We all say that we "dream of peace" but our dreams seem to be concerned with anything but peace. Why is that?

We all say that we "dream of peace" but our dreams seem to be concerned with anything but peace. Why is that?

In working with my own dreams and assisting others to work with theirs over the years, I have come to realize that there are many winding, hidden pathways leading to understanding what our dreams are actually telling us.

If we take dream images literally, we might see them correctly as precognitive messages, but most people I meet find their dreams to be meaningless and confusing, sometimes amusing, or just frightening. Many dreamers will blame a disturbing dream on what they ate the night before or something they saw on television. But, most do not see their dreams as having anything to do with their daily life or inner peace.

One image, which appeared at least twice in my dreams, was a bear: The first time I'm in a wild wilderness area where one might expect to see bears. I'm on a hillside looking down at a river when I see several bears going to the water. One lags behind and begins to look up to where I am standing. I become anxious but stay very still. The bear, which apparently has not noticed me, changes its mind and wanders off to join its companions. When I see this I'm relieved and decide to head back to join my friends again.

Another time the bear appeared in a dream, I was in a cabin in the woods: On hearing a rustling and scratching sound, I look out the window and see the bear near the door. It begins to push on the door. Terrified, I shove a heavy piece of furniture in front of the door. The bear's pushing continues and I grow more frightened. Suddenly it stops. All is quiet. When I look out the window I see the bear walking into a nearby outbuilding. Although relieved I know it might come back again and try to break in. I don't know what to do.

I realized that this dream was about something in my waking life that was trying to push up into consciousness — something that I wanted to run away from, too terrified to confront.

If the terrifying bear image is that something, what is it a metaphor for? What am I afraid of? The answer came quickly. I knew on a deep level that at the time of the dream I was heading for financial disaster. The setting in the woods was a metaphor for my world of credit cards. It was a not a safe place for me to wander alone and unadvised. I had been going into the "woods" alone with little or no knowledge of how to manage or protect my credit. I was naively headed toward bankruptcy. This awakening pointed me in a direction that eventually saved me from disaster, taught me how to deal with financial and other problem areas in my life.

I've grown to love the adventure of translating the metaphorical language of dreams. I've learned to see my dreams and my art as guides that help me solve problems as well as be sources of creative inspiration. If I let them, they provide messages daily to and from my inner mind, telling me what I can and need to do to create inner peace.

Charu Colorado is a multimedia artist and transformational dreams and art coach. She resides in Ashland and shows her art work in the region. Some of her "Night Moon" paintings will be on display in Ashland at Gallerie Karon, starting the first Friday for the month of August. Her "War and Peace" altars will be shown at Bell House Gallery in Talent starting the second Friday of September. For information call 541-482-6319, or visit www.creatingourlife.com.

The Ashland Daily Tidings invites residents of the Rogue Valley to submit articles on all aspects of inner peace. All walks, faiths, paths, insights, revelations and experiences are welcome. No one is excluded when we hold the light of understanding. Send 600- to 700-word articles to Sally McKirgan, innerpeaceforyou@live.com.