Do you remember having a dream that truly felt like a gift?


 


In my work with dreamers over the years, I have listened to many dreams that were truly a gift for the dreamer to unwrap, look over, and truly appreciate. Often times, dreams can contain messages and lessons that enhance our lives and provide answers we wouldn’t have received otherwise.


 


Shortly after my father died, I dreamt this dream:


 


I’m sitting on a park bench with my father on my right. I turn and ask him, “How are you dad?” He responds, “They tell me I’m going to be moving on soon. They said I can go anywhere I want to go.”


 


I laugh with him and say, “Hey how about where you used to hunt?”  He laughs and says, “Yes, I’d like that. But this means I can’t come and visit anymore.”


 


I realize I am saying goodbye to my father, but leave with a feeling that he is truly happy.



 


To me, that dream was a gift I’ll keep forever.


 


There is so much in life that we take for granted. We assume each morning that we will wake up, have another day before us, hug our loved ones, take a hot shower and drink a cup of hot coffee.  We don’t have to think about the fact that our brains will work properly, our thoughts will become organized, our speech clear and understandable, and that our eyes and ears will continue to take in information effortlessly and automatically.


 


Those of us who remember dreams regularly assume that we will experience dreams at night, some fantastic, while others’ more mundane reflections of our daily lives.


 


Most of us don’t realize that our actions and behaviors on a daily basis allow us to continue to remember our dreams clearly and frequently.


 


Scientists discovered that the pons is responsible for REM sleep. The pons is located on the brain stem, and dreams originate in areas in both the frontal lobe and also at the back of the brain. We experience dreams in REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) and in NREM (non REM sleep) sleep. The hormones serotonin, acetylcholine and noradrenaline are all involved in REM and NREM sleep. All of this happens automatically, and like a true gift, we are allowed to simply sit back and appreciate what has been given to us without much effort.


 


In order to allow ourselves to continue to experience this dream gift, we have to take care of ourselves on a daily basis. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, sedentary activity, certain drugs and too much alcohol will all affect the quality of our dreams.


 


How important are our dreams to us really? If we consider them a true gift, we will nurture ourselves physically and emotionally in order to continue to unwrap the gifts that come to us on a nightly basis.