Archive for December, 2013

Dreaming Up the Answers

December 16th, 2013

I was just in Seattle for a three month gig working with Cafe Nordo. One thing I noticed was that almost every morning I would wake up with a solution to a problem. The solution usually had to do with creative writing or how to answer an email. Things I’d been having trouble wording correctly became clear. I would literally dream the answer right as I was about to wake up and be able to write it down after I awoke.  I’d heard the phenomenon talked about and even experienced it before, but the experience was so clear this time that I had to mention it. And when I saw the following post today by Annie Murphy Paul, I thought it was a good time to share. I absolutely love this feeling, it’s like my mind thanking me for just letting it work instead of spin. A few reasons I think it worked for me personally in this particular situation were:

I didn’t have a day job or much of anything to rush off to in the mornings.
I was sleeping by myself.
The room was quiet until I woke up (no alarm, pet noises, noisy neighbors)
I was able to sleep for long periods of time (around 8hrs)

Ok now it just sort of sounds like I’m bragging… but really, I just want to keep a record to remember how it happened!  Additionally, the fact that I was in a city that I love and see as a sort of escape and refuge probably had a lot to do with feeling free enough to relax and listen to “the mornings”. Something seemed to pop out of the muckedy muck. I’d been stewing on some of the questions for a long time but others were just from the day before. I’m noting this experience as somewhat of a tool for myself to try and reinforce in my regular non-touring/visiting life. I want to be able to bring it in to my everyday sleeping. Although, vocabulary like this (taken from the aforementioned post) makes me nervous,

“But some scientists are pushing the notion of enhancing learning through dreaming even further, asking sleepers to mentally practice skills while they slumber.”

To me there is a sense of “Good god! Just sleep and frickin’ RELAX! Thats why it’s working!” I get a bit riled up when it sounds like this process is going to be taught and packaged as just another get smart fast or “train your brain! buy our $300 software!” performance enhancement trick. I want to give my brain space for congealing, not force it. Because who knows what you are inhibiting by trying to control your dreams.