Dear Quiet Minds,
Isn’t it amazing how closing your eyes can open up a world without limits?
To me, dreams are the closest you can get to magic because the new worlds your mind is able to create are infinite. After doing some research, I found that this happens because the nerve cells in your brain stem start to fire sporadically, sending erratic signals. Many experts believe that your brain tries to comprehend all these signals and make sense of them by creating dreams. However, your dreams do not start the moment you close your eyes. It slowly occurs in stages. In stage one, you delve into a very light sleep and can be easily awoken. In stage two, your eyes stop moving and your brain waves slow down. Then in stage three and four, you start to experience nightmares or even start to sleepwalk or sleep-talk. The most difficult stage to enter is stage five which is known as REM sleep. Our body becomes temporarily paralyzed and takes certain measures to avoid disruptions that could awaken us from this deep, deep sleep. This is where the dreams we remember get weirder and weirder.
Often times, I’ve had very vivid dreams that mimic reality so seamlessly, making it harder to decipher the difference. Dreams can transform our memories into the most whimsical dreams or the most terrifying nightmares. I have experienced dreams where my fears have disguised themselves as a very true reality, speeding up my heartbeat. I wake up teary-eyed or panting for breath. The fact that my fears solidify in front of me so clearly and come racing at me makes it difficult to believe it’s not real. However, I believe that these dreams are your opportunity to try and face those fears in a simulation. Unfortunately, unless you are aware that you’re dreaming, overcoming that fear is very unlikely. Whenever I have to face a fear sometimes I am able to find the courage to surpass it, but more often than not, I am paralyzed and watch the worst occur before me. Although nightmares are the ultimate downside to sleeping, dreams are a beautiful paradox.
Dreams can be both good and bad. The most terrifying forest can morph into a palace of lavender skies and fluorescent flowers, just like the memory of a lovely family gathering can turn into an unexpected funeral. Dreams are a contradiction that we pay the price for every time we close our eyes. Dreams have the liberty of letting loose our fear or turning our fantasies into a reality. Recently, I have seen the beauty of dreams. After having various nightmares back to back, a few nights ago I experienced a very enchanting dream. It reminded me of the brain’s superhuman capacity to construct the most elaborately intricate landscapes that put your reality to shame. In my dream, I remember opening a door to a beautiful coral sky reflecting over a vast ocean that disappeared over the horizon. Swans, white stallions and mystical creatures that could only be created by the limitless imagination walked majestically across the colorful waters. When I woke up, I was amazed at how my brain could create such a magical landscape and I was reminded of why dreams are so special.
Our ability to create dreams and nightmares allows us to overcome fears and realize desires that transcend the capacity of our awake minds.
So next time you close your eyes and encounter a closed door, open it and explore your dreams.
Live the beautiful paradox.