Dreams are whispers from the soul searching for our true purpose in life ~ Carl Sandburg
Dreams offer the opportunity to explore our personal inner reality and help us to gain an understanding of ourselves. Many believe there is ample evidence to suggest that they can also be used to improve our waking life too – this idea is supported by Shakespeare’s words in MacBeth that “sleep and dreams are chief nourishers in life’s feast!” Throughout this blog we have discussed ways to improve health on a daily basis and research indicates dreaming is also a valuable source of inspiration and healing freely available for us to use. Our ancient ancestors had a facination with dreams and interpretations of them, and there are still some today who wish to interpret dreams, however using dreaming to help us find solutions and healing is a whole different thing!
The German psychologist and lucid dream researcher Paul Tholey used dream work in his training of the German Olympic ski jumping team and had the skiers learn the process of lucid dreaming so that they could experiment with new maneuvers – helping them to gain confidence in a virtual world, while eliminating any risks. Dreams have always been a rich source of creativity for those within the arts world but recent advancements are being made into using dreaming for improving business and performance.
Lucid dreaming was brought into the academic and public spotlights around the world once it’s scientific validity was separately proven by researchers at Stanford University, California, (where it has also been proven to be a learnable skill), and at Liver pool University, England. At the Sacré-Coeur Hospital Dream and Nightmare Laboratory experiments have proven that the eyes and some other physiological responses can be brought under conscious control by a dreamer who realises that they are dreaming.
Golfer Jack Nicklaus has become famous for his dream which helped him with his golf swing. After an embarrassing period of golf, Jack claimed to have solved the problem by dreaming, which subsequently improved his game by ten strokes – overnight!
No doubt we have all heard someone respond to a puzzling problem – “let me sleep on it!” and have often ourselves gone to bed with questions in our minds and discovered the following morning that we have the solutions. To encourage dreaming as a source of insight and healing simply focus on the challenge in question before drifting off to sleep and allow the process of dreaming to help uncover solutions – repeat for several nights if a solution to a particular problem evades you.
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