Dreamwork: From As to Zs

There are many lofty things I can (and do) say about dreams, starting with the fact that dreamwork is a great way to keep connected with your soul. And yet, I don’t claim to know exactly what the soul is. We can’t see it, smell it, or measure it–and yet we sense that it is there.

I can feel mine when I’m praying with others in synagogue, or when I read a poem so beautiful it makes me cry, or when I listen to the crickets singing at night (as I’m doing right now) and I grow very still inside and feel inexplicably happy.

But if I’m not paying attention, it’s just as easy to forget about the soul’s needs and get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Dreams, however, provide a nightly window into the workings of the soul. Dreams let us know if we’re neglecting our inner selves, if we’re straying off course from our soul’s journey, or if our souls are feeling properly fed and watered.

So it’s worth taking a few minutes before bed to prepare for a good night of dreaming. You can do that by addressing what I call the “A List.” These are 5 areas (conveniently all beginning with the letter A) that touch on different aspects of our soulful selves. In your journal before you switch off the light to go to sleep, answer these “A List” questions:

  • APPRECIATION: Did I feel gratitude and show appreciation today? What do I feel grateful for right now
  • ADORATION: Have I felt love, awe, or reverence for something today? What did I miss that I might have expressed these emotions toward had I been paying closer attention?
  • ATONEMENT: Where did I fall short of my intentions to be my best self today? Do I owe anyone an apology? Do I need to ask myself for forgiveness?
  • ANTICIPATION: What am I looking forward to about tomorrow? Can I feel the joy of anticipation in my heart as I look ahead with optimism?
  • ASK FOR IT: Bedtime is the ideal time to pose a question to your wisest self, God, the divine, or the universe. You can ask for guidance about a problem, insight into a pressing issue, or you can simply request a restful night’s sleep. Ask anything you want. Write your question in your journal, and watch for an answer in your dreams, or in the thoughts that come to you when you wake in the morning.

When you’re done with your “A List” writing prompts, turn off the light and settle in for some well-earned Z’s.