The Mind Carefully Selects Images. Did you ever wonder why you dream about a certain topic or why a specific symbol appears in your dreams? During the day, you pass by a store window and see a red shirt; that night you dream about the red shirt. Or, a friend gets a great new car and a few nights later you dream about a car just like it. You watch a TV program about a fireman who rescues a family, and in a dream, you are a fireman rescuing a loved one. Coincidence? No. The psyche—the part of you that never sleeps—selects images from your memory storehouse of images to create a precise message. The selected images create an answer about a topic on your mind (a conscious or unconscious inner question). Whether you saw the image yesterday or many years ago, the mind carefully selected the symbol to get the message across (see How to Understand Symbols). Like a game of Charades, the dream images get a message across without words. Daily Images are the Building Blocks of Dreams. When you saw the red shirt in the store window, maybe it crossed your mind that you would look sexy wearing it, which made you feel good. That night you dream about happily wearing the red shirt. The shirt was an association of feeling sexy, making the dream a reminder about love. If you are single, it may bring up thoughts about marriage with a current partner. If married, the dream may hint it is time to take a vacation with your partner. When you saw the friend’s new car, it occurred to you that you would have to get a promotion at work to afford a car like that is. A dream about your friend’s car becomes a message about dusting off career goals to advance yourself. When you watched a TV show about a fireman's daring rescue, you admired the hero for helping others. A dream of seeing yourself as a fireman becomes an invitation from the soul to look think about how you could help others, using your talents, whether through career or volunteer work. Not everyone can be a fireman but everyone can be a hero to someone! What Is on Your Mind at Bedtime? Take note of thoughts and feelings as you fall asleep, as a main hints about dream recall. You dream about what is on your mind and in your feelings, so bedtime musings may the first clue to what the dream is about. Dream stories and their images are not random; you dream about what is on your mind and what stirs your feelings. Think of a dreams as a conversation with yourself that continues through the night and ends up as a morning “dream memo,” that contains a new insight. The next morning, jot down the dream and a few phrases about main events in your life such as "wondering about career" or " trouble with so and so." The world may see your brave face every day, but your pillow knows what you really think and feel—which is what you dream about.