How Dreams Can Clean up Our Biggest Messes
When I tell people that the real work of Quanta Change takes place in their dreams, they have a hard time believing me at first. But, it’s true.
Dreams are the time when the sense of self recharges. The sense of self stores how we feel about being ourselves, and the only time it is open to permanent change is during the recharging time of sleep. So, with the catalyst of the Quanta Change Sensory Message playing at night and a client’s daytime shifting work to tell their brain specifically what they want to change, this big change does actually take place while they dream.
While this change takes place automatically (so there’s no lucid dreaming involved), and the change has already fully taken place by the time someone is telling me about their dream, it can still be really fun and fascinating to look at dreams. Often, as with the dream I’ll describe below, we can connect the dots between the Learned Distress my client desires to unlearn, the way they’re shifting to tell their brain to unlearn it, the dream itself, and what happens in waking life following it.
The Dream: My client is 14-15 years old in the dream. She goes with her dad to their church, and she goes to the Sunday School classroom for the 3-5 year olds where she played when she was that age. The table tops come off to reveal sandboxes. The floor is also covered in sand and dirt. The room is in disarray, and all the toys are buried. It’s chaos. She is overwhelmed by the mess. How can they be playing in this? She gets to work cleaning up the mess, but the more she works at it, the more the kids mess stuff up. She wakes up feeling very frustrated.
Shift Theme: (Shifting is the daytime work of Quanta Change, which tells the brain specifically what to unlearn during sleep.)
Her shifting work is about being able to express what really matters to her.
Context: (You bring people, places, animals, things, situations, or time frames into dreams based on the feeling that they trigger within you. In a Quanta Change dream, it is these triggered feelings that are unlearned.)
The main context in the dream is the place and time frame of the Sunday School classroom. She remembers that when she was that age (3-5), she would say something that she thought was funny or that mattered to her, often repeating something her parents had said and laughed about, and she would be punished for it. Around that time, she began to refrain from openly expressing herself.
Points of Change: (In a Quanta Change dream, each time there is something wrong and the dreamer does something about it, they permanently remove a layer of Learned Distress from their sense of self.)
As in many Quanta Change dreams, there is a repeating point of change in this dream. The thing that is wrong is that the room is a mess, out of control, and each time she tries to clean it up, my client’s brain is peeling off another layer of Learned Distress. This client’s Learned Distress pattern is one in which things need to be under control for her to feel safe, so it’s very significant that the thing that is wrong in the dream is that things feel so out of control. When she was the age of the kids in the room, she was developing her survival mechanism of keeping herself—her self-expression—under control. Her dreaming brain is going back and unlearning her need to keep herself under control, so that she can experience the well-being of openly expressing herself.
Note: It may seem that she is reinforcing her need to have things under control by trying to control the situation in the dream. However, the only direction things can go in Quanta Change dreams is for Learned Distress to be unlearned, not reinforced. So, whatever Learned Distress the dream portrays is what is being removed.
Result: Over the next couple of sessions, she said how tired she was of keeping everything under control and within some ideal framework. She has a friend visiting soon, and usually, she would spend the entire time working to be the ideal hostess, fixing special meals and making sure her guest feels special through her efforts. But, as she was preparing for his visit, she thought to herself how nice it would be to just grab some simple food, instead, so that she would have more time to spend with him. Instead of hiding behind her work as the ideal hostess so that she can avoid openly sharing herself, she is feeling more comfort with the thought of just spending time with her friend, expressing herself and what matters to her. She tells me that this is a very big shift in how she feels about interacting with someone else.
What is the last dream you can remember? Who or what was in the dream and what feeling about yourself do they trigger? This can give you a big clue to the feelings your sense of self is recharging every night, as well as an idea of what your brain would let you unlearn through Quanta Change.