'Don't dismiss your dreams... write them down and unleash your inner psychic'
“If you can dream it, you can do it!”
I first learnt of this - incredible - mantra in Napoleon Dynamite, and fast-forward nearly 20 years and here it is again, this time coming from the mouth of Theresa Cheung.
She might be familiar to you as This Morning’s regular dream decoder, but for those with a passion for all things esoteric, she’s the British grande dame of psychic and spiritual studies, having written more than 150 books on new age topics - which have been translated into 40 languages.
Her most famous work The Dream Dictionary from A-Z is a Sunday Times bestseller, and, Theresa proudly tells, also one of Waterstones' most consistently sold books over the last twenty years.
Today we’re discussing her newest release, Empower Your Inner Psychic. The book, which she describes as her ‘magnum opus’, is the culmination of decades of study into dreams, intuition, astrology, angels, the afterlife and other spiritual phenomena.
In Empower Your Inner Psychic, Theresa argues that every single one of us is born with the innate ability to foresee the future, sharing a mixture of anecdotal and scientific evidence from researchers across the world to back up her claims, along with easy to follow meditations and exercises to flex our sixth sense.
She told Women’s Health: ‘Over time, I've collated so much information, not just anecdotal stories of people's experiences, but from scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists working in this area, from their research and their conclusions.
‘I've put it all together in this book, it's basically my life's work. I’m trying to present it in a way that's jargon-free, because I do find that working with scientists, and neuroscientists, a lot of their stuff is so interesting, but it just gets lost because of the terminology and the methodology of it all.
‘All of us have had a dream coming true. We've sensed a loved one who's departed around us. We've had intuitive hunches that have proved correct. A great majority of us have had psychic experiences, and we've dismissed them.
‘We are all psychic.’
Mum-of-two Theresa has been on a spiritual path since she can remember - which is par for the course when you’re born into a family of psychics. But surprisingly, she found that she didn’t have “the gift” - at least not in such a blatant way as her parents.
She said: ‘I'm 58 now, and I've been doing this since birth, really, I was born into a family of psychics. From a very early age, I was interested in the paranormal, but because I couldn't see dead people or auras or didn't have angels in my pockets or my hair… I mean, I can’t. I don’t see all that. And that’s the great majority of people.
But just because you don’t see spectres, or can’t throw furniture across the room with one nod like Eleven from Stranger Things (and let’s admit it, we’ve all tried), that doesn’t mean that you have zero psychic abilities.
In fact, Theresa believes that we all have the power to tap into the unseen - and it all begins while we’re asleep.
'I'm evangelical about that dreaming. Everybody loves their dreams. Because when you love your dreams, you love yourself,' she said.
'Whenever I'm talking about dreams, people don't realise we're talking about our inner psychic abilities. Scientists don't know for sure why we dream, but they know that if we don't dream, there is an increased risk of depression and anxiety. If subjects are deprived of REM sleep, it leads to depression, anxiety, and in animals, a swift death.
'Maybe the reason we sleep is we urgently need to dream, to connect to who we really are, to our soul. Everyone who dreams is psychic. Your dreams are your inner psychic speaking night after night after night.'
Although the world's top scientists are pulling a blank as to why dreams happen and what their true purpose is, Theresa has a theory.
She said: ‘Dreams are a voiceover to your life. They are the spiritual part of you commenting on your life and trying to get you to brainstorm and look at things from a different perspective.
‘The big problem people have with dreams is they take them literally. And they're not. They need to be interpreted symbolically like a poem, or like a work of art.'
In order to decipher your dreams - and their often convoluted meanings - Theresa says it’s imperative to start writing down what you can remember of them from the moment that you wake up.
She explained: ‘When you start recording them morning, after morning, after morning, you start to see what your dreams are foreshadowing, whether they’re offering you hints and tips, where they're warning you against people or situations. And they do.
‘It breaks my heart that people dismiss it as “just a dream”. It is not just a dream. You are dreaming about your inner world, expressed symbolically and all the people and things in your dream are aspects of your own very complex personality presented to you as a symbol to help you face your fears, to understand yourself better, to take better care of yourself, have more compassion towards yourself.
'That's what your dreams want you to do. They want you to understand yourself - because self-knowledge is the beginning of all wisdom.’
Theresa Cheung's top tips for decoding your dreams
1. Prepare before bed
'Put a pen and paper beside your bed at night. That's a visual reminder, before you go to sleep, just say "I'm going to have a dream and I'm going to remember it".'
2. Don't open your eyes
'When you wake up in the morning, this is very important, for the first two minutes at least please keep still when you wake up. A lot of people immediately fidget or yawn or stretch or whatever. Keep still with your eyes closed, because you need to mirror the dream state. If you move, you're going straight into conscious reality. And ego, logic and reason take over. In the dream state you have no logic and reason because that's all to do with the material, waking world.
'That's why wonderful creative connections can be made in the dream state because the only thing missing is logic and reason. So you need to stay in that keep your body in that state. Because if you move your body, you're going to jump out of the dream state and you won't remember.
'So just for two minutes, just lie there keep your eyes closed, because even blinking redirects the brain every time we blink our brain, our thoughts redirect so keep your eyes closed, and just see what bubbles to the surface.'
3. Don't remember anything? Don't panic.
'If nothing bubbles to the surface, please don't worry. A lot of people need to get back in the habit of dream recall. Sit up and write down how you feel in one or two words because that will have been inspired by what happens in a dream. Brain scans show we have at least six dreams a night we just don't remember them. So write down the feeling - whether it's sad, restless, bored, whatever it is - because that would have been triggered by the events in a dream and then keep doing that.
'Over time, you will start having dream recall. it will come because all your dreams are crying out for your attention because for decades, if you haven't been paying attention to your dreams, they've become minimalised and they've been trying to reach you like a friend who texts and you never reply, and they've given up. They just want your attention and your love again.'
4. Don't get hung up on one dream
'Dreams are like a Netflix series, you can't just watch one episode and make sense of it. I suggest people record their dreams over a period of at least three weeks before they start decoding, because you need that long narrative. If you do it for two to three weeks you will have at least 30 dreams and you will start to see a commentary, predictions, creative solutions you hadn't thought of before.
'If you keep doing it in the long term, it's really interesting to go back a year and look for patterns - or of events or mindsets that have occurred since in your waking life.'
5. Don't be afraid of nightmares
'Sometimes your dreams are ugly and difficult. And that's good. It's all about shadow work. Because all your shadow wants is to be understood and noticed. All of us have toxic impulses and your dream mind wants you not to repress them but to understand them. And then when you're awake to choose not to indulge them because that's real strength of character, isn't it knowing you have the ability to be toxic, but choosing not to indulge those behaviours?
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