close and I can look into his eyes. I can tell from his expression and the light in his eyes that he, too, is ready for peace. The battle is finally over.

 

This resolution to my old recurring nightmare was an epiphany. I realized that something deep in my subconscious had been touched. My dreamwork while awake had shifted the dream from fear and destruction to peaceful reconciliation. This was only the beginning of a very significant shift in all of my dreams.

In the 30 years since my first dramatic ‘making peace’ dream, I have come to appreciate that most of us have an inner battle raging inside us, but it is hidden. The battle represents an inner conflict that may continue for years. Sometimes we recognize the inner conflict. Occasionally we connect our frightening dreams to our conflicting emotions and the events that may have caused them. But more often the internal grief, fear or conflict, and the life circumstances in which the problem arose, are buried deep in the subconscious and hidden from our view. Except in our dreams.

Do you have recurring nightmares?

Some studies indicate as many as 30% of us have a nightmare once a month. That figure is probably too low. In our culture, people tend not to remember dreams and don’t like to report these things. Dreams are given little attention or value because, the assumption goes, we have no choice or control over them anyway.

When I teach dream workshops, I ask my students, “Who has had recurring dreams?” Usually about half say yes. Then I ask, “Who has had or is still having nightmares?” At least a third say yes. Some have had the same nightmare for their entire lives.

Ninety years of feeling ‘lost’ in her dreams

‘Mary,’ a woman of 94, took my workshop and said she’d had the same nightmare for 90 years. Mary was remarkable. She came to the workshop with a very clear intention, motivated to finally understand what had caused her recurring distress.

In Mary’s dream, she was lost and couldn’t find her way. What made it nightmarish was a terrible feeling of powerlessness and loneliness, which she told me she’d endured throughout her life.

With my help, using the simple techniques I taught in the workshop, she had a dramatic revelation. She finally understood where that feeling had begun, at age 5, and why.

She told me that when she was born, her mother had died, leaving her alone with her father. As a small child she had perceived his emotional withdrawal as a sign that he did not love her. Now, with Inner Dialogue, for the very first time Mary was able to feel a loving connection with her father.

Her eyes filled with tears as she was finally able to say, “Daddy, where were you?” Then her eyes lit up when her “father” told her he loved her. He wanted her to feel secure and happy.  He said he was sorry he hadn’t been a better father.

After the workshop, Mary continued her Inner Dialogue with her father. Positive shifts in her dreams emerged, and her well-being while awake also improved. She now had the tools she needed to ease the burden of the past — and to experience more comfort and inner peace in the present.

Read the full article about Mary, “Healing a Recurring Dream” at www.JennyDavidow.com

In my next posts, I will go into more detail to illustrate the way dreams can shift and change over time, especially when we pay attention to them.

Copyright 2011 by Jenny Davidow.
Reprint only with live link back to https://nightmarerelief.wordpress.com.

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | November 23, 2010

Dreaming of My Ex

Dreaming of My Ex
When your marriage has ended painfully, the last thing you want is to go back there over and over again in your dreams.
Is it some cruel trick, after your divorce, to find yourself revisiting scenes from your marriage for ten, twenty, or even thirty years? What purpose could this recurring dream serve?

Many women who still dream of their ex wonder if they’re stuck in the past. Or are they still connected to their ex through frustrated love or anger? Some feel as though their recurring dreams are, unjustly or not, a punishment for the past.

The problem is, most people who dream of their ex are trying to understand the meaning with their rational mind.

Dreams are the theatre of your subconscious mind. When you sleep, your conscious mind lets go of control, the curtain goes up, and the dream theatre players come out onto the stage.

These dream characters play every role you can imagine, and a few more that you’d never expect. They can do all the things and express all the feelings that your “executive function” or conscious mind censors while you’re awake. As a result, your dream theatre gives you stories that surprise and mystify you. That’s because your dreams provide information and insight in ways that your conscious mind never would.

Dreams operate on very different rules than your rational mind. Let me give you an example.

At a recent dream workshop, Sarah (not her real name) told me, “I’ve been dreaming of my ex-husband for twenty years.”

Sarah kept wondering, “Am I stuck in the past? Do I have something more to finish with him? What’s going on?”

I told Sarah, “The trouble is that when someone we know appears in a dream, we tend to take such dreams literally: Your conscious mind thinks you’re dreaming about him.”

But every symbol in your dreams has been chosen by your deeper mind, so it reflects part of your consciousness, part of you. All the symbols, including an ex-husband, represent less-conscious parts of you.
In short:

  • Every dream is about your relationship with you.
  • Even troubling dreams offer valuable information about how you can be more in balance right now, by connecting with a less-conscious part of you.
  • Dreams are always about the present – even when they seem to be about the past.

But why do dreams repeat?

Dreams or nightmares that repeat over a period of weeks, months or years are like a big neon sign that says: “Pay attention! This is important!”

To figure out what the dream is trying to tell you, you first need to get past your conscious mind, which likes to run the show. Like a busy executive, your rational mind has a habit of ignoring or dismissing information that interferes or contradicts its assumptions and expectations.

Your dreaming mind offers the complementary side to your waking intelligence. In dreams and daydreams, you dip into a vast reservoir of nonverbal knowing that is based on body signals and emotions that you weren’t even aware of while awake.

In a dream session later, Sarah and I went deeper to understand and resolve her dream.

In Sarah’s dream, she and her husband are moving in together. They are moving boxes into their new home, and all the while she’s saying to herself, “Why am I doing this? Why am I here, with him? I don’t want to be.”

Since dreams often point out problems we are having in the present by associating them with the past, I asked, “Is there a situation in your present life in which you feel you are doing something that you don’t want to do?”

She answered, “Yes, at work. I hate my job.” Then she added that she often wondered “Why am I here?” when she attended group activities – in waking life. Now she avoided social gatherings whenever she could.

I was beginning to see a connection between Sarah’s present life and her recurring dreams of her ex.

Rather than analyze or interpret the dream for Sarah, I introduced her to Inner Dialogue, a method I developed to let dreamers discover for themselves the messages each symbol offers.

I asked Sarah to role-play and speak as her “ex.” I told her, “Speaking as any symbol that is not ‘you’ in the dream will increase awareness of this less-conscious part.”

Now Sarah shifted into a more receptive state so new information could come through:

Sarah’s ‘ex’ said, “Here we are moving in together, but I can tell by your expression that you don’t want to be here. I feel powerless to change your mind. But I am waiting and hoping.”

Afterwards, Sarah told me that she saw her husband as weak and powerless.

I asked Sarah, “In your present life, are you critical of the part of yourself that wants to connect with others?”

“Oh, yeah,” Sarah replied. “I see being vulnerable as being weak and defenseless.”

Long ago, Sarah had decided to reject this part of her. Maybe it was when her marriage ended, or maybe years before. Sarah’s asking “Why am I here?” suggested that she no longer knew why she’d want to be in a relationship, including having a relationship with this softer part of herself.

The reason Sarah was dreaming of her ex over and over for 20 years was because her subconscious wanted her to reclaim the ‘vulnerable’ part of herself.

The deeper intelligence in her knew that to live fully, she needed to be both strong and soft, safe and open. This is the challenge of all relationships, with others and with oneself.

The first step to resolving this repeating dream was to find some value in the symbol that at first we rejected as ‘bad’ or ‘weak.’ Through Inner Dialogue, we discover that these parts of us aren’t all bad, after all. Even a ‘negative’ symbol like an ex-spouse brings us new awareness of something in us that could bring added dimension and wholeness to our lives.

Dreams ask us to get to know parts of ourselves that have been shut away from conscious awareness. Our rational mind has feared that these rejected parts would take over.  But accepting these parts as having value does not mean the ‘bad’ parts will run us. Rather, turning toward a less-conscious part with interest and acceptance simply means that we acknowledge we have those feelings. As a result, they won’t run us by hiding out in the subconscious.

Once we can accept the characters and symbols in our dreams as parts of us, we take the first step toward giving gentle self-acceptance to ourselves.

Through exploring her dream with Inner Dialogue, Sarah was learning how to acknowledge her vulnerable feelings without censoring, judging and struggling. As she learned to give herself more acceptance and compassion, she would begin to see others, and their vulnerability, with more acceptance and understanding. Very naturally, this shift would ripple out to her waking life. Compassionhas begun with herself and opens her to be genuinely compassionate toward others.

Sarah’s recurring dream had opened the door to a deeper understanding of herself. At first, her conscious, literal interpretation of the dream prevented any movement toward insight. But as she did the Inner Dialogue, she recognized that there was much more to her dream – and herself.

Now Sarah was starting to realize that dreaming of her ‘ex’ meant that she was working out how to be in better relationship with herself. Further, her repeating dreams were asking her to learn how to be in relationship, with herself and others, because she wanted to be.

With a few adaptations to personalize for Sarah, I led her through a short dream meditation.
(This visualization is a feature I created to help resolve a recurring dream. I invite my readers to try it out for themselves.)

I’d like you to imagine your dream again.
Only now, when you see your ex, you can imagine it’s no longer his face – it’s yours.
When you see your ex, now you realize she is a part of you
that you’ve pushed away and kept at arm’s length for a very long time.

This other part of you is offering you something of value,
something that can give you more inner peace and comfort.

You’ve been pushing her away, but she wants to move in together,
she wants to be connected with you, be whole.

This other part of you has been waiting and hoping for a very long time.
Notice if you can let go of your judgments of her…
and let yourself soften a little toward her now.

Maybe you are more interested now in getting to know her better.
You can soften a little at a time, wanting to understand her,
to find value in what she offers…

And you can look into her eyes…
You can see her looking back at you with kindness and affection.
She wants to connect with you, she wants to be close.

When you’re ready, reach out your hand to her.
Feel her hand in yours.

A little at a time, you can discover how being connected with her will help you.
You may find she can help you to be more open and connected to your heart.

You may understand that she has a certain strength, a strength and tenderness you need.
Because being open and vulnerable takes strength, because it’s a choice…
It’s a choice that helps you to feel more alive…

And very gradually, as you get to know this part of you.
And as you feel more connected with her again,
you will notice that you feel more comfortable,
more flexibile and resilient.

And you will enjoy being more in the moment, open to life.

Sarah was very relieved. She no longer regarded this dream to be about her ‘ex.’ In contrast, now it was a pleasure to reflect on the dream as about her relationship with herself, something having to do with her present life. She realized that she had the power to understand and improve her inner relationship.

Sarah told me she would practice the meditation I gave her every day. Her acceptance of the softer and more vulnerable part of her would grow over time. Turning toward this previously disconnected or “divorced” part of herself would cause a profound shift — in both her dreams and her life. In a short time, she no longer needed to be ‘dreaming of her ex.’

Dear Reader:  In my book, Embracing Your Subconscious,  I provide steps to help you dialogue as the parts of you that appear in dreams — so you can explore and gain acceptance of a hidden part of you that may at the moment have your ex’s face in dreams, and/or a part that may still hold the unresolved emotions of a younger self.  Check out my book excerpt on my website. You can also buy the book as an ebook, or other products for understanding dreams, at my webstore.

Learn more about dreams!

Click here to buy Jenny’s ebook and download it now!

“Embracing Your Subconscious –
Bringing All Parts of You into Creative Partnership”

Read a free excerpt of Jenny’s book by clicking the book title above.

Copyright 2015 by Jenny Davidow.

When reprinting, please include author name and live link back to https://nightmarerelief.wordpress.com

Posted by: Jenny Davidow | June 21, 2010

Tidal Wave Dreams

Tidal Wave Dreams

Tsunami dream

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.