Dreams have guiding and healing and transformative powers. Dreams allow us to look within our self rather than to outside “authorities” for answers. Dreams empower us. They are a natural resource for achieving our life goals and an indispensable tool on our life journey.
Plum Dreams Media Editor and Publisher Joyce Lynn answers frequently asked questions about dreams and dreaming.
Q. I seldom recall my dreams or I only remember snippets. What can I do to remember my dreams?
A. 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. Use a journal. Some dreamers keep a tape recorder by the bed and transcribe their dreams at a later time.
In your journal, record the day’s events preferably before you go to sleep but upon awakening works, too. Record your dreams and the thoughts you have 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 helps remember more of the dream and future dreams.
Sometimes, a “bad” experience with dreams, such as associating a dream with a sad occurrence in your life, can interfere with remembering dreams. Realize your precognitive dream about the event did not cause it but instead likely gave you valuable insight to help you process what you experienced.
Q. What about recurring dreams?
A. A dream may repeat sometimes for years until we hear and address its message. This process often will change the way you live your life.
Q. I had a weird dream last night. Why should I pay attention to it?
A. One image or a series of scenes appearing on your dream screen, regardless how surreal or zany, may impart insights to guide you.
These stories offer examples:
* An aspiring documentary filmmaker dreamt a crowd was chasing her. She thought the horde represented society’s attitudes toward her, and she realized the animal symbolized her own fears She confronted them. Within three months, she edited rough film footage gathering dust on a shelf into a powerful film and held two sold-out screenings.
She resolved to pursue a career in the media to present positive images. Since then, as a television film editor, she is fulfilling her mission.
* An artist dreamt she and other women artists were called to bear witness of Gulf War One. 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 from the dream.
* I was planning a talking heads television program with health experts when a voice in a dream said, “You’re doing this all wrong.” Dreams over several nights dictated a revised narrative in symbolic form. The account contained a three-step blueprint to well-being.
These writers and artists called on their dream experiences to understand themselves and the world and in the process transformed their lives and helped bring healing to others.
Q. What areas in our lives can benefit from listening to our dreams?
A. 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 comfort us during times of loss and grief.
Dreams enable self-expression and self-confidence. Dreams guide us to our true path. They are touchstones to finding and amplifying our voice.
Sharing our dream narratives, images, and stories deepens understanding of the dream.
Dreams, like art, reveal truth. That is why totalitarian governments and dictators silence, artists, poets, and writers.
Q. I associate dreams with therapy, neurosis, and something wrong with you. How is what you write about different?
A. I’m a journalist. I have learned through personal experience, research, and interviewing many others, dreams play a requisite role in each of our daily lives. A dream may signal a vacation locale or open the way to a major scientific discovery.
Q. How did you become interested in dreams?
A. While writing a screenplay, I grew increasingly puzzled about how to craft a crucial scene. Then, a dream provided the answer. I dreamt 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:
INT. JENNIFER’S LIVING ROOM
Wedding presents fill every available space; boxes line the walls. Jennifer in her nightgown goes to a box marked “Salvation Army.” She opens it and takes out an etching of five women playing, writing, painting. She studies the picture, slumps in a chair, and stares at her presents.
Several scenes later, Jennifer, who was giving up her flourishing career as a television news reporter to marry Mr. Wrong, stuns her friends. At the altar, she announces she is calling off her marriage. She promises to return to journalism with renewed social conscience and to find strength in herself.
Fortunately for Jennifer, her creator’s nocturnal message saved the heroine of the movie Real Dreams from a terrible mistake. Fortunately for this writer, at the time disillusioned with my career, the dream launched my work in a new direction.
I remembered this dream after years as a left-brained political journalist. The dramatic image imparted the ending for a screenplay I was writing. Then, confronted with a potentially serious health condition, dreams guided my healing. Subsequently, a dream directed me to a healthy vegetarian-eating plan. For more than three decades, dreams have guided all phases of my life.
I delight in sharing my dream experiences and those of others I’ve interviewed, so you, too, can know and call upon the power of dreams for well-being, positive relationships, successful work, and affirmative social change.
Q. How can I incorporate dreams into my work and life?
A. Does your dream guide you in a specific and possibly new or renewed direction or does it offer you a perspective on what to say, how to say it, or how to promote it.
Sometimes the value of a dream is immediately clear; sometimes its value will reveal itself as part of the creative process.
Study how others have used dreams in Plum Dreams Media publications like Dreams and the Wisdom Within and Plum Dreams Diary and on my author/journalist website JoyceLynn.com What dreams do they inspire?
Consider a recent dream or a memorable dream or a recurring dream and play with it until you have a sense of what the dream is telling you.
Then, consider how you can incorporate the dream into your life, express its message, and act to make a positive difference in the world.