Solving Problems While You Sleep – How Does This Happen?

Problem Pic

Note: This is a real dream and waking life situation however, the names and identifying characteristics have been changed to protect the identity of everyone involved.

Little Andre lay in his bed with his mother attentively watching over him.  He looked particularly small for 10 years of age given he had been sick now for what felt like an eternity.  In actual fact he had been ill for a week with no answers from doctors as to why he was so desperately unwell.  Since coming home from school one day he went to bed with complaints of feeling ill.  Within a day he could no longer speak, he was no longer conscious, and his little body simply kept breathing short, shallow breaths.

Andre’s mother had been informed that morning by the doctor that a spinal tap would be necessary.  They didn’t know what to do otherwise, as all tests had come up negative.  The desperate attempt now was to see if the cerebral spinal fluid was infected and rendering him comatose.  The words had hit her like a blow to the head.  Andre was her entire life and for that reason she had fought so hard for him to live in a world she carefully controlled. A world she felt was best for him.  In reality, Andre was all she had.

Having not slept for days she finally collapsed into a chair beside the little boy’s bed and fell into a deep, life-saving sleep.  During her sleep she had a dream image of Andre looking at her with a stern face. He held a bat in his hand and was slowly kicking a soccer ball against what appeared to be a brick wall.

“What are you doing Andre?” She asked.  “I’m faking”, he responded by spitting the words out to her.  She woke up with a start from her sleep and suddenly felt disoriented as she quickly hoisted herself out of the chair.  She stood over her young son’s bed and watched him breath.  He was so frail in his pyjamas for not having eaten in so long.  He looked pale, with dark circles under his eyes.

Slowly she bent over him and whispered, “You better not be faking Andre”.  For the first time in days he slowly began to move.  He wiggled his little body slightly and grimaced in an attempt to speak.  Gradually he replied in a weak whisper, “I am, and I’m going to keep doing it too.”  With both elation and fear she stood bolt upright and ran for a nurse.

Andre began speaking to the nurse while disclosing the bitter divorce between his father and mother made him so sad he didn’t want to live another day.  His mother had pushed his father out of his life and this made life unbearable for the young boy.  Shortly thereafter, the diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder was given and Andre was moved to the psychiatric ward for treatment.

It’s here we see a special class of dreams that provide information for situations that require immediate and direct attention.  These dreams provide answers, direction and solutions to waking day situations that need to be attended to as dire consequences are eminent.  This category of dream imagery allows for the perception of a life event to change or to come into conscious awareness so waking day problems can be solved.  The dream is often short, shocking, and memorable.

The imagery in these dreams is often exaggerated to get the attention of the dreamer.  Most often the outcomes are not nearly as outrageous as they are in the dream itself but the dreamer becomes incredibly aware of the circumstances at hand.  Characters will appear larger than life and situations far more dramatic or horrific than what they would be in waking day.  It’s with these tactics that dreams grab the attention of the dreamer so direct action can be taken.  Of course the dreams can be ignored but the unconscious mind is doing its part to break through to the conscious mind for the benefit of the dreamer, and, everyone involved.  These dreams are of an extraordinary nature with very direct information being conveyed for the betterment of the self while allowing the healing process for deep, unconscious wounds.  Unknowingly, we are actually answer-seeking from the unconscious mind to help us navigate through difficult life circumstances.

Sweet Dreams,


Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of numerous scientific articles and the books “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being”,  “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams” and “La Bussola dei Sogni”.  See more of her work at




The Real Reason You’re Being Chased in a Dream


Exhausted and frantic Emma runs for her life.  She can feel the stranger literally breathing on her neck as she runs into an abandoned building and down a flight of stairs in frenetic haste.  She can feel the cold rail as she grabs for it to not lose her balance.  She suddenly stumbles down one stair as she loses her footing and miraculously finds herself back in step with the stairs.  The stranger gets closer and closer and she can intuitively feel he has a weapon and will harm her if she stops.  Gasping for air as he gets closer and closer, he grabs the back of her shirt to pull her in for the kill.  Just then she wakes up in a sweat with a start.  Emma has experienced the global, common and well-known dream imagery of being chased.  This imagery is experienced by people of all ages and in every culture all around the world and has existed in the mind of humanity since the beginning of time.

Research and applied work on dreams and dreaming have revealed dream imagery to be directly connected to the dreamer’s waking life in some way.  Paradoxically, being chased in a dream is both a global theme and a very personal one, at the same time.  The imagery is common in that it’s often experienced by many and will manifest itself over and over again but the “message” is deeply personal to the dreamer alone.

One person being chased by a stranger may reflect the fear and anxiety of a new boss at work with a connection to someone who is literally “breathing down your neck”.  Another may dream of being chased by a wild creature which can be linked to a childhood event that is now recurring again for that dreamer; “a predator” perhaps.  In another instance, the perpetrator may be a relative or friend, indicating a direct message that this person is trying to harm the dreamer in waking day in some way.  The work of the dreamer is to be aware of the imagery (e.g. don’t ignore it) and then slowly begin making the connection to waking day events.

Chasing dreams are a straight-forward survival mechanism so once a dream has been acknowledged the message or meaning will be realized in order to avoid mistakes or damaging events in waking life.  Though the meaning may not always be obvious upon waking, after a few days or weeks the meaning will be manifested.  If the dream is ignored and the message is extremely profound for the well-being of the dreamer, the imagery will recur.  The dreaming mind is one of the greatest protection mechanisms for each and every person and will not let up if the dreamer is in eminent peril.  So being chased in a dream is a very simple mechanism for alerting a dreamer of the potential for being harmed, which can be completed avoided or minimized, by simply heeding it’s message.

Stay safe,


Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of numerous scientific articles and the books “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being”, “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams” and “La Bussola dei Sogni”.  See more of her work at

How A Dream and a Piece of Cake Can Change Your Life

I recently awoke from sleep having had a clear, brief and profound dream with a close friend telling me I had cancer.  She appeared very certain, with a stern and forceful look on her face while stating emphatically, “you have cancer”.  From my research and writing on dreams I knew this could be one of two things: a “prodromal dream” telling me directly of this health issue, or, it was a “warning dream” telling me to be aware of an impending health situation.  Either way, I knew my unconscious mind was telling my conscious mind to become alert.

From that day onward I began watching my health while being very aware of the recent dream imagery.  I called the friend who had appeared in my dream for any insight she may have but we didn’t seem to make any real connection.  A few days later another friend called and in casual conversation she told me she had eaten a piece of cake and consequently, the cake had made her quite ill for the day causing lethargy, upset stomach and other symptoms relating to food sensitivity.  It was in the description of her condition that a light bulb went off in me.  I too had all the symptoms of severe food sensitivity that had gone on for weeks but unknowingly to me, I pushed the symptoms out of my mind and continued to function as best I could.  It was in that very moment I made the connection between her cake-eating condition, my dream, and the symptoms I had been ignoring.

The dream was warning me of a health condition by bringing a shocking message into my conscious mind.  Warning dreams do that so the dreamer can become abruptly aware of a waking day situation. I then began being conscious of the foods I was eating and quickly found the culprit.  Within one day I found the food that made me ill within one hour of ingesting it.  As simple as it was, my daily routine of eating oatmeal was making me very sick.  Brain-fog, bloating, nausea and lethargy hit me like a fast-moving train and this is what my unconscious mind was telling me.  We can go about our busy lives by repressing physical symptoms until they become unbearable.  The dreaming mind is extremely watchful over the body and brings important information into the conscious mind for our own benefit-albeit in a shocking and uncomfortable way.  How else would we heed the advice if we’ve become accustomed to ignoring our own body and mind? This is how the unconscious speaks to us through our night-time mentation in order to help us in every facet of life, especially with our health and all we have to do is listen.

To your best health,


Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of the books “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”.  See more of her work at

dream of cake

If Dreaming is Vital to Health, Why Don’t I Remember Them?

sleeping woman

One of the most common questions I’m asked as an expert on dreams and the dreaming mind is why people don’t remember their dreams upon waking.  Another common comment is “I don’t dream”, emphatically stated by those who don’t remember their nighttime images.  So, what is the reason people believe they don’t dream, or, simply don’t remember them?

The first fact to know is everyone dreams (outside of brain injury) and do so every time they sleep.  Adults and children alike dream in every sleep period.  People dream in both REM sleep (rapid eye movement) or deep sleep, and in NonREM sleep.  Research has shown dream imagery to be generated in people every time they sleep.  So, when people say, “I don’t dream” what they’re really saying is, “I don’t remember my dreams upon waking”.

If this is the case, why are some people not remembering their dreams?  The dreaming mind is similar to the muscles in the body in that if you ignore your muscles they tend to atrophy.  Your muscles will only develop if you choose to develop them and if you do, they do so very well over time.  Similarly, the dreaming mind will progress if you choose to focus on it and make it a priority for you.  If you think about your dreams in waking day, keep a journal by your bed, record them upon waking, and generally focus on them, several changes will begin to occur.

One change is that dreams will be remembered more often.  As soon as a focus is put on them with the waking mind (e.g. telling yourself you want to remember them) you will begin remembering more and more images.  The next change that will advance is the imagery will become far less bizarre and more understandable.  When people are very disconnected from their dreams the imagery seems bizarre and full of nonsense.  The imagery is actually very personal for each dreamer and is reflecting aspects of emotions, thoughts, and events from waking day.  Every dream is intricately connected to a dreamer’s life in a multitude of ways and therefore, no imagery is out of context to one’s life.  When we start writing down our dreams we also begin to see patterns emerging in the imagery.  The dreaming mind is communicating with the conscious mind in numerous ways.  The language of one’s own dreaming mind will become understood and just like learning any new language, understanding evolves over time.

So, what will you learn from your dreams? You’ll learn about your own physical, mental and emotional health as the dreaming mind keeps track of all these things and reports them to the conscious mind through dreams.  In fact, if the body is becoming ill, unknowingly to the dreamer, this information will show up in dreams before the conscious mind knows about it.  You’ll learn about relationships from the past, present and future.  You’ll learn about your finances and how to improve them.  The dreaming mind is the great teacher of one’s own life and will freely give information to anyone willing to pay attention.  Simply paying attention upon waking and in waking day will allow the language to be spoken in clear and certain terms.

Sweet Dreams,


Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of the books “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”.  See more of her work at

What Exactly is Political Correctness (PC) Anyway?

At a recent social event a woman began mocking the religious beliefs of someone she worked with.  She joked about his religious principles and ridiculed the personal, private actions that went with them.  Her behaviour cut through me like a knife. I felt a gash of pain deep in my chest as she made another human being the target of her dark humour in this way.  Her comments quickly escalated to mocking people with accents.  I could tolerate the wrenching pain it caused in me no longer and suggested she refrain from this behaviour.  I said it gently but clearly, suspecting I would be the next target of this verbal mistreatment.  “I’m not politically correct”, was her answer.  So what exactly did that mean, I wondered?

For several days afterward the idea kept popping into my head. What does it mean to be politically correct (PC) and how does this really affect us in our everyday lives?  The definition of PC taken from Webster’s is the notion that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.  It seems pretty simple yet some say it’s gone too far while others say it’s not gone far enough.  Looking at the definition again it seems to mean refraining from language or behaviour that harms others.  Taking this one step further, I ask myself why someone would want to do that? Why is it acceptable to use language in the form of humour, exclusion, or outright abuse to harm others in any way, no matter what the situation?

When we strip away all the rhetoric the reason it’s not acceptable is actually very simple; another term for PC is kindness.  Kindness is defined by Webster’s as the state of being considerate.  This is the state of being thoughtful, respectful, understanding and caring.  If it’s not kind, don’t say it. If it hurts someone (even by association) then don’t do it.  Inflicting pain on others is never the road to one’s own best self and in the end, it’s the one who is unkind that appears in a negative light by engendering damage.

So kindness is really the underlying intention of PC and if we use this term instead of “PC” it makes all our decisions much easier.  I suggest we substitute PC for kindness in both word and deed because this not only makes decisions simple and clear it also puts our words and actions in their rightful place.

Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Joyeux Noel. Happy Hanukkah. Buon Natale. Best of the Season to You.  However you celebrate, may it be joyous.


Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”.  See more of her work at


“The Golden Rule” in Difficult Times

hillary-and-trumpIn light of the US election results I found myself profoundly sad.  Sad because bigotry had exploded in that country over the months we watched the forerunners state their claims. Hatred and exclusion based or race, or gender, or religion, or socio-economic status seemed to rise to super-star status.  So how can we possibly thrive as a human race when this exists on our planet, let alone, from one of the most powerful countries that inhabit it?

While driving to a destination by myself, I fortuitously turned on the radio station to hear a talk by Karen Armstrong, my favourite author of books on comparative religion.  As it would happen, she was discussing “The Golden Rule” which has been reiterated by most prophets over time.  The rule as I understood it for most of my life states that we should do to others as we wish to be done to us.  In other words, treat others as you wish to be treated.

Armstrong eloquently pointed out in her discussion that the Golden Rule was stated by Confucius five centuries before Jesus, and then later by others, who taught similar words.  Confucius however, stated the rule to mean that one must not impose on others what they do not wish for themselves.  Now this turns the rule on its head for me.

Not only does the Golden Rule apply to positive behaviour, it applies equally to negative behaviour as well.  If I wish to be treated kindly, I must be kind. If I wish to be treated fairly, I must be fair.  On the other side of the coin, if I don’t like people demanding I adopt their belief system then I should let others believe as they wish.  If I don’t like people stereotyping me by culture or race then I should treat all others on their own merit and not stereotype them. Herein, the Golden Rule covers much more ground.

Armstrong went further to say that we can reflect back on those things that have hurt us and upon experiencing these we will then not do that to others.  Perhaps this is the most powerful way to use the Golden Rule because we have direct experience on what has hurt us and what we do not wish to re-experience.  It’s here that we can reflect back from the pains we have felt allowing us to reflect on what hurt us and adjust it accordingly.  If someone cheated me in the past and it hurt me deeply then I now know how it will feel in another and I must not impose that which I do not wish to re-experience myself.  Similarly, if someone has spread untruths about me and it caused emotional pain then I can adjust my behaviour to not cause similar pain in them.  We all stand in direct experience as the recipient of negative behaviour and can now react accordingly.

Reflecting on The Golden Rule as Armstrong so powerfully explained on my journey in the car has strongly transformed the rule for me.  It brought to light the wholeness of that rule and how it covers the repercussions of all behaviour; those I wish to have for myself and those I do not wish to have for myself and others.  Since I have no control over the behaviour of others in any way, I can empower myself with behaviour I wish to share with the world and that which I do not wish to ever see. I aspire for you all good things, now and in every day to come, no matter which country you live in. No matter what religion or spiritual belief system you adopt. No matter what gender, age, sexual-orientation or socio-economic bracket you are in.  I wish for you all things I wish for myself in every way possible.

Here’s going forward with The Golden Rule ever more golden.

Love Teresa

Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD, is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”  You can see more of her work at Teresa DeCicco Website


How Taxi Drivers and Parking Attendants are The Greatest Teachers

I have a flight to catch and the traffic is backed up for miles.  I’ve left 3 hours early to be sure to I get there on time and make the flight.  I have a meeting at the destination point that feels very, very important to me.  Why can I just not get there?  If this is my life’s calling and I’m to be where I’m intended to be, how can I be delayed by unbearable traffic?  The thought combined with the cars all around me pushing and inching to go nowhere are making me desperate.  I feel trapped.  I just want to make my flight.

As this day would have it, I can’t get anywhere near the airport and my mind begins to look for alternate plans.  I can park away from the airport (at the cost of a fortune) and get a cab there.  This might just work even though the traffic is mounting around me and so are tempers.  Humans, like animals, begin to instinctively react in survival mode when overcrowding closes in.

I find a parking lot and take a deep breath.  I might make this flight after all.  The parking attendant tells me I can stay there for a few nights but charges a high fee and cash only.  Darting for the nearest cash machine, I now know I might make it; only to find the machine with a piece of paper taped on it saying it was out of order.  The thought occurs to me there and then that perhaps I won’t make my flight and more importantly, I’m not supposed to.  My rational mind still wants to get where I want to go.

The parking attendant, clearly sensing my desperation, begins to help me with my parking issue.  He takes all the cash I have (about half of his fee) and suggests I put my car in a spot close to his booth.  As he’s talking, he’s calling a cab for me and I can instantly see a cab rushing toward us.  This man serenely suggests I calm down and “trust that everything will work out as it should”.  His words go through me like a knife.  I have said those very words over and over to myself and others but hearing them now made more sense than ever.

I’m met by a warm and gentle taxi driver and inform him I have 10 minutes to make a flight.  Due to all the road closings he becomes a James Bond type driver, whizzing the wrong way down one-way streets and cautiously but meticulously maneuvering the car.  I’m now at the point of tears and he sees my distress.  The taxi driver becomes my teacher; he tells me that I’m late for a reason I do not yet know.  He says everything in life is to be trusted so I never have a reason to worry.  Just try your best and then trust it all works as it should, he says.  He quickly drops me off and waives the taxi fee.  I take the time to pay him now knowing I will miss my flight.  I missed it because two of my greatest teachers were exactly where they needed to be when I needed them; one in a parking booth and the other driving a taxi.  They were there to remind me that I cannot control the external world and I can just do what I can do.  The rest is not for me know.

I patiently wait for the next flight.