#SWAAYthenarrative
BETA
Close

What Do Dreams Tell Us About Obstacles And Opportunities In Our Waking Lives?

Lifestyle

Between deadlines, international travel, speaking engagements, and conference calls, Wendy Lewis, the President of WLCO beauty, an aesthetic marketing firm in New York City, doesn’t get a whole lot of sleep. When she does sleep, however, she often has the same dreams. “One is that I am lost and running endlessly in circles,” she says. “Sometimes I am cold in this dream because I am not wearing a coat.”


Liza Boyd Benson, managing director of a venture capital firm in New York City, also experiences recurring dreams. “I am always late for class or missed an exam,” she shares.

“These are very common dreams,” explains Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, a dream intuitive in Rensselaerville, NY, and the former dream consultant for People Country Magazine. She specializes in dream interpretation, symbolism and dream incubation—which can help harness the power of dreams and dreaming to overcome professional or personal hurdles.

Let’s take the dream of being left out in the cold without a jacket, she says. “This is a position that female executives often find themselves in during their waking life because of the old boy’s network,” she says. The coat—or lack thereof—likely symbolizes the absence of protection and warmth. “Female executives may find themselves under extreme pressure to perform and to perform better than their male counterparts which is why dreams of running around in endless circles may occur.”

There are multiple ways to interpret some common dreams such as being late for a class or missing an entire semester and then showing up on exam day. Some say these dreams undermine confidence, while others suggest they may do the opposite. “These dreams probably started back in school when you were worried about grades or attendance, but it became associated with emotional stress which is why it tends to recur in your adult life,” says Scardamalia.

The real question is how does this dream make you feel? “If when you wake, you feel better because you clearly didn’t miss class and know deep inside you would never miss a class, it can serve as an affirmation,” Scardamalia says. If, however, you wake and your heart is pounding and adrenalin is surging, it is because, on an emotional level, you are worried about falling short, she says.

Dreams are highly personal which is why the best dream dictionary is your dream journal.

Water, water everywhere

Briana MacWilliam is an author, educator, creative arts therapist, Rieki practitioner and an avid dreamer. She also runs an online school for continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists in New York State called CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com.

Water is an overarching theme in her dreams and always has been. “Frequently I am on the ocean or beach, but sometimes I am anticipating a tidal wave. I usually survive it,” she shares. “One time I was in the ocean on a boat, and a storm whipped up, almost like a tornado, and it tried to suck me off the boat, but I clung to the mast,” she says. “And then a figure appeared and told me the solution would be to let go. So I did, and I woke up.” Other water dreams involve her floating just above a black pool of water and cautiously dipping a toe into the darkness. “The water is warm, but I’m absolutely terrified of it.”

“Water has to do with emotions, and emotions are something that women may worry about leaving behind when they step into high power, high responsibility positions,” she tells SWAAY.

So what would dreaming about water mean? “These dreams come to tell us that we may think we left our emotions behind, but they are coming back like a tidal wave.”

This means different things for different women. “The tsunami is coming, but the question to ask is where and why,” Scardamalia explains. “It may not be the job. It could be a personal situation that has been shoved in the background,” she says. The bottom line? “Somewhere in your waking life, there is an emotional overwhelm and if you don’t do something about it you are going to drown.”

Snakes often slither into MacWilliam’s dreams. Snakes mean different things based on the dreamer and how they feel about them, Scardamalia says. “Symbolism is very personal,” she says. “The best dream diary you will ever have is your journal.” Look back and see when and how the snake appears to get a better idea of what it portends.

Harnessing the power of your dreams

You are not powerless, Scardamalia says. There are many ways to get to the bottom of the dreams that haunt or inspire you.

Journal

“Write with your dominant hand as yourself and then use the non-dominant hand as the dream to create a dialogue,” she says. “Have a conversation with the wave and say, ‘Where are you coming from? Why are you threatening me? What am I not seeing?’” This exercise has proven telling for many people, she says. It can also help us find closure from a bad dream. “We often wake up before we finish the dream and this will help us find the gift in the dream.”

Dreaming of people who have passed away is common. The meaning depends on the dream, the context, the emotion around it. “That said, my experience and that of other dreamers and dream teachers is that the dead come to visit, to bring us resolution to a relationship, to offer advice, assurance, love. Even if someone does not believe in a soul or life after death, the visits of the dead often offer healing and comfort,” she says. This is another scenario where journaling may help get at the true meaning.

Ask

If there is a question you have in your waking life and would like to dream about it, “write a question and place it under your pillow,” she says. "Make your question as clear as possible and allow yourself to fall asleep thinking about it.” This is known as incubating a dream. Be patient. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again in a few weeks.

Join a dream circle

Conscious dream work. There are basically two kinds of dreams, unconscious and conscious dreams. Scardamalia often runs group dream circles for female CEOS and executives to help teams develop a common vision. “This is a deeper, more magical way of building a dream around a vision,” she says. This group exercise involves a dream worker such as Scardamalia who plays a single-headed frame drum as she leads participants on a journey to common vision. “We set it up based on what the group needs such as the next image for marketing materials or how they see the company evolving.”

Look for the pun

“When I first opened my business, I kept having this random dream that all my former bosses were chasing me for some reason,” says Megan Driscoll, CEO of EvolveMKD, a New York City-based PR and marketing firm. “It was jarring at first, but then became kind of funny and I’d go to bed each night psyching myself up to outrun them.” This dream may be “punning” with the dreamer, says Scardamalia. “It’s the idea of out-running her competition (i.e., her former bosses) and may mean that she feels the need to do better than former employers, be smarter, more forward-thinking, and faster and going to bed at night psyching herself up to outrun them; it probably helped her motivate.”

The Iroquois Indians say we dream everything before it happens so if you are paying attention to your dreams, you can get a heads up and be prepared for what is coming There are multiple reports of people who dreamed about 9-11-2001 before it happened, she says. “Pay attention to your dreams as there is no area of your life that you can’t use dreams to get unstuck or move forward,” she says.

Scardamalia recommends these books for those interested in learning more about dreams and dreaming.

The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant

All About Dreams by Gayle Delayney

Man and His Symbols by Carl G. Jung

Conscious Dreaming by Robert Moss

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker

The Tower in the Woods: Dreaming Your Creativity Awake by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia

Our newsletter that womansplains the week
5min read
Featured

The G-spot Exists Even When Junk Science Tries To Con Women Into Thinking It Doesn’t

Yes, there is a G-spot. Of course there's a G-spot. There's always been a G-spot. And while we're on the subject, it's not a spot. It's not a little button or dot. It's an area. While we're on the subject, we really should rename it all together. A man “discovered it." Uh, huh. And he named it after himself. Of course. But I digress. The point is, the G-spot very much exists.


How do I know? Because I've touched my share of them. I've touched them and stimulated them, and the women to whom those G-spots belonged had delicious orgasms from the said touching of them. Ask them. Go ahead. You don't have to believe me because the G-spot is not the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus or even God for that matter. It's not something to “believe in." It's something that exists because it's there and you can touch it.

As the author of two books on women's sexuality, “O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm" and “The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex," I have talked to hundreds of women; researched and spoken to the experts; and read, read, read everything I could get my hands on. I know the G-spot exists because it exists. That is how you know something exists. You do not however, deny the existence of something because, well, it's self-serving.

And in case you're thinking, “You've written some sex books and slept with some women. You're no doctor." You're right. But Juliana Morris, PhD, LMFT, LPC is. She's a credentialed therapist, academic, and a bona fide (s)expert, with decades of experience “counseling and supporting thousands of individuals and couples on their paths to discover and own their sexual agency."

Her thoughts on the G-Spot? “Yes, it exists. Better stated….every (biologically identified) woman has the potential for pleasure in an area within her vaginal cavity. That is how I describe it. An area of potential. I am confident it exists because of hundreds of interviews and work with women. Women who have experienced pleasure in an area within her 'accidently,' women who have made purposeful efforts to find pleasure in this area as a solo or partnered endeavor using specific techniques to maximize the potential of pleasure for her and hearing both groups describe the difference of pleasure from other orgasmic experiences."

The fact that some folks who have the audacity to call themselves “researchers" when they only had thirteen women in their study – THIRTEEN – decided there is no G-spot because they couldn't find one is idiocy. I have touched more than thirteen of them personally. Just all by myself, no research study – OR DOLLARS – required. Morris adds, “That study is inaccurate and is inherently flawed. In large part because of the belief that it functions like other pleasure organs. Mainly, however, because it is asking the wrong questions and using inadequate parameters to prove or disprove it."

I'll tell you what outranks that study by a zillion – reality. I have touched the G-spots of women I have loved, women I have hooked up with, and even women with whom I have taken Body Dodson's famed masturbation workshop Body Sex. Of course there's a G-spot. Don't be ridiculous.

This is just another chapter in the on-going saga of “men who don't want to learn about women's bodies or have women know about their own bodies so let's just call women frigid or broken or too complicated." We and our bodies are none of those things. Women who don't want to have sex aren't frigid. They are tired of showing up for an activity that feeds male pleasure and leaves them hanging because too many men have no idea how to work the equipment.

Women aren't broken. We don't have penises. We don't want or need penises. We have something WAY better. We have clitorises with 8,000 plus nerve endings and no other job other than to give us pleasure. And, no, our bodies aren't too complicated. All you have to do is ask. Believe me, if you care enough to ask, she'll be happy to tell you what rocks her world.

The thing is, men, who are in charge of the budgets and the research and the media and the message, get nothing for themselves – zero, zilch, nada – from teaching and promoting the truth about women's bodies and sexuality. Not to mention is that all men want to do is measure and quantify. No can do with the G-spot. But that doesn't matter one bit.

Morris explains, “I do believe the reason behind the quest to invalidate the G-spot area is heavily rooted in the misguided notion that a woman's pleasure experience cannot be measured or seen and thusly cannot exist. The antiquated medical and scientific views of research do not apply to the variance and contextual nuisances of womanhood and female pleasure. And that difference-from the male, medical model is threatening and challenging and for some in that world, easily dismissed. Or must be dismissed. Unexplained + variance +can't be seen/measure= bad, crazy, non-existent. And frankly…the scientific and medical world, especially male practitioners in general still exhibit a level of discomfort if not distaste for female pleasure."

On the other hand, straight men gain plenty from creating and feeding the myths. They can keep women feeling less-than and self-conscious and dirty and broken and thinking that they need a man, that they are lucky to even have one since they are so broken. Then men don't have to learn or put in any effort in the bedroom or anywhere else for that matter because they are, all puns intended, cock of the walk. Well, fuck that.

Listen up, ladies. There is nothing wrong with you. Not one damn thing. Your body and your clitoris and your vagina and your very much existing G-spot are all perfect and they are all yours. And while we're on the subject, you have every right to enjoy them on your own, with a partner, with many partners, within a loving relationship, just for fun, whatever.

Masturbate, make love, hook up, you do you. Literally. You don't need a man. You can want one. But you do not – I repeat, do not – in any way need a man for sexual pleasure. The penis is completely and totally unnecessary for female sexual pleasure. COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. There are mouths and fingers and toys and even vegetables that are actually far better suited for the job.

Too much of this “there's no G-spot" nonsense comes from the fact that most folks don't even know the truth about the clitoris. That tiny little bud on the outside is the tip of the iceberg. The clitoris has long, internal legs. Think inverted wishbone.

Women have just as much – if not more – erectile tissue than men.

Women have just as much – if not more – erectile tissue than men. Women can experience gobs of pleasure when some penis isn't just using the vagina like some sort of masturbation sleeve, banging away until said penis is done. And – side note – when it's done it's done, unlike the mighty clitoris which requires zero recoup time. ZERO. Sure the G-stop is a relative of the clitoris. Regardless of who or what it's related to - it exists. Not every woman goes wild when her G-spot is stimulated. That is true. Not every women can identify her G-spot. That is true. But every woman does have a G-spot. You simply have be enough of a human being to care about women and their bodies and their pleasure to know that. People can tell you about Game of Thrones in minute detail but they don't know the difference between a vagina and a vulva. (The vagina is the internal canal. The vulva is the external bits.)

This is getting so idiotic. We don't need any more studies. We need people to start talking to and LISTENING to women. The very pussy owning humans themselves. Want to know the truth about women's bodies? Pay attention to the ones you are insanely lucky to be intimate with. This is all verifiable info. This is not some Lochness shit here. Come on.

Women need to know their bodies. Human need to know about women's bodies. “I think it is crucial for women to understand, deeply, the implications of our variance in anatomy and pleasure," says Morris. "Our variance needs to be acknowledged, understood, celebrated and validated. Our variance is indeed beautiful. Normal. Expected. No big deal. Some of our variance is rooted in evolutionary brilliance. Some of it is evolutionary irrelevance, and it just is. We all need a roadmap to examine our sexuality and pleasure and medical studies like this just distract us from the REAL research."

"That dream aside, pleasure is our birthright. We have the right to seek, enhance and experience pleasure. On our own terms and in our own way. Validating the existence for the potential for pleasure in this area is one area where women can choose to claim this collectively." -Juliana Morris

If you're a woman, grab a mirror and have a look. Masturbate, please. Insert your own fingers into your own vagina, curve it upwards, and two inches in, toward the front of your body, you will feel a patch of tissue with ridges on it. Play with it and it will expand. That's your G-spot. Insert a toy that vibrates to stimulate it. Insert the classic and most reliable toy on earth for masturbation, the Betty Dodson Barbell, and try out her Rock and Rock Method of masturbation. (You can thank me later.) And once you have done that, you will smack the face of anyone who tells you what body parts you don't have. And if someone argues with you, make a note to never, ever, ever have sex with them. Ever. And to those “researchers," get a real job. Women don't need anyone else telling us that we don't have body parts that we clearly do. We don't need anyone else chipping away at our self-esteem. We don't need any more sex shaming. And thirteen people? Really? Thirteen? Shame on you. You and your practices and your findings are ridiculous.

And to anyone who has the honor of engaging with a woman and her body, be respectful, pay attention, put your own pleasure on the back burner, remember that just because it feels good to you doesn't mean it does a damn thing for her, and for God's sake, listen – listen, listen, listen.

Yes, Virginia, there is a G-spot.