Many people look to their dreams for signs of what the future may bring. In biblical times, prophets were sought out by rulers to interpret dreams and predict their nation's destiny. In contrast, dreams and the dreaming state were used in the ancient Mexican culture to influence the future. They knew that dreams can also be used to heal the body and our relationships.
One of my first teachers taught me that to manifest anything, you first have to dream it. This powerful tenet is expressed in a proverb from the Toltec and Teotihuacan (ancient Mexican) cultures: "If a person doesn't remember or work with their dreams, it is as if they are walking through life numb, without actually being alive."
In my own case, I have seen images of people in my dreams who appear in my life at a later time. I have also been able to anticipate when there is a conflict or struggle with someone, as well as to know if our relationship will be harmonious.
Sometimes the meaning behind what we dream is obvious. A pleasant dream typically means all is well, whereas an unpleasant one represents conflict and strife. If we are being pursued in a dream, not only is it frightening at the time, it indicates we have a real-life fear that needs to be understood and worked through.
There are symbols that give us clues to our dreams' meanings, and these can be used to better understand our relationships. For example, the ancient Mexicans believed that the element water was directly related to our emotions. If flat water shows up in a dream—like water seen in a calm sea or river, a pool, or a lake—it indicates that there are emotional issues between two people, regardless of whether we dream of them fighting.
Water that appears in the form of rain or a waterfall and is clear symbolizes purification and can indicate the resolution between two people.
Fire is another symbol, and it means destruction. If you see people in a dream where fire is present, it means their relationship is falling apart. Fire can also indicate that you are getting rid of a problem. For example, say you have had a drinking problem. If you dream you are drinking and there is fire in the dream, it indicates that you are getting rid of your drinking problem.
When dreaming, the direction that the dreamer goes is also an indicator. If, as the dreamer, you walk toward the right, it indicates that pleasant things are in store. Whereas if you walk toward the left, it will give you a glimpse at problems that may arise.
Here are three tips for transforming your relationships through dreams:
1. Become an "eagle seer."
It's important to see all the details of a dream to really understand how all the pieces fit together. Interpreting only a few of the elements will likely result in a wrong or incomplete interpretation. The ability to see as an eagle in a dream was a technique taught to warriors, priests, and governors in ancient Mexico so they could better understand and interpret their dreams.
2. Experience the hypnagogic state.
The space between wakefulness and sleep is a powerful state of awareness. Use this nether-space to recall details of your dreams and suggest a different outcome for reoccurring dreams.
3. Return to the hypnagogic and reprogram your dream for a different outcome.
Often, we dream the same dream or have a dream with a similar theme. Repetition in a dream indicates something is left unsolved.
A friend used to dream that one of her three children was sick, and she would leave her office, which was one hour from home. In her dream, the car would run out of gas, so she would take a bus. Then the bus would get stuck in traffic, so she'd exit the bus to take a train, but all the cars were full and she couldn't enter. Eventually, she would wake up in a cold sweat, after being unsuccessful in reaching them.
I instructed her to enter the hypnagogic state and rewrite the ending. She could picture a light rain falling on the kinds of transportation available. Stronger yet, she could declare, "Bring me to my children now" as a way to alleviate her anxiety. I suggested she also bring in the image of a hummingbird or dragonfly, powerful archetypes that helps us control dreams.
Eventually, using these methods, she can change her subconscious fear of being unable to reach her children when they need her.
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and dreaming. We can use this important time to create the life we want. Now is the perfect time to wake up to our dreams and to use dreaming as a way to manifest changes in our physical health, emotional struggles, and even our toughest relationships.