By Jenny Davidow, M.A. © 2017
Every now and then a dream comes along that blows open the doors to my deepest heart and spirit.
I’m in a garden shop. Incredibly, on a shelf with the gardening supplies is a cereal-sized box that is labeled “Kittens in a Box.” I pick it up, curious. How can kittens come from a box? Are they grown from seed, I wonder?
The top of the box has a small opening. I peer inside. There are six tiny kittens in there! They are adorable, all different colors and markings, and they’re pushing eagerly to get out!
Message: Something inside me is eager to emerge – it has already fully “germinated,” is ready to jump into life. But — it is on the verge of starving and must be let out. It needs to get “outside the box.” It will break out, if necessary.
The eager kittens make me smile. Our dreaming mind likes to put together unlikely images and ideas, going “outside the box” of our usual conscious assumptions and awareness. Dreams give us a needed break from our usual way of thinking and feeling. They show us a snapshot of ourselves from a wider angle, with a penetrating view that reveals the hidden underside of our feelings, reactions, and needs. Dreams sneak by the censors of our conscious mind to show us what is germinating inside us, what is pushing eagerly to get out.
For many years, I’ve taught workshops on how to understand the wisdom of dreams. In a nutshell, insights from dreams always take you “outside the box.” Many people either dismiss or fear dreams. People ask, “Are dreams merely nonsense, or worse, do they show me how messed up I am?” But years of experience have convinced me that the view we get from dreams illuminates our own creative and healing potential. Every message is a gift that gives us an up to the minute map on how to express more confidence, clarity, and loving connection in our life.
When we pay attention to the images and feelings of our dreams, we enter an intuitive realm that has deep roots in the heart and soul of who we are, and who we are becoming. This realm has much to teach us.
In the dream, someone is rushing me along, saying, “Put down the box. Let’s go.” But I’m entranced, drawn to this unlikely magic. Here are kittens and they’re already alive! And they need to get out of the box.
In the symbolism, the kittens are a less conscious part of me that must get out of the box. But what is “the box”? Translating this dream will involve asking what the terms “in the box” and “outside of the box” really mean to me. And then I will need to consider situations and relationships in the present moment — because dreams always give us information and guidance that is relevant to this moment in time. I need to ask: What part of me is happy to stay “in the box” of my own and others’ expectations? And what part of me is chafing to burst out?
I notice there’s a part of me in the dream that wants to stay within norms, that says “Put down the box. Leave it alone.” That part wants to stop the dream-me from experiencing the magic and wonder of discovering something that’s tenderly alive, which has germinated from seed and is ready to spring into the world.
This is a dialogue that often happens in dreams: Our usual self, the conscious mind, wants to stay with the familiar and be in control. And then our dream self, the part of us that has a larger perspective of our needs and wants, says “Let me out of the box! I’m full of colors, new energy, and playful adventure. Don’t let me starve in here!”
Whenever I dream of kittens, or babies, or any young animal, I want to check to see if that part is safe, fed, and whole. To the extent that the kitten or baby is well-attended and nourished, my deeper self is letting me know I am on the right track and ready to let all the colors spill out of me, releasing some new and creative aspect of myself. It may be a new attitude, a new project, or a shift in awareness. My job is to let it out and make sure this gift is supported and fed by my attention, actions, and appreciation.
In the dream, I open the box and let the kittens out.
There is a beautiful garden just outside which now the kittens are claiming, the way sprouted seeds dig into the fertile and nourishing soil that invites them home.
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To read an excerpt of Jenny’s book, “Embracing Your Subconscious,
For information about Jenny’s Dream Workshop, click here.