Why do we sleep? It is a dangerous activity from the perspective of evolution. You are very vulnerable to predators and other dangers. So what is the reason? Most animals do not sleep, or do so for short periods of time. I believe it is to give the brain an opportunity to present us with the wisdom it can only communicate through images, when our intellect is stilled but we can still be aware and learn from stories which are truer than the truth.
If you really want to communicate with yourself and collective consciousness, then you have to do it through dreams and symbols. Images are the universal language. Our myths have the same themes no matter what their cultural, mystical, or theological source is. By working with dreams and drawings, the deeper personal and collective truths comes forward unobstructed by ego, consciousness, and the supposedly all-knowing intellect we are so used to relying upon.
The body also has its ways of communicating. One is through feelings, which people become very good at denying. Our lives are stored within us, and this is verified by the memories carried within organs which are transplanted from one person to another. Dreams can tell us of disease states or wellness which exist within us and the best treatment options, too. So when we deny our feelings, our body can still communicate through dream images. Sadly, we too often deny the true meaning of the dream. Most physicians are totally unaware of this source of therapeutic wisdom.
The body also responds to images. Picture a pleasant scene or recall a humorous event and your body will respond. Perform a part in a play and your immune function and stress hormones will change depending upon the role played. If a comedy they are enhanced and if a tragedy they are adversely affected. This has been verified in actors. So act as if you are the person you want to be. See what you want to see happening and talk to your body with words and images.
Worry is negative or destructive imaging. Nothing is solved by worrying, by seeing the worst outcome, but much is done which adversely affects one’s will and ability to live. Optimists may not be as accurate about the future but they live longer than pessimists. I was brought up to expect problems would redirect me to something better in my life. Charcoal under pressure becomes a diamond. One can keep failing until you fail up. So create the image you want and focus on it.
You are caught in traffic in the city and the country. You live on the first floor and the tenth floor. You are in a hospital room with outdoor scenes on the walls and a room with abstract paintings and no view out the window. In all the above cases you will experience less stress and heal faster if you can see natural scenes and views. So when in doubt, or surrounded by man-made objects, close your eyes and visualize what will heal you.
- Keep a pad and pencil next to your bed and record your dreams. Review them and discuss them with people who can help you find the meaning and message in the dreams.
- Describe your feelings or any physical problems and then ask yourself how the words fit your life. Then resolve the problems in your life that you are now aware are affecting your mind and body’s health and well-being.
- Think about how a failure or problem redirected your life and directed you to something beneficial.
- Spend time walking through a park or along the beach and let nature heal you.
- Use guided imagery, in which you visualize yourself presenting a problem to an inner guide you meet while walking towards the light, and await an answer.