Chapter 1 - Introduction
Twilight … Avatar … Google … The Sewing Machine … The Theory of Relativity…
These were all inspired by a dream … an actual REM kind of dream that you have when you sleep. Throughout history artists, writers, inventors and scientists have solved problems and drawn great inspiration from their dreams. You’d be surprised how many great ideas and personal solutions you are literally “dreaming up” each and every night too.
You see, we all dream every night, whether we remember them or not. In fact, we enter the dream state (also known as REM, Rapid Eye Movement) every 90 minutes throughout the night. Every cycle of dreaming grows in duration throughout the night. The first dream of the night may only be 3 minutes or so and the last dream you have before waking in the morning, provided you had a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep, can be 45 minutes to an hour long. On average, you will dream about 5 times every night, and if you’re lucky enough to live to a ripe old age, you will have had well over 100,000 dreams throughout your lifetime!
That’s a lot of great ideas, advice and solutions that unfortunately will go unnoticed, unremembered, or simply dismissed as “just a dream.” Let me assure you, after reading this book, you’ll never dismiss your dreams again.
Since prehistoric times mankind has wondered about dreams. In 2001, an expedition into the Chauvet Cave in the valley of the Ardèche River in France discovered cave drawings that are believed to be depicting a dream. The ancient Romans thought dreams were messages from the gods and many would take long pilgrimages to Dream Temples where they would spend the night in hopes of receiving a dream of wisdom or healing. There are over 700 references to dreams and visions within the pages of The Bible, all suggesting that dreams are messages from God or His angels. The ancient Chinese believed that a dream is when the soul leaves the body to travel the world. However, if they should be suddenly awakened, their soul may fail to return to the body. Even today some Chinese aren’t too keen about having an alarm clock! Essentially, the time-tested consensus is that dreaming is a powerful experience and is connected to something greater than ourselves.
Can’t remember your dreams or want to remember more of them? It’s easier than you think. Whenever you wake up, whether it is in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or you’re waking up for good in the morning, stay put! It is essential that you remain in the same position you wake up in because that is the position you were dreaming in. If you move your body, you disconnect yourself from the dream you were in JUST SECONDS AGO. If you have to wake up with an alarm, go ahead and turn it off then get right back into that position you woke up in and give yourself just a few minutes to let the dream come back to you. Don’t think about what you have to do that day. Quiet your mind. Stay put. You’ll be surprised what is there, waiting for you to capture it.
If nothing comes to you then start asking yourself questions such as: How am I feeling? Who was with me? What was I doing? These questions will help jog your memory because we always experience some form of emotion in our dreams, we are usually with someone and we are certainly doing something. Whatever it is you remember, even if it’s just a tiny piece, please be sure to write it down or at the very least, tell it to somebody or it will be gone after breakfast. Make this a habit and you’ll start remembering more and more. It’s like a muscle, the more you do this simple exercise, the stronger your dream muscle will get. I promise, those floodgates will open and you will be amazed at how much of a life you have been living at night.
Excerpted from Dream On It by Lauri Quinn Loewenberg.
Copyright © 2011 by the authors and reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.