14-8-00 16:12:30 -0400 (EDT)
I remember having "precognitive" dreams of places that I later visited. It was that "deja vu" feeling, though then I knew I had dreamed it before. Also, I had a wonderful dream that lifted my spirits and made me feel special. I remember the "feel" of that one, even now, and pink color tones. I tried to go back into that dream a few times, but was not able to. I can still remember a painful dream of "not belonging" that I had when I was five years old.
I don't remember my family having any attitude about dreams when I was a child. I don't think anyone else in the family gave them much thought.
I don't remember anyone in my larger community giving any importance to dreams at all.
When I was in highschool, I did my research paper on dreams. I don't remember why I chose that topic. It just seemed interesting. I was not paying specific attention to my dreams at that time. It was during research for that paper that I found out about lucid dreaming. I learned that dreams can contain messages from the unconscious mind, and this fascinated me.
In college, I did another paper on the value of dreams, but still did not keep a dream journal.
It was after I had my first child that the desire to grow spiritually really hit me. I wanted to be the best person/parent that I could be, for her. I began studying spiritual/metaphysical books with a deep interest. It was then that I started reading books about dreaming. Garfield's "Creative Dreaming" was the first that really sparked my imagination and inspired me to begin keeping dream journals. This was 8 years ago. I learned some methods of interpretation, and often incubated dreams to help me solve parenting problems and gain insight.
After reading the metaphysical literature, I defined dreams as a way to contact my own "higher self", and also the spirit world/God. I also used them to receive insights from my own subconscious mind. Before that, I saw them as psychological phenomena, only.
Now, the greatest benefit I receive from "dreaming" is when I have "healing dreams." I identify a specific issue in my consciousness that I want to heal / address, and I incubate a dream in which I will receive the healing. I have asked to be filled with energy, enthusiasm, joy, and love, and inspiration on different occasions. I *always* receive, in one way or another. Even if I can't remember any dreams that night, I always *feel* qualitatively different the next day. But usually, I can remember at least a bit of the dream.
I also value the insights that I receive. I use them for personal growth and expansion of consciousness.
Dreams have a constant place in my life. I think about them every day, even if I don't get the chance to write them down.
I have begun practicing lucid dreaming techniques since I first began paying attention to dreams. I have had a few successes. The "healing dreams" are relatively new to my experience. I have also had a few precognitive dreams, again.
My definition has also expanded, because I now see dreams as actual "experiences" that are as valid as physical life experiences. They have the power to expand my consciousness, and are able to cause as much or more emotion as physical life experience.
I sometimes share my dreams with my children and husband, and they all share theirs with me. My youngest is three years old, and he began telling me of his dreams at age two.
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