Rooms 47-60: Keep A Waking Dream Journal
Finding the Synchronicity and Meaning in Life
I don’t believe we should have to wait until our deathbed to get the answers to life. The universe is trying to give them to us everyday, with no middleman required. It’s a universe that wants us to discover our purpose, become awake, aware, and conscious.
Unfortunately, most of us aren’t listening. How could we be when we’re in one room all the time, with the windows shut, blinds drawn, and TV blaring. And, let’s be honest, we’re also lazy. I know I am. And when it comes to decoding the great mysteries of life, it’s not like the pieces to the puzzle come assembled. Like an IKEA bedroom set, they’re scattered all over the place. And the instructions are in Mandarin.
It’s often easier to throw our hands up and let someone else do the assembling. Let someone else tell us what the meaning of life is, or better yet, why not wait until we’re walking into the tunnel of light to get our answers.
Fortunately, I believe that’s changing. More people everyday are seeking the answers that will bring meaning into their lives. More than that, they’re willing to do the work—to find the courage to reinvent themselves, to think and live differently. Slowly, they’re opening their eyes, ears and hearts to a universe that wants to show them the way.
These are exciting times for us all. It’s the time of the new pioneer. The new explorer. That’s you, me and anyone else who wants to unravel the mysteries of life.
So, how do we begin?
Like any adventurer, we begin with an open heart and the vision to travel to unchartered lands. We begin by accepting that it’s our responsibility to put meaning into our own lives. No one will do it for us. We are the ones who must connect the dots, move the puzzle pieces, see the patterns.
If we do this long enough, then out of the fog of uncertainty, a shape of truth will start to appear. The world will slowly make sense.
Of course, none of this will happen unless we wake up and pay attention to the clues the universe is giving us. This week, we can begin by keeping a waking dream journal.
Rooms 47-60: Keep A Waking Dream Journal
Finding the Synchronicity and Meaning in Life
Many of us already keep a dream journal, a record of all those subjective sensations we experience when we sleep. And while this is a great journal to keep, and definitely a room for us to visit later, what we’re talking about today is keeping a record of all those events that happen during the hours we’re awake. This is the waking dream.
Our goal for the next four weeks is to pay close attention to all the details in our life, then follow the synchronicity that will begin to slowly reveal itself.
Now, by definition, synchronicity is “the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner.”
Put in a better way, it’s that time when you’re thinking of a friend and the friend happens to call you on the phone; or a book falls off of a shelf and ends up being the exact book you need; or when you finally end a bad relationship and immediately another partner comes into your life; or that time when you feel depressed or lost, only to have the next person you talk to say something that brings the “just needed” guidance. That’s synchronicity.
Now, I realize most of the world will call these accidents or coincidences. But, my argument, and our exercise for the month, is to show that this is only the tip of the iceberg, that such occurrences are the everyday fabric of a universe busy at work. And we don’t need to take it on faith. We can prove to ourselves that there are no coincidences, just small miracles repeated over and over.
And, while many of us might think we’re already finding synchronicity in our lives, we’re usually only doing it for the monumental moments in our lives. We get laid off at work, and we see it as a sign to search for a new way to live; a fire destroys our house and we suddenly realize what’s valuable; we have a heart attack and instantly know we should start eating healthy and exercising.
Yes, it’s easy to pay attention when it’s famine, fire and locusts. Big events are an obvious sign from the universe that we need to stop and take inventory. They clearly point us in a new direction.
But, how often do these events happen in our lives—six, ten, twelve times? And, if so, what are we doing for the rest of our lives? Sleeping?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don't think the universe is saying “here is the ten percent of life that matters, the other ninety percent is filler stuff to keep you busy.”
On the contrary, if ten percent of our life is meaningful, than one-hundred percent is meaningful. If ten percent is providence, than it’s all providence. If one thing is magical, it’s all magical.
If we let it, the waking dream will teach us this lesson.
Step 1: For 30 days write down as many waking dreams as you can.
Essentially, we will write down all the things in our day that make us pause and take notice. We’re looking for minutiae here. Not “what I put on my sandwich” minutiae, but all those things in the day that are slightly out of the ordinary. It could be anything that annoys, amuses, confuses, or irritates us; anything that makes us raise our eyebrow or take a second glance.
In short, it’s anything in which our intuition says, “There’s something here to look at.”
I’m talking about the flat tire, the bee sting, the parking ticket, the stubbed toe, the burnt toast. Do you keep hearing the same song on the radio? Are you always in the slow lane at the checkout aisle? Is there something odd about the conversation you heard in the elevator? What does the t-shirt say on the back of the woman who just ignored you? Do you keep getting prank phone calls? Seeing crows outside your window? Three legged dogs? Do you keep seeing the same time on the clock? Does the message on a billboard speak to you?
Don’t judge any of it, just put it all down in your notebook, tape recorder or phone.
If you can, try to put down at least 10-15 things on your list every day, but if you can do 20-30, all the better. The more we become masters at seeing, the more we will begin to see the unseen.
Step 2: Find the synchronicity between these “waking dreams” and what is happening in your life.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Once we begin observing the things that pop into our lives, our next job is to find the synchronicity between the events in our day and what is happening in our overall life.
Of course, there is no one way to do this.
But, generally speaking, we begin by asking questions about the “waking dreams” that appear in our day: How does what just happened relate to what happened ten minutes ago, or the night before? What does a crow mean to me? A three legged dog? What does the time on the clock represent? Why do I keep running into that same person? What does that person represent? Why is that billboard speaking to me now? Is there something I need to know?
Synchronicity is about finding connections. It’s about correlating what just happened with what we’re going through in our lives. And, like any dream, we need to make sense of the elements ourselves.
What were we doing or thinking about when we got stung by that bee? Where was our attention when we got the parking ticket? Did the car overheat because we blew up at our kids, or because we needed to slow down? Why do we keep hitting our head on the same door?
Ultimately, our waking dreams are like a puzzle we’re trying to solve. And to do this, we need to cultivate the practice of putting interpretations to the things that happen in our life. But, it takes practice, which begins by asking questions about the waking dreams in our day. At first, it may feel strained, as if we’re putting meaning to something where none exists.
All I can say is trust your instincts.
For many of us, this is a brand new way of thinking. But, the more we practice, the more we’ll begin to see correlations between our waking dreams and what we need to learn to become aware.
After a few weeks we will begin to see the patterns that exist between events. And it is here where life will get exciting. It is here when the light switches on and we suddenly realize it all has meaning, everything from the socks we choose, to the movies we watch, to the doors we walk through.
It is here where we will realize that everyday there are hundreds of miracles happening. We get a phone call that makes us miss our bus, which forces us to walk to a different restaurant, where we have the perfect meal, with just the right waiter we needed to meet.
These kinds of things are happening all day long. We just don’t know it yet. But, once we do, our world will never be the same again. In an instant, we will realize that our entire day is talking to us, guiding us, and steering us toward the experiences we need for our journey, as well as to help with the journey’s of those around us.
It’s at this point where we become co-creators with the universe, discovering for ourselves that there is not a moment in life that is not a spiritual moment. It’s at this point where we’ll begin to see life for the true adventure it is—an adventure in which everyday holds the possibility for life transforming awareness to take us to places we never could have imagined.
That’s what we’re after today…and it’s only one waking dream away.