Don’t over think dream interpretation. Instead use your body! In our desire to get to the meaning of a dream we often turn dream interpretation into an intellectual exercise. We think and we over think. Then we google it, check with our friends, buy a 99¢ dream dictionary from the “Sale Table” at our local bookstore (that is actually disguised as a bookstore but is really a gift shop) or order ten books on the topic-not that there’s anything wrong with buying books, says the Bibliophile! While understandable, it often comes from the mistaken belief that we need an expert to tell us what your dream means. We don’t believe in our ability to solve our inner mysteries and we leave out our body which is our greatest instrument and ally in dream understanding!
Our body is an under-utilized and under-valued asset in our tool kit of self-knowledge. But how can we ignore the very filter through which all our experiences come? To my way of thinking and teaching, dreamwork without the body, is incomplete and is an intellectual exercise at best. We may get our insights and our “aha” moments, but they will be fleeting without the anchor of the body to facilitate change. Yup, it’s true…I’ve thought about this before. Ever since my training and post-graduate teaching of the Rubenfeld Synergy Method 24 years ago, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this! Here are some simple ways to include your body in your dreamwork.
Listen to your body as you read, share or tell your dream
- What sensations do you notice in your body as you tell your dream?
- Do you notice tension in certain areas? Where do you feel it? Does it shift or change?
- Do you feel different in your body or is energy released as you tell your dream?
- Do feelings or emotions come up and if so, where do you feel that in your body do you feel them?
Listen to your body as you hear someone else’s dream
- Do you notice anything about the dreamer’s body as they tell their dream?
- Does your body react in similar or different ways? What changes?
- Is your body responding to their emotions or your own?
Go to the body area or part where you feel “something”.
- If that part of you had a voice what would it say?
- We often ignore our body’s wisdom and emotion gets trapped within which, in time, can develop into chronic pain or dis-ease. Take some time to write down what your body’s voice tells you.
- Is your head saying one thing but your heart- or any other body part- is saying another? Notice the different directions between your mind and your body. Start a dialogue and let each part express how they fell. Then see where you can find common ground or a place of compromise. Let the “either/or” within become a “both/and”!
Play with the dream
- Dream re-enactment can lead to amazing insights. Become each character or object in the dream and speak from that point-of-view. For instance, you dream that it is dark and you take a walk on a lonely country road with only the full moon to light your way. You can speak as the “walker” or as the “road” which might say, “ I wander past trees and rolling hills. I’m worn down over time and many travellers and people walk all over me!” You can become the dark and you can become the full moon. What does each perspective have to say?
- See where you feel that in your body and then see if you can connect the wisdom of that point of view with anywhere in your life.
My Body….My Dream Interpretation!
If we think of our body as an ally and a friend (I know! Radical, right?) then we become our own best expert and our dream interpretations becomes fully embodied. By including the body in the discussion, we can find an interpretation makes sense for our lives, not some theoretical dreamer, and is grounded, multidimensional and whole. Here’s my advise: Don’t over-think dream interpretation: Use your body! And in so doing, you will find the meaning of your dream in a holistic way. And that’s not too shabby! You might even say, “It’s a dream come true”!