Most of us go to bed and don’t remember our dreams when we wake up. We don’t commonly ask each other, “How were your dreams?” This is curious to me.
So, I started becoming more aware of my dreams. Why limit my consciousness to waking hours only? And, I soon realized dreams are a path towards a greater awareness of the world around me. They are opportunities to receive guidance, inspiration and support to improve my life.
I have discovered many different types of dreams. Processing dreams help me sort through emotions and thoughts in my life. Reflective dreams are replays of experiences, such as a movie or a conversation I’ve had. Then, there are the deep dreams that have a bit more energy. Deep dreams usually are more vivid and easier to remember, even after a long period of time. Deep dreams may feel every bit as real as waking life. Occasionally, there is a nightmare that I wake up from afraid. A nightmare is often an unfinished dream.
All dreams can teach. It doesn’t matter if the dream is short or long, simple or complex. As long as it’s remembered, the dream holds potential for our waking life.
Where is the best place to start? Start by remembering your dreams.
This may seem simple, however, some of us face challenges here. It helps to set an intention before I go to bed such as “I intend to remember my dream tonight”. Once I started remembering my dreams with intention, they started coming more regularly.
I also keep a journal next to my bed so that, when I do remember a dream, I can write it down before I forget it (sometimes at three in the morning if it’s a really good one). Writing the dream down, upon awakening, often helps me recall more details of the dream. I personally take this a step further and type up my dreams once a month to highlight patterns, messages and key information. It’s a little bit like a treasure hunt, looking across the series of dreams for jewels of insight.
Once I remember a dream, it’s possible to replay and share it with others. This process of sharing the dream, with at least one other person, helps me see more angles to the dream. There is an analogy I like for explaining this: I am looking at the front of an elephant while the person I share my dream to checks out one side. I hear their description of the left side of the elephant and gain new insights. For example, now I am able to see that the elephant has more legs. Sharing my dream opens up the potential to receive a more complete picture or another piece of my dream puzzle.
Pulling together the pieces of the dream can take time. Personally, I like meeting with the same person each month. She helps me take a deeper look at my dreams, track any patterns over time and come up with actions to take in my waking life. This is one of the reasons I work as a dream facilitator for others – because I’ve found it so powerful for myself.