Living a slower, simpler, more meaningful life

Messages from the Dream Weave

I call them my dream songs.  They greet me as I emerge into wakefulness, existing at first only as hazy dream memories.  They hover just out of reach;  a snatched phrase, a repeating chorus line, the hint of a melody. In the space between sleeping and waking, a familiar song hovers and if I’m patient and wait, it will sharpen and come into focus. Several times a week I wake up to rock ballads and long-forgotten ditties from school musicals, relics from Dad’s record collection, 90s dance floor classics and obscure 80s pop that surely I haven’t heard at all since staying up late in ’88 to record Barry Bistle’s top 40 on cassette??

These songs are dragged up from the cavernous depths of my mind, where some have been buried for 30 years.  For a long time I paid them no heed. Everyone gets a song stuck in their head from time to time and the experience wasn’t dramatic enough for me to register awareness. But over time I became conscious of the pattern, that these songs all emerged from the dream state, and they were not songs I’d heard recently. To put this in context, I was at home recovering from adrenal fatigue at the time.  I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio and as I found sensory stimulation exhausting and stressful, I spent most days in silence, and rarely left the house. I was definitely not hearing these songs in shops, at people’s houses or on the radio.  As time went on I started mentioning them to Scott. ‘Another dream song this morning..’ I’d say.  We’d laugh about it and occasionally discuss the unlikeliness of a certain song turning up that I couldn’t have heard in years. Sometimes I’d wake with only a few words, and I’d look up lyrics on my phone while lying in bed, trying to identify the song before it faded away. The more I paid attention to them, the more frequently they came.

I started playing my dream songs on Spotify when I woke up, and that’s when I became aware of the deeper significance of what was happening. Time and time again I would be overcome with a wave of emotion as I listened to that morning’s dream song.  Songs that I didn’t like or remember particularly from my past would have me welling up when I listened to the words.  Even when I couldn’t recall ever knowing the lyrics of a song,  I would play it and find the message to be deeply resonant to my life experience at that time.  It was uncanny, but it was undeniable.

Some people receive guidance in visions, as the voices of angels or through a tarot card reading. For some reason I dream song lyrics!  I have come to see my dream songs as messages from my soul and a way for me to access my deeper knowing and intuition.  The experience has made me aware of the immense repository of words, imagery, metaphors and ideas that I carry within me.  This repository is not only a library of obscure song lyrics, but a comprehensive collection of all the sensory input that I’ve experienced in this life, and perhaps even others.  Somehow the dream space is accessing this repository and finding relevant messages to deliver to my waking self.  Dreams are said to be the link between human existence and the divine; a space where we can access our soul’s purpose and tap into source energy, the universal mind or the experience of god.  At the time I was not having, or at least not remembering any dreams, but something about the power of music was able to carry through from the dream weave into my conscious, waking mind.  My ever resourceful soul discovered a language we could both speak, and finally we started to have a conversation.

So what are my dream songs telling me?  Usually they are telling me something I should already know. Like regular dreams for many people, they’re a wake up call showing me something I’ve missed in waking life.  Right back when I first gave up work I awoke to a familiar melody and the lyrics “You gotta be (what?) , you gotta be… , you gotta be…”.  I could not for the life of me remember what ‘I gotta be’, but I could hear the song clearly and knew it was circa early 80s.  Thank god for Google.  The song was Des’ree’s ‘You Gotta Be’, and when I listened to the chorus I felt the emotions rise up and tears rolled down my cheeks:
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day
This song said to me “You’ve been trying to staying on top of it all, and it was too much. Yes you’re broken now, but ultimately, with Love, you’ll be OK.  Not long after that, Justice Crew served up a supporting message with Que Sera:
So you gotta be strong
Live by the words of the song
Together is where we belong
Never stop dreaming
Keep holdin’ on
That’s right – never stop dreaming!  And just in case I missed Des’ree’s point about love:
At the end of the day
Some you win, some you don’t
So I’m glad that I’m here
With some friends that I know
Always there with a smile
Saying you’re not alone

Que Sera was telling me to hold on, don’t give up, ‘you’re not alone’. Obviously yes, tears again.  At this stage I was still pretty cynical about the messages coming to me from the dream weave.  I was curious and enjoyed looking the songs up, but I questioned the existence of any deeper meaning. Many songs have universal themes that are highly relatable, and my emotional responses were not unusual, given my deeply fatigued, sleep deprived and fragile state. I needed some convincing, so the gods of musical theatre intervened. One morning I awoke to ‘Any Dream Will Do’ from Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.

I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain
To see for certain what I thought I knew
Far far away, someone was weeping
But the world was sleeping
Any dream will do

Oh I loved this one as a kid!  I walked around singing it all the time, but I think it would be nearly 30 years since I last heard it.  The lyrics are a bit naff, and almost completely meaningless in terms of the musical, but – seriously, it’s a musical about a guy who kept having prophetic dreams.  Of course when he paid attention, he saved the day.  Plus, for some reason this bit brought me to tears:

And in the east, the dawn was breaking
And the world was waking
Any dream will do

My dreams were sending me songs about dreams…  AND I was being told that any dream will do!  Around this time I started paying closer attention.  I started saving my dream songs in a playlist and made an effort to remember and capture them whenever they came up.  I’m so glad I did.  Since starting to pay attention to my dreams, only a year or so ago, my life has changed beyond recognition.  I saw a quote recently that had me chuckling sagely.“If you know me based on who I was 12 months ago, you don’t know me at all.  My growth game is strong. Allow me to re-introduce myself.”  I may need re-introducing, but I don’t think I’ve become a different person. Who I am now is who I’ve always been.  You just might not have got to know certain parts of me before.  Another dream song from Everything But the Girl helped me recall that absent part of me when I woke up to these lyrics from ‘Missing’:

It’s years since you’ve been there
Now you’ve disappeared somewhere, like outer space
You’ve found some better place
And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain
And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain

And wow yes. I really did miss her; that part of me that wasn’t allowed to breathe.  Lately I’ve been letting her out, little bit by little bit.  It’s scary and will take a long time; maybe the rest of my life. But every day I remember a little more of who she is.  I still wake up to ‘Missing’ sometimes. It comes back when I get caught up in life and forget to connect with my self.  In fact I woke up with it this morning. We’ve had a challenging few weeks, with big changes afoot and a house full of sickness. My dream songs are the messages my soul needs me to hear. This one says ‘Where are you? You’ve lost touch with yourself.  You need to slow down and re-connect.”  It’s a tough habit to break, not being true to yourself.

Over the next few posts I’ll share where the dream weave has led me in the last 12 months and have a go at re-introducing myself.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!




  1. Edie

    I can’t wait. It’s been such a time of growth for you Emily xx

    • Emily

      Hasn’t it!? Sometimes I think I’d like to spend a year under a rock, not growing, but apparently that’s not on the agenda just yet. Perhaps 2019 can be the year of hibernation..?

  2. Caroline

    Wow, just wow. Lots of love to you beautiful girl xx

    • Emily

      Dreams are amazing aren’t they? We have such incredible magic available to us when we look within. I have so much more to share, as you know! xx

  3. Susie

    Really moved reading this, Em. Loving walking with you (when I can slow down enough to get my steps in sync with yours!) as you journey through this new territory. X

    • Emily

      Loving having you for company my dear, and hey… let’s actually walk together sometime soon!

  4. Rachel

    I resonate with what you’ve written, so elequantly I must add.

    Look forward to reading more.

    Love and gentle hugs x

    • Emily

      Thanks Rach xx

  5. Imica

    Love this Em. Looking forward to the next installment xx

    • Emily

      Thanks darling, I’m trying to write some more this week, I have to get these posts out more often as I have so much to say right now!

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