Are you the Dreamer … or the Dreamed? © Martyn Carruthers
We offer dream coaching, Dreamwork, lucid dreaming and we teach
people how to apply these skills in coaching, counseling and therapy.
Dreaming Together (ho’omoe) is an integral part of our systemic psychology.
Are You the Dreamer? … Or the Dreamed?
My interest in dreams and Dreamwork began in Hawaii in the 1980’s, with two friends who were also studying with native Hawaiian healers. Together we researched moe ‘uhane and ho’omoe – dreams and dreaming practices of pre-contact Hawaiians … and we explored some strange realities.
Dreaming may be older than human consciousness. When I watch sleeping babies and sleeping animals move their limbs and body while making unusual sounds, I assume that dreams are happening. Dreams seem to assimilate or integrate events, and perhaps evaluate future possibilities.
Since ancient times people have searched for the meaning of dreams. Dreams seem to be one way that people connect their emotional reality to their physical world. Psychologists say that an awake human mind is limited to holding about seven things in consciousness. It seems that a sleeping human mind (often called the unconscious, subconscious or body-mind) can simultaneously manage thousands of things … for example, the details of dreams.
In ancient Egyptian healing, one relief for mental problems was to sleep in a temple. The island of Philae (near Aswan) was said to be a center of temple sleep. Dreams would be influenced by the temple atmosphere and by expectations of supernatural powers; and were interpreted by priests.
Ancient Dream Temple at Philae (Photo: Przemyslaw Idzkiewicz)
Many books have been written about interpreting the content of dreams, which are often written as if every reader uses the same symbols as the author, regardless of their history, family and cultural background. I am wary of the claims of dream analysts … whose dreams are they analyzing?
If you want individual success, you can dream alone;
if other people are involved, you can dream together.
Daydreams & Visualization
If you feel out of sync with the world, you can create some retreats. Can you imagine yourself on a tropical island? Or shopping in Gucci with a diamond credit card? Can you picture and feel yourself in places you’d like to go to, or doing things you might like to try? Maybe a white sand beach in Hawaii? Parachuting in Brazil? Climbing the Himalayas? Shopping in Singapore? … perhaps with somebody special?
Athletes often dream productively before competitions. They imagine themselves winning a race, or skiing a challenging hill or going through gymnastic movements. They see themselves doing each move perfectly … (and they may also see themselves gaining awards or recognition).
The Harvard Business School surveyed graduates about their goals and again ten years later. Most graduates who had clear goals were making two to ten times the income of their classmates. This is a useful example that is closer to the directed daydreaming we often use in our systemic coaching.
Can you remember the touch and feel of a lemon? It’s cool, heavy and a bit greasy … and how your fingers feels when you peel it … and now imagine biting it. Probably your mouth fills with saliva. Your body glands are now responding to your imagination … to a dream … not to external reality.
Hawaiian Dreamtime: Moe Uhane & Ho’omoe
For the healing kahuna of old Hawaii, unusual or recurring dreams were significant and worthy of exploration. To better recover the details of a dream, and to find the meanings, a healing expert (kahuna) might join people within their dreams. Hawaiian Dreamwork is called moe’uhane – dreams of the spirit or lucid dreaming. Dreaming together (ho’omoe) is a potent key to the door of Hawaiian Spirituality.
I have been exploring moe uhane and expanding Dreamwork since about 1988, and I developed some useful methods for this Dreamwork in coaching, counseling and therapy. The feedback and responses I receive are persistently positive and often phenomenally so.
Many anxiety attacks or depressions can be called waking nightmares, and the methods I developed for changing dreams are often valid. And Hawaiian mysticism includes awaiku – angelic assistance. Dreaming can be a wonderful activity
We help people manage unpleasant dreams and change recurring nightmares. (I integrated dream coaching into our systemic coach training … we teach it on our Systems 3 training.) Quite often, when you try to change a dream, the dream changes you until a new balance is reached.
Dreamscapes & Nightmares
If you have nightmares related to current abuse – please seek advice from appropriate professionals about how you can change abusive situations.
We help people manage nightmares and sleep better. However, many things can cause bad dreams, for example:
- Fevers, influenza and other diseases
- Memories of traumatic or abusive events
- Side effects of certain drugs or medications
- Anxiety about some crisis or potential situation
- Foods or beverages to which you are allergic or cannot tolerate
We can help you resolve nightmares, which often reflect relationship and emotional problems. We may offer to dream with you. We may gently enter your dreamscape with you, and together we can understand the often-confusing and sometimes scary imagery. In this way, we can offer possibilities for helping you integrate your conflicts, change your relationship bonds or assimilate trauma.
Moe ‘uhane and Dreamwork are particularly useful when we help people change deep limiting beliefs or toxic relationships. Our dream coaching also helps people find lasting solutions for unpleasant or disturbing dreams and recurring nightmares. If your nightmares are due to anxiety about some crisis or traumatic event, we can ask your unconscious mind what solutions you want!
We can help you transform unpleasant and repetitive dreams!
We liken entering dream reality to entering Pandora’s Box. Neither you nor we know what to expect in your dreams. First, forget any books of interpretations of dream symbols, at least for now … we usually find that events and symbols in your dreams have many messages, not only one. Also, we often find the scary dreams of inner children – split off parts of you that got stuck somewhere and never grew up.
Dreamwork is no place for arrogance … rather for humility! During Dreamwork, I usually feel exhilarated, in a reverie. People have such interesting dreams and we can explore them together. People bring symbols filled with personal meaning and emotional significance, usually corresponding to their relationships, goals and emotions. Then, in dreamtime, we can dream dreams together – dreams that can change reality.
Are you curious about some unusual, repetitive or well remembered dreams? If you have negative emotions or if you have recurring dreams of misery, death or monsters – why not ask us for help?
Caution: entering the nightmares of disturbed people can be
traumatic for unskilled or inexperienced helping professionals.
Dreamwork Case History
I was teaching a class about dreams and Jungian archetypes at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. I asked for a demonstration subject and a young woman volunteered. She described a recurring dream of being chased by a (female) vampire.
During our dreaming together, instead of her running away in terror, I helped her slow down and communicate with the dream vampire. The vampire explained that she was her keeper of power, and as the woman kept running away, the vampire kept following her – to give her her power!
The vampire offered the woman a cloak – jet-black with bright red trim. She put on the cloak and felt immediately resourceful. She said that never before could she remember feeling so strong. The now-friendly vampire also offered deep advice about the woman’s lifestyle and life challenges.
Two weeks later, the young woman reported that she could maintain her powerful state. She also described a number of positive changes that she had made in her family and personal relationships.
Do you want to change something in your life?