DREAM INTERPRETATION

Have you ever woken up from a dream that felt so real, you thought it was happening? I have periods of time when I dream, and periods of time that I call “dry-spells”, no dreams whatsoever. I have read several articles in which the writers believe that dreams are a reflection of our subconscious. Some even go on to say that dreams can provide a window into the spiritual realm. I am a believer of both.

This post is by no means meant to be scientific, but just a collection of thoughts and summary of my feelings towards dreams and their role in our lives. In all my life, I can say that I have had a handful of dreams that I still remember. And the reason why I remember them is either because they were super weird or scary, or because they were hilariously outlandish.

Some dreams have even caused me to literally wake up and PRAY. I pray over my life, my family, my goals, my dreams. To someone who may not be spiritual, this might sound like an absurd practice. But for me I believe that dreams should be taken seriously to some extent. Especially if you are of the opinion that dreams reflect the subconscious.

During our busy lives, our subconscious picks up on nuances that our conscious minds might neglect or fail to prioritize. When we sleep, our brains can make sense of these nuances, and string together what might appear to be unrelated thoughts or feelings. In other words, our dreams can provide clarity for situations that, while awake, might be foggy. This is probably the premise for the old saying “I’ll sleep on it” when we are confronted with an issue that might not be able to have a quick solution.

How about the dreams that depict terrible circumstances? Like danger, illness, or even death? If you are not spiritual, what do you do about those? Do you just ignore them, or do you feel compelled to do something about them? Do you try to Google interpretations about key objects in your dreams, such as bicycles, certain animals, or even certain time periods? Can you talk in your dreams? Do you see color or are they void of any hues?

Personally, I like to talk to trusted friends or loved ones about dreams that concern me, or those that excite me. I don’t think it hurts to try to at least analyze the components of this mirror of your subconscious mind. I also try to take these interpretations with a grain of salt. Sometimes what you do or think prior to going to bed can influence your dreams.

One of the most memorable dreams I had was when I was studying abroad for my Basic Sciences as a first year medical student. I was fighting a snake woman, a medusa of sorts. And I had a Rosary wrapped around my wrist and started praying, and she was set ablaze. I told my mom about it, and she said that meant that I had defeated my enemies (whoever they were). That dream was so crazy, I ended up fasting and praying the whole next day. I felt that compelled! I have also had funny dreams, like the time I dreamt that I met Ellen Degeneres while having dinner at an outdoor restaurant that probably does not exist in real life. I actually chuckled at that one.

I am interested in hearing about your thoughts about dreams. Please share them below. And if you feel comfortable, what was your most poignant one?

So Many Ideas, So Little Time!

My brain at the moment

Have you ever just had a period of back-to-back great ideas? So many that you did not know where to begin? That is currently what I am experiencing! I am an Aquarius and we are known to be very creative. But there are so many parts of me that I want to develop, and so little time, it would appear.

For example, from an artistic standpoint I typically express myself via my Instagram and YouTube accounts. I also use the aforementioned mediums to share the medical and scientific part of me. It is quite the combination of personality traits, to say the least.

Oftentimes I find myself starting several projects at once, and eventually complete just one or two of them in the time that I wanted. They will all be completed, but there is only so much time and energy I can devote to each one.

And then if that’s not enough, the sheer excitement of executing your ideas and getting the feedback you want is such an adrenaline rush! Finding joy in your potential and the potential of your dreams becoming reality is truly a life force.

I say all this to say that if you are in the same boat, don’t feel bad. Don’t feel like you’re doing anything wrong or late. Take off some of the edge by writing out how you will start and work through each project, and give yourself an estimated date of when you can achieve that task. And try not to announce your ideas too early, because that will put pressure on your creative process. It is better when no one knows your timeline but you.

Keep dreaming and creating, my friends. Someone will be happy that you did!

Accept, Consider, Demand

Last Wednesday God blessed me with another year of life. Most years on my birthday, at the stroke of midnight, something comes over me. I feel an overwhelming sense of purpose, maturity, and wisdom. But this year was not the same. And I wondered why. Was it because I was waiting and expecting this day to come? The answer to that was no, because that is exactly what I had done in previous years. So what was it?

I realized that year 27, at least as far as it seems right now, has prepared me for many years to come. Put simply, I went through some things last year that pushed me beyond what I was used to. I had to take a stand on all fronts and demand respect. I came to terms with the fact that I have accomplished more than I thought I would at this age, even though my checklist still remains. Above all, I opened my mind to situations I might never have when I was younger. I truly blossomed into the woman that I am today, that I will be for probably the rest of my life.

That is not to say that I will not grow any further. But I laid the final few stones of the basis for the person that I want to be in the future. Those stones include things that I will not accept, things that I will consider doing, and things that I demand as the standard.

First, things I will not accept. I will not accept being used for what I can do for others. I will not accept being told the extent of my capabilities as a business woman, future physician, or advocate for the community. I will not accept unbalanced friendships or relationships that compromise my creativity or energy.

Second, things I will consider doing. I will consider getting to know those on the “margins of society” so-to-speak. Because their experiences and stories inspire my pursuit of bettering the world in my own power. I will consider performing acts of kindness for those who I know cannot or will not return the favor. Because I know that my karma is not what they do to me, but how I respond. I will consider someone else’s point of view and belief system. Because I am in no position to judge others, regardless of whether or not I believe they are right.

Finally, things I demand as the standard. I demand respect from everyone, whether in a higher or lower position of power than myself. I demand the right to say no to being social if doing so does not serve my happiness or my success. I demand the freedom to express myself without being judged. I demand the Golden Rule: Treat me as you would like to be treated. I demand to be treated as the brilliant mind that I am, that I know we all are. Individually we have diverse talents, but collectively those talents are a force. In my 28 years of being on this earth, I have learned that what you demand of life comes to fruition. Be clear, be passionate, and above all, be sure.

You Don’t Always Get What You Want When You Want It

So what do you do when you do not get what you want when you want it? How does it make you feel? Does it make you believe that all your efforts were in vain? That you were not meant to succeed or be happy? Or does it fuel your quest to ensure that next time you get it? That maybe the timing was off and that in due time your goals will become tangible?

I think the first thing most people feel is frustration and disappointment. It is a bit unnatural to just accept in that moment. Accepting that you did not get your way sort of like a grieving process. You go from denying to bargaining, the whole nine yards until finally you accept your reality. But does your current reality represent your fate? The answer to that question separates everyone who endures this circumstance. The optimist is hopeful that this is just a temporary phase in their current reality rather than permanent defeat. The pesimist accepts their fate as permanent and will likely never try again.

Does this ideology work with everything you want? Sometimes we want positions of power. Other times we desire people. When is it time to go against the grain and try to force what appears to be unnatural to work in our favor? For some it has led to success. For others it has led to quite the contrary.

Is life easier when we just accept what comes to us? Just accept what flows? Possibly so (assuming what comes to us is good). But is ease necessarily good? Sometimes it is, sometimes it can be dangerous. Ease does not stimulate growth. We do need the tugging and pulling. The seeds that are planted underground and know darkness from birth might squint in discomfort when their first leaves see the sun. But they know it is good for them. It is necessary for their survival. The rain helps them grow, too, no matter how light or heavy it may be. Perhaps what you need supersedes what you want, and the ultimate goal is to want what you need. What you want might be fleeting. What you need is your power.

Finding Your Place

Emphasis on YOUR. If it truly is yours, does it need to be found?

This phrase has been used to describe a feeling of belonging and acceptance, mainly by others. But what if all along, we were meant to feel that way with ourselves?

I have spoken to several people in my life who told me that they cannot stand to be even 5 minutes alone at home. They would rather stay out all night with strangers than sit with themselves and their thoughts for even a second. Why is that? Why do we want to be wanted by others? For validation? For fear of abandonment?

This might just be an excuse, but I have come to realize that not all of us are meant to be accepted by society. Personally, many of the values that I have held near are frowned upon by others. I find myself having to explain them, when the fact that I value them should be enough (shouldn’t it?). To some degree I would consider myself a loner. Sure, I enjoy the company of others, and I am what you could call a social butterfly. I can get along with pretty much anyone. I am adept in code switching and mastering the humor of different groups of people. But when it all boils down to it, I often find myself alone with my thoughts. And the thought of that does not scare me at all. At times it makes me increasingly aware and sometimes cynical of people’s perception of my being. And that is fine. And of course there are moments that, according to society, must be shared in the company of others to reap the full benefit. Like traveling, trying new activities, attending events in town. As I have gotten older, I have come to enjoy experiencing those things alone.

I think it is important to learn how to be by yourself for whatever reason. It really is the only time you can reflect on “your place” in this world. We spend so much of our day being told who and what we are. By the media, our family, friends. But who do you say that you are? And how does that fit in with your perception of reality? It should not scare you. It should empower you.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Today I took a walk at a local park by my apartment complex. I had a lot on my mind, as I always do. Just random thoughts that needed solitude to sort out. This park has a lake with what seems like hundreds of ducks and storks. It gets to be so excessive that I actually have to park at a nearby church and walk over just to avoid being blocked in by the ducks (I learned my lesson after the first visit).

As I passed by the ducks, listening to Craig David’s latest album just because, a weird thought crossed my mind (and please don’t judge)-What do those ducks see when they look at me? What is their perception of space and time? In school we were always taught that the animals in nature acted according to the seasons. They would migrate to the south on the verge of winter. They would store their provisions in anticipation of the coming months of brutal cold. But what really happens in that community of life which we typically pay no mind to? Do they quarrel? Do they have dreams and aspirations of leaving home? Or are their actions just mechanic and synchronized with nature?

So I stopped and took some photos of them, as discretely as I could. And as I walked my path, I felt as though we (myself and the ducks) had some sort of agreement. I would stay out of their way, and they would stay out of mine. And we would exist in our respective microcosms of the world.

After thinking all too profoundly about this matter, I just ended up people-watching. Several children and their parents were present, the former wrapped up in some playground game that adults would not understand, the latter wrapped up in some conversation that children would not understand. And then there was me, just walking, with a purpose undefined, but a purpose nonetheless.


What I Learned in 2018

Artwork from Art Basel, Fontainebleau. Photo taken by Adaola O.

2018 was a particularly interesting year for me. Why, you might ask? It was the first time that I was really real with myself. It was the first time I stopped making excuses for the inexcusable behavior demonstrated by others in my circle and outside my circle. Let me explain.

I had to reckon with my definition of being a friend. What did it mean for me to be a friend to others? What did it mean for me to call others my friend? Up until that point it had unfortunately become a loose term that I distributed too freely and without much consideration. Basically if someone was nice enough to me and could hold conversation, they could be my friend.

What is my new definition of a friend? Someone who wants to help put you on when they see you doing something positive with your life. And not only do they WANT that for you, and TELL you how proud they are of you, but they DO something about it. They shout your business out on their social media. They patronize your business, support your ideas, and overall play an ACTIVE role in your success. If your current friends are not doing that for you, then what is the basis of your friendship? Is it gossip? Is it clubbing? Drinking, smoking, eating out every weekend talking about anything but how you can progress as an individual? To me that is just a time-waster. Does your family put you on? Do they support you? Because the same applies to them, to a higher degree I might add.

And of course I asked myself how frequently I was doing the aforementioned positive acts for others. I can honestly say that I did a pretty good job of supporting my friends or people I worked with (photographers, artists, etc) and publicizing their work on my social media or to contacts I knew could help them. But this year I plan on taking it up a notch with my new podcast series (stay tuned!). I challenge you to ask yourself the same questions and DO BETTER in 2019!