Human beings have long understood the power and significance of dreams—and, throughout time, dreams have been considered meaningful and sacred and have been used to find guidance and purpose in life. From the discovery of the structure of the atom to Harriet Tubman’s repeatedly successful travels on the “Underground Railroad”, dreams have changed human history—and countless examples of inventions, literature, works of art, and other human discoveries and successes have been attributed to dreams and dream messages. A purported window into the subconscious, dreams have also long been recognized for their therapeutic potential—and contemporary psychotherapy techniques continue to include the utilization of dream interpretation and analysis.

However, in our present culture and fast-paced world, many of us neglect to take the time to analyze what our dreams are trying to tell us—even ignoring the messages that our inner world may be desperate to communicate to us. Perhaps a great deal of the trouble and turmoil some of us experience today is due to the fact that we have lost our connection to this inner world and do not make room in our day for studying and utilizing our daily dreams—a practice which could guide us towards greater self-awareness and enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Studying our dreams–and then using the knowledge gained from this analysis–could lead us to happier and more fulfilled lives and could give us the gift of realizing and achieving our personal “dreams” in life. All we have to do is to pay attention to them—because when we pay attention to our dreams, we are paying attention to ourselves.

So, how can you begin the process of studying and utilizing your dreams? Initially, all you need to do is to practice remembering and recording your dreams. Then, you must commit to being open and accepting of the information which you gather from these dreams. If you are willing to make the time for this process—and if you remain open to what your dreams (and the dreams of those around you) have to tell you—you will find guidance, solutions, and a fuller, richer understanding of yourself and others.

Giving yourself the gift of dreaming
(A.K.A. Becoming a “Dream Catcher”)

Before you go to sleep, repeatedly tell yourself that you are going to remember your dreams. If, after a few days, you find that this method was not effective, mentally count backwards—very slowly—from either 60 or 100; then, repeat over and over that you are going to remember your dreams (preferably, until you fall asleep).
Keep a pen and a “dream journal” near your bed. Dreams disappear quickly, so record them as soon as you awaken—including dates and times. Include anything that is repeated or that stands out (for example, any noticeable or repeated images, words, names, symbols, themes, or phrases).
If possible, allow yourself to wake up naturally. If using an alarm clock/electronic device, use a low tone and no radio setting or music—nothing jarring or too loud and/or high-pitched.
When you begin to awaken, stay completely still until you remember and process as much of your dream as possible. Again, dreams disappear quickly—by not moving, the dreamer can fool the brain into believing that it is still in the dream state.
Give the dream an immediate title. Naming the dream assists with recall and will often help you to remember it in greater detail at a later date/time.
As soon as possible, fill in any additional information or details (as well as any further recall that you may have during the day)—moods, possible interpretations, related ideas, feelings, emotions, impressions, or explanations about what may have prompted the dream.
If you are comfortable doing so, share your dreams with others for additional insight and then record their interpretations. The dream’s meaning and significance can often be unlocked and/or deepened with insight from others—especially those who are closest to you and know you well.
Practice, practice, practice! Dream recall ability is like a muscle. The more that you use it, the stronger it will become—and the more vividly that you will dream.

Happy Holidays—and dream well!

**Please submit your dreams for analysis to: . All shared information will stay anonymous.

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