Your Dreams Reveal Your Body

If the dream says something is wrong
with your body, check.
Long before you do, your body knows
when something is wrong.

—Marion Woodman

 

Have you ever had a night-time dream that gave you information about your body? Dreams bypass the thinking mind, and are an invaluable source of information.

Dreams are the language of the soul which is why they can often seem confusing, odd, or mysterious.

Jungian psychoanalyst and author, James Hollis, says that humans dream, on average, 6 dreams per night!

Dreams have played an important role in my life, including in the creation and development of the Radiant Threefold Path, and even the process of adopting our son 25+ years ago.

Dreams about the body typically represent the body through symbols, rather than with the actual body part or physical problem or illness.

Body parts or body functions that appear in dreams are often symbols for mental, emotional, or relationship situations that need our attention.

If you take the appearance of a specific body part or illness in a dream too literally, you may become unduly anxious or miss the symbolic meaning that is being conveyed. If you’re unclear, then it’s best to check it out.

An example of the body appearing symbolically in a dream happened to me about 18 years ago when I received a test result that suggested I might have cancer. When I went to an oncologist for a consultation, she scheduled some additional screenings and gave me two options: do nothing for the moment and repeat the screenings in 6 months, or have an exploratory surgery to confirm whether or not I had cancer.

I wasn’t immediately sure which option I preferred. During the time I was exploring my options, I had a dream about a car I had owned in the past, and the focus of the dream revolved around the need to “look under the hood.”

When I woke up and recalled this dream, I knew immediately that having surgery to allow the oncologist to “look under the hood” was the right decision for me. In this case, the car represented my body, and the message was not only what I needed at the time, it reassured me that everything would be alright, which turned out to be the case.

If paying attention to your dreams is new for you, here are a few best practices:

  • When you wake up each morning, lie in bed for an extra 30-60 seconds to give yourself a moment to reflect on whether or not you had a dream(s) the night before. It’s usually easier to remember dreams before you get started with your day.
  • Keep a piece of paper and pen/pencil next to your bed so that if you wake up in the middle of the night remembering a dream, you can jot it down and go back to sleep — releasing the need to remember the dream when you wake up in the morning.
  • If you wake up in the morning recalling a dream, write it down — including all of the details — as soon as possible.
  • One of the best ways to explore dreams is to start with the thoughts and associations that immediately come to mind about the content of the dream. Then brainstorm all of the associations you have with the main characters or themes in the dream. For example, if you dreamed about a particular animal, write down all of the words and thoughts you have about that particular animal as a way to explore the meaning of your dream.

Once we get used to listening to our dreams, our whole body responds like a music instrument.

—Marion Woodman

Invitations for reflection, exploration, and action:

  • If you don’t often remember yours dreams, simply express (silently, in writing, or out loud) that you would like to be shown your dreams.
  • Experiment with one or more of the “best practices” list above.
  • If you’ve had a dream (or recurring dream) that you know is trying to give you information about your body — or anything else — what is the next small action you can take to honor your inner knowing?

 


© Vicki Tidwell Palmer (2021)

Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman’s Body and Soul (©1998)
By Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick
(Reprinted with permission)

*This post is from the Coming Home to You Series. Visit this page for the backstory of the CHTY Series.

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The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.”

Rainer Maria Rilke