I was 16 or so when my dad listened to me tell him about the dream I had the night before. I laughed it off and thought my dreams were for entertainment purposes only. Then he suggested that the next time I was in a dream I should try to look at my hands. I thought this was strange and asked, "Why?" He said, "I don't know. I heard someone suggest that once and I have always wanted to try it but I can never do it."

Ever since he told me that, I considered it a nice challenge. My dreams seemed so foreign and strange to me in those days. I used to keep a dream diary by my bed because my dreams were so entertaining. I would wake up and write my dream down so that I could look at it later and laugh about it. I've always been amused and interested in my dreams. In second grade, I wrote an incredible story that was inspired by a dream. When I ended it with, Then she woke up. My teacher was disappointed. I'm not exactly sure if she was disappointed that the story was only a dream or that I would write about a dream I had. In any case, dreams have always fascinated, inspired, and sometimes frightened me.

As my teenage years unfolded, I never forgot the small challenge of looking at my hands in my dream. When I was 20 years old, I watched a weird cartoon called Waking Life. It was all about lucid dreams. It was like a catalyst. Not long after I watched the movie, I had my first lucid dream. I can't attribute all credit to that movie because I was on this path to dreaming my entire life, but that is why I say it was like a catalyst. It sped up the process that was about to occur.

My first lucid dream is a gift that I will always cherish. It came at a time in my life when I needed it most. I shudder to think of the person I would be had I not begun to dream in this manner. After I had this dream, I was intrigued by what a lucid dream was and thus began this path I find myself on today. I started reading books and keeping dream diaries again. I smudged my bedroom with juniper and prayed that my bed would be a place of dreaming and power. I began to take control of my life and when I started to do that, I began to take control in my dreams.

Two months after that first lucid dream, I felt powerful. I felt in control of my life. I saw that I wasn't happy in my current situation and knew that I was the only person that could change it. By doing this, I began to grow into the woman that writes this blog today. I honestly don't know who or what I would be had I not begun to dream. I would be like everyone else I guess.

This is what troubles me. Dreaming is a gift we are all born with for a reason. To develop such a gift is our decision. So why is that most people don't choose to develop it? Why are people afraid of dreaming? Why do we live in a world that disregards the importance of dreaming? I find it so strange because the people I descend from believe the opposite!

"...he said that Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world." It was this vision that gave him his great power, for when he went into a fight, he had only to think of that world to be in it again, so that he could go through anything and not be hurt. -(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Horse)

Without our dreams and visions to guide us as Native people, we wouldn't have a lot of things. Stories about plants, medicines, dances, ceremonies, etc often talk about how these things came from DREAMS and VISIONS. The corn you enjoy would not be possible had it not been for a dream. Perhaps that is the underlying problem with the world today. Native people were not the only people that knew how to dream. Some of the major scientific discoveries and artistic creations were as a result of dreams. Now it seems that too many people have stopped dreaming and it is having disastrous effects. With the loss of dreaming, people have lost our connection to one another and to the earth. We try to replace this connection with cellphones and the internet, but it is obviously not working.

My random thought of the day is wondering what would happen if more people began to take control and have lucid dreams...I know what happened to me when I began to have lucid dreams and I wish that dreaming was not regarded as something silly or unimportant. Clearly, dreaming is what all people have in common and perhaps it is our dreams that link us. I wonder what would happen if we used our dreams to strengthen that link in order to solve all of these problems the world is facing today.