A few years ago, I dreamt of tigers. The dreams left me more confused than frightened, so I turned to my Holy Listening group for some discernment. Strangely enough, after our conversation, some other members began to dream of tigers as well. As we discussed the many nuances of what the tigers represented in our dreams through a chain email, the Holy Spirit and intuition kept popping up. We felt connected in the Holy Spirit leading us all to something greater. Discussing and analyzing our dreams together took us all deeper. We began to notice patterns. And that is what a dream journal can do. It is a way to record your dreams while they are still fresh in your mind, in order to analyze them, notice patterns, and go deeper into the messages your intuition is giving you.
Here are 4 reasons you should start a dream journal today:
Process your emotions
As we dream, our subconscious is rehashing our day. We are facing what we have been pushing aside, especially emotions. If you feel something strongly in your dream, then journaling is the perfect way to identify both the emotion and the cause of the emotion in your life. Once you allow yourself to feel the feeling that you may have been trying to avoid, then it can pass through you instead of eating away at you. Or it may be a feeling of joy or elation that you want to revel in for a while. Who hasn’t had the experience of waking up and wishing you could go back into the dream you were having? By writing that dream down in a journal in the present tense, you are both reliving it and stamping it into your soul to carry with you throughout the day.
Build your ability to interpret underlying messages
Dreams are full of imagery and symbols. By taking time to write about what you think these images represent to you, you begin to do it more in your waking life as well. Practice makes perfect, so practice your interpretive skills. Like the tiger dream I mentioned earlier, many dreams include symbols that have become archetypes throughout human experience. Websites and dream books are starting places to gain some insight into some deeper meanings, then see which meaning resonates with you.
Give you direction in your life
If there is a decision or relationship that you are experiencing difficulty with, then dreams often point you toward the direction that would be most helpful for you. You can call this your intuition or God, but whatever you choose to name it, it is wisdom. Sometimes a dream gives us a warning. For example, when I kept dreaming anxiety dreams of work, I knew I had to get a new job. I immediately vamped up my resume and started attending job fairs. Sometimes it is as simple as taking the time to record your dream before you forget it. Then you can see more clearly whatever it was trying to point out. Maybe you did not realize you had wounded someone in your life, but the dream reveals something off in your relationship. Then you can take the action necessary to make amends. And by keeping a record of your dreams, you can look back and begin to notice patterns and remember things that you otherwise would have forgotten. These patterns help identify our stuck areas, which are our pathways towards growth.
Ignite creative ideas and solutions
I am sure that you have already noticed multiple movies, books, and other pieces of art that have been based on dreams. (Think: Surrealism, Stephen King novels, the movie Inception, etc.) Dreams get us out of our boxed-in thinking, our societal conditioning, and our one-track minds. As a writer, I find my most vivid dreams the perfect beginning to a novel or content of a poem. At other times, I have actually felt what it was like to do something I had never tried before. The dream had in essence relieved me of the fear behind the risk because I could imagine entering into the situation through a different state of being. By reflecting on it, I could identify something new that I could try.
QUICK TIP: I find it best to keep my dream journal in my nightstand and write in it before I even get out of bed in the morning. It is amazing how the details of your dreams begin to slip away as soon as you leave your bedroom.
If you want to explore some of your dreams’ meanings, email me to schedule a spiritual direction session. Together we can dip into the messages that lie hidden in your subconscious.
About the Author: Julie Glaser is a healer who creates sacred spaces for people to share, release, and grow. She’s in the habit of being in awe and wonder and writes to share her own experiences and learnings with other inquisitive souls in the process of transforming.