Wishing You Sweet Healing Dreams

November 5, 2017

I’ve been wanting to write about dreams for the longest time. I’m no dream expert and am lucky if I remember bits and pieces of them. I’ve learned to keep a dream journal by my bed but even that is no guarantee that the dream won’t evaporate quickly.

On Friday, I’d just bought a new (pink!) dream catcher. And then…

Last night (of course there was a full moon) I had yet another airplane dream, this time with someone from my past who won’t seem to leave my dreams alone.

I frequently have unsettling and sometimes recurring airplane dreams. More than once, the plane has been traveling like a car, weaving through narrow streets in old cities, before trying to lift off into the air.

There are often storms and lots of wind.

When I was little it was a recurring dream of being in a car that ended up on a roller coaster where the track ended, hovering above the ocean. Yes, I was afraid of roller coasters and the water.

And tornados. Oh, my. I even did a painting once about that fear.

I used to be fairly terrified of flying, although I never let it stop me from travel. I would load up on anxiety medication and Dramamine before I would get on the plane. But, because my level of fear was so high, the meds barely affected me until I reached my destination where I would proceed to pass out and miss the first day of my vacation.

Meditation seemed to put an end to my flying terror, and for years I became the person consoling anxious flyers, rather than being the one with the white knuckles.

No more meds for me! I might take some Rescue Remedy or sniff some calming essential oils, but that was about it. I was blissed out, meditating in the sky.

The flying dreams stopped.

But lately, I’ve felt the old anxiety start to creep back. Heart racing, claustrophobia, “Will you look at how small this plane is?” fear seems to have returned with a vengeance.

Thus, my airplane dream last night.

And dreams of being late, chased, or disorganized also frequent my nights.

I have packing-for-a-trip dreams (nightmares) where I never make the flight on time because I can’t seem to get my packing act together.

So, I did what I always do when something in my life is amiss.

I turn to Ayurveda to ask why.

I had a feeling that my dreams might be vata-related. I’d noticed that it’s usually in the wee hours of the morning when I wake up, heart pounding out of my chest, plane ready to fall from the sky.

2:00-6:00 a.m. are vata hours. Hmm.

I have a lot of vata in my constitution, it’s vata season right now, and I’m fully in the vata time of life.

Dr. Vasant Lad says that by analyzing the nature and content of your dreams, you can usually discover which dosha (vata, pitta, or kapha) is unbalanced.

“Vata dreams are active and hyper. They are plentiful, and the dreamer may well forget them in the morning. Horror, fear, running, jumping, flying high in the sky, falling deep down into a valley, being attacked or pursued, being locked up –these are vata dreams.” — Vasant Lad, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies

In “Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution“, Dr. Robert E. Svoboda remarks that “vata minds continue to spend energy even when they should be resting.”

Remember, vata is the dosha of both movement and depletion.

Can you relate to any of this?

Or maybe you can relate to what Dr. Lad says about pitta and kapha dreams.

“Pitta dreams. These dreams can be rather violent. In addition to such themes as teaching, studying, trying to solve a problem, or failing at an examination, pitta dreams may involve fire, war, nuclear weapons, fighting, killing, and murder.”

Oh, my. Remember, pitta is fire. Makes perfect sense.

“Kapha dreams are generally mild and romantic. Water figures prominently, such as swimming in the ocean. Seeing gardens,lotus flowers, swans, and elephants and eating candy are all characteristic of kapha dreams. Drowning, or seeing oneself as dead, are ‘negative’ aspects of the kapha dream repertory.”

Dr. Svoboda writes that

pitta people can usually remember what they dream. Their dreams are often passionate or otherwise intense…usually, the pitta individual is in control of the dream situation. Pitta people usually dream in color.”

And of kapha-type dreams, he says

“kapha people usually have very cool, calm, quiet, collected, uneventful dreams, like those of an English countryside with cucumber sandwiches at afternoon tea in a gazebo on a swan lake.”

In my dreams, lol.

Dr. Svoboda remarks that kapha people don’t usually bother to remember their dreams unless they’re intensely emotional, which is often the case.

Kapha is water and earth. Makes perfect sense.

So, when I got out of bed this morning I did write down the bits and pieces of my airplane/person from my past that won’t stay out of my dreams dream that lingered.

When I got around to checking email, I noticed this in one of the subject lines: “Why Bad Dreams are Good” by Anthony William, the Medical Medium.

Holy synchronicity!

In an excerpt from his new book “Thyroid Healing“, Anthony talks about the benefits (yes, benefits) of bad dreams and how we process pain in our sleep.

In our waking state, we wouldn’t be able to function if we were constantly processing the deep traumas that most of us have experienced in our lives. That stuff gets deeply buried – I can attest to it, as I’m sure many of you can, too. And, the little stuff, as well.

“‘Bad’ dreams are the soul’s way of healing.” –Anthony William

I remember my meditation teacher talking about the same thing happening during meditation. Deep stuff can come up in both meditation and our dreams and rather than let it disturb us, we can be grateful for its release.

So, the next time I wake up, heart racing, I will remember to be thankful rather than fearful.

And, also, to never stop trying to balance that crazy vata dosha!

I’d love to hear what you think of this perspective on dreams. Leave it in the comments below or drop me a line!

Anthony William suggests that instead of saying “sweet dreams” we should wish each other “healing dreams”. So, I’d like to wish all of you sweet healing dreams!

Much love,

P.S. Nancy Neff is a good friend of mine and an amazing dream coach who can help you make sense of your nighttime shenanigans.


  1. Hi Barbara, I enjoyed reading your blog… we have very similar childhoods … As a child I too desired to learn different art form … first it was music (I wanted to learn to play the Accordion!) then the guitar, but it was too far to ride the bus to a music school… I wanted to draw (that mail-order art class salesman also knocked on our door1), I discovered oil-painting as a young teen and would spend weekends in my room drawing & painting. I’m a good social dancer only because my father took me to family parties and there always was dancing (my dad loved to dance too). I too tried the guitar as an adult, but never mastered it. May we both continue to heal! 🙂

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