For this week’s rambling, I wanted to start a series of articles about journaling. This article will discuss what I call a dream journal. Follow on articles will deal with gratitude journals, diaries, journals for reflection, and so on. I hope this helps you decide what journals will serve you best.
I have tried a great deal of the commercial journals on the market and have found that each has its benefits and disadvantages. I’ll give you a review of each of these journals at the end of the series to save you some time or at least some foresight before you spend your money on them.
The Dream Journal
Like other journals, the dream journal should be something that you use daily. Obviously, you’ll have some nights where you can’t sleep. These nights you won’t dream. On other nights you’ll have no recollection of your dreams whatsoever. These are both ok.
The purpose of the dream journal is to give our inner experiences reverence. The dream worlds we explore are just as real as our daily reality is, if we give them the respect we give our daily existence. When you have a dream, write it down as soon as you can. They tend to leave us quickly when we awake and become reoriented to our present reality.
I use the recorder on my iPhone sometimes. Other times, I will have such a strong impression when I awake that I can write it down as soon as I’m up and about. You’ll be the best judge of that as you move along with your journaling.
At other times you will awake with an impression. An impression is a feeling, nothing more. This feeling, however, does give us some clue as to what we may have experienced inwardly.
There are all types of dreams. Some are affected by what we did that day. Others are random and confusing. Still, others are with people we seem to know and others involving our family, friends, coworkers, etc. If you believe in past lives and reincarnation, some of your dreams could be a glimpse of the future or even some recall of a past life.
How to Start
Simply get yourself a writing pad or journal (you can buy them on Amazon for about $6). Write down the date and write down what the dream was or the impression you had when you awoke. Initially, you won’t have any clue about what your dream means. That’s ok. You’ll start to get an intuition about them over time. You’ll also discover that your dreams become more detailed. You’ll remember more about these inner experiences the more importance you place on them. By writing them down, this part will be taken care of.
Once you’ve gone a few months, go back and review your dream journal. I tend to look at my dreams at the end of the month. This review will help you identify different objects, colors, sounds, and other specifics to your dream world that are unique to you. If you see specific objects come up over and over, you may want to jot these down in another part of your journal we’ll call your dream dictionary. Simply write down the object, color, sound, or other description. Then write down what you think this “symbol” means.
You can also look up this “dream symbol” online to see if there is any particular relation to what you believe the symbol means. Go with your gut. Over time you’ll refine their meaning or even change it.
Why a Dream Journal?
What benefit is a dream journal? The dream journal will unlock a special part of you. Dreams have been recorded by many people throughout history. Some people give their dreams specific importance, particularly when they are making big life decisions. You can too, if you believe there is some guidance you are receiving.
We spend a good portion of our lives sleeping, why not record some of your adventures? You’ll find that recording your dreams in your journal will help you learn more about yourself. You’ll also find that the attention you pay to your inner worlds, the more focused and attentive you’ll be in the waking state. The reverse is also true.
Let’s say you are having trouble with details in your dreams. You can do a quick exercise everyday to help out in this arena. Pick a room or place and simply record all of the things you see. Pay particular attention to colors, things that appear out of place, or even the smells, sounds, and colors. You’ll find this little exercise will pay off in your dream worlds.
Dreams Provide Answers
Have you ever read an article that proposes the act of asking or contemplating a question you have before going to sleep? It works! Now, whether you believe your subconscious mind is working on these answers while you sleep, or the answers come to you from a higher power is best left to you. I believe we receive answers to our questions or hints how to live a better life from a higher power, but that’s my belief. If it works or if it could work, why not try it out.
Again, another sticky area if you do not believe in reincarnation. I believe reincarnation is real. This article was not designed to convince you one way or another. Some believe that are dreams contain pieces of our past, sometimes our present, and sometimes our future. Look through history at any number of people that journaled or wrote about their dreams and you’ll see the importance these historical icons gave to their sleeping hours.
Again, believe this if you want or don’t. I have come to know that past lives are real, through some of the inner experiences I have had throughout my life. I had one dream during my attendance at the U.S. Army’s Ranger School. The dream was literally a depiction of me graduating from the school. From that day forth I had no doubt I would graduate. I did. This is just one example of dreams and their relevance to our waking lives.
I hope this helps you discover your inner worlds.
Until next time…