Are you paying attention to your dreams? They’re probably telling you something you need to know, so listen closely!
Why now more than before? Last week the US government changed overnight, from a contentious democrat-led republic to a contentious republican-led question mark. Those of us who fear white supremacist hate, anti-democracy, and rollbacks of our tenuous environmental protections were jostled awake, and maybe even sleepless about it. But when we finally dreamed, our dreams are messages from the unconscious. Let’s make sure to pay attention.
It’s calming and grounding to explore dreams, because they connect us to our inner wisdom, and the still small voice that points us in the right direction, or at least mirrors our needs, desires and feelings.
Here are three tips to harvest the wisdom from your dreams.
- Write them down in the morning, or when you wake up in the night. This will help you remember them better. The details are very important. If you get in the habit or writing them down (or get back to the habit you may have developed years before), you’ll remember more. I use a dream journal by my bed, filling it with scrawls that I reflect on at the end of a week, or if a dream is really vivid, that same morning.
- Notice the references to culture, people, and stories in your dreams, especially the ones that surprise you. Think about what they mean to you, and what they might tell you about the situations in your life and the world. Connect with the real-life people who help you in dreams, or do some research about the cultural situation your sleep mind brings into your waking world.
For example, last night I dreamed repeatedly that everyone was talking about the science fiction classic, A Canticle for Leibowitz. I hadn’t read Walter Miller’s story since I was a child, and didn’t remember the plot until I revisited it today. It chillingly points me to my concerns about environmental and nuclear devastation, and if I can stay grounded, helps me decide what causes to stand up for in the coming weeks and months. The book tells the story of a post-nuclear world where an order of monks preserved scientific knowledge after “Simpletons” declared that reading, writing and technology were forbidden. For me, this is a perfect representation of climate change deniers, who are not simpletons, but convicted that science is not telling the truth. This debate is important to many generations, and clearly, since it occupied my dream space, to me!
- Find people you can talk with about your dreams, helping you integrate and interpret the messages from your unconscious. Not everyone is open to talking about dreams, and not everyone helps us understand them. So find folks who are willing to share and explore with you. Even if you don’t get clear information, it helps to share them and builds friendships that honor you, on every level. That’s vital now.