Archive | Sample Dreams

Recurring Dream With Wild Cats On My Path

I received this dream from a life-long friend.

I’m traversing a path. Sometimes it’s indoors. Sometimes it’s outdoors. It’s not familiar, but I don’t feel uneasy about that.  What’s unsettling is that it is populated with wild cats – tigers, cougars, etc. – miniature in size, but not cubs. I’m on some sort of rolling cart and riding with me are 2 of these cats, one of which is gnawing on my right arm, but not breaking the skin. My feeling is to continue on, but I’m trying to remain very still.  When I wake up I’m not upset – just stuck be the fact that I’ve had this same dream twice.
The best way to approach a dream like this is to go symbol by symbol, and go straight to universal meaning of the stories that the symbols are telling us.

You start on a path.  A path in a dream is essentially your private journey in life.  More specifically, it is the journey of your life that is outside of the consideration of the people who join you on your path (family, etc.).   You say that sometimes it’s indoors and other times out, which means that this is the path of your life in both your interior, personal experiences as well as your social experiences.  But because you are alone in the dream, we are looking at your private journey.

You tell us in your description that you are not feeling uneasy, even though you are facing the unknown.  This gives us a bit of info.  It tells us that a change is afoot (which we also know because the dream recurs).  It also lets us know that it manageable enough to leave you feeling relatively at ease.

Animals connect to instincts.  Often, they appear in a dream to remind us of the instinctual nature that we have access to.  The dream may be telling you to tap into this energy as an asset.  On the other hand, it could be your unconscious indicating for you to not over compensate and cause destructive behavior.  The sensations of the dream and the process of ruminating over it will bring the insight you seek.

In this dream specifically, this energy is trying to get your attention with a gnawing gesture.  Have you ever noticed the word gnawing related to a thought – something gnawing on your mind?  Things to tend to “gnaw on us” till eventually, we are forced to take action.  Whatever it is, it has not broken the skin and perhaps has no intention of harming you, but something wants your attention.

The realm of unconditional love is well expressed by dogs and cats.  We have brought them into our world to respond to us with complete and utter love.  Dogs represent the masculine principle and the realm of the feminine is ruled by cats.  The Divine Feminine relates to the power of creativity, receptivity, and the ability to nurture and bring new expression into the world.

These cats are mature, yet small in size.  So these are not instincts that are new to you.  In fact, these are cats that might look like cubs, but are no longer young.  Something to ask yourself is could this dream also connect to managing your waking-life role as a mother?

The arm that’s being gnawed on is the right, which is the masculine side.  You are aware that you are not in danger and you recognize that stillness is your best posture (stillness is the feminine principle).  Whatever associations you make with this dream as it relates to your current life, ask yourself where might you be tempted to take action, and then don’t.  Here is the fortune cookie version: “You are stepping into more power.  This is part of who you are: Value stillness over action.”

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An Airplane Dream – Rapid Transformation & Change

Katie was a guest on my web series show, Perchance To Dream (on Facebook as Perchance To Dream or at  She recently sent me this dream and asked for some input, so I decided to share it with all of you as well.  Here’s what she had to say:

“In last night’s dream, I was in the front area of an airplane full of passenger that had just come into land.  It was night time and for some reason the landing was diverted so we were landing in a field, but it still had a runway on the grass with landing lights along the side.  It was bumpy as we went over tufts of grass and I remember looking out of the cockpit window.  I wasn’t scared but some of the passengers were. The pilot was my sister’s husband who is an airline pilot in waking life.”

Airplane dreams are fairly common.  In order to understand them, it is best to go the use or essence of the symbol itself.  Airplanes take us from one place to another in an extraordinarily short amount of time.  In this way, they relate to sudden shifts in awareness or transformations that completely alter the landscapes of our lives.

As is the case with most dreams that feature airplanes, there is usually some sort of obstacle, such as a crash or monumental delay.  It is the obstacles themselves that reveal the theme of these dreams.  They represent the process of change and transformation that is both rapid and halting: the rapidity is symbolized by the plane and the halting nature is embodied by whatever obstacle is present in the dream.

In the case of Katie’s dream, we have an unexpected landing sight into a field somewhere.  The grassy field is in direct opposition to the metal and concrete mechanizations of an airport.  In this way, perhaps the tufts of grass and the wide open natural space suggests that Katie would rather be restful and in the ease of nature than attend to the business at hand.  This may not be a bad thing or indicate avoidance; after all, this particular field is equipped with landing lights and a runway, suggesting that this alternative landing sight may be in the natural turn of events.

What is most interesting to me is the word “diverted” in her description of the dream.  To divert is to turn aside from an intended destination, but it also has a secondary meaning which relates to seeking pleasure for the purpose of distracting the attention from that which burdens or distresses a person.

That the dreamer is in the cockpit and is calm suggests that there is a great deal of confident choice in this diversion.  The frightened passengers represent various thoughts of fear and confusion in this process.  The real juicy information is to be garnered from the qualities of the brother-in-law, for it is he that is captaining this current choice.  Remember, he is but a symbol of the part of Katie’s personality that is suggesting a momentary diversion to a more natural landscape for the time being.

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Why can’t I get to work in my dream?

This posting comes right off of the Perchance To Dream page on facebook; if you haven’t checked that out, please do so.  It’s a great community resource for sharing dreams and receiving interpretations from me!

Here’s what the dreamer had to say:

In my dream I am trying to get to work, but as I park my car in the lot, the back of the hospital becomes the back of a big mall. And then I try an alternate route and I am in what looks like the Engineering Room of the hospital, and I keep asking which elevator will get me to the nursing office. When I take their advice, I get off the elevator, I am in the lobby of a big hotel. And I know that the stairs won’t get me to the hospital from the mezzanine. I am late for work, and all the other routes don’t get me there. If I wake up and go back to sleep, I am still in this scenario. I have this dream at least four times over periods of time, even after I retired three years ago.

And here’s my response:

I’m thinking that even though you’ve retired, the fact that you’re trying to get to work in the dream may connect to anything in your life that you feel responsible for or obligated toward. You can personally further the interpretation of this symbol by adding your personal sense of how you felt about work and working.  Since this dream recurs and comes in bunches, it is likely sparked by moments when you feel like your responsibilities are overwhelming and difficult to conquer.

So, let’s look at each of the apparent obstacles. The back of a mall – again, your personal associations with malls and shopping should play a big part of how you interpret this obstacle. Certainly the idea of being able to spend money, shop and provide yourself with the distraction of material things and general escapism may be reflected in this image.

Next you find yourself in an engineering room. You’re closer now because you’re actually IN the hospital. And where you are is in the bowels of how things work – the mechanism of operations. Perhaps this is an attempt at getting to the center of your responsibilities by going directly to the source of where the power is (engineering room will connect to power supplies, the people who “fix” things, etc.). They even provide guidance and directions.  However, you still don’t get to where you’re going.

A hotel connects to one’s sense of self as any home represents the self. However, it is a temporary sense of self since they are transient. Perhaps the temporary sense of self that the hotel represents connects to who you are having to be in the world for different people – the needs you feel you must meet for others and not necessarily for yourself.

The bottom line about this dream is it is a good way for your psyche to relieve some of your stress so you can wake up the next day and face it all over again!!

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Hunted by wolves in the forest in my dream.

I thought I would share this dream which came in through the Facebook page “Perchance To Dream.”  Join us there if you are so inclined!

Here’s what our dreamer had to say:  I have had a very similar dream twice in the last week. I am in some kind of forest with my brother (who I have always been very close to but don’t see much since we live far apart). It’s night time and we are hiding from some kind of dangerous creatures which are out to get me, I get the feeling of wolves or something similar. We end up hiding in a small shack or cabin but I am desperate to find a way out because I know my children are somewhere in the forest.

I would love to know what that could mean!

And my reply:  Forests are part of the land, which means they represent areas of the conscious mind (as opposed to the ocean which represents the unconscious). However, the density of trees makes this dream relate to thought patterns which are deeply buried and hard to discern. This is basically a dream about Shadow material (the unwanted, disowned parts of the self).

That you are with your beloved brother probably connects this dream with ways in which you operate in the world that connect to your family of origin; patterns that you and your brother might share. He also would represent the part of your own personality that most resonates with ways he operates in the world that you might consider helpful assets.

The dangerous creatures are typical fear-based symbols that plague all of us human beings (fear, doubt, rage, hurt, loss, etc.). Wolves in particular are mysterious creatures of the night, further relating this dream to Shadow material.

Wolves are also sometimes connected to the feminine principle (they howl at the Moon and are sometimes known to offer mothering to wayward foundlings!). And since your own children feature prominently in this dream, I wouldn’t be surprised if what is being expressed by this dream doesn’t connect to the way in which you were mothered and the way in which you, in turn, mother your children.

The small shack or cabin represents your sense of self (houses = sense of self) that is small and diminished when you are facing some of your deeper fears.

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I’m sitting on the toilet outside my apartment!

This dream was sent to me last week:

“I had a strange dream last night. I dreamt that I was sitting on the toilet outside my apartment, and a man walked by and started talking to me. I wanted to move the toilet inside, but couldn’t… I didn’t want to get up while he was there. I’ve never had a dream where I was on the toilet before!!”

In the western world, toilet training is one of the most intense early experiences in a young person’s life.  There is an enormous amount of attention paid to the process of attempting to get a toddler to make their business in the toilet.  From making it fun and creative, to frustrated haranguing, the trials and tribulations of toilet training are challenging for everyone involved – especially the child.  However, once we are successful at this endeavor, we get to do one very powerful thing:  We get to close the door.

Thus is born our very first sense of privacy and individuation.  There may be a long time span between pooping in the pot and closing the door (years in some cases), but the powerful energy around the bathroom as a symbol is unmistakable.  Sitting on the toilet connects to our very private sense of self, completely separate from all other individuals and environments in our life.

This dream, therefore, connects to the dreamer’s need and desire to have a sense of privacy and individuation which is somehow being challenged in her current life.  She is located directly outside of her home, which means this dream is very personal.  Her apartment represents her sense of self, but being trapped outside of that space indicates a level of vulnerability connected with this moment of exposure.

The deeper shade of meaning in the interpretation of this dream connects to the identify of the man who talks to her while she is sitting on the porcelain throne.  I needed more information, so I sent a note and asked what she could remember about the man.  Here is her reply:

“I remember thinking that he was my neighbor’s friend, who I don’t know but had seen earlier that evening (in reality) when I went outside and he was locking up his bike…..and come to think of it, even though we said hi to each other, I was irritated because he locked his bike to the sprinklers which happen to be under my window. I didn’t say anything about it, but I didn’t like that he locked his bike there, I guess it felt a bit invasive to me. Hmmmm…….interesting.”

Interesting indeed!  So, is the dream about her neighbor’s friend invading her space or some inner aspect of herself that has some trouble with boundaries?  The answer is, of course, both are accurate interpretations.  Perhaps the waking-life event (someone invading her space where she was unable to control the situation and set a boundary) sparked some unconscious level of resistance where an issue of setting boundaries may be leading her to feel invaded and exposed.

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Avalanches and landslides in your dreams!

Someone shared a dream image with me yesterday; he wanted to know what meaning I would attribute to an avalanche.  It took several days for us to finally reach each other by phone, and by the time we spoke voice to voice, he had forgotten most of the dream.  But he was still curious about what I would say about an avalanche.  I began to go on about water and frozen states of emotional blah blah blah when he interrupted me and reminded me that he had told me that the avalanche was formed of sand (which he had said, but I missed that detail).  So, I switched gears and began talking about land as consciousness and higher states blah blah blah.

When I woke up this morning, I thought that since there were a number of dream symbol “basics” that this discussion illuminated, I figured it would make a good blog entry.

Our planet is divided into land and sea.  Our mind is divided into consciousness and the unconscious.  Land represents what we are conscious of and the ocean is the realm of the deep unconscious.  Masses of terra firma that reach higher into the atmosphere represent higher levels of conscious awareness.  This is due primarily to the notion of the vantage point that elevation brings with it.  The higher you go, the more you can see.  Of course, this comes with a price; the higher you go, the further you can fall.

One important point that my friend reported in the dream was that he was safe from the dangerous event; he watched it from a distance.  The sand-like avalanche was more of a landslide and probably connects to a vantage point that may have been interesting for him to consider, but one that was, ultimately, not safe to traverse.  And he got out just in time.  I asked him to consider things in life right now that may have followed this course of action – the desire to see certain possibilities that he chose NOT to pursue that might have been in his best interests in the long run.  The sand implies that something that may have appeared to have had some grounded strength was actually flimsy and lacking in foundation.  The net result was that the entire structure fell in dramatic fashion and he was gratefully out of harm’s way when it did.

Since the original image was described as an avalanche, I decided to include some thoughts about that here.  Anything related to water is representative of our emotional selves.  Water that has formed into ice is likely to be connected to emotional matters that we have frozen ourselves off from.  A large snow pack might be symbolic of years of accumulated emotional baggage that is considered far away enough to be a non-issue.  However, if something stimulates this old, hardened snow-pack (think emotional patterns that don’t really serve or nurture us) it may become dislodged.  It will then drop down from the upper realms of our awareness to exactly where we are in our consciousness and sweep away the current landscape in one fell swoop and destroy us in the process.  The moral here is: If we don’t melt our hardened hearts every once in a while, what will we use to quench our thirst for love?

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I broke into a warehouse and forced the worker’s to watch Shakespeare!

So I saw this post on facebook from Brett.

“I dreamt the other night that Derek Medina and I broke into a warehouse with masks and pistols. We took over the place and forced the workers, at gunpoint, to watch an educational Shakespeare show.”

In a post, I said to Brett that if he told me who Derek Medina was, that I’d be happy to interpret his dream on my blog.  I got this reply:

“Awesome! Derek is my longtime performing and fight-directing collaborator.”

Of course, I need a little more information about Derek.  In the principle that all inhabitants of a dream are actually character aspects of the dreamer, I asked Brett to give me three adjectives that describe him.  The three he shared with me were “straightforward,” “spiritual,” and “free-spirited.”

A few things to know about this dreamer.  He is an accomplished and talented actor who has an expertise in Shakespeare.  And since Derek is a collaborator in this arena, we have a lot of information available as to what part of Brett’s life is being examined in this dream; this is a dream about his current relationship to his artistic life as an actor.  It is also likely exhibiting elements of the struggle around this part of his life as the character aspect he has with him in the dream is the person who helps him with combat choreography.  It’s a dream about the fighting aspect of being an actor.

The setting of the warehouse tells us that we are in a part of Brett’s psyche that is off the beaten track of his every day thoughts and actions.  A warehouse is not only a storage facility (old thoughts and ideas) it is also a redistribution center where objects are stored until they can be shipped off to another location where they will be utilized more effectively – perhaps in this dream, what is being stored in the warehouse of the mind might be pent up creative energy.

The masks and gunpoint are fascinating details.  Both connect to the persona; the part of the psyche that deals with how you show up in the world and how you are seen by others.  Something about this moment makes Brett feel he must hide his true intent and/or feelings (mask) and that he must be prepared to increase his perceived power with enormous intensity (the guns).

The resource he brings with him in the guise of Derek, long time performing and fight-directing collaborator, tells us that whatever the waking-life situations are that are triggering this dream, they inspire the dreamer to have at the ready a more straight-forward approach to current challenges, but to also be prepared to be more free-spirited and spiritual at the same time.  He may need to fight for something he believes in, but the fight had better be well planned and, ultimately, more of a dance than an actual brawl.

We round out the interpretation by virtue of the final scene.  With criminal intent, Brett and Derek break into this warehouse and descend upon the innocent workers unawares,  flashing their guns and order them to, what?  Watch an educational Shakespeare show.  Sounds a little anti-climactic to me, but it’s not my dream.  Only the dreamer can provide the meaning for this salient part of the dream.  But clearly it connects to some effort to balance the polarities of force (break-in) and surrender (Derek, the character aspect of light-heartedness), aggression (fighting) and assertiveness (fight choreography) being stuck (the warehouse) and being creative (the Shakespeare show). 

The question that this dream leaves me for the dreamer is, “what do you need to do right now in your life to feel more creatively fulfilled.

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I can’t think of a title, but this is a great dream!

This spectacular dream came my way through Facebook:

“I’m driving…notice a man walking high above me on a platform above a train on a mountain peak. I think what a wonderful vantage point he must have. Then he begins running, full clip, briefcase in hand, he propels himself off the end of the platform falling stories to his death.  I must find him and begin driving toward the peak.  But my vision is blurred, tears?”

We know by the first line of the dream description that we’re looking at this dreamer’s sense of movement through her life (see Driving post below).  The very next line tells us something else about this dream that is very significant; it is an Animus dream.

The Jungian concept of Anima/Animus is perhaps one of the most significant in dreaming.  It is based on the idea that inside every woman is a masculine archetype (Animus) and inside every man is a feminine archetype (Anima).  This inner aspect of the opposite sex is a crucial part of any individual’s journey of integration.  Jung used to say that the Anima/Animus stands at the doorway of your soul, beckoning to you, “come this way for your sense of wholeness.”  In a very simplistic fashion, every man must learn to be more receptive and creative and every woman must learn to be more assertive and productive.  When this balance is achieved, a stronger sense of wholeness comes with it.

In the case of this dreamer, her Animus is above her and indeed has a higher vantage point; meaning that this part of her inner self is the part of her that can see much further into consciousness than her pedestrian, waking sense of self.  So what we know here is that this mysterious part of her own soul (her Animus) is making himself very known to her and she is responding in a very positive way.  She is, in fact, very excited about what this vantage point might offer her, which we know by her language describing the view he must have as “wonderful.”

He runs off, taking his briefcase with him.  We don’t necessarily know where he is running, but it is the Animus’ job to get our attention.  Now that he has it, he beckons her to the next step in her journey by running down the platform.  And since a briefcase represent information that we carry with his, we also know that this character aspect has something interesting for the dreamer to learn and he has it with him in a form that could be easily handed to her (the briefcase), whenever she manages to catch up with him.

What happens next is fascinating – the Animus jumps off the platform and the dreamer assumes it is a jump to his death.  However, she feels compelled to find him.  If he’s dead, then why would she bother?  Of course, this is because the man is not in fact dead, because death is simply a symbol of rebirth.  Some element of this dreamer’s psyche is being sacrificed so that she can move on to the next level of her own development.  And the journey to that destination is the heroine’s journey she as compelled to take – in this dream it is described as the need to find him.

The hero/heroine journey is the same for all of us.  We are forced to take a journey to find some important thing.  Sometimes we know what it is, sometimes not.  In any case, we must leave home to search and attempt to return successful.  Think Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

So, our dreamer begins this journey by driving toward the peak.  So the dream starts with driving and end with driving.  Only the content of the dream has irrevocably changed her direction toward the highest point available to her at this point in her life, represented by the mountain peak.  She is absolutely headed in the right direction, even though her exact course may be hindered by the emotions evoked by loss and fear of change that this new direction is creating.

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Why Do I Dream Of My Teeth Falling Out?

A friend just posted something on my facebook page about a dream he had.  In the dream, his teeth were being pulled out, though it didn’t hurt and he noticed that his teeth were very large.  It reminded me that this dream image, while not necessarily in the top five (falling, flying, being chased and being stuck) is absolutely universal and for those who have it, it can be very, very disturbing.  This was one of the most prominent recurring dreams of my own throughout my twenties and into my early thirties, so I’ve given this one a good deal of thought and here’s what I’ve come up with.

Teeth do three things for us.  Firstly, they help us nourish ourselves by preparing our food for digestion.  In fact, in order to truly benefit from anything we take into our bodies, our teeth must work effectively.  Secondly, we learn how to attract love by revealing them in a smile.  Try it sometime; it works!  Thirdly, we protect ourselves with aggression by revealing them in a snarl.

So: nourishment, love and protection.  Without these three key ingredient’s our sense of security would be seriously eroded.  In this way, security itself is the essential meaning of any dream that connects to losing teeth.  The context of the dream, what I call the Dreaming Lens, can offer you insight to deepen this generalized, universal interpretation.  Please feel free to share with me your dreams of losing your teeth and together, we’ll try to build back a sense of feeling secure: loved, protected and nourished!

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My nephew dreamed of exploring a mansion

My nephew Zachary is about to go off to college this fall.  Both he and his sister Sarah have been sharing their dreams with me since they were little.  This one seemed worth sharing with you all because it illustrates one of the primary tenets of dream symbolism (houses as self).  In addition, the timing of the dream and the context of some of the details in it connect so obviously with the journey of a young man leaving home and facing the college experience, it is a good example of how exploring a dream can reveal what the unconscious wants you to know.

There are so many rich symbols in this dream worth exploring.  For the sake of this article however, I am going to limit my interpretation to just one theme – otherwise it would be the length of a short term paper!  Here is his email to me:

Hey Uncle Mike,

I had a question about a [possibly reoccurring] dream. We have a family friend who is a doctor and lives a few towns away.  They live on some 14+ acres with a house that is nice but not excessive in size or decoration.

I remember having a dream a couple months back about a house (more like a mansion) that would be found in a place like Tuxedo Park (wealthy town in New York State). In the dream the house belongs to this family friend. Throughout this dream, I remember exploring and finding different hidden staircases and such around the house.  I only remember a few places in this house. One is a huge library (in which I’m never on the ground floor, I’m on some kind of balcony that runs the perimeter of the room with no staircase to the ground floor). One is an outside corner of the house (grey/tan stone, green grass and old windows: think old stone mansion). And the last is a large basement that looks like it could be on the back end of a cruise ship. Huge open space and a pool table are what come to mind right now (blue, green, gold, chrome and a bit of blue are the colors I remember. I remember running around this house a finding staircases going from the basement to the library or other places.

Last night I had a different version of this dream I guess. Same library same house but the basement was different. The basement was 2 floors instead of 1 and was completely empty. The walls were exposed cinderblock and the floors were empty. There was paint on the floor at the base of the walls but it wasn’t spilled. It looked like someone had tried to paint the floors with a paint roller but only did the edges of the room in like random strokes. This time I used the main staircase to get into the basement (but I still do not know how I got to those stairs). When I reached the lower level of the basement I noticed that there was water entering the basement. It wasn’t rising fast or dangerously but I know I thought it was because I remember feeling frightened and started heading for the staircase that led to the library. Next thing I know I’m in the library.

I know that in both of these dreams I was not exploring alone. I never saw who I was with but I knew someone or multiple people were with me. I did see other people in the dream though I can’t remember who I saw.

I’m not exactly sure what to make of this but I figured it would be worth asking you.

Please let me know what you think,


Houses in dreams connect to our sense of self.  This idea of being in a mansion in your dreams is a common experience and relates to the way in which our sense of who we are gets bigger and bigger as we move through life.  Exploring a mansion in your dream life is a sure sign that your sense of self is expanding in a very positive way and is a natural place for you to be in this year of your life where you put the chapter of childhood behind you and go off into the beginning of your life as an adult.

Libraries are filled with books and connect to the availability of knowledge and information.  I am fairly certain that this image is coming up for you because of the imminent change in your life that going to college represents; you are about to embark upon a journey where the symbolic library of your inner self will need to be accessible and utilizable.  Being stuck on the second floor with no apparent access to the rest of the house could indicate some fears around how difficult it might be to connect to your intellectual prowess and still manage to stay grounded in the rest of you.

The basement connects to what is down below the consciousness of our psyche.  Not so deep that you can’t access it, but below the surface of your day to day experience of yourself.  In the first dream, it is interesting to me that the basement has a lot of images that represent leisure time activities – a pool table, a cruise ship.  In the second, more recent dream (which I don’t need to point out is coming at a point when you are just weeks away from going to college) the basement reflects a level of being unfinished and sloppily attended to.  Additionally, it goes down to a deeper level of your consciousness (2 floors instead of 1).  The closer you get to the responsibilities to come, the more your unconscious is expressing the fears of not being quite ready.  The slow rising water might be the emotional expression of these fears; not overwhelming, but clearly there.  This is a good thing and is, in fact, necessary for you to face what is on its way to you with courage and fortitude.

You are not alone in the dream.  And you are not alone in your life.  Both as a symbolic expression of the aspects of yourself that you have to call upon (your innate intelligence, your desire to please, your willingness to push through difficult circumstances) and as the people in your life that will be there to support you that you haven’t even met yet – the new friends you will meet at school.

As you have more dreams like this (and I think you will likely have more) use them to understand how your journey is evolving.

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