One point for a story to start from
The playful sounds of my children doing their chaotic dance in the early morning permeates my house. Joyful screams, siblings yelling, crying, laughing. I transition from a deep dreaming state to being more lucid, aware I was dreaming. This noise and stimulus likely influenced me to shift brain wave frequency. In this moment, I'm awake but still dreaming. Aware of some complex narrative I have been entwined in while also aware of my waking life and the tsunami of meaning I've created. Like overwhelmingly powerful waves I must surrender to.
So let's get some context to this dream…
At this point in the dream I'm in a room but I can't see the walls. I'm engaged in drawing out ideas on a whiteboard. Doing some type of brainstorming session with another man. His stature is slim, he's maybe a little older than me, blue casual jacket and light brown hair. He's listening and I'm talking through sketched out ideas. I don't know what this is all about. I'm here for a reason but I don't quite know what it is. There's also a woman present, but at this stage I only know of her presence. I can't see her. The dreamscape now transforms and I'm opening a wooden gate about chest high. I walk through into what seems like an enormously expansive room. Filled with golden light. But it then transforms into an enormous park. Like I'm outside but not. Large old trees abound. Wide trunks with winding roots, golden sunlight beams shining through the branches. There are people around but they are not the in focus.
I'm now standing at the beginning of a browny green asphalt path. Lined with flowers that make up all the colours of the rainbow. I start walking down this path with the man and woman from the brainstorming session towards a large round wooden table. As I'm walking down the path towards this table, the people start to coalesce around us.
The woman I am walking alongside says
"I didn't realise all of you were here, I thought it was a game, let's get started"
I cannot recall anything but mumbling sounds coming from this group of people, although I had a sense they were talking and acknowledging the situation. We proceed to all sit down at this table while the man I had walked in with was still standing up, poised in observation with a seemingly anxious energy. A point fluidly and suddenly morphs out from the table in front of me, to my right as if it was a spike, then goes back in. I felt like it separated the person beside me, then went away. I turned and looked at the person to my right, they just smiled at me in silence.
At this stage I'm lucid. Trying to grasp the narrative history of the dream while at the same time acknowledging my intent to shape it. To create a bridge between the tsunami of stories from my waking reality that bombarded me when I became aware I was dreaming. My sentiment is that the group of people that joined us are a sports team. But a narrative connection from my waking life stuck to my conscious thought as being meaningful. I latched onto it wanting to shape this lucid dream to help me integrate it's purpose before I wake. This story (meaningful memory set) from my waking life was recent, encoded but likely still being processed…
The waking life theme relates to a set of conversations I had during an event at a lifestyle entrepreneurs college in Sydney. People pursuing a sense of purpose. So the conversation naturally flowed in this direction. I'd been talking to a family friend and a delightful French woman about life, purpose and meaningful work. Particularly as it related to the approach used at the college. The dualities of life came up throughout which is not uncommon in these types of deeper conversations about life. I made an attempt (using props at hand) to tie the principle of wave-particle duality and concepts of phase, frequency and amplitude into stories of life, dealing with ambiguity, taking a leap of faith and developing clarity of purpose.
This family friend is in what might be considered the encore stage of life. Having walked the corporate path and now a kundalini yoga teacher. She talked of a desire to share the learnings that come from the gamma frequency induced aha moments of meditative practice. To help others experience the bliss that comes when all meaning and ego is stripped away.
Through our conversation we came to a shared view that there is always an exchange. A reciprocal exchange by helping people around you who in turn help you. "Helping others helps you" we concluded.
Maybe the college's approach could help her find more clarity on the next chapter in her life story? A way to share the gifts from her life experiences. Help her overcome the internal conflict she has about building a business aligned to her values of selfless service. She said she see these things as contradictory. We shall see…
Everyone had left the event so it's just three of us now. My family friend and the founder of the college. We'd all had a few drinks and now transitioned to whiskey. I'm sure many can relate to those deep and meaningful conversations in those contexts. Partially unencumbered by fear of judgement. I know some brain research has shown a suppression of the amygdala's function when we've consumed alcohol. So it makes sense that people let their guard down a little. Sometimes even strangers do.
Life stories from an inebriated stranger. Ever had that experience?
So we're having this D&M, tears and all. Sharing life experiences. Stories that have deep meaning. Burrowing down to concepts and feelings of trust, shame, loss and forgiveness. It evolves to unconditional love and the many historical figures alluding to this idea that LOVE 🌏🌀❤️ is the answer.
The three of us all relate to this.
I then talked of imagining all humans getting to this realisation. Or if I could be doing the work I do and get to that aha moment with decision makers in business. Maybe even global leaders at Davos expressing this sentiment. We all laughed dismissively. Skeptical it is even possible. Maybe with the help of an entheogen...
The back and forth quickly turned to rational pragmatism. The conversation faded as we did. It's early morning so we all get on our way.
The themes of these conversations stuck with me after leaving. Weaving themselves into my unconscious narrative.
Now back to this dream…
By this stage I'm feeling I can influence the direction of this dream. To integrate this sense of realisation that came from the recent waking life story. A sense of realisation I've encountered in various ways throughout the last decade.
Love is the answer
All of the group, maybe 20 or so people are now sitting at this round table. The woman addresses the the group, explaining I was here to help them on the journey. Whatever journey they're on isn't made explicit. I then standup with the intent to talk about love, human connection, behaviour change, coopetition and trust. As I start to speak, the man and woman get up and walk back towards the gate we came in through. She returns alone, then explains that he'd left because it is up to us to solve it all now.
Now I'm in bed in a semi wakeful state having this dream. I feel a wack on my back… Pain. My awareness is immediately taken to the body. It's my chaos monkey son.
Wack again. It's time to wake up. I put my arms out to share some love with my son. Our hands touch. We both smile.
My back had been sore from a workout session the day before (old back injury playing up) so I stayed in bed. I'd been up late reading about complex adaptive systems (great bedtime reading 🤦♂️) because my back pain was keeping me from sleeping.
My kids jump on the bed like it was a trambampoline and I cringe again in pain. I say in that familiar pain muffled tone.
"Please stop..stop jumping, daddy's back is sore"
The kids realise their jumping is causing me pain so they stop jumping suddenly. I then put my arms out to indicate for them to come lay down with me to cuddle.
After cuddles the kids run off to get back to their playful dance with Shiva.
Knowing I am well awake, and not getting out of bed anytime soon I decide to get my phone and start typing. Feeling the sentiment that this was something to share, maybe blog about.
My wonderful wife came back a short while later and listened to me unpack my dream. She only commented once. Saying it seemed as though the man leaving was like God leaving people on earth to sort their shit out and focus on what truly matters. This was relatable and symbolic.
I then listened to my wife explain a story about a Japanese man and a journey of sorrow, forgiveness and attempts at redemption. This resonated and she then left me to continue to write my thoughts.
The stories we tell ourselves
I've dream journaled before and know that talking and writing can sometimes help you derive meaning from these symbolic narrative structures of the mind. Reflecting on this now I can sense meaning in the metaphor and symbolism. Meaningfulness to me and my untold stories. We are meaning making machines deeply aligned to identify with narrative. I have had a propensity from a young age to create lots of meaning where others see none.
A gift and a curse if you will (and many diagnoses from psychiatrists)
However this blog is not really about the dream itself. It's about integration of the dream and connection to my waking life. My creative and intellectual energy that I channel into shaping who I am, what I do and how I be. My sense of purpose. My human experience. My contribution in this life-cycle my ego identifies with. The stories I tell myself.
Over the years I have also developed a consistent mental habit of waking with the intent to express gratitude. Mentally note it, touch my wife, think of or touch my children, my able body, social and historical privilege. Gratitude brings me into this waking reality, my body. It helps me relate to my life in a positive way. This sentiment was intertwined with the feeling I had from the dream. I was grateful that my wife listened to me. It triggered me to write this blog and kick start something I'd been wanting to explore through research and writing for a while. I might even start a podcast by first up looking at this theme, see where it takes me.
If 'love is the answer' how do we know we know when we know?
I've been aiming to kickstart my personal writing for a while. This feels like a good point to start from.
Love ❤️ and gratitude 🙏. And thanks for reading 🙂