Positive Pause – 14th November, 2016 – Awareness and Nightmares

awareness and nightmaresThis week the world needs as much positivity as it can get: is seems almost unbelievable that Donald Trump is in power.  The less said the better…awareness and nightmares
Instead, I prefer to turn my attention to the passing of Leonard Cohen.  Death is always sad, but in this case, we have much to celebrate – Cohen has left a wealth of music, poetry, and inspirational quotes for the world to enjoy.  Before his career in music, he dedicated himself to writing, mainly poetry and lived a semi-reclusive life on the Greek island of Hydra. The world should be thankful that, due to a lack of financial success, he came out of his shell to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter.  A clear example here of every cloud having a silver lining. Cohen lived his life to the full and released his fourteenth album only last month at the age of 82, writing and creating right up to the end of his life.

This week, the political events in the USA must have crawled into my subconscious because, despite  my best efforts to remain positive, I had a number of nightmares.  If you are the type of person who remembers your dreams, you will know how disturbing a nightmare can be.  Symptoms can include hot sweats, panic and overwhelming fear. When I was younger I used to get quite upset whenever I had a nightmare and saw it as a sign that my mental health was not good. However, I now choose to embrace these disturbing dreams as a  necessary part of my mental well-being. The nightmare is a mechanism whereby the subconscious mind deals with anything that the conscious mind has not done during your waking hours.  Thank you subconscious mind! My subconscious seems to be particularly suggestible which is why I have to be careful about the information and experiences that I expose myself to.  If you think of children and how impressionable they are, you can begin to see how your subconscious mind works. awareness and nightmares

On Friday morning I had the chance to impress 200 young minds by giving a short talk on mindfulness to Luca’s school assembly.  I explained to the children aged from 4-12 that they have a choice in how they wish to feel, think and behave and that this choice lies in their ability to be aware. I sincerely believe that this is a message that needs to be sung from the rooftops or at least taught in every school and not just once, but every day.

One of my favourite Leonard Cohen quotes is,

“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

Awareness is the greatest gift of the conscious mind and is what separates us from most of the animal kingdom. Choosing to use your awareness to shape your own life will allow you to rise above all the fear in the world that is created by just the opposite, a lack of awareness. Just like Cohen, you have the choice to be brave and to bring out the best in you today and everyday, no matter what is going on around you.  And don’t worry about having nightmares – your subconscious is dealing with it! awareness and nightmares