Dreams are the language of your subconscious mind, as well as your higher wisdom. Dreams are the vernacular of your inner experiences. A practice that I learned many years ago, which I love sharing with my clients and now get to share with all of you, is this super simple dreamwork ritual. Your dreams are an amazing resource. Your dreams are a connection to your body, your unconscious mind, and your higher self. Your dreams are a portal to higher learning about yourself. Tapping into your dreams is a way of tapping into other levels and dimensions of energy and being. It just takes practice to listen to and learn the language of your dreams. Use this ritual to work through any issues on the physical, emotional, or subtle energetic levels. For instance, if you are dealing with a physical issue in your body, you might want to ask your body what it wants to communicate to you. Or if you are working through a challenging situation or relationship, you might want to simply ask, what is it that you need to know? The more we engage and work with our subconscious mind by letting it know that we are ready to listen, the more we begin to cultivate trust—just like any relationship. But, most importantly, as with anything, just get started!
What you’ll need: your favorite essential oil (preferably a grounding or calming scent for sleep, such as rose, lavender, or frankincense). Or you could work with jatamansi (also known as spikenard), as it is excellent for sleep and dreamwork, but be fore- warned: it does have an intensely strong, earthy scent. You’ll also want to keep a notebook and pen by your bedside so you can start a dream journal.
If you can sleep without an alarm, great. If not, set an intention to wake up before your alarm goes off.
Once you have settled into bed, take your essential oil and either put one drop in the palms of your hands and rub the palms of your hands together or, if you are sensitive to oils or working with jatamansi, you could put a drop on the soles of your feet and rub the soles of your feet together. Using the same oil each time you do this work will help anchor its scent and accompanying intention into your system.
Close your eyes and gently take in the scent of
the essential oils to ground and calm yourself
as you prepare for a journey into dreamland.
Allow this scent to be an entry point as it makes its way to the olfactory bulb in your limbic system, which regulates your emotions. And each time you work with this scent, you might
just sink deeper into restful sleep.
Now it’s time to let your unconscious mind/body/higher wisdom know that you are ready to listen by setting a simple intention. This can be something along the lines of,
“What is it that I need to know about this situation/this pain/this obstacle?
I am open to listening and remembering
through the language of dreams.”
You can just mentally set this intention once,
allowing yourself to feel into it.
And then let it go and drift into sleep.
In the morning, as soon as you realize that you are awake, make a point to stay still if you can. Moving may disrupt dream recall. Start recounting as much as you can. What’s the feeling around the dream?
When you are ready, sit up and write out what you can recall from your dream. First and foremost, title your dream or give your dream a theme, as this will help you capture the feeling or atmosphere of the dream.
Then jot down as many details as you can recall. None of this needs to make sense. Throughout the day, you might begin to remember more bits and pieces of the dream. Note them as they come to you.
You are just beginning to open a channel of communication. It might take time to understand, but if you can tap into the feeling that you experienced in the dream, that’s a good starting point.
Take some time to reflect on the elements of your dream. How might it relate to the question you asked? Perhaps it doesn’t make sense yet, and that’s okay. Just keep opening up communication. At some point, there will be a more consistent dialogue.
As you begin to engage in this process in a consistent manner, your unconscious mind will begin to open up to you more and more. Sometimes your dreams will let you know about situations before you even ask.
Reprinted with permission from “Rest Rituals” by Valerie Oula © 2022, published by Sterling Ethos.
Valerie Oula is the founder of Modern Ritual NYC, a holistic lifestyle offering for mind, body and soul. As a meditation instructor, Reiki master teacher and energy healing practitioner, she shares her passion for vibrational medicine through integrative sessions, classes, workshops, events and trainings worldwide. She is the author of “A Little Bit of Reiki” from Sterling Publishing and the director of vibrational energy healing at THE WELL. Valerie creates an energetic haven for students and clients to unwind, process and become more resourced ; creating sacred space for all to be more present in their lives.