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strange dreams & the aftermath of chaos

July 16, 2010

This week has taught me two things:

1- substantial doses of b vitamins can give you wild dream experiences!

2- sometimes chaos allows you to cultivate a sense of peace in its wake.

When I got back from my trip, I started taking this intense GNC mixture of b vitamins (Be Energized).  I figured I could use the energy boost while getting back into my workout routine.  The first day I took them I felt great!!!  I mean, seriously, I was like superwoman.  Usually Saturdays are restful days for me, but not that Saturday: I went to the gym, cleaned our apartment (not an easy feat), went grocery shopping, made a beautiful dinner for Sam and I, and had a late night with friends.  I didn’t stop.  Even while I was cleaning I was dancing around like a wildwoman.  I was like the freaking energizer bunny… and usually I have a fairly calm demeanor.  So that was fun.

I took one pill each day after that until yesterday, but I never once felt the way I did that first day.  If anything, I was just a little crabby.  I did notice something else, though, that at first seemed entirely unrelated:  I had the STRANGEST dreams this week.  Heavy dreams, lingering dreams, the kind of dreams you can’t make yourself wake up from, dreams that keep popping into your waking life like some unrelenting childhood memory.

I’ve always been a dreamer.  I know I have many dreams each night, and I can almost always remember some piece of my dreams when I first wake up if not throughout the day.  But this was different.  These dreams were more alive, more chaotic, and more stubborn after waking, so much so that I felt like I was in a dreamy fog most of the week.

When I realized these strange dreams had started right when I started taking the b vitamins, I thought I would google “vitamin b strange dreams” just in case there was some connection.  WOW.  I discovered a whole new phenomenon!  It turns out that intentional dreamers take b vitamins for the sole purpose of intensifying their dreams!  I love this idea.  But this was not my intention in taking the vitamins; in fact, this effect seemed to slow me down in my waking life rather than energize me (except, of course, the very first day).  So, for now, I have stopped taking them.

A common theme for me these days seems to be the tension between chaos and peace, a tension that is unmistakably embodied by dreams!  Sleep is the ultimate peaceful experience, yet dreams themselves are unpredictable chaotic frenzies of sensory input and imagination!  The experience of wild dreams is anything but peaceful.  Then again, this may only be true because I haven’t mastered the art of lucid dreaming, so in my dreams I feel wildly out of control.  (Maybe intentional dream work is exactly what I need to do!)

If you recall my last entry (come here, i’ll tell you a secret), I was discussing the chaos my body experienced from breaking out of routine during my trip to the east coast and the general messiness of… well… life.  And yet, this week I have felt strong and secure and in control of my body (despite the crazy dreams’ effects on my mind).  The return to my routine has provided me with an anchor, and the decision to re-boot my routine after stepping out of it gives me a sense of control.  It seems that once I embraced the chaos, there was a peaceful backlash in the return to order; somehow, chaos seems to provide an opportunity to regain control, to shake myself out of autopilot and allow myself to make my own decisions once more. In the end, chaos becomes empowering.

Maybe, just maybe, this is why it’s so hard to find balance.  I need periodic chaos to help me regain control.  Hmmm… chaos –> control –> peace –> autopilot –> chaos –> control –> peace… how can I maintain the sense of peace without giving up my sense of control?

I’m still figuring this one out.

❤ Diana Banana

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