Electric Dreams

Programming a
Positive Dream

(From "Humor in Dreams" Workshop)

Linda Lane Magallón

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Magallón, Linda Lane (2005 November). Programming a Positive Dream.
(From "Humor in Dreams" Workshop.) Electric Dreams 12(11).

Have you ever had the experience of waking from a dream with a peculiar feeling or bad taste in your mouth? The "yucky" dream, the "oh, no, not again" dream, or the "ouch!" dream? These occurrences often come from the night's process of leftovers from the previous day, and some of them can be pretty moldy. My question to you is, "Is that something you want to wake up with every morning?" Dreams allow us to gather all the daytime garbage, stick it into our sleeping minds and dwell on it the whole night long. In the process, all sorts of strange and disturbing conceptions can be produced. So, how can you help your dream psyche convert that sort of experience into something more positive?

The answer is...you can give your dreams a break, a vacation from eating their basic diet of day residue. And you do that the night before. You give yourself some space before you go to sleep to unwind from all the chaos of the past day and detach from all those things you have to do for tomorrow. You do not, I repeat, do *not* flip on the eleven o'clock news before you go to sleep. Unless you have some overriding emotional experience to mediate, that's virtually guaranteed to give you all sorts of crazy dreams. I can't tell you how many times I've had late night talk show dreams. Granted, it is an improvement over the news. But it's still a demonstration that what you bring to bed is likely to impact your dreams. Are you taking teddy bears or snakes to sleep with you?

Yes, you can influence your dreams by what you're thinking and whatever you see before you close your eyes. But let's get down to the gut level. Dreams are full of feeling tones and emotions. How about, instead of waking up with "yuck" and "oh, no" and "ouch," you awoke with something else?

First one: Ahhhh! This is the ecstasy, the integration, the expansion of awareness. Let's shake out the cares of the day. Relax. We're going to have one terrific night's sleep, oh boy, are we, and we are going to wake to ecstasy. Ready? Ahhhh!

Well, that was pretty lousy. That was awful. I'm sorry, but it's not going to do the trick. That teenie effort is not going to override all the rest of the emotions of the day. You've got to put your whole being into this. You've heard of primal screaming? Well, we're going to do primal "Ahing." One, two, three. "Ahhhh!" One more time. "Ahhhh!" Well, that's a little better.

If you're not into "Ahs," how about "A-ha!"? This is the act of discovery, the lasting synthesis, the stroke of inspiration, the fusion of two frames into one. "A-ha!" One, two, three. "A-ha!" Well, gee, that might wake you up. While you're asleep, you might become lucid! One, two, three. "A-ha!" And you just might just wake up next morning with a brilliant genius of an idea.

But of course, there's "Ha, ha." This is the collision of incompatible frames that cross each other's path, that results in irony and laughter. Hmm, let's see. "Ha, ha, ha!" What is this? Forced laughter? What can you do to be natural...make faces in the mirror? If you can't get to laughter and spontaneity at the end of the day, if you are dragging your feet and whatever else around the bedroom, then think back to a laughter point in your past. Or look around. Do you have comics by your bed? Think about that. What do you have? What is on your bedstand? Just the clock. Tick-tock, tick-tock. That says tomorrow-I-have-to-be-ready-to-do-everything-I-have-to-do- oh-boy-I'm-going-to-be-thinking-about-it-all-night.

This last one is my own personal favorite. "WOW!" This is the action of recognition and delight; opening up into further exploration and knowledge. It's the mystery, still yet to be defined. Our dreams are mysteries. We can analyze them, We can interpret them and we can divide them into mincemeat pie, take them apart like puzzle pieces and put them together again. But they're still going to be mysteries. Thank goodness, it's the bit of curiosity that takes us further into the exploration of the self. We can follow it into the next dream...into the next day. "WOW!" One, two, three. "WOW!" One, two, three. "WOW!"

So, how are you feeling right now?

(Dream Flights)