If Your Recession Dreams Could Talk...

Since the beginning of recorded history cave drawings show us humans dream about things that we grapple with in our waking lives. While our Neanderthal brothers and sisters dreamed of being driven from their caves by a slobbering T-rex, many modern humans dream about getting chased from their homes by a sinister lending institution. 


Since the recession began, 8.5 million jobs have been lost, an unemployment rate of 9.4%, (12.4% in my home state, California), plus more than 2.9 million homes are in foreclosure. The writing is on the cave wall. This recession is causing more people than ever to toss and turn with nightmares that reflect financial insecurity. For example, a client of mine had the following dream:


"There was a party taking place on my front lawn and inside my house with surly strangers. It was like a home invasion-they were completely taking over. I elbowed my way through the crowd and into the house where more surly strangers were lounging on my couch, eating my food...acting like they owned the place! I screamed for them to get out but they didn't hear me...I felt invisible, powerless, and furious." 


A recent Los Angeles Times front-page article entitled, "Welcome to the Recession, Sleep Edition" featured Deirdre Barret, a clinical psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School. Barret says her research has seen an upswing in recession-related dreams. Other therapists, dream experts (like myself), leaders of dream groups, and those who monitor dream recording websites all concur.


Some of the scenarios that play out in many of these "recession dreams" include falling, being chased, having an empty wallet or a missing purse, teeth crumbling, someone kicking you out of your home or having a party in your home that you aren't invited to.


In dreams, your home represents your body, that which houses your basic sense of self. If you dream of domestic unsteadiness, you may be feeling ungrounded, cast out, victimized, and helpless...in a transition period. Home (both as a symbol and as a reality) is part of our most primal aspect of self. It is where we go to feel safe, nurtured, fed and protected. Even if you don't see a foreclosure in your future, dreaming of a threat to your home can represent instability regarding your basic security, which, apparently, many of us are dreaming right now.


On the upside (yes, there is an upside), there are many studies that tell us, in spite of the unpleasant nature of these recession dreams, they are actually helping us to figure out solutions and supporting us to function at a higher level. This is why I always say, "There is no such thing as a bad dream." This phenomenon is called "sleepworking." One of the functions of sleepworking (and to nightmares in general) is to help us become better adapted to our environment.


According to Ann Veilleux, a therapist at Harmónia Madison Center for Psychotherapy,"A nightmare exposes things that perhaps you haven't expressed in your life--perhaps fears you didn't know you had," Veilleux said. "It's an outlet and also a way of learning about yourself."


Consider that recession nightmares serve two functions. They may be helping you rehearse for how you might handle a potential worst-case scenario. Or they are assisting you to vent limited beliefs, dysfunctional patterns, or traumas lodged deep in your psyche that no longer serve you. By working with these dreams (paying attention to them and acting on their advice), you might just glean the wisdom to avoid the disturbing scenario from happening in your waking life. 


If you are one of the many people having recession dreams, ask yourself the following questions to understand what your dreams may be trying to tell you:


  • Is there something I need to prepare for (an event, presentation, conversation, confrontation)?
  • What preventative action should I take to position myself most advantageously regarding this situation (talk to a neighbor, research information about a class action lawsuit, redo the old resume, look for a new house)?


If you wake up in the middle of the night from one of these recession dreams (nightmares), write the dream down, make a to-do list that pertains to actionable items you can do something about the next day...then make a gratitude list. 


Yes. You read that right. 


If you fall asleep with a sense of gratitude for what you currently have (the blankets on your bed, a pen to write with, an ability to write, your ability to read, the electricity keeping you warm, even your ability to be grateful), the serotonin in your brain will begin to surge, which counterbalances the effects of cortisol (the stress hormone causing you to toss and turn), enabling you to get a more restful sleep...and hopefully more pleasant dreams.


If your recession dreams could speak, this is what they'd say, "Humans are in a constant state of change. Flow with it. Drop the baggage from your past that makes you too heavy to move quickly. Become related to the future that's beckoning you. Change is inevitable. Deal with it. Be grateful. If you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em...and enjoy the process. If you do, you might reframe this recession from being a scary nightmare to being an exhilarating adventure. After all, a recession is really like a slingshot. You have to pull way back on the leather strap in order to send the pebble flying forward."






Dream Expert, Kelly Sullivan Walden, is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and the author of the #1 amazon.com bestselling dream book, "I Had the Strangest Dream...the Dreamer's Dictionary for the 21st Century" as well as "Discover Your Inner Goddess Queen...an Inspirational Journey from Drama Queen to Goddess Queen" and "Zone Golf". Kelly is featured regularly on FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC news and the magazines you love, such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Bride, Seventeen, Woman's World and US Weekly. She is the host of the Internet radio show, "The D-Spot" (the place where Dreams, Desires & Destiny colide) every Monday at 2pm EST. For more information about Kelly you can go to: www.SpotYourDSpot.com. Facebook: Kelly Sullivan Walden, Twitter: kswalden or dreamexperiment


You Should Contact Her about anything woo woo (i.e. dream interpretation and near death experiences) or about how she can support you in living the life of your dreams at:[email protected]

To purchase your copy of "I Had the Strangest Dream" go to:http://kellysullivanwalden.com/dream-book.html/

If you'd like to schedule a private Dream Coaching session with Kelly, go to:


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