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Find Creative Solutions in Your Dreams

by Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed.

Jean describes herself as a high school dropout who’s now the president and CEO of her 25 million a year service business. She credits a dream she had when she was 28 years old as part of what got her started on her path to success. “I was in a grocery store and noticed that there were coins scattered all down the aisles. It stuck me as incredibly odd that everyone was walking right past these gold pieces while I was busy picking them up as fast as I could.”

She awoke from the dream with a powerful thought: “I see opportunities where others do not.” She describes this dream as helping her understand that she had a Divine calling. She felt that she was “wired for business.” The dream provided both the catalyst and courage to start her company.

Jean isn’t alone in finding dreams helpful. Successful people in all walks of life have pointed to their dreams as a rich source of ideas, solutions, and creative direction. Pro golfer Jack Nicklaus credits a dream with helping him improve his golf swing after an extended and embarrassing professional slump. The day after his dream, he improved his game by ten strokes.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney woke up from a dream with the tune to the song “Yesterday” running through his mind. "It was just all there," he said. "A complete thing, I couldn't believe it." It rapidly became a pop standard (2,500 versions), covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Marianne Faithfull. Thirty plus years later it’s still the most played song on the radio.

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards said the riff in "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" came to him in his sleep. And the 19th-century chemist Dmitri Mendeleev reportedly dreamed up the periodic table of elements.

Raymond Kurzweil is a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic musical keyboards. He’s also the author of several books on health and technology. What makes him so productive? "I do all my work while I'm sleeping. Every night before I go to sleep I think about an issue and think about a solution," he said.

"In the twilight stage, while I'm dreaming, that's the most creative time. All the sensors in your head are relaxed. I think about the issue again in the morning and can write a whole chapter of a new book, write a speech or come up with a new invention in just a few minutes."

Suppose you could go to sleep at night and come up with solutions to your work-related problems? It’s really a very cushy job! The requirements? Just a nice soft bed, a little thinking and writing, a pad and pencil on the nightstand. After that you just close your eyes and dream. Upon awakening in the morning be willing to write down your insights. That’s it! Need more detail? Here are some things to do to help you use your sleeping state to help you resolve problems and come up with creative solutions:

Sleep on it

Sometimes a challenge feels a bit overwhelming and it’s difficult to get your logical, rational mind out of the way to listen for the intuitive insights. You may find you get the best answers when you turn your brain off and go to sleep.

Keep a dream journal. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A notebook or pad of paper beside your bed works great. If you’re not concerned with waking your bedmate, a tape recorder could work as well. Before you go to sleep, write a few paragraphs about the decision you're trying to make or the issue you’re seeking insight about. You’re basically trying to get a data dump from the left side of your brain onto the page.

Summarize the issue. Read the paragraphs you’ve written and condense it into a one-sentence question. Example: "Should I pursue this new career direction?" Or, "How can we speed up the manufacturing process of our widgets?" Others have found it easier to simply ask for information about a concern. “I need information about increasing sales.” Or, “I would like a dream about a prosperous new direction for my business.”

Ask the question or state the concern as you drift off to sleep. Tell yourself that you’ll remember a dream that will provide the answer(s) to this question. As you doze off, repeat your phrase softly to yourself, with the mental expectation of receiving an answer. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the question.

Wake up slowly. As you wake up try not to come FULLY awake at first. Ask yourself, "Did I have a dream about my concern?" Don’t get out of bed. In fact, move as little as possible when you’re in the middle of dream recall.

Record the dreams or dream fragments. Even if you don’t remember the entire dream, jot down the fragments. Answers in dreams don’t always announce themselves in an obvious way. They’ll show up through symbolic images, metaphor, feelings and sensations.

Interpret the dream. There are vast libraries of books on the subject of dream interpretation. However, many tend to reduce everything to a universal symbol. A fire might signify a romantic evening to one person but to you it might be a sign of danger. You’re the expert on you and your dreams. Here are some items to consider to help you jumpstart your interpretation.

Look for the solution. Is there an immediate answer you’ve received upon awakening? What can you take away from the dream and use in your current situation? Is there any part of your dream that leaps out at you as important and worthy of some further reflection?

Identify the symbols. Are there dream symbols or metaphors that pertain to your question from the night before? How might these be relevant to your question and answer? What pops into your mind when you think about these symbols? Who or what in your life do they remind you of?

Are you someone who doesn’t remember your dreams? Author John Steinbeck’s idea that you have helpers in the night might help. "It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."

May you and your committee have a good night’s sleep!

Lynn A. Robinson is a professional intuitive who helps people discover their life passion and achieve their goals. She's a bestselling author of LISTEN: Trusting Your Inner Voice in Times of Crisis and Divine Intuition. Her free Intuition Newsletter is available at http://www.LynnRobinson.com. She may be reached at 800-925-4002 or at Lynn@LynnRobinson.com.

Copyright 2010 by Lynn A. Robinson

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