Troving is a lovely word that has all but disappeared from use – except for ‘treasure trove.” The other day, somehow, I came to know its meaning outside that phrase. To trove is take advantage of a situation to take or steal something. For instance, if someone drops $20 bill and you pick it up as yours, rather than ask, “Did you drop this?” Or, if your cashier hands you the wrong change and you keep it, which, reminds me of the hysterical IKEA commercial: a woman thinks she’s been seriously undercharged, and she starts walk-running away, trying not to look suspicious and finally yelling “Start the car, start the car.” When she and her husband get away in the car, she can’t believe her good fortune. “Woohoo!” she’s yelling. It’s just a sale. That is troving. Stealing, taking, trying to get away with a slight in your favor.

People who teach about money mindset, or money “scripts” would say that troving, or grabbiness in general, is a “scarcity” mindset. An abundant mindset is the goal, because like attracts like. So abundance attracts abundance. In brief, this is the law of attraction, the nut of knowledge that came from that big bestseller The Secret, in 2006.

I was thinking of times I’d troved. Unlike the IKEA woman, I began to feel kind of icky about the times I could think of, times I’d pocketed something, or “borrowed” something, or kept something I might have been able to return. Finders Keepers? But it is not a good or positive feeling, right? I feel a little shame even. Troving is not to be treasured.

So, with this new gem of a word, hidden in plain sight, I went to bed one night, and dreamed. Dreaming is one of the ways we process feelings like shame or fear.

In my dream, I was driving in an RV with my husband, Adam, and when we pulled into an RV park, it turned out we had to share our RV with another family, to save money. In the RV park, pets could not be put down, so I had to hold our dog the whole time. I wondered how I was going to get any work done. But then I found a $500 bill, that possibly belonged to the family who was sharing our RV. I troved it. And felt dramatically guilty and paranoid the way you can only feel in a dream.

We were there (in Ohio, where I grew up) to visit a woman, who ran a magazine. We went to her office, and were waiting there. She was the editor of a magazine called “The Family Trove”. She had four kids, all of whom were at the office, but quiet and not seen until it was lunch time, and then, they joined me and the editor for a funner than average business lunch.

At the restaurant, I had three quick events that drove home the message my dream was trying to get me to understand. A man asked me for directions to the airport. (I said, I’m not from here, and can’t help.) I ran in to someone from my old high school who had been in plays with me. And he recalled me as a Pick-a-Little lady in Music Man, laughing. He said, “You were great.”

Then my dog was scratching at my door to come in, and I woke up. I could vividly remember the whole dream.

What does this dream mean? People always ask me what their dreams mean! Here’s how you can, in the light of day, trove the meaning of your dream narratives.

1. Write down the symbols from the dream.

  • Symbols are all the nouns in the dream, and some acts/verbs that seem meaningful.
  • Examples from my dream: Adam, Pets can’t be put down, Ohio, Troving, The Family Trove, Editor, 4 kids, Airport Directions, Guy from my high school, acting/past.

2. Describe the symbol – from the point of view of the symbol

Make a chart with your symbols in the left column. Take the “part” of the symbol. Feel as if you’re that symbol. And describe “yourself” as the symbol in three words.

  • I’m [symbol], I’m (three descriptors).
  • Example from my dream: I’m “pets that can’t be put down.” I’m (three descriptors)
    1. fidgety in your arms
    2. Unnatural
    3. Pent-up, antsy


3. Ask each symbol, what it is there to tell you.

Last step, after all the descriptors have been entered into the chart, ask each symbol “What are you here to tell [the dreamer]?” Think it through a little, and write down what that symbol is there to tell you. Stay in the character of the symbol as you answer.

  • I’m [symbol], I’m (three descriptors) and I’m here to tell [dreamer.]
  • Example from my dream: I’m “pets that can’t be put down.” I’m fidgety in your arms, Unnatural, Pent-up, and antsy. I’m here to tell Julia, “Your responsibilities may feel burdensome, but they are your reality. They can’t change.”


I’m… I’m… And I’m here to tell Julia…
Adam Rock, reliable, fun Get help from a reliable source
Pets that I can’t put down fidgety in your arms, Unnatural, Pent-up, antsy Your responsibilities may feel burdensome, but can’t change.
Ohio Your childhood, Midwestern, bland but good It ain’t all Broadway. It’s steady-Eddie wins the race.
Troving Guilty, tempting, taboo, isolating Finding and stealing might be the easy and tempting way, but it is isolating, and leaves you on an island of guilt, shame.
The Family Trove Magazine Thriving, creative business, fun You can turn your shame into an offering that people need and desire.
Editor Competent, beloved, successful, mom
I made “troving” fun and of value.
Have integrity, be authentic. Turn your mess into your message.
4 kids Cute, curious, bright People need your wisdom & guidance
Airport Directions Simple knowledge, necessary information, the “basics” But you need basic operating information.
Guy from my HS I recognize you, I like things you do/did, I know you’re fun and creative Your people are out there – everywhere
Acting/past Bravery, achievement, enjoyed by hundreds at one time Go big. Give big.

What did I take from this dream? I knew my subconscious was trying to get my attention. You can see it in its “instructions” in the right column. Read together, they are ideas of what I should do:

Get help from a reliable source. Don’t complain about your other responsibilities in life, or use them as an excuse. Just do the work, steady-Eddie wins the race. Don’t cut corners or scheme about easier ways, just nose to the grindstone, you know what needs doing. But when you feel isolated and shame, learn to accept it and use it as part of what you offer others. Don’t hide it. Don’t trove it for yourself. Make your offering with integrity, authority and a sincere intent to help. Get the help you need so you can help your people. They’re out there. Go big, give big.

This was a powerful and empowering dream. In fact, later in the day, I knew precisely what my subconscious was urging me to do. As a result, I invested in a new business coach mentorship (to get the help I need and go big/give big.) How did I know this was the meaning? This coach, whom I had been thinking about signing up with, used to publish a family magazine and has 2 kids. (Okay, not a perfect fit.) But I was on the fence about spending the money, because of a scarcity mindset. Abundance attracts Abundance and so I invested in myself and my ability to help creative people. I hired the coach.

Your dreams are gems you can trove (in a good way) using this method. Your subconscious has things to tell you, but your scaredy-cat brain gets in the way.

As a way to give big, keep an eye on my emails, I’m going to offer dream interpretation sessions in early February – another gift of this dream.