3 Things I Learned From Keeping A Dream Journal—& Why It’s The Self-Care Game Changer
We’ve all heard the term “sweet” dreams, but what if those “sweet” dreams are really powerful lessons that your soul is desperate to share with you? How would you use that wisdom to enhance your self-care? As a Holistic Wellness Coach, I spend my days teaching others about the importance of developing self-care practices that enrich and nourish their lives. These practices include everything from developing a daily meditation practice to carrying crystals in their pocket to balance and enhance their energy (and keep the bad stuff at bay).
Recently, when asked by a client to share one thing that transformed my personal wellness and self-care practice, you could only imagine the puzzling look on her face when she heard my enthusiastic response: “I keep a dream journal!” Despite her obvious confusion, she became really interested in learning more about the benefits of keeping a dream journal and how it could be used as a tool to enhance her own self-care. When I began keeping a dream journal, years ago, my goal was simple. I wanted to record the vivid images, messages, events, etc. that I encountered while sleeping. I kept a small journal on my nightstand and would spend mere minutes each morning scribbling down numbers, images, words, or phrases that came to me while sleeping. It wasn’t until I began regularly perusing through my journal that I noticed common threads, patterns, and messages about my dreams. That’s when I discovered the golden nuggets of wisdom that masked themselves as dreams! Let me share with you the top three lessons that I’ve learned while riffling through my dream journal recently:
Playing is just as important as working!
I’ll be the first to admit it…I rarely created space in my life for playing. Until recently, playing was something that I did if and when I had time, and it certainly wasn’t intentional. When I landed on the floor of my bathroom in tears more times than I care to count, because I was overworked and physically, mentally, and spiritually undernourished, I turned to my dream journal and noticed a trend. Girl, You Need to Play! There were dreams about painting in front of my favorite window (and I am so not an artist), dancing barefoot with my children in the rain, and sitting on the floor of a metaphysical store that I love, surrounded by crystals and lavender. I realized that the universe was literally screaming at me every single night to take massive action and make playing a part of my self-care practice. Now, I take some time each day to be silly, dance in my car at a red light, doodle in my journal with colorful pens, or play a fun board game with my kiddos. Playing isn’t complicated, but my dreams taught me that it’s definitely necessary.
Tune in to what YOU need!
This is one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned through dreaming! As an empath, I spend my days soaking in the energy of those around me. I internalize their thoughts, feelings, intentions, etc. often leaving me depleted and rushing home after work each day to smudge myself and clear their anxiety-ridden energy from my body. What I’ve learned through working with a fellow empath and intuitive and studying my past dreams is that I have to be intentional about tuning into my own needs, and develop a daily routine that leaves me clear, balanced, and restored. Daily meditation, playing chakra-balancing music, and yoga, are just a few of the tools that I use to stay clear and tuned into what I need.
This was another unexpected lesson that came courtesy of my dreams! I define being present as honoring each moment as it unfolds, without allowing my mind to wander in ways that extend beyond that moment. However, for someone like me who has a running to-do list cycling through her head 24 hours a day, being present was definitely easier said than done! The single most important tool that has helped me to stay present, available, and tuned into each moment with clarity is meditation. Establishing a meditation practice helped me to bring mindfulness into even the most mundane daily tasks, such as doing laundry or composing an email. I intentionally craft my thoughts in a way that aligns with what I am doing, feeling, seeing, hearing, etc. without focusing on or stressing about the things that extend beyond that moment. Beginning a meditation practice doesn’t have to be complicated! Simply find a quiet space, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and tune into the sound of your breath! It’s as simple as that!
Carving out a little time each day to jot down and reflect on your dreams, allows you to recalibrate and show up in your life with a little more wisdom, a little more fire, and a little more clarity. Keeping a dream journal next to your bed is a great way to capture the nuggets that you encounter while sleeping, and gives you a unique opportunity to begin each day with golden wisdom that came directly from your soul. Sweet Dreams!
Do you keep a dream journal?