Understanding the meaning of your dreams can become a powerful tool to increase self knowledge, wellness, and to help you achieve lasting success. Dreams reveal an understanding of who you are and where you are going, as if some part of your mind knows you better than you know yourself. Interpreting dreams is a bit like learning a new language because nothing is what it appears to be on the surface. The ABCs of dream analysis are simple if you keep in mind these basic ideas in approaching your dreams for guidance:

(A) All symbols, characters, even the landscape and lighting are actually a mirror of your inner world. Dreaming is like the Mind’s Mirror, because everything is a reflection of the dreamer. The landscape and symbols reflect your ‘inner architecture’ or current mindset as you move through life. Dream symbols can best be understood if you approach them the way you would interpret the metaphors in a poem. In poetry, one word or symbol can capture the deeper ‘flavor’ or ‘essence’ of an unspoken idea or feeling. For example, a storm in a poem can suggests overwhelming emotions in the same way dreaming shows the climate of your inner world. However, we tend to dream of what we are not facing so you may believe that you are in command of your emotions. Dreaming of a tornado suggests that at some level, you sense you are being swept away by feelings that you are not facing. Dreams use symbols that best capture ideas that can help you open and resolve unconscious conflict.

If you can use this “All reflects Me” perspective, you can begin to decipher how dreams attempt to wake you to your potential for increased fulfillment. For example, teeth fall out at monumental stages in our lives, and are also associated with communication, credibility and chewing on something. If your teeth fall out in a dream, ask yourself: am I not making a necessary change or transition that would better reflect my growth? Or, is my credibility and way of expressing myself to others an issue right now?

(B) Before analyzing anything, it is important that you write down as much information as you can remember. In some cases, you may only be left with a feeling. Dreaming moves us in the same unspoken way a movie would, so the feeling we are left with becomes important in understanding how it may currently remain unexpressed. If you awaken from a nightmare and feel frightened, you may have an unhealthy relationship with change – and the nightmare becomes a positive message that something powerful is being released for your exploration. Dreams are never bad. They are like a cinematic representation of what is currently going on inside of you. Fear can be viewed as a release mechanism that will free you from habitual behavior that blocks your growth.

Be open to the guidance, no matter how bizarre. Dreams use cryptic symbols as a way of tricking consciousness into exploring the unknown. They act like a secret code because it is the only way that emerging information can break through your defenses. Often, these bizarre symbols can teach you the most about your untapped ability to push through crisis. It is not important to remember all of the symbols because the message is often repeated. Using various scenarios, the dream often describes the same situation in different landscapes. Exploring only one dream sequence can become a snapshot of possible pathways through conflict and resolution. In this way, dreams illuminate the pathway before you.

(C) Clues come forward in dreams that reveal emerging sides of you, often through other characters. Upon waking, you may wonder why this person was in your dream. Explore the adjective that best describes the person, and how that quality may be active or inactive in your current approach. Inspiration for our dreams manifests from a side of the psyche that developed before language and therefore speaks in symbols. Dreams draw on memory, but also describe future events with a type of omniscient perspective. Cherish your dreams as a compass point and map in actualizing your life purpose.

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