Fall(ing) Dreams

Greetings, dreamers!  Autumn has arrived here, with the trees shedding their bright gowns…

It’s been a busy few months, and I’m heading to Rancho la Puerta again soon to give another dream workshop.  In the meantime, the word, “fall,” is on my mind.  Have you had a dream of falling?

If you only remember falling and nothing else, your dream is probably just a side effect of the biological experience of entering REM sleep, when our major muscle groups are actually paralyzed, to keep us from acting out our dreams and hurting ourselves.  That feeling is similar to the feeling of falling, and your dream may have just translated the feeling into an image (as dreams tend to do).

But maybe falling was part of a longer dream; often, we fall at the end, and awaken before we land.  Consider what happens just before the fall.  Does it echo anything within you, or an outside experience you’re grappling with? In that case, are about to ‘take a plunge,’ metaphorically? Are you considering taking a risk? Or is there some seeming danger in your relational or emotional life, something analogous to jumping over a cliff, or skydiving?  Is the plunging earthward a warning of overreach?  Have you been higher, more ungrounded or inflated than is wise at this time; is the fall a fall to reality?

Or is there something coming up that would bring a rush of adrenaline, then push you to the edge of fear, sending you hurling into exhilarating relief when you realize you’ve held yourself safe all along?

May the words of an old, wise friend help you to discern the meaning of your descent: will you fall, or will you dive?

About Veronica Tonay

International dream expert, Dr. Veronica Tonay, earned her masters and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1990s. She has been a licensed psychologist in private practice since 1997 (CA PSY 15379), and has taught psychology courses to undergraduates at the University of California at Santa Cruz since 1989.  Her work has been featured for over 25 years in many media outlets, such as Psychology Today, NPR Public Radio, abcnews.com, and The Chicago Tribune. Dr. Tonay was featured dream expert on the Discovery Health TV Channel's 3-episode miniseries, Dream Decoders. She has organized several dream conferences for the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and has published journal articles and three books, including: "The Creative Dreamer, Revised: Using Your Dreams to Unlock Your Creativity" (Ten Speed Press/Celestial Arts) and "Every Dream Interpreted," published in London by Collins & Brown.  She lives with her husband, Steven, in Santa Cruz, California, gardening, painting, writing, dancing, and dreaming.
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