When we sleep each night, our subconscious is let free to communicate with us. Our dreams can be precognitive, healing, or inspiring. Sometimes, our dreams don’t make sense but hidden in every dream, even the silly ones, are golden nuggets of truth that when mined can reveal important often life changing information. Our dreams offer us deeper insights and solutions into our daily lives. Edison received many ideas for his inventions through his power naps. Paul McCartney dreamt the melody for “Yesterday” and Stephanie Meyer dreamt the whole concept for her Twilight series. Our dreams allow our subconscious to communicate with us. Our subconscious connects with us through pictures and symbols. Most of the time, our dreams are unique and speak to what’s going in specifically in our lives. But there are several common dreams that everyone seems to experience from time to time and these represent themes that are going in our lives. Throughout the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to get swept up in the busyness. But when we sleep our mind is able to rest and reflect. It’s our inner self’s way of saying, “Hold on, something’s not right. We need to look at this situation more closely.” Let’s look at six common dreams and symbols we’ve all experienced and see what our dreams are trying to tell us.

Falling Dreams

Have you ever dreamt that you’re falling down a flight of stairs? Or have you woken up with the sensation of falling? Falling Dreams are often trying to tell us that we’re worried about an aspect of our life falling apart or going downhill.
If you have a dream about falling, ask yourself, “Where do I feel as though I am failing in my life?” Are you worried about a relationship? Is your job putting a lot of pressure on you? Are you concerned about your finances? A falling dream is your subconscious’ way of telling you that you need to deal head on with this situation. Take some time to deal with fearful feelings of failure. Tell yourself that you are doing the best you can and create a plan for future. One of my clients named Susan kept having a dream where she fell down the stairs at work. Sometimes she would be in the elevator at her job and the elevator would go into freefall. Susan would wake each time in a panic. She started to pay greater attention at work to some subtle clues. The higher ups were working around the clock. Many were speaking in hushed tones. Susan asked for extra projects and began staying later at the office. At the end of the month, her boss called her in for a private meeting. The company was merging and they were going through a round of layoffs. But everyone had noticed Susan’s diligence, team work ethic and willingness to work hard, so the boss wanted her to know that her job was secure. Susan’s falling dream helped save her job.

Losing Your Teeth

Dreaming about body parts represents the emotional and psychological aspects of the body part. So when we dream about our teeth falling out, it doesn’t foretell a root canal in our future. Because we use our mouth to communicate – through words, a smile, a frown or a laugh – dreams about our teeth deal with communication.
If you said something that you later regretted, you might have a dream that your teeth are falling out. Did you participate in gossip? Spread a rumor you didn’t know to be accurate? The message of this dream is caution. When a tooth falls out, we can’t just put it back in. The same goes for our words. There’s a saying that reminds us of this truth. “Be careful of your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven not forgotten.” Sometimes this dream can point to a bigger pattern of behavior that needs to be addressed. Tim had this dream almost his whole life. He would dream that as he was talking to someone, all his teeth would just start falling out. When he learned what the dream meant, he couldn’t think of any hurtful words he had said or a confidence he had broken. But then he started to examine his conversations with his friends and realized he was a chronic over sharer. He told people intimate details about his life, posted constantly on Facebook and Twitter and felt the need to express his opinion with everyone. When Tim realized this, he started to learn how to set healthy boundaries. As a result his relationships improved and he never had the dream again.

Flying Dreams

These are fun and happy dreams. They mean that you are “flying high” and feeling great. You’re feeling confident and in charge of your dreams. If you dream that you’re actually flying through the air, it can mean that you’re about to achieve a new goal or hear about an upcoming career success.
It can also signify that you’re accessing higher levels of consciousness through your spirituality. My friend Bill kept dreaming that he was running over rooftops. On the last one, he took a leap and began to fly. As he soared through the sky, he felt happier and freer than he ever had in his life. When he woke up, he asked himself, “Where do I need to take a leap of faith?” Instantly, he thought of the business he’d been dreaming of starting. He took the dream as a positive sign and started his business which has remained an enormous success. When I was a child I used to see ghosts all the time and it terrified me, so I asked God to make it stop. My prayers were answered until I hit my 30’s. My intuition started opening again and I didn’t know what to do about it. As a Christian, it went against what I was taught to believe. I began to have a recurring dream that I was walking through a meadow and an angel would approach me. Each time, she would nod to me and say, “Go ahead. Give it a try.” I would begin to flap my arms like and bird and soon I was flying. In the dream I was always surprised and ecstatic. My angel would fly along side me and say, “You’ve always been able to do this. Don’t be afraid this time. We’re always here for you.” After that dream, I felt safe and confident enough to allow my intuition to open. It changed my life and began a second chapter for me and a new career. I walked away from teaching English at my local college and took a true leap of faith. I don’t think I would have done that without the confidence those flying dreams gave me.

Being Chased

Unlike flying dreams, these dreams can be scary. Usually in the dream, you’re being chased by an unknown presence. It’s often night time which represents our subconscious. Sometimes you might see who’s chasing you and that can be significant too. Dreams of being chased are your subconscious’ way of telling you that you’re running from something that you need to face. If you’ve had this dream, ask yourself, “What am I trying to avoid?” Is there a situation at work you’re afraid to deal with? Are you avoiding the balance on your credit card? Is there a difficult conversation you need to have with a loved one? My client Pat kept dreaming that her son was chasing her. Pat had a close and loving relationship with her son, so these dreams disturbed her greatly. Still, she knew the dreams were trying to tell her something about her son. She began to pay greater attention to him and the subtle clues of communication that teenagers are so good at. Pat also insisted that they spend more one-on-one time together. As they began working out together and sitting down each night for dinner, she noticed that her son seemed sad and sullen. How could she have missed the circles under his eyes? When she pressed, she discovered that he’d been feeling depressed about his girlfriend who had broken up with him and he was failing math. Pat hired him a math tutor and started to help his heart to heal. The two became much closer as a result, but she wouldn’t have picked up on this if she hadn’t paid attention to the chasing dream.
When Barbara kept dreaming that she was being chased by an unknown presence, I urged to her to tell her subconscious that the next time she had the dream, she should turn around and face her pursuer. She did this and the next time she had the dream, she ran around a corner, stopped and peaked around to see who was chasing her. Barbara was shocked to see it was herself! I asked her if there was something in her life she was afraid to face. Barbara began to cry and said she was battling her old addiction to bulimia which she thought she’d dealt with in college. She went to a therapist trained in eating disorders and got the help she needed. The chasing dreams ended.

Back to School

We’ve all this dream and it usually causes us to wake with a panic of anxiety. It leaves us with visions of those cinder block hallways and cafeteria smells still lingering in our bedroom. Sometimes in these dreams, you’re back in school only to realize that you’ve missed the final exam and will be failing the class. This can be a sign that your job is causing too much stress and you’re afraid of failing at work or losing your job. If you dream that you’re lost in school or can’t find your locker, ask yourself, “Where do I feel lost in my life?” If you dream that a teacher is yelling at you, take a good look at your boss and co-workers. Is someone scolding you during your waking life? These panicky dreams are almost always about work stress but they can point to stress in your personal life too.
When Ginny was planning her wedding, she kept dreaming that she was back in high school and her science teacher was yelling at her that she was doing everything wrong. The dream usually ended with her causing an explosion in the lab. But everything was going great at her job. I asked her if there was anyone in her life who made her feel like she was being scolded or doing everything wrong. “Yes,” she said quickly. “My future mother-in-law. She wants to plan the whole wedding.’ Ginny finally found the courage to talk to her about the stress being put on her around the wedding. The mother-in-law backed off a bit, Ginny’s subconscious was happy that she finally spoke her truth and the dreams stopped.

The Cheating Dream

If you’ve dreamt that your partner is cheating on you, don’t hire a private investigator just yet. This dream is most often your subconscious’ way of telling you that you are feeling cheated in your relationship. Is your partner spending more time at work lately? Are you a golf widow on the weekends? Is your partner refusing to discuss making a commitment? The cheating dream is trying to tell you that you are feeling cheated in life. It’s time to state your needs, communicate effectively and make sure your needs are heard. When Stephanie was pregnant with her second child, she repeatedly dreamed that her husband was cheating on her. In the dream, she would discover him with another woman and he would shake it off saying, “So? What’s the big deal?” After doing some digging, Stephanie realized that with the second pregnancy she felt as though her husband wasn’t treating this pregnancy like it was a big deal. She expressed her needs and her husband planned a weekend getaway for them. Sometimes in these dreams, you’re the one doing the cheating. These dreams are trying to tell you that you’re not giving your all to someone or something. You might be skimping on your time spent with the family or trying to leave work early. Often the reason can be even more complicated. Bob kept dreaming that he was cheating on his girlfriend. The dream really bothered him because it was something he would never do in his real life. When he asked himself, “Where am I cheating my girlfriend?” he realized that he had yet to tell her that he was considering taking a job on the West Coast. Bob felt bad that he was keeping this secret from her, but he wasn’t ready to deal with the implications for their relationship if he moved. Finally, he spoke to his girlfriend and the cheating dreams stopped.

When analyzing your own dreams, it’s important to mine the singular message of the dream. Each morning upon waking, take a moment before you jump out of bed to recall your dreams. Write down what you can remember. It also helps to discuss your dream with a friend because often they can see it from a different angle. Dreams are symbolic. Don’t necessarily run to a dream dictionary. Think about what the dream symbolizes to you. Snakes often symbolize rebirth and renewal, for example, but if you’re terrified of snakes then for you they would symbolize something to be feared. Dreaming of a house represents aspects of ourselves with the basement and the attic standing in for our subconscious. If you dream of a messy, cluttered house it can indicate that you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. A very common house dream is discovering a whole new part of the house you didn’t know existed. This dream is trying to tell you that you’re still searching for more. You haven’t found the fulfillment you’re seeking.

Carl Jung believed that each person in our dream represents a different aspect of our personality. If you dream that your mom is making you dinner, it might mean you’re seeking some mothering and nurturing energy. If you dream that your boss is yelling at a co-worker, it can represent an aspect of yourself that is demeaning your work. Pay attention to your inner thoughts and become aware of negative self talk.

The more you work with dreams and the subtle language of your subconscious, the more in tune you’ll become with your life purpose. Working with dream analysis will help you get in touch with your true self so you can live a life more fully aware.

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