…and other inner visions to start 2020 with!
We know sleep is crucial for our health.
Without proper sleep, we are more vulnerable to life’s challenges in all its forms. The sleep-deprived versions of ourselves are less rational, less emotionally stable, and less capable of achieving our fullest potential.
Ultimately, sleep is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle; physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally and even environmentally (more later on that topic).
What many people don’t realize is that sleep is also an enabler.
When it comes to creative thinking, sleep is crucial. Sleep nourishes our imagination and gives us the ability to fire on all creative cylinders.
In fact, research shows that one of our most creative times is when we are coming out of sleep and walking slowly out our dreams. Many creatives – poets, writers, painters, musicians – take advantage of the hypnopompic state, which is the journey back to consciousness after a long slumber.
“Consciousness blooms with the expansion of the heart and long slumber.” adapted from Lindsay Godfree
Also known as “sleep inertia,” the hypnopompic state is when our waking and dreaming collide for a brief period. As our rational brain comes alive, a sprinkling of dream dust remains, allowing us to form connections between what’s real and what’s not…yet.
Sleep deprivation gets in the way of dreaming, which our brains need to decompress. Although some argue that insomnia produces bouts of creativity, prolonged sleep deprivation cripples our minds in many ways. It diminishes our capacity to take advantage of the hypnopompic state, one of the most creative times in our daily rhythm.
Outside of the hypnopompic state, research shows that REM sleep boosts our creativity overall. When people advise you to “sleep on” a tough problem, they are really encouraging you to get deep sleep, which can spark ideas and help you think outside of the box.
Many of us need to hear this message in the Winter season, especially.
In the heart of Winter, we embrace longer nights and cold weather. We use this time to pause, reflect, and evaluate. We prepare our mind, body, and spirit for the vibrancy and hope of Spring.
During this season, it’s easy to let our imaginations fall to the wayside. We get so caught up in the busyness of life and the end-of-the-year rush that we ignore our “inner vision” for the sake of immediacy.
We live in constant tension – society tells us to live faster during the holidays, while our bodies beg us to slow down. I believe strongly that we need to align ourselves in every way so that we can maximize our potential throughout the entire year.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
Although Winter represents the end of life, it exists in anticipation of what is to come – new life!
As personal energy and potential coach, I love reminding people of this truth. I love coaching those around me to sleep well and feed their imaginations, to let their inner vision take over and explore how Winter can give way to Spring.
Below are three takeaways to inspire your creative mind and encourage you in the midst of Winter:
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” George Addair
Don’t Fear Your Imagination
As children, we are encouraged to let our imaginations run wild. As we grow older, many of us have to let certain dreams die or are told to give up on our ambitions for any number of reasons. This can be a painful experience.
Many people respond by locking away their imaginations for the sake of protecting themselves. We fear the heartbreak that comes with imagining a new reality for ourselves and falling short.
I’ve been there.
However, the truth is, the best version of ourselves lives at the intersection of our imagination, skills, and passions. Don’t be scared of your imagination! Instead, channel it. Develop awareness of your creative mind and when it is most active and clear – I promise you, it will be after a healthy night of sleep!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein
Imagination Takes Practice
Unlocking the true potential of your inner vision doesn’t happen overnight. You must combine a healthy sleeping rhythm with routine practice. That way, when your mind ripe, you can capture the most out of the opportunity.
Give yourself time and space to visualize something that does not yet exist. Let your mind wander aimlessly until you are ready to focus in on an idea or goal. Concentrate on what your senses would pick up in that moment.
How does the air feel on your skin?
What do you hear from your surroundings?
What do you see all around you?
The more you practice fleshing out your imaginative realties, the better you will become at fixing your mind on things that could become reality if you devout the attention and energy.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar
It’s fun to follow our imaginations wherever they take us. However, our mission here at goodlifesleep is to achieve our highest potential. We need to set goals with intention in order to do this.
Need helping setting goals? I’m here in service for you, let’s chat!