I have been having some issues with my dreams and the state that it brings me when I wake up. I have been working with understanding being present in the moment in my awake state. But this sleep situation eludes me with what is going on. I will try to explain.
This morning, I slept in. I think I am making up for the time up in the Islands that I did not sleep because the bed was so bad. Usually I am up by 4:30am. So to sleep in until 8am is a treat. I noticed in the past days when I wake up no matter what the time I sense panic. It takes a few seconds to calm, but I do because there is nothing in my world to create this panic. I gasp the first wakeful moments of air. I did a body inventory and my hands were in fists, my feet are curl inward and there is an intense vibration that is not particularly pleasant. I did this twice this morning and noticed it yesterday as well. There is no noise or anything to wake me and create this fear. Last night, I was sound asleep and woke up screaming with a charlie horse in my calf at 2 am. I get charlie horses when I am tense. I did not go to bed tense at all. Matter of fact, just the opposite. I also know enough now to do something to stop the intense contraction of a charlie but I was sound, sound, sound asleep when it went off. I usually can control my breathing and regulate the pain if one does go off, but I woke up screaming. I do not remember what I was dreaming when it happened.
This morning I paid particular attention and remembered my last dream. It was in a house that I often reside in when I am having a dream. The house is quite large and empty like someone has just bought it, which was the situation of this dream
The house has some significance although I am not sure what. It is a huge very old home. I grew up in large old homes, but they were not this one. In many of the dreams I have about this house it is in a state of repair and disrepair and in the dream last night this was also the case. I am walking through the house inspecting the rooms because we just bought the house. I walk in to the first upstairs bedroom and notice water damage that has been cheaply painted over, and the stains are bleeding through. I go onto the next room and there is a single dresser covered in plaster as ceiling has falling down above it. Here I sense in my body and in my dream body real panic. I remember the thought; “I never checked the attic before we closed.” In other dreams, the house is in similar or worse condition, and the roof is filled with gabbing holes. There is one room in the back which is sweet and pristine and I say later in the dream that this is the one I want for my personal space. I am with a morphed (combination of both of my husbands) husband and he is not really a strong component of the dream. I only state this as I am not alone in this house. Matter of fact as the dream progresses, it was filled with children especially one of my favorite students. I am chiding him and his friends out for leaving the sink full of dirty dishes and pans. But it is done with love and I refer to him as a son. He cleans up and then I am talking to him about a job he thinks I am going to be able to secure for him but I tell him I cannot. In the dream, he morphs between being 16 to 30 which is what he is, 30 at least. He is disappointed that I cannot get the job for him and I sense in my body angst. When I was sleeping in this morning, I was not in a real deep state of sleep, sort of half way between wake and sleep. This young man in real life actually has a very successful film and video business. I was his media teacher and he actually worked for me when I ran the TV station. We are still friends. So this part of the dream makes no sense. I remember the inner feeling though of me disappointing him.
Woven in and out of this dream is something I often dream about: swimming pools. I dream about all kinds of swimming pools, small and large, empty and full. One of my fondest very early memories is from the Olympic sized swimming pool at the club my parents belonged to. I swam free of floaties very early on and was in the deep end of the pool and diving by five. I love pools of any kind. I even like empty ones and often dream about them empty. In this particular dream, many of the neighbors had pools. I was clearly focused on the next door one as it was very different and not actually a pool as a whirlpool system. It was built on a hill and you walked down a series of steps to the lower area where the whirlpool pool was. There were two shower heads on the stairs to use. (I know weird, but it is a dream) Behind my house and then continuing through the neighborhood is a stream of running water like you would see in spring. It has been raining and the stream is flowing. The water passes very close to my house foundation and again, I feel the fear that the water is in the basement. But the stream water is also flowing down the stairs and into the pool component of the neighbor. I am more concerned with that. The water is not really dirty but there is debris of leaves and stuff in the pool. The stream goes on through to the end of another neighbor yard who has left it very natural and then the stream goes over a falls. At one point I see myself walking there and thinking I will return because it is so calm….and I sense the calm. Behind my house another neighbor has a gorgeous pool filled with clear blue water and a lovely backyard and deck. I sense other pools but do not remember them. I am not jealous or anything, just I like pools and water.
So the last part of the dream is where I am talking with the student and eating a hamburger….which has not happened since 1986. I do not eat meat. I am upset because I cannot resolve the job issue and then there is a shift and I am walking on the street with small booths like you would see at a boardwalk. I see my sister coming at me and she is talking. I do not remember what she was saying as I felt my body completely tense up. I woke up and was totally stressed as I described before with my hands in fists and legs curled inward. There was a sensation of effervescent bubble-like vibes inside me but it was not pleasant.
So what is the big deal? Everyone dreams. The big deal for me is what this is doing to my body. My calf muscle still hurts from the charlie horse. I wake up and I am in physical pain. I am so grateful that we bought a new mattress as my back in so much better. I am so focused now on the sensations my body creates and how I react to things like stress. I am learning methods to calm and separate from my reactions in my awake stay. I am choosing to not get cranked up because I know getting cranked creates a physical reaction in me which manifests in pain.
I can sense now the physical body from the inner body and I observe more. The other day I got very upset at my husband. I am not going to share the issue. But I felt my body totally getting worked up and (this is funny) I listened to the words that were spewing out of my mouth like it was someone else. I sort of went “whoa”, and walked outside. As I sat in my chair, I sensed the anger as it flowed physically in the body. I could sense it in my arms and gut like it was paint the color of orange. I calmed down a bit and in honesty, it flared up again very quickly when I went back inside. I had to walk back out again and it took over an hour for me to be able to talk in a calm and rational manner about what was pissing me off. But I did and we had a productive conversation….well I thought it was. This was a pretty big thing for me not to be so wrapped up in the emotion of the argument, but to see myself as a player in it. After I said my piece in a calm manner, it was over and done. Really confused the hell out of my husband who is used to the game of cold shoulder and grudge keeping.
The biggest difference right now is the ability to sense fear. I still feel it coming at me and by stepping back and separating from it, I do not become fearful. It has made a huge difference in my life. I am not saying I am completely there because it is all so new. My past life was completely based on fear and the reaction of fear. So each step towards releasing the control of fear is a big leap for me. I also do not feel ody and release it. So by the end of the day, I am 100% more relaxed physically then I have ever been. Used to be I was like a stretched out rubber band all the time. This is why I am upset with this sleep tension. I do not know how to get past this, but I am sure there is a way. Maybe my body is releasing stuff and I just need to give myself time. I started writing this when I first got up and my hands hurt when I was typing. I chatted with a friend on the phone for a long while and now my hands do not hurt. The tension in my body is much less. It seems there should be a way to not have to deal with this. It is interesting that my friend is also going through something similar with her sleep. So I ask my fellow bloggers, how do you keep the fear away and the physical reaction when you are a sleep?