One of the things I love most about my life is that I have an extremely rich dreamworld. I have dreams that are clairvoyant, that inform me about the deepest recesses of my psyche, that offer guidance, and that connect me with The Sacred. I wake up each morning with anywhere from 1-6 dreams. They help me live my life from the truest, deepest guidance and connection possible.
Which is why I'm inspired to help you learn how to access this deep well of wisdom too.
Here's an example of the power of dreams.
In one dream I had, I am my adult self of present day, but I also have a 6-year-old daughter. My daughter is me at age 6.
We're on a road trip together. In some faraway town, she starts to cry and tells me that she misses her daddy (my/our actual father).
I lovingly invite her to come cuddle up with me and begin stroking her hair.
I tell her that we can Skype with him tonight if she'd like.
And then I say THIS, which completely settles her down:
"Do you know about Daddy's heart? When men become daddies, their hearts change.
They begin to beat differently because they can hear your heartbeat. They attune and beat in tandem.
So if you can feel your heartbeat, you can feel your Daddy and be connected."
As the tears begin to dry, she places her hand on her heart, and is soothed. Calmed. Back in the flow of love.
At the time of this dream, my dad and I had had a lifetime of painful conflict and disconnection. Age 6 was a time of a lot of pain for me in relationship to him.
After this dream, I was able to begin to slowly open my heart to him after thirty-something years of complete unwillingness to have a relationship with him. I never imagined that would happen in this lifetime.
Dreams are powerful. Here's how to harness that power.
1. Learn to Remember Your Dreams
Get in bed and lie down. Breathe slowly and deeply. Quiet your mind and set the intention to remember your dreams. Keep a journal and pen next to your bed. Drink a glass of water before going to bed so you'll wake up having to pee. Before you get up, write as much of your dreams down as you can. At first, this might be just a faint barely-whisper, but write it down anyway. If you don't remember any, keep practicing. You will eventually. If you sleep until morning, attend to your dreams before you even touch your phone.
If you don't already have an embodiment practice, take one up. The more embodied you are, the more you're able to feel, which is one of the portals to the dreamworld. Yoga is great for this. It relaxes me so much that whatever dreams I don't remember in the morning, I remember on the mat.
I also often remember dreams from the following night when I get in bed, lie down, and relax each night. Try this.
2. Don't Interpret
Dreamwork and dream interpretation are different. Dreamwork helps us explore dream images, feelings, situations, and characters, immersing ourselves in the full felt experience, the same way you did when you were dreaming it, or like we'd do with a good poem or movie. I choose to work this way rather than simply assigning meanings to things.
This way, the dream and it's message are more alive and accessible. Interestingly, it's our willingness to adopt an attitude of mystery and not knowing, like an open canvas, that will help the dream's message to come into focus.
3. "Work" the Dream
In my experience, the easiest way to do this is to tell the dream out loud in the present tense lying down with your eyes closed. In an ideal situation, you'd be in a dream group where you each share your dreams and where there's a skilled facilitator who can ask the right questions to help you go deeper. That person can also help you safely re-enact parts of the dream that will provide more clarity.
If you don't have a group, lie down, bring your body and mind into a soft meditative state, and re-read your dream out loud to yourself in the present tense. After reading it through once, bring your attention to the image, scene, or character in the dream with the most emotional charge.
Look more closely. Dial in your awareness and explore what you didn't see before. What emotions are you feeling in the dream? What is motivating your behavior? What's happening behind the scenes in this dream that you didn't previously notice? Feel it.
Ask even more questions like these and write the answers down. Keep that open-canvas perspective and write the way you'd paint---a picture slowly coming into focus.
You may even be inspired to go out into nature with some part of the dream. Quiet your mind and take a walk as one of the characters. Notice how you walk, what you feel, what you're aware of. This is all good information for you.
4. Learn to Translate
The language of dreams isn't the same language as our day-to-day world, which can be black and white, linear, mind-based, and fixated on knowing the answer. Dreams speak the Language of Soul, a more colorful, metaphorical, body-based, multi-sensory, poetic, mysterious language. This will come with practice.
5. Ask for Specific Kinds of Dreams
When you need guidance, clarity, or depth around a particular something in your life, ask for a dream. Before you go to bed, open your dream journal and write down your ask. Here are some examples of things I've asked:
Dreammaker, show me more about the lion from last night's dream.
Dreammaker, what is on the unfolding edge of Mystery in my Life?
Dreammaker, help me see what I need to do to heal (xyz), move past (xyz), learn (xyz), or create (xyz).
Dreammaker, show me what I'm not seeing in this challenging situation/relationship in my life.
Dreammaker, bring me a dream about love.
Dreammaker, bring me a dream to remind me of who I am.
Write down your dreams no matter what they are. I have asked deep questions like this and gotten dreams about a trip to Target. And when I've "worked" the dream, I've found awe-inspiring depth in places I didn't see before. Don't judge. If you asked the question, you did get an answer, even if you don't understand it.
6. Keep the Dream "Open"
I've had dreams I felt and knew were very significant answers to my questions, worked them, and still been totally mystified. Be patient. I recently asked the Dreammaker for a dream about something, got a very poignant dream (which I wrote down but didn't understand) and then 5 months passed with me being totally clueless about it. Then one day, I saw the image from my dream right before my eyes and again about two weeks later. It answered everything for me in that instant.
7. Be Discerning
As you begin to harness the power of your dreams, you'll probably get more and more of them. If you dream as much as I do, working your dreams could become a full-time job. The more you dream, the more you'll be able to discern which dreams have the most charge and the loudest messages that you just must hear to continue down your path. It's ok to pick and choose.
8. Pay Special Attention to Nightmares or Reoccurring Dreams
If you have a scary dream, a nightmare, or a reoccurring dream, work it. Nightmares and repetitive dreams have a lot of the charge I spoke of above and are abundant sources of inner-work material. Resist the temptation to take them at literal face value or interpret. Go deeper.
Have you had powerful experiences with dreams? Share your inspiration or stories below in the comments.
And share this post on Facebook to start a conversation and help people you care about go deeper with their psyche and dreams.
Wishing you Abundant Dreaming,
PS: If you're interested in a dream group, you've got to check this out: Learning the Language of Soul---An Embodied Dreamwork Group for the Spiritually Hungry Woman
Finally, if you liked this, don't miss future posts.