You're in Charge:
A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)
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If your dream tells you
to take some time for yourself, then plan precisely how you can
cut back in your busy work schedule. If the Dream Sender urges you
to cross the river now (instead of walking toward a possible "better
bridge" downstream), then plan when and how to take the action
to which the dream was metaphorically referring. If your dream is
warning you not to tie your ship to a single anchor (and is really
saying, don't let your accounting practice depend on one single
large client), then realistically see what you can do to enlarge
your clientele and then make those actual moves.
Nightmares are especially important dreams to work on. They are
sometimes caused by two warring subpersonalities within you. When
you discover the conflict and find some way to reconcile their diverse
needs, there will be much energy released for whatever it is you
need to do.
People frequently wake
themselves up from a nightmare just before the ending. They are
either perched like Pauline on the edge of a cliff, with the ground
crumbling beneath them, or tied to a railroad track with an express
train thundering toward them, or at the steering wheel of a car
whose brakes have failed, careening down a steep hill, or . . .
. If this happens to you, try this gestalt technique. Put yourself
back in the dream. Feel the same frightening feelings. Continue
the action. Bring the dream to a genuine--- not interrupted--- ending.
If by any chance, while
you are having the nightmare, you realize that you are dreaming,
by all means continue the dream action. Don't say, "Oh, thank
God, it's only a dream," and permit yourself to wake up. Confront
your attacker--- the robber, tidal wave, tiger, or whatever--- and
don't run away. He may capitulate when he sees your new show of
strength or cleverness, and become a "paper tiger"! Or
you may have to fight him to the death. If this latter is the case,
know that you may call on your friends--- or a fairy godmother---
to help you. (After all, anything is possible in a dream.) Better
yet, perhaps you can make him into an ally. It's important that
you emerge unharmed. In the confrontation that you permit--- knowing
that nothing can harm you--- you can learn some very valuable lessons.
The Dream Sender
In addition to learning to remember your dreams, you can also learn
to dream specific dreams on demand. If, for instance, you failed
to get the message from a dream, you can ask the Dream Sender to
give you a dream that will explain the first dream. You will need
to set the intention. Say to yourself just before you fall asleep,
"My dreams tonight will explain last night's dream. And the
first thing I'll do when I wake up is to write down those dreams
which will give me the explanation of last night's dream."
A very important use
of your Dream Sender is to ask for a dream that will give you an
answer to a specific question or help in making a certain decision.
A couple of years ago I had a very bad cold while I was staying
at a temporary home in Germany. I was to leave the next morning
to do a workshop in Poland, a twenty-four train trip away. I had
vacillated in my decision-making about whether I should cancel the
trip and the workshop. When I went to sleep that night, I asked
for a dream that would tell me whether I should go or stay. I woke
up in the middle of the night with a hideous attack of coughing
and dashed for the bathroom a long hall away. As I was sitting on
the toilet I remembered I had intended to have a definitive dream.
At first I felt I had lost it, then I remembered something about
being in a group of people and speaking German.