And we’re back to the Guinea Pig Diaries – Sleep Study Month! Last week we talked about Popular Dream Meanings, and we’re going a step further today with a fun drawing activity. Our dreams can be symbolic or pure release of our subconscious minds. But sometimes our dreams have a reoccurring symbol and that could have meaning.
The following exercise is from Sylvia Browne’s Book of Dreams and I found it really fun and interesting. Here are the directions:
Grab a pen and paper. Draw these five objects: a house, the sun, water, a tree, and a snake.
STOP READING! Finish your picture, then continue on.
Now, I have to give the same disclaimer that Sylvia gave in her book, which is that these interpretations of dream symbols are not THE ONLY ones they could mean, but they’re some of the more common. If you’re interested in learning what your particular dreams mean, the best thing you can do is keep a dream journal where you can record images and symbols that make repeat performances while you sleep!
That said, here’s the fun analysis of your drawing! And don’t worry if you’re not a good “drawer”. You can see I’m not! By the way, that spaceship over the door of the house is supposed to be an outside light. I like those on houses.
Ok, check this out!
The house represents you. How did you embellish your house? Is there a door? Windows? Can people see in? Does the house seem inviting or more closed off? Is there a chimney for warmth? A path to the house? Is it a big house or a tiny one? Is it a house to be noticed or more to blend in?
The sun represents your father. How close did you draw the sun to your house? Is it a glowing sun with rays reaching out or is a simple circle up out of the way? If it has rays do they stretch out for warmth and generosity or do they seem limited in what they can offer?
The water represents your mother. Again, look at its proximity to the house? Is it nearby or distant? Is it contained, like a pond or pool or flowing and lively like a river or an ocean? Is it in the foreground or background of your picture? Is its size relative to that of the house or does it seem out of proportion?
The tree symbolizes your intellect, your relationship with your mind, your awareness. What size is your tree? Is it in the foreground or background? Does it have branches that stretch out and provide shade or does it look shriveled and parched? Does it offer protection over the house or is it too far away?
The snake is your sexuality. What is its location to your house and tree? Is the size of your snake relative to the size of the house or does it seem out of proportion? Does it look healthy or should you take it to the doctor?
I was really shocked how a little drawing like this can pull out some key truths about our lives. I think that I am most like my father, so it makes sense that the sun is the closest to the house for me. My mom and I have become much closer over the years so I agree with the flowing river – which in itself, is something I grew up next to and have always found calming. I pride myself on being very self aware of my words and actions, so I created a more elaborate tree with a tire swing in it. I’m much more private about my sexuality, so it’s there, appropriate in size and curled up next to the house (at home where it belongs!) LOL
What do you think? Are you finding little A-Ha’s in your image? Don’t stress over the generalization of each object. Again, if you dream about water a lot, it doesn’t mean you’re obsessed with thinking about your mother. This is just one interpretation. But it’s pretty thought-provoking isn’t it?
Can’t get enough sleep? I mean blogging about sleep?
Check out the rest of the Guinea Pig Diaries series:
Sweet Dreams Everyone!
Welcome to the Guinea Pig Diaries – a monthly dive into different topics, and this month we’re talking about SLEEP! Wondering about setting a better sleep routine, check out Snooze is Not the Answer. Got a partner who snores? Go read It Might Get Loud.
Today, we’re talking about dreams.
Do you ever have a reoccurring dream? Have you wondered what it means? Dreams can have a variety of meanings and purposes in our lives; they can show us what we wish for, what we fear, and sometimes we can even speak to loved ones we’ve lost.
The most common type of dream is the Release Dream.
Release dreams serve their purpose by getting rid of the mental stress we carry around during the day. They can be nonsensical, humorous, and even scary. Nightmares are a form of release dreams – because they show us the worst case scenario. They also show us, however, that we can survive. Our subconscious is shocking us to let us know what we’re capable of accepting and dealing with.
What You Should Know About Nightmares:
Have you or someone you know had a reoccurring dream that a loved one becomes injured or dies? Nightmares like this are disturbing, no doubt, but it doesn’t mean they’re a premonition of something bad to happen. If we fear something with our conscious during the day, our subconscious stores it and releases it when we’re asleep. And again, it’s to show us we’ll survive – even if in our dreams we don’t.
I can think of a very particular nightmare I used to have again and again as a child. I dreamed that I was kidnapped. I was probably around 7 or 8 years old when a man came to our house and knocked on our door. Being that my father owned a cake business, we commonly had customers stop by to return cake fixtures from parties and such so I thought nothing of strange people at our door. This guy drove a beat up old truck and asked if my parents were home. I said they were and to step inside, I’d go get them. He immediately said, “Oh, that’s ok, nevermind…”, turned and left. When I told my mom and sister what happened, they were instantly alarmed. And I remember my sister looking out the window to catch sight of his truck and she called the police. I didn’t know I should have been scared, but their reaction did the trick. For several nights following, I suffered the nightmare that I was taken from my family. It left me scared to even be on the playground at school without other students or teachers around. Thankfully, I never saw the man again, and I’ve never been taken from my family against my will.
What About The Dreams Where My Teeth Fall Out???
Opposite of nightmares, release dreams can encompass those totally whacked out dreams we have too! You know, the ones where gorillas surround the house and take over the birdfeeder!!
Moving along! They’re called a release dream because they’re releasing the stuff our conscious collects throughout the day. When I was reading The Hunger Games trilogy, you should have SEEN the dreams I was having! And don’t get me started on my dreams following The Walking Dead.
Dreams About Your Teeth or Hair Falling Out:
Certain reoccurring dreams can have an archetypal meaning. A common one is the dream that all your teeth are falling out!
If you’re dreaming about your teeth, or hair, falling out it could mean you’re feeling vulnerable or embarrassed in some way. Perhaps you said something you wished you hadn’t or maybe you’re worried about getting old and afraid people won’t see you the same way. Both would be triggered by stress, so do whatever calming techniques work best for you – especially before bedtime – to put these dreams to rest (pun intended).
Dreams About the Weather – Storms, Waves, and Tornadoes:
Different form, same as above. Emotional stress. When we feel overwhelmed, we have the saying that “we’re drowning.” That phrase comes from somewhere! Emotional turbulence can take a physical form in our dreams through perilous natural elements because our minds recognize these forces as dangerous and requiring caution.
Dreams About Animals:
Dreams About Stairs or Mazes:
I’ve tried going to bed at different times. I’ve eaten and not eaten before bed. I’ve taken my vitamins and fish oil, and forgotten to take my vitamins and fish oil.
I’m still dreaming about paranormal creatures every night!!!
It started after my boyfriend, Joe, made me watch the movie The Prophecy. That night I dreamed that I was in battle with both good and bad angels. And their creepy void eyes just kept staring at me!
But I also learned, that just like Michonne on The Walking Dead, I’ve got made skills with a katana!
After that, I had the most bizarre dream starring several of my coworkers. I’m sure it’s totally normal for a retail sales manager to be sent on a paranormal investigation of an abandoned building. BUT, my coworker clearly did not watch horror films, because she broke the rule about not taking anything from the house!
After discovering the ghosts of 3 young children, my coworker took from the house 3 dolls that looked rather a lot like said children and for God knows what reason – PUT THEM IN MY ROOM!
So as my dream continued, every time I went into my room one of the dolls was in a different spot. The little boy would be sitting on my bed, a little girl on my desk. I was freaking out! And what was worse, I didn’t know if my coworkers and boyfriend were working together to mess with me or if in fact my coworker had unleashed 3 ghost children in my house!
The next morning, I woke up so exhausted and definitely gave a few of my coworkers skeptical looks on the job that day.
All zombie fans will know that last night was a new episode of The Walking Dead. This fantastic show has become a regular date night for Joe and I to enjoy.
But zombies were in my dreams last night!
I love paranormal stories, you guys, but how do I stop dreaming about them? My epic nighttime battles are making me wake up exhausted!
Perhaps tonight I should watch a happy movie. Anyone know where I put my Shirley Temple collection?
And don’t forget to leave me a music suggestion for The Ultimate Mix Tape For My Mom! My blog-swapping, cd making contest is still happening, and YOU COULD WIN!!!
Guilty Pleasures, I’ve got lots. I’ve been wishing for this one for awhile now. Every winter, the same request. I ask Santa, I ask God, I ask my Employer. They won’t let me.
I just want to frickin hibernate.
Many of you know, I’ve been working on this writing thing. I have 6 restarted drafts of the same story to prove it! I had been so good. I was waking up early, writing in the mornings, typing like a madwoman on writeordie.com, renting less movies, reading more, blogging more, doing all I could.
And then winter rolls it’s big ugly head into Wisconsin. The eternal days of darkness, the driving at 10 mph, the constant wet socks from stepping in other people’s snow tracks! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!
Here’s my proposal for why hibernation would really be the best option for me:
- When you hibernate, you don’t miss the sun. Is it still there? I haven’t seen it. I go to work when it’s dark, and it’s dark when I leave. Sometimes, when I walk past the entrance doors, I see a glimmer of a sunray, but then I realize it’s just a headlight pulling into the parking lot and I have to excuse myself and cry in the cosmetics stockroom surrounded by thousands of citrus scented tester bottles, tricking myself like a third world child that I do smell sunshine, I’m not missing it at all.
- Hibernation is really my favorite kind of dieting. In order to sleep for so long, one has to induce a food coma. That means that in the end days of September leading up to November, I can hoard and devour as much comfort food as I want. I mean mash potatoes for breakfast, pancakes for dinner, a late night snack of an entire can of pringles. I NEED it to last me in my blissful cocoon of sleep.
Hibernation is the ultimate heat source. I hate winter. I’m grouchy in it. And I’m always cold. I’m the girl who wears long underwear and double socks for months at a time. I’ll go to bed with sweatshirts on underneath all the covers. By hibernating, I’m delightfully cozy until the temperature gets back into high double digits!
- In Theory… The sad truth is, people have never been allowed to hibernate, so we don’t really know just how beneficial this process could be. Like what if the myth of getting all your sleep at once means you’ll never have to sleep again is true? Imagine what a productive and warm summer I’ll have? My novel will get written, I’ll visit the beach, I’ll steal other camper’s food cause I’ll be starving again!
I mean really, can you think of a reason NOT to hibernate? And if any of you mention a winter sport, I will bite you. All those in favor of hibernating from this day forth, say ‘aye’! Good!
Yours in Slumber,
Jess Witkins Van Winkle