If my dreams were removed from my life’s history, I wouldn’t know who I was.
Dreams started shaping my life starting with the first dream I can remember at age 4 or 5. This dream influenced me to feel separate enough from my family to go inside and look for meaning in art and music. http://wagele.com/enneagram5.html In adulthood I began taking some dream classes and drawing my dreams. Getting practice drawing sparked an interest in creating cartoons, which led to trying to produce greeting cards with my friend Renee. The greeting cards didn’t succeed, but we realized there was a need for an accessible introductory Enneagram book just then, so we turned to writing one ourselves, using my drawings for non-verbal learning and to spice it up with humor. “The Enneagram Made Easy” http://wagele.com/easy.html led to several more books and hundreds more cartoons. So in a practical way my dreams created an enjoyable second career for me following the career in music that I started out with.
Here on the left is a part of one of my dream drawings.
There are two other reasons why I love dreams. First, by paying attention to almost every dream I have, and by taking some of them to groups where I can hear what other people have to say about them, I learn things I need to learn about myself, for example to be stronger, to take certain things more seriously, and to look at parts of myself I might be neglecting. As of today I’ve recorded 1710 dreams. Several themes stand out and certain symbols recur. When their meaning becomes clear, many things tumble into place. My dreams have given me major gifts.
Second, studying my dreams and the dreams of those in the dream groups I belong to is a fascinating activity–an interesting glimpse into the psyche. I marvel at my teachers’ gifts at interpreting and intuiting dreams’ symbolism and meaning. It’s interesting to watch the methods my own unconscious mind comes up with “behind my back” to get points across to the me I know myself to be. Dreams trick us into taking them literally, when that’s probably rarely where the real meaning is. So it seems crucial to me to have input from at least 5 or 6 other people to help me get the point.
Would I like to have a career as a dream writer or teacher? If I were as gifted at working with dreams as some of the dream teachers I have worked with I’d consider it. I’m surprised at how many people think dreams are not important, that they’re just the mind’s clutter from the day. I find my dreams to be more intelligent than anything I can come up with in my waking life after I delve into them to figure them out. “The Career Within You” http://www.wagele.com (available December 29, 2009) will probably emphasize dream-related careers in future editions as more people see the importance of our dream life to our psychological health and wholeness.