March 20, 2018 1 Comment
By Mimi Pettibone
If you are ever in need of a creative idea, or find yourself trying to solve a seemingly irresolvable problem, seek no more…you have an unlimited source for inspiration and guidance in the form of your own dreams! Many famous invention, discoveries, literary and musical works have been sourced from the dream world.
One of my all-time favorites is the story of Madame C. J. Walker (1867 – 1919). She was the daughter of former slaves, orphaned at the age of 7, and started working at the age of 10…yet she went on to become the first female self-made millionaire in America! I absolutely love her. She worked as a laundress for many years, earning barely more than a dollar a day, and was a singer in her church where she met some affluent, well-educated African American’s who inspired her to fulfill more of her own potential. Around this time, she also noticed that her hair was falling out and experienced problems with dandruff, which was common with the African American community in those days due in part to the lack of proper hair care products. She tried what was available at the time, but nothing worked. Then one night she had a dream. She later told a reporter that God had answered her prayer, “for one night I had a dream, and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. Some of the remedy was grown in Africa, but I sent for it, mixed it, put it on my scalp, and in a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out. I tried it on my friends; it helped them. I made up my mind I would begin to sell it." With $1.05 in the bank and working part time as a laundress, she began selling her products door to door. She married a man who helped her with the advertising, however "When we began to make $10 a day, he thought that was enough, thought I ought to be satisfied. But I was convinced that my hair preparation would fill a long-felt want. And when we found it impossible to agree, due to his narrowness of vision, I embarked on business for myself." By 1908 she had established a training college for her system of hair care and had a national sales force including women who had previously worked as laundry washers, cooks, teachers, and housewives. By 1910 she had 5,000 agents all around the United States, and her business was making $7000 per week.
In 1913, one of her agents wrote: "You opened up a trade for hundreds of colored women to make an honest and profitable living where they make as much in one week as a month's salary would bring from any other position that a colored woman can secure." When she crossed over, her obituary said "It is given to few persons to transform a people in a generation. Yet this was done by the late Madam C. J. Walker...[She] made and deserved a fortune and gave much of it away generously."
Her dream – and the fact that she followed it and took it’s information seriously - affected not only the course of her own life, but empowered and enriched the lives of countless others as well.
If you decide to access the power of your dreams you will be in good company. Einstein, Aristotle, Decartes, Thomas Edison, and Salvador Dali all regularly turned to the dream realm for ideas and answers to problems. Thomas Edison would sit in a chair with a steel ball in his hand, with the intention of drifting off to the twilight dream zone known as the hypnogogic state. He kept the ball in his hand so that when he sank deep enough into sleep his hand would relax and the ball would hit the floor, waking him up so that he could remember and record whatever information he received. Similarly, Salvador Dali held a key in his hand and a kept plate on the ground so that when he drifted off deeply enough the key would clang as it hit the plate, waking him up and giving him conscious remembrance of what he had accessed in the dream world.
In 1865 German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé dreamed of a snake biting it’s tail, revealing to him the true structure of the benzene ring. In 1845 Elias Howe was trying to invent a machine that could sew, but he could not figure out how to get the needle to pick up the thread on the other side of the cloth. Then he had a dream that cannibals were chasing him with spears, and at the head of each spear was a hole. He had been using the traditional model of a needle with a hole in the end, but he had been placing the hole at the heel of the needle, not the head! This dream image gave him the idea to place the hole at the head of the needle, and thus the sewing machine was born.
Songs like Satisfaction by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, and Yesterday by Paul McCartney both were inspired by dreams. The stories for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the book and movie series Twilight, all came from dreams.
So next time you think sleep is a waste of time, think again about what you might be missing if you don’t get enough of it! If you’d like to access information in the dream state about a specific topic, see my article about dream incubation here and try this before you go to sleep.
Mimi Pettibone is the creator of the ‘Enchanted Art Oracle Cards’, and offers private consultations at East West Bookshop and by phone. Her practice includes dream interpretation, tarot and oracle readings, and personal growth work focused on relationships, communication, and authentic life path. Her background includes social psychology, spirituality, intuition, and dreams. Mimi is also a monthly dream columnist for the New Spirit Journal.
For more info on Mimi, or to book a consultation: www.thedreamdetective.com
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December 29, 2023