decoding Your dreams: Part 1
There are many reasons why people choose to record their dreams. Some people look to their dreams to find inspiration and creative direction. Others discover that their dreams provide them with answers to certain questions or uncertainties in their life. Still other individuals explore their dreams as a member of a dream group community and look for the connections and similarities that unite the dreams of the entire group. Additionally, persons write down their dreams as a way of communicating with their spiritual selves, and the act of recording them is a part of honoring that sacred part.
Whatever your reason is for wanting to explore your dreams, this month’s blog focuses on the first step in dreamwork, recording your dreams. It may seem like an obvious step, but think of how many dreams you’ve lost by not writing them down. And, if you plan on working with your dreams for more than one day, you need a way to reference them.
Dreamwork is similar to other creative pursuits in that there is often an editor or critic inour head censoring our dreams while we write them down. It is important to capture all those so-called mistakes, wrong words, and disquieting images from your dream while they are still fresh and raw. Don’t try to explain anything away or leave anything uncomfortable out, and don’t force yourself to interpret them on the fly. Right now, you are capturing the essence of the dream, the translucent images, feelings, and words that are quickly evaporating back into dreamland. If you crop your dream at this stage, you may well be throwing away the most significant part of your dream, and you’ll never know it and more importantly, never remember it later. So while you are recording your dreams, include all the pieces that seem mundane and unimportant. Think of these trivial details like a wise woman or man dressed in rags wondering in your dreamland’s magical forest. They could be holding the magic key that unlocks the power of your dream.
One of the ways I quiet my critic is to write my dreams out by hand in a journal. If I type them out on a computer, my analytical, left-brain takes over, and I am correcting grammar and composing my dream, not recording it. If you are good at ignoring the spell check function or turn it off, you may find that typing your dreams on an electronic device will work for you. You can also use an audio device or app to record your dreams. This is a good method if you don’t mind listening to the sound of your voice later on when you will want to transcribe your dreams so you can work with them.
When you finish recording your dream, write down the date and time. You might find a pattern to your dreams based on the time of year, day of the week, and time of day. Dreams that arise from an afternoon nap can be vastly different from those gathered on Monday mornings. Next, give your dreams a descriptive title. As you collect more and more of your dreams to work with, you’ll want to be able to find them and compare them to other dreams with the same theme. You might also want to give them a few tags words too like summer, 16, blue car, etc. As a reminder, record your dream first and then add this extra information. If you try and title your dream first, you’ll loose the dream trying to come up with a “good” title. Stay in your right brain for as long as possible.
So for now, just write down your dreams. Capture as many as you can. Don’t worry if you wake up and don’t think you remember any of them. Write down whatever you feel as you wake up if a dream isn’t readily available. Write down words or a song that is playing in your head. Write down anything. The only condition is that you do this while you are still in your sleepy state. Don’t try and wake yourself up first. You want to try and catch the images that are still lingering on the bridge between sleep and consciousness. If you are new to this and have difficulty remembering your dreams, read my previous post 5 Tips for Remembering Your Dreams.
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