Last time, we spoke about how important our dreams are for both our conscious and unconscious minds.
We also learned that they can actually be used for healing on all levels.
But, before we get into that…
We have to create a solid foundation.
What I mean by this is that we need to create the space for us to be connected in the first place. This entails practicing something called dream recall.
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to interpreting our dreams is how fast we end up forgetting them. Although we dream several times a night, most of us tend to only remember the last dream, right before waking. And even then, our recollection of it can be quite vague. Seemingly within minutes, sometimes even seconds, we lose the dream entirely, left with only the emotions evoked from it.
The memory vanished into thin air.
Does this sound familiar?
I was a textbook “never dreamer” until I came across the concept of dream recall and interpretation. With practice and within months, I began recalling 1 dream a night, 2 dreams a night, 3 dreams a night. I was shocked that because I never had the intention to remember my dreams, I – you guessed it – never remembered them. Once I did, I was amazed at how much depth of meaning each one of them holds, however strange or nonsensical.
Remembering our dreams can unlock SO much wisdom that we may be missing out on every night. Learning how to recall them allows us to perceive and receive the messages that are being communicated to us by our subconscious. This opens space for us to transmute those messages into actions in our conscious life that will move us closer to where we want to be.
First and foremost, dream recall requires quality sleep. Without it, we cannot reach the REM state and begin dreaming. This means healthy sleep habits – no food/alcohol too close to bedtime, limit screen use, darkness, and a full 8 hours of sleep. More and more people in the world have sleep difficulties and it’s no surprise that the trend has gone up with the invention of mobile phones and computers. The blue light emitted from these devices mimic daylight and inhibit the release of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for regulating our sleep/wake cycle, or our circadian rhythm. This disturbance can result in short sporadic sleep or insomnia, among others, which undoubtedly affect our ability to reach REM and visit the dream realm.
Once you’ve got your sleep habits under control, then you can begin the process of dream recall. This process is something you do each time you sleep.
- Prime. As you’re laying in bed, set the intention that you are going to remember your dreams. This could be out-loud or silently repeated to yourself as you drift off. The intention may be, “I am going to remember my dreams when I wake up.” Making a conscious choice that this is your intended outcome instantly sets you up for remembering them in the morning.
- Recall. As you wake up, I suggest staying still and keeping your eyes closed. Doing this enhances your ability to recall the dream by triggering the small details without the distraction of light or visual stimuli. As you’re laying there, simply ask yourself, “What was I dreaming?” You’ll start to get bits and pieces or maybe even a general idea of what was happening. For me, I tend to recall the general idea first and then begin to remember the smaller bits. As you recall it, consider all details. This means moods, sensations, colors, sizes, images, sounds, etc. However small, it matters. You might also want to recall it in reverse – recall what happened right before you woke up, and then before that, and so on.
- Record. Write down what you remembered – each and every one of those details you recalled it step 2. This could be in a dream journal, in your notes on your phone, or recorded somewhere electronically. Whatever works for you is perfect – you want this to be something that flows easily with your current routine! If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night coming out of a dream, take a moment to recall and record it immediately upon waking, even if just the key points.
Dream recall does not have to be a complicated and difficult task – in fact, it shouldn’t be! Make this a fun experience, just an experiment if nothing else. Get excited when you remember anything at all. The positivity and enthusiasm behind your intention will only serve to reinforce your ability to continue to recall more and more. It takes practice, and don’t make a big deal if you forget to do so one or two or several nights in a row, just bring yourself back to the process and continue forward.
Over time, your dreams may end up as mini movies you can re-watch under the veil of your conscious mind, able to decipher the hidden wisdom that lies within and use it to support you on your path.
Next week, we’ll get into just that – interpreting the messages your dreams may be communicating to you.
Ps – Apparently my scheduling got messed up this week and you guys got my weekly posts later than normal! Apologies!