Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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     Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu The Return: A Book for Frances about Life and Death
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  Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu You're in Charge: A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
           Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu Introduction: The Art of Self Observation
           Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu  On Dreaming
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You're in Charge: A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)                    1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9        p.5

On Dreaming

If someone has a dream that includes the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, he may need some outside help (i.e., "What is missing in your dream?") to make him realize that there is a planet missing from his solar system. Someone with his "head in the stars" may find it hard to see the obvious, which, of course, is Earth. It would be very useful and enlightening for such a person to identify with Earth for a change!

II.... Be alert for any puns or colloquial expressions. These days a dream of a loaf of bread may be a dream about money. Or it may conjure up the need for "a jug of wine and thou" to be complete. It's your dream, so only your associations are valid.

Ann Faraday has an excellent chapter in The Dream Game on the many puns she has collected from her subjects. A dream of her own contains two puns:

A man in long white underpants shoots her down with a machine gun.

The meaning of this dream occurred to her later that day when she was waiting to appear on a radio talk show with a host named Long John Nebel and suddenly recalled some gossip about his hostile treatment of his guests. She had repressed this information, so her unconscious was sending her a warning that a man in "long johns" might try to "shoot her down".

III.... Notice any numbers that appear in your dream (house number, number on a roulette wheel, someone's announced age, the price of an object, etc.) Explore your associations with those numbers.

IV.... Notice how you are feeling when you wake up from your dream. This feeling state--- fear, joy, sadness, anger, frustration, puzzlement--- may be your best clue as to the meaning of the dream.

V.... Notice the colors in your dream. Any particular association to these colors? You might want to draw certain parts of your dream. If there is a very special color in your dream, see if you can match it exactly.

VI.... My suggestion for finding the message of the dream (if it doesn't become apparent as you work on it as described above) is to have a dialogue with the dream. Ask the dream (or the Dream Sender within you, who sent you the dream) what message it has for your continuing growth. Then change places. Be the Dream Sender. Tell your Self what message you have to deliver.

If you emerge with a long, rambling statement, my hunch is that you are avoiding a shorter, pithier statement that could be an inducement to action. I sometimes ask people to reduce their message to a few words that could go on a poster, and then suggest that they make the posters and hang them on their walls at home. Here are some of their products:

Give yourself a CHANCE.

Give yourself the TIME.

The bough may break, but the tree will stand.

Cross the river where you are.

Don't tie your ship to a single anchor (or pin your life on a single hope).

VII.... When you have finished your work on your dream, translate it into some kind of action that can be undertaken NOW. As in the work with fantasies, this is necessary to be grounded.

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This site was last changed November 28, 2001. It was created on March 20, 1997.

© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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