The Magic of Dreams

I could tell that the 50 senior leaders in attendance needed more.  There were no smiles, no nods of approval, very few “ahas,” minimal smiles, or deep insightful responses to questions posed.  Nothing.  Only blank looks and sneak-peeks at cell phones.  My session was not going well.

Suddenly, it came to me.  Bring in the clowns!  That’s right – full-fledged entertainers in Bozo attire.  Professionals trained at injecting fun and good times.  The clowns rolled in…on little tricycles…in zig zag formation.  It was working – people became happier – and then my mind gently whispered:

You’re Dreaming.  Wake up!  Tomorrow’s session is not together.” 

The message hit me like a bolt of lightning.  It was 2:30 a.m. – and my next four hours would be devoted to tightening up my 8 a.m. presentation.  The Dream had delivered a much needed message.

The night before, I had gone to bed thinking that my session was good to go.  Clearly it was not.

The Magic of Dreams

Our conscious lives are often busy and complicated.  Dreams help sort out our worlds by providing pathways that allow our subconscious minds to process, to slow down, and to reflect on the barrage of information we encounter daily.  The Magic of Dreams is that they speak to us in different, often metaphorical, ways that help put our worlds into context.

Dreams have an additional vital role – they help with the processing of emotions.  Our waking lives have many ups and downs – joys, challenges, anxieties, uncertainties, and more.  Life.  Many of these items require additional perspective, thought, and consideration.  The Magic of Dreams is that also that we rely less on our “go to” way of thinking or feeling while in a Dream state.  It’s one of the reasons that Dreams can seem strange, that is, we may move into various realms in ways that are very different from how we would approach things in our waking lives.

My subconscious mind had stepped in and assessed presentation readiness.  My Dream had come face to face with what was destined to be a boring and non-inspiring outing.  Fortunately, I had enough time available to make sure that my session was both energizing and informative.

Dream Processing

We have Waves of Dreams — each and every night.  Studies indicate that we Dream three to six times per night, with most Dreams occurring during our two hours of REM (Deep) sleep.  During a typical lifetime, about six years will be spent Dreaming.

How then can we capture and use the information that Dreams provide?  Of course, there are many ways.  Here’s are some quick processing steps that might help you catch the Magic of your Dreams:

  • When you go to sleep, remind yourself that you want to remember your Dreams. Planting the seed at night is important to harvesting the benefits in the morning.  People who utilize Dreams intentionally have found that this is one way to help remember Dream content.
  • Document as much detail as possible about your Dreams. Keep a pen and pad or electronic device by your bedside to record what happens in your Dreams.  Remember to write down the first words that comes to mind from your Dream and any major themes being transmitted.
  • Record dream details as soon as you wake up. Dream researchers estimate that we forget 50% of Dreams within 5 minutes of waking, and we forget 90% of our Dreams within 10 minutes of being awake.   That’s a lot of insight to lose…..
  • Reflect on your Dreams. Determine the key messages, and remember to look for metaphors. Notice any  themes, phrases, visuals, people, and symbols.  Know that your Dream may be speaking to you in a way that could be indirect and “not normal.”
  • Find a way to honor the gift of the Dream by taking action. Even if your action is to commit to reflect more on the theme of the Dream – then do so.  Consider giving the theme of the Dream a name, an acronym, a poem, an image, or even a theme song.

Waves of Dreams

Your “Waves of Dreams” can be key to maintaining well being and enhancing emotional intelligence.  Dreams increase self awareness by providing reflection, and in many cases suggesting action items designed to enhance performance, growth, and creativity.

Take time to analyze your Dreams.  You never know when it may be time to “bring in the clowns.”

Written by Guy Summers

Guy Summers is President and Founder of Farrell Group L.L.C