Another Dream Analysis Martha Beck Style

  

Analyzing our dreams is an excellent way to learn what our Unconscious wants to say to us. In her book, Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck suggests a wonderful method for analyzing dreams. 

The first step of Martha’s method is to keep a dream journal. It’s important to record your dream as soon after waking as possible. It’s also important to be as detailed as you can. 

The second step is to make a list of every person, animal, object, action, and place in your dream. I will refer to these items as symbols.

The third step is to act out the part of each symbol you’ve listed. In Steering by Starlight, Martha writes: “Jung believed that every aspect of a dream represents some aspect of the self that has been ‘split off’ from consciousness, and he often used role-playing to help unify the self.” “Role-playing” means taking on the role of, or becoming, the symbol. If, for example, I am analyzing my dream about a lion, I would become the lion. I would think, act, and express myself as the lion, not as Laurie.

Once you have become the symbol, Martha Beck suggests that the symbol be asked the following questions: 

  1. Symbol (Lion), what are three adjectives or phrases that describe you? (The lion might respond: I am the lion, and I am golden, wild, and regal.)

  2. Symbol (Lion), what is your purpose? (The lion responds with whatever comes to his mind. He might respond: “I am the lion, and my purpose is to protect all of the other animals in the jungle.”)

  3. Symbol (Lion), how are you trying to help the dreamer (Laurie)? (The lion might respond: “I am the lion, and I am here to keep Laurie safe.”)

For this role-playing step to work, you must become the symbol. It’s important to say “I am” and not to answer in third person. Because it is the symbol – not you – speaking, it may say things that you would never say. 

After you have dialogued with a symbol, you may know what that symbol represents in your life. If you don’t, that’s perfectly okay. Don’t think about it; just move on to the next symbol.

The fourth step is to rewrite your dream replacing each symbol with what you know about that symbol. This rewrite is an interpretation, sometimes a very rough interpretation, of your dream.

The fifth and final step is to let your interpretation stew. Dream analysis is more art than science. Your initial interpretation may not resonate with you or make sense. Allow time for your brain to process and play with it. Days or weeks later, you may have an Aha moment regarding your dream when you least expect it.

To demonstrate how this method works, here is my analysis of a recent dream:

My Dream

I am on a teleclass call with my longtime friend Diane and my Facebook friend Peter whom I have never met in person. I’m excited because I have created some really cool content for the teleclass. As I’m making some introductory remarks, a woman’s voice comes on the line saying “hello, hello.” I’m not sure who she is. There’s then a technical problem where no one can hear me. I decide to change to a different conference call line; I never get to the cool content before hanging up on the call.

Before I begin the call on a new line, Ian (another Facebook friend) calls to say he’s listening to the teleclass. I don’t know how he, or anyone else who hasn’t registered for the class, has the call-in information. I don’t say anything to him. Instead, I hang up.   

I call the new conference call line. I now hear a different woman’s voice saying “hello, hello.” I tell her she’s on the wrong call and ask her to hang up.

I wake up. 

Symbols & Role-Playing 

Symbol #1: Teleclass content

Descriptors: I am Laurie’s teleclass content, and I am fun, informative, and beneficial.

Purpose: I am Laurie’s teleclass content, and my purpose is to help others.

How I Am Helping: I am Laurie’s teleclass content, and I want Laurie to know that it’s her calling to help others.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: I represent Laurie’s purpose or calling.

Symbol #2: Diane and Peter

Descriptors: We are Diane and Peter, and we are old and new friends; we are supportive; we are curious.

Purpose: We are Diane and Peter, and our purpose is to learn and to grow.

How We Are Helping: We are Diane and Peter, and we want Laurie to know that we are here to support her and to learn from her.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: We represent Laurie’s peeps (the people meant for Laurie to help).

Symbol #3: First unknown woman

Descriptors: I am the first unknown woman, and I am confused, unsure of where I am, and in need of help.

Purpose: I am the first unknown woman, and my purpose is to find where I’m supposed to be.

How I Am Helping: I am the first unknown woman, and I want Laurie to know that there are a lot of people out there whom Laurie can help to find themselves and their right lives.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: I represent Laurie’s peeps who currently are unknown to her.

Symbol #4: Technical problem

Descriptors: I am the technical problem, and I am silencing, interfering, and blocking.

Purpose: I am the technical problem, and my purpose is to interfere with communication and getting the word out.

How I Am Helping: I am the technical problem, and I want Laurie to know that there will be obstacles in marketing her business and in delivering what she has to offer.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: I represent obstacles to Laurie’s calling.

Symbol #5: Conference call lines

Descriptors: We are the conference call lines, and we are channels for communication, connectors, and means for delivering messages.

Purpose: We are the conference call lines, and our purpose is to connect people and give them a way to communicate.

How We Are Helping: We are the conference call lines, and we are helping Laurie deliver her services/calling to a large number of people.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: We represent vehicles for delivering Laurie’s services and calling.

Symbol #6: Ian

Descriptors: I am Ian, and I am interested, supportive, and mysterious.

Purpose: I am Ian, and my purpose is to encourage and support people.

How I Am Helping: I am Ian, and I am helping Laurie by encouraging and supporting her.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: I represent Laurie’s “cheerleaders.”

Symbol #7: Hanging up

Descriptors: I am hanging up, and I am terminating, unresponsive, and unaccepting.

Purpose: I am hanging up, and my purpose is to end communication.

How I Am Helping: I am hanging up, and I help Laurie by giving her the ability to remove unwelcome energy.

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: I represent protection of Laurie’s energy/space.

Symbol #8: Second unknown woman

Descriptors: I am the second unknown woman, and I am clueless, rude, persistent, and in the wrong place.

Purpose: I am the second unknown woman, and my purpose is to be on the right call.

How I Am Helping: I am the second unknown woman, and I want Laurie to know that not everyone is one of her peeps. There are people who are not meant to connect with her. It’s okay for her to dismiss or redirect them.  

Aspect of Dreamer’s Life: I represent Laurie’s “non-peeps”.  

My Interpretation

I am on a teleclass call with my longtime friend Diane and my Facebook friend Peter whom I have never met in person. It is my calling to serve my peeps – some of whom I have known for a long time, others I have met only recently. I’m excited because I have created some really cool content for the teleclass. I’m excited because my calling is going to truly benefit others. As I’m making some introductory remarks, a woman’s voice comes on the line saying “hello, hello.” I’m not sure who she is. My peeps include people I don’t know about yet. They include people who want to find themselves and their right lives. There’s then a technical problem where no one can hear me. There are obstacles that make it difficult for me to deliver what I have to offer to others. I decide to change to a different conference call line; I never get to the cool content before hanging up on the call. There are multiple avenues for delivering my message. I spend too much time dreaming and scheming about groups, teleclasses, etc. and don’t actually put what I have to offer out there. I get in my own way. I’m not using the best avenues for marketing my business or delivering my services.

Before I begin the call on a new line, Ian (another Facebook friend) calls to say he’s listening to the teleclass. I don’t know how he, or anyone else who hasn’t registered for the class, has the call-in information. Even though I don’t understand why or know who they all are, I have a lot of cheerleaders, people who want to support me and help me realize my calling. I don’t say anything to him. Instead, I hang up. I’m not open to receiving encouragement and support from people even when they are cheerleaders who have my best interest at heart.

I call the new conference call line. I now hear a different woman’s voice saying “hello, hello.” She’s obviously on the wrong call, and I ask her to hang up. Not everyone is one of my peeps or someone with whom I want to share my energy/space, and that’s okay. I am not the right coach for everyone, and not every person is the right client for me.

It makes sense that I would have a dream like this. Lately, I’ve been feeling frustrated and a bit discouraged. I have a lot to offer, but I’m not as effective at marketing my business as I would like to be. I also am not good at protecting my energy/space. My Unconscious is telling me: “Don’t give up – there are many people out there who need your services. You can’t help them, however, if you ‘hang up’ instead of ‘hang in.’ Also, you need to be open to others’ encouragement and support. It’s possible to let positive energy into your space while at the same time keeping incompatible energy out.”  

My Unconscious has given me a lot to think about and some very sound advice. There’s no time like Now to start following it.

 
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About ahalifedesign

As a master certified life , certified creativity, and trained meaning coach, Laurie helps clients live their best life. She works compassionately with clients to dissolve limiting beliefs that prevent them from realizing their fullest potential and to take action. Laurie helps baby boomers reinvent themselves at midlife and beyond; she guides them through the transition and transformation they inevitably encounter in the second half of life. She works with baby boomers to discover abandoned aspects of self, explore passions, find meaning, and fulfill their life’s purpose. Laurie also helps writers, artists, musicians, actors, business entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to be more creative, overcome blocks (i.e., overwhelm, perfectionism, procrastination, self-sabotage, fear) and other obstacles to achieving their dreams. Laurie lives in Denver, Colorado with her two rambunctious golden retrievers, Liza Jolie and Zydeco Ardoin. She loves the Rocky Mountains and the inspiration and diverse activities they offer. She loves literature, theatre, music, dancing, and art. Laurie is a consumate learner. She has a background in law, psychology, positive psychology, creativity, Buddhist studies, and meditative practice. She is fascinated by the human brain and recent developments in neuroscience.
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