Dreams Make Me Smarter

The following is a “guest” blog written by Nancy Neff, one of the students in my 21st-Century Energy Medicine Program. You can read more about her vision and dreams on her blog at

Dreams Make Me SmarterGrowing up fiercely logical and analytical, I didn’t want to have anything to do with feelings. I distanced myself from the other girls, whom I saw as frivolous. I obtained degrees in math and computer science, then tried hard to keep my focus on my corporate job, which felt more and more restrictive over time. When the dreams started coming in my mid-forties, some were alarming, and I didn’t know what to do with them. What did it mean that my mother was a Nazi, terrorizing everyone, yet I went to help her when she stopped breathing and fell over? What did it mean that the irresponsible but harmless guy I was dating was avoiding the police?

This was new territory for me, which nothing in my math or science classes had prepared me for. Since there was no Google yet, I started reading about dreams, then found a teacher and group to work with. I was used to being at the top of every class I joined, but I felt totally out of my league surrounded by artists and other creative folks who were very comfortable with their intuition. All I knew was how to figure things out, and that part of my brain was no use in this setting. I still remember the panic I felt when my dream teacher asked us to draw something from a recent dream; I was sure I would get the wrong answer.

As the right-brained intuitive side of me developed more, I began to feel more at home there. I made connections that were not based on the logical left brain world of words and facts and data. While I was working to improve my eyesight, a dream of broken plastic contact lenses led me to transition from contacts to eyeglasses. When a friend asked why I made this change, I answered that I just knew it was right. I was surprised to hear my own words. I was starting to trust my intuition.

Last year I joined an energy medicine class with Deborah King, which has really given me the opportunity to bulk up my intuition muscles. She taught me to meditate, which is doing wonders for calming my lifelong anxiety. It also feels like it is opening the channel wider to greater wisdom, from what Deborah calls the Unified Field of All Information. I am starting to “just know” what is good for me and what is not.

Meditation benefits the corpus collosum—the part of the brain that joins the right and left hemispheres—physically connecting your intuition with your logic and analysis. For me, dreams do this too, as long as I don’t dismiss them as “just dreams.” I let the dream images come to me, then write the dream in my journal, which engages my left brain. I pay close attention to any right-brain feelings about the dream. Then I brainstorm about any associations with those images or feelings. Working with dreams is a whole brain exercise!

If I look back at old dream journals, I can spot repeated themes about a long-standing challenge or about some familiar role I play—the athlete, the teacher or student, the friend, the lover. I also often have a precognitive-like glimpse of something in a dream that appears in my waking world days or weeks later. Often I had forgotten the dream by then, so I go back to my journal to review it and make some notes.

Ignoring my dreams seems as self-limiting as ignoring the input from one of my senses, like walking around with my eyes or ears covered. I thought I was smart years ago when I was using only my analytical brain. By learning to use my intuition, I now have the chance to begin to develop true wisdom.

Nancy NeffNancy L. Neff grew up in Rockland County, NY, the over-achieving oldest daughter of the high school principal. After graduating with a degree in math from Stony Brook University, she taught high school for a few years before spending 30 years at IBM as a programmer, supporting the engineers and the customers. One of her finest moments was giving a presentation to a group of secretaries at IBM, who said it was the first thing they’d heard about the organization they had understood! Before she retired in 2004, Nancy started studying dreams and vision improvement, which are two of her key passions to this day, now joined by a growing interest in energy medicine.

Deborah King