Friday, September 4, 2009

Talking to Rocks

Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods park in Co...

I dreamed last night that I was with a group of friends and an inanimate object -- it might have been a rock, I can't remember for sure -- made a noise. I turned and spoke to it as though it was a person and it calmed right down. Then I turned back to my friends who chuckled about it good-naturedly, but couldn't deny the testimony of their own eyes (and ears). I thought to myself, how about that -- all it needed was some recognition.

Just so you know, I don't usually make it a habit to talk to rocks, not even in dreams, so this has to have some significance. I'm guessing there is something in my life that normally wouldn't make itself known or at least wouldn't be noticeable, that wants some attention. All I need to do is address it. Nothing fancy, nothing showy, a simple word of acknowledgment is what it's asking for.

Apart from all the biological things that dreams do -- I've mentioned this before -- like encoding information into long-term memory, they give us a glimpse of what our interior, unconscious life is about. If something is unconscious, it's outside conscious awareness. While we often don't remember all the dreams we have in a typical night's sleep (and everyone dreams, whether they remember them or not), when one comes to mind, it's worth noting. There's usually something that wants a little attention -- maybe a lot, depending on what it is.

So, how does this work out in a practical way? Well, I could take the "rock" to mean several things and I think it does. But one of them is some anxiety I've been feeling about preparing for my upcoming second encounter with the medical licensing exam. What I mean is, I've been feeling tense and anxious, but I haven't really done anything about it. Since I'm being so stubborn at a conscious level, it's decided to pay me a visit while asleep. I need to stop ignoring it and allow myself to breathe. When my dog and I take our daily walk, use the time to enjoy being outdoors rather than thinking about what I should be studying. That kind of thing.

How do I know this will be effective? I'm glad you asked that question. I know because my dream said it would and as far as I know, unlike some politicians, my dreams never lie. My guess is, your's probably don't either.

Image of Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado, via Wikipedia)
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