How to “incubate” guidance from your dreams | Dream Times

Did you know, you can use your dreams to “incubate” information about desired goals?

Losing weight is a common goal, for example, so one dreamer decided to ask her dreams for guidance about the best way to accomplish this goal. Before sleep, she asked for a dream that provided the best course and direction to assist with weight loss.

The following dream occurred during this process:

“I looked at myself in my bathroom mirror, but only saw my naked torso and I didn’t think I looked too bad, and [I] wondered why I am trying to lose weight.” — M.L., Oregon.

By examining pieces of the dream content, information surrounding the dreamer’s “incubation” question comes to light. The torso houses vital organs that keep the body functioning and in working order, with the heart located in the center. Metaphorically, the dreamer has exposed the “heart” of the issue.

According to the dream, there are no head (the practical, linear, rational “in-the-world-at-large” part) or limbs (which allow for manipulation of the environment) attached to the torso. It appears the dreamer is operating on a heart or emotional level without the benefit of rational balance from the head, (thought) or arms and hands (doing).

The unclothed torso indicates exposure and vulnerability. If the heart and lungs (breath of life) are exposed, then they are open to harm or destruction. The torso contains the stomach, which holds nourishment, so this dream may be saying the dreamer “can’t stomach” or needs to digest considerations she has about weight loss.

Change is difficult and needs to be digested or (accepted at an internal level before the goal can be reached. In order for the core to be healthy, all systems must work harmoniously together.

The mirror adds layers of meaning to the dreamer’s question. Many stories such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Snow White” use the mirror as a magical object to reveal the “impartial truth”; it’s regarded as a mystical gateway into another world.

Further, in the Buddhist Mirror of Dharma, “the mirror symbolizes truth, but also enlightenment” (Nozedar, 2008). Mirrors allow one to step apart from reality to gain perspective and provide reflection on the way things are (Linn, 1996).

It is interesting that the dreamer looked at her image in a mirror in the bathroom, which is a place for cleansing, elimination and where preparations are made for the day or night ahead. Also, it is important to note that you are perceived by the image you project into the world, which may be the primary concern of the dreamer.

The dream addresses the question of how to proceed with a desired goal of weight loss, by showing the dreamer’s heart/emotional aspects should be balanced with rational, concrete decisions when changing her lifestyle. If the dreamer’s intent for weight loss is only about looking attractive, then the dream may be saying it should include considerations for health and vitality as well as appearance. Based on this information, the dreamer can choose whatever course of action she needs after she “digests” the healthiest way to achieve her goal.

By using dreams as a guide to assist you in achieving a desired goal, you are better prepared to proceed with safety and inspiration.

Dream Times is an interactive column for you. If you have questions or dreams you would like to explore, contact me at or visit my website at

— Marlene King, M.A. is a writer, artist and mental health professional and has been a dream practitioner for more than 30 years. She has written for Dream Network Journal and various other publications.