Some of the most creative and healthful moments in my day happen early in the morning right before I open my eyes. In those first few minutes, I experience that yummy vivid dreaming state where I’m free to love, play, practice, conquer and create without any risk and all the reward. I have ritualized this part of my day and treat it as sacredly as I do meditation and prayer because I believe the benefits contribute just as significantly to my well-being. The early morning dream state is so helpful, in fact, that it’s worth going to bed 30 minutes earlier so that I am sure to have enough time in the morning.
In this highly absorbed state, my minds eye is full of visions and my emotions, senses, and feelings flow without interruption. Sometimes I see details and experience things more intimately here than I do while awake. Could this be practice for being more present in daily life? I believe so. Since I started this practice, I have noticed that I am enjoying the little things much more than in years past.
It’s interesting to note that in this luxuriating dream state, I somehow feel impervious to my brains nagging commentary. And if and when a negative thought does pop up, I quickly banish it with a simple “not now.” Compared to intense and stressful moments of waking life, this seems like a super power but in reality, it is just a good reminder of our natural ability to redirect unwanted thoughts.
This dream state seems to activate my imagination in ways I don’t have access to in the rhythm of regular day to day activities. It is here that I am better able to heal, solve problems and practice anything from a golf swing, facing a fear, giving a presentation and so much more.
I also use this time to invite forgiveness. You might think it odd, but forgiveness requires focus and practice too. Forgiving is a decision to let go of expectations, disappointments and pain. Forgiveness seldom comes in one fell swoop. Sometimes grace whooshes all the pain away. But more often, the hurt and disappointment slowly dissolve one aspect at a time. As attachment and judgment fades away, compassion takes over and opens the heart where it is willing to be more vulnerable again. I can’t tell you how much this has improved my relationships. Including the one I have with myself. If for no other reason, this is reason enough to adopt early morning daydreaming into your daily life.
One of the ways I use my imagination to forgive is to envision greeting my antagonist with a smile and warm heart. It might sound silly but the subconscious mind cannot distinguish imagination from real life. The more we practice softening — the more we open. Another way to invite forgiveness is to spend time remembering our loved one before the betrayal. Both uses of the imagination helps us to remember the eternal essence at the core of each life.
It might also be helpful to entertain the likeliness that most negative behavior is a projection from a misunderstanding. Judgment is internal. We judge the world as we are, which makes this even more compelling and might require you to ask yourself, “Is there a part of me that is or has shown up this way and if so, have I forgiven myself.”
Some might say that I am just day dreaming or escaping, which is partially correct. Why make that a bad thing, though? Einstein and many others have made it clear that imagination is essential. We all do things to dodge reality because honestly, its necessary at times. The majority of us are living in a constant state of stress, and it weighs us down (literally). Stress hormones are the number one contributor to disease and discomfort. Reducing stress is vital if one desires to feel vibrant and energetic. We can harness the power of our imagination for us or against us. Since we are, after all, in charge of managing our energy, I believe it makes sense to maximize on our natural abilities first. For me, it has become evident that I require this much slower pace of dream state to access the deeper and broader aspect of my capacities. It is in this state that I can also scan my body and check in, so to speak. Our body has a wisdom of its own. We can learn so much more about our health if we tune in and pay attention to it.
Managing personal energy isn’t always easy, especially in a world that is feeding us with a steady stream of data and asking us to operate at warp speed. It is true that we are consuming more information on a daily basis than ever before. I often wonder, to what avail? Are the Kardashians all that entertaining? If so, be sure to indulge your senses but be sure to make time to tune into you when your brain waves have slowed down for something that is truly nourishing.
The dream state is accessible during the daytime, but it isn’t always as readily available as first thing in the morning. The morning provides a naturally slowing down of the brain waves which easily paves the way for a person to jump start the day with a stronger sense of self and improved optimism. When we feel better, we are more likely to see solutions and opportunities. I could go on and on about the betterment of relishing in the early morning hours, but I’m pretty sure you’ve got the gist. If this isn’t something you have ever done, perhaps you’ll now be inspired to give it a try.