How’s your dreaming practice these days?
If you’re like me, from time to time dreams get pushed to the back burner. We go through phases when life is exceptionally busy, we’re exceptionally tired, and we don’t feel like bothering with writing and working with our dreams. We murmur to ourselves, half-asleep, “Ugh, I’m so tired. I’ll write my dream tomorrow.” Don’t kick yourself – it happens to all of us.
The problem with “I’ll write my dream tomorrow” is that, oh-so-often, “tomorrow” becomes next week, which becomes next month, which becomes never. And then we lose touch with our dreaming practice.
When we lose touch with our dreaming practice eventually we stop being aware of our dreams altogether. Dreaming and all that it offers fades into the distance. When that happens we find ourselves feeling bored and stuck in our life, like everything has become routine. That’s when we start searching. Searching for why, what’s the point, where is meaning. We look for answers, or we search for something to liven things up. The trick on us is that, all along, everything we’re searching for has been right here – right inside of us.
Re-engaging with our dreaming practice brings us back to the Adventure of Self. The timeline of discovery that is our life. Our dreams are constantly waiting for us to engage with them so they can kick us off into the next chapter of our unfolding, whether it be internal shifts or shifts in our waking life. When I began to dream “Go to France!” I was in a place where I thought things were pretty much on cruise control – I certainly didn’t have moving on my radar! And what an adventure that dream-prompting has turned out to be. Equally enlivening is the turning over of a new leaf, finding an aspect of ourselves we never new existed, such as encountering a quality of leadership or a capacity to paint.
So here are some ways to re-engage with your dreaming practice, to spice it up so it becomes interesting again:
1. Change what you write at the top of your notebook. If you have a routine of writing “Tonight I will have a clear dream and remember” then write “Tonight I will remember and write my dream.” That little change will jolt you out of routine.
I once was facing a challenge in my life and complaining I wasn’t “getting any direction on it” from my dreams. A fellow dream group member asked me if I was always writing the same question in my notebook. I was. She suggested I change it that night, which I did, and boy did I get a zinger! My dreams unfolded exactly what was going on and I was able to clearly see what direction to take.
2. For 7 days do NOT work with your dreams. Yep, give yourself permission to NOT do the dreamwork. Allow yourself to sleep as much as you like as long as you like without the overhanging burden of feeling like you have to wake up and write your dreams. Guilt-free, go to bed with an empty nightstand – no dream journal, no pen.
Day 8, put a totally new, fresh, completely blank and unused journal by your bed, with a pen you’ve never used. See what happens.
3. Join a Dream Group. Joining a group tells our dreaming we’re serious. It creates a space of time where – even if we don’t contribute a dream right away – we enter the dreaming space. Engaging with others, and hearing and working with their dreams, is a great reminder of the treasure that dreaming is for us. Re-discovering the treasure of dreaming ignites our curiosity once again to go on the expedition to find it.
This fall I have both Beginners and Advanced Dream Group classes available. And, coming mid to late September, I’ll be launching a Self-Study Dream Class for those of you who have never taken a class with me and are new to the method I teach and prefer to work at your own time and pace.
Happy spicing up your dreaming, and adding zest to your waking life!