Dreams are like the white blood cells of our immune system they protect us from foreign bodies and carry the healing potions for health and well-being. Every single night we dream. Whether we recall and interpret these dreams or not they work on improving our psychological adaptive system just as the white blood cells work on improving our biological adaptive system. So, what is the advantage of dream recall and interpretation?
To recall and interpret dreams we work to make that which is unconscious conscious. In so doing we begin to rise above our fellow primates separating ourselves by our magnificent human capacity for consciousness. Left alone our biological and psychological immune systems focus on survival. By bringing our dreams to consciousness we can work towards self actualization, the pinnacle of our unique purpose and fulfillment.
5 KEYS TO DREAM RECALL
- Keep your dream journal by your bed.
- Write down three or four lines regarding your day’s events, thoughts, feelings, conflicts etc. before going to sleep.
- Begin to think backwards as soon as you wake up. What was just going through your mind?
- Write down everything you can recall even if it does not make sense.
- Try not to allow your ego to edit the dream recall. It is best to let the dream flow through you as you write it down.
THE FOUR STEPS TO INTERPRETING YOUR DREAMS
1. Making associations.
Go back through the dream identifying each image, symbol and/or dynamic and its associations in your life. For instance, let’s say you dreamed about playing tennis with your father in Florida. Associate your thoughts and feelings about playing tennis (dynamic), your father (image) and Florida (image). If by chance you played with a particular tennis racket in the dream this may be the critical symbol in your dream. Pay particular attention to the symbols for they hold the transformational power.
2. Connecting dream images to inner dynamics.
Inner dynamics are the internal processes that go on in your head and body. It is your energy system, your attitude, your emotions, your moods, your pattern of thinking and relating to others. Go back through your work in the first step and identify the connections between your associations and your inner processes. For instance, let’s say the action in the dream has your father lobbing a high ball to you and you swing and completely miss it. Where in your life are you looking up to hit? And have you already swung and missed or are you about to? What does the HEAD FLEXPOINT RADICAL RACQUET symbolize?
By this point you may already have an idea of what this dream means. At In this step you should tie together all the work in step one and two, looking for a central theme. Dreams always reveal something you do not know. Now let’s say with the above dream your dear friend (reminds you of your father) gave you a lead for a job interview in Florida that you think is way above your head. You fear you will swing and miss thereby disappointing your friend. Now the particular tennis racquet the transformational symbol in the dream makes great sense. It suggests you should use your head, be flexible and dare to be radical on this job interview.
4. Walking around with your dream.
To really know if this interpretation makes sense you must live with it. Hold it in the back of your mind as you go through the day to see what occurs during the day to support or add to your interpretation.
Now if this dream went unanalyzed it is very possible you would swing and miss falling into your childhood pattern of missing lobs from your father. However, by bringing the dream to light you can consciously interrupt this pattern by using your head, being flexible, staying focused on the ball and strategically planning your radical shot leading to game, set, match.
 Adapted from Gayle Delaney’s Living Your Dreams: The Classic Bestseller on Becoming Your Own Dream Expert
 Adapted from Robert Johnson’s Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth