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Spirit and Energy Podcast

Jul 7, 2019

Dream Work and Interpretation with Dan Johnson, CPC, CNTC

"The soul thinks in images."  – Aristotle

Think of a bridge.  Our dreams are really a bridge to our waking life.  What’s going on in our dreams is often a reflection of what is going on in our waking life.

Common types of dreams:

  • Unprepared – you didn’t study for a test in college
  • Rehearsal dreams – you rehearsal what you are going to experience the next day, a dry-run or rehearsal
  • Nightmares – wake up with heart pounding and break out in a sweat
  • Flying in the air 
  • Spirit communication – conversations with people on the other side
  • Jumbled mess 


NOTE:  Sometimes we dream because we don’t give ourselves time to dream during the day/waking life.  Our brain has two networks -- Task Positive Network (tasks, goals, short-term memory, planning, abstract reasoning) and Default Mode Network (Dream, visioning, introspection).  When we are so focused on tasks 24/7, we drown out the voice of intuition and insight (Task Positive Network).  We are healthiest with an “integrated brain” where we access both default mode and task positive networks.
How to recall your dreams:
  1. Give yourself time to clear the day, write out what happened during the day.  Do this right before bedtime.
  2. Set the intention the night before that you will remember your dream.  Repeat the process as repetition helps us to recall dreams.  It  may take six months (of doing the dream exercise twice a week) but that repetition helps.
  3. Have a journal next to the bedside or a digital recorder.  (Try to minimize the number of buttons you have to push to start the recorder.)
  4. Write (or record your voice) immediately upon waking, preferably without taking your head off the pillow.  Be less concerned about how pretty your handwriting works and more concerned about capturing the content of your dream.  Once we raise our head up, our dream memory seems to fall away.  Try to keep the light low so you won’t adjust to waking life just yet.  You don’t have to record everything, try to capture three key elements:  Emotions, Symbols, and People
Our dreams are really a bridge to our waking life.  What’s going on in our dreams is often a reflection of what is going on in our waking life.


Tips to help you recall your dreams:  Minimize alcohol consumption, avoid being overtired, have uninterrupted sleep, and avoid using an alarm clock

Three Methods to Work With or Interpret Your Dreams: 

Remember:  Dreams are often a bridge to your waking life

  1. Quick Five Minute Dialogue. Write out the dream.  Identify what element of the dream (person or thing or emotion) that most stands out.  Then do a 5 minute written dialogue with that person, thing, or emotion.  Example:  I had a dream where the green monster under the bed stood out the most.  So you have a written dialogue.  Ask “What are you trying to tell me?” and have a written conversation back and forth (answer as if you were the monster).  You could also ask “What do you have to tell me?”  Then set it aside and look at it a day later to see what pops up.
  2. Gestalt: Everything in the dream is you. Say out loud where every person in the dream is you.  Give example of woman who dreamt about her boyfriend who, in her dream, was very demanding and was always focused on getting things done.  When she restated the dream as herself, she froze, realizing in her waking life she yearned to claim her power and get things accomplished.  Her dream was inviting her to claim her power and achieve what she wanted to achieve and not give her power away.
  3. The List. Write out the dream. Make a list of those emotions, people, and images that stand out from the dream. For each item on your list, write a sentence about your waking life that includes the emotion/person/image on your list.  (One sentence per item on your list.) Read all the sentences you wrote. BRIDGE:  What in your waking life is reflected by these sentences? What might you want to do about this situation in your waking life? Example:  I’m on a boat with no sail and traveling across the lake.  I can’t steer the boat and it isn’t going in the direction I want it to.  I can hear loud music and people talking but I don’t see anyone around me.  Things that stand out from the dream:  I can’t steer the boat/it’s not going in the direction I want.  Loud music and people talking

Once you have the awareness, ask yourself: What do I choose to do now in my waking life?  What do I choose to do differently now?

Symbols in dreams – What does this symbol mean to you?  Each symbol is personalized – ask yourself what the symbol means to you.

Dan Johnson’s websites:  and

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