Dream Labs’s guest of the week is Jenny McGurk, certified health and wellness coach with a focus on hypnosis! In this episode, we discuss COVID dreaming, what purpose our dreams can serve, and how hypnosis can help us enhance our dreams. Tune in for tips and tricks on how to listen to your unconscious mind when you sleep.
[Alien Dream by Romariogrande]
Nat Ocello: Hello, and welcome to all my sleepyheads listening out there. Join me in the exploration of the mind at rest by analyzing dreams and discussing exactly why we dream what we dream. This is your host, Nat ocello. And you’re listening to Dream Labs.
Jenny McGurk: I took a year of my life, and I followed a formula. It’s a formula that I teach all of my clients. And it’s simple to say, but it’s not as simple to actually do, so it’s follow your highest excitement, to the best of your ability, without any expectation of the outcome.
Nat Ocello: That was, Jenny McGurk, talking about how her life path led her to become a certified health and wellness coach and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner, and hypnotist. Jenny is joining us today to talk about why we dream and how hypnosis can play a part in the dreaming process. Jenny and I talked about how there was an increasing number of people who were able to dream at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she shares her theory as to why that could be.
Jenny McGurk: So when quarantine came, people were allowed to express themselves or go back into their own natural cyclical cycle. So people were going to bed when they wanted to people were eating when they wanted to, and the bacteria in your gut and the way that we when we eat and how we processed food affects our sleep. So people were allowed to be themselves they were allowed to eat and sleep and work when that was aligned with them, and align them back up with their higher self with their source. And within that, it freed them up to start having dreams.
[Alarm clock sound, someone yawns, fade-out Alien Dream music].
Nat Ocello: You’re listening to dream labs with Nat Ocello, coming to you from Washington, DC.
Nat Ocello: So my next question is why do you think we dream?
Jenny McGurk: I think it’s like, it could be multiple reasons. I think some of it is just processing the day’s events, you know, connecting to the unconscious part of the mind that there’s something that consciously you’re in denial about and that you need to heal, it can be a way of your unconscious mind presenting you with what that is, you know, oftentimes when people experience trauma, or people who have PTSD, you push those things so far down that people don’t even remember them sometimes. And so the dreaming can be a way of kind of that light push in that direction of trying to actually acknowledge what those issues are, those problems are.
Nat Ocello: Relating this back to COVID, and how it affected the content of our dreams, Jenny and I discussed how dreams can be used to provide guidance in solving our personal problems.
Jenny McGurk: So our dreams, if you can look at it, like our unconscious mind is trying to give us information or tell us something. And it could be things that like our conscious mind doesn’t really want to hear, you know, like lots of things that you don’t want to hear. And if someone just came out and said to you something that you don’t prefer that you don’t want to hear, or it’s going to disrupt your life or cause turmoil in your life, your conscious mind, you’re going to be in denial about it, or you’re going to put up a big stop sign and you’re going to tune it out and not taking that information. But the unconscious mind will absorb that. And the unconscious mind always wants to keep you safe. And so it will like within metaphors, so dreams are all about metaphors. And the same thing with hypnosis is that you will arrive at certain things or dream about certain things in a roundabout way to kind of softly maybe present those things to you that you don’t really want to face that you’re in denial about is the opposite of tough love, I guess.
Nat Ocello: So I’m really interested in your focus on hypnosis. How does hypnosis help us dream? What do you do for your clients to help them manage their dreams in order to work through their own issues?
Jenny McGurk: I almost always start off all my clients with something called mind scaping and it’s a light trance where you are hypnotized but you are answering questions. If you’ve ever a problem that you’re trying to solve your mind will create a metaphor for that problem. And then I walk you through this map of trying to solve that problem. But your unconscious mind is answering the questions in the form of a metaphor. And within that and not just within the mind scaping but within other forms of hypnosis. I almost always give the suggestion that later that night or in the days of follow or the weeks that follow you might dream about this challenge that you’re having or your unconscious mind will offer you solutions to your problems in your dreams. And so I don’t ever really interpret anybody’s dreams or even their mind scaping metaphors either. There are general ones that are very obvious, you know, because a lot of times when people have a problem, or challenge, there’s so in it, that they can’t see it, you know, and someone from the outside source even before the hypnosis has occurred, it’s like, Okay, this is what’s really going on, can gently help people into the solution. And also, this kind of just came to me to something about hypnosis and our dreams. So like, we use the metaphor of a labyrinth as your problem or your unconscious mind. So like, in the traditional stories of a labyrinth, there’s like the monster or the minute or like in the center of the labyrinth. So that kind of represents your challenge or your problem or your issue. And as a hypnotist, we help you get into the state where you can enter that, that Labyrinth, feeling safe and supported. But the client or the person is the one that needs to go in the labyrinth, they need to find their own way, and they need to find their problem and slay it. And then we are you know, the breadcrumb or the string or the guide to help them come out. But you know, if you solve someone’s problem for them, it’s not really solved. You know, like, I always say, like, I hold space for people. But if I, I’m not gonna hold your hand, because if I hold your hand and pull you out of the labyrinth, or if I’m if I go in and slay that monster for you, if I let go, you’re gonna fall over and you’re gonna be right back where you were, and probably upset with me. And upset because you haven’t solved it for yourself, you know. So the labyrinth of the mind tour is a great metaphor for thinking about dreams and kind of the concept, of hypnosis.
Nat Ocello: If you’re a person who has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or remembering your dreams, then you’re in luck, Jenny and I talked about the different ways to enhance what you dream and tips on how to remember them.
Jenny McGurk: The number one thing that I tell people is very practical things about not looking at your phone or your computer screen about two hours before you ideally want to fall asleep. Not eating about the same amount of time about two hours because when we eat close to bedtime, the energy is spent digesting our food and can allow that energy to go to other places to allow our bodies to relax and fall asleep. Another simple thing is if you want to lucid dream, if you want to remember your dreams better, or if you want your dreams to tell you something if you’re trying to work out a problem or like say you have a sticky relationship with someone that you work with, or you know a partner, and you just don’t really know how to you know, approach the situation you can ask your unconscious mind to send you dreams to help you work that problem out. And listening to music. My daughter and I, every night we listen to the rain, things like that will help you fall asleep. And also if you do dream to write them down, then things like dream journals or you know, or seeing themes and your dreams will start to begin to tell you things if certain symbols show up or animals oftentimes appear to people. I’m not a big proponent of those like dream diaries of like, if you dream about an eagle it means X, Y, and Z. Well, an eagle could mean something completely different to you than it could to me you know in a dream. So if you see like repeated patterns or images or things in your dreams, just kind of think about like, what does that mean in my life? Is that is that my unconscious mind trying to tell me something? And oftentimes they’re simple. You know, I think as humans we try to overcomplicate try to find like the deeper meaning like what does this mean? You know, but really, it can be just as simple, you know, simple explanations for things.
Nat Ocello: I’m really excited to try these new techniques to remember my dreams and use them as a guide in my life. I think I’m going to be more aware of my mind and what my body wants if I start paying attention to something as little as the content of my dreams. And on that note, I want to thank you so much Jenny for sharing your knowledge on dreams and hypnosis. And for all of you listening out there. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed the show. I linked Jenny’s Instagram and YouTube channel for more information about her amazing work on my web page.
Music Credits: Alien Dream by Romariogrande