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10 Reasons You Should Be Working With Your Dreams

A dream not interpreted is like a letter which is not read.

- The Talmud

Your nightly dreams can change your life. You can receive warnings, guidance, healing, or closure with the recently dead. Most dreams are rather mundane. You dream about getting up, dressed for work and off you go. The dream was so mundane, in fact, that you barely hold on to it. Shaking it off completely by the time you brush your teeth.

Big mistake.

Because that mundane dream is the dream that's closest to the surface of this reality. Something in that dream was trying to tell you something. A warning, perhaps? Affirmation that you're on the right path? A solution to a nagging problem at work?

If you had been in the habit of working with your dreams you could have 1) stayed with the dream longer, letting it play out, and 2) worked with it to tease out the message once you woke up.

1. Dreams Are Precognitive

Dreams show you the possible future. If you don't like it, take steps to avoid it. If it's a future you're excited about, likewise take the necessary steps to embrace it. Sometimes dreams show us a possible future to help take the edge of fear of the unknown off. Good or bad, knowing something breeds action.

2. Dreams Affirm Your Path

Ever experience deja vu? What you're really experiencing is the tactile remembering of a dream. When you're sleeping your Dreaming Self has the ability to pass through time and space. You traveled into the future and already experienced this moment. And now you are remembering it. It's likely a very mundane moment (which is why you didn't remember it when you woke up), but look under the surface and I bet something is being bookmarked. A shift in thought. A new friendship. . A book recommendation that later changes everything. A happy memory that's important just because it is what it is. Deja vu is the feeling that comes when an event is becoming an experience.

3. Dreams Relieve Stress

If a problem has been stressing you out, if a person is giving you drama you didn't ask for, dreams can help us let it all go. Whether you dream up the obvious-in-hindsight solution, or you have a vision about your adversary that completely changes the energy in which you approach them, your dreams hold the key.

4. Dreams Can Provide Wish Fulfillment

A holiday on an exotic Greek island. With exotic Greek men. Why the hell not?

5. Dreams Are Healing

Whether you dream an elaborate vision that ultimately helps you forgive and move past the wrongs against you, or you literally dream the remedy for whatever it is that is ailing you, it won't mean much if you don't remember it in the morning. Earlier this week my sister-in-law was battling a reoccurring sinus infection that even antibiotics weren't curing. She took a nap and dreamt of herself taking a huge spoonful of powdered goldenseal. In the dream her mouth was watering for the herb, although in the back of her mind she knew it would taste bitter. She woke up, did as the dream suggested, and two hours later the sinus infection was gone.

6. Dreams Deliver Inspiration

Looking for your next Big Idea? In a funk about career choices? Bored? The first place I always look is in my dreams. And they always deliver. Frankenstein was born from a dream. So was Twilight, for that matter. Oh, and the Theory of Relativity too.

7. Dreams Explore Past Lives

You'll probably know a past life dream when you have it. It feels utterly real and familiar and you may switch perspectives between the invisible onlooker and the center of it all. You may be playing out an old trauma that is still affecting you today, or you may be remembering something fantastic just for the sake of remembering. Past life dreams are my favorite. I was once transported to the ancient Maya where I was witnessing a wedding ceremony. The bride was a mere child and I felt deep sadness for her as I looked down at my twin daughters. Boom! That was it. But the weight of the scenery, my clothes, the colors, the sounds-- it was all so real. An IMAX movie couldn't have put me more in the moment. 

8. Dreams Bring Closure And Comfort From The Dearly Departed

I think we all have had a dream about a dead loved one, or know someone in the family who has. One of my cousins died in a freak car accident when he was just 18. Almost 10 years to the day of his death I had a dream about him. Or perhaps I should say I had a dream with him. Everything was fuzzy and out of focus except for him from the wait up. Everything. The room, the colors, the floor, etc. We were so happy to see one another. He looked as he might if he had lived to be 28 and asked me to pass a message along to his mother: He was fine. Had he lived he would be an airline pilot and married to a girl named Emilie (not Emily).

I indeed passed the dream along to my aunt and she was grateful to hear it. As a mother myself I can only imagine that she had asked those very questions to herself, over and over in grief.

9. Dreams Bring Guidance

Life guidance. Career guidance. Spiritual guidance. These are often the BIG dreams we dreamers like to hunt. Wisdom is hidden in these dreams and as the years go by, if you keep working with the dream, more wisdom will keep coming to the surface.  I had a very powerful dream a few years ago in which a Dream Teacher showed me the sunrise and explained how important it was to watch the sunrise and sunset in tandem-- meaning each day and evening and in tandem with our loved ones. There is more to that dream but I'm not ready to share it yet. The same teacher came back a few weeks ago, in my dreams, and reminded me of the lesson, but I must admit I'm still trying to figure out what it means.

Bonus lesson: always keep a part of BIG dreams to yourself. To give it all away is to give it all away. You need to hold on to some of the magic and mystery and power that came with that dream. Only you can know which parts to keep and which parts to share. Only you can know when the entire dream is ready to be released.

10. Dreams Give Peaks Behind The Scenes

I materialize in a large glass building sitting exactly between the Earth's atmosphere and the Heavens. It's a large office complex and everything is made of glass and is see-through. The floors, the walls, the ceiling, the furniture. I am in a room with a small group of people huddled over a table. The table is like an iPad but, well, the size of a table and so much cooler. Holographic. Three dimensional. Controlled by thought. I walk up behind one of the members and peer over his shoulder. I'm shocked to see myself! Sitting at the helm of the table and leading the meeting. I'm surrounded by what I determine to be my Spiritual Support Team: guides, angels, guardians, an ancestor or two, and one particular friend I've known since we were in Kindergarten. I'm explaining my goals on Earth for the next few years and how we will all work together to make sure they get done. The strings that need to be pulled. The coincidences that need to be set in motion. The dreams I need to have.

Executive Me pulls up a map of the world and starts pointing at places I may be and I speak to my friend, asking her for help when I'm here or there.

Dreaming Me begins to freak out. What is going on here! Why am I disclosing ALL of my future plans to strangers?

Executive Me looks up, alarmed and slightly annoyed-- there is an air of urgency about this entire scene and I have popped up as a nuisance. She looks up at a tall, looming figure to her right and simply says "She's awake" before turning her attention back to the map. She looks up to give me a quick glance in apology as I am escorted out of the room.

I wake up. Floored. What an amazing and exciting dream! Do we really have these nocturnal, interstellar planning sessions with our spiritual allies? It makes absolute sense that we might!

Excited by this possibility I drift back to sleep.

Once again I materialize in the glass board room. This time they notice me immediately. "Meeting adjourned!" My Executive Self announces. "She's awake and she can't know these things yet."

I wake up in my bed and do not go back to sleep.