Do you remember your dreams? More importantly, do you ACT upon them?
Of course, if you are dreaming about diving into a pit of snakes, dating your fifth grade art teacher or riding Space Mountain naked, you don't want to act upon THOSE (although you may want to make your next therapy appointment sooner rather than later.) However, sometimes our unconscious minds are doing more than just creating weird, worrisome, or wonderful worlds in our psyche-playgrounds. Some dreams may contain a roadmap on how to create a bigger business and live a better life. (Just for fun, check out this list of famous visionaries who tapped into their dream states in order to create amazing things. I can’t verify each of these as facts, but they certainly are inspiring stories!)
I recently had one of those dreams that reminded me of what was truly important – a dear friendship that had inadvertently gone neglected. It was more than just a typical dream; it held a power over me for several minutes after having woken up. After studying mindfulness and states of consciousness for many years, I have learned to trust what I call "cosmic noogies", those messages from the Universe (or our unconscious minds, or Spirit, or whatever you want to call the Force that is at play outside of our conscious thinking). Those energetic nudges often contain messages that are meant to help us in some way. Maybe it's to take an action. Maybe it's to warn us of potential danger. Maybe it's to answer a question to a problem that we’ve have been struggling with.
In any case, you can benefit from the guidance provided in the dream lodge. Here are a few tips to get you on the right path:
Get a good night’s sleep. The deeper you sleep, the more likely you are to enter more REM cycles. The more REM cycles you experience, the more dreams you’ll have. You’ll increase your REM cycles by watching your consumption of alcohol and caffeine as well as certain over-the-counter medications and foods. If you struggle with insomnia, check out my article, “Is a Good Night’s Sleep Eluding You?”, for more sleep-inducing strategies.
Set your intention. Before you go to bed, explicitly state to your unconscious mind that you are open to receiving insights and guidance in the dream state. It may not happen that evening, but if you continue to energize it, information will likely present itself eventually.
Write it down. As soon as you wake up – and I mean as SOON as you wake up – write down the gist of the dream and what specific instructions you are given. Don’t think you’ll remember, because you won’t.
Take immediate action. If your dream has given you direction, do one specific task on that same day in support of it. You don’t necessarily need to figure it all out; you only need to take that first inspired action to get the ball rolling.
Let it go. If your dream was less than pleasant or feels out of alignment with your values and vision, you can always decide to release it from your mind. Maybe that dream didn’t contain exactly what you needed to hear, but rather a friendly shot-across-the-bow that informs your future actions. Or maybe it was just your creative unconscious mind getting wild and crazy. If it ultimately doesn’t serve you or others, be like Elsa…Let it go.
Here is a recent Facebook Live stream I recorded about one such dream and the corresponding action I took as a result. At the end of the video I also share how precious our time here on earth is and how we can be grateful for each moment.