Hello beautiful people of Expansive Capacity!
It’s time once again for Superpower Sunday! 🙂
As always, this is all about how we can implement wee changes that may turbocharge our *existing* superpowers so that we don’t dim our own lights due to inertia, stress, or any other upper-limit problem that reveals itself along our path.
In this month’s Superpower Sunday, I want to talk about our dreams. Specifically, the BAD dreams we have at night when we sleep.
Now, we don’t always have bad dreams, but we all know that fleeting feeling of freakout that comes when we awake from a particularly REAL bad dream. Sometimes, it’s not such a fleeting feeling; it lingers for hours after we wake up. Our brains want to spend a lot of time really pulling through the taffy of all of the sensations we witnessed from a sleeping state.
Our bad dreams are actually burning OFF anxiety that might be too overwhelming for us to experience in waking state otherwise.
Meaning, we’re stressed out about [INSERT BIG-ASS STRESSFUL THING 2020 BROUGHT INTO OUR ALREADY SLIGHTLY-LESS-BIG-ASS-STRESSED-OUT-LIVES] and we’ve finally found a way to navigate the day without being totally paralyzed by the emotions we’re not allowing ourselves to express, and it’s time for sleep.
And, as I’ve said approximately 1234567890 times: The energy has to go somewhere.
So, our brains take a little trip through the feelings, the concerns, the itemized lists of all the ways our nervous systems are under assault at all times and assemble a combination of images meant to allow for a bit of a release (think of it like the steam being slowly let out of a pressure cooker just at the right time).
Where the “problem” comes in is when our brains start to recognize enough of the imagery as we’re becoming more conscious during the dream that we kick up a whole new stress response, wake up, and feel NEW anxiety. Worst of all, we begin — in our fully awake state — to do the *very* human thing: try to figure out what it all means.
Ah… what a loop we put ourselves in!
The instant we are aware enough that the “bad” dream is happening, we refocus into gratitude for the anxiety burn-off that is happening. We get grateful for the service these images are doing, to our ability to navigate the stresses of the day-to-day life we’ve chosen.
So, that could be after you wake up in a cold sweat and shake off the worry that the images were REAL (like when you get out of bed, go to the bathroom, move to the kitchen to get a glass of water, whatever). Or it could be as you begin to wake up and feel that shift from the dream state into the waking state (like as you become aware that you are in your own bed and that your head is on your safe pillow). Or it could be at that moment in the dream when you catch a glimpse of a glitch in the Matrix and have a dreaming knowing that “I am dreaming” (like when you start flying or something changes shapes or when someone who is not in your life is very real in front of you).
Any of those are an opportunity to say to yourself, “Thank you, brain, for burning off some anxiety for me.”
No matter when you start employing this shift into gratitude (which you’ll get better at doing earlier and earlier over time — so much so that you’ll move into full-on lucid dreaming which is intense and AWESOME), it will start transforming your relationship with the anxiety that you may feel not only ABOUT bad dreams but in your life about real-life things that the bad dream has now helped you lose some anxiety about.
Ah… dreams are so damn cool!
Share with me: How do you navigate your dreams and thank them for their service?
Admin Note: Your January Aligned Hustle Calendar is at the Welcome page if you haven’t already snagged your copy. (And of course, I invite you to check out my astro goodies if going deeper with this feels aligned. Especially after that epic 2021 planning livestream, the timing may be really right for you now!)
Let’s keep jamming on this topic at the dojo ’til January’s topic, Your Relationship with Shoulds, rolls out on the 1st. Woo HOO!
I’m so proud of you all. This has been a year in which the Expansive Capacity tools have revealed their power AND their purpose in our lives in some really essential ways. Thank goodness, right?!? I’m humbled by the work y’all continue to do in getting to connect with next-tier you on the daily.
Thank you, for honoring me with your process.
All my love,