In this lesson, you will learn how to penetrate deeply and quickly into your unconscious mind using three techniques that will produce immediate insights – “hot flashes” – from your dreams.



You can do this exercise at any time, with any dream or with any problem. It’s especially effective when you’re at a creative impasse, when everything else has failed and your mind is a blank. Setting up a nonsense structure of expression removes all expectations for any kind of relevant meaning. Anything, no matter how ridiculous, can pop up. This rhyming exercise, with its totally arbitrary structure, removes your responsibility for what arises. It bypasses any fear that something unknown or ominous from your unconscious will suddenly loom up and confront you. Thus, wild ideas are able to surface without being criticized or stifled. And your creative choices are infinite.

First, think of a particularly interesting symbol or image from a dream, and write it down. Keep the description relatively short and allow yourself to feel the rhythm. Then write down another image or idea that rhymes with the first, and keep on going. Move quickly and don’t think about making sense; this is not an exercise in poetry.

Whenever you get stuck, free associate or respond to the previous phrase and begin rhyming again. Don’t try to lead yourself in any direction or invent anything clever or meaningful; the topic and ideas will emerge of their own accord. Your only thought should be to create a rhyme.


Working from your impulses, such as doodling, stream of consciousness writing, etc., enables you to generate ideas without overthinking them. Allow yourself to choose a given dream, return to the feeling state or situation of your dream, and then start drawing. Let your impulses take over. The key is to work without stopping, not even for a second. That way you can’t censor yourself and evaluate what you’re doing. Give yourself total freedom to do anything, forget about expectations, goals, and judgments. Create from the immediacy of the moment, experience the freedom of moving instantly from idea to action.

During this exercise, deep feelings may be stirred. Allow all your thoughts and emotions, no matter how angry or sad, to surface. Don’t cut yourself off from them. Work through them by continuing to draw until the emotion resolves itself. By allowing yourself the full experience of your feeling you’ll be able to transform it into a source of creative inspiration and energy.


One of the mixed blessings of being human is the wide range of emotions we’re capable of feeling. While some of these emotions are delightful, such as love, joy, and elation, there also are emotions that some people consider to be dark or negative. Anger, fear, anxiety, shame, jealousy, hurt, guilt are just some of the feelings that fall into this category. The creative person who delves deeply into his or her inner life and its turmoil often seems to experience more of these feelings than others do.

Unfortunately, our early training, our families, and society have taught us that many of these feelings are wrong . . . largely out of their own fear of feelings or their need to control us by suppressing ours. However, these feelings are not bad; in fact, they serve important purposes. Anxiety, for example, warns us that we feel danger, even though the danger may be something from our past that we no longer remember and that can no longer hurt us. Guilt helps us to be better human beings by keeping us in touch with the feelings of others. It’s only when our defenses become bigger than the purposes for which they are intended that problems arise.

The feelings themselves are not “bad”; what is bad is acting on these feelings in inappropriate ways, indulging in behavior that is destructive to ourselves and others. And while acting out some feelings is not to our advantage, not seeing where they come from prevents us from truly dealing with them. We need to learn how to express these feelings constructively. Otherwise they build up until we explode, or turn them against ourselves in the form of illnesses or emotional disorders that prevent us from growing and leading fulfilled lives.