Anxiety dreams have plagued my sleep all my life. I realize that no matter how I feel while awake, the dreams let me know what's really going on.
This has been a rather productive week. I've started a new commissioned painting. I've been collecting information regarding a line of tote bags and note cards that I'll being introducing to you next year. I've been getting up and walking, eating well, meditating and getting plenty of rest. But my sleep has been interrupted each night by anxiety dreams.
All in all, I feel pretty good. I have been struggling to recover 100% from a nasty sinus infection. It's been over two weeks and I'm still not there yet. However, I've been listening to my body and resting when it tells me I should rest. I haven't been feeling especially stressed but maybe a tad overwhelmed due to all of the new information I'm receiving about manufacturing items. However, my dreams tell a different story.
When I was a child, I used to dream that the world was ending. Literally. I had apocalyptic dreams, regularly, from a very young age. Dreams the world was drowning. That it stopped spinning and so one side raged with fires while the other froze. The fire melting the ice and the rushing water extinguishing the fire. Or watching from a cliff's edge while another planet collided with earth. Then there were the storms. Deluges of rain, wind and waves. Happy...right?
I also had the classic anxiety dreams, which I still have from time to time. I'm trying to run and I can't...gain...speed. My feet like weights that my legs can barely lift off the ground. Or dreams where my teeth crumble or snap like twigs in my mouth while I'm telling myself, "It's just a dream. It's just a dream. OMG! This time it's real!!!!"
As I got older, my anxiety dreams shifted to stressful situations usually in my work setting. When I worked in restaurants, I couldn't get to my tables in time before the customers would get pissed and leave. When I worked in finance, the computers would all be glitching and I couldn't make trades before the closing bell.
Recently, one of the activities that I love and believe truly keeps me sane has been morphed by my brain into anxious situations: surf anxiety dreams. I get to the beach and don't have a wet suit so I hike back to the car and get it just to get back down to the surf break to realize that I forgot my board. So I walk back to the house and get the board just to get back to the surf break and realize that I forgot a leash. Meanwhile, the sun is setting and my friends have been in the water for an hour already.
Now I know that if surfing can be turned into a horror show where the trail to the beach just keeps getting longer and longer, that nothing is safe. There is nothing in my life that my brain doesn't have the ability to shift into a nerve wracking situation. I'm waiting for the anxiety dream where I'm trying to meditate and keep getting interrupted or where I'm painting and all of the paint keeps drying up.
But really, aren't these anxiety dreams just warning signs of what's going on beneath the surface?
Until recently, I have been a stuffer. If something bothered me, I would shove in down into the depths of my soul and pretend like everything is ok. Kind of like the meme of the dog sitting at a table drinking coffee saying, "This is fine", while the room is in flames around him. That was me for 37 years.
I have learned how to speak my truths now but I'm wondering if I've gotten any better at identifying when I'm feeling stressed, or if I still choose denial. This week has made me question that.
I know it's very hard to be my best when I'm physically taxed. I get that. Also, this new business endeavor with my line of totes and note cards, which sounds so simple, if of course harder than I thought it would be. Especially when it's important to me that they are manufactured domestically and in the most eco friendly way possible. There is a learning curve for sure....but I have a feeling that I've not been honest with how big that curve is.
I think my dreams are just me waving a red flag and saying, "Slow down, Woman! It's ok to sit this afternoon out!" And as I'm writing this, and on the verge of tears, I can't honestly say that Subconscious Me is right. Even though I thought I was resting enough. Even though I've been practicing good self care, I know I'm still not 100% over the cruddy sinus infection. But of course my work pace has not slowed.
Smoke rolled in again from the wild fires yesterday. I know I don't want to go outside and add a migraine into the mix. And so, I think I shall work half day today and rest this afternoon. Because the truth is, when my energy is low and new stress is entering the picture, I can practice all the self-care in the world, but I'm still stuffing the reality that sometimes, rest needs to be my reality.
Blank canvases are exciting...until there is a deadline attached to them.
I know I didn't update you on my studio progress this week. Partially because, while I'm working on this commission, I'm staring at this stack of blank canvases that all need to have paintings on them by November 30th (my holiday sale). I've got plenty of work to do and all this new info rolling in. No wonder I'm stressed. Now that I'm writing all of this down, I feel a bit silly that my dreams actually had to break that news to me.
I mean, duh.
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