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Dream a little dream...

My favorite time of day is getting into bed.

I’m not sure if it’s my age, or that fact that I literally have like five jobs, or more…I’ve lost count. Or, that the world is so heavy and exhausting psychologically. 

The other reason I love climbing under my down comforter and drifting off, is that I love to dream. (I’m not talking about my usual daydreams like winning the lottery and living in a Park Ave. doorman building and meeting a great guy to travel and laugh with.) I mean…night dreams. The kind that come up out of seemingly nowhere and startle me awake.

So, it’s not surprising that several years ago, I joined a Jungian dream group. The sessions were led by a certified Jungian dream analyst whom I happened upon at a University School evening program on Introduction to Dreams. Yes, one can actually be certified to teach and analyze dreams. 

The group had met just a few times when Covid hit, sending us scurrying into our homes to hide, never to meet again in person. However, with the miracle-like creation of Zoom, we were able to reconvene again online, this time adding a few other wacky, creative individuals from all over the country joining our group. 

The dream sessions would last for about 8 weeks, meeting once a week with anywhere from 4 – 6 of us in the group. I stayed in the group for years. I’m loyal that way. Besides, I’ve always been curious and perhaps somewhat fascinated by the whole dream analysis process since my twenties when I first discovered the writings of Carl Jung. 

As I have come to learn about myself, I will leave no stone unturned in trying to understand my inner self and others. The human psyche is like no other terrain. The things you find going on inside well… I’d sum it up with that familiar saying, “You can’t make this s*%#t up.” The human soul, mind, being, is at once fantastical and horrid at the same time. And that is precisely what the Jungian journey is all about. Fearlessly finding the willingness, and ability, to absorb it all and integrate. Without integration we are all fragmented and broken. The way I’ve come to understand it, our dreams are our psyches way of helping us heal and become whole if we choose that route.  And the more conscious we become, well, let’s just say, that’s a good thing. 

Unfortunately, most human beings are too busy scurrying to pay bills, changing diapers, or getting drunk to bother to understand themselves. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of work to look at one’s mess and clean it up when there is so much other fun stuff to do. Unfortunately, fun only lasts only so long before one steps in one’s own, let’s just keep calling it mess. 

So, for several years, upon awakening, I’d reach for my dream journal and write down the most crazy, fantastical, scary scenarios my unconscious would conjure up for me to dive in to. For some reason, the unconscious mind chooses to speak symbolically, and so, the whole dreamscape becomes like a Salvador Dali-esque like scenario. Maybe it’s the mystery of it all along with the Sherlock Holmes detective like quality necessary for deciphering out the meaning of a dream that has always intrigued me about the process. Either way, it's always been right up my alley. And doing it in a group was fun.

Until, like most things human, the whole thing fell apart. The instructor’s life took her in other mundane directions and without her at the helm the group did not hold.

Apparently, neither did I. It didn’t take long before, upon awakening, instead of reaching for my dream journal, I found myself reaching for my phone and scrolling through the insanity of social media. Somehow my once healthy habit of keeping the phone in the other room on silence at bedtime slipped away and the phone ended up on my night table. That’s the thing about healthy habits, once you break them all hell tends to break loose. 

My once upon a time fairy tale journey of inner healing through group Jungian dream analysis somehow turned into a living nightmare of waking up, reaching for my phone and scrolling mindlessly on the internet where the entire world appears to be jockeying for a position in my sensitive, delicate brain. A little electronic device containing a world-gone-mad and I keep pressing open. 

In the end, all this time-wasting brain frying internet scrolling has only served to remind me that real awakening happens when I go to sleep. So, I’m back to trying to get back to… phone off, dreams on.

Either way, I still contend, my favorite time of day is getting into bed. (Oh...and about those daydreams...they still hold!)










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