‘A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.’ – Oscar Wilde
Every great vision begins with a dreamer. They are the ones who have the strength, the patience and the passion to reach beyond the conventional, to challenge the accepted way of doing things. In short, they change the world.
To achieve great visions first we must have an unshakeable belief in our dreams. In this process, it’s not a case of not seeing the obstacles in our way – the nightmare mirror to our beautiful dream – it’s about overcoming them. It calls to mind the poem written by author and activist Yoko Ono ‘Silver Horse’:
I usually stay away from being carried away, But one Day I saw a silver horse I thought he might take me to that somewhere high I thought he might take me to that deep blue sky. I came to realize that the horse had no wings. No wings, well, it wasn’t so bad, you know. I learned to travel the world around And run on the ground in the morning. And that’s the story of a wandering soul, A story of a dreamer – Yoko Ono
I had a Guru who used to start each session with famous sayings, quotes, stories, or proverbs. His all-time favourite was one by the writer James Allen: ‘The dreamers are the saviours of the world’. It stayed with me, embedding the idea that I can influence my dreams.
A stylised idea of
this concept was brought to light in the 2010 film Inception, where the characters trigger specific dreams through drugs and suggestibility. While this may appear to be mere Hollywood fantasy, there is much evidence to suggest that it is possible to use techniques to control, or at least influence our dreams. Under the right circumstances, it is possible to plan to dream about a particular subject, to solve a problem or end a recurring nightmare. With practice, we can also increase our chances of having a lucid dream, the sort of ‘dream within a dream’.
Dreams help us solve problems; while awake, our conscious minds absorb information during the day; as we sleep, our subconscious takes over, processing this data, making sense of it before we wake and start all over again. REM sleep – the deepest phase of slumber –is thought to be where this processing can take place. Indeed, there are many examples of the subconscious organising our thoughts into helpful ways: Einstein was said to have developed his world-famous relativity theory in a dream, Mary Shelley created Frankenstein in hers while golfer Jack Nicklaws even changed his swing while deep in REM sleep. The challenge to figure out is how to remember the dreams?
One way we can help and inspire our own subconscious is to ensure we get into that REM state for as long as possible. To do this it is vital to lower our stress levels – especially around bedtime. One way to do this is to create and stick to healthy routines as much as possible (indeed when someone once asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama to describe the secret of living a fulfilling life, the Dalai Lama replied, ‘Routine’). Routines engendering steady habits have been proven to reduce stress and help our lives move more smoothly.
In the evening, I begin my bedtime routine with guided visualization (which is very beginner-friendly and probably one of the best ways to induce sleep), which involves focusing on positive experiences. I spend some time on mindfulness: by focusing on my breath and clearing my mind so that I feel naturally calmer and ready for bed. After some time you can try Transcendental Meditation, a more advanced form of meditation where the meditator seeks enlightenment either through silence or a gentle mantra that’s repeated throughout a session.
It’s important to declutter the mind as much as possible so turning off any technology at least an hour before bed is essential (try some positive short reads instead). Other helpful tricks to reach that vital REM stage include lavender drops on the pillow or jasmine incense, soothing white-noise machines and keeping the room as free from blue light as possible.
Your harmonious day and night will restore your energy, giving your subconscious the strength and space to dream.I believe that dreams are whisper from the soul. Our intuitions are sending us secret messages which our heart receives. Our soul finds freedom from the inside out. Thus, the core of resolving any situation in life is the inward level of peace. Dreams can become our own internal barometer, registering our progress of overcoming challenges and contentment. When we hear the soul whisper by the ear of our heart, it inspires and highlights our achievements.