Last night, before falling asleep, I tried something that I don’t remember doing before. I asked for my dreams to bring me clarity on what to focus on the following day. Sure enough, when I woke up this morning, I recalled two significant indications that had arisen during my dream state.
One was not so surprising, it was to write in my journal first thing upon waking, a practice that I learned about recently from Benjamin Hardy, which I will say more about in a minute.
The other came more out of the blue and was a prompt to revisit a creative project that has been lying dormant for months – a game that I had designed and left for some revisions but had forgotten about in the midst of other projects and family life. I was pleasantly surprised and curious that I was being reminded to work on the game. And because it was surprising, and had not been in my conscious awareness, it felt like a message to be heeded – indeed my subconscious gifting me an invitation.
The idea to make a request of my subconscious mind came after reading this article by Benjamin Hardy, a writer who has recently come into my sphere on Medium.com. Hardy, a psychologist and an enthusiastic proponent of journaling, writes about the benefit of the daily practice of journaling as a means for honing creativity and productivity.
While I consider myself a bit of journaling aficiniado, I have mostly considered the purpose of my journaling to be for personal development rather than achieving goals, however, there is a lot of overlap between mine and Hardy’s approach and I am glad to have found his work because I can see it will add richness and new facets to my own established journaling practice.
One of Hardy’s recommendations is to write in one’s journal very first thing in the morning, upon waking and also last thing at night before going to sleep. This is then connected to asking the subconscious for guidance during one’s sleep/dream state. Inspiration may come in dreams and then is captured first thing in the morning through writing, you manifest your intentions during the day and reflect on them at the end of the evening before sleep and then the cycle begins again.
I did write in my journal before sleeping last night. I wasn’t intentionally following Hardy’s suggestion, I simply wanted to because I had had a beautiful spacious day. My mum and her partner had taken all three of my children away on a few days’ holiday to the coast and for the first time in over ten years, I am having the opportunity to be home for a stretch sans enfants. I had enjoyed a calm, relaxed but fulfilling day of working towards my childbirth mentoring course, punctuated by swimming at two beautiful river beaches and then spent the evening with two girlfriends, doing meditation, eating dinner and homemade raw chocolate and exchanging massage. It was a day that warranted writing about.
Before I went to bed, I stepped outside in the cool night air and opened up by mind and heart to the starry night sky.
It was only when lying in bed, using mindful breathing and mantra to calm my raw- cacao infused mind, that I recalled what I had read about tapping into the subconscious, so that was when I asked for guidance and clarity.
Having received the nudge to journal first thing in the morning, I honoured it. I sat up, totally unaware of the time and utterly unhindered by family responsibilities in the absence of my children, and wrote six pages in my journal. I could feel that I was in a different state to when I write later in the day. I felt a bit bleary-eyed and sleepy but I could also feel the veil between my conscious and subconscious mind was thinner. I could tap into the well of thoughts and ideas beneath the surface and articulate the intentions that had arisen during my dreams.
I wrote about the fact that I was writing first thing in the morning, noted my plan to work on my game design and mindmapped ideas for another creative project that has just surfaced.
It felt like a powerful and productive practice and I have decided that I will commit to it for a period of one week to see how it can serve me. My greatest challenge will be whether I can keep it up in the normal context of family mornings. But seeing as Benjamin Hardy is the father of five children, I hardly have an excuse!
I will write another post at the end of the week to report back on my experience and any enlightening realisations that come along the way.