“If you can dream it, you can do it!”
I heard about this – incredible – mantra for the first time Napoleon dynamiteand fast forward almost 20 years, and here it is again, this time from the mouth of Theresa Cheung.
You may know her as This morning‘s regular dream decoder, but for those with a passion for all things esoteric, she’s the Brit great lady in psychic and spiritual studies, having written more than 150 books on New Age subjects, which have been translated into 40 languages.
her most famous work The dream dictionary from AZ is a Sunday Times bestseller and, as Theresa proudly recounts, also one of Waterstones’ best-selling books of the last twenty years.
Today we talk about their latest release, Strengthen your inner psyche. The book, which she describes as her “magnum opus,” is the culmination of decades of preoccupation with dreams, intuition, astrology, angels, the afterlife, and other spiritual phenomena.
In Strengthen your inner psycheTheresa argues that each and every one of us is born with the innate ability to predict the future, and shares a mix of anecdotal and scientific evidence from researchers around the world to back up her claims, along with easy-to-follow meditations and exercises, to enhance our sixth sense.
she said women health: “Over time I have gathered so much information, not just anecdotal stories about people’s experiences, but from scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists working in this field, from their research and their conclusions.
“I 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 free of jargon because I find working with scientists and neuroscientists, a lot of their stuff, is so interesting, but because of the terminology and the methodology it just gets lost all.
“It’s a dream come true for all of us. We felt a loved one walking around us. We had intuitive hunches that turned out to be correct. A large majority of us have had psychic experiences and we have dismissed them.
‘We are all clairvoyant.’
Mother-of-two Theresa has been on a spiritual path for as long as 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 as blatantly 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. I got interested in the paranormal from a very young age, but because I couldn’t see dead people or auras or have angels in my pockets or my hair… I mean, I can’t. I don’t see any of that. And that is the vast majority of people.
But only because you can’t see ghosts or throw furniture around the room with a nod like Eleven von stranger things (and let’s admit it, we’ve all tried) that doesn’t mean you have zero psychic abilities.
In fact, Theresa believes we all have the power to unlock the unseen – and it all starts while we sleep.
“I am evangelical about this dreaming. Everyone loves their dreams. Because if you love your dreams, you love yourself,” she said.
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“Whenever I talk about dreams, people don’t realize we’re talking about our inner psychic abilities. Scientists don’t know exactly why we dream, but they do know that when we’re not dreaming, there’s an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Depriving subjects of REM sleep leads to depression, anxiety and, in animals, rapid death.
“Perhaps we sleep because we urgently need to dream in order to connect with who we really are, with our soul. Everyone who dreams is clairvoyant. Your dreams are your inner medium speaking night after night after night.’
Although the world’s top scientists are clear on why dreams happen and what their real purpose is, Theresa has a theory.
She said: “Dreams are a voiceover for your life. They are the spiritual part of you that comments on your life and tries to get you to brainstorm and see things from a different perspective.
“The big problem people have with dreams is that they take them literally. And they are not. They must be interpreted symbolically like a poem or like a work of art.’
According to Theresa, to deciphering your dreams — and their often muddled meanings — it’s essential to write down what you can remember from the moment you wake up.
She explained: “When you start recording them in the morning, every morning, every morning, you start to see what your dreams announce, whether they give you hints and tips, where they warn you about people or situations. And they do.
“It breaks my heart that people are dismissing it as ‘just a dream.’ It’s not just a dream. You dream 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 and to take better care of yourself, have more compassion for yourself.
“That’s what your dreams want from you. They want you to understand yourself – for self-knowledge is the beginning of all wisdom.’
Theresa Cheung’s top tips for unlocking your dreams
1. Prepare before bed
“Keep pen and paper by your bed at night. This is 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, please keep still for at least the first two minutes when you wake up. Lots of people immediately fidget or yawn or stretch or whatever. Keep still with your eyes closed, for you must reflect the dream state. When you move, you go straight into conscious reality. And ego, logic and reason take over. In the dream state you have no logic and reason because it all has to do with the material, waking world.
“This is why wonderful creative connections can be made in the dream state, because the only thing missing is logic and reason. So you have to stay in that state and keep your body in that state. Because if you move your body, you will jump out of the dream state and not remember.
“So just for two minutes, just lie there and keep your eyes closed, because even blinking redirects the brain, every time we blink our brain redirects our thoughts, so keep your eyes closed and see what bubbles to the surface.”
3. Don’t you remember anything? No panic.
“If nothing bubbles to the surface, please don’t worry. Many people have to get used to remembering dreams again. Sit up and write down in a word or two how you feel 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 sad, anxious, bored, whatever – because that would have been triggered by the events in a dream and then keep going.
“In time, you will begin to remember dreams. it will come because all your dreams are crying out for your attention, because if you haven’t paid attention to your dreams for decades, they have been minimized and tried to reach you like a friend who texts you and you never reply, and they have given up. They just want your attention and love again.’
4. Don’t get stuck on a dream
“Dreams are like a Netflix series, you can’t just watch an episode and make sense of it. I suggest that 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’ll have at least 30 dreams and you’ll start seeing comments, predictions, and creative solutions that you hadn’t thought of before.
“If you’re doing this long-term, it’s really interesting to go back a year and look for patterns — or events or ways of thinking that have happened in your waking life since then.”
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. We all have toxic impulses and your dream mind wants you to understand them, not repress them. And then when you’re awake to choosing not to give in to them because that’s a real strength of character, isn’t it knowing you have the ability to be toxic but choosing not to give in to those behaviors?