Dreams help us live from a place of wonder. Think of the last time you shared your dream aloud. Did you roll your eyes up and use your voice in a way so the right words would come out? Did you put effort into presenting it with clarity, or did you insert doubtful phrases to shut it down out of a false sense of humility?
Lou told me about his dream of owning a business. Over the years Lou had a recurring dream of feeding people. When he wakes up he feels happy and hopeful. He loves to cook for family and friends, but feels overwhelmed to move past his dream to implement it into a workable plan.
Dreams are like snowflakes drifting on air until they land on something solid and accumulate into another form. We marvel at their unique size, shape and color. We catch them on our tongues or hands and feel them melt into water in seconds. As a child I reveled in magical moments of catching snowflakes.
Dreams come to us for a reason. Like snowflakes dreams hover in our imaginations. They contain energy of wonder and delight. Depending on the power of particular dream thoughts, images and sensations, we hold them for a brief moment and let them dissolve - or they land on something solid so they grow and shape into form. That form is called an idea.
Dreams involve focus and belief. How many dreams come and go because we don’t think they’re real? When excited about a dream we rush to share them with others. If we don’t write them down in detail, we fear the dream will fade. Dream recall demands we get back into a dream state and focus on its aspects. It invites surrender and a deep-dive into believing its message.
Dreams require exile of doubt and judgment. Recall needs to excite us every time we share our dream so it can move to the next stage. Inserting judgment or doubt chokes a dream's lifeblood in its infancy. Refrain from saying your dream is silly or inserting any "buts." Sharing a dream requires confidence and some space to process its meaning.
Dreams are contagious. As a child my mother often told us her dreams around the breakfast table. We listened as she described the scenes. She held our complete attention as we traveled with her to the places and characters who appeared at night. To this day we exchange dreams as a family. I love it when clients bring their dreams to sessions. It is so fun to search for meaning and how they relate to our current situations.
Dreams are inspiring and enlightening. They are gifts to help us understand ourselves and others. Sometimes we need different vocabulary to describe dreams. Here’s what dreams are not:
- Fantasies. Fantasy energy is tricky. We go into a state of elevated desire for someone or something. Our brains make up stories. Fantasies grow in size and shape. But we end up feeling frustration, desperation and hopelessness. Fantasies, unlike dreams, don't come true.
- Illusions. The meaning of illusion is a false belief. What appears to be in front of our eyes doesn’t exist in form. Failure awaits when we cross the line and convince ourselves illusion is real. Illusions are the Big Lie. They contort and make impossible to distinguish the real from unreal. Dreams tap into spirit - illusions tap into ego.
- Goals. When we journey from dream to idea, goals are the next stage of dream development. Goals continue the exploration of building a form in which others can join in and facilitate creation. Goals offer information about whether or not a dream is worth pursuing and offers value to its original dreamer and the world.
What is your dream?
We all dream - No exceptions! Try this technique developed by Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University’s Lucidity Institute. The MILD technique or Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams is believed to one of the most effective ways to induce lucid dreaming. More on lucid dreaming
This teaching excerpt is from Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple written by Robert Waggoner and Caroline McReady:
- On a sheet of paper write down a recent dream.
- Identify with a large X an appropriate place in your dream story that could have prompted lucid awareness (a strange event, impossible action, odd situation or unlikely place).
- Using the X as your starting point, rewrite the dream as if you had become lucid.
For example if you dreamed you were in Central Park and saw an elephant with wings, put an X at that unusual spot in . your dream and proceed to rewrite:
"Seeing an elephant with wings (X) I thought: Wait a second, elephants do not have wings! This must be a dream. Now lucid, I remembered that I wished to fly. I looked around and saw the Empire State Building. I focussed on the top of it and began flying like Superman to the very top. It was cool to look down and see how far I had flown."