Sometimes something happens that gets you thinking not so much about what might have been, if only… but rather about what might not be and it’s then, at that point, that you realize that the niggling feeling you’ve been experiencing is in fact the recurring dream you’ve been having squeezing its way through the more immediate problems that fill a day.
It’s a bit like the broken light bulb/Feng Shui theory – if it’s not working, fix it – except that here your subconscious is telling you there’s a problem, that there’s possibly a solution but what it’s not yet telling you is what the problem is, where to start looking or what the solution is, you’ll have to figure that out for yourself.
My wife says that if a dream is trying to tell you something, as recurring dreams tend to do, more often than not it’s a light bulb moment waiting to happen and when on top of that you have that niggling feeling compounding things it’s time to do something about it.
My wife also says that, even if you don’t see it, every dream has a meaning and a purpose. Find what it is, know how to read it and above all, retain it – if need be, by writing it down – because there’s nothing worse than having a “Eureka” moment then promptly forgetting about it.
By the way, yet another of my wife’s aphorisms is “Don’t sleepwalk your way through life” which I tend to translate into “Don’t wait for life to happen”. Life happens anyway but nothing is stopping you from giving it the occasional nudge.
Dreams are generally two things. They are either stories or they are messages. They might even be treasure chests buried on some Jack Sparrow-esque Caribbean island waiting for you to come and dig them up but there’s one thing they are not. They are not the reserve of the romantics (no offense meant, a “been there” experience of a 20 year old, entranced by Francis Lai’s OST Bilitis).
Dreams are catalysts and valuable sources of information, they are also indicators so take a minute to look at where they are saying. For example: Have you ever frequently dreamt of standing by an open window, in an elegant English country manor house and looking out over an impeccably kept garden, being able to see the grounds albeit quite a way off in the distance but never beyond because the view was Obscured by Clouds. And then one day, you had the same dream only this time the clouds had parted giving you a glimpse of what was beyond? Speaks reams doesn’t it?
Rationale and quant by day…
When your day job is to be rational and focused on specific problems, requiring immediate solutions you tend to forget the vast quantity of information the brain actually puts to one side because it’s not needed right away. The fact is though the information is being stored in the subconscious waiting for the right moment… the right stimulus… to resurface and you’d be surprised, no, wait, on second thoughts you shouldn’t be surprised by your brain’s inherent – read ancestral – faculty for regurgitating the most aimless of images at the oddest of times for no obvious reason, and being “ancestral” they may not be totally aimless. One plausible explanation might be that tired of being jumped on by predators our ancestors learnt to act on cerebral alerts to avoid ending up in some sabre tooth tiger’s stomach.
There are ways of recalling information from the subconscious and tapping into the images your brain captures. For me, this usually, but not only, happens between two sleep cycles. It can also happen during one of those “Déjà vu” experiences and exceptional as they are, these experiences are not revelations in themselves but the hosts for something a lot more phenomenal.
So you see. You don’t have to be a Nikola Tesla or a Srinivasa Ramanujan nor draw on synthetic stimuli to have a revelation and access the wealth of valuable information your brain processes. Giving sense to a dream and finding unexpected, even unhoped for solutions to problems is a process within the reach of all… you just have to give it some thought, and, oh, good music helps too.