Guest Blogger Susan Audrey writes:
I didn’t begin paying attention to my nighttime dreams until my dreamscapes started showing up in my waking life.
The first instance was fairly benign: I dreamt of a man with dark hair, wearing a white, button-down shirt, standing to my right and talking on a pay phone (yes, this was awhile ago). And the next morning, after I dropped my kids off at daycare, I saw this exact scene: the same man, same hair, shirt, and pay phone. This really got my attention!
I found out later that these are called precognitive or premonition dreams –– they show you the future. I wasn’t sure why this was happening at this time in my life. I was in my thirties and a single mom of two grade schoolers. It wasn’t until years later that I learned that our nighttime dreams are more abundant and more easily remembered during difficult and transitional times.
Curiosity inspired me to read about, research, and train in dreamwork in the upcoming years, and most importantly, to keep a dream journal. I discovered that by exploring the images, metaphors, and feelings that emerged through my dreams, I had access to a wondrous, self-revealing and self-empowering stream of wisdom. One that’s always there –– and free! And, using this simple approach to cultivating “inner knowing” has helped me to better navigate my life and to get my creative juices flowing for all kinds of creative endeavors, including writing.
Dreamwork helps us to jumpstart our creativity and keep it flowing in several ways. One is by providing a sort of emotional and physical house cleaning. The messages from our dreams can give us clues about how to work through emotional baggage we may be carrying, remedies that can heal our physical ailments, and ways we can let go of beliefs that may no longer serve us –– freeing us up to give our full attention and energy to embracing our creative sides. If we’re not obsessing about a love we lost or worrying about what to try next to soothe a backache then we’re more present when we sit down at our computer to write or in front of a canvas to paint.
Our nighttime dreams also offer us an amazing resource for creating –– both as actual themes to work with or, metaphorically, as clues for how to proceed with our work. When we take actual images from our dreamscapes and write about or draw them, they come to life in ways we could never have imagined, revealing things about us we may have never considered. Yet, as we dive in to explore further, either with words or through visual art, what emerges can often feel quite familiar, like switching the light on in a forgotten room of a home we’ve always known. And rather quickly, we can find ourselves in that delightful and precious flow state from which our best creative work emerges.
Viewed metaphorically, our dream images can also guide us in choosing subjects and approaches for our business writing and projects. We just need to do a little more digging to unearth these gems. For example, if you need to write a promotional piece or an article, you can “seed” your dreams the night before to discover how to start. This is an exercise in which you clearly ask for the information you are seeking by writing your request on a piece of paper and placing it under your pillow before you go to sleep.
I know that to some, this may sound like an exercise in wishful thinking (one you might share with a child), but through years of experience working with dreams and much research in the approaches of renowned philosophers, psychologists, and authors, including pioneering dream analyst, Carl Jung, I’ve come to trust this process whole-heartedly and have seen amazing results transpire for clients and dreamwork circle participants as well as for myself. The answers to these nighttime inquiries will come, and they arrive in the form of metaphors, symbols, and, sometimes, strong emotions.
For example, perhaps you’ve asked your dreams to tell you which approach you should take in writing a piece for a client, and a tiger walks through your dreamscape, slowly and methodically circling you. As you learn to work with your dream images and to trust the insights your dreams bring, you’ll learn to view such a scene as a clue, a suggestion as to how to proceed with your writing… slowly, methodically and going around and around your subject to see it at all angles. Or, the tiger itself could suggest the tone of your piece –– should it be colorful, lean, and wild? Should it be written from a hunter’s point of view (metaphorically, of course). You’ll know. Your gut and an inner aha! will be your guides.
Dream images have led me to the best remedies for physical and emotional challenges; they’ve helped me to change my perspective about a situation to one that is more beneficial for all involved; they’ve provided a heads-up on future traumatic events, so that I could handle them with greater ease and skill, and they’ve kept my enthusiasm for life (and it’s many dimensions) alive. And, they continue to provide me with access to the infinite flow of creativity hidden in my unconscious and just waiting to break free.
You can learn much more about dreamwork and how it can jumpstart your creativity at Susan’s Writers Forum presentation, “Learn How to Access Your Infinite Creative Flow Through Dreamwork,” on June 18, 2015, in Petaluma.
Susan Audrey is a multi-disciplined Dreamwork Practitioner who specializes in guiding individuals and groups through the fascinating and transformative journey of discovering the wisdom of their dreams. She has also worked as a writer and editor for various forms of media for over 20 years and is currently a writer for The Shift Network located at The Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma.
You can find out more about dreamwork at Susan’s Blog, The Night Is Jung.