I began looking at a dream snippet about seeing a giraffe, but was interrupted by my travel schedule. I’ll now continue the discussion, which was a more in-depth look at the five steps of dream interpretation. I recommend scrolling down to my last post to review the first three steps that were discussed in detail. Briefly, they were as follows:
Step 1: Tell the dream
I am sitting at home at my kitchen table eating my breakfast. I look up, and there is a giraffe staring me in the face. And that’s all I remember.
Step 2: Isolate the symbols
sitting, home, kitchen table, eating breakfast, look up, giraffe, staring me in the face.
Step 3: Interpret the symbols as metaphors
This is the “Tell me about it” part. I do my best to engage the dreamer in a kind of free association with the understanding that we are looking for metaphors. If, in his response, the dreamer gives a reply that is too literal or two technical, I will encourage him to be freer or to tell me what kind of feeling the symbol evokes in him. But generally, a simple, neutral prompt is sufficient to elicit what I am after. In this case, I asked the dreamer to “Tell me about sitting.” He replied, “It’s when you want to rest.” And that was enough to get the ball rolling.
Tell me about…
* Sitting: It’s when you want to rest.
* Home: It’s where you live and eat and play and sleep; it’s your base.
* Kitchen table: It’s where you serve the meals that nourish and sustain you. It’s also where you enjoy interactions with others and do problem solving.
* Eating breakfast: You’re taking in nourishment—fuel—to start the day.
* Look up: Something startled me. I seemed to be relaxing and enjoying myself, but my peace of mind was interrupted.
* Giraffe: Well…I’m not sure what to say. When I think of giraffes, I think of creatures with really long necks. They reach exceptionally high to find and consume the nutrients that sustain them the best. They also impress me as being methodical and a bit slow. Maybe pensive.
* Staring me in the face: In this case, it was literally true. But there is an expression we use: It was staring me in the face. It means it was imminent and there was no getting around it.
This dream probably took no more than a few seconds of sleep time to experience. From the perspective of movie making, there was only a single, brief “shot.” And yet, it resulted in a list of seven symbols which, when interpreted as metaphors, tell a cohesive, lucid story. Even before we go on to the next step, simply read the sentences in the section immediately above—the phrases immediately following each of the colons—and see if you don’t agree that a story with a definite “point” or moral or piece of advice is being told.
We’ll finish this dream tomorrow.
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