Last updated on April 8th, 2019 at 11:51 am

In our weekly Mindful Dreams column, Aneta Baranek of the School of Metaphysics is offering free dream interpretations to The Mindful Word readers, as well as articles on dreams in general.

If you’ve ever been curious about deciphering the cryptic contents of your subconscious mind, here’s your chance! If you would like Aneta to interpret your dream, fill out this form. She will respond with your dream interpretation through this column, published every Thursday. Aneta would love to receive more comments for the dreams interpreted. If you can relate to a dream posted here or have any insights to add, you can post them as comments to the interpretation, or email her at


Dear Aneta,

My whole life I have been more or less tormented by sleep paralysis at night. During some times it happens more than others, but my most recent experience with it is something I’ll never forget.

I lay down to sleep like normal, and felt the paralysis come over me, which has always been accompanied by audio hallucinations, vibrations throughout my body, and an overwhelming sense of terror. Normally I fight the experience and wrestle my way back to being awake, but this time for whatever reason I felt a great anger at this affliction that has been tormenting my nights as long as I can remember.

Next thing I recall, I was standing up in my room, things had a strange glow to them. There was what I can only describe as a monster/demon standing in the corner glaring at me. I was overcome with rage at the being and proceeded to wrestle and fight it. Somehow I made it leave. Once it left I felt an overwhelming sense of lightness and began to float upwards, through my ceiling. I then flew around a beautiful landscape, feeling absolutely joyous and free. I flew into the stars laughing carelessly and somehow found myself in a bright large space, like being in a giant mall, but everything was colourful and it had the vibe of a carnival of some sort.

I encountered my brother and he proceeded to escort me around this happy space. I met many people from my life, people I see regularly, my family, close friends, not so close friends, but everyone was SO happy and it was all so beautiful and carefree. I can’t recall many details, just that my brother showed me around and told me lots of things.

It was all wonderful until I realized that there was one person that was missing. It was my ex-girlfriend whom I’d been with for two years, someone very important to me who I believed I truly loved. I have been going through a lot of pain missing her and wanting her back in my life. I asked my brother where she was but he seemed very uneasy about the idea of me seeing her.

He led me to her, and I saw that she was with some other people talking. I immediately tried to run to her and say something, but my brother stopped me and I looked at her again to find that she was in the arms of someone else. It was at this point that I was overcome with a slew of sadness and regret and anger. My brother became distressed and tried to calm me.

What happened next is hard to explain but it felt like the entire place imploded right onto my head, like a literal atom bomb had been dropped right on top of me. Then I woke up. A dream this REAL FEELING has never happened to me. I only remember chunks and bits and I’ve left out other details, but the feelings are still very clear.

Thanks in advance,


DREAMER: Male, U.S., 19


Glow – Light, awareness

Monster – unknown aspect of Self

Flying – freedom

Landscape – subconscious existence

Stars – awareness in the conscious mind

Mall – group of many aspects

Brother – familiar, outer aspect of the dreamer

Family/Friends – familiar, known aspects of the dreamer

Ex-girlfriend – past, familiar, inner aspect of the dreamer

Other people – unknown aspects of the dreamer

Bomb – uncontrolled change



Hello Larry,

Thank you so much for sharing such an epic dream!

The dream draws your attention to you overcoming a monster within you. It’s quite possible that the monster is the sleep paralysis you mentioned. In general terms a monster represents an unknown aspect of Self. Often times we’re very afraid of those unknown parts of ourselves. The dream highlights the realization that you have a power within you to overcome whatever it is that the demon/monster represents. Once you accomplish that you have an experience of heightened awareness (glow) and freedom (flying). Through the beautiful landscape you experience greater parts of your inner subconscious mind. The mall and all the people in your dream represent parts of you, the dreamer. There are many aspects of yourself that you interact with in this dream. Some are very familiar and known like your family and friends, and some are unknown.

To fully grasp the meaning of this dream it’s important to determine what qualities your brother and your ex-girlfriend represent. Answering this question will add depth to this interpretation. Whatever characteristics you perceive in your brother aid you in experiencing more joy and happiness. He’s the one guiding you through the carnival-like atmosphere in the mall and beyond. Your ex-girlfriend symbolizes an inner aspect, which you perceive as though you lost it, as if it was given away to someone else (your ex-girlfriend hugging another person in the dream).

The bomb symbolizes forced change due to the emotional turmoil experienced starting with the rage experienced when fending the monster off, moving through freedom and happiness and ending with extreme sadness, regret and anger.


Dreams reflect our state of consciousness from a day or two prior to us having a dream. In other words, dreams reflect our perceptions from waking life.

Your dream speaks to emotional states that you have experienced proceeding to having this dream. Oftentimes when we’re not present with our emotions during the day, through dreams we experience emotional release. I see your dream being such a case.

The scale of emotional expression in the dream is very rich and expansive moving through extremes. It reflects a deeper awakening into your own thoughts and perceptions. It also reflects you feeling pushed into it (bomb), as if entering the emotional state is forced upon you or it is out of your control.

In this process of self-discovery the aspects that your brother represents aid you in finding joy and happiness. Qualities represented by your ex-girlfriend are associated with regret and sadness. It’s important to note that everyone in our lives is a mirror for us. Although the girlfriend might not be a part of your life anymore the qualities that she represents are still within you. You can call upon them, rather than regret losing them. You can also cultivate the love that you have felt for her. True love lives on even if the circumstances in our life prevent us from being with the person we love.

As for sleep paralysis, do you remember what your very first experience was with it? Seems like you’re not in harmony with it, justifiably. What I understand of such states is that it’s very important to be as calm as possible when they occur and eliminate any resistance towards it that you might be experiencing. Using conscious breath also helps to ease the process. Some use sleep paralysis to become lucid in their dreams. Point being, that how we perceive what is occurring determines our experience with it. Perhaps instead of resisting it you could try exploring within why the sleep paralysis is in your life? There is a deeper meaning to its presence…

May your dreams illuminate the inner you

Image A modern nuclear bomb explosion via Shutterstock
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