How Do We Learn From Our Dreams?
The body as a living physical object requires rest to replenish itself. The mind and spirit, however, are always awake and invigorated.
Dreams are the connections that allow us to link our physical being with our spiritual being. The journey of one may be determined by the journey of the other, but each of us, as individuals, must learn how to interpret the message delivered in our own, very personal visions.
The perception of a dream depends on an open and honest appraisal of self. Don't ever be afraid to learn about yourself. There isn't one of us living on this planet that has yet achieved perfection. We can, and should, learn from our faults and it is often easier to present the not so perfect aspects of our life to our self in the dream-state. This is a process that enables us to grow and develop as individuals.
There are many ways to utilize dreams as tools. Some people use them as a creative resource, mentally forming words and concepts in their sleep then waking to put these words on paper. According to his autobiography, Across the Plains, Robert Louis Stevenson attributed his acclaimed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, to a dream. Ideas and inventions that have changed lives have come in dream form. Thomas Edison, who kept a cot in his office, would nap with a problem on his mind and wake with a solution. The great musicians, Handel and Wagner both composed in the dream-state. And General George Patton dreamed battle plans which he would dictate as soon as he awakened.
Dreams can tell us about our present, our future and our past, including past lives. They can answer questions and nudge us in directions. We have only to be receptive and realize they are a tool for betterment of our lives, our relationships and most importantly ourselves.
One of the most common uses of dreams is problem solving. If a specific problem is on your mind, consciously ask for a solution before you fall asleep. You might surprise yourself when you wake up with a great idea.
Dream journaling can provide great insight to yourself. Keep a notebook and pen by your bed. When you wake, before you jump up to greet the day, keep your eyes closed and take a moment to recall the content of your dream, then write it down. It's even better if you can write the content of your dream without opening your eyes. This way no exterior influences interact with you memory and there is less chance of embellishing or altering the dream. Even if the dream seems silly at the time, record it and respect it as being a part of you. Don't discard it for it may have a bearing on something in your future.
If you can't recall your dream(s), it's okay. Sometimes food, drink or illness affect the Alpha state of sleep where dreams occur. However, you may want to ask yourself for an instant replay before sleep that night; there is always the possibility that something is going on in your life that you aren't quite ready to face.