How to Remember Your Dreams

lake boat

(From the Reader’s Choice blog  
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Dear Karen,

Do you have any recommendations regarding some ways to help remember dreams? I am trying to keep a dream journal but I can’t hold on to them long enough to write them down.

Thanks so much! Summer

I think it’s amazing how we shift realities every night and everyone just takes it for granted. We dress for it, and buy comfortable beds to lie on, so our spirits can leave our bodies to dump out the old, learn new things, rest, recover and regenerate. If we don’t do it – we die. Think about it! That’s amazing. You’re saying, I want to remember where I go and what I do. I want to receive guidance from that place so I can have conscious contact, well good for you! If you are longing for it, my guess is that your spirit wants to be more awake in both places. Dreaming is the veil between realities. If you are strongly focused and centered in this one, dreams seem more distant and a little harder to catch.

First, make a decision to remember. Tell yourself when you close your eyes, that you want to remember your dreams, but don’t say it to your head. Breathe into your center and leave your request in your heart. Then have paper and pen by your bed, have them open and ready, so you can begin to write as soon as you feel yourself in the territory between sleep and waking. Write anything you have in your mind, write before you are fully awake, catch a feeling, a color or a vague scene. Don’t judge or censor anything, just spill it out. If you can begin to pull through small pieces, more will follow. It’s like fishing; you get a few nibbles and write those down, then one morning the whole fish shows up.

I’ve read that getting to bed late and being sleep deprived can interfere. I also think alcohol in the evenings can get in the way of remembering. However, I believe that if your spirit wants to speak with you and that’s an acceptable way for you to listen, that it will find a way to be heard – no matter what.

I used to fast every January with the intention of inviting the dream spirits, as a kind of vision quest. They will always come when you make that kind of offering. Fasting will take you into that realm rapidly and you’ll have vivid dreams that are full of guidance within days. Happy Fishing!

Forest visit

sparrowFasting makes the veil between the worlds thin, so more is revealed. I am on my sixth day now, full of curiosity and readiness to see what is delivered. My morning has been beautiful. I slipped on my old grey sweater, pulled blue jeans under my dress and laced hiking boots. What a combination, very odd and very me. I am grateful to be able to walk along the hillside, pass into the woods and be swallowed deep inside her belly. She always feeds me and is gentle. I feast on a million shades of green and listen to the songs of the birds and the buzzing of a single black and orange bee. How grateful I am for this gift of time and communion. I could be stuck in a cubicle, in front of a computer, in traffic, in a bad marriage or in the bloody wars brought by the last administration. How fortunate indeed.

I walk the road until I come to the log that blocks my path, always a good place to rest or turn back. But today I notice a chainsaw has cut the base of it, preparing to move it elsewhere. Climbing over the top, I notice the entire lower trail has been cleared and widened into the road it was intended to be, even the basin impossibly dense with blackberry bushes has been cleared. Just a matter of time now before the owner claims his forest road and I am left without my sanctuary.

I move back over the log and retrace my steps to a small dirt clearing. With sun at my back, I am able to sit for an hour being quiet and letting the forest feed me. Fasting and age allows a stillness that is not available to the young. Their bodies demand so much of them. Run here, do that, keep going, climb higher. It takes a kind of skill to sink into the womb of the forest.

I look down at my leather boots and blue jeans, and at my dress and silk slip peeking out around my knees. I love the colors, fabrics and textures. I love the deep inner quiet I feel, and for a few rare moments, am truly happy to be the spirit housed in this body.