5 Ways to Discover and Develop
Your Creativity through Dreams
By Dante Munnis
“If you can dream it, you can do it”. This famous quote by Walt Disney has made many of us believe in their inner power, the ability that we have to make your desires come true. Disney built a land of magic that attracts millions of people per year. And not only children are among his loyal customers, as you will see many grown-ups having as much, or maybe even more, fun than their parents and guardians.
And while Walt Disney might have talked about daydreaming, we all know how often things that we want for our lives can show up in our dreams in many different ways. And when we wake up in the morning, that feeling gives us strength to pursue it even more fiercely, because we don’t want to let it go again.
Dreams have a unique influence in our lives. They make us wonder, they shock us, they make us laugh. And they have an impact in the way that we live, and, for this reason, it has been the source of several studies and theories from some of the biggest masterminds in the world.
But how can we use our dreams to discover and develop our creativity? Is it possible to become more artistic, smarter, or more efficient by trying to understand our dreams or by stimulating it to happen more often? Yes, it is possible to accomplish it if you try a few methods that I have applied to my own life and see which one fits your goals and personality better.
#1 – Keep a journal of dreams
The simplest and first step to discovering and developing your creativity through dreams is by recording them so you can keep all that valuable information with you for longer. For reasons that scientists have only started searching for an explanation, most of our dreams are forgotten as soon as we wake up, or they became so blurry that we cannot make sense of them anymore.
So what I have done, and I am inviting you to do the same, is to keep a notebook beside my bed so I could write down my dreams as soon as I opened your eyes. First thing before doing anything else and even better accomplished when you still feel a bit sleepy.
This worked for me because my craft is writing, and writing has made a better person, but you can also do it using a voice recorder or by drawing your dream instead. The point here is to record your dream using the method that works best for you so that you can put the topic number two into practice.
# 2 – Try to interpret your dreams
With all those dreams written down, the next thing that I did was to try and interpret my dreams. I wanted to see if it could help me to discover my emotional intelligence and to extract pieces of advice and insights about my personality, desires and fears through the images created by my unconscious mind.
So I started studying everything I could find about it, but it was Carl Jung’s theories that attracted me the most. This Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist took Freud’s idea of unconscious to the next level seeing it as something more spiritual and particular. Even though he believed in the idea of a collective unconscious, dreams could only be interpreted by understanding how the person that has dreamed them perceive and feel those images and acts.
That is to say that you are perfectly capable of interpreting your own dreams through free association. If it feels right and makes sense to you, then you are on the right path, as there is not a final and perfectly correct answer. But it is important that you do an exercise so to understand what your unconscious mind is trying to say to you, so you can reconnect yourself with the creativity side of your brain.
# 3 – Make art based on your dreams
Another of my favourite ways to use dreams to develop my creativity is making art based on them. I get a blank canvas or a piece of paper, and I draw my dream the way I can remember it. It can be just a specific part of it, or it can be a full interpretation of the meaning that it has to me in general, it does not matter. Then I colour or paint it so I can bring it to life.
I do not mind either if my artwork is any good. Actually, I tend to throw it in the bin as soon as I finish appreciating it. What matters to me is to reveal my unconscious mind in a more artistic way so to wake up creativity inside of me, and leave it walking freely so I can use it at work and my personal life later on.
# 4 – Ask for a dream
A method that has been mentioned by several researchers including Deirdre Barret, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, to use your dreams in your favour, it is by literally asking for a dream. I know it might sound weird or impossible, but I have tried it before, and it does work. And you can suggest your mind to dream about a specific topic by following three easy steps:
- Make a verbal statement about the problem you want to solve (or whatever you want to dream about) just before you sleep, when you are already in bed.
- Pick a specific image that you feel that represent your question and make sure that this is the last thing in your mind until you fall asleep.
- When you wake up in the morning, do not leave the bed immediately. Give yourself the time to lay down and try to recall your dreams.
This way your mind will be directed to understand what is a top priority and will work on it while your body is recovering from a long day. And the result of it might come to you in a form of a dream.
# 5 – Do not take them literally
My last piece of advice is that you change your attitude towards dreams if you want that they become a useful tool in your life. Many of us are afraid of dreams, especially when they show up as nightmares. But dreams are just the way our mind has found to show what is bothering it and to give us some clues about the questions we have been asking.
So do not take your dreams literally, rather trying to interpret them and bringing them to your side. Jump into its images and sounds, and colours, as if you were watching or reading a fantasy or sci-fi story. Then you can try to analyse them and see how they can help you to develop the growth mindset.
To Sum Up
If you want to be more creative, you certainly should pay better attention to your dreams. They can help you to wake up your creativity by reconnecting you with your goals, fears, and desires. It can also help you to find solutions to your problems, and to see things more clearly.
To achieve it, you will need to record your dreams and try to interpret them in a way that makes sense to you personally. You can keep a journal, voice-record it, and make some art out of it. You can also request a particular dream if you like. Just do not take any dream literally, and you are bound to make of them your best friends in your journey towards a more creative life.
And what about you? Have you tried to apply anything that you learned from a dream to your life? Let us know your thoughts and experiences.
: Dante Munnis is a writer on essayrepublic
and an idea maker, who is interested in self-development, web related topics and success issues. He likes to write and share with people his experience on how to live better. You can get in touch with Dan via Twitter