Remembering your dreams…now, how do you do that?
Well, perhaps it is as the old adage says…”what y’a don’t use, y’a lose!” And, it is true…when we do not cultivate or tend or pay attention to our “garden of dreams”, we may lose awareness of our dreams. Our garden may experience drought, or may be filled with the “weeds” of being overwhelmed with the regular (and very necessary!) things of life—like working for a living, family or relationship worries and other activities of the waking world. All of these “waking world” activities are, of course, crucial, important and must be healthfully addressed. Yet, in our present culture we may, accidentally, miss the nourishment of the garden within. Exploring your dreams in a healthy, intentional manner will always bear fruit…will always add to the nourishment and wisdom to your waking life. Hey, how ’bout this: “Get a life! Catch a dream! Catch a dream! Get a life!”
Ready to catch a dream? Ready to dig in your dream garden? Here’s how to begin your dream work:
First, keep it simple…remember, you’re sleeping.
Second, talk to yourself…be nice, don’t yell. As you go to sleep, just gently ask yourself (or “the dreamer within”) to do your best to remember your dreams…night after night as you gently remind yourself, you will start to remember…snatches or fragments, at first, then whole dreams!
Third, try keeping a notepad and pen by your bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night, just jot down a word or two that will help you remember the dream the next morning. Try not to use a light to write, it may wake you up too much. You’ll get better at this as time goes on… be patient with yourself. Go back to sleep…you need your rest…u-u-u-m-m-m-m-…sleeeeep…
Fourth, “thou shalt honor all dreams…” No matter what, “all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness” (Jeremy Taylor)…teeny, weenie fragments, biggies, little ones, embarrassing, scary, profound, boring, the “this-doesn’t-mean-anything!” dreams, the “oh,-my-goodness,-I-can-never-tell-anyone-this dream-or-I’ll-get-arrested!”…have I missed anything? All dreams. Do your best to write/journal the dreams as soon as you are able to do so. This type of dream work may take time. Write all details: buildings, colors, story, feelings…all pieces or elements, creatures, humans…on and on. Try not to analyze or figure out the meaning of the dream during this time. You can work on the meaning later. Yes, you may hide your dream journal…it is private. No sense in having it accidentally published in your local paper! May ruin a good day and mess up your good night’s sleep (now, that would be a nightmare!)
Fifth, find a trusted friend or, perhaps two or three trusted friends, and talk about your dreams and your dream work. Yes, I did say “talk” and I did say “trusted friends”. Talking about your dreams will help you remember your dreams…it sort of makes the dreams “official”. Important rules: No gossiping, be kind, don’t judge…
Other ideas to help you in your dream work: draw or sketch your dream story; give a title to your dream story; just jot down the main symbol or event in the dream; read and research on the internet/library/bookstores about dreams…the more you cultivate your interest, the more dreams you’ll catch