We are problem-solving in our sleep. A dream usually concerns something that happened or was thought about the previous day. We prioritize during the night just like we do during our waking hours. From the hundreds of events that occur in a day, your unconscious will choose what is bugging you the most and literally "dream up" different possible reactions and solutions to that specific situation. Dreams give us a marvellous opportunity to tap into our intuition and to be in touch with our whole selves when making decisions.
Colours, as with any symbols that appear in our dreams, trigger personal associations we have. Using those personal associations we can better attach how and why we have used a certain colour in a dream.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place
Christine dreamed she commissioned an artist to do a painting on beautiful rocks that jut out of a wild and blue ocean. Christine walks outside and, realizing the painting looks so majestic, blue and beautiful in the evening light, she asks the artist to leave it and says she can go home.
Once she is gone, the dreamer jumps in the ocean, the waves pushing her around like crazy; she has lost control. Christine says, "There are only three directions I can go in. One is toward the paintings. The second is back to the place that I jumped in from. And the third is toward these massive rocks that are sticking way up out of the ocean. The waves are pushing me toward the rocks. No matter how hard I swim I cannot make it back to where I jumped in from!"
Finding the mirror
Christine, an aspiring actress, and her husband had recently moved into a new home. The expenses associated with the house were more than they had anticipated, and while Christine had confidence she was on her way to being discovered, there were moments when she wasn't sure they'd be able to weather the storm before the money started rolling in. In fact, what our conversation revealed was multitasking in her use of the colour blue. It helped her get in touch with the fact that she was feeling "blue" about her weight and an upcoming appearance on TV.
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Our unconscious is so sophisticated that it often reveals multilayered use of a symbol. While Christine's use of the colour helped get her in touch with the fact that she was feeling blue and stormy, the same use of colour provided her with solutions to her issue.
Frederick Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, asked dreamers to "speak as" the parts of the dream, in order for the dreamer to reconnect with a lost part of their psyche. I asked Christine to "become" the painting and the rock.
"How about the painting? Speak as the painting."
She responded, "I am beautiful. I am shiny. I am big. I am so big that I am bigger than life. ...And I am deep! I have deep blues in me. I am a beautiful painting."
"And does Christine answer?" I inquired.
"I also think you are a beautiful painting. I even think the sight of you is even a little bit awesome. You are so big. And there is such a shine, maybe from the water...There is a glistening, and a lot of depth. Deep blues. You look beautiful. You don't look like you need anybody to do anything more to you. You are beautiful the way you are."
The dream helped Christine get in touch with her own beauty, a part of herself she was needing to acknowledge during that time in her life.
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Layne Dalfen is the author of Dreams Do Come True: Decoding Your Dreams to Discover Your Full Potential. (Adams Media, MA, 2002). You can visit her website at www.dreamsdocometrue.ca.