Dreams—Gifts from the Unconscious
By Jagruti Gala
As coaches, one of the most impactful ways to serve our clients is to awaken and enhance their power to dream about their greatest potential. In fact we support many a client to DARE to dream! These are dreams of what’s possible and who they could become, and these are dreams seen when awake, with a conscious intention and directive.
I am equally fascinated and curious about the dreams that visit my clients when they are asleep and in a different zone of consciousness. The dreams that tell of what’s going on and who they are. The dreams that point to what’s missing, what’s hidden, what’s vulnerable and what’s waiting to emerge. The fleeting dreams that come to us, year on year, night after night as guides, healing agents, messengers or cleaners of our psyche.
My fascination with dreams began when for years I had deeply disturbing dreams of my father—whom I greatly respected and completely idolized when I was awake and in my conscious mind. However, from my teens to well into my 35th year, I had a recurring dream of raging and screaming angrily at him. I could not understand and I was too ashamed to speak about it. I experienced a lot of turmoil and self-judgment. Eventually, after I turned 35, those dreams lessened in frequency and to my relief, ultimately stopped.
What I retain is my journey with that theme and its message for me. Thanks to an intensely and naturally compassionate part of me, as ashamed and troubled as I was with the nature of the dream and the rage it expressed, I could also step back with calm countenance, and look at the rage in full colour. Even before I knew about the psyche, or dream analysis or trained as a coach—I instinctively recognized that this dream was about all that was suppressed in this little girl who loved her father and greatly feared him too, who aligned with him and was completely disconnected as well and who had no place to take her unpleasant emotions. This rage formed from being raised in a loving, yet highly authoritarian and restrictive culture, where her individuality and voice was subsumed to the good of the collective.
I recognized that the dreaming was a safe space and way to work through suppressed emotions that would become toxic if they remained in me. This dream made me whole as I acknowledged the inner split, and it increased my compassion toward myself and toward my father. I never gave it voice externally but its visitation helped me to forgive both of us, and our limitations. It helped me to balance the power inequity simply through release, insight and acceptance. As my inner child healed the dreams faded.
This is just one among several of my dreams that occur as recurring themes or singular experiences. Some of them stay crystal clear for years and more than most are not even a memory! Whether I recall my dreams or not, whether I can work with them or not, I have stupendous faith in their purpose and what they serve for me just by coming each night. I love it that I dream and I try to remember as much as I can!
Now that I am a trained coach, diving into the dream phenomenon and making meaning is even richer. Dreams have physiological and psychological aspects. The latter are more meaningful for our work as coaches. Here are a few insights I have around dreams:
- Dreams are gifts from our unconscious, which loves us deeply and supports us to claim our wholeness through dreams
- Dreams contain the rejected and disowned aspects of ourselves and each character in the dream is a part of yourself
- Dreams are the place where our parts have permission to speak fully
- Dreams are an open pathway toward our true thoughts and emotions where we can break through the barriers of our daily waking life
- Dreams have a range of frequency—from those which help us to sort through and process the day’s events to those that are a premonition of the future, spiritual dreams where we receive guidance and lucid dreams where we are in charge of the narrative
- Dreams have a language—of symbols and metaphor and yield powerful data on decoding
While dreams are difficult to recall and dream science is in its nascent stages, dreams are definitely a treasure trove of information and potential for healing and inner growth, with a special focus on working with parts that are very difficult to access.
As a coach, I trust my clients to be able to make sense of their dreams given some support and space. I trust them to move beyond a nervous or embarrassed dismissal, ‘You know last night I had this weird dream!’, to a place of taking that weirdness seriously and diving deep to unlock its treasure. I trust them to do more than just interpret the dream…I trust that they will experience a sacred and healing connection with the depths of their whole being—a large part of which is available in the dream state.
I will close with a quote I love: “I find out a lot about myself by sleeping. Dreams, they are who I am when I’m too tired to be me.” —Jarod Kintz
About the author:
Jagruti Gala’s central focus over the past decade has been to bring change into the world of children (new consciousness) through educational spaces and family life. She is the founder and active director of two non-profit organizations in the space of education in India. Jagruti’s deep spiritual core is brought to life in her energetic coaching style. She is known for holding and creating clarity – situational and conceptual. She is also versatile and creative in designing and approaching the topic.