An Introduction to Dreamwork
Dreams are one of the most unused assets we have as tools for change and achieving wellness physically, emotionally and spiritually. On average we remember our dreams 2 or 3 times a week. Women tend to use their dreams more than men and will often share a dream they had with a significant other or friend. Most dreams are unpleasant in emotional tone although over any given period of time our dreams are diverse and contain very different themes or storylines and emotions.
There are many ways that you can work with your dreams. Most important for anyone interested in their dreams, is keeping a dream journal. It is important to :
1) Records your dreams immediately after you wake up
2) Include where the dream took place, who was in it, and what happened. Include all interactions with other dream characters.
3) After recording your dream, give it a title that best describes what you think the dream was about.
Nightmares are very common especially during the first 25 years of our lives. Most people see nightmares as negative experiences, but they have the potential to be the most enlightening. Nightmares can tell us what we are most afraid of. Are we afraid of our own death? The loss of someone we love? Or even of environmental catastrophe. If we use our nightmares in this way we can take actions during waking that will help us to grow and become less afraid.
Once you have collected your dreams for about 12-weeks, go back through your journal from the start and see if the same characters appear over and over again in different dreams. For example, you could look at how many time family members appear in your dreams. Which members of your family are they? Ask yourself what are your relationships with these people like in waking life?
Another telling thing to do is to look at the way you are interacting with other dream characters. Is there any aggression between you and them? This can range from thinking negatively about a dream character to a murder being committed, which often happens in nightmares.
other types of interactions include friendliness or sexual content.
"All dreams come in the service of health and wholeness"
From Rev. Jeremy Taylor, in Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill.