Dreamwork: Tips to Help You Recall and Interpret Your Dreams
by Sharif Khan
"I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and
changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through
water, and altered the color of my mind." - Emily Bronte, English
novelist and poet
Dreams have the tremendous power to transform our lives in so many ways.
Taking the time to explore and understand our dreams can help us improve
relationships, solve difficult problems, diagnose illnesses, inspire
creativity, fresh ideas and new inventions, and teach leadership and right
conduct. Sometimes, even a single dream can help shape our life purpose.
On February 3, 2005, I had what world renowned psychologist Dr. Carl Jung
called a 'BIG DREAM'. It was a powerfully vivid, life-defining dream which
crystallized my purpose and calling in life. It's a sacred dream which I still
refer to often and which has led me on a Dream Quest to explore and understand
the magic of dreams.
To help me on this quest, I recently took an intensive sixteen-hour
Dreamwork Workshop at the home of Dr. Marina Quattrocchi who completed her
doctoral thesis on dreams based on her over seven year's of dreamwork practice
with high-school students.
I'd like to share with you some key learning points on dreamwork that I
took away from this course as well as some fresh insights I've picked-up along
the way based on my own independent dream research:
We spend up to 7 years of our lives dreaming
We all average about five to seven dreams
a night (even if we don't
remember them) and will spend approximately five to seven full years of our
Dreams are the language of the soul
Dreams are the language of the soul. They are spirit informing mind with
the purpose of bringing wholeness and healing in our lives. Dreams serve two
main functions: 1). To help us work through our issues or karma, and 2). To
help us fulfill our destiny, purpose, or dharma. Most dreams will fall under
these two broad pillars.
Everyone can understand their dreams
We all have the potential to self-interpret or at least understand our
dreams to help enrich our lives.
Dreams come in many shapes and sizes
Precognitive or predictive dreams help us prepare for a future event that
comes to pass. Clairvoyant or clear seeing dreams can often help us better
perceive what's happening in the present. And retro-cognitive dreams can help
uncover something hidden in the past. Past, present, and future are one fluid
continuum that dreams draw from.
There are visitation dreams where angels, mentors, and loved ones visit us
to provide guidance. Lucid dreams occur when we become aware that we are
dreaming - allowing us some conscious influence on the outcome of the dream.
Telepathic dreams involve mind-to-mind communication with other people.
We often will dream experiential testing dreams
(especially during a
transition) where our soul is trying out different scenarios to help us make
better choices or help prepare us for an arduous undertaking.
For example, a high school student transitioning over to college might have
recurring dreams about participating in various on campus activities to better
prepare him for the actual event. Or a recently laid off person who's thinking
of jumping into a business full-time might have a dream where she's running
her business but is wearing disheveled clothing, feeling exhausted, and
swimming in a sea of paperwork. This dream could be warning the dreamer to
transition over part-time or choose another business deal.
Dreams can have many layers of meaning
More complex dreams with several scenes will often involve multiple layers
of meaning. Some dreams will require a long period of incubation involving
several months or years because they are working on complex problems.
Some of these complex dreams might not make any sense at the moment of
interpretation but will make sense after an appropriate gestation period has
elapsed. It is well worth the effort to journal your dreams in as much detail
as you can and make a conscious effort to explore all aspects and meanings of
your dreams. Some dreams, like a good book, will bring new flashes of insight
and meaning with each reading.
Dream Recall Tips
* Start with the belief that you can and will remember your dreams.
* Place a pad, pencil and pen by your bedside. (Pencil tips can break while
pens can run out of ink).
* Try a light pen so you can write your dreams in the dark without having
to switch on a lamp.
* You may wish to have a tape-recorder to speak your dream upon waking.
* Reading a good book on dreams 20 minutes before going to bed can help
stimulate dream recall.
* Repeat a dream recall affirmation often such as: "I am easily
remembering and recording my dreams."
* Write down your dream as soon as you awake. 80 percent of a dream can be
lost in as little as 10 minutes.
* Visualize yourself immediately writing down your dream on waking.
* Be as still as possible. Shifting positions in bed is known to reduce
* Tell a partner or trusted friend in advance that you will share your
dream with them tomorrow.
* Meditating and praying for guidance will put you in the alpha dream state
and help increase recall.
* Get a good night's sleep. Dreams get progressively longer peaking in the
6th, 7th, and 8th hours of sleep.
* You will establish the habit of remembering your dreams by journaling
them for the next 30 days.
Dream Interpretation Tips
* Start with a sincere intent to learn from your dreams to better yourself
and live purposefully.
* What emotional feeling are you left with? Feelings are more accurate and
truthful than words in dreams.
* You are made up of 80 percent water. The state of water in your
dreams often reflects your emotional state.
* Write a simple story line. Summarize your dream in one sentence and
express the main theme.
* Ask: "Why did my soul have this experience? What do I need to
understand? What issues need working?"
* Be aware of the events occurring in your life at the time of your dream;
especially the day before.
* Remember that dream symbols often have dual opposite meanings. Good dream
dictionaries will have both.
* There are three main types of symbols: archetypal symbols, cultural
symbols, and personal symbols.
* Review all your dreams at least once a year. You will notice common
themes and motifs to help guide you.
* Act on your dreams: call or visit someone, pick up a book, watch a movie,
wear clothing from your dreams.
* Dream application leads to dream interpretation. By applying your
dreams the full meaning reveals itself.
In my book, "Psychology of the Hero Soul," I mention 7 keys to
accessing the unknown for enriching and positively transforming one's life.
Dreamwork is one of those keys. If this topic fascinates you, then I highly
recommend Dr. Marina Quattrocchi's Dreamwork course. For information about her
workshops and dream therapy sessions, call 416-246-0123.
I sincerely believe Dr. Quattrochi is doing an excellent job of helping
people harness their dreams. In this sleep-deprived, dream-deprived world,
helping people to honor their dreams will bring healing and wholeness to the
In her book, "Dreamwork Uncovered," Dr. Quattrochi mentions the
fascinating culture of the ancient Senoi tribe who lived in the mystic
mountains of Malaysia. This mysterious tribe was so advanced that at one
period of their existence "there had been no accounts of violent crime
for over two hundred years."
played a central role in their culture and every
morning family members would share their dreams with each other and consult
the village council.
We now live in a world where the village Shaman that brought healing and
hope to people is all but killed off. Under the veil of science and
technological progress, the world weeps silently. It is time to bring back the
lost art of dreaming...
About the Author
Sharif Khan (http://www.herosoul.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer, inspirational keynote speaker,
consultant, and author of "Psychology of the Hero Soul," an
inspirational leadership book on awakening the hero within.
- All rights reserved.
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