the HIMM Dream Journal: The Return Home, Part Two

In my last post, I started the interpretive process of a dream I had when I had a cold not too long ago.

The response I have received from that post was immediate. I had people send me comments on my Facebook page for HIMM (Healing with Intuitive Metaphysical Modalities, my work with dreams, Tarot, and Reiki). I also had someone approach me and share her experience reading the post; she said that she has started to look at dreaming and her dreams in a different light as a result.

This immediate reaction tells me that there is an interest in both dreams and this type of content on the blog.

So, in an effort to keep the interest level up, and the momentum going, this post is the second installment of my dream, The Return Home:

I recently moved to the building right before I left for the cruise. Looking at the building with staircases criss-crossing in front of it, I am now not certain which apartment is mine. I am going door-to-door, up and down stairs, looking through glass panes on the doors to see anything familiar. I also hear a young woman soliciting magazine subscriptions. I want to find my apartment before she gets to my door.

In this segment of the dream, the apartment building is the location, and is the symbol of the subject matter. For those of you just coming to this blog, an apartment symbolizes the heart and circulatory system of the dreamer (in this case, me).  It refers to the dreamer’s emotional nature, and can suggest that the dreamer separates himself from his feelings. When the subject matter of a dream is determined, everything else in the dream will be connected to it in some way.

As in the previous installment, my emotional nature is continuing to be the subject matter. In that post, this was symbolized by the woman and the weather, which was winter and snow.

In this segment of the dream, I point out in the narrative that I have recently moved to this building. I found this to be amusing, because in waking life I have done the opposite: I moved into my first home in November of last year, becoming a homeowner for the first time, after living most of my adult life as a renter. I also took this to, yet again, be a reference to my past (which was also a part of the interpretation in the previous post).

In dream psychology, there is a technique known as free or personal association. This process requires the dreamer to associate the symbol in a way that defines it on a personal level with the first thing that comes to mind regarding it. An example: I recently had a gentleman relate to me a dream he had that involved a snake. I have found that many people have dreams that involve snakes. I asked him to tell me what he thinks of snakes. I found his reply to be the most interesting I’ve heard to date. He said, “I have great respect for them because they can be dangerous.” He was surprised when I told him that he was the snake in the dream, and going with his association, there was a need for respect in his waking life. I took this to suggest while he wanted respect, it might be more from a sense of intimidation and fear (the snake being “dangerous”) rather than admiration (which I think he wanted).

Going with this process of association in my dream segment, moving is a state of transition. Something is changing in my life. Moving to an apartment could suggest a return to a way of “living” that was from my past. The same could be said for the cruise, an aspect I left out in the previous post. I went on a cruise, in waking life, for the first time, a year ago. Again, a reference to the past. Symbolically, a cruise represents a life journey. So, everything that comes after that is saying it’s all a part of my life’s journey.

The staircases in front of the apartment building intrigued me. Staircases, in waking life, allow us to travel up and down, to go from floor to floor, or level to level. Since the subject matter is about my emotional nature, my first impression was that the stairs are indicative of the emotional “ups and downs” I face in life (I am facing the staircases). In waking life, there is an area that has me dealing with extreme emotional reactions and swings (sometimes up, sometimes down). Having the stairs criss-cross says a couple of things: first, there is some sort of emotional conflict, that I have conflicting feelings in an area of my life; and second, there is a need to eliminate this way of reacting. A criss-cross forms an “X,” which can mean “X marks the spot,” or that something needs to be crossed out, cancelled out, and eliminated. This can show me that I may have thought this way of reacting emotionally was a thing of my past, and the dream is showing my that this is not the case. Something in my waking life is triggering a past mode of behavior and reaction.

The next part of the dream involves me looking for my apartment, not certain which one is mine. In a sense, this can imply being lost, which is a state of uncertainty. This could mean that I am trying to find where I am supposed to be in life, where my “place” is. As I ponder this, I recently graduated from university with a degree in psychology, as well as a minor in Human Resource Management; this could suggest a post-graduate feeling of “now what?” at this juncture (criss-crossing stairs) in my life.

I then begin looking through glass panes on the apartment doors to see if I can see anything familiar. Doors can symbolize opportunities, so this can represent that I am trying to find opportunities for the future. The fact that all the doors remain closed can suggest there’s nothing “open” for me at this time. In addition, on an emotional level, closed doors can suggest being emotionally closed off in some way. Going further: the glass panes on the doors give me a chance to look into the apartments. Where in the previous post, looking out of a window represented my outlook, this reversal can suggest being “on the outside looking in.” This is important, as it indicates a history (the apartment being an element from my past), from an emotional perspective, of being different, not necessarily fitting in with others in life. It can mean trying to fit in (finding my “place”), and the difficulty surrounding that made it difficult for me to let people in emotionally (all the closed doors at the apartment building).

This part of the interpretation is important because of what comes next. In the dream, I hear a young woman soliciting magazine subscriptions. I have already touched on the symbolism of a woman in a dream; my emotional nature is being expressed again here. Solicitation is a form of work here, so the woman is working in the dream. She is getting people to buy what she is selling, basically. Since rule number one of dream interpretation is that everything in the dream is me, I am attempting to get people to “buy into” what it is I am working on in life. The magazine subscriptions further this meaning with the word “subscribe.” But it is the magazines that are key here, as the product being sold. Magazines indicate a counseling ability. The dream is saying I have this ability, which is indicative of a depth of knowledge which can be used to help others see where they are in life, and what they need to do, to get to where they need to be. Going door-to-door can suggest being a one-to-one counselor, working with people on an individual level, as opposed to a group setting, like support groups or group therapy. It can also represent drumming up business, and the process of obtaining clients.

It is interesting to see how the symbols of the dream complement and reinforce one another, as well as further clarify the subject matter. I look at the doors with a new insight. The glass can represent, in terms of being a counselor, having an ability to see into the lives of people I work with, to gain some insight through an intuitive impression. This brings in the work I already do as an intuitive consultant.

I have come to understand that counseling is an ability that comes from within. It implies living a life in which you don’t fit in (which is symbolized in the dream). It is said that this sense of isolation begins one’s training to become a counselor. It trains you to be on the outside, the periphery, of life. It shows you clearly how things work for others, as it is a life of observing others. It also trains you to have the emotional detachment needed to be an effective counselor.

Counseling is an ability that works through our female side (the woman soliciting magazine subscriptions). An ability that works through our female side requires compassion and an open, non-judgmental heart. In the previous dream segment, being judgmental was indicated by the snow, and my saying I was done with snow indicates being done with that characteristic, that trait. Regarding compassion, I have adopted a more Buddhist perspective on life through my training with Reiki, and I wear a pendant around my neck that is a visual representation of the Buddhist mantra of compassion. I wear it to remind me to be more compassionate in this life.

It is the last line of this dream segment that intrigues me. I state that I want to find my apartment before she gets to my door. My immediate impression is that I want to find where I am supposed to be, as well as create the opportunities, to best use this ability. I want the counseling to be something that “opens doors,” not closes them.

I’ll  take this “opportunity” to end the post here. In my next installment, I’ll discuss the final part of this dream, which I think you will find very interesting, in light of what has come before it.

I will also take the “opportunity” to discuss going beyond the interpretation process. While it is great to uncover the meaning of a dream, it is only useful if it is applied to your life.

Please keep sending me your comments, either by e-mail ( or in person, if you spot me out and about. I love hearing what you have to say.

Until the next installment…

Love and light,


About James Himm

James Himm Mitchell, the Dreamer and Visionary of LifePlan Coaching & Consulting, LLC, works as an intuitive life coach, with a focus on personal growth and development. His specialties are Dream Decoding, Oracles (Tarot, playing cards, and Lenormand), and Energy Medicine (Reiki), and he uses those modalities coaching individuals to create the tools and develop the strategies that transform their lives.
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