If you’ve got the 2018 Dream Wisely Planner, then you know inside of it is a workbook with a monthly dream theme. This month’s theme is Remember Your Dreams. (And if you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s not too late!). As some of you know my own dream recall has been a little wonky lately, which is simply proof that even the most dedicated dreamer can fall out of relationship with their dreams from time to time. To me, this is also proof that the reverse is true–anyone can learn to remember their dreams! Just like any other skill, if you focus, practice, and truly intend to, you will improve your dream recall.
I often think of dreams as existing in our memories in a similar way that elusive words can sometimes feel like they are on the tips of our tongues–just out of reach, but right there. So, just like when you’ve forgotten what you were going to say, instead of putting a lot of pressure on yourself and feeling guilty or ashamed for not remembering, one of the best ways to approach remembering dreams is with a gentle, light heart. The ritual below is best completed with that attitude.
So if you’re just starting out your dream practice and want a simple ritual to get it all started, try this:
> Find an object, whether a small animal totem, stone, feather, pillow, or anything else that you can easily keep near you while you are sleeping and carries some emotional resonance for you.
> Greet the object, either out loud or in your mind’s eye, and ask permission for it to aid you in remembering your dream tonight. If this doesn’t feel right for some reason–if the object doesn’t feel up to the task, find something else.
> Place the object near your bed, ideally somewhere where it can be the last thing you see as you go to sleep and the first thing you see when you wake up. If possible, clear all other items and objects away from your sleeping area.
> Once you are in bed and ready for sleep, go through all of the reasons you think you aren’t able to remember your dreams, either by writing them down or speaking them out loud.
> After speaking or writing them, again turn to your object and ask that it release these blocks and make it possible for you to remember your dreams tonight.
> Upon waking, do not force recall–if all you have is a couple of words, a single image, or even just a feeling, express your gratitude to the object and the spirit of the dreams. Find gratitude even if your mind is blank, for yourself for completing the ritual. Make sure you record all that you remember, without concern for whether you’ve gotten it “right”.
Repeat every night for a week and I promise you’ll start to remember something!
If you’re looking to go even more in-depth to remember dreams, I’m hosting a special *FREE* webinar on Remembering Your Dreams tomorrow night, 7pm CST. All that I ask is you fill out this short dreamwork survey and I will send you the link to the webinar. The talk will also be recorded, so just go ahead and fill out the survey and I’ll send it to you!
Here’s my confession: I have lost track of my dreams. Or perhaps my dreams have lost me…on purpose. When I began working with my dreams, I had a teacher. It was kind of a therapeutic/spiritual teacher type format, where we would have appointments each week, I would send my dreams and we would do that kind of intensive work that can happen in a 1 on 1 container.
Years passed. I started doing dreamwork with other people, and training in a more focused way to a specific method. Eventually I changed teachers, still doing the same kind of work, then changed again. Eventually I stopped going to sessions altogether, although by that point I had was doing sessions 1 on 1, which I still do today. Around that time I started doing weekly dream groups. So I was still having regular interaction with my inner life, although less so. And then I got married in March and started renovating my house, and I stopped hosting those weekly groups, and I wasn’t going to a teacher, and somewhere along that way…the dreams stopped coming in as clearly as they usually do.
To the point where even when I started doing weekly dream groups again this fall, there were multiple weeks where I had barely anything to draw on. And no matter how many times I told myself, I am gonna remember my dream tonight…a trick that has worked like a spell every time I go to sleep, when I awoke it would just slip away.
I’ve had to face the reality–I have dropped the ball when it comes to being in my relationship with my dreams. Dreams always respond to our receptivity to them. Where had my connection gone? And why? I tried to stay open to it…open to the unknowing…open to the signal of it. Maybe dreams aren’t truly for me? I can’t lie–it’s been pretty scary. I’ve felt a lack of confidence and direction with my 1 on 1 work that I hadn’t felt in years. I’ve been totally committed to a path of dreams pretty much since I began with them, and here I was, faced with being a dreamworker that can’t remember her dreams. Confusion doesn’t quite cover it…it’s been super disorienting.
But also a reckoning. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I am just at the end of my Saturn return, prompting a review of all that has happened to me since December 2014. Right at the start of 2015, I received a clarity about what my purpose in my work is: “Make dreams a thing”. When I say a “thing”, I mean a commonly used tool for humanity’s spiritual and psychological growth and prosperity. A thing like yoga or meditation or EFT. And it’s fairly clear that if those modalities were only disseminated to people on a 1 on 1 basis, with hourly costs of up to $50-120, and where results could only be realized on a relatively long time frame, they wouldn’t have the scope and reach that they do. So dreams weren’t going to become a “thing” using the same container I received my teaching in. I needed to find a way to do powerful dreamwork that was accessible and could be done in the comfort of people’s homes.
But there was one part I was avoiding–deeply exploring exactly how to do that! I think somewhere I still felt that I needed a 1 on 1 teacher to figure out what my dreams meant, even though I tell people all the time that this isn’t true. Where there’s avoidance, there is fear. Fear of what? I think truly, of what “making dreams a thing” actually means–stepping into my own power and knowing as a teacher and lover of dreams, no ifs ands or buts.
So yes, first, thank you for witnessing me here. I am completely overwhelmed every time I consider how much support I’ve received on this dream path so far—most incredibly, by the exquisitely beautiful people that I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years. But truly the whole reason I am writing this is to announce to you–for accountability’s sake–I am fully committed to figuring out what exactly what I’m talking about when I say make dreams a thing in 2018.
In 2018 I will explore how to cultivate and nurture a relationship with my dreams that is as transformative, healing, and inspiring as I know they can be—outside of the 1 on 1 container, i.e., primarily with myself. This intention of mine actually formed when I began creating the 2018 Dream Wisely planner this fall. Each and every month includes a lesson and exercise designed to jumpstart a thriving dream practice…all designed to help you determine how to work with your dreams in a way that is nourishing and transformative. And I’ll be there right alongside all the other dreamers working all the exercises and sharing all I learn along the way. To follow along, join the Facebook group Dream Wisely here. I’m filled with ideas…possibilities…fears…and the unknown. And eager to connect with anyone else out there that is ready to make 2018 the year of their dreams as well. I would love to walk this talk alongside you, as we discover together what our dreams mean to us, and how they can be a bridge between our inner and outer worlds…and ultimately to the world we all want to create.
With all my love,
P.S. If you’re in New Orleans, I’ll be hosting a Dream Wisely New Years workshop–2018: Year of the Dream January 6th. Check it out here!
This past Sunday I was invited to give a talk at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. It is always a great pleasure and honor to do so, especially this week, where the theme I was given was hope.
Hope is a topic I’ve always thought a lot about, and especially in the past year since the election of Donald Trump. So I recorded my talk yesterday to share with all of you. In it, I speak about where I find hope on a daily basis, how I have found hope and vision in dreams, including a long series of holocaust dreams, and the amazing hope and inspiration I found through the actions of members of the UU church in New Orleans after one of their members was attacked in New Orleans this summer.
They are partnered with the Center for Restorative Approaches.
I hope you enjoy!
Have you ever had a dream about someone who has died? In this short video, I explain how you can understand these dreams and even use them in your grieving/mourning process.
Do you have a dream of someone who’s died that you’d be willing to share? I’d love to hear it. And if you’re in the New Orleans area, I’ll be holding a special space for people to reflect on those dreams together on Nov. 29th at the Glitter Box New Orleans. Let me know if you have any questions!