Three Ways to help our dreams help us:
1. Wake up slowly. Take our time waking up. Have a notebook close at hand and write down anything that comes to mind. Gently stretch and languish in a quasi-sleep state a while… You can always revisit this journal entry when you are more awake.
2. Ask a question at night right before you go to bed. Write it in your journal. Then turn off the light and see if an answer surfaces in your dreams.
3. Consult a dream interpreter. Our dreams are often our brains way to process and makes sense of what is going on in our lives. You don’t have to take what actually happens in your dream literally, but patterns may emerge that will give you clues and insight. There are many good books and websites available to help you intepret your dreams.
Source: Prevention Magazine March 2009
Good Dream sites:
My bed is beckoning me at the moment.
It seems to know my body and mind are ready to call it a day.
Pillows and blankets, cats on each bed corner,
this is a scene I can’t (and nor do I want to ) resist!
So before I turn in,
I consider this:
the things that went well today,
the possibilities of tomorrow,
and challenges that are being blessed and released NOW. Good bye…
Free and thankful
I am tired and loved,
Cozy and secure.
I am wrapped up in a world of contentment and safety
that the world outside of me can not touch.
Simply slipping away to a dreamy state awaits me…
as I slip and smile
I know sleep will take me away and bring me back
ready for more tomorrow.
More of what? We shall just see….
A tidy clear mind or
a cloudy, foggy one…
Whatever the case may be-
it is getting closer to sleep time, dream time,
losing day time,
all for the simple cause of blissful sleep.
Cares of the day are forgotten in this
and mysterious musings of the mind frolic while
you rest and recharge for the next worldly day.
Let the dreams take over,
they will do no harm.
Perhaps a bit amusing, bewildering, or even frightening at times
but rest assured their time on stage is brief.
Slip away to this other world and you will
leave with perhaps a little grin on your face;
for you know in its voyage of merriment,
your mind will find its way back to you…
when the new day beckons and
to be awake will be a welcome new state
from being asleep.
To sleep is all well and good
it is perfectly wonderful, in fact.
To sleep and slumber, not
a care left in the world-
For the day is finished
All that is left is the peace
drifting losing consciousness but
still awake in my dreams.
When will you loosen your grip on me?
When will ideas and dreams become reality
because action and confidence win over you?
Oh unwanted companion,
in the fog
and in the light.
You are there when I am not even thinking about you-
do you ever just take a break?
Perhaps you’ll shrink when you
that I mean business: the business of
claiming my life
on terms that suit me
and not others out of misguided duty
Some of us who are prone to anxiety are what you would call: “people pleasers”. That is, we worry about what others think of us. We are “nice” people and want others to be happy, often at the expense of our own well being.
How do you know that you are a people pleaser?
Do any of these sound like you? I came up with a long list here and could probably think of more because I myself have been a people pleaser most of my life. I am here to tell you right now, that people pleasing really sucks!!
A few years ago, I decided that life is just too short to live like this. Enough was enough. I worked a lot on myself and created a lot of change to be the person I wanted to be and have the life that I wanted for myself. I have read a lot, journaled a lot, meditated a lot, spent time with wonderful mentors, attended Lifestream, and attended a Tony Robbins’ program about finding the power within ourselves.
I’m not totally “cured” of my people pleasing. I’ll get little doses of it, here and there. I still don’t assert myself at work as much as I need to. I am still not the most extroverted person at a party. I still sometimes take things personally when I know I shouldn’t. But over all, I am so much better. No longer is my people pleasing causing that anxiety monster to keep me up at night. I am no longer on anti-anxiety medication. I am challenging myself with a new career, new residence, new projects, new relationship, new people, new interests, new ideas, and new experiences. I am not obsessively worrying about what others are thinking of me or worrying if I offended somebody with what I said or did.
If people pleasing and the anxiety that inherently comes with it has been an issue for you and holding you back in life, then I encourage you to work on this. It will free you tremendously. We all deserve to live the most fulfilling lives possible. The world needs us. We are not going to be as fulfilled as we can be and be of service to others and the world if we are keeping ourselves in bondage with all of this anxious people pleasing.
So, the answer? Just quit it!
Here are some ideas to put a halt to your people pleasing now and begin to live the life you were intended to live:
I am going to stop here for now. This is a longer post than I usually write but obviously it is a subject I feel very strongly about. People pleasing and the anxiety that goes with it is a form of torture that we impose on ourselves. I know it. I’ve done it to myself most of my life. It can be absolutely debilitating at its worst. At the very least, even a mild case of it can really keep us from “going for it”! And truly living the lives we were meant to live.
The Warm Milk Journal is about living the life of our dreams by day and sleeping restfully at night.
If we can cancel the people pleasing subscription from our lives I would say we are well on our way!
Have a blessed day.
Debra : )
I believe that there is a connection between how well we are living our lives during the day and how well we are sleeping at night. Is there anything in your life that you wish you were doing? Something, perhaps, you’ve always wanted to do?
As our day turns into evening here, settle down with your journal and ask yourself a few questions:
Don’t censor yourself. Just write! There are no bad or ridiculous ideas here. Imagine what is possible…
What is your ideal life?
A fun exercise is to write down 100 things that you would like to be, 100 things that you would like to have, and 100 things that you would like to do.
A fulfilling rewarding life greatly increases the chances of peaceful, restful sleep at night. You deserve to live the life of your dreams.
Perhaps after your journaling tonight you can drift off to sleep with thoughts of your ideal life firmly implanted in your mind. What will your brain do with this information? Try it out.
Debra : )
Many of us can fall asleep initially at night. Much of our insomnia challenges arise (myself included) when something wakes us up in the middle of the night. Wouldn’t it be just great to be able to fall right back to sleep after going to the bathroom, getting woken up by a noise, a light etc. ? Often what happens is that instead of going back to sleep, our minds start coming to life. Thoughts begin to churn. Once this thinking process takes root, we are doomed. The monkey mind has got us and sleep eludes us.
One technique to try before our minds take over is called dream remembrance. The idea is that whenever we wake up we are coming out of a dream (whether we realize it or not). If we can remember any details, we need to try to remember them. If we can cling to our dream, we greatly increase our chances of going back to sleep and the next REM cycle.
So simply put: if you wake up, focus on any dream you were having. Focus on your dream state. If you can’t remember any dreams, then just focus on your breathing until you fall back asleep. The main thing is we do not want our minds to start thinking conscious thoughts. In the middle of the night- in that semi-conscious state- they are most certainly going to be anxious, negative monkey mind thoughts. We want to keep the monkey away!
I personally do dream remembrance and it truly does work. With practice, it gets easier. I have gotten to a point now where I can access my dream state even when I am still awake, but getting sleepy, and going into that semi-conscious state…it is really neat. I sometimes remember dreams I had many years ago. Give it a try.
Resource: idea for this post was inspired by a short interview with Woodsen Merrell, M.D., Chairman of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center and co-author of Power Up: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger (May 2010 issue of Body and Soul Magazine http://www.wholeliving.com)
The benefits of journal writing are many. The ways to use journal vary. Here are some ideas.
The Recording Journal: This kind of journal is where you chronicle your daily life. I kept this kind of “dear diary” journal most of my life (starting at about age 10). It is really interesting to look back on some of these journals you wrote as a younger version of yourself. You may find that some things don’t change much and you are still anguishing over the same issues you did as a teenager (finding the right mate, your weight, etc.) You may also see all of the growth that life experience has given you. That is most satisfying. You may find patterns from your life that can give you some kind of insight for your present life. I look back on many of my journals and just feel thankful for the rich life I have had thus far.
The Travel Journal: This is a kind of recording journal but warrants a special book of its own. There is something truly expansive and wondrous about adventure and visiting new places. Your senses come to life as you take in these new experiences. You are taking photos most likely with your camera- so why not record your experiences in writing as well? It will be a wonderful souvenir of your journeys years from now.
The Gratitude Journal: We mention this kind of journal quite a bit here at The Warm Milk Journal. What we appreciate appreciates. It is hard to stay in a negative state of mind if we are focused on the many things we are blessed with in our life. On a daily basis write down things you are thankful for. I started doing this many years ago on my own and also with the guidance of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude (which is never too far from my bedside) . Giving thanks is a wonderful habit and practice to get into.
The Worry Journal: This is another kind journal that comes up a bit here at The Warm Milk Journal. Many of us are losing sleep at night because our minds just won’t shut off the worries. The idea here is to give our minds a place and time to get all the worries out. List the worries. Then perhaps next to each worry write down a solution for it. This can then get us out of that hopeless feeling state. If our minds go back to worrying, gently remind ourselves that we had our “worry time” for now. We can also remind ourselves in this journal that 99% of what we worry about doesn’t happen. We can also play out the “worst case scenario”: if what we are worrying about really happened, then what? Write it out. Would it really be as bad as our fearful minds have imagined it? On the top of each page of our worry journals we can write: This Too Shall Pass . Whatever is going on in our lives (good or bad) will pass. Life is dynamic. Is does not stand still. That idea alone has given me much comfort.
The Ideas Journal: You never know when you are going to get inspired and have a terrific idea. It is always a good idea to have a little notebook at hand to write down your ideas. I am using some notebooks I have kept to develop some business ideas. Some of these ideas are quite good and they would have been lost if I had not jotted them down.
The Spiritual Journal: inspirational quotes, affirmations etc. I believe that journal writing helps us connect to our higher power. I often feel the closest to God when I take some quiet alone time with my journal and write. I sometimes write to God or the universe and ask for guidance. Our intuition and inner voice really comes out with this practice.
The Creative Journal: poetry, doodling, stories, anything fun, wacky. No censoring here. Just let your creative and playful spirit come out. This is a really fun kind of journalling experience. To get inspired, check out any of Sark’s books.
The Dream Journal: This can be fun. Have a journal by your bedside and when you first wake up, write down any dreams that you remember. Our dream world is pretty fascinating. Many common recurring dreams that we have have been interpreted and it is interesting. There are may books on dreams. One good one I currently have is the second edition of The Dream Encyclopedia by James R Lewis and Evelyn Dorothy Oliver.
Something that has helped me fall back asleep during restless, sleepless nights is thinking of a story I want to write.
I think of the setting, characters, plot development, etc. I think of as many details as possible as I lie there in my bed. Before I know it, I have fallen back asleep. Perhaps this works because it got my mind off my worries or the fact that I was not sleeping.
We can use our journals to write down these ideas as well- and, who knows? We may have some great ideas there for some future stories to write. I often think when we are in that semiconscious state our minds are often more creative, more intuitive, and more spiritual.
Another thing I might do when I am in this semi-asleep, semi-awake state is tap into my dream world. Sometimes I can bring up dreams I had many years ago! When I do this, I enjoy the images and then fall back into a nice sleep.