Be Your Own Dream Expert Over 12,000 Definitions
Stop Sleepwalking Through Daily Life by Putting Your Nightly Dreams into Action
By Ian Wallace
If you've ever woken up wondering, "What was that about?" The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert (HCI Books --$18.95) with over 12,000 definitions will explain everything and enable you to become your own dream expert. By exploring your dreams in a deeper way, you'll reach a profound understanding of what you really want in life – and work out how to achieve it. Whether you dream about flying above canyons, your teeth dropping out, missing the bus, or standing naked in a crowded room, psychologist and author Ian Wallace will help you understand what your unconscious is trying to tell you and how you can use your dreams to help you live a richer and more fulfilling life. By exploring your dreams in this practical way, you'll reach a deeper understanding of what you really want in life – and work out how to achieve it.
Ian Wallace pairs these definitions with his completely original Dream Connection Process, which is being shared here for the first time. Through this process, developed by Ian, the dreamer can connect the imagery and symbolism that they create in their dreams to situations and opportunities in waking life, using this awareness to make a valuable difference in their lives.
The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert also contains background information on dreams and dreaming, answering questions such as:
• What is a dream?
• Why do we dream?
• How do I remember my dreams?
• What do my dreams mean?
• What are symbols and where do they come from?
In this comprehensive and easy to use guide, Ian Wallace articulates the complex psychological principles of dreaming in a very straightforward and engaging manner. He puts the power of the dream firmly in the hands of the dreamer so that they can understand the imagery that they create in their dreams and connect it to situations and opportunities in waking life.
A quick interview with the author:
1. Why do we dream?
Answer: A dream is how you naturally make sense of all the information and experiences that you unconsciously absorb every day. This individual sense-making process provides you with meaningful insights into specific challenges that you are encountering in your day-to-day life. Your dreams are not just some random occurrence, they are actually a deliberate process that you use to draw on your past experience and help you understand how that can enable you to make the most of future opportunities. Dreams don't just happen to you, you happen to the dream, and create everything that you experience in it.
2. What do my dreams mean?
Answer: Although your dreams may seem like a stream of random imagery that makes absolutely no sense, you are just expressing yourself in a different and far more creative way. To understand why you are dreaming a particular dream, all you have to do is work with the imagery and emotion that you have experienced in the dream. The images that you create in your dreams are your natural way of connecting what is happening in your inner world of imagination and ideas to your outer world of realities and facts. These connections from your inner world to your outer world are also known as symbols and identify where you can take meaningful action in waking life.
3. Why do people create similar dream imagery?
Answer: We tend to create similar themes in our dreams, such as being chased, falling or flying, because they reflect natural aspects of human behavior. Although we are all individual human beings, we also have generally similar behavioral patterns and so we create similar types of dreams as a way of exploring our waking life behaviors and how we can use them to identify opportunities and make the most of them. Understanding the meaning of a particular dream theme enables you to apply that awareness to a specific situation in your waking life.
4. Do we dream every night?
Answer: We tend to sleep in 90 minute cycles and we usually create dream episodes during each of these cycles. The first of these episodes will last for 10 to 15 minutes and the length of your dream episodes increases with each sleep cycle until the final episode before waking, which can be around 40 to 45 minutes long. On average, you will spend about two hours dreaming every night, so a twelfth of your life is experienced as a dream. You also create some dream imagery at the start of your sleep cycle as you begin to relax and drift off. This is known as the hypnagogic stage and it usually takes the form of apparently random flashes of imagery, most of it drawn from the previous day's events.
5. How do I remember my dreams?
Answer: Some people say that they never dream but the reality is that they just don't remember their dreams. Even though it may seem a challenge to remember your dreams, all you have to do is remember three words. These three words are WILL, STILL and FILL. When you lay your head on your pillow to go to sleep, say to yourself 'Tonight, I WILL remember my dreams.' When you wake up, lie completely STILL for a minute. Don't move, don't look at the time and don't even wiggle your toes. By staying still, images and emotions that you have created in your dreams will emerge for you. Then all you have to do is fill in the gaps between the images from the dreams that you have created and your dream story will begin to appear.
6. Can I control my dreams?
Answer: There is a great deal of interest in the apparent possibility of controlling your dreams and everything you experience in them. This is also known as lucid dreaming and is simply the ability to realize that you are dreaming and then to consciously influence your dream without waking yourself up. The reality is that you cannot actually control your dreams but you can certainly make choices in them. Using the lucid dreaming to choose what you experience in your dreams can help you to work through particular challenges in your waking life. By realizing that you have the power to make choices in your dreams, you often begin to realize that you have the power to make healthy choices in your day-to-day reality.
Introduction from The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams by Ian Wallace
In my work with dreams and dreamers, the question I am most frequently asked is 'What does my dream mean?' Although many people are interested in the dreaming process and how it can reflect a wider awareness of human consciousness, understanding the meaning of a dream is what most people want to discover. When a dreamer asks, 'What does my dream mean?' he or she is actually asking a more powerful question, which is 'What does my dream actually mean to me?' Trying to find out what your dream means to you can often be a confusing and frustrating experience. Most dream interpretation sources offer a variety of meanings for a particular symbol. Although it can be interesting to explore the different viewpoints of Jung, Freud, the ancient Assyrians, and many other sources that offer dream insights, it often results in a situation where you end up spending most of your time trying to resolve contradictions between the various opinions. Using this dream dictionary is different. Instead of looking at all possible opinions, it is firmly based on taking constructive action. The symbol definitions are practical and a great way to ask yourself fundamental questions that will move you into specific action. These definitions have emerged from over thirty years of working with dreams and by consistently working with dreamers to help them identify opportunities that will lead to healthy and fulfilling outcomes. Rather than delving into the more esoteric aspects of working with dreams, this dream dictionary provides a practical method of understanding what your dreams actually mean, so you can put them into real action.
There are a number of ways to use this dictionary. You can just dive right into 'The Dream Dictionary' (see page 51) and look up the definition of a dream image that has particular significance for you. You can read through 'What Do My Dreams Actually Mean?' (see page 3) to find out more about the practical aspects of what dreams actually are and why we create them. There is also information on the development of dream interpretation (see page 6) and on how symbols emerge (see page 10). To understand your dreams in greater depth, you can work your way through the examples of 'The Dream Connection Process' (see page 14), so you can quickly and expertly explain what you are expressing to yourself by creating a particular dream. By using examples, I show you how to define what a symbol means to you, how to ask yourself questions about its significance, and how to create an action statement.
The Dream Dictionary contains over 12,000 definitions, from Aardvark all the way through to Zzz's, and when used as the basis for The Dream Connection Process, they offer an almost infinite number of interpretations. Each of the definitions is around twenty words long and enables you to get an immediate sense of what your dream imagery means to you.
Using the definitions from The Dream Dictionary as part of The Dream Connection Process will help you to be your own dream expert. By connecting your dream meanings to the reality of your day-to-day life, you will be able to make the most of any opportunities to turn your hopes and aspirations into waking reality.
For some time now, one of my personal ambitions has been to create a modern dream dictionary that enables dreamers to connect with their unconscious power and potential. Many people have helped me put this dream into action, and I would particularly like to thank Clare Landon, Susanna Abbott, Clare Hulton, Jo Godfrey Wood, Catherine Knight, Daniel Rodger, Dagmar Kress, Caroline and Eric Cochrane, Owen Crawford, George Jamieson, Stuart Jenkinson, Marianne Garvey, Iain Banks, Carol McGiffin, Denise Welch, Shobna Gulati, Jane Mcdonald, Carol Vorderman, Alan Titchmarsh, Emil Shavila, Russell Howard, Sarah Millican, Eddie Izzard, Ryan Tubridy, Nicky Campbell, Rachel Burden, Shelagh Fogarty, Tony Blackburn, Jonathan Miles, Louise Elliott, Sally Boazman, Ricky Marshall, John Dutton, Simon Mayo, Tim Smith, and Steve Wright.
What Do My Dreams Actually Mean?
A Dream Is Just a Dream Until You Put It into Action
Everyone dreams. Every one of us dreams, but many of us tend to dismiss our dreams as bizarre experiences that don't appear to mean anything. Nor do our dreams seem to be of any practical use, as we often assume we cannot readily use any of our dream experiences in the real world of waking life. However, we keep being drawn back to the dreams we create every night because they may contain information that can help us realize our ambitions in waking life.
The word dream has two meanings for us. It can be the adventures we create for ourselves every time we sleep, and it can also represent our greatest hopes and aspirations in our day-to-day reality. Although our nighttime dreams may just seem to be a distraction from our pursuit of health and happiness in everyday life, they can provide us with vital insights that enable us to ask ourselves powerful questions about how we can turn our dreams into reality in our waking lives.
Trying to find a way to work out what your dream means can often be as bewildering as the imagery from your dream experience. There appear to be countless theories about dreams and seemingly endless debates about the function of dreams, where they come from, what they are, if they actually do exist, and so on. Although this debate and opinion are healthy, it often means that dreams end up being viewed as quirks and curiosities rather than being used as a fundamental part of human experience that can help us to live the lives we want to live.
The theories and opinions about the dreaming process have become polarized into two main areas. These two areas are the academic and esoteric approaches, which usually tend to firmly oppose each other. The academic approach often tries to work with the dreaming process by using outside-in methodologies. These methods involve studying the physiological and neurological activity that occurs during dreaming as a way of trying to understand why dream imagery is being produced. This is valuable work, but it can result in a dream being treated as a biological phenomenon rather than being seen as an opportunity for personal development.
The more esoteric approaches to dreaming tend to view the dreaming process as an experience that happens to the dreamer. This is also an outside-in approach that takes the ownership of the dream away from the dreamer by suggesting that the dreamer is merely a type of psychic receiver. This can result in the dreamer becoming disempowered and reliant on a process that offers little practical help in getting to a positive and healthy outcome.
Instead of trying to make a compromise between these two opposing perspectives, I take a different approach, which is to engage with the language and imagery the dreamer is creating emotionally. Rather than using the outside-in methods of the academic and esoteric approaches, mine is an inside-out process that enables a dreamer to clearly express the imagery he or she is creating, thereby taking full ownership of it and using it as a basis for practical action. This is not just an attempt to be different; rather, it is a robust process that enables dreamers to reach a specific outcome so they can take action to step into their power and positively transform some aspect of their waking lives. This inside-out approach is highly practical and has proved successful for my thousands of clients.
The basis of this inside-out process is realizing that dreams don't just happen to you; you create the dream and all the imagery and emotions you experience in it. Understanding that you are the author of your dreams immediately begins to empower you by allowing you to question why you created that particular dream experience. Instead of being unwelcome neurological intrusions or mysterious visitations, your dreams become a form of self-expression that can help you understand more about who you are, what you need, and what you believe. As you expand your self-understanding, you naturally begin to connect more deeply with your hopes and aspirations in waking life. This encourages you to step into your individual power and take action on your dreams. The guiding principle I use in working with the imagery a dreamer creates is 'A dream is just a dream until you put it into action.'
From this practical perspective, let's explore some basic questions about dreams and dreaming.
What Is a Dream?
A dream is how you naturally express a fundamental aspect of your self-awareness. This fundamental awareness is your unconscious self and is quite simply all the areas of yourself you are not consciously aware of. Although these may seem to be of little consequence in waking life, most of your behaviors are driven by your unconscious self and all the information you absorb with it in every waking second.
When you create a dream, you are using it as a natural way to make sense of all the information and experiences you are unconsciously aware of in day-to-day reality. This individual sense-making process can give you meaningful insights into specific challenges you encounter in waking life. The language you use to express yourself as you make sense of your unconscious awareness is the language of imagery.
As well as using visual imagery in the dreams you create, you can also use auditory (hearing), olfactory (smelling), and tactile (touching) imagery. The images you create in your dreams reflect how you see your self-image in waking life and enable you to imagine the person you have the power to become. A dream is how you imagine yourself. That's what a dream is.
Why Do We Dream?
At the most basic level, we dream because it is a natural function that has evolved. Although some people who, due to a brain injury or a congenital condition lack the neurophysiology to dream, everyone dreams. By using our dreams to make sense of all the information we have unconsciously absorbed, we can become far more successful in identifying valuable opportunities for personal development in waking life. Your perceptions of the world around you.
The unconscious awarenesses we use our dreams to make sense of are not just the events of the previous day, but are drawn from the whole of our life experience. As we recollect and reconnect with these meaningful experiences, we project them into our future lives so we can naturally position ourselves for success and fulfillment. All humans are dreamers, dreaming of brighter futures.
When we unconsciously create our dreams at night, we follow the same process we use when we imagine our ambitions in day-to-day reality by forming images of how our future might look. In waking life, however, we often tend to form an idealized future, where our dreams suddenly manifest in reality. As we know, this is highly unlikely to happen, and trying to always instantly connect to this idealized future means that we can find it difficult to take the practical steps we need to put our dreams into action.
Dreaming also contributes to our sense of physical well-being. If for any reason we are unable to engage in dreaming activity, we can experience a variety of unsettling physical symptoms. The human brain, however, is not just some wet organic computer that needs to be regularly decluttered and defragmented. Your brain is much more complex than the most powerful computer, and dreaming has evolved as a vital aspect of how you create
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ian Wallace graduated with a degree in psychology, and has analyzed over 170,000 dreams for his clients during his professional career. Wallace is the originator of the Dream Connection Process, a unique and powerful method that enables anyone to connect the imagery and symbolism that they create in their dreams to situations and opportunities in waking life where they can use this awareness to make a healthy difference. Wallace regularly appears on television, on radio and in print, where he is consistently applauded for his accuracy and his authority in analyzing dreams.
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