We spend nearly one-third of our lives sleeping. While we’re sleeping there’s an entire level of consciousness that we can be exploring. I’m talking, of course, about dreaming.
My dream journal sits right next to my bed on my nightstand. I keep a pen and a pencil there for immediate use when I wake up. When I go to bed I often jot down what the major highlights from my day were. I also sometimes write a word or two about the emotion I’m feeling before I close my eyes for the night. When I wake up I always write. Even if I can’t seem to remember my dreams, I write about how I’m feeling.
I can not stress enough how life changing a dream journal can be. I honestly believe that we can learn so much about ourselves by paying attention to them. Here’s what has happened since I’ve started my dream journal:
I can recall so many more dreams simply by writing them down.
Sometimes when I start writing my most recent dream, it just starts flowing and I can’t believe what focusing on them allows me to remember. My hands cramp up sometimes because I’m writing so fast trying to get all my dream memories on paper. I start remembering other dreams I had during the night that I didn’t even realize I remembered until I started writing them down. Writing down my dreams forces me to categorize them as something worth remembering. Even if I don’t remember my dream, I still try to write something down to train my brain as recognizing dreams as something important to remember.
Sometimes randomly throughout the day I can recall a dream from what feels like a different night.
Lately I’ve been experiencing what I’ve coined day dream déjà vu. I’ll randomly be day dreaming about something that I’ve actually dreamt before. Basically, I’m just recalling a dream that I had. It’s the craziest phenomenon. It never happened before I started my dream journal. It’s so strange because it’s like I never dreamed it until that moment when I remember that I did. Often it comes up when something minor reminds me of it. For example, I was recently notified that it was one of my Facebook friend’s birthdays. This friend was a pretty random person who I hadn’t spoke to or seen in quite a long time. I had this insane moment where I was able to recall a dream that I had about them. I couldn’t remember when I had the dream, and I didn’t know I had the dream until it was triggered by something in my reality.
My creativity has skyrocketed.
I have been able to think so much more creatively lately. I think it’s partly due to the fact that when I’m exploring my dreams I’m doing something that I don’t realize I know. Likewise, sometimes being creative means finding something deep within your mind that you didn’t even know was there. Exploring my dreams wakes up my creativity.
I feel very self-aware.
Even just writing down a few feelings I have before I go to sleep, and highlighting a few events from the day is helpful when thinking about my dream the next morning. It allows me to draw connections between what I was dreaming about and what is happening in my reality. It teaches me a lot about myself and often reassures what is stressing me out, bringing me happiness, bringing me fear, etc. I have also started recognizing themes and patterns in my dreaming which allow me to understand what is really important to me.
I have experienced a few instances of lucid dreaming.
This is not something I’ve mastered or that I feel like I can control but I have experienced it before. Here’s what happened one time when I was lucid dreaming according to my dream journal entry from a few weeks ago:
I was talking with a group of friends and I smiled and bragged and said I’m dreaming watch what I can do. I clapped my hands in my dreams and woke up to reality.
At first it freaked me out a little bit, but there’s something so magical about it.
Brilliant ideas live there.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t had a brilliant idea that came directly from my dreams yet. (That I’m aware of in this consciousness) But I do believe that a great idea could come from them. Check out these 10 Dreams That Changed Human History.
My dream journal is very sacred to me. I love taking the time to explore my mind and reflect on my dreams, even if it’s just for five minutes first thing in the morning. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a profound idea from a dream someday.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”