Tag Archives: Recurring Dreams

The (Dream)Webs We Weave

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.

Dream Catcher

My Dream Catcher

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.

ZZZZzzzzZZZZ

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.”

ZZzzZZzz

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.

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Q&A: How Do I Make This (Recurring) Dream Stop?

Q: I have the same dream again and again. What can you tell me about recurring dreams? Why do we have them and is there a way to get the dream to stop repeating itself?

Signed,

Stuck on Replay

 

A: Dear Stuck,

Stop me if I’ve told you this one before …

I have a good friend, let’s call her Ann. Some years back, she was beginning to drive me up the wall. Every time we spoke she’d tell me the same story again and again.

It got to the point where I dreaded seeing her number turn up on my caller ID. If I didn’t love her so much, I might have just stopped picking up the phone. But because I truly care about her I stoically answered her calls, and then I griped to another friend (again and again, I might add) about how tired I was of Ann repeating herself.

This pattern wasn’t helping anyone, except maybe the folks at ATT&T who were pocketing the money we three spent as we racked up minutes on our phone bills.

This, Dear Replay, is exactly what’s going on with you and your dreams. Dreaming, is in essence, a conversation. Depending on your belief system, it’s a conversation between parts of yourself; between you and God; or between you and universal consciousness. Whatever the case, it’s an important relationship worthy of at least as much attention as my relationship with my pal Ann. So, like me, you have a couple of choices:

1) You can prop the phone against your ear and let Ann go on and on like a broken record, while you troll the Internet for the best deal on those cowgirl boots you’ve been coveting.

2) Or, you can step away from the laptop and enter into a meaningful conversation with her about what she is saying and why she feels the need to repeat herself.

The fact that you’re writing to me implies that you really do care, so Option 1 really isn’t an option at all. I care about Ann, too, so here’s what I did:

The next time she launched into her spiel I said, “Ann, I feel like maybe I haven’t been a good listener because I notice that each time we talk you tell me the same story. Is there something you’re not getting from me that you need on this subject?”

Ann paused, then told me she just really needed me to hear her and to validate what she was feeling. So, I asked her to tell me the story one more time. This time I really listened. I asked her questions and took a genuine interest. And guess what? After that we were able to move onto new subject matter.

And that’s what you need to do with your recurring dream. Show the dream you’re really paying attention. Write the dream down. Consider each part of it with a curious, open attitude. Talk the dreams over with a loved one or therapist, or bring it to a dream group. Ask yourself: What has this dream come to tell me?

Chances are, if you give the dream your full attention, one of two things will happen: Either, it will go away, or it will change.

If it goes away and fresh dreams arrive in its stead, good for you. This is a sign that you got the message and addressed the issue the dream was raising for you.

If the dream changes; good for you, too. This is a signal that you are making progress. Keep working with the dream, paying close attention to any alterations in the repeating pattern. You may even start to welcome the reappearance of this dream theme, because the ways it changes will give you clues as to where your daytime attitudes and actions need tweaking.

Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. And I promise to listen closely, so you won’t have to repeat yourself.

Dreamily yours,

Tz…

…zzZZZZzzzzzzz

PS: My dreams repeat themselves almost as much as I do! Read more about recurring dreams here.

…zzZZZZzzzzzzz

Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

Have a Dream Question? Send it along! I’d love to hear from you.

 

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