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:
It was late. We were hanging out in the basement of my family home, the usual dark and private place for teenagers to dwell. My then boyfriend and I were squished into one lay-z-boy chair watching a movie, which was the norm when you worked at a video store and got all the new ones free.
I must’ve fallen asleep. I don’t remember what I was doing before…lights. Round, amber flashes before my eyes and the startling cry of a lost child. Someone or something was pushing down on me, pressing the air from my lungs and I couldn’t move to stop it. I had lost all control of my body. I thought I was shaking, but I couldn’t make my arms push the monster on top of me away. I couldn’t even open my eyes. Only darkness. And the increasing panic that I was being punished, or worse killed. Open your eyes! I commanded. Open your eyes!
When I woke from the blackness I sobbed audibly. It was only a minute or two, but it felt like a full nightmare. My boyfriend was holding my arms, terrified. What just happened? I thought you were having a seizure! What’s wrong?! I didn’t know what to say, or what happened, only how I felt. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t move. Was it a sign? Was something after me? Had I gone too far into the paranormal world and now one of them was after me? I couldn’t say anything. Who would believe me anyway?
Several weeks earlier, my family celebrated Christmas and both my sister and I received Sylvia Browne’s Book of Dreams. Browne, a world renowned psychic, was an author my sister had turned me onto, and we’d been reading several of her books about the afterlife, haunted locations, and totem spirits. I’d been slowly making my way through this book, which was more an educational book than a paranormal or spiritual read like her others. The Book of Dreams dealt with archetypes and dream symbology, common images that represent the changes or people in our lives. You know, like how we all have dreams about flying or falling or showing up naked to class.
A week after my scary episode, I was in the living room, stretched out on the couch reading through my Book of Dreams. On sleep disorders, actually. I bolted upright. Sleep paralysis. A condition where your state of sleep is interrupted and your conscious mind “awakes” before your body does. Seriously, check out WebMD. The symptoms include feeling an evil presence, stiffness of the body, flashing lights, loud noises, hallucinations, a weight upon one’s chest, and/or a sense of choking.
So I’m not crazy after all. Or possessed, which was quite a relief. And sleep paralysis is not a chronic condition, it’s rather rare. It only happens if your body goes in and out of a state of sleep and consciousness too quickly. I’ve never experienced it since, thankfully. What I do find odd is the fact that I read about my experience one week after going through it. Was I meant to get that book to help me understand what happened? Was someone watching over me? Or am I just really that superstitious and gullible? Something tells me I wouldn’t be asking these questions if I just dreamed about showing up naked to school.
Have you ever heard of experienced sleep paralysis? What do you think about it being a medical physical condition that attaches negative emotions to its occurrence? It has a paranormal ring to it, don’t you think? Sweet dreams, my ghoulies.