One of the subjects that has been coming up a lot with both my Personal Breakthrough Life Coaching Clients and PhotoReading Clients is the subject of dreams.

I regularly work with people to help programme and utilise their dreams, and show them tools and techniques to more easily remember and recall their dreams so that they can do a personalised analysis of what the dream means to them.

In this article I will share with you some of the ways that you can start doing this for yourself, and also offer practical steps for more easily remembering and interpreting your dreams.


The fascination with dreams dates back to ancient times with the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Christians all interested in dreams and their interpretations. Many looked upon them as sources of wisdom which it was important to pay attention to. The Egyptians were said to have created some of the earliest documentation on dreams and believed that they were messages sent from the gods. Those experiencing troubles in life would sleep in a temple in order to incubate their dreams for later analysis.

Around 150 AD Artemidorus compiled what is thought to be one of the first complete works on dream interpretation, the Oneirocritica, or ‘The Interpretation of Dreams.’ He also put forward the idea that dreams were unique to the dreamer, and that their occupation, health and social status would influence the symbols which presented themselves in a dream.

Dreams were also thought to be the door way to the unconscious, but they are often transmitted in such strange or curious ways that their true meaning isn’t always straightforward or obvious.

I am a practitioner of Hawaiian Huna. In the Huna tradition the belief is that your Higher Self sends messages and energy down to the unconscious mind which then takes the meanings and associations and weaves them into dreams, which the conscious mind can then observe. Rather than an interpretation being based on someone else’s beliefs and ideas, it is suggested that dreams should be honoured with an individual interpretation.


Besides just being interesting, dreams can serve many other useful purposes and their interpretation has been useful for those who:
• Want more clarity in their lives.
• Have hit an impasse in their personal or spiritual development.
• Have found that traditional analytical thinking has failed to solve troubling issues.
• Want a deeper understanding of what is happening in their life and why.
• Need additional insights into current issues or challenges.


You can use your dreams in a number of ways including:

Problem solving
Deirdra Barratt a psychologist at Harvard University studied the phenomena of solving problems in dreams for 10 years and found that as well as replenishing and ‘re-booting’ the brain, dreams could also be called upon to solve a variety of problems, everything from the mathematical through to the artistic.

Finding resolution to personal issues
Dreams can provide a safe and creative environment in which to face and explore personal issues. Your dreams may create metaphors or characters which represent the situations being faced in life.

Developing ideas and solutions
There are techniques to program your dreams in order to come up with ideas and solutions to work, health, relationship and financial issues.

Your subconscious mind often uses dreams as a means of delivering messages and guidance, many people however, have lost of art of dream interpretation and lack the ability to be still enough to consciously acknowledge and remember their dreams.

In a study carried out at Harvard Medical School* 99 participants were taught to navigate a virtual maze on a computer screen. Half the group were then allowed to take a nap for 2 hours, whist the other half remained awake. Later that day all participants were re-tested on the task.

Those who reported dreaming about the maze significantly improved their performance. They did better than people who had slept, but did not dream. And better than those who stayed awake rehearsing the task in their minds. Specifically, the dreamers bettered their performance more than six times the improvements of all other participants.


One of the areas that we discuss during the PhotoReading Weekend Workshops is how to programme your dreams. Simply put before going to sleep you decide what you would like your inner mind to focus on during the dream. PhotoReaders have reported amazing stories where seemingly complex or disparate information they have been struggling with suddenly comes together during the course of dream and upon waking the issue, project or presentation is solved.
You can also direct and choose themes for your dreams. The practice of Lucid Dreaming allows you to interact within your dreams, respond to events, and have control over how some elements unfold.


Before you get started, there are a number of resources and items which will make the process a lot easier. The first is a dream journal. This helps set the intention of remembering your dreams long enough to record them.
In addition to your dream journal there are several other items which will assist you on your dream journey, a few of the basics include:

1. A voice recorder, most modern mobile phones contain such a facility.
2. A good quality pen.
3. A salt crystal lamp or dimmer switch torch or light.


Of the 10 or so Dream Toolkit items I would suggest for my clients, the Dream Journal is an essential. Get yourself a book or journal in which to exclusively record your dreams. As you will be using it regularly and recording deep inner thoughts I would suggest choosing something special that feels good to the touch or which you find attractive.

My clients often like to create their own Dream Journals from scratch and it can be a fun process coaching them through ideas for the front cover, various sections, and binding options. This process alone will start to anchor your mind to the idea of remembering, recalling and analysing your dreams.

Many people also find it useful to create a physical space as a focal point for dream journaling. I will perhaps cover how to do this in a future article.
For clients who want to go more deeply into the ritual of dream analysis I am happy to discuss the other items which will prove essential for your dream journeys.


One of the first things I would suggest is dream affirmations. Many of my clients find that it helps to say an affirmation before going to sleep in order to encourage more conscious awareness of the dream state. These affirmations are created on an individual basis in order to ensure that they are in alignment with your beliefs and therefore more easily accepted by the inner mind.

A very simple general affirmation might be: “I will easily recall and remember my dreams.”

The dream affirmations also help quieten the inner dialogue and chatter of the conscious mind, and help create a more receptive dream state. I also take my clients through a short meditation process which invokes a state of deeper relaxation and opens them up to creating more meaningful affirmations and experiencing clearer dreams.
Your affirmations might also take the form of issues that you want to explore or resolve during the dream state if you are using your dreams to aid problem solving.


Be Patient – It may take a while for you to remember your dreams. When working with clients there are simple ways to speed up the process, but if you are working on doing this yourself you may have to wait until your conscious mind becomes more attuned to remembering your dreams in the waking state.

Set Aside Time for Uninterrupted Sleep – Ensure you have a couple of nights where you can get your optimum amount of sleep – whatever that happens to be for you. This will allow time for you to go through the dream/sleep REM cycle. Setting time aside for dreams helps create the space for them to exist.

Set Your Intention – Use your strongly worded affirmations as previously discussed, and repeat them several times before you go to sleep. This will dramatically increase your chances of remembering your dreams upon waking.


Allow Extra Time – Set your alarm 15 – 20 minutes before you would usually awaken and use this time to more gently move from the dream state to the waking state to the alert state.

Be Still – Upon waking be still and keep your eyes closed. Use this time to probe your mind for recall or fragments of your dreams. Focus on any pictures, symbols, images or words that come to mind. If you have worked on creating personal dream affirmations you can use them as additional triggers for remembering your dreams.

Power Questions – I have devised a series of power questions to help people remember and understand their dreams so use these as you begin to fully awaken. Simply asking yourself “What was I just dreaming about?” can at least get you started.

If you are someone who has previously rarely remembered or had little awareness that you had even been dreaming, be grateful if you awaken with even the slightest recollection that you dreamt ‘something’, even if you have no conscious awareness of what the dream might have been, because even this small sign is a step in the direction of having fuller and deeper recall.

There are also particular ways in which to phrase your recollections to make them even easier to remember.


Besides reading a dream interpretation book, and there are many fascinating books available, there are several ways that you can interpret your own dreams. The beauty of doing your own personal analysis is that you are not being led by someone else’s meaning or interpretation of particular symbols or ideas.

When working with clients I tend to use either a 7-Step Dream Interpretation process where we examine the characters, feelings, actions, roles and settings presented in the dreams, or I use a very powerful process from the practice of Hawaiian Huna which goes through 3 stages in order to interpret all elements of the dream, symbology and uncover deeper meanings.

Using these processes provides a straightforward yet effective means of interpreting whatever you remember from your dreams.

Simply start by writing down all elements of your dreams, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem.
Proper analysis of your dreams can lead you on an amazing journey of transformation, self discovery and personal enlightenment, helping you to tap into your inner wisdom and become clearer about your life’s purpose. It can also help uncover deeply held beliefs, and surface and resolve repressed thoughts and feelings. In uncovering these feelings you can make a conscious choice to release them.

I also use a process called Dialoguing with my coaching clients to help them decode the elaborate symbology that can be disguised in dreams.

*Harvard study published in Current Biology,

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Devonish is a Certified Trainer of Hypnosis, NLP, Time Line Therapy and PhotoReading Intructor. She is also a Certified Life & Executive Coach and Practitioner of Huna, EFT, DNA Theta Healing and EmoTrance.

Prior to her work personal development and Accelerated Learning, Marilyn was also a Management Consultant, Prince2 Project Manager and Leadership Development Specialist. She holds a Business Degree and Post Graduate Marketing Diploma.

If you would like further information about creating Dream Affirmations, Personal Dream Alters, how to remember your dreams, or the personal Dream Interpretation Methods mentioned here you can contact Marilyn Devonish at:

Tel: +44 (0) 1923 337282