I think dreaming may be my absolute favourite pastime, an activity I get to revel in—for free!—night after cozy night. Come on, who’s with me? Being able to slip under the sheets and into an alternate reality after every day is downright miraculous. But there’s nothing more frustrating than waking and feeling those lovely dream details fade away.

Questions that fascinate: Are dreams just inner movies you watch on your subconscious screen? Or do they bring subliminal messages that can actually influence your waking life? How do we figure out how to hang onto our dreams the next day?

How do you become an expert at remembering your dreams?

7 steps to remembering your dreamsBreast cancer survivor Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos has answers. She says pay attention to your dreams. 

Her story: After she discovered a breast lump and the doctor told her not to worry, she had a very vivid dream. A spirit gave her a white feather and took her hand, placed it on her breast, and said: You have cancer right here. Feel it? Go back to your doctor tomorrow. Don’t wait for an appointment. That dream saved her life and she lived to write about it.

In Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing, Kathleen teaches us to learn from our dreams and intuition. These insider tricks will help keep dream sequences around in your waking life.



Verbally voice your intention to remember your dream before you go to sleep. If you say it out loud, it’s more likely to happen.


Keep a notebook beside your bed and when you wake (even if it’s the middle of the night) and write down what you remember, whatever it is. Can’t seem to grasp hold of the details? Lie back down in bed in the same position you were in and try to remember anything at all.


If a dream is still elusive, write down your feelings—happy, sad, frightened, content, or anxious. Whatever the emotion, it’s valuable.


Write down a colour that pops into your head while trying to remember the dream. Colours trigger memories.


Give your dream a title, even if it’s The Dream Without a Name. If some part of the dream returns during the day, jot it down on a piece of paper to add it to your dream journal.


If you are thinking about a deceased family member when you wake up, chances are good that you were reunited in a dream. Pay attention to the information they give you. It can be an important source of guidance, especially during times of crisis or trauma.


Over time, dreams will become longer as you begin to interface with yourself and your guides. We all have guides. Meeting yours in your dreams is a wonderful step to a more fulfilling life.   7 steps to remembering your dreams

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a speaker, coach, and nationally recognized inner-guidance and dream-work expert who has survived three instances of breast cancer. She hosts health and spiritual radio programs, counsels callers to the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation hotline, blogs for Patheos and Om Times Magazine, and writes a cancer Q&A column for Cape Women Online Magazine. She and the love of her life, Peter Kanavos, have been married for thirty-plus years.

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