Acting on your dreams
Dream resolution is the narrative component that brings a dream full circle. It’s the primary purpose for why you dream: to learn and grow, to solve and resolve, to answer and decide. Resolution is often the most difficult part of a dream to identify and interpret because it’s either embedded in the dream’s story, or referred to through implication and left up to you to figure out for yourself.
Think of resolution as the moral or point to the story.
Resolution is your opportunity to respond and take action. It’s how you benefit from all the effort you put into remembering your dreams and understanding them. It’s the prize for playing the dream game.
Resolution gives you the opportunity to live your dreams and make them come true by paying attention, taking to heart their messages, and applying their lessons. No matter if resolution is offered in the dream content or left up to you to ponder and figure out, the following applies:
- If a dream makes a suggestion, run with it.
- If it raises a question, answer it.
- If it points out a problem, solve it.
- If it mentions a subject, explore it.
- If it shows a fear, confront it.
- If it opens a new road, travel it.
An important benefit of dreams is they give you another way of looking at yourself and your life. They offer perspective by breaking down complex personal situations and telling a story. People learn better through stories than lectures. Stories open your mind. They entice you to follow along. When you “get it,” you really get it. The lesson sinks in.
You have the best life coach in the world. It’s your dream coach, the wise source that crafts your dream experiences to help you learn and grow. This coach knows you inside and out and what makes you tick. Your dream coach shows you where you can grow, improve, fulfill potential, fulfill wishes and desires and achieve goals and ambitions. Coach knows what’s hindering you and why, and what’s helping. Nothing is hidden from your dream coach. It knows more than you do, including whether or not you are paying attention or likely to act on its advice.
You learn by night in your dreams, then by day you have opportunities to put what you learn into action. This is the essence of dream resolution.
Coach is patient and understanding, but there are limits. If you think you know it all, there’s probably no telling you otherwise. If you break promises to yourself, your coach knows better than to set you up for more disappointment, but is still going to serve up ideas and suggestions. Coach will always encourage you to try and try again. If you are too busy to listen, coach can wait. If you fail to follow through or act apathetically, a point will come when coach steps back and waits for you to come around. Coach will always meet you at least halfway.
But if you do follow through or at least put your heartfelt best into the effort, your dream coach will take special interest. You become a star player. You live your dreams and make them come true in the realest sense.
Everything you need to have the life you want is already inside you. Dreams help you to tap that natural wisdom and ability.
In the following post about lottery dreams, I’m the author mentioned in paragraph six, and dream coach taught me the lesson about promoting and sharing my work as a dream expert and author. The dream resolution is in my response by taking every opportunity regardless if it is small or big.
- Dream resolution: lottery dreams
Resolution of recurring dreams
Recurring dreams invite a search for resolution because part of the nature of some types of recurring dreams is to address resolution, to bring something in your life full circle or advance it ahead. Your dreaming mind could be waiting for you to respond in a way that allows you to move forward.
When you move forward, for example by overcoming a fear, the dream can move forward. “Groundhog Day” recurring dreams that return to the beginning of the story and repeat, are especially likely to connect with something that needs to be learned. Once it’s learned, the story can progress to the next scene or chapter.
The progression can be shown over the course of two or more dreams as the story continues. Progressions also can span years and sometimes decades as major themes in life play out.
I’ve noticed a roughly 90-day cycle of repeating themes to my dreams, returning to visit familiar times and places in dreamland and picking up where the story left off. These serial recurring dreams connect with major areas of life such as family, school and career, parts of the psyche such ego, self-image and persona, and the evolution of skills, abilities and roles in life.
The dream cycle
The resolution you create while awake carries over to your dreams in ways that influence their content and progression. For example, a woman dreams about finding a white horse while struggling in a blizzard, but before she can ride it a shadowy man pulls it away from her. She analyzes the dream and gets the message that the horse symbolizes a source of hidden strength she can tap to get through a time of personal difficulty and depression symbolized as the blizzard, but her shadow self is preventing her.
She then dreams she’s back in the blizzard and comes across the horse and the man, and she jumps onto the horse and rides away before he can stop her. By actively finding the resolution to the first dream, she creates the resolution in the second dream. As soon as she sees the horse she knows what it represents, and her reaction while dreaming shows her strong desire to claim her inner strength.
In between the dreams she analyzes the first one and resolves to fight to get out of her depression. In the second dream she’s still in the blizzard, still in depression, but the story is able to progress because of her conscious effort and decisions.
Take note! Dreaming is a two-way street, a cycle between waking life and dream life.
The biggest secret to dream work
It’s great to analyze and interpret dreams, and it’s even better to feel them, dive into the story and play with it in your mind. Work with dreams at a story level to bring about the resolution. How can you make the story end well or at least progress? Many ways, and the simplest is to imagine it.
That’s the big secret. You can do whatever you want with a dream in your imagination and tap the energy and essence of it. Dream symbols are supercharged with energy. They are gateways to deep inner parts of yourself. Working with dreams in your imagination can subconsciously create the conditions for resolution, and you don’t have to fully understand everything about a dream. Just work within the dream’s framework.
Examples: Use your imagination to create dream resolution
Imagine you have a dream about trying to open a locked door. Something important is behind the door, you just know, but it won’t open. Now you are awake and wondering how to move forward. The interpretation of the dream appears obvious enough. It’s likely to mean you are on the verge of opening up something new, or something’s hidden or locked away, probably related to you and your life. Assuming that’s correct, next question is, how do you resolve the dream?
How do you get to the other side of that door? It didn’t happen in the dream, but it can happen while awake if you relax and use your imagination. And it can have the same benefit as if it happened in the dream.
Start by feeling if there’s resistance inside you. Perhaps you fear leaving behind something important, or you have some other sort of resistance and that’s why you can’t push ahead. Maybe you don’t feel ready, or the conditions of your life aren’t right. For example, on the other side of the door is a greater capacity for you to experience feelings and emotions, but you are more comfortable where you’re at. While you are using your imagination to picture the scene you might be given clues to what’s preventing you from moving forward. Or you might just feel resistance inside you and use that as a starting point for questioning yourself.
Try imagining the door opening at your command. See yourself walk through it as if it’s immaterial. Or see yourself waiting for it to open on its own. You don’t have to force anything.
Imagine picking the lock, or the key appears magically in your hand — whatever feels right. By doing so, you create movement in the subconscious part of your mind that responds. If you aren’t ready to go through the door now, you can make yourself ready by working with the dream in your imagination. Your dreaming mind can even rewire the brain to bring you closer to resolving whatever is preventing you from getting through that door.
Your imagination and dreams share the same brain space and work almost identically. The implication is you can use your imagination with a dream and it’s like you are actually dreaming, but consciously.
Engaging with the dream at a story level and using your imagination opens channels between your conscious mind and the unconscious mind, where your dreams are created. Since you already know subconsciously what your dreams mean (see: Three Simple Facts about Dreams), you are likely to get responses from deep inside you when you use your imagination to create resolution. Answers then come to you when you are ready. As you practice this technique you open and strengthen direct lines of communication with your unconscious mind, and the more effort and care you put into it, same as any relationship, the more readily information flows.
Your extra effort proves that you have the desire, and your dream coach will reward your initiative.
We all know the metaphor about doors of opportunity. Imagine that’s what the door in a dream symbolizes and it’s locked because you can’t find the opportunity you want. How do you resolve the situation? You attract opportunity. You can be ready. You can act as if the door of opportunity is already open and it’s only a matter of time before reality catches up. Or you can find other doors that readily open. First, you create the right conditions inside you. Your dream coach excels at helping you create the right internal conditions so that doors open for you.
This layer of working with dreams taps your subconscious mind to affect conditions behind the scenes. You don’t have to know everything about your dreams to reap this benefit. Just work with them at a story level.
Throughout this site are examples of how dreams use stories to help you understand yourself and your life. In this chapter we drill down and explore the subject, but keep in mind that resolution is part of every fully formed dream, no matter if it’s presented in the dream’s story or left up to you to figure out. In part 2 of this lesson on dream resolution, wes take a closer look at what resolution is and how dreams offer it.
First, my friends at InnerSelf.com printed an excerpt from my book Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret, and Live Your Dreams. It gives more ideas for using your imagination with your dreams to find resolution and benefit in them: