Dream Work

Creativity 101, Uncategorized, Understanding Creativity

I have to say, creativity class always throws me for a loop with each new day. Today’s class didn’t disappoint– we worked with our dreams. It was like Inception, but doing it to ourselves.

At first thought, I don’t remember what my dreams are about. But today in class, we did a meditation exercise (still getting used to those) that helped us reach up and try to remember what we dreamed about last night. And it came to me- a recurring dream I have, which is a tornado.

I’ve had tornado nightmares since I was young and lived in a place where tornadoes don’t happen (more like earthquakes), so it’s an ironic twist of fate that I ended up going to college in Tornado Alley. Needless to say, I did not outgrow the nightmares.

In the most recent variation, the tornado is coming and I have a few minutes’ warning before I have to get shelter. So I run around looking for the best place to go– a bathroom? The student center? My apartment? I go place to place, and at each place I find, I find something wrong with it. So I take off and run to the next place, the tornado getting closer and closer, and then suddenly the tornado is there and time has run out and I’m not inside anywhere.

Moral of the story? I’m picky.

I’m a definite believer that dreams mean something– not that they can predict the future– but that they mean something. Our mind takes our thoughts and feelings and mixes them with reality to create a story, all while we’re completely powerless to change the story. It’s up to our brain, without help from consciousness. That’s equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.

So why not harness the power of the dream to our benefit? Why not, as we learned in class today, keep track of our dreams and examine them to be more creative and aware in our everyday, waking hours? For instance, if I look at my tornado dream with a more analytical eye, I see that maybe my brain is telling me how I try to run from thing to thing, never satisfied and always looking for better (which explains why I like travel so much, and why I always dream of being somewhere else). Perhaps that’s my story, or one of them: A girl that’s always running, when maybe she should be more appreciative of the present.

Deep stuff, man.

So, in short, from now on I’ll try to make more of an effort to think about my dreams, and maybe slow down and be satisfied with where I am. Before the tornado gets me.

One thought on “Dream Work

  1. Interesting. One of my recurring dreams was a tornado nightmare, too. I did, however, grow up in Michigan, where tornados were possible but not frequent. I never saw one myself . . . only in my dreams. A similar recurring nightmare was that the nuclear missiles were about to start falling–and it’s even harder to find a place to hide from those! My next door neighbor had a bomb shelter, but my family didn’t. Since I was growing up in the late 50s early 60s, nuclear war was a big fear for everyone at the time. Doctor Strangelove and On the Beach were popular though scary films.

    I think analyzing your own dreams is more likely to be useful than referring to books on what dream symbols might mean. After all, it’s your brain, and it’s talking to you, so you’re the one most likely to understand it. If you decide you really want to remember your dreams, I recommend a dream journal. I’ve kept those from time to time, and once I start keeping the journal, I remember my dreams much better.

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