A former political journalist, I now write about the power of dreams to guide our lives. I combine personal experience, research, interviews often tinged with intuition and imagination to inspire others to remember, understand, listen to, and express their dreams. For this post, I thought it might be useful to answer some of the questions I am most frequently asked about dreams:
Q. I seldom recall my dreams or I only remember snippets. What can I do to remember my dreams?
Gleaning inspiration from dreams happens with some preparation and effort. First, before you go to sleep, ask to remember your dreams.
Then, record your dreams in a journal or a diary. Some dreamers keep a tape recorder by the bed and transcribe their dreams later.
Record the events of the day, preferably before you go to sleep, but upon awakening works, too. Record your dreams and your thoughts about what they might mean.
Keeping a record of your dreams in a journal or diary gives you a written reference and stimulates more dreams. Recording even snippets of a dream will help remember more of the dream and future dreams.
Sometimes, a “negative” experience with dreams, such as associating a dream with a sad occurrence, can interfere with remembering dreams. Realize your precognitive dream about the event did not cause it but rather likely imparted insights to help you through the occurrence.
Q. What about recurring dreams?
A dream may repeat sometimes over years, sometimes with the same theme until we hear and address its message, often a life-changing one.
Q. I had a weird dream last night. Why should I pay attention to it?
One image or a series of scenes appearing on our dream screen regardless of how surreal or zany can impart guidance. These stories offer some examples:
An aspiring documentary filmmaker dreamed a dog was chasing her. She thought the dog represented society’s attitudes toward her. Then she realized the animal symbolized her own fears and she could confront them. Within three months, she edited rough film footage gathering dust on a shelf into a powerful film. She arranged two sold-out screenings.
An artist dreamed she and other women artists were called to bear witness against the Gulf War. She thought artists were helpless to elicit social change. The dream led her to create a series of visual communiqués about war and peace and helped her make sense of a troubled world. Since then, she has created more than 150 collages derived from the dream and exhibited them widely.
I was planning a talking heads television documentary with health experts when a voice in a dream said, “You’re doing this all wrong” and dictated a revised script in symbolic form. The script became the basis for the healing blueprint described in my book, “Dreams and the Wisdom Within.”
Q. What areas in my life can benefit from listening to my dreams?
Dreams can warn of illness, guide us to the appropriate care and treatment, or be the place where healing happens. Dreams can help repair relationships and provide comfort during times of loss and grief.
Dreams enable self-expression, identity, and self-confidence. Dreams guide us to our true path, touchstones to finding and amplifying our voice.
Sharing our dream narratives, images, and stories deepens our understanding of the dream.
Q. I associate dreams with therapy, neurosis, indicating something is wrong with you, and you need a therapist to help. How is what you espouse different?
I am a journalist writing, speaking, and teaching about the power of dreams to guide our daily lives. Anyone experiencing a health issue — emotional or physical, suffering from trauma, or in danger of any kind should seek the appropriate professional help. My approach to dreams – intuition or the Wisdom Within — is a more spiritual paradigm, sacred dreaming, perhaps. I see dreams as our inner GPS, focusing on dreams as a natural resource available to each of us everyday to enhance our daily lives.
Q. How did you become interested in dreams?
While writing a screenplay, I grew increasingly puzzled about how to craft a crucial scene. Then, a dream provided the answer. I dreamed of an etching framed on my wall. In the black and white drawing, five women were entwined by their work and play. The next morning, I jotted down this scene:
I remembered this first dream after years as a left-brained political journalist. Then, confronted with a potentially serious health condition, dreams guided my healing. Subsequently, a dream directed me to a healthy vegetarian “eating plan” I still follow. I continue to call on dreams in all phases of my life.
Q. How can I incorporate dreams into my work and life?
Does your dream guide you in a specific or possibly new or renewed direction or does it offer you a perspective on what to say or how to say it. Sometimes the value of the dream is immediately clear, sometimes its value will reveal itself as you explore its message, looking for layers of meaning.
Find other tips for understanding your dreams HERE. Also, read the stories of how others have used dreams to empower their lives on my website JoyceLynn.com and in my book Dreams and the Wisdom Within.
Dive into more #DreamOn with Joyce HERE! Have your own dream question? Ask away: firstname.lastname@example.org