Sink deeper into your subconscious, investigate the architecture of your inner thoughts, and bear witness to your dreams through the practice of Dream Journaling. Keeping a dream journal is an accessible way to strengthen your relationship to your dreams, to rest, and to vision.
Dreams have long played a role in the human experience - from ancient cultures to modern psychology. Researchers still don’t know exactly why we dream, but it is believed that dreams are shaped by fleeting feelings, thoughts, desires, and fantasies that we experience during our waking hours, and our dreams are a time where our brain sorts through the relevant and non relevant information. These fleeting feelings and experiences can also hold huge creative potential - by tapping into our subconscious and drawing out information from these dreams we are opening up to a world of possibilities.
There are many herbal allies that we can call on to help promote dreaming, and to strengthen our connection with our subconscious. Mugwort is a favorite, this herb can be taken internally as a tea, burned as incense, or even used as an herbal cigarette. This herb is said to enhance astral projection, lucid dreaming, and helps call in a dreamy state of mind. You can keep a bundle of dried mugwort under your pillow to help encourage dreaming as well! Chamomile, Lavender, and Valerian are all amazing nervine herbs - they are delicious together in a tea, and feeling relaxed before bed can help promote dreaming.
To further enhance your bedtime routine to help call in dreams, consider clearing your space and body with an aura mist or smoke clearing before sleeping. You can even anoint your body with a relaxing blend to call in meditative states! Scent is one of our strongest senses when it comes to memory, so establishing a routine around scent, bedtime, and dreaming can help your body relax.
Keeping a dream journal is an accessible way to strengthen your relationship with your dreams - and it’s fairly straightforward! By recording your dreams immediately upon waking, you will be better able to remember them, be able to find and follow threads of inspiration or recurring archetypes, and build a relationship.
You can also use your dream journal to record daydreams! Taking time to mindfully rest, let your imagination soar, and recording those dreams is equally important and powerful. Try drinking a relaxing tea blend, sitting or laying somewhere cozy, and relaxing into a daydream.
Although there are no definite rules for dream journaling, there are some basic tips that can help you get started! Start by keeping a journal or notebook as close to your bed as you can. This journal should only be used for recording dreams and dream reflections, keep your planner or to-do lists separately. If writing first thing in the morning is inaccessible, voice records are an amazing way to record your dreams as well! The important thing here is to record your dream as soon as possible when you wake up. When you wake, take some time before opening your eyes to trace yourself back through the dream. Start with the last feeling or visual you remember clearly, and work backwards as far as you can go. Then, begin writing or recording. Tell the story of the dream in first person and present tense - for example “I am walking through a forest.” Record as much detail of your dream as possible - colors, scents, architecture - it’s all important information! Take time to regularly reread your dream entries, make notes about anything in your waking life that seems to be coming up in your dreams.
By recording and reflecting on your dreams, you are building a bridge into your subconscious. Take only what you need across the bridge - inspiration, creativity, insight and leave the rest. Only you know the true meaning of your dreams, allow yourself to soak in this liminal space, and encourage your dreams and vision to grow.