What is a dream, and how do dreams relate to waking life? How can our dreams give us intelligent, meaningful insights into our lives, and help us to grow and be the best we can be?
Jane Teresa is originally from England, and graduated with an Honours degree in Zoology, specialising in developmental biology and neurophysiology. Her life took a detour when she decided to abandon her PhD studies – she wanted to work in a more personal and meaningful way.
In fact, unlike most people, changing direction from her studies wasn’t difficult for her at all. The decision not only arose naturally, it actually was her passion that very quickly came to fruition with many people queuing to speak with her to have their dreams interpreted.
Now, with 30 years of independent research and deep work with clients, Jane Teresa is now a leading global expert in dream analysis, dream therapy and dream alchemy. She is the author of seven books on dreams and dreaming, a frequent guest on national television, and an accomplished radio dream talk-back expert, interpreting callers’ dreams for more than 1,500 shows across commercial and ABC stations.
How did your journey into dreams begin?
could naturally see a deeper meaning into these dreams, although nowhere near as deeply and as insightfully as I can now. My passion and intense curiosity in dreams have been since childhood, and so it was a really simple decision to follow this instinct.
Then I was on the radio show one morning, as I’ve done radio with much of my work in the past, and went on to talk about my curiosity of dreams in general. But then they opened up the chat lines and people were calling in to speak to me. At that time, there were no courses or academic studies you could pursue in dream work, so I was just flying by the seat of my pants and really talking to people about something that I was curious about and sharing what I knew with them.
A few weeks later, I was on that same radio show and I heard myself say that I was going to do some research into dreams to write a book, which was completely unplanned. I continued to ask, if any people would be interested, to give me a call. I even spontaneously gave my personal phone number out on live radio! So, I got home and there they were – I think I had a couple of hundred people to start with, and so I decided to do a survey and got people to do experiments, which is how I ended up starting my own self-funded research. I’ve really mostly been training people on the phone and in-person for some 15 to 20 years, but only 3-4 year ago, I thought it was time to launch this as an online course, simply because people were struggling to find where they could study further.
Do you have any advice to give people about following their passions, or even dreams?
From my past experiences with life in general, you just take one step at a time. You set a goal and you think, I may reach that, or I may go somewhere else, or it may be a completely different place, or it may be much better. It may not be, but you set a goal and you take steps to walk towards it. And then, if during those steps you suddenly think that you actually need to go this way or that way, you follow those. You just need to have the courage to set a big goal, and then step-by-step move towards it…and you listen.
Where do dreams come from?
A dream is the result of your sleeping brain and mind processing your conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 1-2 days. This processing updates your mindsets, your beliefs, your memories, your perspectives and feelings about life, and your sense of self. The dream experience feels real because this processing activates the same areas of your brain and mind that are activated when you are awake.
A dream is also an intensely personal experience because it reflects your deepest feelings, emotions, values and beliefs about life. It’s like a mirror that helps you to see and understand yourself and your life deeply, right into the depths of your unconscious mind. It helps you – once you know how to analyse and interpret it – to appreciate why you are the magnificent, unique being that you are. It helps you to discover your mindset – the way your brain and mind are wired – and this information empowers you to make changes to your inner self so that you can enjoy a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Why do we all have differing views of the world and different belief systems?
Many of our fundamental beliefs are established early in life or as a result of later traumatic experiences. Our minds usually favour old beliefs. We built those old beliefs to keep us safe, beliefs such as “Do what Daddy says” (so you’ll be fed), or “Don’t get your hopes up” (so you won’t be disappointed), or “Agree with your friends” (so they’ll include you) and so on. As adults, many of these beliefs are not good for us, but our unconscious mind tends to hang onto them in a false bid for safety. Unfortunately, we are driven by our unconscious beliefs, including those that were established to keep us safe from an anticipated repeat of past traumas. Knowledge of these unconscious beliefs – and especially those that are in conflict with each other – puts you in a powerful position because they CAN be changed.
My scientific mind is, no doubt, evident in my approach to dreams, but the process of working with dreams is more an experience of heart.
What is Dream Alchemy?
Dream alchemy is the name I give to exercises and practices you can do to rewire your brain or mind, to transform or reprogram those unconscious beliefs (identified in a dream) that are holding you back in life, that are blocking you from enjoying more of life’s positives. These exercises are also designed to help heal, to resolve issues, to open your perspective on life, and to free you up to grow to your full potential.
The exercises –visualisations, writing, bodywork, artwork, as well as other options – work by transforming personal symbols from your dreams in ways that transform the beliefs they represent. This is similar to visualisation, however, if you have unconscious blocks to getting what you want, the more you do your visualisation, the more your mind will protest. With Dream Alchemy, you take the components of your dream that symbolises your ‘problem’ in your waking life, and instead of seeing what you want, you would visualise this using the components of your dreams. What you’re doing here is talking to your unconscious mind using its own language – the language presented in your dream. Repeating the dream alchemy visualisation helps to re-program your unconscious mind, undoing limiting beliefs that cause you to doubt your abilities, and building new confident beliefs in their place.
Dream Alchemy is also an effective way to help you to discover any unconscious blocks or limiting beliefs that are holding you back in life. Sometimes awareness of your blocks is not enough to overcome them. The unconscious mind is very powerful and generally carries on regardless, often influencing your life in ways that are not really serving you well. The way to change this is to communicate directly with your unconscious mind to transform those beliefs and blocks, to get your unconscious mind working for you, not against you.
Jane Teresa offers a way to do this through dream alchemy exercises in her online courses within The Dream Academy. These practices work by communicating with your unconscious mind using its unique language: the dream symbols. They re-program your unconscious mind and re-wire your brain for successful outcomes.
To learn more about The Dream Academy, and the various online courses that are offered, visit www.janeteresa.com/professional-services.
The Dream Show is a free podcast series in which Jane Teresa analyses her guests’ dreams and shares dream interpretation tips and insights. With over 230 episodes to date, you can listen to unique dreams and not only explore this fascinating unconscious world, but also learn how she interprets these for helping people to move forward in their waking lives.
For more information about Jane Teresa and her fascinating work on dreams, you can visit her website below where you will find details of her courses as well as many interesting resources, including her dream interpretations. Her latest book is also available to purchase, along with her range of eBooks on dream interpretation and dream alchemy.
Read Jane Teresa’s article Common Dreams and What Do They Mean?