24-8-00 22:04:05 -0000
I remember being very conscious of my sleep and dreaming patterns as a child. For instance, I remember trying to pinpoint the exact moment I lost consciousness and fell asleep - I never succeeded however, always waking up in the morning without being able to remember how and when I fell asleep.
I also tried to predict nightmares and remember being semi-lucid at the start of some nightmares, knowing I was about to be in a nightmare and trying to wake myself up through pinching myself in the arm, which sometimes worked, too.
I remembered many of my dreams in my childhood, including very nice dreams, lucid dreams, and nightmares. My immediate family was mildly interested in dreams and had no objections to my telling about them. 1 or 2 of my friends had an interest in dreams and we used to tell each other about some of our dreams.
I have always been interested in my dreams and those of other people, yet this interest became more serious, and I started to see benefits in actually working with dreams, when I had read Ann Faradays book on dreams (the Dream Game) when I was 18. It really started off my pouring much more energy in the whole dream area: keeping a dream journal for the first time, actually trying to interpret my dreams, increasing the amount of dreams I remembered (it went up to 2-3 dreams a night). I also started having more predictive dreams at this time, as well as dreams with a 'spiritual' content. I also had some dreams which I felt were about past lives.
After reading Faradays book, and others besides, I started to feel that working with dreams would be of a real benefit to me, that they would help me understand myself, my life, the situations i found myself in, to explore my subconscious, etc. I saw working with dreams (and still do) as a powerful and valuable psychological and spiritual tool, so to speak. My dreams helped my see that there is a purpose to my life, and life in general, and to see life lessons in everyday events.
I don't really have the need or wish to define dreams, because it feels that if I do, I restrict them in some way.
But if I must: I see dreams as a source of internal wisdom, spiritual guidance, a mirror for the subconscious, an outlet for emotions and thoughts we have repressed during the day, a teacher, a way to contact alternate realities.
My dreams help me be more balanced in my life, emotionally and psychologically, because they show me what things (emotions for instance) I have ignored or neglected in myself or in my work, relationships etc, because they make me more conscious of my motives, desires, needs, suppressed stuff, etc. They balance me out by helping me see the things about myself which I choose not to look at in the daytime. They also help me contact my spiritual side, and stimulate me to do what I really want to do.
I still work with dreams a lot, writing them down almost every day, 2 or 3, sometimes even 4 a night, participating in a dream group, teaching dream workshops myself, using them in my work as a therapist.
I have learned some new ways in working with dreams: returning to a dream in a light trance to communicate with parts of the dream. I also work a bit more according to the interview method developed by Gayle Delaney. Essentially , my way of working hasn't changed that much, it has only become more effective, I believe, by implementing methods like the interview method. My definition of dreams hasn't changed much since I was 18.
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