What did you dream about last night? Can you remember? Somehow the incredibly vivid images that we remember when we first wake seem to disappear by the time we have eaten breakfast.
Ever since I was a small child, I have always been fascinated with my dreams. I can remember sharing the stories with classmates in the playground who weren’t that interested as they just wanted to play. And, like play, dreams are just another way that we engage with the imagination. Elisa Romeo says that our imagination is our greatest spiritual tool.
Dreams and Play
As children, we seem fluent with the language of the imagination pretending to be superheroes, roleplaying being an astronaut or turning a towel into a cloak of invisibility. As adults, we often lose touch with this energy. But as we sleep our Soul speaks to us through the imaginal language of metaphor. It’s as if messages from the Soul are translated into images that we can relate to in our waking lives. So, we dream of flying or houses or falling or monsters or sex or faeces or losing teeth.
Driven by curiosity, I distinctly remember consulting my mother’s well-worn Dream’s Dictionary to find some clues as to what the images meant. Today, I like to look at dreams less rigidly and work with them in a creative and soulful way. Many ancient cultures believed, and still do, that if you are not in touch with your dreams, you are not in touch with your Soul.
When we attend to our dreams, they give invaluable information about what we repress or deny, our health, our potential or what need to work through to experience something different in our lives. Your dreams may also be predictive. When you learn to trust your dreams, you will notice there is an enormous amount of truth in them.
But first, you need to remember them!
Dream Catcher’s: Ways to Remember Your Dreams
Here are 5 imaginative ways to remember your dreams.
- Get interested! Just the simple act of bringing attention to your dreams will go a long way to help you remember them. Reading a book about dreams or talking about your dreams with friends or your counsellor is a wonderful way to do this.
- Before going to sleep say to yourself, ‘I am going to dream tonight. Tonight I am going to remember my dreams.’ Say this three times. When you wake rest in this liminal sleepy space. Just allow the images of the dream to emerge. If you can only remember one image, that’s a good start; the rest will follow floating through your consciousness over the next hour. In any event, write down in your journal what you do remember. It doesn’t have to be the whole dream. Perhaps there is meaning in the image that has caught your attention.While saying to yourself, ‘Tonight I am going to remember my dreams’ you can ask a specific question that you want an answer to. Or you could write the question on a piece of paper and put it under your pillow. Remember dreams speak in metaphor so you might not get a literal answer. Once the dream is unpacked, you will notice the answer.
- Develop a dream journal. Keep a pen or pencil by your bedside. Write down your dream when you wake whether it’s the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. Some people like to adorn the cover of the journal. Others use fabric, drawings, sketches, pictures, or collage to bring life to the image of the dream. Anything that brings a living relationship between the journal and the dream helps with remembering.
- If your dreams seem few and far between, in his book Dream Tending Stephen Aizentat suggests going back to the last dream you had and working with it as if it were happening right now. This might even be a childhood dream. Live through the dream from start to finish, remembering whatever you can of it, and don’t forget to record it in your journal.
- Be thankful. Say thank you to the unconscious for the gift of the dream.
These steps work progressively so be patient and don’t give up if you don’t notice immediate results. Over the days you will find yourself remembering more and more dreams and feeling more and more in contact with the world of dreams.
Over to You.
What’s your relationship with dreams? Are your dreams pleasant or do you just want to forget them?
Do you have recurring dreams or see familiar images?
If you want to explore your dream images and what they might be letting you know, get in touch and book your first counselling appointment.
© Sandra Harewood