Dream Journal

How to Keep a Dream Journal to Tap Into Intuition and Creativity

Dreams communicate with us in a special language beyond literal interpretation. The rational part of our brain gives way and allows us to access our most authentic source of inspiration, creativity and guidance. The more you can remember and record your dreams, the better you’ll become at tapping into their meanings and potentially unlocking deeper parts of yourself.

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer and I’ve had a few premonition dreams, including one about 9/11 over a year before it happened. I used to keep a dream journal to record my dreams as soon as I woke up. Then motherhood took over and crazy-early starts with littles ones meant I no longer had the luxury of waking up naturally and my dreams were lost.

Then everything changed last summer. My dream world blew open wider than ever before. I’d glanced at something about dreams on Consciousness Consultant Katherine Greenfield’s website. That night I set my intention, ‘Please let me remember my dreams tonight and may they deliver me messages that will guide me in my life.’ 

That was it! I woke up the next morning and filled up pages in my journal about all of my vivid dreams. So I set my intention again the following night and it happened again and again and again.

Soon my beautiful (and quite pricey) journal was filling up with fragments of dreams, so I bought a cheap, spiral bound notebook and proceeded to fill that up too. One night I dreamt that my business mentor, Marie Forleo, invited me to go to Lake Tahoe with her and a small group of other women. I felt excited and elated! When I woke up I went onto Marie’s private Facebook group for B-Schoolers and asked if there were any dream interpreters out there. I got a message from someone named Vicki Evans in New Zealand who said she’d love to offer me a dream analysis session. Sure, why not? What good was writing down all of these dreams if I had no idea what to do with them?

Vicki helped me to interpret a long and convoluted dream I’d had the previous night. Rather than analysing what was literally happening, she got me to pull out major symbols. Each symbol was then given an identity and from there I was able to ask the symbols what messages they had for me. The insights came out as words of sage advice which felt like they were coming from my higher self. (Your higher self is the you that is unlimited by your normal thinking mind and all of the stories that hold you back. It’s the part of you that excites you with inspiration, guides you with intuition and teaches you through insight.)

I’ve learned a process of dream interpretation from Vicki that I can now do on my own. Over the rest of the summer, I happily filled up a second new notebook and many of my dreams have given me fascinating insights and unleashed my creativity.

At the same time I was also in communication with the aforementioned Katherine Greenfield and booked an online Creative Healing Journey with her to discover what I’m here to do in my life and business. (Which is a whole extra story for next time!) I also highly recommend Katherine and have included links to her and Vicki further down.

Katherine and I have now had several conversations about the dream world and I’m learning the linguistics of my dreams. Katherine calls this ‘the language of my spirit’ and says I am a gifted dreamer.

I’m discovering that the true gift of keeping a dream journal is to develop my own intimate understanding of the language used to communicate in those realms. I’m now noticing recurring symbols and themes and opening up to the messages they are telling me.

I’ve had some limited success with Lucid Dreaming (which is when you’re aware that you’re dreaming in your dreams) by listening to an Astral Sleep meditation in the Insight Timer app, as well as setting my intention to be conscious in my dreams. I’m now accessing a deeper connection to my intuition, which was my biggest intention for this year. 

I’ll admit that now summer’s over, I can no longer languish in bed for ages to explore my dreams, but I’m still using my dream journal to record the pieces I can recall so they don’t dry up again. The earlier I get to bed, the more I wake up naturally, have better dream recall and more time to explore them.


How to Keep a Dream Journal

Everyone has their own way of keeping a dream journal, so it’s about experimenting with what works for you. These tips are what helped me to stick to my new routine.

  • Use a Dedicated Dream Journal

You don’t want your dreams mixed in with your to-do lists or buried amongst your daily missives if you keep a regular journal, so start a separate journal or notebook for recording your dreams. Keep your Dream Journal and a pen next to your bed and open to the next blank page before you go to sleep so you’re not fumbling around and potentially losing your dreams in the morning. 

  • Set Your Intention

As you lay your head on the pillow, open your heart, take some deep breaths and set a clear intention. You can also use your Dream Journal to write your intention first. In the beginning, your intention may be simply to recall your dreams as you wake. Then as you have success with this, you can begin to deepen your intention to include asking for guidance or answers on something important to you.

  • Keep Your Body Still 

As you’re first waking up, try not to move your body for the first few minutes as you gently scan for memories. Feel into emotions and images. Give each dream a quick title so you’re more likely to remember them when you begin to write, ie: Moving Escalators Dream, French Fries Dream, Cat Poo Dream (a recurring one for me…) 

  • Pay Attention to the Most Vivid Details and Emotions

As your dreams come forth more consistently, you may find you don’t have the time to write down every minute detail and then go back through it all to look for their hidden messages. Focus more on the parts that feel the most significant, as well as the strongest emotions you felt in your dreams. (Fear? Shame? Freedom? Accomplishment?) Do these reflect how you’re feeling about anything in your life? Begin to discern which pieces of information matter to you and explore those on paper to see what comes up.

  • Do It Everyday

The more you tell yourself that your dreams are important, the more you will remember them, and the more information you’ll access each night. Be patient if the dreams don’t seem to come or you lose them upon waking. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Hold a gentle faith that they will come and continue to set your intention before bed with love in your heart.

Here’s where to book in for an online Unlock Your Dreams session with Vicki Evans to decode your dreams. She’ll lead you through a dream analysis session where you’ll delve deep to uncover insights that you won’t access through your thinking brain (the part of you that’s in charge most of the time).

Here’s how to work with Katherine Greenfield the Consciousness Consultant to learn about the spiritual dimension of dreams, how to get the most from your dreams and how to understand the messages you receive in your dreams. She also has a 10-week programme that gives you the tools to more intimately connect deeply with yourself and your own creative intelligence. 

Join in on my FREE ‘Get to Bed Earlier Challenge’ and I’ll send you powerful worksheets to help you get behind your WHY for getting to bed earlier and tools to help you create healthier bedtime habits.

In the comments below, share your own thoughts and experiences on dreams. Have you ever kept a dream journal? Do you look for the deeper meaning in your dreams? I’d absolutely love to hear from you. 

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  1. Heather on October 29, 2019 at 9:39 AM

    I was telling my daughter that I have started remembering my dreams again and we both had matching dreams last week and wondered what that meant! I am feeling inspired to begin a dream journal right away and will look at your two dream ladies too. Exciting and amazing timing! X

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 29, 2019 at 10:19 AM

      I’m really interested in this idea of shared dreams with our children. My son and I have had the same dream too. And last week my eldest son messaged me from university to say he’d seen a boy on campus who used to live in our neighbourhood when we lived in Madrid. I was AMAZED because I’d recorded in my dream journal the NIGHT BEFORE that this boy was in my dream. It was so random as he was not a big part of our lives back then and I have certainly never thought of him again since. Yes! Do start a dream journal and keep me posted on what unfolds for you Heather. xx

    • Vicki Evans on October 30, 2019 at 8:49 AM

      Amazing you had matching dreams! I’m getting the vibe from these comments you’re all highly intuitive!

    • Joha on May 9, 2022 at 11:04 AM

      I just went into this section as need to develop my ability to remember my remas! I had the same with my daughter last year I dreamt about my birthday and how sad I was that no one rememeberd! Then I went into my daughters room for the school morning routine she gasped and said mum I dreamt I missed your birthday and it made me very sad! It was actually my mum birthday that morning (my mum instó here anymore) I found it weird and powerful at the same time.

  2. Allie on October 29, 2019 at 9:41 AM

    I know I dream but then once I wake up I can’t seem to remember a thing. I will do what you say about setting my intention before bed to remember my dreams and see what happens. Thank you Kelly, I’m very intrigued about all of this. 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 29, 2019 at 10:22 AM

      Yes Allie, all it took for me was to set my deepest, heart-felt intention to remember my dreams when I woke up and to have that blank page open and pen at the ready! Try my tips too about keeping still and relaxed when you wake. Don’t pressure yourself and have faith that they will come with practice. Please keep me posted! xx

    • Vicki Evans on October 30, 2019 at 8:51 AM

      Yes, please keep us posted with how you get on — Kelly’s suggestions are spot on.

  3. Louisa on October 29, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    I dreamed about you last night, Kelly!! I woke up and it was really vivid in my mind. We were in a foreign country (no idea where) and you had been given a beautiful designer dress, an heirloom handed down from your host mother, but you’d decided to change the entire look of the dress – you gave it a complete overhaul, even changing the material from deep scarlet to a bright blue colour(!) Your host mother was not impressed and I was trying to help you deal with the fallout! Bizarre or what?! Hahaha. I’ll come back and read this post in more depth later, but I had to share that, considering the timeliness of your post! I love the idea of tapping into the subconscious last thing at night and first thing in the morning for creativity and insight. It’s a life-changing tool I learnt about years ago, and I am looking forward to upping my game on this. xxx

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 29, 2019 at 10:15 AM

      Louisa!!! You were in MY dream two nights ago! Actually it was about 6am and I’d been listening to a guided meditation and fell asleep for a while. Here is what I wrote in my Dream Journal:
      I am a panelist on a TV talk show and given a mic but I don’t even know what the topic is. It’s probably about motherhood. They aren’t ready for me so I go to a side room as I want to put on a different bra. LOUISA is there and it’s lovely to see her but no time to talk. (Damn! I wonder what message you’d have had for me if I’d stopped to talk to you!!??)

      I am now keen to interpret YOUR dream about me! Let’s take this over to Project WE were we can delve into it more together as I do have some thoughts… We need to set an intention to have a conscious meet-up in our dreams tonight! xxx

      • Louisa on October 29, 2019 at 12:10 PM

        Omg, LMAO about the bra!! My message probably would have been “A good bra is SO important, Kelly!” Hahaha. I’m just on a quick work break right now, but I’ll pop over to Project We for further analysis later. XX

        • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 29, 2019 at 3:05 PM

          I believe the bra symbolises how much I appreciate you popping into my life for SUPPORT! 🙂 xx

  4. Vicki Evans on October 30, 2019 at 8:48 AM

    I love the way you’ve so eloquently described the dream analysis process, Kelly! And I’m loving everyone’s intrigue about their own dreams – such an untapped area of wisdom for most of us.

    I absolutely adore leading people through dream analysis — and I can’t tell you how profound it feels to be led through the process myself, too.

    Have been thinking about running a virtual group dream session too, so if you’re interested in that please do flick me an email, Kelly has provided a link to my site and contact details above.


    • Joha on October 30, 2019 at 11:36 AM

      This topic is so my thing. I used to remember my dreams more but I can connect if I have the intention. I wrote for about a week about what I dreamt but then sadly left it. Think I am starting this journal. It puts me off dreaming very weird things that it’s odd to write haha…. Thanks Kelly

      • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 30, 2019 at 6:52 PM

        Joha, I hope this opens up your dream world! Let me know how you get on with your Dream Journaling! xx

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 30, 2019 at 6:51 PM

      Vicki I’m so grateful for your kind offer in the B-School group of organising a session with you and I highly recommend anyone reading this who is intrigued to head to your link at the end of the blog post!

      Love the sound of your virtual dream group too… I definitely want to know more. xx

      • Vicki Evans on October 30, 2019 at 9:57 PM

        As am I, it really felt like divine timing! Have been pondering the idea of a virtual group session for a while – no doubt we can all learn from hearing others’ have their dreams decoded too. I will see what interest opens up! x

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