7 Lessons from Dreams and Nightmares in Difficult Times

by Tzivia Gover

Good Morning Dreamer,

Or good afternoon, or good evening. Whatever time of day it is when you are reading this, I would like to talk to you about waking up, and staying awake—and how dreams can help you do that.

I am writing this at the conclusion of the current administration’s first 100 days in office, and as I pack my bags and prepare to head to Washington to March with others who want to wake the world up to the dangers that confront us if we sleepwalk in the age of acute climate change.

For many of us, these past months since the election have been like a series of disturbing dreams (nightmares of inhumane treatment of immigrants and others based on religion or ethnicity, threats to women’s dignity, reproductive rights and safety, and a race to dismantle environmental protections … ). And often these days, I’ve wanted to wake myself up and out of these realities and tell myself that everything’s fine, it was “only a dream.” At other times, I have felt tempted to just sleep through it all: turn off the news and retreat into 19th Century poetry or binge-worthy TV, and hope someone else can stand up to the injustices and figure a way out of this.

But I know better. As a professional dreamworker who helps others find the healing messages in their dreams, including the scariest ones, I know a thing or two (or three or four … ) about gaining courage and wisdom from nightmare scenarios, whether experienced asleep or awake.

Here are some of the things that I’ve learned from being an aware, awake, and active dreamer about how dreams can help us in difficult times:

  1. First and foremost, active dreamers don’t run away from the monsters in our nightmares, we turn and face them instead.
  2. We dreamers know that when we face a nightmare, and let ourselves receive its messages, we become more than we ever dreamed we could be thanks to it.
  3. As dreamers we know there is healing wisdom in even the most disturbing dream.
  4. Facing nighttime dreams consciously teaches to stay awake and aware in all aspects of our lives.
  5. And as dreamers we know how to access guidance from our best selves–that part of each one of us that transcends the ordinary and connects us to the extraordinary.
  6. Our dreams teach us that internal energetic shifts manifest loving change in the outside world. Activism can be quiet and invisible, and can take root one heart at a time.
  7. As dreamers we know that if we leave our dreams on the pillow, nothing changes. But, inspired and awakened by our dreams, we can take action in the waking world, guided by the spirit of love and compassion and in the service of health, wholeness and healing—both personally and collectively.

Each of these skills and awarenesses can serve us as we face the nightmarish effects of global climate change, and political unrest and uncertainty. Inspired by the lessons dreams teach, we can become agents of hope and compassion–in spite of the enormity of the problems we face.

These lessons have become more relevant than ever for me in the past 100 days. I share them in the hopes that they might serve you well in the days and years to come, too.

Here’s to waking up together!

Tzivia

PS Please consider joining 350 Dreamers, my Facebook Group where over 1,000 dreamers from around the world dream together for healing in the face of climate change. (When you sign up, also send me a Private Message on FB, to let me know you’re not a SpamBot.) I look forward to dreaming with you!