Monday, 14 March 2016

A Waking Dream About a Workplace Conflict




Waking dreams are unusual experiences that we have during the day. They don’t have to be unpleasant, but aggravating events are the ones that usually make the biggest impression on us. These occurrences leave us upset, and we tend to mull them over, sometimes fuming in the process.

Yet they don’t come into our lives because they are trying to be mean to us. Rather, if we analyze them as if they were the traditional dreams we have during sleep, we will find that they all have important metaphoric messages.

Last week I analyzed a powerful waking dream about a police helicopter raid and a building on fire. But many waking dreams are far more mundane than that; they happen during the course of reasonably normal days. This week, I’ll take a close look at one of these. The symbols are less dramatic, but the message is nevertheless important.

A waking dream told during last week’s dream class here in Portland
At work, my boss has quietly let me know that I am up for a promotion. It will involve more responsibility with our company’s strategic planning. The decision isn’t official yet, but already there are hints being dropped that my fellow workers can consult me for planning decisions. Some employees come to me, ask for my opinion and accept what I tell them. Others willingly ask for my feedback, but then put up resistance, letting me know that I have no authority to advise them. Still others come to me, get my input, but then don’t know what to do with it. They tell me that, even though they like what I say, they’re going to go to my boss anyway. All of this is driving me bats! No one seems to know what my role is. I go home from work feeling really maligned and unsettled.

What dreams do
Dreams, including waking dreams, are momentary snapshots of our lives—including our emotional and mental conflicts. That much is almost universally accepted.

But there is more to dreams than that. If the above statement is true, it implies that, if we resolve the conflict, the abrasive situation we are experiencing will go away. In the case of this dreamer, her conflicted association with her fellow employees has been going on for some time. That implies that there is a conflict within herself that this waking dream is expressing metaphorically.

What happens if she analyzes her waking dream, understands its metaphor and makes the suggested changes within herself? If she resolves her inner conflict, then the waking dream symbols in her outer life should change. If she is able to be at peace within herself, then that tranquility should be reflected in her workplace.

This week we’re going to find out if that idea works. We’ll help her through her dream and see if her job environment settles down.

As always, if you have your own thoughts or insights, I’d really enjoy hearing from you. In any case, stay tuned!

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