Friday, November 5, 2010

Be Creative . . . While you Sleep!

Did you know, that when you are asleep, your brain is firing off cells as if it is still awake? Recently, Monkey + Seal were listening to a podcast by Radio Lab about "sleep and dreams". When a rat runs through a maze during the day, when he goes to sleep, his brain is firing off the same information as if he is going through the same maze! Each turn, each jump, everything - his physical and mental experience, the brain recorded it and played it back to-the-dot in his dreams. When the rat ran two different mazes during the day, when he slept, he dreamt of "a mix-and-match" parts of both mazes.

Meaning: when we dream at night, we free-associate and create new meanings from all of the experiences we had ever lived through.

Well, what's this got to do with being an artist you might be thinking? 1.) If we are creating in our sleep, then . . .You can also use your dreams to solve your artistic problems/questions. Write your question at night before you go to bed, "what shall I create tomorrow" or "should I paint that dog blue or red?" "how shall I end this novel?" etc. You'll be surprised. Trust us, it works. Most likely you'll find that an answer is presented to you when you wake up. (Don't forget to write it down!)

So, we use our dreams for creativity, what else? If we repeat the similar experiences of our waking moments even when we are asleep . . .We can solve an even bigger life problem. What if your life experience has been filled with past disappointments, broken dreams, and unfulfilled creativity? Wouldn't you, then, keep playing the same negative record over and over again in your biological cells when you sleep?

Science would say: Yes.

The same would be true if you filled your everyday life with creativity, love, and meaning-making efforts. You would then dream of the same encouraging dose of positive energy.

Seal recently tried this experiment out on herself. And it works. Prior to listening to this podcast, Seal mainly dreamed of harsh critics, being stunted in her art, and of scarcity. Because, unfortunately up until a few years ago, that's all she had ever known. So for the past couple of nights, she decided to give it a try. During the day she painted, whether she was feeling like it or not. She went on adventures, drank pumpkin spiced latte, attended a storytelling performance, filled her life with more creative endeavors. Before she went to bed at night, she would meditate on the positive experiences of the day while breathing deeply. In the morning, when she woke up, she felt immediately the surge to face her easel right away. This is new, since it usually takes several hours for Seal to get out of bed and into creative mode. The new change also allows Seal to have more clarity during the day. She can hear the positive voice getting stronger with each day - that voice that says, "you're enough" and "why don't we try that" or "that could be fun."

Have you ever noted how you feel, the very moment you wake up? Are you filled with energy? Are you ready to create? To face your paper and the easel? Or do you feel sluggish, un-rested, and un-creative? Isn't it then worth it to spend our efforts in making new, creative experiences in order to re-live them in our dreams, in order to feel refreshed and ready for more creativity?

The very second you are "awake" is the moment of a very important decision: will you create today? Will you make meaning today?

MonkeyandSeal hopes you are creative during the day and dreaming of creativity at night. Isn't your dreams worth trying?

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