A month ago I purchased a Guided Mindfulness Meditation recorded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. His recommendation was to start with the 45 minute Body Scan for two weeks than progress through his additional CD’s, which include two yoga sequences and a sitting meditation. The first couple of evenings I began the body scan and would find myself asleep on my mat (the body scan position is laying down) about an hour after I had started listening.
I decided to move my time to an earlier part of the evening and not make myself quite so comfortable. I was able to stay present throughout the scan and feel relaxed and prepared for a good night’s sleep. I found my resulting sleep each evening to be incredibly restful and full of dreams. After a week of the body scan ritual and the vibrant dreams each evening, I decided to keep a dream log. Each morning I wake up and immediately write everything I can remember, both events, people and feelings from the dream.
After a couple of weeks of recording these dreams, I noticed some themes. I would often find myself teaching in massive and theatrical studios, not always Pilates, sometime Yoga (I don’t actually teach yoga) and some variations of Gyrotonic that involved more aerial than earthbound work. I also discovered I was always “in charge” meaning that I would be involved in establishing task for other people in my dreams and following up on their efforts. My dreams have also been populated with people from my far away past, mostly high school and college pals that have recently re-emerged on Facebook and Linked In.
I was describing my dreams to a friend and coach, Stefanie Zizzo, who encouraged me to create a dream log collage (collage is my only method for creating anything artistic) and a couple of weekends ago I spent many hours searching for images that represented both the themes and emotions I felt in my dreams. The final project was a 15 page picture book of my dreams that resonates more deeply each time I flip through it. This week, I was back at Michaels craft supply store purchasing new supplies and found an even deeper vein of dreams to mine as I switched to Zinn’s Sitting Meditation CD this past week.
As intriguing as this dream world has been, I have also noticed a shift in my day to day “real world.” I wake each morning incredibly energized and I feel released from any difficulty of the past day or week. I am more present, optimistic and creative as I approach my work, my clients and my co-workers. I feel more in control of both my personal experience and my emotions, and can sense a very positive response in my interactions with others.
My next CD is Mindful Yoga, which I am planning to listen and move to each morning. This will require a shift in my routine and schedule, both of which I am expecting good things to happen as a result. I will keep you posted.