How Dreams Can Conquer Your Biggest Challenges
What on earth was that about?!
How often do you wake up from a dream and ask yourself that?
Do you wonder why dreams are so bizarre, even when they make perfect sense while you’re asleep?
Do you wonder how they might impact your waking life?
What about nightmares? What are they about?
Maybe you’ve read dream interpretation guides, but you’re still not sure.
Do your dreams really mean anything at all?.
Why You Dream
Dreams come in several different forms, and I’ll just talk about one of them here.
Your brain uses this kind of dream to renew your sense of self every night.
You can think of the sense of self as a rechargeable battery.
It stores how you feel about being yourself, and from those feelings, it generates every moment of your waking life.
That drains its energy each day.
Then, it plugs into your natural energy renewal mechanism—your dreams—to fill up again.
The fuel for your nighttime recharging sessions is the way you felt about being yourself during the day you just lived.
What Dreams Are Made Of
Dreams are pictures of those feelings from your previous day.
What do I mean, pictures of feelings?
How do you feel when you think of your best friend?
How about the co-worker who yelled at you last week?
The pool you swam in every summer day as a kid.
Your first car.
The history class you failed.
When you dream about a person, place or thing that triggers an intense feeling, your brain recharges your sense of self with that feeling.
The dream isn’t about the person or place or thing. It’s about the feeling it brings up for you.
Your Brain’s #1 Fuel Source
Five good things happened today. One bad thing happened.
Which feels most intense? Which do you dwell on at the end of the day?
It’s the thing that felt bad, right?
Guess what feeling your brain uses to recharge at night?
You guessed it – the most intense feelings you experienced that day.
How Dreams Impact Your Days
Ever found it hard to shake the feeling from an intense dream? It can color…or even cloud…your whole day.
That is only a tiny fraction of how dreams affect your waking life, because of the what they do to your sense of self.
Remember, your sense of self stores how you feel about being you, and it generates every moment of your life. Specifically, it uses how you feel about being you to create moments that feel just that same way.
Automatically. Without your conscious choice or control.
So, you find yourself in the same kinds of relationships and situations, over and over again. Your negative patterns keep repeating, despite your best efforts to change them. And, you keep feeling the same lousy way about being yourself.
Then, your brain takes those icky feelings and uses them to recharge your sense of self at night.
See what’s happening?
You’re on the worst merry-go-round ever, and no matter how hard you try to get off, your brain keeps you glued to that scary, wooden horse.
How to Jump off the Terrifying Carnival Ride
The good news is that you can run this cycle in reverse.
The same kind of dream that built up these horrible feelings can also remove them, layer by layer.
A researcher named Mimi Herrmann figured it out—how to tap into your sleeping brain’s energy renewal process to peel away layers of these negative feelings, which she termed Learned Distress®.
Early in life, we all absorb these feelings, which all narrow down to the sense that there is something wrong with us being just the way that we are. Learned Distress becomes the automatic, generating force behind all of our negative moments and situations.
But, there’s something else stored your sense of self. It’s the feeling that you are all good exactly as you are, and this natural well-being is the core of who you are as a human being.
Mimi developed a way to tell your sleeping brain to recharge with your natural well-being, instead of your Learned Distress. As a result, layers of the negative feeling peel alway permanently, and your core well-being becomes the automatic, generating force behind more and more situations.
As her research subjects tried her process, they said they had never experienced such joy in being themselves or such ease in their lives.
She and I condensed the process down to three integral elements that allow you to tell your brain what Learned Distress to remove while you sleep.
Engaging in these three Quanta Change elements produces dreams that show us that Quanta Change is happening…like watching through a window as your car is run through an automated wash.
The Anatomy of a Quanta Change Dream
Let’s walk through a dream that a client brought me, so you can watch a layer of Learned Distress being removed.
He and his wife are in a dungeon-like room. There’s a long, skinny snake that is chasing them. My client wonders if he should be the hero and save his wife, but thinks that he might get sick and die, as a result. He realizes that he doesn’t have to do that. Instead, his wife could probably take care of herself, and she might even save the day.
Shifting is the daytime element of Quanta Change, which tells the brain specifically what to unlearn during sleep.
He was working on staying completely connected to what really matters to him, and on the idea that doing so benefits everyone around him. He has felt that the only way to survive is to disconnect from what is important to him, and instead just focus on taking care of other people.
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.
His wife: She tends to live in crisis, and he often feels triggered by that to drop everything important to him and just help her, often before she even asks for it.
The dungeon and snake: These don’t have any intense personal meaning for him, so they just represent a crisis to be overcome.
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.
One: They’re in danger and he stops to think about how to address that.
Two: Instead of automatically assuming he should take care of it, he stops to think about what might happen to him, that he might get sick and even die. This is a huge point of change. In real life, he hasn’t been able to even consider the negative effects to himself when he jumps in to fix his wife’s crises.
Three: He considers the idea that his wife could take care of this problem, instead of him. This is another huge point of change, as he has often assumed that he would be much better at taking care of problems than his wife, or even that she wasn’t capable of doing it, at all.
Quanta Change outcomes are not planned, structured, or mapped out. Just like negative moments have happened, these good moments happen now without conscious input or control. This is the natural result as Learned Distress is stripped away and core well-being becomes the automatic, generating force.
Over the next few weeks, my client started to respond very differently when his wife had a crisis. At one point, he sat down and listened to what was going on for her, but said, “That’s really all I wanted to do. I didn’t feel like trying to fix anything.” He confirmed for me that it felt very different, almost bizarre, to not even want to try and fix things for her, much less try to do it.
At another point, he said that the need to leap in and fix things felt even more distant. For the first time, he asked her very directly to clearly define anything she might want him to do. He has often put his own projects on hold, guessing that she will need something and waiting for her to tell him what she needs. But, he’s now feeling and expressing how much he resents last-minute requests, and he’s not willing to work that way, anymore.
And, over the past few weeks, he has finished some important projects of his own and felt really good about staying focused on his own work.
When one person unlearns Learned Distress layers that impact a relationship, the other person is forced to work on their own part of it. While this sometimes seems like a negative to the second person at the time, wonderful change often happens for them, as a result. I’ll be watching for that possibility in the weeks to come. (His wife is also my client.)
So, Does This Sound Crazy?
I’m right there with you.
I guide people through this every day, and I’ve experienced it for myself for 14 years. And, some days, it still sounds crazy to me!
But, people take the Quanta Change leap, wondering if anything could change, and then they say things like:
“For the first time, I feel unconditional love flowing from me. It’s not just an idea or something I’m trying to do. It’s just who I am.”
“I usually hide away and drink or smoke when I visit my family. But, this time, without planning it, I found myself connecting individually with each one of them. I never even thought that was possible.”
“I’ve avoided cleaning out the garage for years. Suddenly, I felt motivated to do it, and I got half of it cleaned out in an afternoon. Wow.”
“I’m not angry all the time, anymore! Sure, I still get angry here and there, but it’s not that constant, underlying anger that’s ready to burst at any moment. I’m so much happier, and so is my family.”
So, as you might guess, my clients stop caring if it seems crazy to let their dreams change their lives. They just want more.
Their friends and family stop teasing them about the weird thing they’re doing, and start asking how they changed so much for the better.
Dreams really can change lives.
Dreams really can shift the negative patterns that you’ve been living with for so many years.
Dreams really can transform your relationships, career, emotional and physical health, and the way you express yourself in the world.
Are you ready to let your dreams work for you?