Tag Archives: Dream

The Dream Journal: An Essential Tool for Dreamers

Dream Journal Basics, Step by StepIMG_2728

The dream journal, whether you keep yours in a notebook or in a computer file, is the most useful tool you have when you set out to examine your dreams.

Since a dream is not a tangible artifact that you can hold onto and examine, the dream report in your journal is the closest you can come to preserving the dream for future study. So, the first step is to get the dream down on paper. Each morning take a few minutes to record your dreams in as much detail as possible.

Use your dream journal as a field scientist would. Bring the qualities of observation and curiosity to your dream, just as a botanist would bring these qualities to the study of a rare or beautiful plant. Here’s how:

  • Adopt the scientist’s attitude of objectivity and curiosity when you record your dreams.
  • Consider the the Basic W’s: Record who you were with in your dream, what you were doing, when the dream seemed to take place (time of day and season), where it took place.
  • Check in with your five senses: What did you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel in the dream? Experiencing smell and taste in dreams is less common than seeing and hearing—but be alert to the possibility of all sensory experiences, nonetheless.

Dream Journal Tips:

DO: tell the whole story of the dream in as much detail as possible.

DON’T: analyze, interpret, associate, or editorialize just yet. Dreams have a way of slipping from memory within minutes after waking.  So first get the detailed dream report down on the page. Once you do, you have preserved the dream for further study, and you may choose to delve into its possible meanings and messages.

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Birthday Dreams: A gift to me–and you

Each year on my birthday eve I incubate a dream to offer me guidance and wisdom for the coming year.

Today I woke with several dreams including this one:

I wonder what I could or should be doing with my time on planet Earth. I try to think from the perspective of the “After Life”; in other words, after my life is over, what will I wish I had done? As I pose this question, I open a door that leads into the next dream. I have entered a kitchen, ordinary but decorated with bright colors. I realize I should appreciate this scene with all of my senses, because being alive is a rare opportunity to see and touch and enjoy all my senses—because these are things that in the afterlife we presumably don’t have and can’t appreciate. So I look up close at the colors, patterns, and textures of dish towels and all the objects in this everyday environment. When I do so, everything comes into vivid focus—infused with life and energy—“as if” in a lucid dream! I feel warmth on my skin and the sensation is deliciously sensual when experienced in this state of ultra-presence.

End of Dream

This dream is a gift to me, and I offer it as well as a gift to you. Open your eyes to the ordinary wonders of your life today … and every day!

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Q&A: What do I do when dreams get confused with reality?

 Q.I sometimes have a hard time distinguishing dreams from waking reality. I can fool myself into thinking I’m dreaming when I’m awake if I try. It’s kind of disconcerting and un-grounding, like reverse lucid dreaming. What can I do to strengthen the boundary between dreaming and waking?

Signed,

Boundary Issues

 

A. Dear Boundary Issues,

Here’s what I’d like you to do: Take a walk outside today. Find yourself a collection of smooth, solid rocks, scoop them up and put them in your pockets.

No, I’m not being facetious, and I’m not speaking in metaphors. Go ahead, get outside. Select some pretty stones, smooth stones, stones that sit nicely in the palm of your hand—and pocket them. Let them help hold you on this earth.

This isn’t punishment or penance of any sort. I’ve prescribed this same therapy for myself from time to time. Now that you’re settled firmly on this sweet blue planet, let’s talk.

You see, Dear Boundary Issues, while I spend a great deal of my waking time and energy spreading the Good News about dreams: how we should pay more attention to them, honor them, talk and write about them … there are times when I know it is wisest to pull back a little and put our slippered feet solidly on the hardwood floor of waking reality, and honor time we have here, as well.

Dreams and waking are two ends of a continuum of consciousness. We slip in and out and between these states all the time, moving from focused problem-solving, to relaxed day-dreaming, to fantasizing, to going to sleep and having ordinary dreams, lucid dreams, and more. This is healthy and usually quite productive.

Skillful dreamers can slip in and out of various states of consciousness with relative ease. This can be a way to access hypnotic states, trance states, healing Shamanic journeys, and more. When done with intention, agility, and perhaps even a bit of training—this is a wonderful gift to have.

Then again, confusing wake life with dreaming can be a slippery slope to psychosis. Thinking you’re dreaming when you’re awake can lead to all kinds of problems, like deciding to fly off the ledge of tall buildings, for one.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to dance along the boundaries between states of consciousness as much as the next dreamer. And if you can move through dreams within dreams and delve into deep philosophical and metaphysical discourses about how all of life is a dream, and then suit up for work and navigate waking reality just fine, then no problem.

You might even choose to take advantage of having a thin boundary between sleep and waking states of consciousness. But if you do, take care. Such explorations require the balance—and ballast—of a rock solid sense of self. Check in with friends and a trusted therapist to see if you fit that bill. Then find yourself a salt-of-the earth spiritual teacher or guide who has her or his feet planted firmly on the ground, who has a clearly articulated ethical and moral framework for their spiritual work, and ask this person if you can study with them. Even then, keep in close contact with your trusted friends and counselors to get an honest assessment if you’re veering to far off into dangerous territory.

But first, let’s get back to those rocks that are weighting down your pockets. Let them be a reminder to mind the boundary between sleep and waking. Perhaps it’s time to start putting a little more emphasis on the latter. Give your dream journal a break. Drink plenty of water, chew your food slowly, and indulge your five senses.

Because here’s the bottom line, Dear Boundary Issues: Living in bodies is a unique and splendid limited-time offer. Even if we live to be 120, our time in skin suits is still a blink of the eye compared to the eternity our souls have to travel all the invisible realms. So while we’re here encased in flesh and bound by bones, enjoy all the perks. Gravity is a pretty cool phenomenon when you think of it … not to mention color, wind, rain, and skin to skin contact. Play with these earthly delights all you can. Don’t undervalue the eyes-wide-open opportunities presented by so-called ordinary reality.

And let me know how it goes.

Dreamily yours,

Tz …

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Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

Have a Dream Question? Send it along! I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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Q&A: So many dreams … so little time …

Q: I know it’s important to write down one’s dreams, but I have so many each night that writing them all down feels like a part-time job. Help!

Signed,

Time Crunched

 

A: Dear Crunched,

Back when I was in my late 20s I worked as a reporter for a regional newspaper. One day our company sponsored a health fair during which representatives from a local hospital took over a couple of the administrative offices. Each of us in turn was called inside where we were pinched with pincers to measure our body fat, had our blood pressure taken, height and weight checked, and were asked a series of questions about our diet and lifestyle. In return we received a report containing recommendations for improving our health. All this in the name of preventative medicine—and, I’m sure, keeping down our group’s insurance rates.

In any case, after being poked and prodded each of us returned to our desk with a dot-matrix printout containing our health profile. One at a time reporters returned to their desks grumbling about being told they had to cut out their morning doughnuts, or cigarettes, and take up walking or table tennis to help them shed a few pounds. When I returned to my desk, I adopted the same exasperated tone as my weary co-workers and announced that according to my health profile my cholesterol levels and weight were too low and I needed to add more butter and eggs to my diet.

Let’s just say I was not the most popular employee on that particular day.

And so, Dear Time Crunched, all those frustrated dreamers out there in the blogosphere who dutifully place pen and notebook by their beds but either sleep poorly and so can’t catch a dream, or wake too quickly to remember much of anything, are just now taking up their tiniest violins to play for you. Wouldn’t they like to have your problem (and mine too, by the way): So many dreams, so little time, as they say. (I believe my grandmother had that catchy phrase stitched onto a needlepoint pillow on her fainting couch … oh, no, on second thought hers said, “So many men, so little time.” But I digress.)

Fear not, My Dear, you have come to the right place. I shall pull myself up to my full Size 4 Stature and stand up for you. Yes, this embarrassment of dream riches is indeed a problem that must be contended with.

Here’s what you can do so you can keep up with your dreams, and still get to work on time, do the dishes, and fit in an hour of wholesome Public Television in the evening:

  • Invoke the 5-Minute Rule: When it’s time to record your dreams, set a timer for five minutes and write what you can before the chime sounds. Imposing time pressure will force you to choose the dreams or images that are most interesting or meaningful to you. Focus on those.
  • Headlining: Consider each dream and give it a headline. List those, and leave the dream details for another time.
  • Night notes: Rather than record your dreams first thing in the morning, wait till bedtime. Time acts as an effective filter, and by nightfall you’ll only remember the most salient dream scenarios and the most important details.
  • In dreams we trust: Sometimes we worry that if we record dreams selectively—we’ll select the wrong ones and miss out on some gem of dream wisdom. Trust that your dreams are gentler and more forgiving than that. If there’s anything important that you’ve missed, it’ll come back around in another dream, another night.

Now that I’ve helped you manage your dreamtime, I hope you’ll dream up some fabulous new activity to keep you busy during those extra hours in the morning. Table tennis anyone?

Dreamily yours,

Tz…

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Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

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Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science Confirm The Healing Power of Dreams

“An unremembered dream is like an unopened letter from God.”

The average person dreams from four to seven times every night. That means that by the age of 80, they will have had between 116,800 and 204,400 dreams. However, most people are confused and mystified by their dreams, and as a result they largely ignore them. When asked why they don’t pay attention to their dreams, many say dreams are too complicated to understand, or that most of their dreams are nonsensical at best and disturbing at worst.

But while dreams may have fallen out of favor in modern Western cultures, people around the world have long known that dreams can help them in down-to-earth, practical matters. In fact, an ancient quote posits that, “An unremembered dream is like an unopened letter from God.”

This traditional wisdom, is now backed by scientific research. Dreams have been shown to help with everything from emotional regulation to increased creativity. And studies show that working with dreams in a therapeutic environment can help people gain insight into problems and issues as well as heal from the loss of a loved one, or recurring nightmares caused by trauma.

In addition, dreamwork promotes concrete, positive changes based on deep understanding of the dream. People from all walks of life, from artists to scientists, have credited dreams with major inspirations and breakthroughs. And everyday people regularly receive guidance about physical health, interpersonal relationships, professional problems, and more through working with their dreams.

As a Certified Dream Therapist and as an individual who has benefited greatly from my dreams for years, I am passionate about helping others learn to listen to and understand their dreams. Toward that end, I am offering discounted dreamwork sessions (in person, by phone or Skype) all summer long, as well as a new ongoing “Listening to Dreams” workshop series that begins on Aug. 20th. For information on individual dreamwork consultations or workshops, please visit me at CLINIC Alternative Medicines or view my web site http://www.thirdhousemoon.com.

 

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My Dream Business is Growing

“We grow great by dreams.”

Woodrow Wilson

Dreams have a new home on Main Street in Northampton.

Dreams have a new home on Main Street in Northampton.

My dream business is growing … and that’s good news for me and you!

Dreams on Main

I have new office space in downtown Northampton, at CLINIC Alternative Medicines, 98 Main Street.

More Dreams for You

This means you now have more opportunities to learn about what your dreams are telling you and how your dreams can help you live a more joyful and meaningful life.

I am available to work with you on your dreams Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in person, by phone, or Skype.

We’ve Got Class

I will now be offering dream classes and workshops on Wednesday evenings. The first one, Dreams 101, takes place Wednesday, July 9, 7:30-9 p.m. Click here for details.

Chaaarge it…

I now accept credit card payments for dreamwork, in addition to PayPal, checks, and of course cash never goes out of style. Take advantage of discounted prices this summer. Visit my Third House Moon website for details.

Book It—Online!

You can now book appointments for dreamwork online by clicking here and choosing Dreamwork from the menu.

Let’s Talk About It

I’d love to hear from you. Contact me with questions, comments, or to set up an appointment.

Clinic Noho Office

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This is a Corner View Post. Corner View is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday – created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. Travel around the world by visiting more Corner View posts starting here.

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The Gift of Dreams*

At age 13, I received a gift from my grandfather: several books including a paperback copy of Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. He gave it to me because he knew how much I loved dreams, but it was too difficult for me—or maybe it just wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear about dreams.

Freud

I danced around my interest in dreams for decades. Sometimes I’d pay attention to mine and write every one down. Then I’d go through periods of trying to ignore them. After all, no one else I knew was talking about their dreams, and besides, some of my dreams were scary or disturbing. But they were still present, even in their absence. Whereas some people claim they don’t dream in color, I feel I don’t live in color when my dreams are muted.

So, eventually I decided I wanted to know more about them. About a decade ago, I gave myself another gift: I ordered Robert Van De Castle’s Our Dreaming Mind from a new age book-of-the-month club. But my life got busy, and the book remained on a shelf for a good five years, maybe more, until my daughter grew up and moved on to college, and I had time to work my way through the encyclopedic tome, chapter by chapter. I then moved on to the works of Moss, Johnson, Jung, and everything else about dreams I could get my hands on.

I have since made a bold a commitment to not just learn about dreams but to dive into them. From 2009-2011 I was enrolled in a dream studies certification program, and now I help other people understand the gifts of their dreams. This commitment to dreams, and the time I’ve carved out in my life for studying dreams, working with them, and helping others get in touch with theirs, has been a great gift, for which I am most grateful.

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A thank you note to my Grandpa Ben dated July 1976. It reads: “Thank you also for the Freud books. They are a challenge to read, but they are also very interesting.”

Thank you Grandpa, for the gift of your love, and for encouraging me to follow my dreams.

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RIP Grandpa & Aunt Essie.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”

What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

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*Corner View* is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is “Gifts”. 

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To unwrap the nightly gift of your own dreams, consider giving yourself a time to pay attention to them.   Visit my blog atThird House Moon to learn more.  The gift of dreams keeps on giving.

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Sleep, Dream, & Live Better

Snuggle up & snooze

for improved creativity, problem solving, health and more

Light pollution, insomnia, fear of the dark: It seems the world today conspires against getting a good night’s sleep and a reaping a healthy dream harvest. More than 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia, and as nation we are spending over 32 billion dollars a year to address our sleep deficit.

Losing out on sleep means losing out on dreams. And science tells us that REM sleep, when most vivid dreams take place, helps with problem solving, emotional regulation, and much more. In addition, the practice of dreamwork, including dream analysis and sharing dreams with a counselor or loved one, has been shown to improve relationships, heal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reduce stress, and amp up creativity and problem solving.

I started my dream business, Third House Moon, to offer you advice and guidance to help you snuggle in for a good night’s sleep and healing dreams. The techniques and counsel I offer through my dream workshops and individual consultations can help you invite, recall, and learn from your dreams.

Sign up for an upcoming Third House Moon Dream Workshop or individual Dreamwork session to learn more about how your dreams can help you. After all, a good night’s dreams are a natural incentive for enjoying a better night’s sleep.

Contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • Saturday March 29: Join me for a Listening to Dreams Workshop at SOUND: A Center for Music, Creative Arts and Mindfulness in Newtown, Connecticut

  • Wednesdays April 2-23: Join me for a Journey on the Page Proprioceptive Writing Workshop (4-session non-credit course) at Holyoke Community College in  Holyoke, Massachusetts.

  • April 6: Join me at The God Garage, a gathering place for the spiritual, but not religious, in New York City.

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Converted to Love: A Valentine’s Day Dream Poem

IMG_3246Jewish Girl Takes Communion

God says I can. So I do.

“The wafer is the body

Of love. The wine

Its desire.” I eat

This body. I drink

This blood. My heart

Is thus converted.

© 2014 Tzivia Gover

(from 12-2-13 Dream)

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“Jewish Girl Takes Communion” is a dream poem. The poem is simply the transcription of a dream I had. With minimal editing the dream becomes a poem. Give it a try, and post your results here!

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Self Portrait in Dreams

According to common wisdom, every part of a dream represents a part of the dreamer: Every villain, lover, fool, and queen; every animal, each stick of furniture, the weather, the walls … all of the symbols, colors, and images … represent various parts  of you, the dreamer. In this regard, every dream is a self portrait.

Self-portrait. (Taken during a Dream Conference in the Netherlands a few years back.)

Self-portrait taken during a Dream Conference in the Netherlands a few years back.

Dream report 10/2/13: I am walking with my daughter through a field. A mule is is bucking furiously, and I tell my daughter to run down hill to the shelter by the sea and to wait for me there.

Self Portrait in Dreams

I am the mother. I’ve been doing my job for so long,

I could do it in my sleep: I protect, I correct, I implore.

Run! Run! I say. Downhill to the shelter, you’ll be safe by the sea.

 

I am the girl. Curious, unafraid. It’s my way

to explore. Dumb mule can’t hurt me. Nothing can.

Nothing can. I whistle my tune through the dark. Then I run.

 

I am the field, straw-colored and stark. I stretch

and I grow, sigh out stalks of long grass.

What goes on above me, I let it all pass.

 

I am the mule, and I’m bucking mad,

bucking angry, bucking all that is wrong. Buck you

and buck you and buck everything, too.

 

I am the hill. I bow to the sea. I bow down to ease

the way for her feet. Her feet flying faster and faster

with my help she’ll be free.

 

I am the shelter, a simple structure of wood

Here to hold firm against the wind and the rain.

And if you’d come inside I would hold onto you, too.

 

I am the sea, at the foot of the hill. I’ll tickle her ankles.

I’ll hold your wondering gaze.

I’m the end of this story. The bucking stops here.

 

You are the mother, the mule and the field,

the girl, and the hill, the shelter, the sea. You are the dream

of all of these things—that are dreaming

of me.

© 2013 Tzivia Gover

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This poem represents the 12th poem I’ve written this month in an effort to write 30 Poems in November as part of a fundraiser for immigrant literacy. To sponsor me in my Poem-a-Day challenge, please visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Tzivia/30poems

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