Every night when you fall asleep, your consciousness goes on a journey. Down you go, down, down into the depths of inner space. Your body lies relaxed on the bed, breathing deeply, your cells rejuvenating. Meanwhile, you are away on a fantastical journey into the deepest realms of your subconscious.
This is a shadowy place, filled with beings and places and symbols that represent both your most cherished dreams and your most horrific fears. It is a landscape that is created by you, for you.
You must travel there alone.
When the days are short and the cold nights stretch out, you may start to feel tired earlier. You might long for your pillow and the solace you find in deep sleep. You hear the siren call of your bed, with its smooth sheets and warm fuzzy blankets.
Allow yourself to be drawn to your cozy nest. Turn off the TV or the stereo, and put away your phone. Place your dream journal, or paper and pen, close by your bedside. Finish your chapter and turn out the light. Yawn and stretch. Get as comfortable as you can. Before you succumb fully to sleep, close your eyes and take a look at what’s behind them.
At first you might see only darkness, wait patiently. Breathe slowly and deliberately. Let your thoughts flow gently by like a dark stream, but don’t grab onto them.
Soon you’ll start to float in the black inner space. This is the place between waking and sleeping. It is like a still, quiet pool in a deep, dark cave. You float there, neither waking nor sleeping. Wait patiently.
When the time feels right, you can drop something into the pool, like a pebble. It might be a question about an issue you’re struggling with in waking life. It could be a prayer for someone in need. Maybe it’s simply the intention that when you awaken, you’ll remember your dreams.
Drop your pebble into the pool, and let it go. Watch the ripples. Breathe. Let go. Wait patiently.
Let it go.
Sooner or later, you’ll start to dream, here in this liminal space. Images will float up from your inner depths. Shadows might dance against the walls of the cave. Fear not. Wait patiently. Let go.
Dreaming is one of the ways our inner self sends us messages. When you set an intention before you go to sleep, you’re sending a message in return. You are saying that your dreams are significant to you. Your attention will make it so. This practice will help you to remember your dreams more clearly, and more often.
When you first awaken, write down any dreams you can recall, or even just fleeting impressions of what you dreamt. Emotions are a key part of the process. What did you feel like in your dream? What emotions are you awakening with? Even if you can’t recall what happened in your dreams at first, you can often remember how you felt.
Remember your dreams.
This is a perfect time of year to practice dream awareness. It is cold and dark, and your body wants to hibernate. Get some extra sleep, and set your intentions when you first close your eyes.
In the shadowy inner realms, helpful messages are being crafted just for you.
Tap into them.
Learn to bring back wisdom that can help you in your daily life.