How to remember dreams
The key to remembering dreams in their entirety is to record them, and record them, and record them.
A few years before dedicating myself to recording my dreams, I had a journal with dreams that I wrote down that were a line here, a paragraph there and a page in between. The variation of what I remembered improved when I started the practice and action of recording. the more often you record the faster you will train your memory.
You are here on this website and in this particular section wanting to know how to remember your dreams because you know you are remembering your dreams for a reason. Your desire to know will be as rewarding as your actions.
The best thing to do is to set the scene by making sure all is in place for you to record (for example, journal, pen and torch on bedside unit), if you have another to consider in this scenario then you will need to organise how you can achieve recording your dreams in the same room or in one close to. The intention to remember before falling asleep will embed itself in your subconscious to help you consciously remember, and focus on remembering them however you choose (for example, repeat the intent or visualise the intent). Upon awakening roll over and record or if you have to go into another room do so without the mind wandering.
I have never used an alarm in the morning except for important reasons (business flights, travel, etc), because my grandad told me when I was 17 that you don’t need one, just tell yourself what time you want to wake up and it will be so, and it is. Do you wake up moments before your alarm goes off? Waking up naturally is important, try telling yourself to wake up before your alarm goes off, giving yourself enough time to record your dreams and before long you will never wake up to an alarm again.
An uninterrupted awakening, recording straight away and an unwandering mind is ideal. How ever you go about these three things, will help you. With time, you can ease these things as the connection between the subconscious and conscious strengthens. You may be able to get up and do your morning routine before you need to record, I can quickly record after going to the bathroom and when I sit down with the dream that night, I remember more detail and if I have a break from recording while I am on holiday or for whatever reason it only takes one dream recall to go back to where I left off.
If you forget one morning, don’t let that get in the way of tomorrow, if you remember upon awakening and then your mind gets in the way and you forget all of it bar a few details, record those details.
The more you practice, the more you will remember. Your dream journey will be what you choose it to be.
Translating your dreams within a few days to a week is ideal as you can link thoughts and situations from your waking life to the dream. there are benefits to translating your dreams in blocks (every few weeks or once a month), depending on how many dreams you are recording as there will be repetitive dream elements and themes to show you patterns or sequences.
Practice, practice, practice and learn the magic of DreamTime.
30-minute lesson on how to understand dreams
Dream translating practicals
Use a translation method to suit you, for example:
- Write/transcribe in one colour
- Make translation notes in another
- Highlight places and characters and what they could possibly represent, or leave till the end once the dream has given you the angle
- Underline any _______ objects/elements that stand out (road, battery, etc) and write it could symbolise next to it
- Bracket (thoughts)
- Speech mark “dialogue”
- *Asterix any actions
Examples using 2 of my dreams
Dreams communicate coherently and allegorically
2 principles of how dreams communicate whereby the individual elements of a dream or the dream itself can either be coherent or allegorical
A dream will play out like a waking life setting and scenario and/or to the contrary, have elements that act as symbols that you need to translate.
The former plays out like a short play, and you can take it at face value with little to no translation, for example, what is said or thought and actions played (running, stealing, etc). This part of understanding dreams is easy because you can look at the script and scene and apply rationality and logic.
The latter, allegory, are elements in the dream that act as symbols, where you need to know what they represent to translate their meaning. Symbols can be identified by your feelings, attachments and associations with the element. They can also be influenced by the collective consciousness and what we collectively term (definition) or associate (a connection such as religion, history, culture, etc). This part of understanding dreams is where you are revealing the hidden meaning of an element and you will benefit from studying your dreams.
Note: Why I use the word ‘symbol’ instead of ‘metaphor’. Symbols are a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract, for example, the limousine was another symbol of his wealth and authority. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable, for example, her poetry depends on suggestion and metaphor. My dreams do not depend on suggestions or metaphors when I translate them, they are an intelligent communication with a message.
How beliefs shape dreams
Your dreams are shaped by your beliefs. This is helpful to take into consideration when you are translating your dreams. Try looking at everything within the dream from your subjective reality and ask, “Why would I use this place, person, object, dialogue or action to convey a message to myself?”
Your beliefs about yourself, others and the world will be explored in your dreams.
A belief is your acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists whereby you have trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
Your beliefs may alter or change over the years, altering and changing who you are, your behaviour, your life, and your surroundings and this is also true for your dreams.
The elements that you dream of will alter and change alongside you.
Your foundations also shape your dreams because they are the underlying principles of your fundamental truth for the systems of belief or behaviour that result in your chain of reasoning.
It is the chain of reasoning that creates your truth, and your truth is your reality.
Because your life is shaped by your beliefs and foundations, they are effectively: filtering, blocking, and interpreting what you experience and perceive and in turn, influence how your dreams communicate.
This is why you are the best person to learn and understand the message of your dreams.
Can I suggest viewing your dream from your subjective perspective, consider your motivation, attitude and behaviour being conveyed in each act of the scene.
Then try considering your subjective reality and truth and the objective reality and truth, this will allow you to see beyond your perspective.
What can you learn from the dream last night and how can the reality you have created change for the better? Dreams explore areas where you could benefit from growth and you can use the message to transform any beliefs that are holding you back.
Beliefs shape who you are, your reality and your dreams and you create and shape your beliefs.
Dreaming of the past
Dreaming of the past can help you understand a present situation.
Dreaming of a situation that has happened in your past, can help you understand to consider how it made you feel, what impression it left, and how it shaped your path to be who you are today and then summarise this into one word or a phrase and see how this situation from the past can help you today.
For example, I dreamt of it being time to go to work, I am going to a job in the city. Upon looking at the dream to understand it, I realised I was going to a job in the dream that was a job from waking life that I was offered but never accepted.
This is where I thought about why I did not take the job and the career path that followed the job that I did accept was pivotal to how my life unfolded. I summarised this as a ‘crossroad’.
To recognise the situation from your past and how it can help you with your path today by providing more clarity and understanding from a previous experience is intelligent.
Dreams like to use your feelings to help you understand what the dream is about. Whatever situation the dream is investigating, using your past where a direction you took or how a relationship made you feel, can help you understand a current situation better.
By using the past event and how that panned out, you can use that knowledge and wisdom to choose the best possible outcome for another situation that has greeted you on your path today.
So if you dream of a past friendship or a past crossroad, contemplate that time or encounter in your life, the good, the bad, and how and why your dream has intertwined it into your dream to help you with something today.
Looking at your dream as a reflection
Looking at each of the elements and scenes within your dream as a reflection of yourself is one of the ways in which dreams communicate.
Your subconsciousness is scanning you, your life path and lessons to settle upon a matter that can help you grow.
Viewing your dreams from a mirror perspective gives you the opportunity to see all the aspects of you. For example, people within dreams who are also a part of your waking life can represent an aspect of yourself, a trait, quality or behaviour, maybe you dream of being at a person’s house, and the quality or behaviour that reflects you could be surrounding or influencing the situation.
Your feelings play an important role in your dreams and you should use them to understand the message of your dream. For example, the condition of a place made you feel a certain emotion during the dream, this emotion will be governing the matter the dream is about, maybe a tornado was tearing towards you and you felt worried, then the emotion ‘worry’ can be inserted into the message of the dream in sequence of how the dream played out to let you know this is how you are feeling about a matter or a forewarning of a possible future.
Your association with every setting, stage, character, object, action, dialogue, thought and feeling are important to know the message of each dream. For example, maybe you dream of a foodstuff and that particular one doesn’t agree with your body, using ‘doesn’t agree’, in the message of the dream rather than a collective meaning will most likely be the correct translation.
The intelligent communication has encapsulated the matter the dream is about using sensory transmission and elements that represent or symbolise something to you, your dreams are not a riddle for you to figure out, they are to help you.
Try asking for each element, why would I use it to convey a message, how do I feel about it, what attachment do I have to it, and what associations do I have with it.
You are the best person to translate your dreams, study them and before you know it, you will be helping others with their dream journey.
How the dream was viewed
The perception in which the dream was experienced shows you how you align with matter and your perspective about it.
When you are a character in the dream shows that the matter relates to you personally.
When you are a character in the dream, yet you dream sense that you are not a physical representation of your waking life self, could be to show you that you are not being your true self (ethically, behaviour, etc) in the situation the dream is about or it is in relation to a past life situation that influences your present life. What you remember about the character you were in the dream will identify what the perspective is conveying.
Experiencing the dream when you are not a character (a fly on the wall, birds eye view or background position) shows you an outside perspective, a different point of view, that you are detached from the situation or that the situation is coming into your life in the future.
Perspectives change, for example, you are experiencing the dream from yourself playing a role, then the scene changes and you now experience the dream from a background perspective and are no longer a person playing a role showing you different perceptions of the situation, to help you understand the matter better from different points of views or your perception has changed about the matter.
Below are 3 practical tools
- Dream Elements and Collective Meanings PDF
- Dream Elements, Collective Meanings with Examples Excel
- Dream Deciphering Method, Quick Reference Page PDF
What dreams explore
General daily dreams explore aspects of you. Who you are, your life, and your path.
Each dream is about a matter that can help you in some way, shape, or form. The matter could be yesterday’s dramas, a project you have, a relationship, a physical health problem, or a forewarning of where your life is leading. The message of your dream will give you the details you need from an in-depth and intelligent angle so you can discover, examine, and establish your truth.
Your dreams are not limited in the way the conscious waking mind is. Therefore, the higher level of information communicated will be insightful and perceptive, giving you a 360-degree understanding and sense of the matter with both subjective and objective truth.
Your dreams choose what is of importance to you each night you dream.
Your subconscious settles on a matter that is of importance, something where you can improve the quality of your life. Providing you the suggestions, tools, solutions, and answers, you need to continue, alter, change, or stop something.
If you choose to continue a matter that a dream was about, for better or worse, your dreams will update you on your progress or regress. If a matter has layers to it, sequential dreams will unravel it in its entirety.
When you dare to use dreams for personal growth, you will be confronted and liberated by expanding your awareness objectively.
In no particular order, this is what dreams explore.
- Processing yesterday, like an argument or a business deal. This is so you can sense the situation again from angles that will help you somehow.
- An emotion that is restricting you and affecting your quality of life, such as a fear or a bad relationship. These dreams will help you understand the layers of the emotion, how and where it is restricting you, and guide you to a balanced outcome.
- Thoughts that stream through your mind about yourself, others, the world, and beyond this plane. This could be self-doubt thoughts that are restricting you or an answer to a philosophical question you have been contemplating.
- Investigating possible scenarios when you have options, like when you have a couple of opportunities for a career move, and you are weighing the best option, or you are wondering if you should continue to date someone. Your dream will consider everything including the things you had not thought of or did not know, so you can make the best-informed decision.
- Messages that help you. These will come in the form of a suggestion, tool, solution, or answer, coherently or allegorically. They can be as simple as cleansing your thoughts through to a solution of a latent creative art form you are inspired to manifest.
- Answers to a problem, like writer’s block or an obstacle in a project of yours. From a famous song to an invention, many have shared how their dreams helped them with their idea or project.
- Personal messages that have an important meaning or relevance to you. These are highlighted with a dream element that symbolises a ‘message’, like an envelope or phone call.
- A probable future, that is based on the current direction you are on. This peek preview of what is ahead of you can be attached to any dream where you need to see the probable outcome of your actions.
- Premonitions where you see coherently or allegorically an event that plays out in waking life after the dream.
- A message forewarning you of the destructive path ahead, like an accident or wrong career move. Any harmful situation forecasted on your path can be forewarned through an unpleasant dream. Heed the information from this dream. A sound or a dream element that symbolises ‘warning’ adds urgency to the message of the dream.
- Timing guidance is where you dream of a date or timeline. This may be for a special event or as guidance over a period. The latter will be a dream to help you with a situation or to achieve something. If you note this on a calendar, you can monitor your progress and re-analyse the dreams information when needed. This platform is a result of timing guidance whereby I was trying to figure out what I could do, and my dream suggested resting for a few months, giving me the specific months, which I did, and this allowed me to have space in my thoughts and then this platform was then seeded.
- Updates on situations, such as your progress on a destructive behaviour or pattern that you have been repeating or improving. Wherever you are at with a situation, your dreams will update you, maybe a pat on the back, showing you that your decisions have been fruitful or maybe a prompt because you have relapsed into unhealthy old ways.
So, these are the things that dreams explore, have I missed anything? How have your dreams helped you?
The intelligent consciousness that forms our dreams has access to you, the collective and all that has and will be in this plane. Embrace the messages you receive, and your dreams will be as rewarding as you choose them to be.
Explore different categories of dream elements
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