The HSP World Podcast Ep: 23: Highly Sensitives and Finding Out What Our Vivid Dreams Mean

This podcast is brought to you by the HSP World Mastery Program, dedicated to inspiring and empowering HSPs.

Thomas: Hi and welcome to the HSP World podcast.  With each episode, we invite a guest with the HSP Trait to have a conversation about a burning HSP- related question they have.  We’re not coaches or therapists.  We’re HSPs holding space with you.  I’m one of your hosts, Thomas and your other hosts are;

Robyn: Robyn,

Rayne: and Rayne.

Robyn: Welcome back everybody to another episode.  Today we have something special for you.  Something a little bit different.  We wanted to address a listener question about HSPs and dreams, and then Rayne had the excellent idea to contact Dream Expert, Jane Teresa Anderson.

Jane is a Dream Analyst, Dream Therapist, Writer, and Mentor who lives in Australia. She’s the author of seven books on dreams and dreaming. She’s appeared very frequently on the radio. And since 2009, she’s hosted The Dream Show, a podcast series in which she analyzes guests dreams and shares interpretation, tips, and insights.

So, uh, sounds very dreamy indeed. Thank you for joining us today Jane.

Jane:  Thank you very much Rayne, Thomas, Robyn, everyone listening.

Robyn: Happy to have you on the show. I’ll start by asking the HSP question.  Jane, I’m wondering, do you consider yourself a Highly Sensitive Person?

Jane: When Rayne contacted me to be on your show, I had never considered whether I was a Highly Sensitive Person, but I sat down and thought about it. And I thought, you know, I think I do share some of the traits. So for example, I can handle being in large crowds, but I really would prefer not to be there.

I can multitask, but I really find it very difficult.  I notice when talking to other people their senses don’t seem to be as alive and clear as mine are.  I notice more things on all my senses and other people do.  And I do rely on all of my senses and, and other senses in my work.  So I think it’s possible that at some level I may well be.

Robyn: Yep. All right. At the very least, I think you’ll understand a lot of the experiences and the traits that are characteristic of Highly Sensitive people.

Jane: Yes.

Robyn:  Cool.  I think my, my next question would be, I guess you work with a lot of Highly Sensitive people, whether or not they use that label.  I guess a lot of the people who come to you for a Dream Analysis or Dream Therapy, they must be exhibiting a lot of High Sensitivity, or Highly Sensitive traits.

Jane:  I think often that’s true because when people first contact me they usually contact me because they’ve had a really scary, or really emotional kind of dream, you know, a lot of anger or fear or anxiety or stress.  And although we also dream of very positive and amazing emotions, those are the key ones that usually get people to me.

And, although, you know, every single person on this planet has those kind of dreams.  The more sensitive you are to what’s going on around you, or the more that you sensually perceive around you, is processed night-by-night in your dreams.

So the more sensitive you are, the more of those sensitive emotions are often expressed in your dreams.

And then once we work through that, often clients will stay with me for the longer term because they find their dreams are an endless resource, not only for exploring their inner worlds and their deeper selves more fully, which is something that’s always appealing to Highly Sensitive people, but also that they find them very inspirational and find that they can draw on a lot of that inspiration in their waking life.

So a lot of the long-term clients are often more in, a more creative people, artists of various subjects, and really find that exploring their dreams develops that area of their life as well.  So my understanding is that all of that would be quite appealing and perhaps necessary to Highly Sensitive people.

Robyn:  I mean, to me, it sounds really cool, but I’m definitely a vivid dreamer.  I don’t know, how about you Rayne and Thomas?  How does that resonate with you?

Thomas:  I dream a lot and, and, um, and I have very vivid dreams and a lot of very nice dreams and occasionally I’ll have a scary dream.  But yeah, I know that I’m dreaming every night.  So, yeah, I, I, you know, I’ve never had them analyzed or I’ve never really sat down to, to think about what the dreams are or what they mean, other than to make note of when I have particularly pleasant ones and say, wow, that was nice, I wish I could have stayed in that one a little bit longer.

Rayne:  Yeah, I would, uh, yeah, I definitely would say I dream vividly.  I call it in high def.  And yeah, I find them a great source of  just everything like, like you said, Jane, um, there’s a lot of creative ideas in them.  Also sort of messages.  They’re usually, um, they come through in the form of symbols, like numbers and objects, um, it can be people too.  I don’t know if I said colors,  just all kinds of different things.  And, I kinda, I don’t know, I probably have about 10 to 12 types, I guess you could say, of dreams that I’ve kind of put them in those different categories based on kind of what, what I dreamt about.

So I don’t know if that means anything. It’s just sort of my little Dewey decimal system.

Jane:  The best place to start Rayne which is you know, taking notes, organizing, looking for patterns, looking for recurring symbols.  And that’s one of the, one of the first steps in the beginning. The reason why, you know, the dreams that you’re describing that are often so vivid is that…

I should probably step back a little bit and explain how, how I approached dreams and how they work, and then build up to that thought of why our dreams are so vivid.

But when we go to sleep at night, or during the day, come to that, our dreaming minds or our dreaming brains are essentially processing the last one to two days of all your conscious and your unconscious experiences, with a view to kind of make sense of your world.

So it’s a little bit like an update of your mindset or an update of your software and in doing that in processing the last one to two days, anything that resonates with your past may also come into the dream.  So it’s almost like you look, Oh, these experiences came up for me yesterday, consciously these ones unconsciously, that resonates way back in my past when I was 10, when I was 15, when similar issues came up.

So there might be some aspects of the past in there. And you then often project into the future, you know?  Okay, so if I make these adjustments to my mindset, if I take into account yesterday’s experiences and my past experiences, and I, and I shift my perspectives, I shift my mindset, then how might my future look when I wake up in the morning?  How might it be when I wake up and try out this new mindset?

More often than not, we tend to stick with what we know because the things that we learned about life and our perspectives that we learned when we were really small from our parents and guardians tend to be so set in concrete that they’re difficult to shift.

So often we’ll be experiencing the last one to two days of our processing, the last one to two days in our dreams, and comparing back to the past and going no, no, no.  The past is right.  My experiences yesterday cannot, cannot change and bend what I already know.  So we will often wake up sort of even more concrete in our, in our mindset.

So, that’s what’s happening while you’re dreaming. And the reason of course that our dreams don’t actually look like what was happening in the last one to two days, is that the part of our brain which is more involved in editing and logical thinking, and rationality really is quite asleep and it’s left to the rest of the brain that creative, holistic, sensory brain to, to light up while the dream is being processed.

So, and that’s where the symbols come from.  So one way to look at that, is to say, if I were a painter or a musician and I wanted to kind of come up with an expression of what the last one or two days were like for me consciously and unconsciously, let me see now, I would paint a picture kind of like this and we’ll make it into a mini movie and we’re bring in these thoughts and these feelings and these symbols.

So you’ve then got to be able to go find ways to go into your dream from that frame of mind and work through the symbols and the emotions and the feelings to, to, to find out what it is that they were capturing of what your sleeping mind was processing.

So in doing that, when in a dream you’re processing sounds, the actual auditory area of your brain will light up.  When you’re processing vision, the vision part of your brain would light up and so on.  Touch, so on.

So I don’t know whether for a Highly Sensitive person, it is that the dream and the mind is actually primed to, to really light up more than in lesser sensory perceiving people, or whether the sensory perception happens somewhere else.

But I suspect it’s in the brain, since it is the brain that does translate all our experiences in the world into senses.

You know, you put your finger into a flame, and it’s the nerve that goes from your finger to your brain and your brain goes, Oh yeah, yeah, that’s hot, hot.  I’m feeling hot.  It’s not your finger that actually feels hot.

So our brain does all the interpreting for us. So my guess would be as Highly Sensitive people when we’re in a dream, the various sensory areas of the brain are probably hyper lit up as well. So you’re not only able to look at the dream as how your mindset is processing your world and learn something about yourself through that, and maybe decide to make changes, but you’re getting it in as one of you, one of you said, I can’t remember which one of you said, kind of in Technicolor really.

Robyn: Yeah, I mean, they’re still looking into some of the brain science that could be correlated with the HSP Trait. But I think on the definition that we usually use from Elaine Aron, she talks about HSPs basically taking in more information from the senses.

You know, it, it’s Sensory Processing Sensitivity, so, it’s, it’s that we would take in more sensory information, I guess, to put it kind of simplistically and then  process that more deeply.  So yeah, I’m, I’m not able to say at this point which parts of the brain would be implicated in that, but I thought maybe what you were saying about how if we have more vivid sensory experiences during the day, and then our brain at night is processing the last one to two days of  information that we’ve been taking in, then it would make sense that if that information was quite vivid, then the dreams could be as well.

Jane: Absolutely. That’s right. And your dreams, the dreams will not only be processing being vivid because you’re processing vivid stuff. But if there are issues around some of that vividness, some of that sensitivity, you know, when there are days when it’s like, well, this is actually a problem for me, uh, making life difficult for me, your dream will also be going to that level.

How do I handle this sensitivity in, how do I deal with it? And looking at the unconscious, beliefs and patterns and past experiences around that as well. There are so many angles that come in at it.

But it’s all very exciting, you know, to be able to basically through our dreams when you know how to look at them, the art and science of looking at your dreams, to get that window into not only what you already consciously know about yourself, but to get that window into the larger part of yourself, your unconscious mind, you know, that 80 to 95% of ourselves that when we’re awake, we’re not so aware of.  So, um, that’s the sort of beauty of being able to do that.

Robyn: Yeah, I mean, emotional intensity is another trademark of  the Trait. So I think that, you know, what you were saying, if there are certain things that have emotionally impacted us, either recently or throughout our lives, then yeah, I think it would make sense that those would become sticking points in the dream.

I’m also thinking, because we’ve been talking about symbols and recurring dreams, part of, of processing information more deeply is, you know, looking for these connections between the present, past, and future, trying to predict things or trying to see links where there may not normally have been one. right?

So I wonder if that might account for HSPs being more likely to have recurring dreams or to you to reach for the symbols. I mean, now, now I’m just speculating. So this is not a, I’m not being scientific about it, but this is why I started paying attention to my dreams.

I mean I’ve always been interested in them, but probably about 10 years ago or maybe a bit less, but I started having very frequently recurring dreams.  Not always the same dream, but the same motifs, the same themes, the same people reappearing. And it happened just so frequently that I couldn’t help but take notice right?

And then it’s interesting, I did consult a Dream Analyst actually about that. I mean she told me to notice like how those patterns might evolve. But, but I’m curious, Jane, so when you have a client come to you or you’re listening to someone on the podcast or on the radio talking about recurring dreams or recurring figures, where do you usually tell them to go next?

Jane:  So, yeah, I, and I love the way that you said they’re all, this is speculative and I’m reminded again of dreams in the sense that when we’re processing our past experiences, we then speculate about possible futures anyway. So it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing to be able to do. So with recurring dreams or as you describe so beautifully there Robyn, more the idea of a recurring dream theme.

You know, each team is different, but they have something in common. They’re similar. They have a common theme.  With recurring dreams, what we often experience at the end is some of them are positive, some feel like, Oh, I had that wonderful dream again, and always end so upbeat and it ends this and it ends that.

But on the whole our recurring dream themes end, they either don’t end, like you’re still trying to catch the plane. You’re still trying to get things back.

But they don’t end or they end unsatisfactorily you missed the plane, whatever.  So now that if you, if you, what I usually say is, if you begin with the idea that  a dream is processing primarily the last one to two days of your conscious and unconscious thoughts, then every time you get a recurring theme, look back over the last one to two days, because this dream is saying, okay, something happened in the last one to two days that you’re processing, but not processing it right the way through, you’re getting stuck, it’s unresolved, or you’re not happy with the outcome.

So a recurring dream or recurring dream theme can reflect a recurring waking life issue which needs to be resolved. So even without knowing anything about how to interpret a dream, simply looking for that pattern and what happened in the one to two days before this dream is a starting point.

And then there are two different routes I would take from there.

First of all, I’d say anyone interested in consulting a Dream Analyst, the most powerful place to start is with a recurring dream or recurring dream theme, because you’re going to be understanding why there’s a recurring waking life in your issue. And you’re going to be invited to break through that. So that’s really powerful.

So the first thing I will do is work with someone to find out what that dream is reflecting. And as an example, one very simple first step that anyone can take is to regard the dream as a… to wonder whether it’s a metaphor or an allegory, you know?

If I’m dreaming that I’m, I’m running along the street and whichever street I try, I just can’t find where I’m going to, ask yourself, is there a situation in life  where do you feel like I’m trying all these things, but whichever thing I tried, I just can’t seem to reach that goal or do that thing.  So to approach the dream on that kind of vague, not precise, but very vague kind of metaphor and see if you can relate it to a situation as a beginning point.

Then I would take the person to deeply explore every single detail of the dream and work out exactly what it is in the dreamer’s mindset, conscious or unconscious, that is resulting in the situation being unresolved or whatever.

Rayne: I have to, sorry, I just wanted to say quickly. I have to say Jane, I just, it’s fascinating!  I find it fascinating to listen to your podcast because that’s what you do with a guest, is you, you analyze your podcast guest’s dream, and I, it’s just amazing.  It’s very cool. So, sorry I interrupted you but I had to…

Jane: No, thank you very much for that.  You’ve really reminded me that that’s one I’ll often something that I’ll say to people who’ve said to me, you know, I really want to understand my dreams better.  If I don’t direct them to like make online courses or consultations, I’ll often say just listen to a few episodes of the dream show because you’ll get that feeling.

Because what we do on there is we have a guest on, and I don’t know anything about the dream until we hit the record button.  So as a listener, you, you hear me hearing it for the first time and you, you hear and acknowledge all the first steps, how we step through the dream and understand it. Yeah.

And then the second thing I’ll do is invite people to do what I call a Dream Alchemy practice, which is something that you do while you’re awake.

That basically helps for example, in the case of recurring dream theme, helps to resolve the issue. So if we take that simple example I gave just now of having a dream theme where you keep running down all these streets, but wherever you go, you can’t, you can’t seem to get where you want to go.

And if you then relate that to life and go, yeah, that’s exactly how I feel in life and it’s so frustrating. I might say to the person, well, where is it that you want to go?  And they might say, I didn’t know what they might say.  They might say, I want to get a brilliant idea to write a movie.  Let’s go way out here, and I can’t seem to get it.

Then I’d say, okay, let’s imagine that you’re back in the dream again.  And you’ve got all these pathways, but look, see that pathway is really lit up.  It really looks inviting.  Now, imagine yourself, and you don’t even have to run down that pathway.  You can just walk down it because it’s a path built for you and you can breathe deeply.

And here you go, walking down the path and look! Look, just bend down and pick up that manuscript.  There is, there is the script for the movie that you would like to produce because you know, somewhere deep inside you, you’ve already written it.  So, what we’re doing is completely replaying the dream.

Keeping the symbolism, keeping the theme, but adding a little bit of the waking life preferred outcome.

And what that does is two things. Firstly, in a recurring dream, you can do that for any dream, whether or not it’s recurring, but in a recurrent dream, it will ensure that if you keep that visualization up, the next time, if there’s a next time that you were about to have that dream, you’re more likely to have the positive version of it.

But in the meantime, by doing that visualization or that Dream Alchemy practice, you’re actually reprogramming your unconscious mind or reprogramming  your brain. Basically changing the mindset that believes that I have to try all these different ways because I’m not good enough to write the script or whatever it is.  That actually reprograms that into that, yes you can.  Take it slow.  There it is.  That’s your path.  You’ve already got it done.

And so you’ll often find when you do a Dream Alchemy practice based on a dream, that people commonly report, you know, a couple of days later, something amazing happened.  I just suddenly had this idea or I found myself approaching the situation in a completely different way.  And it’s, it’s the reprogramming that’s happened there.

Thomas: Coming up,  We talk a little bit more  about how interacting with our dreams connects us more fully with our inner world. We’ll be right back after this.

Our podcast is brought to you by the HSP World Mastery Program with a mission of inspiring and empowering Highly Sensitives, so you can use your natural creative abilities to co-create an amazing and hope-filled future.

The HSP World Mastery Program uses data-driven, positive tools and methods supporting your growth in a way that’s gentle, thoughtful, and caring, with an emphasis on positive impacts and results on your daily life.  You can learn more about the HSP World Mastery Program by visiting hsp.world forward slash mastery.  Now let’s return to our podcast.

Robyn: That’s really interesting.  I know I’ve had the experience of trying to interact with a dream like that, trying to kind of respond to it.  But it was interesting.  It wasn’t about something creative.  It was actually about another person.  So something that wasn’t fully in my control and I kept trying to visualize, okay, what, what is it that I would want this person to tell me?

And it never materialized in my dreams and it never materialized in real life either.  But it was interesting because at one point I told myself like, okay, I’m, you know, I don’t, this is not the kind of thing, like the ball is not in my court in this, you know, external relationship that’s happening in real life and I’m not going to force the issue on until I get a dream where it happens. And I kind of took it as a sign that if I don’t see the dream, if I don’t see it in a dream, it’s because on some level I know it’s not supposed to happen.

Like we’re not supposed to have this conversation.  We’re not supposed to consider this issue.  And, it never happened.  And sure enough, like life just took me on a different path and I don’t know.  I really think it was like the right thing.  So it’s interesting because like, sometimes we, like, when we talk about literally following your dreams, right?  We often, we often like are using it as a source of creativity or, you know, like trying to envision things that are, that are impossible.

But I think it’s my understanding is that it’s really, it’s a deeper source of wisdom and, you know, it will sometimes help us to get in touch with things that really aren’t up to us and really aren’t in our control and to kind of, I don’t know that that’s how I, how I see it, but, you know, I wonder…

Jane: Absolutely.  It’s um, yeah, I mean, I use that creative example because it was really easy to get across.  Um, but I guess much of my work when I’m working with people with their dreams or the, or the methods that I teach them so that they can do this themselves, is more directed at their inner world and how they’re processing the world, their beliefs, their, their patterns of behavior and the various aspects of themselves.

Because we all have, you know, a multitude aspects of ourselves as well.  And so that’s where most of, most of my work is focused, not so much on the outer world, on the inner world, because if you change the inner world that can then change the outer world.

So Robyn, what you did I think was, was really great.  And you process that in many ways within yourself.  This conflict is not, or this, this discussion is not something that I can control, so I will step back and surrender and things will play out differently, which I really like.

And then there’s another way you can look at people in your dreams, even if it’s someone that you’re actually having an issue with on the outer world.  You can say, everybody in my dream and come to that, everything, everything in my dream and everybody in my dream, represents something about me, the dreamer.

And so you can look at that person, you know, and that person might represent whatever the conflict was that you have with them, but also might represent areas of their personality or their perspective that you have taken onboard consciously or unconsciously within yourself.  And it’s possible because you couldn’t have that conversation in waking life.

You know, there was a conflict of some kind.  It’s possible that there was a parallel conflict within you, with the aspect of yourself, whatever they represented, lived at some level within you and you were going through that in a conflict.

So for that, for anybody listening that has, um, has a dream about anybody, anybody listening that has that kind of dream, where your dreaming about somebody in waking life that you know, or even somebody you haven’t seen for a long time, you’re thinking, well, what does that person mean to me?  Why are they in my dream?  I don’t get it. I can’t, should I, am I supposed to wake up and call them?  Or what?

You can try a dialogue, which is another form of Dream Alchemy, where you basically get a bit of paper or your keyboard, and you very quickly have a conversation, but you write it so fast that you don’t allow your conscious editing mind to take part. So you’re basically, it’s like flow of the unconscious mind.

And you, and you allow each character to have maybe less than a sentence each to say.  So it will be you talking to the person in your dream.

So it might be something like, Robyn, hello? I, here I am meeting you again in my dream, and then you let the other person just answer just a few words.

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been in lots of your dreams, Robyn. So why so many dreams?

And they’re the other person, and often the conversation will just be, seem like it’s going no, that’s daft, it’s stupid, it’s going around in circles, but the faster you do it, the more you’re engaging your unconscious mind and it will eventually join in and it will spill the beans.

And you’ll have a conversation that will inform you as to what exactly this other person represents as an aspect of yourself.  And if you keep that dialogue going, will often come to some kind of integration and resolution and agreement as well.  Which then when you come to that, actually totally changes the relationship in the outer world, which you did anyway, Robyn, but that would be a process of approaching that.

Robyn: Yeah.

Rayne: How about, how about you, Thomas? What’s your thoughts on this?

Thomas: I think that’s brilliant. I’m actually going to try that because sometimes I, I really wonder is like, why did that person show up?  You know, what, what was, why was he there?  Or she there, you know?  I think, I think that I love, I always love ideas where I can get beyond or past my editing mind, because my editing mind is always so present and so strong and any technique that I can find that can get past that is really helpful, that I find.

Jane:  Yeah.  And that speed writing definitely does that so beautifully.  And the more you do it, the more insightful you find it, the more you can go down that track.

So Thomas, you can also do it with symbols, as well as people. So any dream symbol from a dream. And then when you get really involved, involved in that, and I know that everybody listening to this will be that kind of person, you can actually up the ante.

And instead of you being in the dialogue, you can have like two, two of your dream symbols from the same dream, having the dialogue. And it sounds complicated, but it is so insightful and it’s a lot of fun as well.

Thomas: Jane, can you give me an example of what a dream symbol is or what a… I’m not quite sure what that means.

Jane:  So a lot of people have dreams, which seem like they’re very close to waking life and seem quite logical as if they could actually happen.  And I don’t know whether that may be your case, Thomas, a lot of people do.  And other people more like Rayne mentioned earlier, have dreams where they definitely wouldn’t happen in waking life, you know?

You’re sitting and you’re sitting at your desk writing something and a snake appears and has a conversation with you.  And then you look to the right on your desk, and there’s an amazing little gold ornament that you’ve never seen before.  And, and you look out the window and there’s dinosaurs, you know, so that there are things that would not happen in waking life.

And they are the more dramatic dream symbols that even in a dream which appears to be more logical every day.  You could actually say everything in those dreams is a symbol.  So if you dream that you went into the kitchen and you buttered some toast, which could pop, absolutely happen in waking life, the toast and the buttering and the knife, a dream symbols, just as much as in the other example, the snake and the gold ornament are.

So you could, um, in the, in the logical example I just gave you, you might think, okay, so why have I dreamed I go to the kitchen and butter toast instead of  ordering in or instead of baking a cake or whatever it was.  I wonder why those symbols were so important to me?  I’m going to get the toast to talk to the knife.

In much the same way that I did just now, you know. Toast, hello, nice to see you every day in life.  Oh, well, and it just let it go from there and you can equally well do the snake talking to the gold ornaments, you know.  Gold ornament, ooh, I can see you poking your head over the desk there, snake.  Oh, I didn’t know you could see me and you just let the daftness go until sense emerges.

I should say the reason that the symbols appear in our dreams is, is back to the idea of the editing mind being on hold, and it being left to the rest of the brain to find expressions.

So the symbols are our own unique, personal expression of whatever it is that the dream is processing.

Thomas:  Right. I, you know, I have to laugh because more and more my smartphone is appearing in my dream and, and whenever I use it, it doesn’t work. Like, you know, I want to go look up something and, and I’m, I’m tapping, I’m pushing at buttons.  And, uh, and my smartphone in my dream doesn’t doesn’t work at all.

Which, which kind of seems funny to me. Of course, you know, the smartphone in my dream is not connected to the internet.  So it kind of makes sense, but still I, uh, I sit there and it’s like, why isn’t this working?  I don’t get it.  It, it, it always worked before.

Robyn:  You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream about my phone.

Thomas:  Well, it just goes to show how much I’m attached to it. I guess.

Jane:  It’s interesting, isn’t it? You know, that you could look back a hundred years and of course, nobody had a dream about a smartphone, how we incorporate life into our dreams. But very interested in what you say, Thomas, because I can very rarely get my smartphone to work in a dream either, or remember someone’s phone number.

And I suspect that as well as the smartphone actually being a symbol in your dream, you know, possibly a symbol of communication or connection or whatever.  I think in addition to that, because that more editing logical part of the part of the brain is asleep, it actually can’t handle numbers and simple logical things that you might expect to be able to do.

So I actually turned that around in my dreams and I, not very successfully, try to use that as a cue for jumping into lucid dreaming.

So as you probably know, lucid dreaming is when you’re in a dream and all of a sudden you think, hang on, hang on a minute.  I’m in a dream.  I’m in a dream. This isn’t for real, I’m in a dream and I’ve also got a waking life and I’m staying in the dream and I’m going to do amazing things like fly around or whatever.

And I actually don’t advocate doing lucid dreaming a lot because it interferes with the normal and natural processing that we need to do.

But from time to time, it’s fun.  You need a cue.  You need something to tell you that you’re dreaming.

So I’ve often thought to myself, okay, whenever I’ve got my smartphone and I can’t dial the number, I can’t get through or the screens get more and more complicated as I’m trying to achieve what I’m trying to achieve.  I’m going to say to myself, am I dreaming?  And then I will realize that I am.  And so occasionally I’ve used that to be able to wake up to the fact that I’m dreaming and go into a lucid dream, but I’m actually not very good at recognizing I’m in a lucid dream.

So I generally fail and then continue on with trying to do whatever I’m trying to do.  So there’s that aspect of it.  And the other aspect of it may still be symbolic.

So, you know, you can be back to that feeling of, if the dreams are a metaphor, then where is it in your waking life that you or I, with the dream unable to complete the simple steps and processes to communicate or to get through or whatever.

Thomas:  I’ve, I’ve had a few lucid dreaming episodes and they’ve been very pleasant.  I mean, they’ve been really nice to have.

Robyn:  Jane I just wanted to ask because, I’ve often brought up the topic of dreams with my students.  And I think one of the saddest things I ever heard was a student who said, you know, every dream I have is a nightmare.  So that was quite extreme.  But I’m just wondering people must come to you as well with the nightmares, recurring nightmares.

What are your, what are your thoughts on that?  Is it always you know, something negative?  Is it always a warning sign?  How, how do you approach those?

Jane:  Yeah, not, not so much a warning sign, but something that you can delve into, if you apply the art and science of understanding of dreams and your nightmares, they can give you the keys to move forward to they’re really valuable.

So essentially what’s happening in a nightmare is that you’re, you’re processing a fear or a stress or an anxiety.

And when you do that, your physical body does actually produce the fear hormones or the stress hormones or the anxiety hormones, which gives you that physiological reaction.  And it’s that physiological reaction can often wake you up during a nightmare or just at the end of it, because your body is telling you that you’ve had a terrible fright or a, or are  anxious, or extremely stressed.

And that kind of makes it really more, the nightmare, all the more frightening.  But if you, once you understand that it, the dream is processing the fear or the anxiety or the stress that you’re feeling and waking life, and that may be unconscious.  You know, you may be going about life, I’m absolutely fine.  I’m cool. I’ve got everything under control.

The reason I have to be so cool and calm have everything under control is there’s a raging fear underneath me in my unconscious mind.  I’m not going there. You know, dreams are going to go, yes, you’ve got to.  You’ve got this fear.

So once again, you would work with it, find out where the fear, stress or anxiety is coming from, how it’s based on your past experiences and work out how to reprogram that.  So I would then, just to keep my response quite tight, I would then go back to the idea with a person such as him, of doing the Dream Alchemy visualization of, of, of changing what was fearful in the dream into something positive, never killing something off a dream because everything in a dream represents part of yourself.

So if you kill off even a wicked witch in your dream, you’re killing off the part of yourself, leaving a hole in your psyche.  Always transform.

So you have a scary dream of running from a monster.  Wake up, take a deep breath, imagine yourself back in the dream, but you’re awake, so you’re safe, only turn around and see the monster, but it’s not a monster is it?  It’s a beautiful, whatever you want to put in there.

And you go up and you go, and what you’re training the person to do there is to stop having the nightmare.  But also to realize that when you’re running from a fear, the fear gets worse.

When you actually turn and face it, you see it for what it is, something that’s naturally less fearful and you can by facing it, deal with it and, and, and change its nature.

Robyn:  Wow. Great insights.

Thomas:  So thank you so much, Jane for today’s conversation, I really enjoyed it and I’m sure everybody listening as enjoyed it as well. Thank you for joining us.

Jane:  It’s a pleasure. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation with all of you too.

Rayne:  Well, thank you so much, Jane, for, for accepting our invitation and coming on.  It’s just been wonderful to have you.  Thank you very much.

Jane:  Thank you very much, everyone. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Robyn:  Yes.  Thanks a lot, Jane, and in case any of our listeners would like to reach out to you, what’s the best way for them to find you?

Jane:  The best and the quickest is to go to my website, which is janeteresa.com.  That’s Teresa without an H, and all roads lead from there.

Robyn:  All right. Thanks a lot and thank you to our listeners.

So please join us for our next episode where we will be having another interesting HSP conversation.  And to any Highly Sensitives out there who have a burning HSP-related question, big or small, we invite you to ask it on the HSP World podcast, just email [email protected]

Our thanks to the HSP World Mastery Program and to all of you who support our show by subscribing and listening to our podcast, reading the blog posts on our website at hsp.world and chatting with us on our social media channels.

Your support is contributing to the upliftment of HSPs around the world. We’re very grateful.

Music credit: Intro and Outro music from the YouTube Music Library. Song is Clover 3.

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