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Remembering Your Dreams

Ted E. Tollefson

If dream is a private myth and myth a public dream, then the work of discovering your personal mythology can begin by re-membering your dreams.

Before Sleeping

  • Assess your past pattern of dream recall. What has been the frequency? Are there cycles of remembering and forgetting? What happened last night as you moved from dreaming towards waking?
  • Before going to sleep, review the events of your day. Not judging, just witnessing. Then state a clear intention: tonight I will remember my dreams. Or tonight, may I remember my dreams. Picture yourself waking up the next morning with your dreams still intact. Imagine yourself recording your dreams in your dream journal. Surround this picture with golden light and positive feelings.
  • Just before your retire, try taking the stress vitamins B-complex and C.
  • Make it easy to record your dreams: open your journal by the bedside or put a portable tape recorder under your pillow.
  • Find a gentle way to re-awaken yourself, perhaps by drinking a large glass of water.

After Awakening

  • Keep your body still and your eyes closed. We dream while the body is unmoving. Recollect your dreams, then move to record it.
  • Re-member the dream, locating key images, then allow a story line to form. Or focus on the most intense feelings, and allow those feelings to generate images. See the dream, feel the feelings, and taLk the dream to yourself to that several parts of the brain work together.
  • Record your dream in a dream journal. Write on the left page, leaving the right page blank for dreamwork entries. Draw any doodles that seem related to the dream.
  • Create a slower, gentler transition from dreaming to waking. This may require some negotiaiton with family or roomates. Allow time, quiet time for this important rite of passage.
  • If you feel stuck, talk to your dreams directly. Ask them why they have been so shy lately? What do they need to come closer? Make a deal with your dreams and keep it.