Want to read about metaphors instead of watching a video about them? Check out this brief summary below.
Every person, place & thing in the dream is a SYMBOL/METAPHOR for something else. Dreams "speak" the language of metaphors to tell us about ourselves & the world around us. When we understand what the metaphor stands for then we can understand what the dream is telling us about ourselves & our lives.
A good example of a metaphor (which shows up in my dreams often) is a forest. Trees in real life have a lot of strength and they have the ability to grow to great heights over long periods of time. So when there is a tree in a dream it is a message to the dreamer to have the ability to do a lot of growing, in a slow, steady way, over a long period of time. Water is about being fluid, flexible, accommodating in relationships - water is about relationships & life. Rocks & stones are about being solid, unbreakable, etc. We might dream of rocks when we need to be very confident in our beliefs, for example.
So the steps go like this: 1) We have a dream with a metaphor of a tree 2) We think about what QUALITIES trees have 3) We consider if we tend to have a lot of those qualities or do we struggle with those qualities? 4) If those qualities come easy to us already then we can ask ourselves
In the dream, I am in a convenient store, looking at packs of cigarettes, deciding which ones I should buy. I notice there is a 2-pac with 40 cigarettes discounted and I think I’ll buy those.
I don’t buy them but when I go outside I find a friend and we are walking together. She says she’s memorized the route and neither of us have our phones with us. We start walking and eventually get into this forested area where it’s dark and wet like it’s recently rained.
Something happened here, like an encounter with a large animal but I can’t recall details.
Eventually some others joined us and I think we navigated the way.
That there was a forest full of animals and they were wild and her friends couldn’t calm them down. Then she got there and she hushed the animals and they calmed down. Then her friends saw what she did and were grateful and a friend came up to her and said, “Hi”.
Typically people seem to think nightmares are bad and happy dreams are good. Dreamwork takes the process of transformation to a deeper level by suggesting that nightmares are not bad at all.
While the feelings they bring up might feel “bad” they are not at all. They could be originally thought of as negative in nature, in the way that Anger is less advantageous than Justice, or Fear less productive than Courage. However, by shifting a focus away from the idea of “having to get rid of these bad feelings” and just listening to and understanding the message of the emotions, then some really great positives can emerge.
The key is to become friends with the negative feeling, not to shun it like an enemy.
In my dream last night a scenario showed up of a monsterous land-shark who was swimming ghost-like through a large forest attacking people whom I cared about.
The negative emotion this brought up was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being hurt. Fear of my loved ones being hurt. I solved it in the dream by being able to track the monster’s actions, predict where she was going next and then catch her in a trap. I knew right from the beginning that I was going to out-smart her but in the middle when she was harming people we loved it seemed like mayhem.
This is an example of how fear can be transformed into Courage. A monster in a dream is just a symbol for parts of ourselves which we are not familiar with yet. The unknown is scary because it is unclear at times but the more we become familiar with and become friends with the unknown parts of ourselves, others or situations than the more and more Fearless we can become.
Then we can accomplish anything in life and the possibilities for growth are endless!