It is on the whole probable that we continually dream, but that consciousness makes such a noise that we do not hear it.” Carl Jung

 

Welcome back!

Last time we discussed a few techniques to help you remember your dreams.  Developing a practice of dream recall is like any other practice–it gets better with practice!  So don’t be discouraged if it takes a while before you remember them on any regular basis.  Also, it is perfectly normal to have periods of time where you remember many dreams, and dry periods where you can’t capture a thing.  It could be that your daily life is so full at the moment that there is no room in your psyche for more information to come through.  Or you may already be working deeply in your waking life (in therapy, in journaling, in deep conversations, for example), so that your dream muse feels that your inner life is being covered for now!  In any case, here is a handy list that may help you to “prime the pump” of your dream life.

 

TIPS FOR REMEMBERING DREAMS

1. Be prepared, or, you can’t fool your unconscious.  Have dream recording materials right by your bed so your dreaming self knows you are serious.

2. Accept and value every dream or dream fragment; don’t dismiss anything as too trivial or too small.  Write down even a word or phrase if that’s all that comes through- you will be amazed at how much information you can get out of just one word once we get into understanding the dream material.

3 Pick an unpressured period of time to try to remember (like a vacation or weekend) if there has been a long period of non-remembering.

4. Allow yourself to waken spontaneously without an alarm clock.  One friend of mine calls her alarm clock her “dream eraser”!

5. On waking, lie still and review the dream in your mind before moving.  Allow the lingering images of the last scenes to act as a hook to help you recall earlier portions.

6. Record your dream before doing anything else – even before sitting up if possible.  Of course, if you remember it later in the day, it’s never too late to write it down.  I seem to have a penchant for remembering in the shower – so I just keep repeating it to myself until I am dry enough to write it down.

7. If you know that you had a dream but can’t remember even a bit of it, write the date and the word “dream” in your dream journal, thus honoring the process and prompting future remembering.

8. Share the dream out loud with another to set it orally as well as in writing.

9. Lie down and bring your body back to the same position that you slept in to stimulate positional recall.  I love this one- if I lay down on my side and curl up, even later in the day, I can often recapture the felt sense of the dream, and then the rest of it rolls in.

10. Use the image of wrapping yourself in the dream as you would a shawl –- taking the edges of the dream and wrapping them around you to envelope you back inside the dream.  Feel with your body the sensations of being wrapped up in a cozy shawl of dreams.

11. Write down your immediate thoughts and/or feelings as you awaken, even if you don’t think they came from the dream.  They may have emerged from the “hypnopompic or hypnogogic zones”, the in-between states between waking and sleeping.

12. Sketch out, or draw your dream.  A picture can be worth a thousand words- sometimes we get insight when we can see the dimensions and colors and shapes of our dream images that words alone cant do justice to.

13. Practice dream incubation before going to sleep at night.  In brief, this means spending a few minutes before going to sleep writing down the question you want answered; and then writing the dream down on the same page, so that you can see the connections between your question and the answer; which may be in dream code and then figured out in relation to the question.  Next time- more on this…

 

May your dreams be abundant!  Let me know how it goes…

Linda Yael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date posted: May 8, 2012 | Author: | 8 Comments »

Categories: incubating dreams Remembering Dreams Uncategorized


“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)

Date posted: April 29, 2012 | Author: | 5 Comments »

Categories: Remembering Dreams Uncategorized