Dream On…

Reflections & Dreams: On the cusp of endings & new beginnings we reflect, we dream, & we reflect on dreams…

I am a dreamer, in both a philosophical sense and a real sense; I capture and review my dreams for reflection, direction and creative interest. My dreams are weird by anyone’s standards, but they are mine and I understand them. It wasn’t always so.

I started tracking strange dreams decades ago when I found real life guidance, warnings and “just good ideas, silly” embedded into my morning recollections. The stranger the dream, the more I knew it held a little good advice for me. So I stopped saying I had bad dreams and just accepted that the stranger they were, the more important they must be. The longer I had ignored the “nice-yet-uneventful” dream messages, the odder the images and scenarios had to become to get my very busy attention. I also like a good horror story and I am 100% alert during them…so, what else can we expect from a subconscious who knows dreamscapes streaming The Conjuring is definitely going in my “remembering that scene” and grabbing my Rosary and dream notebook.

My archer-led philosophical dreams direct my spirit better than my feet, and that has gotten me off the material track of good sense a few times. I am idealistic and expect much more from myself than is reasonable or rational…it’s okay to love yourself into a place of inner beauty and ideal intentions…but that’s not often what is happening. What is often happening with high idealistic goals is we are just living our lives in the Gap of Potential. The huge expanse of hope or frustration between the set ideal and the moments I assess how f*#king far that is away from where I’m sitting. The ideal is a long game and thinking anything else is cruel and none of my business, really. That’s where I feel my dreams are so valuable–they point out my absurd expectations of myself to me with monsters and mysteries, deep water adventures, bunny cloaked doppelgangers and surprised mermaids while I shoot for the stars in a real world sludge of mud.

Living in the potential and following my dreams (figuratively/literally) creates an interesting journey. Often my dream messages can direct complex feats of forgiveness-gymnastics, or simple wellness tips. If an orange dragon eating carrots shows up in my dream on a spotlight mountain with his glasses falling off, I know I need to eat more carrots!

Each year I set an extraordinary Ideal. Sadly, it is always the same, and sadly I will never reach it in this lifetime. But I try, knowing it’s the universal long game for certain. I’m a sucker for perpetual potential, I guess. What I also do is review…it’s not pretty, but it is pretty cool. I take one dream from each month of the last year and I review them together to get a view of the areas of life where insights made a difference…even if I still need my glasses.

They all have 3 things:

  1. General content of the dream, with colors, people, feelings, actual words or ideas conveyed, drawings and doodles, or any reflection I have, and capture a sense or feeling I have when I wake up
  2. A title, theme or sentence that captures the dream in a few words
  3. An answer to: What question does this dream answer for me?

This is where my Idealist (set a high ideal, read & work) and Dreamist (dream or meditate & listen) selves meet in the morning or yearly reflections. How am I doing? Hmmmm…Keep on, keeping on kiddo!

When you look at higher ideals and life goals as a lifelong calling and not a daily chore I’ll not complete again today, it is easier to befriend. When you look at work, dreams, and reflections as adventures in knowing yourself and others, it becomes enjoyable, and a yearly reflection can be a very fulfilling exercise in knowing that you have dreamed some solutions and that the many odd themes and questions your dream-self answered are indeed very helpful in understanding what topics you were challenged with and what your inner self did to work on it while your “all-worked-out” self was resting each night.

To begin this year as a dream collection/reflection year you can:

  1. Set an ideal for your year–one or two words that reflect the highest personal philosophical, character or spiritual goal to strive for and think about before bed.
  2. Don’t pressure yourself to remember dreams, just remind yourself at night.
  3. Capture feeling upon waking, record the dream content with symbols, discern a title or theme, and what questions the dream may be answering for you.
  4. Organize/file them by month or date or theme.

Annual Dream Reflection: Pull one dream out for each month

  1. What titles, themes or words describe the beginning, middle and end of last year in dreams?
  2. What issues was I addressing in my dream times?
  3. What are my reoccurring dream symbols and what do they mean to me?
  4. What specific guidance or insight did I find surprising?
  5. How did my ideal show up in dreams?
  6. What kinds of questions did the dreams answer?
  7. What questions can I add that are unique to me?

If you are now abuzz about dreams and want to dive deeper, my favorite book to work with has been Dream Solutions by Henry Reed.

As always, my best advice is to follow your dreams to your local library and see what they have to offer you!

May your New Year begin with sweet dreams of healthy vegetarian dragons with 20/20 vision, and a new way to access inner guidance and insights. Check our blog for other creative, inspiring and Spiritual Direction activities you can try out any time of the year!

Wishing you sweet & strange dreams, Danielle.

Shout-out to http://www.canva.com for fun ways to share dream images!

Published by The Conversation Peace Collective- Danielle Henson SD

Spiritual Direction, Meditation & Collaboration

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