USE YOUR DREAMS TO END INSOMNIA|
I've written before about searching for dreams as a way to crawl into the sleep state. I've been teaching this to more clients and friends, and finding that our ability to sleep well is responsive, to our practice, like a muscle. We can practice sleeping well, dreaming productively and becoming more restored by our rest.
Here are three ideas that have been helpful to others.
1. DREAM INFUSION: Ask for dreams that give you a certain point of view, remind you of what you truly believe in, or that simply infuse you with a particular type of energy. It is so easy to become depleted, anxious and confused by pace we keep by day. Have you ever crawled into bed in such a tense condition, that your entire body felt like a clenched fist? It is difficult to fall asleep when you are that tired, worried and frustrated.
One key is to create a transitional state, in which you focus on a quality that would be ideal to experience. If you could take a bath in one emotion, what would it be? Would you shower yourself with peace, or drench yourself in joy? You may not be able to conjure up the emotion and feel it, but you can focus on it, remember when you last had it, and ask that your dreams fill you up with that kind of energy while you sleep. Simply announce as you get settled to sleep, that you want a particular kind of dream, or a particular kind of healing or energizing to occur in your sleep. Be confident and state what you need. Then let go and dive in.
2. BREAK THE ANXIETY ADDICTION: Sleep time is not the time to bring out every scary and cruel scenario you can imagine – to beat yourself up for the past or to freak out about the future. Many people have grown a terrible habit, without even knowing it, of torturing themselves once they turn out the light. If you have created a worry habit that takes stage when you get into bed, then you will need to practice, but I promise you: you can end that habit and create an entirely new pattern. Practice these statements and use them to interrupt worry thoughts or scary movies. "I am not going to tell myself scary stories during my time to sleep and rest. This is my time to sleep and rest." Or "If there are challenges, I will meet them when I am awake. This is my time to sleep and rest." These blunt thoughts might not seem powerful, but if you relentlessly interrupt your scary thoughts by repeating them, you will retrain your worry habit, and it will truly go away! Even at 3:00 a.m.!
3. MAKE SLEEP A SPIRITUAL RETREAT: People who love their dreams tend to love their sleep, because the entire proposition is a spiritual practice. Going to sleep is like going to Church. It is a time when your spirit gets to take wing and fly free, rushing into the landscape where we are all renewed and restored, and where we remember what we truly are. Sleep is not just something you do when you are too pooped to do anything else. It is your time to be free and to soar, drinking in spirit, communing with angels, helping and being helped, and remembering eternal truths. Learn to love your sleep and to enter it expectantly with an open heart and a quiet mind. If you practice this, you will learn to slip into sleep as soon as you decide to do so, and it will carry you to your own version of heaven.