Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations
A Blog Post in 3-Installments
This blog post is the 2nd installment in a series about how dreams and dream imagery help guide me through waking life.
To read the 1st installment of“Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations.” in which our protagonist dreams of receiving a wedding proposal…but receives a business proposal to become Director of the Institute of Dream Studies instead … click here.
When a dream scenario or a dream image repeats, I pay attention. So when I dreamed first about a “Wedding for One,” and then “A Proposal,” I was on my toes.
But brides and weddings weren’t the only dream images that were recurring …
Part 2: Enter the Spider
As my friend Sherry and I drove home from the dream conference we talked over Justina’s proposal, that I take over the directorship of The Institute of Dream Studies. The Institute was Justina’s school, from which I had graduated in 2011. Now, Justina was ready to take her career in a new direction, and she’d asked me to consider taking up the leadership of the dream school.
Several hours into our drive, Sherry and I had considered numerous pros and cons of my possibly moving in this direction. I love to teach, I love dreams, and I had various ideas as to how I’d like to design a dream studies curriculum. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant where we’d have dinner, Sherry suggested it was time we put the question aside for the moment. “We’ve used our left brains on this question enough,” she said. “Now see what your dreams have to say.”
As dreamers, we take seriously the directive to “Sleep on it” when making a big decision. In fact, six years earlier, when I first applied to take part in the Institute of Dream Studies’ Dream Certification course, Justina advised me to consult my dreams before making up my mind. I followed her suggestion, and the next morning I woke from a dream that featured a large spider.
For me, spiders, with their unique skills at web-building, represent creativity and interconnection, as well as the art of storytelling. In addition, spiderwebs remind me of dream catchers, those intricately woven Native American talismans that are said to ward off nightmares. So, I decided that my dream spider was an encouraging sign.
Now, years later, here I was again, deciding whether to deepen my commitment to dreams, and to the Institute of Dream Studies, which Justina had founded. This time however, the question was a bit different. If I accepted this proposal, I would be making a commitment not only to my own dreams, but I’d be committing to train more people, including therapists, spiritual counselors, health care providers, and people who were simply fascinated by dreams, to become leaders in the field of dream studies. Then they in turn would encourage even more people to learn from and about their dreams–thus widening the web of dream teachers and dream experts.
And so it was that Sherry and I agreed to table our discussion about my decision for the time being. Sherry cut the engine and we were about to get out of the car and head into the restaurant, when we noticed something on the windshield.
I began to laugh. “What’s so funny?” Sherry asked.
I pointed to the large spider that was climbing up the windshield wiper blade. “Looks like I won’t need to go to sleep to get a dream to guide me,” I said.
It was Sherry, after all, who had taught me the art of synchronicity. Ever since I’ve known her, Sherry has been instructing me (primarily by example) as to how synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences, increase as we pay attention to messages from our dreams. Not only that, I learned from her that we can deepen our understanding of life events and gain valuable information to help us make decisions when we take careful note of recurring themes in our dreams and synchronicities–which I’ve come to think of as waking dreams.
The spider, appearing in this moment, was just such a synchronicity. It was as if the Universe were winking at me—offering a sweet, sly smile to remind me that I was on the right path.
The task now was to keep paying attention. The goal here was not necessarily to expect a yes or no answer based on signs and symbols (our subconscious doesn’t function as a binary system), but instead to stay conscious as I took one step at a time, noticing the pattern that was being woven all around me—from the stuff of dreams.
Ahh…but that spider was hardly the end of the story. Stay tuned for the next installment of “Wedding for One: Dreams, Synchronicities, and Celebrations.”
Spoiler alert: If you want to know whether or not I accepted Justina’s proposal, click here. Otherwise, enjoy the suspense until the next post in this series.