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Decipher Your Dreams Advice

Written by Sierra Alvis

Author Joan Mazza says dreams can help us sort out our thoughts, find motivation, and anticipate the future.

"...And then this lizard wearing a vest makes me a cheese sandwich..."

Joan Mazza's Tips For Dream Recall:
Keep a notebook, pen and flashlight next to your bed.
Stay in bed after you wake. Ask yourself, "Where was I just now?" "What was I feeling?"
Write down everything that comes to mind, even if it's illogical. Don't pay attention to grammar or punctuation.
Later, when you re-visit your dreams, look for themes and symbolic meanings rather than literal translations.
Pay special attention to recurring dreams and nightmares.
Keep trying. The more you practice dream recall, the better your memory will become.

Has a friend or co-worker ever cornered you intent on explaining in every detail some amazing dream he had the night before? It's a bit like listening to a 6-year-old trying to explain a Fellini plot.

Since dreams are often composed of non-linear, seemingly nonsensical narratives, listening to someone recreate them can be painfully dull. So why do people insist on discerning meaning from their dreams and, what's more, make you listen to it?

Perhaps it's because dreams hold deeper meanings and our attempt to understand them represents a desire to get in touch with and learn from our subconscious.

According to Joan Mazza, author of Dream Back Your Life, dreams contain highly individual messages that, once deciphered, can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

"We are wiser in our dreams than we are when we're awake," she says. "Paying attention to dreams and their layers of meanings can save us a lot of grief and gnashing of teeth."

Study your dreams to decode the messages, Mazza says. From dream incubation, a process where you seek answers to specific problems; to learning to recognize dream signposts, re-occurring symbols that help clarify crucial messages; Mazza says dream work can be a catalyst for change.

But sometimes dreams seem nothing more than pieces of memories and snatches of conversation that our minds filter when we sleep.

For the dreamer, it's not so much the dream's literal meaning as the emotions and feelings the dream stirs up, says Mazza. It's impossible to attach definitions to archetypal dream symbols. Instead you should ask what that dream means for you.

By asking yourself pointed questions and recording the answers in a journal, Mazza says you can learn to recognize themes and patterns to help solve problems you face.

So if you dream about lizards wearing vests, it could be your mind trying to tell you something. According to Dream Back Your Life, the lizard may be a signpost, a dream symbol that if uncovered, can propel you into a deeper level of self-awareness.

Or then again, maybe it was just a dream about a lizard.

Know and Achieve Your Dreams

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