Sebastopol
December 2, 2020
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Write it down: Dreaming, the gateway to our unconscious

By: Peg Rogers
October 23, 2020

Do you dream?  Do you wish you could remember your dreams? Or do you think you simply don’t dream? Dreaming is something we all do. But how many of us remember them? Yes, we remember the occasional dream that evokes a strong emotion in us. Nightmares can create fear and the physical and emotional reactions that are memorable. There are ways to calm them, especially if they seem real.

Another common dream is one of arousal or lovemaking, very common dreams that evoke strong pleasant emotions. Or any of a number of other dreams that are memorable usually because we experience a strong emotion.  But every night dreams...most of us “can’t remember” them. They seem to disappear the moment we wake up. Do you want to remember them? If yes, there are tried and true methods to do so.  

Learning to write down your dreams can help you remember your dreams and may give you insight into your unconscious self.  There are hundreds of books and research projects available to find out the details of learning about your dreams. 

Keep a separate journal dedicated to your dreams.

One way to start is to say to yourself at bedtime, I’m going to remember my dreams tonight.  Then keep your dream journal and pen next to your bed easy to reach.  When you wake up, move only enough to reach for your journal and pen and write down any of the dream that you remember.  At first it could be just a word or an image or a sound or smell.  Whatever it is write it down or draw it.  At first nothing may come, keep at it.  Every night set the intention to remember your dreams when you wake up.  Before long you will begin to have much more to write in your dream journal.

Why is a dream important?  In psychology the dream is thought to represent the unconscious speaking in symbols and metaphor.  It is a way to get acquainted with a part of yourself that heretofore has been unrecognized.  Dreams may help solve problems in your every day life, or spark the production of many creative pursuits, artwork, paintings, stories, written adventures, even “ ah ha” moments of understanding something about yourself or a problem you’ve been struggling with.

The psychologist Carl Jung thought of dreams that when recalled and written down and reflected upon were the true way to understand the life you choose.  

Another way to work with your dreams is to ask a question, write it down succinctly in one or two sentences as the final act before going to sleep and ask your dreams to give you an answer. After a few tries this can be very productive. 

The key to making a dream useful is to write down as accurate a description as you can about your dream. Don’t try to interpret it, simply report it as an observer. Then when you have described the dream in as much detail as you can, write about the emotions it evoked. And finally ask how some part in the dream is reflective of your waking life. It is a way to gain more understanding as you journal and become more self- reflective.

Another interesting thing to do is form a dream group of a few close friends. Meet regularly and take turns sharing your dreams. The way to organize it might be to give feedback to the dreamer always starting with the phrase, “if it were my dream, I think something in the dream means. about me….” never say to the dreamer “your dream means such and so.” This will make the dreamer self conscious and stop from exploring any deeper meaning. Each person in the circle can share their perspective on the dream always starting with, if it were my dream, I think it would mean,

Your dreams are a valuable resource in pursuing the art of self- reflection. If you keep at it, you will be richly rewarded knowing yourself at even deeper levels. Write it down

There are many books and courses available to encourage you and guide you on how to work with your dreams. Have fun and get to know that part of your life.  Bring light to the dreams of your sleep.  Write it down.