From a very young age I remember walking sleepily into the kitchen where my grandmother (Nanny) and mom sat having their morning coffee.
With sleep still in my eyes, my mouth tried hard to form words around the images my brain was alive and awake with.
I’ve been a vivid dreamer since I can remember.
Strange, happy, or terrifying – dreams have always fascinated me.
Mom and Nanny would respond to my rambling with something along the lines of “my word, Danielle! you sure do dream!”
In my teens and twenties I was fascinated with Dream Dictionary books. You know, the ones that tell you the meaning behind the images and symbols you see in your dreams.
Sometimes they felt right, other times it felt anything but true for me.
Then I discovered the great work of Dr. Carl Jung.
Jung and Dreams
Jung believed, based on his countless hours of research and client practice, that dreams give us a sneak peak into the deeper part of ourselves that remain hidden in the subconscious. Jung referred to this wholeness of the mind/body/spirit connection as the psyche.
“Dreams are impartial, spontaneous products of the unconscious psyche, outside the control of the will. They are pure nature…” – Dr. Carl Jung
In our waking lives we often fragment these parts of ourselves or ignore them all together.
As Jung so eloquently states, “The unconscious doesn’t waste much spit telling you what you already know.”
Meaning, dreams aren’t going to sugarcoat what’s really going on or tell you what you already know is true. Dreams show us bits and pieces of ourselves we aren’t aware of yet.
Dreams can inform us of what’s really going on within us and offer an important role in our individual development and growth.
There is so much to learn and connect ourselves to wholeness through our dreams. I kind of wish I kept a dream journal as a kid!
The original life coach, Martha Beck (who is also a PhD), took Jung’s dream analysis and pieced it into bite size, highly effective steps, which I now use for myself and my clients.
And yes, now I use a dream journal, even if sometimes it’s the note app on my phone.
The most important thing to remember about dreams is that you are the best interpreter of your dream. You can be asked powerful questions that help you open to their meaning, but ultimately it’s all about what the symbolism means to you.
The soul’s language is symbolism. Your soul speaks to you in symbols you can understand.
What are your dreams trying to tell you?
Before the to-do lists of the day cause you to go in a million different directions, try writing down your dreams. Keep a notepad next to your bed and describe them the best way you can, or keep an audio journal and record yourself describing your dream, or use the notes app on your phone.
Just as vivid as dreams may seem at the time, they vanish quickly.
And don’t get too freaked out with scary dreams. Even they, once untangled, can reap positive and even delightful meanings.
If you don’t remember your dreams, make the intention as you drift to sleep that you’d like to remember. This is surprisingly impactful!
Keep bringing the unknown parts of yourself forward. Keep dreaming!
Lots of love,
PS I am having a good ‘ole time over on Instagram making reels! Short little (quirky) videos of me condensing these Letters from a Life Coach into 15-30 seconds. If you’re on Instagram come say hi. I’m having a ball.