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    Dream Classifications

    Excerpted from
    I Had the Strangest Dream...: The Dreamer's Dictionary for the 21st Century
    By Kelly Sullivan Walden

    Dreams are therapeutic, cathartic, predictive, cleansing, healing, inspiring, and enable rebuilding and processing. In order to make sense of these multifaceted, multipurposed, multilayered, and multiplatinum gifts that you awaken with each morning, it is helpful to know how to categorize them. There are telltale signs within each dream classification to help you discern whether they are helping you to process information, release negativity, embrace your shadow, break through limitations, predict the future, receive inspiration from your higher self, or create a life of your dreams. To simplify this process, the eight types of dreams can be divided into two major categories: past and future.

    Dreams that deal with your past are about clearing the clutter of your mind by removing negativity, fear, and overwhelm. Dreams dealing with the past include: processing dreams, venting dreams, integration dreams, breakdown/ breakthrough dreams, and recurring dreams

    Dreams that deal with your future assist you by giving you solutions, preparing you for and inspiring you toward a brighter future and the creation of your heart's and soul's desires. Dreams dealing with the future include: precognitive dreams, prophetic dreams, wish fulfillment dreams, and recurring dreams. (The only type of dream that deals with both the past and the future is the recurring dream.)

    The following descriptions of these eight dream categories and dreamtime characters will help you organize and make sense of your dreams.

    Processing Dreams (aka "Personal Assistant")

    Imagine that you have an after-hours Personal Assistant whose job is to render spotless the messy office of your mind every night while you're asleep. Your Personal Assistant gets out the DustBuster and cleans up the clutter, files important documents, discards irrelevant scraps, and helps find solutions and ideas for questions that were posed throughout the day. Is it any wonder that when people are unsure about a decision they say "Let me sleep on it... I'll let you know in the morning."

    Michelle had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. When the doctor asked her what the baby's name was, Michelle's mind was a blank. "How can I possibly know my baby's name when I just met her. I have about twenty names on a list, but I was hoping that my baby would somehow let me know what she wanted to be called." That night Michelle went to sleep asking the question "What is your name?"

    Michelle's Processing Dream

    There was a happy little girl swinging on a swing set. Off in the distance, I heard a woman (the little girl's mother) call out to her, "Noel. It's time to go home, Noel!" The little girl jumped off the swing, smiled at me, and ran off toward her mother.

    Michelle awoke the next morning to the sound of her newborn baby crying. As she rocked her in her arms, she whispered, "Hi, Noel." The baby quieted down and smiled. Michelle's processing dream helped her to pick the name for her daughter. And you've never met a little girl with a name more perfectly suited to her.

    The Personal Assistant looks at your questions and loose ends from the day's events and works the night shift until there is clarity. You may have gone to sleep confused, weary, and overwhelmed, but because of your processing dreams (your Personal Assistant), you awaken the next morning to a mental space that is spick and span, so you are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally prepared to take on the day.

    When: Processing dreams usually take place during the first two hours of sleep.

    Telltale Signs of a Processing Dream: You dream about unresolved issues in your day-to-day life, and the content is filled with people you are currently interacting with and/or situations you are working on.

    Suggestions: fake note of the guidance and clarity you've gleaned and turn it into action (e.g., "I'll call Bill about helping me with the PowerPoint presentation!"). If you are irritated with the extensiveness of your processing dreams, try writing an inventory of the day's events before you go to sleep. This will help the Personal Assistant to get you organized and make it easier to transition into a deeper more restful sleep.

    Mantra: "Let me sleep on it."

    Venting Dreams (aka "Pool Man ")

    Venting dreams are nightmares that, in spite of being traumatic, are extremely helpful and therapeutic. They represent your subconscious mind's attempt to assist you with the process of cleaning out the old in order to make room for the new. They usually occur as nightmares or frightmares; anxiety dreams that leave you shaken up. They are showing you what you are ready to release. Think of venting dreams as the energetic Pool Man whose area of expertise is sweeping the floor of your emotional pool. The Pool Man stirs up your greatest fears, resentments, and unresolved wounds that have been lurking at the bottom of your pool. Once all of this nonsupportive energy surfaces, it can then be skimmed away so that you can have a nice, clean, refreshing emotional pool in which to swim.

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