To Sleep, Per Chance To Dream – How To Learn From Your Dreams
by FinerMinds TeamFebruary 7, 2011
Have you ever tried to use your dreams for personal insight? There’s plenty of ‘cook book’ information out there on the symbolism in your dreams (if you see a dog it means this; if you talk to a doctor it means that …). Some of these books, like horoscopes, are pretty superficial. Others can be deeply insightful.
Carl Jung, the famed psychoanalyst and student of Freud went beyond Oedipus and right into archetypes of the psyche. He suggested that your dreams - and each element in them – respresent different parts of your self. Jung believed our dreams are rich with meaning that can deepen self-knowledge. That is if you take the time to understand what they want to tell you.
But here’s the thing, you have to remember your dreams if you want to ‘work’ with them for deeper insight into your life. So if this idea interests you, here’s two things you need to do in order to improve your dream recall AND get more meaning and insight from what you remember.
Intend to Remember
First things first: you have to build your recall muscle. The more you practice this, the better you’ll get at remembering even what might seem like insignificant details. So before you go to sleep each night, repeat a simple, clear phrase over and over again. Here’s a few samples:
■I wake and remember my dreams
■My dreams remain clear when I wake
■I have total dream recall
■Tomorrow I’ll remember all my dreams
If you’ve even tip-toed around the subject before, you probably already know that keeping a dream journal is the single most important habit for effectively recalling your dreams. But a dream journal serves a much greater purpose. Using a journal helps you actually dialogue with your sleep-time adventures, to gain insight for your waking life. Here’s how you do it:
1.Keep a dedicated dream journal right next to your bed.
2.As soon as you wake, write down everything you remember. (This will increase the more you do it).
3.Make a short list of the elements in the dream that stand out most to you. This could be because they trigger the strongest feelings or because they were so clear or because they were important to the ‘plot’ of your dream.
4.Begin a dialogue with these elements – one at a time. Let’s say a chair figured prominently in one of your dreams. You can open the ‘conversation’ by writing: “Chair, why were you in my dream and what do you have to tell me?”
5.Listen with every part of your being. Have you ever heard a strange noise in your house and stopped everything you were doing just to figure out what it was? In these moments, it’s as if every cell in your body is listening. Well, you want to ‘listen’ for the answer just like that.
6.Write down what you hear or see, or any impressions that come.
7.Keep the dialogue going until the story and meaning unfolds.
Have you ever ‘worked’ with your dreams? What did you do to remember than and get helpful insights for your waking life? eave a comment and tell us more.