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Our dreams and what they may mean


The group had expressed an interest in spending a meeting exploring dreams and what they may mean.  We all dream, not everyone may remember their dreams, and we found that people also remembered some very vivid dreams even from childhood. People also experienced recurring dreams, and some sleepwalking and talking.

We talked about people’s shared experience of common dream themes, these included being chased, but not being able to run or scream (paralysis), flying, or sky surfing or running so fast you could take off.  Being on high places or cliff faces and having to let go, looking at big waves, driving out of control or plane crashes.  People dreamt their teeth fell out and others dreamt about people they’d not seen for years randomly popping up and being reassuring.  People had dreams about being back at school or taking a test or starting a job and not being prepared.  Most people had the dream, or is it a sensation (?) of falling.  Some of discovering new rooms in the house, whilst some dreamt of sweeties (sweet dreams?).

The stuff of dreams is still much of a mystery, and whether it is the brain resting and restoring, or consolidating memories, or whether they convey important messages is all still up for debate.  The meaning of each dream is really up to the individual dreamer, however some generalised meanings for common dreams are below:

  • Being chased may signify anxiety or feeling pressured, what are we running away from or avoiding?
  • Linked to this is feeling paralysed, but this is because when we dream, our spinal cord switches off (to stop us from getting up and acting out the dream).  For some people this remains in place after waking and can be very frightening as the body literally cannot move for a couple of minutes; this is called sleep paralysis.
  • Flying can often be a euphoric feeling in a dream, signifying achieving goals and potential unless you can’t quite get off the ground which is maybe more about blocked or frustrated goals.
  • Losing teeth can represent different fears, and commonly that of getting older or being unattractive.
  • Showing up naked for work may be about feeling exposed or vulnerable.
  • Dreaming about other people may be showing us different aspects of ourselves.
  • It may be that dreams about pregnancy, babies and dying are all about new starts and changes in life.
  • Taking a test which you are not prepared for or being back at school is maybe about not feeling prepared, or anxious, or lessons we need to learn from the past.
  • Falling might be about needed to let go of something, loosen control.
  • Dreaming about food, well we just might be hungry! Or we are need of some other kind of nourishment or learning and hungry for that.
  • Dreams of water can be a reflection of how we are managing emotions and may include therefore dreams about still waters or stormy waves or fast flowing rapids.

Looking after yourself after a bad dream

Dreams and the emotions they create can have a powerful impact and lingering effect on us. Sometimes if people have experienced trauma, they may have bad and disturbing dreams about the traumatic event and wake from these feeling re-traumatised.  We talked about how to ground yourself if this happens by reminding yourself where you are now, what you can hear and see and how you are safe.  Equally it may be that a nightmare does cause trauma even it is not related to real life events.

Some sleep and dreams stats and facts:

33% of dreams contain bizarre elements impossible in everyday life

7 to 9 hours of nightly shuteye is best for adults

5% of the population can function normally on 4 hours’ sleep

11 days The longest anyone has stayed awake

100,000 Number of annual car crashes in US related to fatigue

31% of drivers in the US report having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point in their lives

30% of US workers sleep less than 6 hours a night

Everybody dreams but mostly people forget

Some people dream in black and white

Animals dream…and cats and dogs sleep for about two thirds of the time


Some blind people have visual dreams

Lucid dreaming is being asleep but in a state of awareness about the dream and even being able to control it

Your body is paralysed during your dreams and you can’t read or tell the time as that part of the brain is also shut down during dreaming.


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Mindful Doodling


We had a long standing friend of the group with us today, Geoffrey Baines; dream whisperer, blogger and doodler!  Geoffrey started the session with a very relaxing breathing exercise which was much appreciated and put people into a very chilled state for a new concept to us; mindful doodling.  The picture also has a very gentle thought journey and it was a bit of a discovery for some people in the group that by using one part of the brain to focus on colour and shapes and creativity, it allows the mind to stay focused on a particular thought process. Some people also found that where they might normally not feel very confident about anything creative, because this was part of another process, they found they weren’t worried so much about the art and felt a bit freer.  People experienced that they became fully absorbed in the activity and found it very relaxing, some people chose not to follow the thought process and enjoyed the relaxation of colouring.  At the end of this mindful colouring, Geoffrey asked us how long we thought we’d been colouring and in general the group though it was 40 or 45 minutes.  In fact it was 15 minutes, showing us that this type of process slows us down, actually allowing us to properly progress a thought process rather than being heightened and stressed and ruminating, states in which our thoughts don’t help us to achieve resolution.  At the beginning of the session Geoffrey spoke about how through these mindful thought processes we might discover what we want, and our potential and discover the best version of ourselves and our giftings and to come to ourselves with kindness and a non-judgemental attitude.  As Geoffrey says in his own blog, Thin Silence

“…Every day, though, we have the opportunity to develop and contribute who we are and what we do.

This is how we are able to find and live in meaning.

It isn’t this way for everyone yet, by any means.

What better thing then can we live for but to spread the word, encouraging and enabling as many as possible to bring more to the party than others expect?”

If you are interested in some mindful doodling and acquiring a book, there is more information here:

Slow Journeys in the Same Direction

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Essential Nutrients Analysis


Below is a table which shows essential nutrients for better mental health and wellbeing. (Thanks to Steve Turnbull for providing this)

Rank Food Score   Rank Food Score
1 Spinach 56 55 Oranges 14
2 Asparagus 51 56 Sunflower seeds 14
3 Swiss Chard 48 57 Turkey 14
4 Broccoli 44 58 Beans, black 13
5 Bok Choy 43 59 Cranberries 13
6 Tomatoes 38 60 Mustard seeds 13
7 Kale 37 61 Onions 13
8 Brussels Sprouts 36 62 Watermelon 13
9 Rocket 35 63 Almonds 13
10 Romaine Lettuce 35 64 Barley 12
11 Cauliflower 34 65 Blueberries 12
12 Cabbage 33 66 Grapefruit 12
13 Mushrooms, shittake 31 67 Oats 12
14 Green beans 30 68 Peanuts 12
15 Peppers, bell 30 69 Avocado 11
16 Parsley 27 70 Bananas 11
17 Peas 27 71 Cloves 11
18 Carrots 25 72 Potatoes 11
19 Celery 23 73 Pumpkin seeds 11
20 chili peppers 22 74 Turmeric 11
21 Leeks 22 75 Yoghurt 11
22 Mackerel 22 76 Chicken 10
23 Raspberries 22 77 Cumin 10
24 Salmon 22 78 Lamb 10
25 Tuna 22 79 Miso 10
26 Fennel 21 80 Oregano 10
27 Prawns 21 81 Cinammon 9
28 Strawberries 21 82 Grapes 9
29 Sweet Potato 21 83 Thyme 9
30 Basil 20 84 Walnuts 9
31 Cod 19 85 Figs 8
32 Lentils 18 86 Olives 8
33 Sardines 18 87 Pear 8
34 Eggs 17 88 Plum 8
35 Kiwi fruit 17 89 Rice, brown 8
36 Beans, Garbanzo 17 90 Wheat 8
37 Beef 16 91 Apricot 7
38 Beetroot 16 92 Cashew nuts 7
39 Garlic 16 93 Lemon & lime 7
40 Pineapple 16 94 Quinoa 7
41 Tofu 16 95 Rye 7
42 Beans, Lima 15 96 Buckwheat 6
43 Beans, navy 15 97 Corn 6
44 Cucumber 15 98 Peppermint 6
45 Flax seeds 15 99 Apple 5
46 Papaya 15 100 Cheese 3
47 Scallops 15 101 Dill 3
48 Sesame seeds 15 102 Millet 3
49 Soy beans 15 103 Olive oil 3
50 Beans, kidney 14 104 Raisins 3
51 Beans, pinto 14 105 Soy sauce 3
52 Black pepper 14
53 Cow’s milk 14
54 Aubergine 14
Drinks Hot Green Tea
Hot water with lemon
Cumin tea (cumin seeds boild in water & strained out; add honey)
Cow’s milk
Hot chocolate (Green & Black’s organic)
Cold Coconut water
Yogurt shots (actimel, yakult or bonnie shots)
Spring water
Cow’s milk
Orange juice (cold pressed)
Apple juice (cold pressed)
Cranberry juice
Snacks Nuts cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts
(must be whole nuts, not cooked or roasted, unsalted)
Fruit Raspberries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pineapple, oranges, bananas
blueberries, apples
yogurts organic and probiotic preferably, with fruit pieces
(tip: chop up some fruit and add yogurt on top as a desert)
Salads on a roll spinach, rocket, tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce
meal spinach, rocket, tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce
swiss chard, cucumber
add sesame seeds, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
(tip: add chilli peppers and coriander for heat)
(tip: add strawberries and grapes for extra flvour)
serve with mackerel, tuna, salmon, beef or turkey
vegetables stir fry asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, mushroom, bell peppers,
chilli peppers, carrots, peas, garlic
use coconut oil, sea salt, black pepper and spices
roast sweet potatoe, carrot, bell peppers, garlic, parsnips, mushrooms
tomatoes (cut them open and add a drop of balsamic vinegar)
(coat with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and spices)
steam asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans
(make a cheese sauce to pour over the cauliflower)
boil brussel sprouts (then fry them with smoked bacon bits)
soup chunky vegetable soups, or healthy soups from Baxters
Scottish soup company