We will assume we are not alone in reporting that our dreams have taken an intense turn in the past 6+ months. Anxiety about the world at large has seeped into our subconscious and is shaping our sleep in ways that we have found difficult to decipher. Our friend (and former astrology contributor to The Fold) Stephanie Gailing has written a book that is a timely guide to dreams, sleep, and cultivating the best of both worlds to create "holistic techniques to harness the healing potential inherent in your sleep and dreams."
Curious about a reoccurring dream of late and in advance of their conversation next Tuesday (join us!), Executive Editor Amanda Carter Gomes reached out to Stephanie for her insights on the themes behind what's swirling in her head a night. Here's what she had to say...
Our dreams offer us stellar insight to unearth thoughts and feelings that we may carry within us. They allow us the ability to bring to light reflections that our conscious mind may not regularly attend to as well as serve as a stage upon which we can work out the complexity of emotions and perspectives we may carry. If we can honor that our dreams are infused with wisdom and healing, and turn towards them with this perspective, it can help us to open to a tapestry of empowering insights and understanding.
Over the past month I have been having dreams about pregnancy. Not my own pregnancy, more my witnessing others' pregnancies—women who are either close to me in friendship or part of my extended family.
In these dreams I am partially jealous of their pregnancy and wishing it was me who was having another child, and partially relieved that I am not pregnant because the thought of another baby feels really overwhelming. However, in both, I am simultaneously envious and nostalgic of and for being pregnant, specifically the physical part of it.
When approaching another’s dream, it’s always important to hold it with reverence, remembering that while we can give reflections that can help the dreamer to further connect to the treasures of awareness inherent in their dream, that truly it is only they, who know what the dream signifies. As such, I always find it important to begin any reflection with “If this were my dream…” or “If these were my dreams…” as this honors their sense of agency.
If these were my dreams, I would be struck by the recurring theme of pregnancy. I would, at first, look to see whether in fact having another child is something that I am considering and/or grappling with; if so, the dreams may be pointing me towards the complexity of my feelings regarding this.
If I am not considering having another child, with pregnancy associated with generativity, I would reflect to see whether the dreams were turning my attention to my creativity and my desire to give birth to my ideas and manifest them in the world. I would then look within to see what ideas, passions, and desires I wanted to bring to life.
And yet, I would acknowledge that it is more complex than that. After all, there are many stances about pregnancy that the dream contains, including at times my being “partially jealous” and “partially relieved.” I would then see whether the varying feelings—both of which aren’t fully definitive (aka, both are “partially”)—reflect a sense of ambivalence that I’m feeling right now about focusing on new creative projects at this moment.
And if I discover that, in fact, I both do and don’t want to be actively manifesting something in the world, I would allow myself to hold and honor both of these feelings. Ambivalence is often something that we turn away from in waking life, feeling that it doesn’t have value in our action-oriented society and that it holds us back. And it is an important feeling, reflecting a time period of non-knowing and an invitation to make time/space for synthesis. If I realized that I did have feelings of ambivalence, I would sit with that, and just allow it to be, and see what it brings forth. Further, if these were my dreams and I saw how I was both “envious” and “nostalgic,” it would remind me that not only is birthing new life something that I am aligned with and desire (“envious”) but also something that I have done before, really miss, and know I have the capacity for (“nostalgic”).
Seeing how “partially jealous” and “envious” and “nostalgic” all seem to be aligned as they reflect both a pull towards wanting to be the one who is pregnant and also knowing how to be pregnant, it then seems that “partially relieved” stands alone. Given this, I might elevate this feeling and acknowledge it: that while I want to be making things, there’s some reason that the timing is not right at this moment. With this acknowledgement, I may then either look into why the timing isn’t right and see if I can shift things so it is, and/or just have faith at some point it will be. And that at that moment, my desire, confidence, and experience will be my trusted doulas, helping me to generate and manifest new things into existence.
I hope that these dream reflections inform and inspire you.
Want to better understand your dreams? Looking for tips to help you and your family sleep better? Want ways to feel more grounded and centered in this radically transformative time in which we’re living?
Then you’ll want to join our founder/editor Amanda Carter Gomes and Stephanie for a conversation about Stephanie's new book, The Complete Book of Dreams! We’ll be live streaming from the beautiful lounge at The Cloud Room in Seattle, talking about ways we can all bolster our awareness and well-being, and connect to our dream life.
You can purchase a signed copy of The Complete Book of Dreams through Elliott Bay Book Company, an independently owned bookstore that’s been a Seattle icon for almost 40 years.
Register HERE for the free virtual event on October 20