Artwork by Gina Triplett for Art with Heart's Chill & Spill journal

Artwork by Gina Triplett for Art with Heart's Chill & Spill journal

Dreams. They can reveal so much if we learn to listen to the messages they hold.  Sometimes they are just wacky. But other times, they can shape your future, look at things from a different angle, helping us solve perplexing problems that seem to have no answer during our waking hours.

Have you ever had a dream that lingers with you all day? You can still feel the sensations you felt in the dream. You may carry the anger or sorrow or joy with you hours later.

Sometimes I have dreams about unfinished business. In the dream, I accomplish all sorts of things, and because it feels so real, I am surprised to find that upon awaking, nothing was actually done. Then the rest of the day feels redundant.

You can tell that there's something more to certain dreams, but its often hard to put your finger on it – not at first anyways. It's like a blind taste test – you know you know the flavor, but you can't quite place it.

I've had dreams that haunt me for days, holding onto my brain and teasing me to find a deeper meaning. One dream in particular involved a baby who kept stretching out her little chubby arms up towards me. As I bent to pick her up, I couldn't lift her – she was too heavy. The harder I tried, the heavier she became.

When I went in closer to figure out the problem, I discovered that her skin was shiny gold. As I tried again, I realized that she was made of gold, through and through.

Artwork   by Steffanie Lorig

Artwork by Steffanie Lorig

I asked passers-by if they could help, and eventually, together we all cradled her in our arms and carried on as one unit the rest of the dream. When I awoke, I could feel the weight and the strain on my muscles from the burden.

All day long, I mulled over all the possible meanings. My first thought was that it had something to do with my own baby, but that answer didn't quite seem to fit.

As I began my day at work, thoughts of this golden child kept resurfacing. Then all at once, it hit me. I realized the baby was really the nonprofit organization I had founded years before. In reality, it had gotten so big, so heavy, so unwieldy I just couldn't handle it by myself anymore.

Once the metaphor seemed to fit, I realized that the dream was telling me that I needed to reach out to others for support to keep things moving, or the organization would stay in the same place, rooted in one place. This dream helped me realize the change that had to happen and I began taking steps to reach out to others.

Some people write their dreams down as soon as they wake up. Some add extra time into their morning routine to allow themselves to bask in the memories of the dream and begin to recognize if there are any patterns or things that show up time and time again. I have done both but not with consistency. I have drawn them in my sketchbook too, as some dreams are far too complex for words.  I think that whatever method you use to think about or memorialize dreams, it's important to take time to dissect them for a closer look. You never know what you'll find yourself talking to yourself about.