Dreams have always been a very big part of my life. They've been revealing interpretations of my inner thoughts, feelings and hopes. They have even been a source of inspiration as well as symbolic glimpses into the profundities of the world. Throughout my time on this planet, I have found that the more I pay attention to my dreams, the more I become self-aware and better equipped to interpret and navigate my life.
In simpler terms:
If I want peace, closure, insight… I pay attention to my dreams.
If I want to understand myself… I pay attention to my dreams.
If I want to understand this world… I pay attention to my dreams.
If I want to reach my dreams… I pay attention to my dreams.
I have had dreams that have inspired - and even predicted - projects, relationships, experiences and jobs. I look forward to going to sleep at night to see how my brain has processed the events of the day. My sleep has been an indicator of so many things for me and I value it so much that I actually keep a dream journal. If I'm still able to remember my dreams when I wake up, I write them down in as much detail as possible and then go about my day. One of the best things about keeping a dream journal is looking at it years later and seeing that my dreams have come to fruition or understanding how my brain and body chose to process a situation.
The brain is super intelligent - smarter than we can possibly imagine - and when given the chance to relay what it knows to us, it is never short of being breathtaking in its infinite wisdom. Dreams have the power to answer questions that we have and I discovered this last year by accident. After a rough day of being hard on myself, I had a dream that recalled a suppressed memory. The memory was presented to me in a way that made me protective of my younger self and even answered questions about why I'd been so angry with myself that day in the first place. From that point on, my life was on a new trajectory towards self-care and healing. And it was all from a dream.
I've had many more dreams like this, dreams where my mind tells me what my body or spirit needs. I've had dreams that have told me when I was wrong or what next steps to take. I've had dreams that have told me nothing, but I still write them down just in case. At the end of the day, the dream world is a space that allows us to be still and listen, un-interrupted (hopefully) to what our brain is trying to tell us and it is glorious.
One last thing... I tend to wake up in the middle of the night sometimes. I used to hate this because it always meant I would be groggy for the rest of the day, but I discovered that I have the best (meaning most detailed/revealing) dreams AFTER these kind of nights. So what I do when I can't sleep is read, write or do whatever I feel inspired to do - because I KNOW the payoff for this lack of sleep is going to be ahhh-mazing and whatever my inspiration is, it will surely clarify itself further in my dream state. When I feel the desire to get back into bed and try to will myself to sleep again, I do. It's not always this easy of course (I mean, what is?), but once I relaxed into sleeplessness as my reality, I found that fighting it wasn't the best way. If my brain wanted me up, we would be up and I would feed it some task or other until it's ready to settle down and talk to me.
I say all of this to say that dreaming is important. It's insightful and beautiful. And no, you're not always going to remember your dreams or always be able to sleep to a normal schedule. But if you can embrace rest in whatever state you can get it in, your brain will find ways to get messages to you. Also, meditation helps with sleep!!! So do that! (Also, alcohol inhibits sleep so try not to drink too close to bedtime).
So this month, go out and dream and talk about your dreams and interpret them and try to understand what your brain is telling you. And while you're at it, follow us on social media to see what we're talking about and share your story with us. Twitter (@bwmeditate) and Instagram (@blackwomensdayofmeditation).