Dream recall made simple

After chatting with a friend about dreams, I thought it might be a good time to revisit a post from my old blog, maria cristina. I wrote this in July, 2007.

The main way to remember your dreams is to use the power of suggestion. If you say to yourself before you go to sleep, ” I’m very serious about remembering my dreams,” or something like that, eventually you’ll remember. At first you might only remember a fragment, but that’s fine. Write down the fragment. Think about the image. Ask yourself what associations you have with it.

Eventually you’ll remember more, until you find yourself recalling four of five dreams a night, maybe even more than you can handle. All you have to do is repeat your intention to yourself and keep a notebook and pen next to your bed.

I go through periods when I try to connect with my creative mind, usually in an effort to understand myself better. Before I go to sleep I say to myself, ‘ I would really like to remember my dreams tonight’. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I scratch a few words down in a spiral notebook, hoping to retrieve the whole dream in the morning. I’ve been working on my dreams off and on for many years. Has it paid off? Do I have a deeper understanding of my life? It’s hard to say, because the dreams keep changing, and so do I. I can say that for a moment, a remembered dream brings me a sense of fulfillment.

My dreams open a window into a mysterious world. When I’m able to draw that world into my daytime life, the wonder of it amazes me. I record the varied scenes and plots that gather over time: a dog comes loping out of a lake, I sail with a hundred ships on the open sea, a wild woman dances the cumbia, and emerald green insects crawl over my washing machine.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and the door is closed. The dreamscape is hidden. If I’m patient, the images will surface during the day. While taking a long walk a memory will pop into my mind, until I remember the entire dream by the time I’m home. It’s like taking a tapestry out of a dark closet and hanging it on the wall.

Freud wrote that all dreams are wishes or fears. Carl Jung spoke about archetypes and the collective unconscious. Their theories interest me and help me, but I rely on my own interpretations. The metaphors and symbols are personal. Usually, if I record the dream and let it simmer inside, my own meaning bubbles up. It’s a way of keeping my ear to the ground of my unconscious.

The images that come to me in the night might lead me down a path of enlightenment. Maybe I’ll bring what I find back from my sleep, and show it to others. Will I create a poem? Will I write a story? Or will I dream the dream of divine love?

6 thoughts on “Dream recall made simple

  1. jo says:

    I tried to look at my hands but I haven’t noticed them, what I am doing a lot now is saying ‘oh I am asleep, I’m dreaming’ and sitting back and watching the dream as me……..even if I’m in it, though often I’m not. I love dreams, they are a magic continent…..


  2. christine says:

    Michelle, any time, friend.

    Jo, you’re so funny. You’re probably too sleepy to pop into total lucidity. With two boys, running a household, and a full creative life, it’s not easy. From what you describe here, it sounds like you are dreaming lucidly.


  3. paisley says:

    i go thru periods of lucid dreams, ones i can identify with and remain a part of even after i wake up… lately however, if i am dreaming they have esaped me completely… i enjoy dreaming,, sometimes more that life itself and will continue to keep track of those i can remember,, you just never know here or if they might fit in……


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