How To Put Your Dreams to Work for You

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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I waited in line towards the bottom of the long ramp, rising a few hundred feet up to a large platform. I was surrounded by people in colorful costumes from all regions of the world: Indian saris, boldly patterned and bright African print dresses, head scarves and turbans.

Slowly we all ascended up the ramp, emerging onto on open plaza filled with vibrantly costumed people of every race and nationality. I knew somehow that this was happening in an Arab nation, although it remained nameless in my dream.

People were waving bright flags in the air, swirling them, fabric uplifted in the wind. Orange, blue, green, pink, gold streamers of fabric made beautiful patterns against the sky as groups of people danced in this giant, mystically beautiful demonstration of world solidarity and peace.

The world was coming together at long last, all nations joining forces to uplift all of humanity. It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

colorful dreams

Waking Up From A Peace Parade!

I dreamt this vision last night, and woke up knowing that I needed to capture it in a journal right away.

I’ve had lots of dreams about peace and solidarity lately. I think it may be arising out of the shift in collective consciousness that’s happening in 2012, as more people awaken to the possibility of creating a peaceful world together, and align their own lives with that vision.

A few weeks ago, I dreamt that I was at hanging out with Michael Franti, one of my favorite musicians of all time. He was sitting at a long table by himself, having finished signed autographs for fans. I’ve met him on a number of occasions before, and various concerts and at a giant yoga class in San Francisco after his Power to the Peaceful concert a few years ago.

I thanked him for being a “Prophet of Peace,” since for me his songs share a message of peace and love, unity and a vision for a bright future.

My brother Shanti then approached us in the dream, no surprise I think since his name also means “Peace” in Sanskrit.

Lisa and Michael Franti

Dreams and Dreams and More Dreams

Last weekend, I came back from a “Joyshop” with my spiritual teacher, Nithya Shanti, and sat down to write some reflections about the day that a few dozen of had spent together on a local horse ranch, practicing techniques and exercises that can help increase our sense of inner peace and happiness. Incidentally, Nithya’s name also means “forever peace.”

At one point, I started flipping through another journal that was sitting on my kitchen table, and found notes about an earlier dream that I’d written about a few years back.

In this dream, I was on a water ride on a river with my sister and another friend. Apparently I was sitting there on the raft thinking about things I “should” be doing instead of just enjoying the ride! At one point, I decided to jump in the water, maybe to shock myself back into the moment in the chilly river currents. Suddenly a black bear appeared in the water.

I wasn’t scared however, and just hugged the bear. Somehow I knew it wasn’t there to threaten me, but to awaken me.

Needless to say perhaps, the river guide was impressed that I kept my calm rather than freaking out about a big black wet woolly bear embracing me!

A Message To Reach Out!

I took it as a sign to call my sister, Margaret, with whom I’d been white water rafting just a week earlier. She had agreed to serve as my “accountability partner” for some goals I am working on this summer.

I’m usually incredibly dedicated to my regular exercise schedule and devotedly meditate regularly. I’d gotten off track with some of my normal practices over the summer, and wanted someone to nudge me occasionally to remind me to stay committed and accountable.

I called Margaret to let her know I was making a list of the goals I wanted to be held accountable for, and spent some time deciding which the top priorities would be (a short meditation three times daily, sun salutations in the morning, exercising 3X a week again, drinking lots of water…).

Asking For A Dream Vision!

Years ago I used to keep a regular dream journal. I’d often write down, before sleeping, a question or intention that I hoped to dream about that night, hoping it might help me to download some answers from the deeper recesses of my subconscious mind or to tap into the “powers that be” to channel in a dream.

I’d get visions of future vacations, a dream partner and messages from family and friends. In the morning, I would record any dreams as soon as I woke up. All of it made me very hopeful about having a very bright future, since the dreams seem to bring signs of great things blooming in my life from the seeds I’d planted over time.

Ways to Use Our Night-Time Dreams to Live Our Dreams By Day!

If you need an answer to a question in your life and want to tap into your subconscious for some deeper wisdom, this can be a fun way to access it.

It may not happen the first time you try. I know I don’t remember my dreams every night!

But I found that when I focus on asking for what I want and put a specific question out there, or even just asked my “spirit guides” to send me some general guidance or direction, I usually have some kind of dream vision within a few nights that gives me some insights into my inquiries.

Here is what I’ve found that works for me as a “dream formula”:

  1. Pick up a new journal or designate a current notepad or journal as your “”dream journal.” Keep it by your bedside, or tucked under your pillow if you like!, and keep a pen handy.
  2. Before going to sleep at night, write down an intention or question that you have. Ask for specific guidance in your dreams.
  3. Go to sleep!
  4. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night with a vision from a dream, take a few minutes to quickly jot it down. As most of us know, if we wait until later in the day, sometimes the clarity of a dream vision will fade, or get the details can get jumbled. It’s best to capture it right away.
  5. Later, spend some time reflecting on what the dream means to you. Robert Moss, “dream coach” and author of Dreaming True, suggests coming up intuitively with a “one-liner” about a dream and then asking what he calls the two vital questions: What do I need to know? and What do I need to?

My peace parade dream one-liner would be: I believe all nations will someday be united in peace.

If I had to ask, “What do I need to know?” I would say, a beautiful peaceful future is possible for this world. If I had to ask, “What do I need to do?” I would answer: Cultivate peace within and share that spirit with others. 

Have fun interpreting your dreams and share some of your favorites here! Dream on dreamers!


  • Haven’t kept a dream journal, but love the idea of setting an intention for your dreams. Thanks Lisa!

  • 8womenDream

    Great idea to keep a dream journal.