For roughly 6 years, I had a recurring dream. Although there would occasionally be some small variations in the dream, the core theme was always the same.
In this dream, I was going on a trip — usually for business, but sometimes for pleasure. Sometimes I was traveling alone and sometimes with someone. Always, we’d board the hugest plane imaginable. And then the plane would take off but it could never get high enough off the ground. I’d be very concerned that we were going to hit buildings and utility lines. And eventually, we’d land, never having reached our intended destination. My emotional state on the plane in this dream was always one of very high anxiety.
I never could figure out what that dream was trying to tell me until I learned to do dream analysis in coach training. Once we learned the dream analysis techniques, and I analyzed the dream, the dream stopped and I haven’t had it since. It made complete sense to me after doing the analysis on the dream, and because I finally got its message, my subconscious mind could move on to other things.
Our subconscious minds are very powerful. When we sleep, our minds process all of the data from our lives, and dreaming is one way our subconscious tries to help us make sense of our lives. As my teacher Martha Beck said in her best selling book, Steering By Starlight, “Whether your dreams are just data processing or messages from the Force, analysis often reveals knowledge you’ve been holding just outside consciousness that has profound insights for your waking self.”
The dream analysis method that Beck teaches (and that I learned) is Jungian based. Carl Jung believed that every symbol in a dream represents a part of the self of the dreamer that has been hidden from the dreamer’s consciousness. Therefore, there are no “universal” dream symbols as some dream analysts believe. I wholeheartedly agree with this assertion. Many years ago. I had a dream analysis with an “expert” and when he told me the meaning of one of the symbols of my dream, it just didn’t ring true for me.
When using this Jungian-based dream analysis, I have witnessed huge breakthroughs for my clients. This may be why it’s one of my favorite coaching tools to use. It’s amazing to see a client finally understand something that has been eluding her for a very long time.
If you want to experience this magic for yourself, keep a dream journal. This is easier to do than ever before with the proliferation of smart phones. If you wake up from a dream that elicits strong feelings, grab your phone and record the dream so you don’t lose any of the symbols. Then you can write out the dream, noting all the key symbols and begin to analyze it. To analyze the dream, the dreamer must “become” or act out all of the parts of the dream and describe him or herself as the symbol. Next, ask each symbol why it is in your dream and how it came to help you. This sounds a little crazy, I know. But, if done correctly, the insights are amazing.
This type of dream analysis is best done with an experienced guide leading you through the process.
If you have had a recurring dream or a dream that left you shaken or with other strong emotions, you can be certain that your subconscious mind has an important message for you.