Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Working on Your Dreams: Step 1 – Remember

The first step in working with your dreams is to remember them, and it’s possible to train yourself in dream recall. I’ve found that it helps to do some sort of dream work right before going to sleep: for example, try reading a book about dreams. (In a future post I’ll recommend some books I’ve found helpful.) You can give yourself the suggestion that you’re going to remember a dream several times a day and before drifting off to sleep. Sooner or later it will work! Many people recommend having a notepad right next to the bed so that you can jot your dream down the moment you wake up, and that’s a great way to capture even those middle of the night dreams.

I don’t like to do anything much before my first cup of coffee, however, and I’ve noticed over the years that if something isn’t pleasurable I won’t do it; so I’ve devised a ritual that I find enjoyable. When I awaken I mentally rehearse any dream I have a snippet of. As I replay the dream in my mind, sometimes I remember whole sections I had forgotten. I keep going over the dream as I dress and make coffee. Once the coffee is ready I enter the dream(s) into my journal. If you’re rushing off to school or work, try jotting down a few notes about your dream; then set aside a little time for yourself later in the day when you can flesh out the dream in your journal.

If you have a useful technique for dream recall, please share it with us by posting a comment or sending me an e-mail.

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