The most common comment from people is, “I don’t remember my dreams.” Well, if you had a friend who you called ten times and she didn’t respond to your messages, would you still call? It’s more likely you’d wait to see if she took the initiative and showed she cared about the relationship. The same applies to our subconscious. When that aspect of our mind believes we mean it, we start remembering nighttime messages.
Once you’re receiving regular dream messages the most fundamental tools for working with dreams are pen and paper (or your laptop), and perhaps some index cards. Be sure to date, title and record each dream in detail in an ongoing dream journal as soon as possible. It’s vital to capture the symbols while the images are fresh in your mind.
It’s valuable to keep paper, pen and a small flashlight by the side of the bed. If you wake during the night with a dream in your mind capture the key symbols immediately; even a few words can trigger your memory in the morning to recall the complete dream. Some dreamers find it useful to speak into an audio recorder during the night rather than using pen and paper.
Research suggests that most dream activity occurs in the final hour of sleep, basically summarizing the night’s work, so planning for adequate rest is essential. Research has also shown that B vitamins can play a role in memory storage and dream recall, so increasing our intake of these nutrients may improve retention.
Thinking of the dream like a story, and dividing the dream into beginning, middle and ending “scenes” can be helpful. Determine the identity of the main character of the dream. Are you the “star” in your story, or are you an observer, watching the action on a screen? Unless the dream is prophetic, or a shared dream experience, the main character and actors in the dream are all expressing aspects of you. You’re the casting director and everyone represents a quality or behavior you’re subconsciously reflecting on, so if you’re not center stage take a look at who is. What is the age and gender of the main character? How do you feel about the leading lady or man?
Note the setting, plot, lighting, characters, time of day, colors, numbers, clothing and period in history. Your Higher Self is setting the stage, writing the plot and casting the characters. Pay attention to all of these details; each may be a clue. Some may seem subtle, unimportant or even confusing, but dig deeper. Investigate all the hints and images, including animals, buildings, houses, objects, actions, roads, paths, weather and season of the year. Identify the overall tone; is it harmonious, mischievous or dangerous?
After you’ve done the left-brain work of recording your dream in as much detail as possible, consciously open to your intuition as you reflect on the meaning. Connect with your feelings. Emotions are powerful indicators in dreams, and the nature of a strong feeling upon waking can sometimes reveal the whole thrust of the dream. When you awoke did you feel fear, joy, anger, grief?
As Plato knew, formulating the right question is critical to receiving a meaningful response. The questions below are suggestions, and just a starting point, to ask after recording your dream. As you work with this technique you can expand the list with your own questions whenever a new question enters your mind. Record the responses to these questions in your dream journal and watch what happens with your dreams over time.
- What colors, textures, sensations? Note the details.
- What do these things mean to you personally?
- How am I acting in the dream? Why am I doing this?
- How does this dream relate to my life right now?
- Why did I remember this dream?
- Is this an area of ignorance or denial?
- What is my current waking state of mind?
- What was my state of mind when I went to sleep?
- What is this dream trying to tell me?
- What is the main thrust or theme of this dream?
- If I step back, what scene is portrayed on the “TV” screen in my mind?
- Do I feel safe or threatened? Am I running from something or someone?
Working with dreams requires a conscious commitment. Investing time with the symbols in your dreams pays dividends that far outweigh the expenditure of energy. We must be willing to keep a dream journal, humble enough to accept the guidance received, and courageous enough to take action in our lives.
About The Author: Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs. Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies. Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, (available at Satiama) has won three national awards. Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show. She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings. Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt. Visit her at http://www.julieloar.com