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    The Wake Up And Dream Challenge
    The Wake Up And Dream Challenge
    How to Transform Your Life and Change the World
    Barbara Lavi, Psy.D.

    The Wake Up And Dream Challenge
    A B Lavi Publishing Book
    Printing History
    B Lavi Publishing, LLC December 2011
    Dr. Barbara Lavi
    15 Beaver Brook Road
    Weston CT 06883
    © 2011 by Barbara Lavi, PsyD.
    Book Design Chad Greiter
    All rights reserved
    Including the right of reproduction
    in whole or in part.
    ISBN: 978-1-935768-17-3
    Printed in the United States of America
    Table of Contents
    “Waking Up”
    The beginning
    Theoretical Dreamer’s Education
    What Are Wake Up Dreams And Why Are They Important?.
    What Gave Me The Strength To Dream?.
    Wake Up Dream Driving School: Assessing and Enhancing Your Dream Potential
    The Dream QuotientSM Inventory.
    What Is Your Dream QuotientSM (DQ)?.
    How Is It Different From Your IQ?.
    Becoming Your Own Dream Parent.
    Adapting To Life Transitions.
    When Life Gives You Lemons, Dream Anyway!
    You Can’t Afford Not To Follow Your Dreams.
    Suspending Disbelief: Overcoming Magical Thinking.
    Behind the Wheel Dreamer’s Education
    How to Wake Up And Dream!
    The Dream Positioning SystemSM:
    Dream It Forward, Plan Backwards.
    How to Develop Your Dream Legacy.
    The Rest of Your DPS Dream Destinations.
    How to Develop Your ACT Now To Do Dream List.
    When Should You Start?.
    Tips & Suggestions
    Creative Dreaming.
    Speed Dreamstorming Your DPS.
    New Dreamer Troubleshooting Tips.
    Silencing Your Inner Critic.
    Dreaming Solo and Joining the Broader Challenge
    Now You Can Wake Up And Dream.
    The Evolution of the Challenge.
    Finding Twenty-one Dream Nonprofit Organizations
    Dream Nonprofits

    To my ancestors who dared to dream,
    My family that helps me dream,
    My descendants who I hope will continue to dream, and
    A World filled with dreamers.
    “Waking Up”
    Welcome to The Wake Up And Dream Challenge. To begin my journey with you, I wanted to take the time to introduce myself. I’d like to share with you how what began as a modest attempt to report on my work as a therapist became a life and world-changing program that even amazes me.
    Throughout my life, I have set goals for myself and tried to complete whatever I wanted to accomplish. Even as a young person, I never wanted to look back and regret not trying something that I felt, in my heart, compelled to achieve.
    As a young mother and immigrant in Israel, I was eligible for a full government scholarship to attend college. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, I had to be enrolled within the first few years of residency. At the time, I was also a new member of a kibbutz— a cooperative community. The cooperative turned down my request to attend college, but offered to pay if I would delay my education four to five years. Instead, my family and I decided to leave the kibbutz. I began working on a college degree in psychology and English literature utilizing the government scholarship. At the time, my in-laws, who were founding members of the co-op, were fearful that we wouldn’t be able to survive in the city, but I was determined to follow my dreams.
    I went on to complete a Masters Degree in Clinical Child Psychology, and worked for eight years as a psychologist in schools, as well as in a psychiatric hospital with children and their families. Helping people suffering severe mental illness gave me a strong ‘basic’ knowledge of psychopathology. However, my greatest fascination was not in understanding psychopathology, but in predicting the conditions that lead to mental health. My Masters thesis explored factors that help children cope with war, the absence of a father during war, or the death of a parent due to combat. At the time, there were very few in-depth studies that attempted to understand what led to achieving positive outcomes following extremely difficult life circumstances.
    In my clinical work I also found myself intrigued by factors associated with resiliency and mental health. I learned from clients as I helped them overcome neglect, abuse, poverty, and trauma. I worked diligently to offer them various ways to thrive in life, despite extensive difficulties in their past.
    A few years after the Yom Kippur War (1973), I decided to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology in the United States. With three children, it was no easy task to return to my studies. Again, I was determined to accomplish my dreams. At the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, I was one of the most experienced students. Having trained in psychoanalytic, behavioral, and family therapy in Israel, I had already accumulated ample experience with parents, children, and adolescents. To challenge myself, I decided to focus on work with adults, group, and alternative family therapy orientations. When a supervision course was required in the third year of my doctoral program, I chose to lead a supervision group.
    Mandatory ‘goal-setting’ tasks were a part of my doctoral program that I never liked. Since I am self-motivated and fairly driven, the tasks seemed contrived and unnecessary. In hindsight, they may have been helpful, but at the time they seemed very short-sighted. For that reason, I originally shied away from ‘goal-setting’ tasks in my professional world.
    I’ve always rebelled against being pigeonholed into a singular ‘specialty.’ I know that carving a niche is highly recommended for marketing purposes, but I have multiple interests and multiple areas of expertise. Therefore, a niche would be narrowing my skills instead of allowing my talents to thrive and expand.
    Our society tends to push all professionals to specialize. However, once they do, they may find themselves in unfulfilling, highly specialized careers that they are afraid to leave. Fortunately, psychology gave me a field with limitless possibilities. When I find a new area of interest, I study it thoroughly and develop a new skill set. Every human being is unique, so I have never experienced boredom or felt limited by my profession. Thanks to teachers and mentors I gained the basic knowledge and skills I use to continue growing in my field. Having an amazing group of supporters in my past has helped me develop new theories and techniques, some of which I will be teaching you in this book.
    I could not have completed this project without the tireless efforts of my interns—the ultimate “Dream Team.” These young, idealistic students helped with web design, editing, outreach to nonprofit organizations, legal research, marketing, human resources, and public relations. I hope that their learning experiences and progress toward their own dreams has helped them as much as they helped me.
    Words do no suffice in thanking my editor, Amy Lignor, whose creative writing skills helped make the book more powerful as it evolved. In addition, she helped me learn the ropes of preparing a book for publication. Patiently, she put up with all my questions and requests, even when they were not clear cut editing issues. Her work was done quickly and professionally every step of the way. Amy is living proof that you can discover wonderful people and resources on Twitter. I know I will reach out to her in the future whenever I work on a book.
    In the summer of 2010, I helped organize a family reunion. It was the first time in forty or fifty years that this branch of the family came together. When I was a child, the family gathered for weddings and funerals. My grandmother and mother knew all of the relatives; however, for me, most of the family felt like distant relations, since they lived far from my immediate family. The planning began more than a year before the event took place. It took endless hours of work to organize the weekend filled with activities. There were many truly frustrating moments as the reunion drew closer. From the very beginning, I sensed that it was not only important but also necessary to reunite the family. I knew that several of the elders were over eighty years old. I wanted their knowledge of family history to be videotaped and saved for future generations. My grandmother was exceptionally proud of her roots. Whenever I felt the slightest bit discouraged because the planning wasn’t going well, I remembered her wealth of pride, and this kept me working toward making the reunion as meaningful as possible. Much of my time during the summer of 2010 was spent on the preparations for the reunion, but when I returned to writing this book, suddenly all the work on the family reunion somehow fit into this book’s concept and enhanced the process.
    Meeting with the family and hearing their stories helped me realize why the family reunion was so important to me. My beloved grandmother and our family history epitomized and taught me to believe in the American Dream. She came to America from a very humble background. She grew up in a part of Czarist Russia which became part of Poland, and is now part of Belarus. Her father was a true scholar who could read Russian, Hebrew, Polish and Yiddish. When he settled in the small town of Belitsa, he became the private postman. At the turn of the century many families were sending their children to the city or the United States, and, therefore, mail was very important to the townspeople. Since her father had to venture to Lida to pick up their mail, he would also take passengers on his carriage for a fee. Illiterate townspeople would pay him and his children to read their mail to them, which made them a town “treasure.”
    There were eight children in my grandmother’s immediate family, and her parents saved diligently in order to send five of their eight children to America. Each child would arrive in the United States and be helped by relatives who had immigrated before them. They would then send money back to their parents, helping yet another of their siblings to immigrate to America to begin their dream. World War II took the lives of most of the family who remained in the old country. However, those who made it to America thrived and accomplished all they had set out to do.
    In the August of 2010, close to seventy relatives who were all direct descendants of my maternal great grandparents—ranging in age from ten to ninety—came together. There were doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, published authors, and psychologists—a wealth of individuals who persevered and discovered their dreams. I have my great grandparents, whom I never met, to thank for their vision, courage, and strength. They were the ones who encouraged my grandmother and her brothers to follow their dreams. By doing this, she went on to teach me the same valuable lesson: Dream, work hard, respect others, and take advantage of your ability to learn throughout your life. That legacy lives on in me. After you read this book, I hope you will join me and carry on this amazing legacy.
    My mother also deserves a great deal of credit. She was a child ‘genius,’ who skipped three years in school. Attending Rice University at the age of only thirteen, she studied Chemistry, which was her father’s dream profession. After graduating with honors my mother hit the proverbial ‘glass ceiling,’ and couldn’t find work in her chosen field. Heading back to school, my mother became a secretary. After my parents married, my mother worked as my father’s legal secretary; and, after their divorce, she began working as a secretary in the legal department of a mortgage loan company. She continued advancing professionally and became the head of the legal department.
    When I was a teenager, my mother went back to law school. As a single mother with four children, she worked full-time during the day and attended classes at night. She completed her law degree the same year as her oldest son completed his Bachelors’ Degree. My mother refused to let her divorce, children, or finances keep her from accomplishing her dreams. She also encouraged us and did whatever she could to help make our dreams a reality. Even when she didn’t think our decisions were the best, she supported us and instilled in us the confidence we needed to make our own choices.
    My father’s contribution was far more complex. He was more of an ‘opponent’ who at times challenged our dreams which may have, in some ways, added to our rebelliousness. He was a rebel. He fought for human rights and believed in socialist values during the McCarthy era. As a lawyer, he believed in every person’s right to representation, even defending members of the Communist Party, a group my father belonged to for a short period of time.
    His law practice suffered from bad press and poor financial policies, but he always made it a point to respect the law—representing people from all races, religions, and political backgrounds. He taught me to respect all human beings and to discover every person’s unique qualities. Although he was never wealthy, my father gave his time generously to causes he supported. Part of his legacy may have influenced my idea to “dream it forward,” and to contribute a large share of the proceeds of this book to help charities while at the same time helping all readers accomplish their dreams.
    My brothers and sisters-in-law have been mentors as well, and have supported me throughout my life. They are role models who have reached for and accomplished their dreams, while also supporting their children’s dreams. Sadly, my brother, Larry, lost a short sudden battle with brain cancer this summer. Although he did not get to see how this project has flourished, his encouragement in its earlier phases inspired me. He lived his dreams and designed buildings and spaces that inspire others. His memory lives on with me in this book.
    My own children have taught me the hard lessons of knowing when to encourage and when to back off; when to question and when to simply accept their decisions as they head down their own paths. My daughter, Lee, has followed in her great grandmother’s, grandmother’s, and mother’s tradition of continuing her education into adulthood. This has been a huge inspiration to her children, friends, and family. My daughter, Smadar, has also been a tireless cheerleader during the writing of this book. Her editorial comments have enriched the process, her formatting skills were priceless and her insightful advice and support have given me great joy.
    Last, but never least, my fiance, Jerry, has been an unending and unwavering support system throughout the writing process. He has stood by me even when my ideas have seemed more than a bit “wild and crazy.”
    All of these incredible people have given me the strength to take The Wake Up And Dream Challenge, and I am forever grateful.
    How does one lose sight of their dreams? We are given a clean slate when we enter this world. We have yet to be affected by the obstacles or turmoil of life; we are simply creatures with wondrous eyes, absolutely amazed by the extraordinary colors, sounds, and feel of the world around us. Our dreams have yet to stir, but our minds are already taking snapshots of things we love and things that make us happy. There is no I can’t, I won’t or, I’m not good enough. In the beginning we are in charge of our own destinies.
    As we grow, our dreams become bigger and bigger. Unfortunately, the walls also grow higher and higher, keeping us away from what we want and throwing challenges in our path. Money is always an issue; emotional pain coming from that first boyfriend or girlfriend; perhaps a family member with troubles; or, a classroom full of bullies…who knows? There are a myriad of things that make our real dreams soar further away from us, until they end up becoming Harry Potter-‘esque’ magical illusions.
    What we need to know and understand is that those dreams are still there and we can still reach them. Although it may seem that the brass ring is now far out of reach as the years go by, we have to understand that even though the walls are higher—WE have grown taller.
    You may think you just bought a self-help book, but you purchased so much more than just a book. Although this may look like a traditional “helpful” guide, The Wake Up And Dream Challenge has the power to do far more. These pages—this concept—have the power to transform your life and change the world by helping nonprofit organizations at the same time. It’s more like buying the DeLorean sports car from the movie, Back To The Future. In the film, the actor Christopher Lloyd plays the part of an absent-minded professor who invents a machine for time travel that he retrofits into the DeLorean. Although intending to use the machine to travel to the future, Michael J. Fox’s character jumps in, starts the car, and accidentally is transported to the past.
    If you take the Wake Up And Dream Challenge, you will become the inventor, driver and navigator of your own unique time machine that will help you chart your way to the future in order to accomplish your dreams. Once you develop your time machine, it will begin to work on automatic pilot. Yet, if you change your mind along the journey, you will have the ability to reprogram it in order to make sure that you are always on the right path to your dreams.
    As we all know, before you can learn to drive a car you need to take a theoretical or, ‘driver’s education’ course to learn how to operate the vehicle. You also need to learn the rules and regulations of the road. Once you complete the theoretical course, you take a test in order to obtain a learner’s permit. A learner’s permit allows you to practice driving with a licensed driver by your side. After driving with your ‘teacher’ present, you are then ready to take a road test. If you pass the test, you receive a license that allows you to drive independently.
    In many states today, if you are below the age of eighteen, there are limitations even after you’ve been awarded that precious license. In Back To The Future, Michael J. Fox’s character attempted to operate the DeLorean without any prior training, leading to some extremely tough complications.
    Although you don’t need a license to dream, learning to Wake Up And Dream requires preparation. This book will prepare you to take the Wake Up And Dream Challenge, by teaching you a dream driver’s education in the first four parts of the book: Part I: Theoretical Dream Driver’s Education, Part II: Wake Up And Dream Driving School, Part III: How To Wake Up And Dream, and Part IV: Dream Troubleshooting and Helpful Tips. Here’s an overview of what you will learn in the first four parts of the book.
    In Part I: Theoretical Dreamer’s Education, you will discover the theory behind the Wake Up And Dream Challenge. You will learn what “Wake Up Dreams” are, and how they differ from sleeping dreams, daydreams, wild dreams, goals or resolutions. You will also learn why “Wake Up Dreams” are important, and what happens if you lose sight of them. In addition, this section will explain how and why the “Wake Up And Dream Program” was developed. You will learn about the true inspiration behind this amazing program, and how the system has evolved over the years.
    Once you have learned the theoretical concepts in Part I of this book, you will be ready for the next phase of preparation. Part II: Wake Up Dream Driving School will help you assess your aptitude and enhance your potential to drive your dreams forward. It will prepare you to get behind the wheel. First, you will be presented with the tools to assess what kind of dreamer you are at present. You will take a brief dream aptitude test—The Dream QuotientSM Questionnaire and your scores will result in a Dream QuotientSM (DQ) that will enable you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in five major areas that can either help, or hinder, your ability to “Wake Up And Dream.” These areas that will be covered are: dream parenting; adaptation to life transitions; perseverance despite challenges; overcoming financial constraints; and, creativity versus ‘magical thinking.’ In each of the following chapters the characteristics related to these variables will be explained. There will be specific examples of how people just like you were able to prevail over their challenges. Ways to increase your dream potential will be taught. In addition, there will be troubleshooting tips on how to strengthen any weaknesses you may have in a specific area.
    Although the examples given present the challenges my clients have overcome, these techniques work whether you are a gifted dreamer or someone with more challenges in your background. Even if you are satisfied with where you are in your life, you can benefit from these techniques. Studies assume that we only use about ten percent of our brain’s capacity. If this is true, we may only be using ten percent of our DQ potential as well. Whether you are stuck and feeling challenged in your life or fairly satisfied with your accomplishments, you can benefit from developing your DPS. It certainly has enhanced my life beyond my initial expectations!
    After you have studied and taken a long, hard look at your aptitude to dream, and strengthened your Dream QuotientSM (DQ), you will be ready to take the next steps. Part III: How To Wake Up And Dream, presents each of the “Wake Up And Dream” assignments to help you build your “Dream Time Machine.” You will be taught to use dream-storming techniques to develop your own dream navigational device, the Dream Positioning SystemSM (DPS). The DPS is made up of eight assignments: Your Dream Legacy and seven questions that will help you predict where you will be on each of your dreams over the course of your future. Once you have completed these assignments, you will have earned your ‘license’ to take The Wake Up And Dream Challenge, be ready to activate your DPS and start driving towards your dreams.
    As with all user’s manuals, this book includes some tips and troubleshooting hints. Part IV: Tips and Troubleshooting will help you as a new user of your DPS. If you have trouble creating your DPS, it will help you fix the problems and keep you moving forward towards your dreams. In this part of the book you will also be introduced to two techniques to use if you need help developing your DPS: speed dream-storming and creative dreaming. These techniques may come in handy if you have trouble turning off your “inner critic,” a concept explained in this part of the book.
    As I mentioned earlier, reading this book will help you transform your life, but it will do so much more. Originally, this book was going to simply be called Wake Up And Dream. However, the last two parts of the book, Part V and Part VI, will show you how the book became the Wake Up And Dream Challenge and how it will change the world. Every book sold will enrich the world. It has the potential to help multiple nonprofit organizations improve the world while it helps countless individuals, like you, accomplish their dreams.
    By purchasing The Wake Up And Dream Challenge, you have already joined and contributed to something that will do more than just help you accomplish your dreams. You will be helping me accomplish something far greater than my initial objective when I began writing this book. You see, in addition to helping yourself navigate your way to your dreams, you will have the knowledge that you have already contributed to a larger challenge that will help change the world. Part V explains how this book developed from a simple self-help book to a much larger challenge. It will show you how my own dream legacy assignment and DPS transformed the book from Wake Up And Dream to The Wake Up And Dream Challenge. It will show you how you can help me “Dream It Forward” and change the world one dream at a time. I hope you will choose to take both challenges: the personal one, to reach for your dreams; and, the broader one, of letting people know about this grassroots revolution.
    Part VI: Dream Nonprofits tells the individual stories of twenty-one innovative charities and schools that are helping countless people reach their dreams. Half the profits from every book sold are being donated to these amazing organizations. If you choose to get involved, you will be able to help by telling friends and other charities so that they can learn from one another and join the challenge. As this revolution grows, there will be additional editions of this book published with additional charities and nonprofits as benefactors.
    It’s time to learn how to Wake Up And Dream!
    The Beginning
    It was a stormy day when Jody first came into my office; her curly black hair was damp and frizzy, showing all the signs of the dreary landscape outside. Jody was an over-weight, fifty-year-old, whose wrinkled face made her look at least ten years older than she was. The lines on her face were so deeply cut with worry and exhaustion that it looked as if a master sculptor had created a face of pure and utter depression. In a tentative voice, Jody asked if it was all right to sit in a chair rather than on the couch, because sitting on couches was uncomfortable for her since her back injury.
    Beginning her story, Jody apologized for her tears and wiped her eyes, revealing the dark circles she had tried to mask with an overabundance of make-up. There was a proud, intelligent woman struggling to maintain her dignity inside this cheerless figure; a woman who never thought she would need to see a psychologist.
    As she looked around nervously, Jody stared at the door and seemed ready to bolt for freedom. Pausing, Jody tilted her head towards the floor as if she wanted her foot to stop tapping so that she could compose herself. In almost a whisper, she said, “I’m not crazy but I’m at my wits’ end. Sometimes I think about putting my head in a gas oven and simply ending the pain.”
    As a therapist, with Jody’s honest confession, red alerts were triggered in my mind, and I knew that ‘contracts for safety’ would be the first priority in planning Jody’s therapy. I also knew that it would be necessary to help Jody find a way to rekindle the light at the end of her very dark tunnel. I needed to understand what her dreams had been; how and why she had lost sight of them.
    Ten years before she came to see me, Jody had been in a disabling accident which had left her with chronic lower back pain. On the worst days she couldn’t get out of bed because of the agonizing pain; even the most potent painkillers left her in sheer agony. Fearing addiction, Jody had tried to avoid pain medication completely. Her physician had come to the point where he had nothing more to offer Jody, and had told her she would have to learn to live with the pain.
    Eking by on disability insurance and child support from her ex-husband, Jody was in utter darkness. Since her youngest daughter was turning twenty-one and child support would soon be terminated, Jody didn’t know how she would survive. Unable to hold a steady job, she couldn’t imagine how she’d be able to go on without the child support payments. Even on her better days she couldn’t sit or stand for more than an hour or two. Pain would wake her from her sleep multiple times every night; if she slept three hours she considered it a good rest. Since Jody couldn’t exercise, when food became her only source of pleasure she gained forty pounds. Being overweight made her feel even worse about herself, and there was simply nothing left in life to enjoy.
    Just before the accident, Jody had become a registered nurse. The only time her face lit up was when she spoke to me of her work. As Jody described how there was no way possible that she could ever return to the career she had loved, tears started to flow again. Being a burden on her adult children was not something Jody ever wanted to be, and she saw suicide as the only solution. But Jody was gravely aware that if she committed suicide, it would also cause her children harm. To Jody, there was no real answer and no way out. The thought of her children’s pain was just about the only thing holding her back from doing the deed, but fortunately, she had come to see me instead of choosing to end it all. Believe it or not, with help, Jody moved from desperation to hope, and on to a joyful life.
    Jody’s therapy began by ‘contracting’ with me for safety. She agreed not to harm herself and to call me if or when she felt unsafe. Additionally, to insure her safety, I referred Jody to a psychiatrist to be evaluated for medication and he started her on anti-depressants.
    I taught Jody hypnosis to help her with multiple problems— from the physical pain to overcoming insomnia to curbing her appetite. She began to lose weight and to sleep better. Even though she still had bouts with back pain, they became more manageable with self-hypnosis. When she was stable and no longer suicidal, I assigned Jody The Wake Up And Dream Challenge. With that incredible program, Jody began to make significant positive changes in her life.
    When Jody completed therapy she was well on her way to accomplishing her dreams. Her ‘waking dream’ life consisted of several part-time jobs which supplemented her disability income. She also watched her grandson one day a week. This gave Jody a tremendous amount of joy in a once tedious existence. One evening a week for six weeks Jody taught jewelry-making in a continuing education class. She began writing a book on how to overcome chronic pain based on workshops she had begun while teaching at local hospitals once a month. Jody reinstated her nursing license. She started providing home visits one or two mornings a week as an RN. It gave her immense pleasure to help children suffering from serious illnesses who were unable to go to school. Jody was able to reclaim the profession she thought she had to abandon. In addition, she expanded her horizons and accomplished new and exciting dreams that gave her immense gratification. The combination of all the above endeavors helped Jody regain her sense of self worth and purpose in life.
    The last time I saw Jody she was still absolutely thriving. She was slim, healthy and well rested. She wore a smile on her face that made her truly glow as she told me, “I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.” Jody found it hard to believe that she was living a life she could not have imagined on the day we first met. Jody had learned the powerful lesson of how to “Wake Up And Dream.” This book will teach you, how you can do the same.
    Clients like Jody inspired me to write this book. Jody came to therapy feeling trapped in a life that was completely unsatisfying. Watching her and so many others like her break free of their pain and accomplish their dreams compelled me to examine the techniques I use with all my clients. Since their transformations were so dramatic and quick, I wanted to reach out to a wider audience and prove to them that dreams have the absolute power to improve their lives.
    This book will relay other ‘real-life’ stories of how my clients (whose identities have been disguised for privacy purposes) reinvented themselves and reached their dreams. Our journey together will also teach you the techniques to use in order to banish the darkness from your lives, and live your dreams!
    What Are Wake Up Dreams And Why Are They Important?
    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt
    If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Webster’s dictionary lists three definitions of the word dream that directly relate to how the word dream is used throughout this book. Individually, however, they do not encompass the meaning of a ‘wake up’ dream. It is only through a combination of the definitions that a full understanding can be had by all who read this book.
    Webster’s first definition of a dream is ( “a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep.” We are all familiar with the experience of sleeping dreams. While we sleep we see, hear, smell, taste and feel things that appear like mini-movies inside our minds. They seem real, although we have learned to recognize that they are imaginary images. A nightmare is a dream that is so frightening they wake us from our sleep.
    Over the centuries, man has been fascinated by dreams. Beginning in the days of the Old Testament and Joseph’s interpretations of dreams, to the here and now, mankind has attempted to understand the meaning of the dream state. In the 20th Century, Sigmund Freud began to see the importance of dreams with regard to our mental health. Freud proposed that dreams were windows to our unconscious minds, and in therapy, dreams are interpreted as a way to help clients understand their problems, drives, and to enhance their lives.
    Much has changed since the time of Freud’s dream interpretations. Now, modern technology can explore brain activity while we sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during sleep is now recognized as an actual sign that we are in a dream state. We now know that we have several dreams every night, even if we have no recollection of them in the morning.
    Sleep studies have explored the importance of dreaming. In one famous study, researchers awakened their subjects whenever they first began to show signs of REM sleep. These particular subjects began to have hallucinations during the daytime; hallucinations are one of the indicators of psychosis. When normal sleep was restored, the REM deprived hallucinations disappeared. As you can see, this very important discovery supports Freud’s theory that dreams are critical for sustaining good mental health.
    According to Freudian theory, the unconscious mind is a protective mechanism designed to help us cope with life’s challenges. Theoretically, our brain is like a sophisticated computer. Now imagine that the brain’s computer has a memory that far exceeds today’s most powerful computers. Our brain’s memory bank is divided into three parts: conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The conscious material is made up of all the things we see hear, smell, taste, feel, see, think, and experience on a day-to-day basis. At any given moment there are hundreds of thousands of images, thoughts, and memories located in our conscious awareness. Since we could easily be overwhelmed by all these stimuli, our brain allows us to focus on only the material that is relevant to what we are doing at any given moment in time. The extraneous material is placed in our preconscious mind.
    For example, as I type this paragraph I am sitting in my office which is filled with stimuli. I can hear the ticking of a clock, and the music of the wind chimes outside my door. I can see birds enjoying the day outside my window. Pictures, furnishings, and objects surround me. I am also keenly aware that someone will be arriving in thirty minutes, and that I need to make a phone call. Although I know that the other stimuli are present around me, they remain in my preconscious mind so I can continue with my writing -paying attention only to the thoughts related to the paragraph I am composing. If the doorbell rings unexpectedly, or a fire alarm were to go off, the necessary preconscious material would immediately flood my consciousness, and I would be able to answer the door or leave the building immediately.
    The unconscious mind contains the rest of the brain’s database. Theoretically, everything that happens to us from when the brain is formed is etched upon that brain. The unconscious includes our earliest memories, both positive and traumatic. Positive memories are stored away for safekeeping. Negative ones are stored away as a protective mechanism.
    ‘Sleeping’ dreams have access to all our memories, both conscious and unconscious. The dreams we have while we are asleep help us process the events that we experienced during the day. Often we do not consciously remember our dreams. If the issues that we are struggling with are resolved, we may not need to remember the dreams, so they remain in our unconscious mind. Nightmares and dreams that we do remember may be the ones that our unconscious is having trouble resolving.
    When clients are with a therapist who utilizes dream interpretation as part of their therapy, they often begin to remember more of their dreams. The kind of dream interpretation used in therapy is not the focus of the Wake Up And Dream Challenge. Instead, the technique of creative dreaming, described later, applies a conscious, intentional creative process onto the unconscious process of ‘sleeping’ dreams. Creative dreaming is a method that allows the dreamer to control the content of their ‘sleeping’ dreams. In this book, creative dreaming techniques will also be used to help create ‘wake up’ dreams.

    End of this sample Kindle book.
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