Unmasking A High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person: Flying, Dreams and States of Consciousness
In this blog post we’re going to delve into the topic of Dreams, Dream Meanings and States of Consciousness - because for HSPs vivid dreams are something most of us experience on a regular basis.
In the last blog post we were at the airport getting ready to leave Nicaragua (where we'd been spending some time in a jungle), and we'd been delving into boundaries, specifically; how HSPs on a cultural level have been erroneously taught to relate to boundaries, why boundaries are important, how to identify what aspects of life can cross our boundaries, and, how to set up healthy boundaries that support you. The title of that post was “Customs, Borders and Boundaries”.
But as we ready ourselves for flying I thought it would be a good idea to delve into Dreams and States of Consciousness because for HSPs, the majority of us have been told since we were young, “…dreams are nothing but your subconscious regurgitating what happened during your day...” So we’ve been instructed to not pay attention to our dreams. A fact that couldn't be further from the truth.
So in this blog post we’re going to be looking at;
- why dreams are important,
- how to remember your dreams,
- types of dreams,
- and, how to interpret a dream.
Why Dreams Are Important
For many centuries people have had a healthy respect and open curiosity about their dreams. Many indigenous cultures believe in the messages and wisdom of their dreams, and cultures like the ancient Egyptians, who were also highly evolved, practiced remembering and interpreting their dreams. We can even find many instances in the Bible, and even one where Joseph interpreted the Pharoah's dream.
And the types of messages dreams can convey span the gamut, personally I've met a few musicians who've told me they've "heard" or "seen" a song in their dream, then woke up and began creating and playing it. This is actually quite common for musicians.
So we can see how dreams have played a big role in humanity's evolution. Good tunes aside (and I say this with the utmost appreciation and love for music), for an HSP, a highly tuned nervous system means you're body/mind is naturally "wired" to pick up on energy.
Energy can be information and/or emotions. And in our fast-paced society that means a lot of information. So much so that it isn't really possible to digest all of it consciously, (in our waking life) and subconsciously we know this. So the way we help ourselves is we parse out information that has a high probability of being important and store it in our subconscious, so we can later figure out (in dreamstate) what, if any, importance it has for us.
So for HSP’s its highly beneficial for us to pay attention to our dreams so we can utilize the messages we receive in our dreams as guides for our “waking” life. Because we have a highly tuned nervous system we often don’t even realize how much information/energy we’re accessing. Keep in mind, triggers play a big role in how much information you’re able to or will access (even without your conscious knowledge).
And sometimes our dreams can give us an idea of an emotion we're repressing. For me repressing my emotions was a way of being, a way I lived my life, a way I was taught to be in order to be "acceptable" and "accepted" - and it didn't occur to me that I had a choice. A choice that I could act or react to a situation based on my emotions as well as my mind, in a healthy way that respected my own boundaries, as well as others boundaries.
In a sense, I'd been trained to be "logic" oriented. Also, I had very little understanding of how big an impact the negative aspects of my childhood played in my life. No idea I hadn't learned healthy ways to express myself. I'd been coasting along relatively fine by just being, in a way, "shut down".
So really feeling, on a soul level, my emotions and acknowledging, understanding, processing and expressing my emotions wasn't in my repertoire. Unless I felt pushed to the limit, and then an emotional outburst would occur. And this is where dreamstate can be incredibly helpful for an HSP.
There can be aspects to your dreams that can help you identify when you're feeling alone, sad, angry, anxious, frustrated, and scared. Feelings we tend to push down in our everyday waking lives because we either don't know how to process these emotions in a healthy way, or because we make ourselves too "busy" so we don't have time and therefore can't process these emotions.
So our dreams can show us where we're doing what I call "crossing our own boundaries", where we aren't honouring our emotions. And since states like "depression" are basically a build up of negative emotions, our dreamstate can be like our inner alarm clock, letting us know that there's something within that we'll benefit from if we begin by acknowledging, processing, and honouring an emotion we have, and in this way begin healing.
Because let's face it, Life is meant to be lived, mistakes will be made, and feelings get hurt. Just like we skin our knees when we're kids, there will be times when we'll emotionally skin our knees - but that doesn't mean we can't learn, heal from it, be stronger for it, gain the wisdom to know how to deal with our own emotions in a way that works for us, and gain the wisdom to understand how to deal with difficult situations/people in the future. And move forward.
Now, having said this, I’m going to prefix the following by stating that this information is based soley on my own dream experiences and experiments. I’m an HSP/HSS so I’m more inclined to be curious and experiment, but having said that that doesn’t mean I’m an expert – only that I’ve experimented with remembering, interpreting and exploring my own dreams, dreamstates and with various types of dreams. This information is a result of my experiments so far.
First, let’s address the fact that it’s possible to remember your dreams. Many people say they don’t or can’t, but in fact, it’s that they haven’t trained their brain to remember their dreams. They’ve bought into the construct that “dreams aren’t important” and so give no energy to their dreams or remembering them.
So, first it’s important to recognize that your dreams are trying to help you, to act as a guide for you. Believing that your higher self is always with you attempting to help you (in your dreams) - is the first step. Then it’s simply a matter of training your brain to remember your dreams.
When first getting started I recommend recording your dreams, in point form, in a dream journal. I can recall each and every one of my dreams in sequential order and in order of importance, (and discarding dreams that have little to no importance), but I trained my brain to remember my dreams when I was quite young.
For me, a near death experience when I was very young taught me that there were other aspects to this Life that most people don't give much thought to or discuss (at least people I knew), but nevertheless these other aspects always intrigued me. So for me, I never completely bought into the construct that “dreams aren’t important”. However, it was only when I began my Underworld Journey To Soul and Back that I began realizing how incredibly helpful my dreams were for me, as I relate in my book, “Unmasking: A Journey”.
Let's start at the beginning then.
How To Remember Your Dreams
For me my dreams have always been a mysterious puzzle, full of helpful messages, solutions, possibilities and imagination. If you haven’t trained yourself to remember your dreams I recommend;
- believing your higher self is trying to help you through your dreams,
- saying out loud to yourself ten times before you fall asleep, “I will remember my dreams,”
- upon waking the next morning playfully concentrate on remembering your dreams,
- then writing down (in point form) your dream in a dream journal (at first, until you can recall your dreams easily).
The more you practice remembering your dreams the easier you'll find it to remember the finer details of your dreams. And it's then that you may begin to notice patterns with respect to the “types” of dreams you have.
I’ll go into more detail on how I break down my dreams in terms of “types”, because it’s important for me to note what “type” of dream I had, to allow me to determine how to use the information or messages that are trying to guide (help) me, and what information isn’t necessarily useful or that I can simply be aware of but need not act on. I’d also like to add that sometimes a dream can be combination of these “types”.
But first, it’s important for you to note the “perspective” you experienced your dream. Here's some clarification on the "perspective" as relates to dreamstate.
It’s important to note, in what perspective or “person” did you experience your dream? Were you “you” only in your dream? Or, were you “you” and also watching yourself from a distance (so on one level you’re able to experience the dream from an unbiased perspective), or were you “you” as well as multiple “you’s”? This is important to note, because the more “you’s” you experience in your dreams, the more information you’ll be able to access, much like when a writer writes the point of view, or perspective.
Or, were you aware that you can actually experience different perspectives in your dreamstate? Because you can.
For me the most common perspective of dreamstate I experience is I'm "me" but I'm also watching myself from a distance, in spirit form and I've learned and began appreciating what a blessing and gift it is to be able to dream the way I do. It allows me to experience both perspectives, one of "being" me (which includes the challenges of being a human being), and also one where I'm in spirit form, detached from any outcome and able to non-judgmentally (compassionately) observe and gently judge myself.
So let's dive into “types” of dreams now.
Types of Dreams and/or States of Consciousness/Dreamstates
In this type of dream you’re physically “you” in your dream and are interacting with other people, and/or beings, and/or animal(s), and/or environment(s). You’ll be understanding and learning about any one or a combination of the aforementioned. For people, you could be learning about their hidden intentions are towards you IRL, like facts/information they’re hiding from you, or others, or themselves. The time frame is usually the recent past, the present or the very near future.
You could also experience what I call "A Doubt" dream, where something you're anxious about in your waking life, is showing up in your dream (eg., you fail a class because you started it one week later than everyone else).
In this type of dream “you” aren’t physically “in” your dream. Rather you’re in what I call, “spirit” form. You’re like the air - formless, colourless and unable to physically interact with anything or anyone in your dream. For me remote viewing is like watching a movie but different, it's more like looking through a portal or window and being able to zoom in, out and around at will (without actually moving), if that makes sense. Remote viewing allows you to see actual events as they are happening IRL, or that have happened in the recent past IRL.
Totem Animal Guidance Dream
In this type of dream a spirit animal is there to guide you. Note how you meet your spirit animal, the type of interaction you have with your spirit animal, what colour the spirit animal is, how healthy your spirit animal is, whether you meet your spirit animal at night or during the day, where you meet your spirit animal (forest, mountain, lake, ocean, etc.), and if and what your spirit animal is communicating to you.
In some way your spirit animal is trying to guide you and help you on your journey. For example in one dream I was communicating with a white Clydesdale horse and upon waking I “knew” for the next part of my journey I needed to travel to and spend some time in Whitehorse, YT.
Healing Assistance (Receiving) Dream
In this type of dream someone is communicating with you and providing you with healing. They could be showing you something (like a medicine wheel), or they could be giving you gifts of food, throwing you a party or introducing you to an environment you haven’t been to before.
One example for me was when I was invited to a super cool waterslide cave and the cave crevasses were littered with lit white candles.
Their intention is good and this type of dream is refreshing. Be thankful when you receive this type of dream and send thankful thoughts to those who invited you. You may or may not know this person/these people IRL.
Healing Assistance (Giving) Dream
In this type of dream you’re being summoned to help someone. They’ll be in a negative state and unable to help themselves. For instance, in some of mine the person’s spirit had left their body and gotten lost (in darkness) and they needed guidance to help their spirit get back “into” their body. Simply stay near their physical body, and call out calmly to their spirit asking them to follow your voice and letting them know everything is okay. Once they “see” their body they’ll automatically merge with it. You may or may not know this person/these people IRL.
Meeting-Someone-In-Your-Dream-(that you don’t know IRL)-and-Then-Meeting-Them-IRL Dream
This happens. I found it quite unsettling when it first happened, because up until that point my dream life had been completely separate (or so I thought) from my waking life. I'd dreamed of symbols, numbers and places usually, and only the odd time about a person I knew IRL. So when it first happened it was like a tear happening in my conscious and subconscious minds at the same time. I'd never heard of anything like this before and I had no idea what was going on.
Rest assured all is well. This is simply one of the ways energy works. Usually you’ll be meeting someone who also has the HSP Trait. For example, I entered a dream where I was giving healing assistance to a small child and before leaving that dream I met the child’s siblings. The next day I saw the child’s siblings IRL. And they recognized me and waved at me. I waved back. Mindbending, I know, but it happens.
Otherworld – Spiritual Dream
In this type of dream you could be meeting beings that we can’t see IRL. They exist on another plane. These types of beings are very intelligent and gentle. It could be an alien, a deity, an archangel, or even The Creator (also known as God, Jesus, The Light, Source, or whatever name you associate with this term). This isn’t to be confused with a negative energy, there are powerful negative energies/beings but they will be violent and/or extremely unhappy, usually represented as demons (black in colour, pointed tails, claws, etc). This type of energy could be a reflection of your own energy, or it could represent the energy of someone you know.
This type of dream can show you prophetic images or clips of something that will happen in the future, either to you, to you and a group of other people, to a large group of people (not including you), or to a land mass or large body of water. I’ve experienced each one of these. For example, I experienced a “knowing”, (a type of dream state consciousness where you're awake but very relaxed), of the Zika virus before it happened, where it would break out, how it would affect the people, the approximate time it would break out and why it broke out.
When you wake up from a dream there may be specific symbols, objects, colours or feelings that stand out for you. Don’t force this. Instead, when you wake up simply ask yourself what you can remember from your dream. Specific things to note are;
- the type of symbol (like coins, an apple, a bike, a tomato),
- colours of symbols or objects,
- your interaction with that symbol or colour,
- and, your feelings about them.
For this type of dream it’s important to note that your higher self is delivering messages to you via objects, numbers or colours.
This type of dream is one where you’re actually awake but have meditated into a state where you’re able to “re-enter” a dream you’ve had in the past in order to seek answers. You have a great deal of control when lucid dreaming and will be able to pull yourself out of this dream at any time. A lot of this depends on how comfortable and at ease you are with meditation.
Practicing meditation on a daily basis, while good for your psychological, emotional and mental health is also good for giving you more focus and control when you decide if and when you’d like to “pop out” of a dream.
If you aren’t familiar with meditation or would like to practice more I invite you to try my 40 Minute Mindful Movement Meditation. This guided meditation specifically works with the chakras and moving energy from the lower chakras to the higher chakras, that is, transforming negative energy into positive energy.
How To Interpret Your Dreams
I’ve found, for the most part, this website to be really helpful – www.dreammoods.com.
Having said this though, it’s important to note that you’re the only one who is best suited to interpret your dreams. What an “apple” symbolizes to me, may not be the same as what it does for you, or what dreammoods notes. So it’s important to keep this in mind.
For example, I had a dream where I was in a house where I entered a bedroom. On one wall of the room hung a confectionary rack full of pepperoni sticks and sharp cheddar cheese slices. These were my Dad's favourite snacks. He passed away a few years ago.
One wall of the room was glass and looked out at the ocean. Apparently I was in a house that was situated on a beach. The sky was a cerulean blue and the water was a clear, light blue/green colour and was calm. I looked back over at the confectionary rack, then back at the glass wall and when I did there was a massive wave, about 50' high, rolling towards me.
In my dream I became anxious when I saw that huge wave, worrying that the glass wall wouldn't hold when the wave hit. Then I had the distinct impression of moving forward quickly towards the wave, and into the base of the wave. Next I was in spirit form and zooming around beneath the water - having a great time investigating coral reefs, fish, turtles, dolphins, sharks, starfish, and winding around the base of pier logs.
When I woke I interpreted the dream as: My Dad's spirit was telling me to dive into my emotions. I'd be learning about projection, triggers, how to re-frame and set boundaries (tools I learned in HSP Discussion Groups) and because I had these tools it was now okay, or safe, to delve into the huge wave of emotions I'd repressed during my life.
I wasn't to just stand there and let the huge wave overcome me, and I wasn't to run away from the wave, I was to run at the wave and dive into the base of it. I had the tools and so was prepared. And when I did there was a whole, beautiful new world to explore.
So for me this dream was a direct message about my emotions and the next steps, healing steps to take. Healing steps I wouldn't have discovered if I hadn't take the journey, learned I had the HSP Trait, and then learned the tools that would help me. You see? There's a reason for everything. It so doesn't feel like it at the time, believe me I know, but there is a reason.
Other important things to take note of in in dreams related to water are;
- What colour is the water of the lake you saw?
- Or was a it a river?
- Or was it a large body of water, like the sea?
- Was it dark blue, light blue, a shade of teal?
- Could you see the bottom of the lake (was the water clear)?
- Were there waves?
- If so, what kind of waves were they? Huge waves, smaller waves?
- Was the water so calm you could see your reflection?
These types of details can give you insight into how you're feeling in your waking life - you could be feeling scared, happy, anxious relaxed, tense or a combination of any number of feelings.
If you were in a vehicle;
- Were you driving the vehicle or was someone else?
- What kind of vehicle was it? A van, a bus, a plane, a truck, a car, a boat?
- What colour was the vehicle?
- Were you alone or were others with you?
- Did the vehicle run well?
- Were you driving down a straight highway, on a winding mountain road, down a jungle river, or were you driving in a congested city?
You may experience dreams where you “feel” as if a loved one who has passed is communicating with you, they could look as they did when they were alive, or their “spirit” could be in an animal. You’ll recognize their energy if they happen to be in animal form. Or, like in the dream I had with the huge wave, I knew my Dad's spirit was 'around' and that he was helping me by guiding me (the pepperoni sticks and sharp cheddar cheese were the big clues).
It’s for this reason that your feelings are important. How were you feeling in your dream? What type of feeling was present when you first woke up?
And perhaps the most important thing to remember after waking is that your dream is simply a vehicle to understanding – yourself and aspects of your Life. The more you can objectively observe yourself and your own feelings in a mindful, nonjudgmental, loving way when you reflect on your dream, the more you’ll be able to discern ways to use your dreams to help you and those you care for.
As always I love to hear from you, what do you notice about your dreams?
Now, I’ve boarded my plane to leave Nicaragua and we’re getting ready for take off. The flight attendant is giving us helpful instructions for our flight. Most of us tune out when this happens, but being prepared is a good idea, so in the spirit of preparedness I’ve noticed there are factors that play a very big role in and on my dream life.
So the next blog post is going to focus on factors that have had and do have a big impact on my dreams and/or states of consciousness.
I've done quite a bit of experimenting and anyone who experiments knows that they need to have in place a set of controls (things that are kept constant) and change only one factor at a time, in order to understand what impact that one factor has.
We’ll call this next blog post “Dreamstate: Staying Balanced and Grounded While Flying”.