Saturday, September 27, 2014

Writers Notebook: Remembering Dreams

Remembering Dreams

Do you ever wonder how you can remember dreams? Lately, I've been reading Carl Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections and attempting to record my dreams every morning. If I can remember my dreams, I will have a view of the hidden me. I want to look into the parts of my personality that I hide from myself - risky business! I consider myself honest about my motives and practice self-witnessing. Maybe that sounds strange but those of you who are in some kind of meditation practice know that witnessing your thoughts and actions (without judging) can yield a tremendous amount of information about yourself. I am looking to find a creative energy source that will bring my writing alive with vitality. I've discovered other techniques to wake up the muse but I would like a more reliable routine that keeps me in touch with my imagination.

The goal is to wake up everyday, notice what in floating around in my mind and then immediately write down everything in my mind - take a "mental picture" as it were. Words, thoughts, images, sensations, songs and so on. I have discovered that I must notice my thoughts before I move from the bed. I cannot allow myself to talk or engage in any preliminary activity before I write or else I lose the thoughts. Some days I'm successful while others (like today) I get caught up in washing dishes, making coffee, preparing for the day and before I know it - the dreams are gone! What did I dream last night? What influenced my subconscious? Blank! My mind is unable to remember my dreams because I had too many intervening thoughts before I recorded my dreams such as - why hasn't anyone done the dishes in two days! It's a good thing I didn't cook dinner last night or else there would be more dishes. How can I get cooperation about cleaning the house? And then my mind goes analytical - Why are we so stuck in these social gender roles that I'm the one who breaks down and does the dishes first? It's enough to wipe out anyone's morning dreams! My thoughts are a giant eraser rubbing out the lightest dream pencil marks first but today, the entire page was all gone.

Mental palaver! Jung uses that word as in to arrange a palaver to mean conversations  he has with the Africans at night. He wants to know if they have dreams and if they provide some kind of insight into their daily lives. He attributes their resistance to sharing their dreams with him as evidence of a lack of trust or "shyness." Jung even offered rewards - cigarettes, matches, and safety pins for sharing dreams but they wouldn't budge. I'm thinking that maybe they didn't remember their dreams because of too much palaver! I have been recording by dreams every morning for two weeks - let's see if some pattern emerges. I have a safety pin in my pocket for good luck.  Do you have any dream wisdom to offer? How do you remember your dreams?

(Also posted in Writers Rising)


  1. I will try to use this technique on my last entries on my journal. - Valeria Munoz

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  3. They say...once you open your eyes you lose 70% of your dreams. Try remembering dream once you awake, before opening your.eyes. As for the dishes, as a mom of five kids, I posted a sign above the sink. "Use a dish...wash a dish. This is the Law, until LOVE prevails. LOL! It at least raised their consciousness. ;)

  4. I have always wondered the meanings of dreams, if they have any, but I agree that they reveal things about oneself we usually don't notice. This technique is a very interesting one, and helpful in many aspects; I will try it for my next writings.

  5. Islandmoments, haha! I certainly see how the dish-washing law is supposed to work but I don't like to be a police officer! Plus, since I cook, I make most of the mess. Good advice about not opening your eyes and reviewing your dreams. I do that also!. Thanks for reading

    Airined, it looks as if you have a project cut out for you! Try to remember your dreams and see if they provide insight to your internal journey.

    Valeria, let me know how it works out for you.

  6. Hi Valeria: I don't know why your comment won't publish but I think it is worth sharing.

    "Making my hand keep up with my thoughts while I'm still a bit sleepy has been the hardest part for me. Sometimes I feel that I will forget my dream if I don't write fast enough. I will start making little notes with key words on the side of my journal to see if this helps my writing process." Valeria

    I have the same problem with the First Thoughts activity!

  7. I dream alot, but sometimes i just forget what i was dreaming about. When i was making the asigment about the dreams i remembered everything detail by detail what i dreamed. it's weird how can i dream about a person or a problem and may actually happen in a week or maybe a day. It happens alot to me.


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