We all need adventure. The Adventure Monkey is inside of us all. Without feeding our Adventure Monkeys we get at the minimum restless and at worst clinically depressed. Some people feed their Adventure Monkeys with daredevil X-game types of adventures. Others feed them with travel, meeting new people or raising a family. There is an unlimited number of ways to feed our Adventure Monkeys. If we don’t, we end up with a stale, tasteless and boring life that lacks the excitement we all crave. Ever feel that way? It’s because your Adventure Monkey is hungry or worse yet, starved.Wow. This is exactly what dream interpretation is about. Only we have more in our dreams than just monkeys. We have friends, enemies, strangers, animals, plants, scenery, buildings, monsters, and much more. And every symbol is part of our inner self! Every symbol has a need, just as valid as the Adventure Monkey's need for adventure.
I got the idea of the Adventure Monkey while on a long bicycle ride. I was considering the simple needs that must be met for us to live happy, fulfilled lives. No forebrain or higher level human psyche to get in the way. We tend to forget or repress these simple needs and desires in our logical forebrain dominated world. I found myself seeing these inner needs as little monkeys, cute yet destructive if left unfed.
Much like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I imagined a barrel of monkeys instead of a dry, dusty pyramid. If any one of these monkeys doesn’t get fed, it gets hungry and becomes irritated, antagonizing the other monkeys inside of us.
Working my day to day office job was boring me to death. Office politics irritated me. Meaningless small talk annoyed me. Futile work assignments drained me. In the cubicle world, there is nothing “real” to fight for so we make up stupid, idiotic things to worry about.
I started to feel useless, tired and depressed. I came home and was tired. I would watch people do cool things on television. I was tired of watching people do great things as I sat there doing nothing. My Adventure Monkey was starved!
When the weather turned, I started bicycling again. I was enjoying the freedom and relaxation of a nice cross country ride. I found myself challenging myself, going farther and farther each ride. My mind would clear and I would reflect and learn while on a long bicycle ride. I didn’t feel depressed. I felt as if I was accomplishing something great on these rides. I was feeding my Adventure Monkey.
This is a great approach to interpreting your dreams. Just write down the main symbols of your dream, and, one-by-one, ask yourself, "What does this person/animal/object need to be happy?"
Finding a balance among the many (and often conflicting) desires and impulses within ourselves is the path to maturity and joy. If you are dreaming about something that elicits a strong emotional reaction, chances are there is an internal desire being repressed and needing valid expression.
If you interpret your dreams and act on them in a mature way, you, too, will feel you are "accomplishing something great." Because you are.