How keeping a dream journal may help answer life’s questions
Culturally and spiritually intelligent, many Hawaiians interpret dreams as signs or hō’ailona. To them, a dream is considered just as important as information gathered during waking life in order to make decisions or find answers to problems.
The déjà vu we experience in the modern world is, for many Hawaiians, an ordinary experience — a dream echoing or predicting real life is not seen as coincidence. When a solution or indication of what is to come arrives during sleep, it is believed the dream has provided a glimpse of the future or an answer before the question arises.
It is also believed that family ancestors who have passed on into the spirit world can provide messages, predictions and warnings in dreams. A dream might, for example, indicate the name of a child or the accomplishment of a goal — or even a warning of things good or bad to come.
He ‘elele ka moe na ke kanaka: a dream is a bearer of messages to man
In Western beliefs, generally, for people who dream vividly and regularly, it can appear uncanny that some dreams seem to expand on current life experiences, problems, topics and themes. More coincidental are the dreams which appear to have no real-life basis … until they come true. Often we don’t tend to share with others the fact that information arrived in a dream because it tends to be disbelieved or considered an unreliable or even fabricated state.
Genevieve, a finance journalist, says she dreams all the time and finds it exhausting yet her experience is an absolute confirmation that dreams provide messages.
It is essential to write about your dreams the moment you wake — even if a dream wakes you during the night, write it down immediately.
“More than 20 years ago I dreamed of playing with a little girl angel made of purest light shining out from her, in the lounge room of the family farm; a few months later my sister gave birth to a girl,” she recalls. “Two years later, I had the exact same dream only I was playing with a boy angel. As it turns out, my sister fell pregnant two weeks later and the following year gave birth to a beautiful boy. As surreal as each dream was, I still wonder where the information came from? Did the future float backward into my head as a dream? Did an ancestor send the angels to play with so I got to know they were ready to arrive? And who believes in angels?!”
So, how can you confirm if your dreams are indeed genuinely giving you information?
One way of identifying if your dreams are offering you answers or a glimpse into the future is simply to record them. It is best to have a notebook or journal dedicated to recording your dreams and keep it near your bed with a pen. You may wish to draw a column for the date and then another column in which to describe your dreaming.
Naturally, it is essential to write about your dreams the moment you wake — even if a dream wakes you during the night, write it down immediately. Be aware of noting how you feel as well. Do you feel calm, anxious, sick, nervous, happy, in awe, expectant?
As the calendar moves, you may rapidly forget your dreams, until something reminds you. With a dream journal handy though, you can easily look back to see when you dreamed about this situation, experience or conversation as well as the details of your dreams.
Looking back, you may identify absolutely correct predictions. You may see confusion in others, perhaps an overall topic or theme coming up without clarity. You may see resolution in a problem through a comment in a dream or an expression a person gave. And you may even find yourself making decisions based on dreams, much like we can base decisions on gut instinct.
Dreaming tends to bring people into your life who may have long since passed or who you rarely see. Perhaps it is a way of communicating with people in an altogether different realm.
After keeping a dream journal for a number of years, you may find it remarkable to read back and see just how many dreams did in fact relate to your life — answers may have come to you long before the questions or problems arose.