[kml_flashembed movie=”http://ianwallacedreams.com/wp-content/uploads/flash/pulsing-mist.swf” height=”180″ width=”240″ /]The experience of dreaming during sleep is simultaneously bizarrely unusual and completely natural. We effortlessly generate entire worlds where the unbelievable happens in the everyday, where the amazing is a routine event, where the sacred meets the profane. Even when you seem to be looking at yourself from a distance, you are creating the entire dream. Every unique part of it, from the fading indigo storm clouds on the horizon to the tiny dust motes glittering in the slanting sunlight.

And even more amazing than the epic unconscious dreamscapes that we create so easily is the fact that we all dream. Each one of us. Every night. It’s a natural process that requires no entrance fee, no monthly subscription, no expensive stimulants, no easy payment starter interest rates. All we need is a quiet space and the opportunity to close our eyes for a while.

But, many of us are utterly convinced that we don’t dream. People often proudly proclaim ‘I just don’t dream’. Or ‘I don’t have any time for dreams, I’m too busy’. Usually too busy chasing a dream in waking life that somehow is never fulfilled. However, we all dream. We have to. It is fundamental to our psychological health and physiological well being. When deprived of dream rich R.E.M. sleep we rapidly become confused and unable to cope with the simplest tasks in our waking reality.

When people say ‘I just don’t dream’, what they are really saying is that ‘I just don’t remember my dreams’. They just don’t remember the amazing experiences that they create for themselves every night. Although not remembering our sleeping dreams may seem to be of little or no consequence, the same thing often happens in waking life. We forget our dreams. We start off with great dreams of who we want to be, the wonderful people who will become our companions in this great adventure, the wealth that we will acquire and the stories that we will tell of who we became and the great deeds that we accomplished.

Then a few years later we are asking ourselves questions such as ‘Why am I doing this job?’ ‘Where is the meaning in what I do every day?’ ‘Why am I doing something that seems to have no real purpose?’ When that starts to happen, it is a sign that we are forgetting our dreams and as we do, we begin to become confused about our identity, our meaning and our purpose. Our dreams and our reality have diverged so much that there seems to be no way forward.

Pablo Picasso remarked that ‘All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up’. In the same way, we are all born as dreamers. Our challenge is to keep dreaming as we grow and to bring our dreams to life in our waking realities. But because of the pressures and the routines of waking life, we routinely ignore the messages of our dreams and leave them unexplored and forgotten.

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