I awoke this morning with a dream stuck in my head that I knew meant something important. No, I don't mean in a psychic prediction sort of way. I don't believe in that sort of stuff. I mean in a subconscious, psychological, symbolic sort of way.
Dreams have long been of fascination to me. I believe they contain a lot of stuff that we have going on behind the scenes. Our thoughts and emotions are woven intricately into stories of faraway places, as well as the mundane. They represent the ideas, hopes dreams, as well as our deepest fears, and forgotten memories. I have studied dream symbols and dictionaries, and kept dream journals for many years. Not to brag, but I am quite good at deciphering the meaning of mine and other people's dreams and helping others to find direction with what their subconscious is telling them.
In last night's dream I was at a place where they teach people to canoe. All the participants were couples, so I was waiting my turn for instruction with my husband. What was odd about this place was that typically one goes out to a lake for to canoe, but this was at an ocean. I felt confused and and intimidated by going the task ahead of me. I started searching for new clothes to wear and was trying on different outfits. (This is a common theme in my dream) The instructor told me that it wouldn't matter what I wore, because being in the canoe was all I had to worry about. So, then I protested that I can't do it, because I can't swim. She told me that no one ever falls out of the canoe. The most important thing about learning to canoe is doing it. She said she guaranteed 100% that I would not drown. I awoke when my husband and I got in and began paddling away into the rushing waves.
According to dream dictionaries a canoe means that one is headed for peace and serenity, as well as emotional balance. It's a sign of independence and emotional balance. It's also about being able to go on with determination. I feel like this is symbolic of the place that I have come to emotionally through trials and hard work with my husband. My journey through a harrowing depression has been hard, but I do feel that I have found a place of peace to rest in with my new found use of mindfulness and meditation.
The changing of the clothes is also a telling reoccurring symbol for me. Clothing represents our public self in dreams. It is who we try to be for the rest of the world. They are our image. In my old dreams about clothes, I am usually changing into clothes for an important event where there will be lots of people, but none will work. They are always too small, mismatched, under dressy, or over dressy. One shoe is lost, or doesn't fit. In this dream, my clothes fit, but I was not sure which to wear. This suggests that my image or role is changing, and I'm, trying to adapt to keep up. The answer the teacher (my wise mind) gave me was spot on. It doesn't matter how you show up to meet the challenge, just as long as you show up. All of my anxiety over how I look and weather I measure up to others doesn't matter.I can feel inadequate, but I don't have to give in and sabotage my efforts with my feelings. I think the lesson is finally sinking in.
The ocean in my dream has much the same meaning as the canoe. It's a symbol of refreshment and unhindered courage. I am feeling empowered and positive. The waters were a bit rough in my dream, but I felt prepared.
All in all, I feel this was a positive dream about equilibrium that I have recently found this last year. I feel that it is a positive sign that the practice of mindfulness and compassion has begun to change my perspective for the better. My anxiety is no long in the driver's seat and with that I have new purpose.