Welcome – to this time of relaxation. This is a time for you – to do what feels right, for you, here at the end of your day – a time for moving away from the things of the day – and moving into relaxation, and then, into sleep. A time for letting go of thoughts – plans – concerns. And moving into the gentle relaxation you find in focusing on your breath. And on your body.
Sometimes as your day goes by, you may find you aren’t paying attention to your body and how it feels, and what it knows. Maybe you sit in one place too long, and your body grows stiff – or maybe you move too much, sometimes, and your body is sore. But breath, and giving a little gentle attention to your body, can let your body – and your mind – be at ease, and can make it easy for you to relax – more and more with each breath.
And the stress of the day – that has no place here, either. And you know – taking this time for yourself will give you a joyful, easy day tomorrow. That’s right. Because as you sleep tonight – and as you dream – your subconscious will move you through the things that troubled you today, or caused you any stress at all – and work through them in the way it does. Mysteriously, through dream and image. Have you ever woken and realized your dream was related to something that happened to you, in the day before? That’s your subconscious gently processing stress – shaping it, and changing it, and moving it out of the way.
So it’s good to know, isn’t it, that in giving yourself this time of relaxation that leads you into a restful night’s sleep – you are giving yourself a great day tomorrow – free of any stress from the day before.
Anchor phrase: “Waking at a time of your choosing – but for now, entering into restful sleep.”
And it’s good to know, too, that all the choices around your sleep are yours. It’s your sleep – after all. And you know what you’re doing, you know how to sleep, so it’s only natural – that you’d decide what’s best for you. To fall into sleep – oh, soon, very soon, in just a few moments – or to wait and see how long it takes for sleep to call you down, and in. Or, you could just let these words be the signal to you, that you’re choosing a time to enter into deep sleep and dream. When we reach the end of this meditation – and you hear me say the words “Waking at a time of your choosing – but for now – entering into restful … sleep.” When you hear me say those words – if you like, you can slip gently and easily down – into sleep.
Relaxation : counting sleep
For now – you can move even deeper into relaxation – giving yourself that gift. And it can really be like a game. Like two games we can play – one a writing game, and the other, a word game.
Remembering a few moments ago, when there was a blackboard in front of you. Just like the one you may remember from school – black, or green. With chalk dust clinging to it, here and there, and the smell of the chalk dust. Just remembering that, and if you don’t remember, that’s perfectly ok. You can remember it as you listen to my voice.
And you took the chalk in your hand and, right in the middle of the blackboard, you drew the number 1. Just remember looking at it there – the number 1, written in the middle of the blackboard. And then you erased it, with one of the black erasers covered in chalk dust – and you looked up at the corner of the blackboard and wrote the word “sleep”. See the letters? The s – the l – the two ee’s – the p.
I wonder which corner you chose? It doesn’t really matter. And you erased the word “sleep” – or you could do that now – and in the middle of the board, wrote the number 2. Feeling your hand make the shape, and enjoying that feeling – The curve of the 2, moving down to the straight line – there it is, on the board – and then, you erased it.
So the board is clean and empty, and now – you can write in the middle of the board, the number 3. The number taking shape, the curves of it. And I’m wondering if the upper circle of your 3 is larger – or the bottom circle – not that it really matters at all, because – once you’ve looked at the number you wrote, you erased it. And in the corner of the blackboard, you write the word “sleep” – and does it look like the other words, the other times you wrote the word “sleep”? Or is each a little different? Are the two ees alike, or – maybe one was a bit different from the other – Take a moment to think about that if you want, before – you lift the eraser, now or in your memory – and erase the word “sleep”. And the board is empty again.
Once more. The empty board – it’s the 4s turn, now, so – let yourself write the number 4 on the board, with chalk, now or in your memory. And I really wonder – will your four be the kind that is a pointy triangle, almost like someone sitting in a chair, who crosses their leg? Those sharp angles and clean lines – or will your 4 be open at the top, more about slanted lines that meet and cross – and of course I can’t know what you drew, a few moments ago. But I find myself wondering – as you look at the number you drew then, the number 4. Looking at it, until you’re ready to erase it. And once you did – you know what to do now – taking the chalk and writing the word “sleep” in the corner of the blackboard. Writing it (pause) and looking at it (pause) and just erasing it when you’re ready. And there the blackboard was, empty again.
Ready for you to write other numbers, if you chose to, or if you choose to now. Writing the numbers, and erasing them – 5 and 6, 7 and 8 – and maybe more, although it’s rare for someone to write very many more. Because you can choose to stop whenever you want – you can make that choice. And writing the word “sleep” after each number, up in the corner of the blackboard. Writing it, and looking at it – and then erasing it – and moving on to the next number. Do you remember how many numbers you wrote? How far you got? Do you want to write more now?
Body of meditation: Sleep words, bear and sheep
So much easier, eventually, to just let that go – and drift, your body growing heavier, and more relaxed. More relaxed. If you’d rather, you can remember the other game we played, of sleep words. If you like – just let different words about sleep pass through your mind. How many can you think of? Like – drowsy. And drowsier. Dream. Rest. Somnolence. Or – ZZZZZs. You know – like cartoon characters used to use, to show they were asleep, or snoring. Are there other words you can think of? Words associated with sleep like – bed. Pillow. Comforter. Soft. Tired. Releasing. Surrendering. Drifting. Sinking. Hibernation – like a bear – moving into the cave, when it feels winter coming on. A warm cave, deep underground. Dark, and cozy – the bear – finding a place to curl up – and sinking into a sleep that lasts, oh – weeks. Months. Until the first stirrings of spring call it to wake again. Sleeping as long and as deeply as it wants – wandering in and out of winter dreams – warm, while the snow piles up outside –
Doze. Lethargy. Repose. Counting sheep – have you ever done that? Fluffy sheep, jumping in a gentle arc, as you count them, one by one. Slumbering. Slumbering. Even the word sounds like what it means – to drift off into sleep – doesn’t it? And do you?
And you know – if you can’t remember playing with sleep words – or you don’t want to play with them any more – it’s ok to just let that go. And do nothing at all. Just listening to my voice – you could just do that, or really, you could decide not to even do that, and drift off into sleep, if you wanted. Remembering deciding – or letting your body, and your sleeping self, decide that for you – Just allowing yourself to do – anything you want, and nothing at all.
Affirmation: downloading stress as you sleep and dream
Knowing – remembering feeling that sleep was calling you down. To that place where you are held in dreams – as any little concerns are just played out in dreams, their wrinkles evened out. Their bumps – smoothed. Your dreams, mysterious as they are, shaping your memories, your oddities – dreaming. Until even the game, and my voice, become a dream – the dreaming world calling you.
So you can rest, and drift, and wake when you choose – when you are fully rested, and renewed. Such a gentle – surrender –
Anchor phrase to end
The rhythm of sleep, and dream – of your breath moving in, and out – of your body, still, and coming almost into wakefulness to turn, and then – finding your place of repose, and sinking into sleep and dream again. And everything resting and renewing – your cells. Your heart. Deep sleep, calling you in and down. And you drawn by that call – Waking at a time of your choosing – but for now – entering into restful … sleep.
”Have you ever woken and realized your dream was related to something that happened to you, in the day before? That’s your subconscious gently processing stress – shaping it, and changing it, and moving it out of the way.