Night Visions

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Excerpt from my book (a work in progress), Soldier of Love
image credit: Unknown

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Dreams are messages from our souls, clues from our subconscious, in reality our conscious, grappling with whatever is stirring deep in us at the time. Freud and Jung explored dreams as manifestations of our deepest desires and anxieties, often relating to repressed childhood memories or obsessions. Many ancient cultures viewed dreams as expressions of inner our desires, in one way or another, deeply anchored in the journey of our souls. There is always real rationale when and why we experience dreams, finite correlations with choices or instances that are to happen. For me, this has been proved numerous times, whether providing me with clarity on creativity or soul deep insights on how to decide. The connectivity, at this purest level, the inextricable relationship between my dreams and what I continue to learn are my truths, is profound.

Dreams often come to us during REM (rapid eye movement), periods of sleep that are shorter at the beginning of the night and longer toward the end. During REM sleep, the activity of the brain’s neurons is similar to that during waking hours, excitedly busy transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals. But when we wake up after a bout of REM, the reality we come into is different than our dream state. It typically takes us a few moments to recognize where we really are. Our dreams are usually fluid and free, rife with unthinkable triumphs over the impossible, overtly more fantastical than our daily lives. When we are unguarded, plugged in to our consciousness, without ego and circumstance, as we are during sleep, we are herculean. Anything can happen. We are often amazed at what we experience in our dreams. But in contrast, in our everyday, we switch off our power. We fearfully double think every move we make.

So what if we were to live our waking lives consciously? What if we did approach our whole existence with the same freedom from restraint, same degree of dare, we do in REM? What if we did not hold ourselves back? We would be unstoppable wouldn’t we, able to deftly navigate challenges previously deemed improbable. How many times have we heard of great successes that have occurred because of a ‘hunch’, an instinct, a dream? Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” came to him in a dream, as did Madame C.J. Walker’s millions, Elias Howe’s sewing machine and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. Our dreams are anchored in pure raw instinct. When we look at the experiences and metaphors in our dreams, it becomes so clear how our genius and choices align with our soul’s needs. When there is no ego to confuse us, to block us, we are unafraid of the unknown.

It is fear then that inhibits us from doing what we really should be doing, growing, expanding, and moving closer toward the becoming our best. When we’re challenged, afraid, we tell ourselves “In your dreams buddy.” We cower, cripple our ambition and stunt our own growth. But what if we really did look to our dreams for growth, the hints and allegories,the truths and dare, they consistently propose? What if we were to throw caution to the proverbial wind and dive right in when faced with a choice that flies in the face of what we already ‘know’? When the choices are wrong and misguided, we sink into gloom. But when they are right and connected, light.

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I’ve set out in this book to reflect on my own life, to look at my mission, purpose, and achievements; survey the why and when things happen – Season, Reason and Lifetime. While, I’m still a work in progress, this seems a fitting juncture to examine my adventure thus far, how far I’ve come and where I’m headed, to take stock if you will. It’s amazing how once you commit to the exercise, how the obvious, comes gushing up like rich, raw crude. I’ve also chosen to juxtapose my many night visions up against the fortuitous milestones of my days, to truly hone in on when and how well I’ve been listening; how authentic I’ve been.

My creativity is steeped, and has spanned numerous shifts, in popular culture: media, arts, music, theatre and fashion; similarly and more importantly, my consciousness has been shaped by social revolutions in our race as humans, at times misguided in our quest for truth: racism, sexism, family, religion and culture schisms. When I look the chapters of how I played my hand, I see the full breadth of the plan. I see where the clues had boldly presented themselves. In context of purpose, I see when I might have lived more instinctually, made different choices or found the courage to act sooner on the ones I ultimately did make – lived more truthfully, authentically, fearlessly. I see how I might have averted pain but applaud when I found ways to apply it in my growth. Hindsight, it is said, is 20/20. The upside, ironically, is that I’ve come to where I should have anyway. We all will. This, in my opinion, is our irrefutable fate. I’m now empowered to share my adventure so others, armed with the wisdom of my experience, can choose more effectively for themselves.

So what was this Frozen Beach — this quest for this wildly surreal concoction of snow and sand? What was I seeking? “Frozen in time.” What was this “new tropical rhythm” from yet another “distant beach beyond?” This dream came to me a very long time ago, a period in my life when, like many, not knowing who I was, I was trying desperately to fit in to the ‘norm’. I was born in sunny Jamaica but spent the greater portion of my years growing up in Canada. My life has indeed been a juxtapose of hot and cold – craving the warmth of family, birthright and heritage, but holding myself hostage, in a ‘first world’ box, frozen on ice. Fear crippled me, causing me to stall. My soul stayed undernourished for the longest while, warm inside but ferociously protected on the outside, cold and controlled. Real life reality: challenges, milestones, mentorship, aspirations, awakenings, and in sum total, love, continue help me build toward who I am undoubtedly to become…A Soldier of Love.

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