No Wrong Way To Remember

The other day I was talking with a friend about dreaming logs and he offered me a glimpse of his journal. The dark leather-bound book filled my outreached palms, a slim steel buckle guarded its contents.

“Are you sure? I recognize these matters are sometimes private.” I sheepishly asked.

“Go ahead!” he urged.

I held my breath. My thumping heart made me fumble with the simple latch. Within were the unconscious records of another’s mind, the first scribbled pages felt like mountaintops of the great frontier.

From these a pattern of heavy pen inked drawings emerged. These etchings were extremely stylized and ranged from incomplete to intricate. Long-armed damsels had their curvature enhanced through trans-dimensional gowns. Gaunt gentlemen garbed in gothic suits were surrounded by eerie smoke. They were inspired bits straight from another world!

My friend explained that he enjoys fashion design and often wakes with the memory of these clothing styles. His journal was shudderingly alive with these images and wonderfully disjointed words to supplement….for about 15 pages.

He felt that he wasn’t ‘doing it right’ with journaling and had trouble committing to the practice.

There is no wrong way to record your dreams! I’d have yelled it at him if I had a more alpha personality, but instead I suggested it gently.

So here’s an experiment. Remember the last time you ate icecream….1……2…….3…….Now STOP!

What did you think of? A word? A taste? A sound? An image? Record whatever you thought of on a scrap piece of paper.

A dream recording exercise.

Ice Cream for Ice Cream! I’m no Picasso, but this record will do.

Try again with something else. Remember the last time you pet an animal. How about an audio story? Was it a fast-paced affair or did you cuddle?

[I made an audio recording of this one but apparently can’t insert that on wordpress, does anyone know how to transmit audio here?]

Keep it fresh!

There isn’t a wrong way, but there’s a whole lot of ways to try. Make it personal and fun, don’t stress over the little details. Your dreams are just that, yours!

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

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Lucidity practice on a limited time schedule

Whether it be work, school or sport we all have our own reasons to say we’re busy people. Busy as you may be there is a way to manage your time so that you can have all the benefit of lucid sleep with less overall time-consumption.

Consistency outweighs accuracy when it comes to keeping a dream journal. I recommend referring to my previous post about how to manage your dream journals titled  “The Tools of the Trade.” Yet regardless of availability, consistency with something as seemingly trivial as keeping a dream journal is still very difficult for most people.

The rules of taking notes on your dreams are the same as taking notes for any other occasion. Think business meeting or lecture hall: Get the key points down, pay attention and fill in the smaller facts later. I’ve known people that have tried different focused organization approaches to their journal keeping such as organization charts, The Cornell Method (http://www.alextech.edu/en/collegeservices/SupportServices/StudySkills/LectureNoteTaking/MethodsOfNoteTaking.aspx) and just plain speed-sketching.

So you woke up and have a good idea of your dream last night but you have about an hour to bathe and eat breakfast before work, clearly you don’t have the time to get every fact you remember down so where do you start?

Well this is up to personal preference but for me the order of importance for facts from my dream goes as follows: Characters > Tones (like brooding or whimsical) > Settings > Quotes > Storyline. The reason I put storyline last is for the purpose of keeping things easy to document for this exercise. For your end-product it’s ideal to have as much storyline as possible but when you don’t have time to get through it all don’t strain yourself. It’s better to focus on preserving broader topics such as tones as opposed to only writing the beginning of a full storyline and then forgetting what the rest of the story is when you come back to your journal later.

I know I have mentioned that doodling in your journal is recommendable in the past but I’d like to stress the point again. You’d be surprised at how even bad drawings can give you a fantastic idea of how certain people or places looked in your dream when words are hard to find. The point of the dream journal is to exercise your brains ability to remember the events of your REM sleep, not to win the spelling bee. Some things are just hard to describe in dreams, its just a fact of life, don’t be ashamed to get some charcoal on your hands with some good old fashioned drawing.