Connection Through Dreaming - Do We Still Take Time to Daydream?
Dreams are powerful things, and still represent something of an enigma for the scientific community. At night time, as we sleep and recharge our batteries, our minds delve into a rich treasure trove of memory and knowledge, forging connections between these often unexplored or forgotten pockets of data, and presenting us with a myriad of images and experiences.
What appears to be a litany of random images and events may actually hold a deeper meaning for us. The experiences we have while we dream take us back to people, to places, to pieces of information, much of which might have been all but erased from our waking minds. There is something wonderful in this, and dreams are definitely worthy of exploration.
But what about daydreaming? We might think of daydreaming as something negative; something associated with distraction and time-wasting. We have probably been told - at one point or another - to quit our daydreaming and to do something useful, often by our parents or teachers.
This is unfair. Instead of being something negative, the humble daydream can be a force for positive change and development, it can provide us with mental space within which to explore potential avenues and outcomes, or it can simply be a refuge from the stress and strain of modern life.
Perhaps you are daydreaming about something you want to happen - like a new achievement or a move towards a new chapter of your life. Maybe you are daydreaming about something which will happen - such as an upcoming examination, a sporting competition, or a new adventure - and you are trying to understand how best to approach this. Or it could be that you are simply dreaming a hopeful dream - of a loved one returning home, or of a shift in your personal circumstances. Whatever it is, this is not wasted time; this is time for forging connections within your brain, consciously and positively.
Do you make time for yourself to daydream? The average citizen of working age in New South Wales works 40.7 hours each week, while half of Australia's young people describe their academic life as highly stressful. Once other commitments are factored in, there is very little left over time to be spent daydreaming.
This is a pity. The ancient lands and ancient cultures of Australia provide us with a unique opportunity to understand the connections which come from daydreaming and to explore those connections to the full.
It is easier said than done, but taking some time out to daydream on a regular basis can have huge rewards, as we forge profound connections with our subconscious.
Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.