Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What does your dream mean?

Book Review by Molly J. Bredehoft
Title: 5 Steps to Decode Your Dreams
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
P.O. Box 4410
Naperville, IL 60567-4410
ISBN 978-1-4022-5598-4
Price: $12.99

As a writer, advice is often given to keep track of your dreams. Why? Because dreams can be a valuable source for a writer to draw upon when telling stories and developing characters.  Certain taboos have been associated with interpreting dreams, but when the chance came for me to read 5 Steps to Decode Your Dreams, I was intrigued.  Yes, I wanted to understand what some of my own dreams mean, but more importantly I wanted to understand how dreams might relate to human nature and the characters I write about.

Gillian Halloway holds an MA and a PhD in psychology and has written extensively on the topic of dreams, including two other books The Complete Dream Book and The Complete Dream Book of Love and Romance.  Her work has involved helping individuals understand their dreams, as well as teaching on the topic at the university level.  5 Steps to Decode Your Dreams is based on her approach to studying dreams, which is primarily focused on personal growth and self-discovery.

In her book 5 Steps to Decode Your Dreams she begins by explaining, “Dreams, if understood, are a powerful resource for better understanding yourself and the complexities of your waking life.” She explains that our conscious mind is what filters life experiences as they happen to us.  Our conscious mind is not always able to interpret each incident as it occurs.  Our subconscious is what brings the dream out and helps to make sense of the personal experiences we have. Therefore, interpreting dreams is not as simple as looking for answers in a dream dictionary, but realizing that current and past relationships along with the day to day happenings in our lives can, and do, affect what we dream about.  So, dreams are very personalized and should never be generalized.

She goes on to explain that not only do they help us to understand ourselves and others, but they also stimulate creativity.  As a person who relies on the imagination to write fiction stories, it is important to understand how to tap into the subconscious mind.  She says, “…your dream is always an offering from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind.”  And often a new way of looking at the situations we deal with in our lives.

The book is written for anyone and is easy to comprehend and follow.  The author provides an explanation of the mind and how dreams come about, followed by the process of trying to understand your dreams.

The information presented in the book provides an interesting look at how our minds work and has helped me to learn more about the subconscious mind and its ability to stimulate creativity.

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