times, scribes were devotees of the Word. They were the
bridges between worlds, charged with the sacred task of
painstakingly transcribing the Mysteries into a form
that could be referenced by holy men and women. Many
centuries later, our modern journals give us unlimited
access to the Mysteries of our souls. Through this
column, I hope to offer ways that we can approach our
own lives with the love and devotion of the scribes of
A Bakerís Dozen Ways to Journal Your Dreams
- Record your dream upon awakening. Use
the present tense to add immediacy and to honor the
dreamís ongoing life force. Donít remember the
entire dream? Record scenes, fragments, snatches, even
impressions. When it comes to dreamwork in your journal,
a little can go a long way.
- Name your dreams as you would a short
story or painting or poem. Keep a separate, running list
of your dream titles somewhere in your journal. Themes
will often jump out at you.
- If you donít remember your dreams,
try writing a note to your "Dreamkeeper" in
your journal before you turn out the lights. It might be
as simple as, "Dear Dreamkeeper, Please bring me a
dream that Iíll remember tomorrow morning. I promise Iíll
write it down and pay attention to it. Thanks!"
- After youíve recorded your dream,
write a Ten-Minute Sprint in which you give your best
guess as to what this dream might be saying about your
- Write a list of questions raised by
the dream. Leave yourself a few lines between questions.
Then go back and answer the questions. Do this quickly
and without much conscious thought.
- Cluster your dream symbols. When you
get an "aha" of recognition, note it and use
it as a symbol substitution for your dream.
- Dialogue with your dream characters.
Ask them why theyíre in your dream, what theyíre
trying to communicate to you, how you can best
understand their meaning.
- Free write about a particularly
elusive symbol or character. Let yourself free
associate. Be alert for "ahas of recognition."
(An "aha of recognition," according to
dreamworker Jeremy Taylor, is the conscious mind
remembering what the unconscious mind knew all along,
but the conscious mind forgot.)
- Write a Captured Moment of a scene
from the dream, focusing on the sensory details. Extend
this into a fictional scene. What if a character in a
short story found her/himself in this very situation?
What might happen next? Where might this action lead?
- Shift perspectives. Take a key symbol
or character from your dream and rewrite the dream as if
that symbol or character were the dreamer. Or let the
symbol/character interpret itself, by writing in the
first person from its perspective ("I am the
winding dirt road. I am in this dream
- Play Western Union. Rewrite the dream
using as few words as possible, in telegram style. Let
yourself be cryptic and direct. Often, nuances and
layers of meaning will emerge.
- Write a poem about the dream. Focus
on the images and feelings. Try an AlphaPoem about a
dream symbol, scene or character.
- Draw, paint or sketch the dream or
its symbols. Or make a collage using images that
represent the dream. One woman in a recent workshop
collaged a cover for her journal using her dream images
and symbols. Her first entry in the journal helped her
interpret the dreamís meaning for her next steps.
Kathleen Adams. All Rights Reserved
Kathleen Adams LPC, RPT is a
Registered Poetry/Journal Therapist and Director of The
Center for Journal Therapy in Lakewood, Colorado. She is
one of the leading voices on the power of writing to
heal and is the author of four books, including Journal
to the Self and The Write Way to Wellness.
Her upcoming seminars include the annual 5-day womenís
writing retreat in Colorado July 8-13, and a one-day
Journal to the Self workshop in Denver in late July. She
would love your feedback on this column; please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or stop by her website, www.journaltherapy.com.
Kathleen's Past "Scribing the Soul" Columns:
2001 "Journals to Go"
2001 "Healing Words, Healing Touch: Jihan's Letters"
2001 "Love Letters"
the Authentic Self"
2000 "Riding the Inky Wave"
2000 "The Good News"
2000 "Soul Food: Exploring Affirmations in
2000 "Diary of a Headache"
2000 "Making Up the Truth"
2000 "Pockets of Joy"
2000 "Five Ways to Scribe Your Intuition"
Kathleen's Feature Article on Dream Journals:
in the Dark: Cracking the Soul's Code Through Dream