THE BLOG
04/01/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Getting The Most Out Of Your Dreams

When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.

Dr Wayne Dyer

I have heard it said that everyone's problem is a lack of awareness about what to do in a situation. But your dreams can give you the awareness you need.

The difficulties you encounter might be the very things you need to stimulate more of your creativity and enhance your ability to lead a charmed life. That is of course, if a charmed life is something you might wish to have. Recently, my dreams have been waking me up to some amazing insights about blocks I have been meeting.

Over the past few weeks of the Sleep Challenge 2010, I have begun to explore my dreams. Not in any too intense a way. And not every night. When recording my dreams has involved me bolting upright at 3.00 a.m. and writing down my impressions, only to find that I could not go back to sleep again, then it was time to take a break. So I have given myself a night off.

When I started the process of recording my dreams, I had been experiencing a loud and insistent heartbeat. I would wake up with my heart thumping noisily in my chest. But I felt perfectly well, and did not feel motivated to rush off to the doctor for help. Some mornings, my heart was "clanking" in my chest. Somewhat unnerving. Only when I observed my heartbeat, it calmed down.

As sometimes happens, I had been pushing on myself, trying to do too much and feeling overwhelmed. My heart was literally telling me to calm down. Which I did. I just have let go of some unnecessary demands and all is quiet again in my chest. This kind of awareness prompted a change of behaviour.

The secret I am finding with dream awareness is not to be looking for the perfect recording of every detail. Just an impression can work fine. When later in the day I read through what I have written, I am taken back toward the dream world I left when I woke up. It has a very different quality to my waking preoccupations -- more reassuring.

Working with my dreams is empowering me to know what is true for me and to honour it. I am learning how to relate better with a valuable aspect of my consciousness that is giving me greater peace of mind and trust in the process of my life unfolding. Greater self-awareness is proving to be a great gift and a blessing.

Reading Russell Bishop's recent post: Could Sleep Aid Your Contact With The Divine? gave me good ideas for dream recall.

Here are some of my own Guidelines for getting the most from your Dreams:

1. Put aside perfection

It is too tempting to feel that unless you record every detail of your dream, that you cannot get any value from it. A simple word or feeling that catches your attention may be useful. Jot down a note about it.

2. Be open and uncritical

As above, let go of preconceptions about how or what you receive in your dreams. Keep an open mind and willingness to receive the information or guidance that will best serve you.

3. Assume the positive intent within words, symbols or feelings that you receive

Entertain the possibility that within you is a loving spirit that is serving your best interests. If a dream has been disturbing, even frightening, maybe it is calling your attention to an issue you need to address. Interpret your dreams in the light of compassion and kindness towards yourself.

4. Allow yourself to receive further insights during your waking day

At quiet moments, waiting in line at the supermarket, walking in a park, or standing in the shower I become available to inspiration that may come "from out of the blue".

5. Experiment

Explore new ways to improve your dream recall. Go to bed earlier so that you have enough time in the morning to write in your journal. Write on a five by three card: "I wonder how it is possible for me to... " and write the question for which you are seeking guidance. Read it over last thing at night for a few nights in a row. If there is no answer for you right away, let it be ok. Answers have a way of finding us when we need them.

Dreams can offer you the wake up call to greater awareness. That greater awareness can be a guiding light, changing the way you see things. A change of outlook may make an extraordinary difference to how you experience your life, the good and the less good of it.

At any age, we have

Things To Learn

things to learn from Matt Edgar on Vimeo.

How have your dreams made a difference in your life? Have you found any techniques useful for dream recall? Have you ever had a dream that foretold a future event?

Please feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me at anne@annenaylor.com

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