Bringing your Dreams to life
Dreams don’t have to be understood to be valuable in our lives. In fact, certain experts propose that dreams are not meant to be interpreted at all and debate whether any interpretation of them is truly valid. Some argue that at best, we are attempting to assign a specific meaning to an enigmatic series of symbols. They believe that you devalue the dream through interpretation and that dreams are complete in and of themselves: there is nothing more that needs to be done with them.
For me, dreams are like art—a form of creative expression that originates from a place deep within our being that is both familiar and unknowable. Ask any artist, entertainer, author, or musician about their creations and you will repeatedly hear them speak about receiving theirinspiration from God or another divine source as part of their process. They tap into an informational wellspring that exists beyond their normal, conscious awareness. These same people often mine their dreams for ideas and imaginative content. They take these rough thought and feeling gems and run with them, creating stories, music, art, and performances.
When we experience a form of art, there are those of us that try to decipher the artist’s intention behind his or her creation. The critiques vary from individual to individual and are true to us on a subjective, personal level. The same can be said about our dreams; they are unique to each of us. We can dream about house, but everyone’s house will be a little bit different. They can be small or large, simple or grand, and in the city, country or on another planet. Since we put considerable effort into trying to understand other people’s art, why not give our dreamlife the same contemplative attention and appreciate our own slumbering masterpieces.
Working with your dreams as a source of creativity is an alternate way to honor and connect with the wisdom that lives inside of you. This process is just as valid as interpreting your dreams, and for some, it’s easier and a lot fun. When working with dream fragments and images in this way, the goal is expression instead of interpretation.
Here are some suggestions for bringing your dreams to life:
1. Take a nap or get a good night’s sleep.
You tend to remember more of your dreams when you are rested, and the dreams you do remember are apt to be richer, more vibrant, more complex, and longer. In other words, you have lots of material to work with.
2. Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up.
Give yourself a few minutes to transition between your sleeping and waking state. You will have a hard time recalling the details and large pieces of your dreams once you get up. They evaporate from your consciousness as soon as you start your daily routine.
3. Look for images, thoughts, and feelings that speak to you.
Go through your dreams a few times, read them aloud, and circle or list the parts that attract you.
4. Find ways to make your dream symbols real by bringing them into physical form.
Write a poem, draw, sing, cook, dance, garden, or plan something. For example, I once had a dream where I was ingesting something ethereal and neon green in color as part of a transformation. When I awoke, that image intrigued me. In the dream, I felt empowered and was manifesting something new in my life. I wanted to recreate my dream experience and thought about what I could create to represent the green energy. I decided that the energy looked like Pistachio Dessert Salad. I made a big bowl, declared what I wanted to transform in my life as I ate it, and affectionately named the dessert “Manifestation Salad.” Whenever I want to recapture that feeling for myself or share that experience with others, I make Manifestation Salad. No dream interpretation is involved. All you have to do is find or make something in the physical world that is a close approximation to what you experienced in your dream.
Another dream I had happened just before I graduated from college. I dreamt about crossing the border between two countries. In the dream, I felt liberated. I decided to plan a trip to Canada with a couple of my closest friends to celebrate my graduation. As we drove across the border, I reconnected with the dream image and felt exhilarated.
I’ve dreamt of colors and found ways to bring those colors into my surroundings or wardrobe. I’ve dreamt of images and then gone to card shops, looked through magazines, and surfed the internet to find pictures that capture the dream’s essence. Once I dreamt I was in a band called “The Party Hardy Band” and was singing Melissa Etheridge’s song “Come to My Window.” Needless to say, I bought that CD.
Now, you should have some ideas on how to utilize your dreams as a source of creativity. In my opinion, honoring and paying attention to your dreams is what is important no matter what method or paradigm you choose. I incorporate many techniques when working with my own dreams and find all of them valuable given that some dreams lend themselves to one method more than another. Looking at your dreams as a source of expression opens you up to different experiences, is accessible to all ages, and is a great activity to share in dream groups.
Close your eyes and dream big dreams. I know you have amazing creativity flourishing inside of you!
Lisa Finander is a published author, developmental editor, and consultant/teacher specializing in mind, body, spirit subjects.
Throughout her college coursework, Lisa created Independent Studies combining subjects such as tarot and dreamwork with personal development, resulting in her completion of a B.A. in Psychology & Symbolism from Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
She is the author of Disneystrology: What Your Birthday Character Says About You. For Disneystrology, Lisa incorporated the teachings of astrology, tarot, and numerology to create 366 unique birthday entries with a corresponding Disney character... read more about Lisa