Though we sleep at night in order to rest and restore ourselves, our minds are often hard at work as we slumber. Dreaming is the state of consciousness in which our minds create stories and images while we sleep. While some people are able to have a measure of control over their dreams — called lucid dreaming — most of us are simply along for the ride. Our dreams can take us through a range of emotions and experiences, from the mundane — we might dream about walking down a street, perhaps, or running through the next day’s to-do list — to the hilarious, sexual or utterly bizarre.
While we may not remember our dreams, those that we do remember often have at least a touch of otherworldliness. Dream reality is quite different from waking reality, and scenarios that make perfect sense within the context of a dream can seem exceedingly peculiar upon waking. But while dreams can seem strange and nonsensical when considered in the light of day, they often hold great truth and insight. We can even think of our dreams as messages from our subconscious minds that reveal psychic perceptions not necessarily based in reason, logic or direct experience.
Thus, paying attention to our dreams can be extremely helpful in heightening both our psychic abilities and our understanding of our inner selves. Keeping a dream journal is a very useful practice — recording any and every remembered detail of a dream upon waking, either in a voice recording or in a blank book that is kept beside the bed for this purpose. Over time, keeping a log of your dreams could reveal very important messages or points of transformation along the path of your life’s journey.
Common Themes in Dreams
Trains are a classic mode of transportation, and many people hold a romanticized view of locomotives. If you dream about a train, you may be fantasizing about making a romantic connection with someone. Train stations can also signify important decisions that are looming over you — which train will you choose, and which direction will you take? If a train or train station shows up in your dream, consider whether there is a choice you need to make about where your life is headed.
Almost everyone has had the classic naked dream — a dream in which you are going about your business, only to look down and realize that you seem to have forgotten your clothes. When you dream about being naked, you might feel shocked and ashamed of your nakedness, or you might feel sexy, proud or powerful. The emotion inspired by your nudity in the dream is key to determining the message coming from your subconscious. You might be working through feelings of fear about how others perceive you, or guilt about something you feel you shouldn’t have done. Alternatively, your dream might be about coming to terms with your own inner power. A positive, powerful dream about being naked can signify that you will win some type of contest or competition. If you dream about swimming naked, it could mean you will enter a forbidden sexual relationship that may not end well.
Dreaming about seeing someone else naked can also signify a variety of meanings: You may be struggling with temptation to act against your own morals or principles, or, if the dream is about spying others swimming in clear water, it could mean you’ll be the object of lots of admiring attention. If you dream of seeing someone swimming naked in cloudy water, however, it could signify that someone is spreading malicious gossip about you.
Since most of us are regularly exposed to celebrities on TV, in films and in magazines, it’s no wonder we often dream about famous people at night. A dream about a certain celebrity might indicate that you are fantasizing about becoming famous, or that you’re longing to pursue your heart’s desire. If you haven’t yet worked up the confidence or the belief in yourself to follow your true ambitions, you might dream about meeting a celebrity, or about being one. In this case, your subconscious mind is encouraging you to move toward your goals. A dream about a certain celebrity might also mean, simply, that you are indulging in a fantasy of connection with a larger-than-life figure whom you find fascinating.
Running dreams are very common, and have a wide variety of possible meanings. If you dream that you are trying to run but you stumble and fall, or that you are running away from a threatening person or situation, it indicates that you’re afraid of losing something important. Dreams like this can also mean you will suffer a blow to your reputation. If you’re running alone in your dream, it could mean you are outgrowing your current friends as you become more focused and successful than they are. Running with companions, on the other hand, indicates a happy state of fun and prosperity in your life. If you dream about seeing others running, it could mean you are worried about a friend who is heading into trouble.
Keys are a symbol of power and the right of entry into life’s elite, exclusive or secret elements. Thus, if you dream that you have lost your keys, it signals that you’re feeling excluded from something you wish to be a part of. It could also signify that you are confused about how to solve a certain puzzle or problem in your life, and you don’t feel confident that you’ll figure it out. If, on the other hand, you dream about finding keys that were previously lost, it means you are feeling an influx of personal power, and conscious of being in charge of your own destiny. Another variation on key dreams is discovering a key that you don’t recognize — one that fits a mysterious, unknown lock. Whether you sense in the dream that the key is important or not, take note: This type of dream signifies that you are searching for ways to expand your own potential, explore a new relationship, or tap into a previously undiscovered talent.