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Excerpt from "Into Your Dreams: Decipher Your Unique Dream Symbology to Transform Your Waking Life"

by Janece O. Hudson, EdD

Did you dream last night? If so, you contributed to more than a billion stories—dreams from the unconscious mind—that were created in bedrooms across the United States. All of them were unique, many of them vitally important for the people who dreamed them. However, lots of people don’t recall or pay little attention to these nighttime stories. Have you been one of them? By ignoring your dreams, did you fail to heed a message to slow down and pay attention to your health? Did you miss the stock tip that could have made you rich or the creative idea that could have made your life a thousand times easier? Did you miss a key to greater happiness and fulfillment in your relationships?

Learning to tap that wondrous inner source of wisdom and to work with your dreams is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. The world's finest diagnostician, market analyst, creative thinker, sage, and counselor is as close as your pillow.

The advice is free, but deciphering it takes a bit of effort. That’s what this book is about—deciphering your unique dream symbology to transform your waking life.

The Personal Nature of Dreams

Dreams fascinate almost everyone, going back as far as the 2nd century AD when a Greek named Artemidorus penned Oneirocritica, his treatise on dream interpretation. Psychologists have constructed elaborate theories to explain the mysterious content of dreams; other analysts, more arcane and less scientific, propose their own sets of meanings to dream symbolism—many of which strain credibility or become unbelievably complex. All strive to make sense of the process in books filled with incomprehensible psychobabble or dictionaries of outlandish definitions for various dream elements.

But dreams are not one-size-fits-all. They are unique creations by you, about you, and based on your individual experiences. They are messages from your unconscious mind, and you are the best interpreter of your dreams. Of course, because we all share a culture, many of our symbols may be similar, but we bring our own meaning to them. For example, my feelings about an airplane may be very different from yours if I’m phobic about flying and you love to travel.

Interpreting dreams is not merely solving an interesting mind puzzle. After you figure out what your dreams mean, you have to apply the information to understand yourself and your behavior, make better choices, improve relationships, tend to your physical, mental, and spiritual health, and grow into the best person you can be. That’s working with your dreams.

Into Your Dreams is an easy-to-read, common sense approach to interpreting and working with your dreams, grounded in contemporary scientific research yet expansive enough to include viewpoints that run the gamut from behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner to the psychic Edgar Cayce. Not everybody, even scientists and researchers, agrees about the nature of dreams and the unconscious. Some suggest that dreams are mere random bits of memory popping up with the firing of synapses in various parts of the brain and the content is of no particular significance. For others, the content is everything. Clearly, both the biology and physiology of dreaming and the content are important.

I still remember a vivid dream from my childhood, so you can say that I’ve been working with dreams most of my life. More specifically, I’ve been formally pursuing the study of dreams and working with dreamers for nearly forty years.

I still work with my own dreams regularly, and over the years I’ve come to like the notion of using dreams to understand our needs as defined by Abraham Maslow. Maslow was a popular humanistic psychologist whose paradigm of the hierarchy of needs is used frequently in the fields of psychology, business, education, and medicine. He suggested that needs range from the most basic physiological needs to transpersonal being needs.

Using Maslow's notion of needs and an amalgam of other sources, you will discover that dreams are sometimes physical, sometimes mental or emotional, sometimes spiritual or transpersonal. Some dreams are funny, some mundane, some profound. They range from admonitions to eat more spinach to encouragements to reach for the stars. All are important.

Janece O. Hudson, EdD is a certified hypnotherapist and member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Dr. Hudson taught college psychology for twelve years and is now a popular speaker in the fields of dreams, hypnosis, motivation, creative imagery, parapsychology, and creative writing.

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