I had a dream not too long ago, where the visual artistry of my imagination made me want to sleep forever. Picture a home stylistic to the Pacific Northwest, where the rear of the house opened up directly to waterfront. Greenery and sleek rocks intertwined perfectly, balancing softness and linear textures. A slight mist cascaded up from the even ocean waves. There was a simple bench sitting securely among the rocks. In my dream, I was sitting there with my mother, who is my truest confident. Where we sat was secluded from any other view or intrusion. The hedge of the greenery enveloped around us, only leaving a view of the vast and endless ocean. Bliss.
I did not want to wake up from that dream. It was so beautiful, and I felt safe. Truth be told, I felt rested. No distractions, interruptions, and nothing to impose on my security made me linger in my subconscious reality for as long as possible. Quite often, when I am overwhelmed, stressed, or am left feeling empty, I allow myself to wander back to that dream. I picture that place and I feel rest.
Visualization is a powerful tool used by psychologists and pain management doctors. Even neuroscientists can validate the power of visualization. It doesn’t surprise me that picturing my peaceful dream helps me feel secure. Here’s what this dream has taught me: rest is more than a physical pace, it’s an active mindset. To rest well, we must think well. I believe that our environment can be chaos yet we can still feel rested. It all depends on your mindset.
The busiest I have ever been in my life was when I was in college, serving as an intern for the Creative Department. I had a full schedule of classes, served in church, and, on top of that, put in about 40-50 hours a week into my internship responsibilities. Was there stress? Sure. Did I lose out on some sleep? Oh yea, but I LOVED it. I flourished because I was doing what I loved. Confidence and edifying thoughts filled my everyday. So, even though my schedule was full, I felt rested.
Doing what we love, what we were created to do, helps keep our soul filled and our minds set on positivity. During that busy season of my life, the internal status of my thoughts and emotions were very similar to the dream scene. Secure, beautiful, and calm, my mind focused on empowerment and progress. For you, friend, where is that safe and beautiful space? Does your internal environment reflect what you visualize?
The next time you feel worn out, tired, or like you’re running on fumes, picture your dream scene. Then compare your thoughts and emotions to the beauty and security of that place. In my dream scene, anxiety doesn’t exist there. Anxiety is broken up on the rocks by the incoming tide. Feelings of being overwhelmed are locked out by the strong, hedged greenery. My physical environment may be stressful, but my internal environment helps me feel secure. Your mindset is a choice, so choose a beautiful place for your thoughts and emotions to live.
The Brain’s Way of Healing, Norman Doidge, MD