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DREAM: Gazelles Warn of Danger

When there is a message of warning in the dream, such as the one I describe below, it means that when you do the inner work to transform the negative emotion in the dream into something new then if something potentially negative happens in real life you will have the ability to create a really positive outcome. In this way, you can shift your reality into something truly amazing. It takes time and daily effort and the really incredible results will shock and amaze you!

The reason trauma can be healed when you understand the secret messages of your dreams is because dreams exist outside of time & space. When we understand a message in a dream we can learn something about ourselves, our circumstances, and the people around us and we can begin to see negative things coming before they happen. This helps us become more prepared and it empowers us to use our skills, capacities, talents & strengths to create extremely positive experiences for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Truth be told, if there were a reward for having the most foreboding dreams in a row, I think I would win. In the past two weeks in my dreams I am:

  • canoeing in a river swarming with hungry alligators
  • hiking on a trail with snakes and lions
  • confronting an enormous bear trying to get in my house
  • running to rescue my dog who’s been attacked on the face
  • watching a herd of gazelles run from an unknown predator

Readers familiar with the way I do dreamwork (which was created & developed by author Richard Hastings), will remember that the many animals showing up in these dreams carries a lot of meaning. Here are four things to keep in mind when dreaming about animals.

  1. Like humans, animals have two sides – a positive expression of their qualities & also a negative expression. Think of how a dog can by loyal and friendly but also vicious & attacking. Dreams about animals signal where some work can be done for the dreamer to be more of the positive & less of the negative.
  2. When new energy is opening up in the dreamer, oftentimes animal dreams show up which provides guidance and clarity. So I can say that the negative energy I’m dealing with is anger, jealousy, hurt, fear – especially of being attacked by someone/something lurking hidden beneath the surface. The positives opening up for me are: empowerment (bear energy), flexibility (snake energy), strength/courage (lion energy), and … I’m still working on the alligator and the gazelle…
  3. When we flip the negative emotion of the dream to its positive opposite then we shift our perceptions and can go for opportunities which can change our circumstances. I suspect the positive of the alligator is being able to be patient and wait for the right time to leap at a goal or opportunity. When I am a Positive Alligator then I don’t react to every passing whim or fancy or emotion. I can be clear-headed, focused & patiently waiting for the right opportunity to go for my goal.
  4. When the dream is positive and outcome is good then it’s a good idea to try to incorporate the qualities of the animal because they will help with the real life situations. If the outcome is negative, then it means some work needs to be done on the issues so the outcome can be positive.

Gazelles are fast (known to run up to 60km/hr) but in the dream when I see the gazelles run by signaling that a predator is coming I turn to run with them but I know I could never keep up with their speed and in fact my running slowly would make me more vulnerable if it’s a bear or mountain lion. So I turn back to see if anything is coming but it’s just a dark path. I wonder if I can hide or maybe climb a tree. Without knowing what the gazelles are running from I find it hard to know how to protect myself.

Running in dreams usually means wanting to escape something fearful in real life. Often times, the object of the fear is a person in a perceived position of power. Facing the fear means standing strong, having clear boundaries, and having the Courage to be really big to the task. People who are addicted to power have a lot of ways of trying to make their targets feel small. When we stand in our Truth & our own Empowerment then we can be really big to the task and not allow anyone to make us feel small or threatened.

There are a number of potentially negative situations which can happen, at home, in the workplace or in the community. There are a few things I’m facing right now – all of us are facing something to one degree or another. When we remember to hold a clear vision of a bright future in our mind & we take positive action towards our goals then we never need to fear any predator. We have all the skills, capacities, talents & tools needed to overcome ANY obstacle or challenge that faces us. When we dream about animals it’s a sure sign that great big new energy is opening up and exciting things are happening! We need not be afraid of the change and we can trust ourselves and our inner guidance to move us through any difficulty or deal with any challenge.

Photo by Will Mu on

Ask your Self: What am I invisioning happening in the future that scares me?

If the negative thing you imagine happening has HAPPENED to you in the past and you are afraid of it happening again, then this is a REAL FEAR and the solution is to have A LOT of Courage and to learn something new to deal with your current life circumstance.

If the negative thing you imagine happening in the future has never happened to you before but you have seen it happen to others (in real life, or movies, or on the news, etc) then the issue is ANXIETY. The solution for anxiety is to look back into your past, remember what you’ve done well & succeeded in before and then repeat those actions again with A LOT OF CONFIDENCE.

I will be writing a lot more about working with Fear & Anxiety in upcoming posts.

Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below and remember to subscribe to Healing With Dreamwork so you can be notified when the next blog post is published.

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Prisons Are Powerful Metaphors For Change

The reason dreams about jails are such powerful metaphors is because “prison” is such a perfect metaphor of the way all human beings can potentially become trapped inside our egos. When we have fear, anger, jealousy, disappointment, sadness, etc these negative emotions become like walls, bars and fences keeping us contained within a small area where growth & progress is nearly impossible.

The old way of looking at things is to avoid feeling the fear or other negative emotions but when we do that it’s like we are caging ourselves in and we can never experience true freedom. Instead, when we use FEAR as the KEY to unlock the DOOR then we move through the fear and discover limitless potential for our Selves!

Fear often shows up in dreams when we are running away from something, maybe a vicious animal or maybe a threatening person with a weapon. When we are running away in a dream it means we are trying to run away from something in real life. So when we understand what we are afraid of and face it then we can use Courage to do things which the fear had been stopping us from doing.

A dream comes to mind as I write this, one that I had years ago, when I was just beginning a journey of empowerment through dreamwork transformation. In the dream, I was being chased by a bear and at first I started running but then I got to a cliff and instead of jumping off which was what I wanted to do (anything to escape the thing I feared, right?) then I just turned around and faced the bear. It stopped running. Sniffed around and turned around and left me alone. A tremendous feeling of Strength filled me in that dream and when I worked through it the next day I recalled that bears in dreams are about Empowerment & Strength and the dream was telling me to have a lot of Strength when dealing with these HUGE challenges in front of me. I filled myself with the feeling of Strength and Courage and tackled the tasks with success. It was a great feeling! Before the dream, I was sort of feeling like giving up. The image of facing the bear helped me discover what I needed to do to face my fears.

This is an example of where I had been caged within my own Self, my ego, my own inner jail, thinking I couldn’t succeed and wanting to give up. The fear was a clue to me that I needed Courage and Strength so when I used Fear to give me a clue as to what I needed to do, then I found the positive qualities I needed in order to finish what I had started.

This is one of the reasons I really like listening to dreams from inmates. They have the real life experience of living in jail … but sometimes their inner states are far more FREE than many people who live on the outside. We can learn a lot from the dreams & stories of people who are in jail or who have been there. The main thing is to drop the judgement and just listen. After that, some really amazing things open up.

Dreams From the Box: Having an Adventurous Spirit on the Quest for New Gems of Character

When I listen to dreams from inmates, the first thing I do is remove judgement. It’s not my role to judge or criticize, just to listen and support. Recently, an inmate who calls himself “Money” shared a dream with me and he said he thinks it’s about how he is going deeper into himself and discovering the good things that are there which he never saw before. I got really excited when he shared the dream because it is such an awesome metaphor for the stages we go thru during transformation as we are searching for the positives.
Here is the dream:
I’m a desert, in Egypt, wearing clothes I would never wear, like khaki hiking shorts and a white polo shirt. I go into the pyramid and realize I am the guide, others are waiting for him to tell him what to do and where to go. I’ve been told not to push on the bricks but then I push on a brick anyway and then suddenly trap doors start opening and everyone falls down a hole one by one. They are each going down their own tunnels and falling and I can hear them screaming and yelling and then it stops and I figure they died. But then I keep falling down my tunnel and I land in a treasure-filled room and there’s all these gems and gold and stuff. It’s amazing and I realize it’s all for me and then in the far back part I see a mummy with a really special necklace. It’s gold and diamonds and really valuable so I get up as close as I can and I use a long stick to try to pull the necklace off. And then I woke up. What do you think it means?
This is such a perfect dream for the way transformation works because the energy used when going for change is a lot like being on an adventurous quest in an unknown territory. When we dig deep & have a lot of enthusiasm for the process then we can find “gems” of virtues within us – Courage, Confidence, Assertiveness & Patience – which we can then use in many life experiences.

Dreams About Money – Steps for Breaking the Fear of Poverty Cycle

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

Nov. 25, 2018

For the past 10 years I’ve been studying my dreams, and the dreams others share, giving careful attention to the idea of transformation by understanding the metaphor of the dream and using it to decipher new solutions to old issues. One of the most prevalent issues which comes up for people is around money.

Money is an interesting metaphor because when it shows up in a dream, it is not actually about dollars & cents at all. Money in dreams is a symbol for bounties (from God?) and an also be about close connections in relationships. So when money shows up in a dream it’s not really about the cash in a bank account. It is about the dreamer’s relationships, with themselves and others.

So if money in a dream is not about money in real life, then how is it that a person can solve financial challenges by studying the metaphors in their dreams? There are ways. Here’s one of the ways.

  1. Ask your Self, at a time when you are awake and considering making some financial choices, “How much money is in my bank account right now?”
  2. When you get the answer to your question, whether there is $3.22 or $3022.00 or even $30, 220.00 – just notice the sensation you have when you think about how much money is there.
  3. If you have a fear of poverty, or if there is a pattern operating in your mind or in  your life which leads you to fear poverty, you can feel this negative sensation arise when you think about the exact dollar amount you are looking at.
  4. If you can, try to notice the fear and then think about what is an image which describes this sensation. Do you feel like you are falling off a cliff? Or being chased by a bear? Or being hunted by a gunman? About to be eaten by a snake? Just notice what image best describes the fear when you think about the actual dollars in your account.
  5. Let’s say when you imagine the fear then you get an image of … being in a busy mall and everyone is ignoring you and buying things and you feel as though you need things but have no money and it isn’t appropriate to ask others for help. That could be an image. When you feel like you need things, like food or gas or money for rent, but the money isn’t there, but you don’t want to ask anyone, then what is the emotion which comes up? Is it despair? Frustration? Hopelessness? Abandoned? If you can pinpoint the emotion you are one step closer to unraveling the pattern and increasing your wealth in life.
  6. Once you understand where you fear is coming from, and the emotions attached – such as embarrassment, or shame, or anger or rage then try thinking of the next metaphor which goes even deeper into your fear. When you want to ask for help but feel blocked by fear to get it, what image comes to mind? Let’s say, it’s something like being far down a hole in the ground, and others are standing nearby and you are reaching out your hand to be pulled up but people are looking at you but won’t offer a hand or a ladder. You want to hold that image in your mind and then use it for Step Number 7 to climb yourself out of the metaphoric hole.
  7. Now what you can do is work with the image to change the scenario in your mind. If you can think of a way to get yourself out of the metaphoric hole without the help of others, that’s even better. Why not imagine you look down and notice a ladder on the ground by your feet? What if you change the metaphor in your mind, use the ladder, attach it to the wall, maybe it’s one of those rope ladders, and climb your way up. Imagine the great sensation of taking steps to move upwards, imagine the strength you use to uplift yourself and get above ground.
  8. Since the metaphor in this example was about climbing a ladder, then you can think of the solution to your financial challenges as being a step-by-step approach. With that in mind, now consider your real life financial challenges. You know where the challenge is – a limited or finite amount of money in the bank – and you know the solution involves moving forward, or upwards step by step. Ask yourself, “What step can I take today, even if it is a small one, which will help uplift me towards the financial goal I want to achieve?
  9. When you think of that step then stay with that idea for a while, allow the Determination to achieve that goal to grow within you. When you feel a lot of Determination and readiness to take the step, then get up from your meditation/visualization and take the step.
  10. Once you take the step, you can continue taking more. Keep moving forward until you reach another obstacle and then just start back at exercise #1 and repeat the cycle until you achieve the goal. Of course, then you can set a new goal, and move forward with steps #1 through #10 until you are just cycling through this new flow. As you do this more and more you will create a new pattern of prosperity leaving the old fears behind and welcoming in new opportunities, including financial achievements and new relationships.

Nelson Mandala is known to have said that poverty is a man-made problem and that means it can be eliminated with man-made solutions. This solution offered here is one of many which can really help change things for individuals, families and communities.

Dreams From the Box – Exploring Transformation With Jail Metaphors

hallway with window
Photo by Jimmy Chan on

Nov. 26, 2018

The reason I like to explore transformation using the metaphor of jail is because when strong negative emotions are operating within us, they can imprison us within walls of fear, anger, jealousy, sadness, etc. I like to think of the ego as being exactly like a prison wall, trapping the True Self within seemingly impenetrable cement walls, high spiky fences and cold steel bars. The reason jail is such a good metaphor for ego is because when someone sets out to develop new capacities within them Self or to strengthen their skills, then it is as though they are setting out to demolish the inner walls of fear. Every time we wake up to a new truth about our self or about others or about life, it is as though we are operating a wrecking ball & bulldozing our way out of the inner jail which contains us.

Everyone can have the “feeling” of being in a jail. When we work at a job which we don’t like, it can feel like we are prisoners within our own workplace. When we live in a neighourhood which doesn’t bring us joy, this can feel like being jailed. When people are living in poverty or have very limited financial means, it can feel as though they are prisoners – wanting to do more with their life but having no way to get there. When a woman lives with a man who is abusing her, physically or emotionally, this can be like a jail. When a man works hard for a steady and strong income, but his wife takes his money and spends it frivolously, this can be like living in a jail. What I am trying to demonstrate here is that regular day-to-day life can “feel” like jail when there is an abuse of power in the environment, whether at home or at work.

When I hear dreams from prisoners, often times I find that before they were in jail physically, they were already “feeling” like they were in jail metaphorically. They wanted things for themselves and their families but couldn’t see how to get them and they couldn’t see how to change the feeling of being trapped so they tried lots of ways to try to get what they wanted, in the hopes they would no longer feel trapped, but sometimes the things they did hurt others and the outcome was that they were arrested and wound up in jail. Now there are two challenges ~ the inner condition of feeling jailed which all humans can experience, and the outer condition of living in a physical jail.

What I tell the inmates who call me to share their dreams & nightmares is that they have very little control over the conditions around them but they have ALL the control when it comes to their inner condition. When they can identify a huge challenge, fear, or issue that’s coming up in a dream and we can work through it until it’s no longer an issue, then it is like being released from an inner prison and it is so freeing. This is the same approach which works for everyone, but for the inmates it’s all the more powerful because they face a real-life jail every day.

When we do the transformation work on our inner Self then we begin to see changes in our outer world. When we first think of our metaphoric jail and free our Selves from it then we can find an abundance of opportunities in our environments which weren’t available to us before. This is an incredibly empowering process which can truly change everything.