Understanding the Inherent Wisdom of Our Dreams
In the vernacular, a dream home, dream job, or dream vacation refers to something that is highly desirable, but exceedingly difficult to obtain. So when we are blessed with this good fortune, we sometimes say it’s a dream-come-true.
In the movie Field of Dreams, there is an underlying hopeful phrase, “build it and they will come”. Here we recognize the word dream in its aspirational sense.
Likewise, when we are exhorted to dream big, that encouragement is intended to free us from our self-limitations, as in MLK’s 1963 speech “I Have a Dream”.
These dreamy qualities allude to a common feature of the nighttime visions and emotions we experience as dreams: that they are oftentimes hard-to-pin-down or difficult to put into words. Because of this difficulty, we look to poets to help us with those words, or we seek the advice of dream interpreters to help us with their meaning.
We all dream. Yes, all of us. Not every night, but certainly at every important juncture in our life. Yet many will argue that this is not true. Some will admit that they have dreams, but will insist that they can’t recall them. Others will be able to remember their dreams, but can’t make any sense out of their shifting nature.
Each of these obstacles can be overcome through dream work, the intentional act of dream journaling immediately before awaking. Anyone can get started with just a bedside notebook and a few pointers:
- Capture the emotional feelings of the dream in one or two words.
- Record the places, people, animals, objects, spoken words, and actions that you recall, even when they are a nonsensical jumble.
- After awakening, reflect upon the feelings and images you’ve recorded, connecting them to the challenges and difficulties faced by your daytime consciousness.
Margaret Honton has followed this course for 50 years, recording a menagerie of odd bedfellows, capturing her feelings about them, and sharing her immediate reflections upon their daytime significance. Her dream notebooks over that five decades have been filled with nearly 5000 dreams. It is our good fortune that she has given us a curated catalog of the most exemplary ones, in her forthcoming book, Dream Encounters.
This book is not merely a peek inside a personal memoir, it’s a compendium of themes and motifs, of challenges overcome, of ailments healed, and of obstacles navigated. Careful readers will recognize the wisdom and assurance that dreams can provide to each of us.
Here are the curated dreams of one woman who, over half a lifetime, captured their essence in story, feelings, and…
Dream Encounters will be available in bookstores October 2021. Reviewers with credentials in dream work may contact the editor for a prerelease copy.