The State of Dreaming: Dream Recall

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had dreams. It’s more often than not that I remember my dreams. I process a lot of my day, my stress, and my worries in my sleep. I think all of us do this but not all of us retain the information in said dreams. Some people don’t care to hear about others’ dreams, I’ve always liked hearing people’s dreams because I think I’m pretty good at breaking down the psychology behind them. My mom has always had prophetic dreams, she’s the reason I’ve owned a dream dictionary since I was a kid. She commonly has dreams about feces which always mean she’s getting money. She’s predicted pregnancies and accidents. She also dreams about different animals, it’s from her that I learned that snakes in dreams are a sign of gossip swirling around you.

I only have a handful of dreams from my childhood that I still remember decades later. One was a dream about a purple candle and when I told my mom about it she quickly called her curandera to see what it meant. She told us we had to light a candle for a week and recommended a water limpia that my mom could make for me. It seemed like a lot of fuss over a dream but my mom was determined that everything meant something.

In the summer of 2004 I was meeting with school counselors at my prospective college in downtown Los Angeles. I had one last meeting and my mom was going to drive me out there. The night before I had a dream that we’d walked back to her parked car to find it tire-less and turned sideways. That morning we made the hour long drive to downtown Los Angeles, at one point passing an accident that had just happened and had left debris all over the freeway lanes. We got to the school with no incident and parked in the underground structure. Upon returning to her after my meeting, we found her car leaning hard to one side; it had a flat tire. There was my dream, come to life!

I have had countless dreams that ended up unraveling in real life, the dreams are always exaggerated versions of the real experience but a heads-up nonetheless. I don’t disregard dreams, I value them as one of my strongest methods of precognition. I don’t know how it all works but I believe the subconscious mind is a powerful one. I log almost every dream I have. I also take a tincture from time to time, its a plant medicine that aids in retaining the memories of dreams and is valued as a dream healer.

Dreams are largely symbolic, so I recommend having a dream encyclopedia on hand to aid in the interpretation. “The Dream Encyclopedia” by James Lewis is my favorite of the many I’ve owned.

If you are interested in learning to recall more of your dreams, here are a few tips:

  • Improve your sleep habits: don’t look at your phone in bed, don’t watch t.v. in bed, the blue light emitted from electronics sends a signal to our brain that we need to be awake.
  • Try replacing your electronic habits with journaling or reading for 10 minutes. This is an easy way to incorporate a gratitude journal or simply make a quick list of things you need to accomplish the next day so those thoughts aren’t floating around in your head.
  • Avoid looking at your phone immediately after you wake up, try journaling instead. Even if you only remember one detail or a few colors, write it down.
  • When you wake up, either journal, voice record, or voice to text anything you can remember in that moment. The more consistent you are with this, the more you will improve.
  • Make an offering to your guides or higher self, offer a crystal or an open bottle of essential oil next to your bedside as a thank you for them to bring you dream messages.
  • Bobinsana tinctures can aid in dream work and dream healing. I’ve found that I can retain several dreams by using it. You can find it sold on etsy and follow the instructions on the bottle, it’s normally taken just before bedtime.

For people who currently have no recollection of their dreams, it is best to start with developing your recall skills. Start by setting daily “recall targets”. For example, focus on remembering where you left your slippers, not as simply as “I left them in the hallway”, be more specific as in “I left them by the sliding doors, next to the dog dish”. You can practice this with keys, a handbag, your morning cup of coffee, etc. Change the target daily and increase the amount of targets up to 4 a day. This improves the power of your memory and recollection and will translate into dream retention.

Lastly, set the intention before going to bed that you intend to recall your dreams.

Don’t dismiss your dreams, if you’re able to remember them take it as a sign that you are meant to interpret. Your mind has many dimensions, the subconscious mind is not yet fully understood. For a long time, science dismissed lucid dreaming because there was no “evidence”. Science has progressed immensely on sleep and dreaming, but they still can’t provide answers to many questions on the topic. While I wait for this research, I rest assured that we are more than just a body with a brain.

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