Why Sleep When You Can Dream Awake?


You have inherent creative brilliance. Just look at your natural capacity to dream at night. Consider how phenomenal it is that your dreaming mind creates a multidimensional imaginal reality that evolves as your awareness interacts with it! The emergent, nonlinear synthesis of the dreaming mind contrasts with the predominantly linear thoughts of the waking mind. Even though there is a clear difference between the dreaming and the waking mind, the two are connected integrally, and understanding how they work together is key to awakening your full creative potential.

To illuminate this further, I’d like to share a brief dream experience that I had eight years ago. The night before the dream, I gave myself an incubation – a question or intention for engaging the brilliance of my dreaming mind. My incubation was “What do I need to know to show up in utmost vibrancy?” It was an important question because I had to “show up” for a new chapter of my life.

As I was awakening from sleep, a voice in my mind said:

What you need to know is that thoughts are like cages for your mind.

Wait . . . what? All thoughts are cages for my mind? How am I going to think my way out of this one? I gave up and went back to sleep. Upon awakening, the voice said:

Yes all your thoughts are cages.
Just give them up to the void

 and watch what comes out!

My dreaming mind was telling me that in order for things to come out vibrantly, I had to give up my thoughts and preconceived expectations about what needed to happen. This openness differs from the agenda-driven programs that can cage the mind. Allowing events to unfold without the need to control them can be scary if you aren’t used to it, but it is also freeing. In the process, a space opens for the new and vibrant to emerge, both in your imagination and in your life.

Tip 1: Provide a safe space for encouraging creativity

When encouraging yourself and others to immerse in the unknown, it is essential to provide a safe space. Honor any fears that arise as opportunities for learning how to better support personal growth. Remember, being safe and being comfortable are not the same. Gaining a healthy relationship with fear is important, and stepping outside your comfort zone can be very enriching.

Tip 2: Commit to your personal vibrancy

When your body and spirit feel vibrant, you have a greater ability to imagine and manifest the vibrant life you want. So make the time to do those activities that magnify your wellbeing and light up your soul. Nurture and love yourself.

Then dream into a lifestyle that supports the vibrancy you’re feeling, and begin taking steps toward redesigning your life. Consider changing up your routines and environment at work and at home.

Tip 3: Realize and share your soul’s creative calling 

Realizing what your soul wants to create is an ongoing process, an ever-evolving inquiry into that which deeply enriches you and others. By devoting to this path of soul inquiry, you’ll gain access to a wellspring of unlimited creative potential.

Inquire into that which brings you joy in life. What passions do you have for contributing to something greater than you? Imagine yourself sharing what you love in a grand or magnificent way. When you visualize sharing your gift with the world, what self-improvement opportunities arise in terms of how you view yourself and your skills?

Improve yourself and then give your best to the world. You may discover that your gift takes on a different form than previously thought. Explore how to share your gift in entirely new ways. Sometimes sharing it requires finding or initiating a supportive space with the necessary participants and resources.

Tip 4: Incubate your life consciously

Conscious incubation involves being mindful of what you tell yourself internally and what you expose yourself to in the world. These internally and externally generated experiences help shape or incubate the reality you will create during subsequent dreaming and waking states.

Incubations yield the most brilliant results when they align with your soul’s creative calling and with what you care about deeply. From this place of deep personal alignment, begin your incubation as a question or intention for creating what you want next. Your incubation can request anything, including greater insight, an increased mental or emotional capacity, better health, a spiritual or visionary experience, mastery of a skill, or the solution to a difficult problem.

Refine your personally compelling incubation request down to a one sentence question or intention. Then, plant it deeply in your awareness before sleeping, visioning, meditating, praying, or engaging in the specific experience to which your incubation relates to. Place a journal or recording device by your bed and record everything you remember about your dreams. This practice helps to bring the dreaming mind into coherence with the waking, linear mind. For more, please see our half-page guide: Steps for Incubating & Recalling Dreams.

Tip 5: Honor all that emerges

How do you respond when life gives you the opposite of what you wanted? Be careful not to resist or reject it, since it often leads directly to the very thing you wanted.

If an incubation requests more confidence, and the opposite experience of doubt shows up, then the incubation worked. Honor doubt as the impetus and the opportunity to build confidence, just like injury is to healing, and loss is to love. Each is integral to the other inside one dialectic – an ongoing dialog or interplay between two apparent opposites that are actually one and the same dynamic.

What is the most consistent dialectic occurring now in your life? Keep in mind that life may immerse you in the same dialectic over and over so that you’ll develop the mastery necessary to realize the next vibrant evolution of your soul’s creative calling.

A vibrant evolution emerges when you feel things come together into a new kind of coherency. This coherency may be experienced as a deep knowing, a sense of effortless mastery, a peak experience of bliss, or a brilliant act of creativity. It might come as a dream that is supernatural, spiritual or profoundly visionary in nature. How do you best honor all of these exceptional experiences?

The best way to honor an exceptional experience is to celebrate and share it with the world. Integrate it into your creative activities and into your next incubation, then witness how it evolves to reveal new possibilities. Those exceptional experiences most aligned with your soul’s creative calling can provide inspiration and guidance for years. However, be willing to give up even those experiences, since ultimately the personal value of any experience is measured by what it offers toward the next level of your evolution.


The greatest resource we have lives in the infinite potential of the human spirit, imagination and dreams. Engaging this infinite resource is becoming increasingly important given the pressing planetary crisis humanity now faces, which calls us to evolve beyond existing linear approaches to problem solving. The planetary crisis is humanity’s poignant opportunity to awaken our inherent creative brilliance together. Then we will go far beyond just solving existing problems and begin co-creating the vibrant planet we want.

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