Creativity Pathway #117: Dreaming Life

Dreams, and their interpretation, often generate creative insights for our waking lives. But what if life is all a dream?

Carl Jung, a psychologist and influential dream theorist, proposed that we are dreaming all of the time. While Ancient Jewish tradition sought to place dreams into the context of the dreamer’s life circumstances.

For life events that are particularly confusing, painful, strange, bewildering and joyful, I recommend a process designed to recreate your experience of them. When we redefine life events as dreams, it is enables us to approach those events more openly and from an outsiders’ perspective. Viewing life events as dreams allows one to see circumstances from a 10,000-meter view, realizing nuances and interpretations of the situation that we might not have seen through simple reflection. 

Here is an example of a narrative regarding a life event:

I woke today finding that he was angry with me. Outside of my comfort zone, I persisted in trying to resolve the unknown conflict. He was intent on silence and so, throughout the day we spoke only in necessaries. At first I felt alone and confused, longing for reconnection. Later, I left the house, falling into the usual spiraling trap of angry passivity.

Now, I’ve reframed the example as a reflection on a dream called “Spinning”:

I dreamed that I got up to find that he is angry with me. Outside of my comfort zone, I persisted in trying to resolve the unknown conflict. In the dream, he is intent on silence and so, throughout the day we speak only in necessaries. The dream has me feeling alone and confused, longing for reconnection. At the end of the dream, I leave the house and fall into the usual spiraling trap of angry passivity.

From this reframing, the “dreamer” is able to disconnect from the waking event, and its narrative, to see the tones and essences of the behaviors. While a narrative recording wraps up the details of an event, capturing it as a dream enables one to see patterns without focusing on “he-said, she-said” battles. With this approach, details take new meaning and translation. 

Coaching Challenge: Review the events of the last week. What has left you feeling confused, pained, strange, bewildered or joyful? Reframe that event by recording it as a dream. Use the language of the present tense and give the “dream” a title. Open with “I dream that…” and include statements such as “In the dream…” often. What emotions are you able to connect with from this perspective? What other recent events have held the same patterns? How could you interpret this “dream”?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Creativity Coaching Programs and to arrange for a complementary Creativity coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Erika.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Erika Jackson (Erika@LifeTrekCoaching.com)
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH  •   U.S.A.

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