By Mimi Pettibone
Now I know what you are thinking; and while it is true that anything that’s on our mind before going to sleep can influence the content of our dreams (as can our biology), I’m actually talking about a different type of dirty thought...
A woman came to me with a dream that she was living in a filthy house. It wasn’t even her house, she was renting a room in someone else’s home, and the room was very dirty. The windows, the walls, the blinds, the floor – everything was covered in grime and run down. She was very tired and decided to get into bed which consisted of a mattress on the floor. When she climbed into bed she realized that even the sheets were dirty! “That’s OK”, she thought, “I can wash them!” So, she got up and - as dreams are able to magically transcend the time-space continuum – the sheets were suddenly washed and she was able to put them freshly on the bed. As she lied down she was comforted that at least she had gotten one thing renewed, which gave her hope of making further change and cleaning up the rest of the place (or maybe even finding a new one).
Through exploring the dream, we discovered that it was not about an actual physical space (as dreams are not usually literal), but rather that it was a reflection of the state of her consciousness. The dreamer described waking up most mornings having her mind filled with negative thoughts. She found it very disturbing and was determined to use everything she’d learned by studying HayHouse authors and taking workshops at East West Bookshop. She started to be able to catch her negative thoughts, stop them, and replace them with ‘cleaner’ thoughts. Depending on what was going through her mind, sometimes she would take an existing negative thought and re-work it to have a more positive outcome. This is a technique we use in dream-work called re-scripting.
Our thoughts affect our consciousness, and dreams are an expression of our consciousness. The dirty room was a symbolic manifestation of her negative thoughts, and the fact that she took a step to make a change – the metaphor of changing the sheets – was an excellent indication that she was off to a great start. Despite the dismal conditions in the dream, she actually had a very chipper attitude about the fact that she could make a change (the sheets), indicating a healthy outlook despite some challenging conditions. In the dream the change started with the bedsheets, which parallels the fact that she first started really noticing how much these thoughts were taking over her mind when she was in bed. Also, the dream house did not belong to her, bringing up an interesting point. She started to realize just how much of the problems she carried with her belonged to other people! This is very typical of an empath, so we addressed how to stop doing this as well. I was able to follow up with her a couple months later, and she was happy to report that she no longer felt bombarded by these dirty thoughts upon waking, and her overall outlook was much more positive.
Dreams are a powerful way to work with consciousness. Things that take place at the subconscious level cannot be addressed or changed by using the logical mind alone. Nor can they be covered up with polyanna sentiments. We can change our thinking habits and resolve long-standing subconscious patterns by working with the symbolism of a dream. This allows us to work at the level of the subconscious mind, offering a very powerful means for personal growth and change.
Mimi Pettibone is a professional dream worker and creator of the Enchanted Art Oracle Cards. She offers private consultations at East West Bookshop and by phone including dream interpretation, relationship and life path coaching, tarot and oracle readings. Her background includes humanistic and social psychology, relationships and communication skills, linguistics, spirituality, and consciousness. Mimi is also a monthly dream columnist for the New Spirit Journal Online.
For more info on Mimi or to book a consultation, visit www.thedreamdetective.com