I’m at a large conference, trying to find a seat before the final presentation starts, when I see a display table featuring laptop computers for sale at a bargain price. I’m tempted, wonder whether to consult my husband first, but decide to go ahead and buy one now. The computers come in pretty black and blue cases. I open one, but what’s inside isn’t a computer – rather, it’s a nesting set of bright children’s toys in primary colors – dollhouses, corrals, cars and trucks, lots of other stuff. I’m fascinated, but this isn’t what I expected, and I don’t know what to do. . .
This dream from last night almost escaped me, but it came flooding back when I saw my husband open his laptop while I was finishing breakfast. It felt significant, so I immediately wrote it down in my new blogging journal. I don’t often remember or write down my dreams these days, but there was a time back in the day when I was still practicing art therapy and deeply involved in dreamwork. I attended various training sessions and even gave workshops on dream interpretation.
Ann Faraday’s method of dreamwork was my favorite, and I used it for many years. I just Googled her to see if I could provide a link for you, but I came up short. Her books, Dream Power and The Dream Game, both published in the 1970’s, are still available on Amazon, but she has only a short entry on Wikipedia, which doesn’t even indicate if she’s still alive – at any rate, she doesn’t have a website.
In this blog, I’ll try to reconstruct what I remember of her method, using my own dream as an example. To avoid boring those who aren’t into dreamwork, I’ll jumpstart it on the next page. Two main points before I do so: first, there are no cut-and-dried meanings; the same image can mean very different things to different people. And second, exploring your dreams can have all sorts of benefits in both your creative work and your day-to-day life.
Julie’s Tips for Dreamwork (with thanks to Dr. Ann Faraday)
- Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up and remember them. Keeping a journal or tape recorder next to your bed makes it easier. Even if you remember only a fragment, start with that – more may come back to you as you write. (In my case, I did this belatedly, but the earlier the better.)
- Write down the day’s events and associations that may relate to the dream. (I’ve been thinking about owning a laptop for ages, but I’m so used to writing at my desk in an office that I haven’t really felt the lack. But now that I’m into social networking and Blog Book Tours, I’m starting to change my mind. K.A. Laity suggested that she, Alexis Grant and I could get together in a cyber cafe and blog together, and I realized I couldn’t.)
- Feeling tone: what emotions did you experience in the dream and when you woke up? (I felt happy and upbeat – a sense of anticipation.)
- If the above is all you have time for, that’s okay. You can do the following steps later:
- Symbols, imagery and wordplay: Think and write about the images and what they may mean to you. (I didn’t realize till writing this the symbolism of “black and blue”. Does it signify abuse? Have I been beating myself up by not treating myself to a laptop? On the other hand, the children’s toys and bright colors gave me a sense of joy – they reminded me of my grandchildren. They also represent the creative, many-layered aspects of building an online persona, which I’ve blogged about before.)
- Message: what is the dream telling you? (Get a laptop!)
- Action you will take as a result of this dream:
GET A LAPTOP!
I may not be able to fulfill this dream immediately, but it verifies the direction I need to follow. And if any of you have hot tips on cheap laptops, by all means let me know. I’d be interested to learn of your dreamwork experiences, too.
This blog inspires me to go back and resurrect a part of myself I’d left behind – the therapist persona. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog: Dialogue with your Inner Critic.