First Things First: How Can I Even Remember My Dreams?

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us.

And the world will live as one.”

John Lennon

 

Welcome dreamers,

 

As a therapist, I always encourage my clients to record and bring in their dreams to work on.  The dreams can often help us to zero in on the core of the issue very quickly, and can give us a quick snapshot to focus on.  I practice what I preach- I have been a member of my own dream circle for over 25 years, and still delight in the dream discoveries we make with each other every month.

So what to do if you have trouble remembering your dreams- or think that you don’t dream?

First off, rest assured that everyone dreams every night- sleep studies that chart our REM sleep (REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, the quick movements our eyelids make when we are dreaming) show that on average, we all have about six dreams per night (There are about six cycles of REM and non-REM sleep each night).  This is predicated on an average of 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  If you are one of the lucky ones who can get by on less, then you probably have fewer cycles.  We generally only remember the dreams that occur in the cycle right before we wake up.

To enhance dream recall there are several things you can do.  First of all, you need to want to remember them.  It seems simplistic, but if you think about it, we tend to remember things better that are important to us, that we put our minds to.  So when you go to sleep at night, tell yourself that you want to remember your dreams; and you promise to pay attention to the messages they are sending you.  After that, don’t trust to memory alone when you awake.  Dreams are like puffs of smoke or wisps of fog- move too quickly and poof! they disappear.

Most dreams are like helium balloons– they need to be tied down to stay with us.  Invest in a journal, and keep it right next to your bed, along with a pen or sharpened pencil.  You can now even get special “night-light” pens that light up in the dark either online, or at most office supply stores.  Try to write down your dream as soon as possible upon waking.  Alternately, you can use a tape recorder to capture it, but you then have to be disciplined to transcribe it later.

Move as little as possible, so that you don’t disturb the fragile dream fabric.  Sit up slowly, or even write while still lying down. If you had a dream, and it slipped away, try putting your body back into the same position it was in when you woke- your body has “positional memory”, and you can often re-capture the dream if you return to the same position.

 Try to write it down in the same order in which you dreamed it-– what happened first, next, last in a dream makes a difference when you are working with it later.  If you are afraid you will forget it if you don’t write down the end first, go ahead and do so, then re-write it in order, or at least make arrows and notations so you know the order in which you actually dreamed the scenes.  Date each entry— that way you begin to have a record of dreams and themes that re-occur, and can check them against what was going on in your life that day or week to get some immediate connections and insights.  Don’t try to analyze while you are recording the dream– it can get confusing to sort out what was your dream, and what were your thoughts about your dream later on.  If I have some immediate associations, I write a section I call “notes” after the dream, and then jot down my thoughts so they don’t contaminate the actual dream material.

Coming soonmore tips on recall, ancient dream temples, and what it means to purposely “incubate” a dream.  Please share this blog and these ideas with others who may have interest.

 

Sweet dreams,

Linda Yael (www.lindayaelschiller.com)

Welcome to “Awake To Your Dreams”

 “Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~Marsha Norman

Welcome dreamers!

We are all fascinated with the mysterious workings of our own bodies and minds– and our dreams are one of the most intriguing mysteries.  You wake up from a dream and ask yourself— “What was that about?  Am I still asleep?  Was that real?  What a nightmare! How strange/bizarre/ wild/cool was that!”  We love to find out what our dreams are trying to tell us.  We talk about it over breakfast, at parties, we turn over in our beds to those who sleep next to us -who can help us to crack the code?  Invariably when some one finds out that I do dream work, they are quick to reply “I had such a strange dream– what does it mean?”

 

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum to learn how to work with this amazing resource, to stretch our imaginations and understand more about our dreams and our dreaming life.  It will also take occasional side trips to the realms of waking dream states such as synchronicity, co-incidences, intuition, and the mysteries or spiritual sides of life— others ways to tap into the “still small voice” within us that helps us to know ourselves and the world around us, to follow our truest path.  When we can understand and wake up to these sources of knowledge and wisdom, our lives become enriched.  Dreams are also fun- great entertainment value, sometimes even LOL!

 

We all dream every night– multiple times– whether we remember them or not.  Dreams come to us for many reasons— to help us process and sort through what is happening in our lives, to get a new perspective on a challenge or dilemma, to be our creative muse, to open doorways into spiritual realms, to heal from the slings and arrows life has sent our way, and simply to entertain and delight us.  Dreams are universal– everyone dreams, and spiritual literature across time and culture- the Bible, the Torah (the first five books of the bible), the Upshaniads, the Koran, the Tao– all address dreams.   Many mammals dream as well— have you ever seen your cat or dog twitching or making sounds while asleep?  They are most likely dreaming of what is important to them— like stalking or chasing a squirrel or bird.

 

How could dream work help you with your life right now?  For example: Are you facing a life choice that you are uncertain about?  Stuck in a creative block or a big project?  Feeling anxious or antsy and don’t know why?  Having nightmares or scary dreams that interrupt your sleep?  Wondering about how to have meaningful spirituality in your life?  Then stayed tuned- these are some of the many areas that I will be looking at in future blogs. Scientists tell us that we use only a small percentage of our brains.  The rest of that grey matter is uncharted territory, and neuroscientists are still mapping the terrain.  Understanding and working with our dreams may allow us to tap into and utilize more of this brain space.  Dreams represent multi-tasking at it’s best-– we get to sleep and to solve problems or have adventures simultaneously.  Join me as we delve into this fascinating realm.  And please feel free to share this with anyone who you feel may be interested in going along on this journey.

 

Until next time, sweet dreams-

Linda Yael (www.lindayaelschiller.com)