7 Doors into the Meanings of Your Dreams

I woke up this morning from a dream about shoes.

Gleaning messages from a dream brings wonderful feelings of deep listening and connection. Here are seven doors for you to enter into the meanings your dreams.  My experience this morning is used as an illustration.

1. Recall and record it:   Write your dream down, talk about it with someone, or record it with your phone.  While I was still lying in bed, I went over the dream in my head to be able to hang on to it once I opened my eyes.  Then I wrote down everything I could remember.

My dream in a nutshell or in this case a shoe box.

I am looking for my shoes.  After finding them, I realize that the right one is not matching – and is not mine.  I go around a large group of women looking for the owner of the right shoe.  I find her, but the right shoe she has and gives to me isn’t the match for my left.  I go through the same experience with two other women, and I still have two mis-matched shoes.  Although they are different styles, they both fit and are the same height so I decide I’ll wear them for now.  I also think about how to find my right shoe.  I wonder if the woman who has it doesn’t realize that her shoes are mismatched.  I talk to a woman to owns a shoe store and ask her to watch for this other woman to come in once she notices the mismatch.

2. Watch for symbols:  What object or person resonates with you and seems to be saying something?  As I first went over the dream in my head, the mismatched shoe being the right one seemed significant.  I remembered that the right side of the body is about masculine energy – action and moving out into the world.  When I started writing down my memory of the dream I wrote “not the right shoe” which jumped out at me with another meaning to the right shoe mismatch.  As in not the “correct” shoe.  What would not the correct shoe symbolize?  The saying “walk a mile in another’s shoes” came to mind.  A shoe could be symbolizing my path or the living of my life.

3. Free form journaling:  Write whatever comes to mind about your dream, playing with words and ideas that came up.  Let go of spelling and punctuation, just write and see what appears. Is there something from your life recently that seems related?  Some thoughts from my journaling:

  • This happens in real life.  About a year ago I actually wore two different shoes by mistake.  (Click here to see that in living color!)  Within the last few months, two friends have posted pictures on Facebook when they noticed they had mismatched shoes on.  Dream echoing life or life manifesting the subconscious?
  • My mismatched dream shoes both fit and were wearable together.  I had to look, pay attention, be conscious to notice the mismatch.
  • In our Spiraling In program, we create steps on our own unique path to move out of living someone else’s life into living ours.  Does my left shoe represent being on my path and the right shoe not being mine represent not being on my path?

4. Check in with emotions:  What are you feeling – either as you were dreaming or when recalling it later?  I didn’t feel troubled in the dream, even when I couldn’t yet find my right shoe.  I wasn’t giving up and I wasn’t upset with being mismatched for a while.

5. Title the dream:  Choosing a title can help you step back and pin point the main theme.  The title for this dream: Not My Right Shoe.

6. Look at everything as being a part of you:  What does the dream say to you if you see yourself in different roles or even objects in the dream?  If I understand myself both as the woman who knows she has mismatched shoes and the other woman who doesn’t know she has mismatched shoes, I realize that part of me is conscious of whatever the situation is and part of me isn’t yet.

That thought takes me to a drawing I did recently at Drawing Your Inner Landscape: A Contemplative Drawing Experience.  The drawing could be seen as showing my conscious and my unconscious.

tree above and below 500x600

7. Weave it all together:  What resonates the most?  Where do these doors into the dream take you?  There are most likely multiple messages and levels of information in the dream.  So think both/and instead of either/or.

Here are some of the messages from my dream.

Part of me is conscious of not being fully in my shoes (not fully living my authentic life) and part of me is not yet.  Yet is a key word.  This is time to wait with ease, and also to invite the unconscious part of me to be found.  I have been making progress towards being fully myself (the ripple effect of trading shoes with 3 women and the mismatched shoes being close enough to be wearable).  Be conscious, watchful, and patient.  Spend time connecting to myself and considering my path: writing, creating, doing SoulCollage®, and revisiting Spiraling In.

Dreams are rich in meaning so there is always a next step for you to go deeper.   Journal to the Self by Kathleen Adams has a chapter about journaling with dreams.  One of her suggestions is dialoging between two characters or objects in a dream.  What seems most juicy from my dream would be a dialog between the woman with the mismatched shoes and the woman who doesn’t know she has the mismatched shoes.  Sounds like a good idea for tonight!

Two other books suggestions for you in gathering meaning from your dreams:

  • The Art of Dreaming by Jill Mellick
  • Teach Yourself to Dream by David Fontana

Think about a recent dream you’ve had.  Which of these doors provide insight to your dream?  Do you have other tools that you use with dreams?  Please share your wisdom in the comments or on Facebook.  #DreamDoor