By Monique Peterson, Divine Caroline
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve believed in the power of dreams. My mother always told me amazing stories about her prophetic dreams. She would tell me of events she foresaw with strange accuracy, such as my grandmother’s funeral or premonitions she would get about whether to drive a particular route home on a given day. The collection of dream books on her shelf offered some promise of secret knowledge that I hoped would help me crack the mystery of dream symbols and their meanings.
Inspired by her and my own curiosity about the realms of dreams, I have spent many years keeping dream journals. As with any of my journal keeping, it has been off again, on again – but well worth the time and re-reads years later.
I’ve discovered more about myself or the meaning of a situation from re-reading dream entries weeks, months, even years later. I’ve also discovered that I’ve had a fair amount of my own prophetic dreams over the years, too, though I didn’t realize it at the time.
I love dream journaling for how it enriches my life: both sleeping and waking. In my dream life, I find that the more I write about it, the more dreams I am able to remember, and the more I am able to dream lucidly. In my waking life, I find that revisiting what I write inspires my creative self and feeds me with artistic energy.
As rewarding as it is, I don’t always keep up. There have been times I’d wake up in the morning with enough vivid memories to fill twenty or more pages with five or more dreams. It’s hard to keep up with that kind of volume. But getting back into it after taking a hiatus often results in days or weeks of having no dream memories.
Even so, I’ve found ways to recapture that thread between sleeping and waking to keep the dreams alive:
- Upon waking, lie still for a moment and try to recall any dreams before moving or opening eyes. Quick movement can disturb a dream memory.
- If a dream feels just out of grasp after waking, roll over to a previous position and try going back into a dream.
- Keep a notebook and pen by the bed in case of waking in the middle of the night with a dream memory (or sleepwriting!), or being able to record it before sitting or standing.
- Write any impression, no matter how small: jumping in air…light bulbs…a general sense of blue.
- Try to title dreams to capture a general impression: The Seismologist Roundtable, Hanging Beads in the House, Not George Clooney.
- When writing dreams, write in first person, present tense: I’m traveling with a few girlfriends and we stop at a roadside gourmet coffee house.
- Try to pull any specific details out as possible, such as numbers, dates, times, inscriptions, names, and such. A friend in the library said they were getting a ride in ten minutes. The time was 5:40 p.m.
The best part about keeping a dream journal has been the unexpected: waking to find a note I had written in my sleep of a dream image; discovering that my dreamer self is aware that my waking self keeps a journal and reminds her about details to remember; discovering that the secret to flying is simply remembering that it’s possible.
If you haven’t tried it, I invite you to. See what happens. Have fun.
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