Forget about ids and analyses and experience the dream (or: A year ago … CV)

HPIM0541.JPG Early last summer I accepted a last minute invitation to visit a friend who lives two hours away for a barbecue. With no planning I jumped in my car and soon I was in my friend’s kitchen helping her rinse greens for a salad, while others prepped the grill and set the table. I spent the day playing with a little boy on the tire swing under the Chestnut tree, eating chicken hot dogs with the group, and later driving to a lake where we kayaked under a serene blue sky. Floating there on the lake in a small blue boat, my yellow  paddle pushing me past the white flowers sprouting from lily pads, I felt my heart pulsing with joy.

This past winter, when I felt cold or lonely, I would remember that day—the painterly light animating the tall grasses in the field behind my friend’s house, the trees, and the buttlerflies whispering on the breezes, and the easy company of old and new friends, and the peace of paddling on that glimmering lake.

The day was sweet. But reflecting on it and savoring it in the months that followed, was even sweeter.

I don’t need to convince you that paying attention to happy moments like this one, and savoring them afterwards, adds joy to your life. Such a day can enrich our lives just by having happened, and by being remembered. Or we might go a step further and try to learn something from it: This is what happens when I take a chance and say yes to a last minute invitation, for example.

But you might need convincing if I told you that a dream is no different, that by simply savoring a sweet one, or studying a troubling one, you can learn lessons and increase the joy in your life. You might argue, “But my dreams are not like a serene summer day with new friends.” You’ll say, “My dreams are anxiety-infused, nonsensical, and bizarre.”

Yes, my friend I’ve had days—I mean dreams—like that, too.

Let’s take the days, first, because we all believe in those. For example there was the day a friend who’d always been sweet and cheerful turned argumentative and angry. Or the day I took my seat on the ferry for a weekend getaway only to realize, that I’d left my wallet at home. Or the one where my students refused to listen to me and I came home hoarse from asking them to quiet down.

I could choose to ignore those days because they too are bizarre, nonsensical, and anxiety-infused. But I’m not that kind of person, and since you are reading this, I’m guessing neither are you. Instead, I reflect: What happened? How do I understand my friend’s sudden change in behavior? What did I learn about my inner resourcefulness from embarking on a trip with no identification or money? How can I speak to my students so they will want to listen?

Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s easy to see that we can learn from our experiences rather than turn away from them, and that this is the way to grow and become more skillful at navigating what life throws our way. And you can do the very same thing with your dreams.

Forget for the moment about archetypes, analysis, ids, and super egos. Look at your dreams as experiences you can choose to dismiss as random hallucinations, or mine for wisdom, emotional insight, and original perspective.

Working with dreams is no more complicated, than what you do naturally with your waking experiences. Simply pay attention to what happened last night, when you drifted into sleep and entered into other dimensions of consciousness.

 Try This:

  •  This week, accept your dreams as experiences. Period. Remember: interpreting and analyzing dreams is only one of many ways to respond to them.
  • As you reflect on your dream notice: What new places did I see? What new, unusual, or unexpected abilities or facets of myself or others did I encounter?
  • Is there anything from your dream, perhaps a color, character, situation, or feeling, that you’d like to savor or reflect on?


Tzivia Gover, Certified Dream Therapist, is available to help you understand the meaning and messages in your dreams. Visit her at to view her upcoming workshops and for summer dreamwork discounts.


Filed under Dream Life

17 responses to “Forget about ids and analyses and experience the dream (or: A year ago … CV)

  1. I like all your descriptions of the moments, and the way you encourage us to be `in` the experience, even your moment comes to life with the exquisite detail and I can enter and see the butterflies. OK, I will try to pay attention to tonights dreams and wish for some of that lovely texture and detail to learn from and purely `be In`! thanks and sweet dreams♡

  2. Interesting. I will try your suggesions.

  3. Dear Tzivia,
    I love this post! What a wonderful way to explain how dreams are as real as waking life and that both have infinite teaching potential! May I repost this on my blog? I’d love for my readers to see it.


  4. i rather look close at myself and learn from experience and keep on dreaming than putting my head in the sand….
    nice written, thanks…..♥

  5. I love how passionate you are about dreams! I often don’t remember mine! Probably because i don’t have time to reflect on them when I wake up and rush to care for the children.

  6. you have a special way of talking (and writing) about the covered obvious. i’ve loved this piece, (i read it on the train home, on an old fashioned print out), and these truths. n♥

  7. Slow living, enjoying each moment…that´s for me!

  8. Pingback: Forget about ids and analyses and experience th...

  9. hello Tzivia! it’s incredible how the first part of this post echoes Joanne’s – the concept of a “call” or opportunity in life to listen to and follow. it’s wonderful to think that there is that kind of life long lasting connection between siblings, however far!

  10. Pingback: Tzivia Gover’s “Forget About Ids and Analyses and Experience the Dream” | Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

  11. elainemansfield

    Hi Tzivia,
    I just responded to this piece at Jean Raffa’s blog, and then I came to explore. (I began a parallel chain in the recent “blog tour.”)
    I find the focus on image in my outer and inner world and in dreams to be what I need to get out of the head and into the heart and body. I’ve attended yearly dream workshops with Robert Bosnak and love his embodied sensory approach to dreams. Thanks again for sharing your perspective. I look forward to your answers to the four questions and I’m so glad Jeanie connected me to you,

    • Hi Elaine,
      Thank you for your comment. I have tried Bosnak’s method as well, and agree that it’s powerful approach. So much good dreamwork going around these days. I think we’re turning a corner toward more appreciation of the dream as experience and experiencing the dream.

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