Hello Victoria;Your name was given to me by a friend while we were talking about some difficult dreams I’d been having. I am also an artist but feel rather that I’m either banging my head into a wall or actually regressing in the quality of my work. My question at this point is how would I prepare if I wish to pursue using dreams to help me at this “stuck’ point in my life and work. I’ve not been keeping a journal of my dreams as I know is so commonly recommended, since I’m not very organized in regards to keeping a journal. Perhaps it’s also because of the quality of some of the dreams/nightmares I’ve had. Some feel almost as if they are someone else’s dreams since I don’t know the location or players and although I would want to learn from them, at the same time, I don’t wish to encourage anything negative (which is usually the feeling I am left with). KS
Dear KS,Your query is poignant. I have often worked with dreamers who feel like you – Stuck and unable to get out of a waking direction that seems to be underscored by “negative” dreams. Nightmares confuse us. Just when we expect a lovely, pretty inspirational dream to help us climb out of our downward spiral, we feel haunted by scary, unsettling dramas. Welcome to the World of Paradox! Under the influence of children’s literature and Hollywood, we expect our dreams to be fluffy little things with pink horses and marshmallow clouds. As artists, we expect direct inspiration from an inner voice that gives clear directions for what to paint or write. Although many astonishing tales of great inventions and profound works of art abound, let me assure you that most of the time dream messages are disguised in metaphor and wordplay. The world of dreams is a labyrinth with a string. In creative DreamWork, we grow to trust that this string will lead us out from the great “Unknown” By bringing the dream onto our writing desks and into our journals, we acknowledge that dreams take time to unravel. We accept the dedication to time in the labyrinth, exploring it hallways, knowing that a monster lives within. We take the hero’s journey, because we must. The alternative is to remain lost. Before attending a dream workshop or beginning to work with a DreamGroup, I encourage you to become an adventurer of the mind. Open a few dream doors. Let in a few unsettling images. Know that this is where the juice is. Write about the images, sketch them, turn them around in your mind’s eye. This doesn’t mean that you have to become an obsessive recorder and arrive at your first dream circle with a volume of one hundred dreams captured in one month! If you have ever captured one dream, you can begin. Some people only work with one dream throughout their lifetime. Others work with fragments. Still others work with one dream a week. In my blog, I offer thoughts about the mysterious world of dreams plus ten minute dream journal exercises. Each exercise can be used with one dream or different ones. Read about several of the workshop themes and try a few of the exercises. Begin to flex your dream muscles. Once you have become acquainted with a dream tending practice in which you have welcomed a relationship with your journal, your meditations, your dance or your artwork; you will know when you are ready to bring your dreams into a DreamGroup environment. I hope this response holds some inspiration for you to jump into that unknown territory! Go for it!