Journal with Spirit provides writing prompts, geared towards developing one’s own inner spirit wisdom. Each month a different topic is presented, to give the writer an opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs.
Following the topic, writing prompts A and B are given. Prompt A is always different, and it is to be answered first. Prompt A is posed to give the writer an opportunity to consider their own thoughts and feelings on the topic. Prompt B is always this same question: that is, “Spirit, what else should I know?”
Within this column Spirit is used as a universal term. If one decides that God, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, Self, etc. is more suitable, whatever is decided is appropriate, because this decision comes from a place of inner knowing, from one’s own true self.
The answer to the second question, Prompt B, might come immediately to mind, but if it doesn’t, or if one prefers, a tool might be utilized such as pulling from a stack of meditation cards, randomly opening the Book of Psalms, etc. A different tool will be highlighted each month, but there is no right answer to which tool should be used, just your own answer used with positive intentions. With that in mind, here’s this month’s topic.
May’s Topic: Then Sleep with Spirit
There’s been much research about what the brain does while we are sleeping. The list provided here is not to be considered exhaustive, but includes two of the key highlights. One, it compartmentalizes what happened and what was learned to best store it for later access. Two, it continues to resolve problems while we sleep. This second aspect is the focus of this article. Specifically, while one is asleep overnight, the brain can be used to one’s advantage to accomplish something specific.
This research about the brain is not new. In 2005 Kristian Marlow wrote about the brain’s problem-solving nature in Psychology Today. In the article, he gives examples of how a Nobel-prize winner, a pro-golfer, as well as authors have put their brains to work while sleeping. In 2015, he co-authored a book with Berit Brogaard, PhD called the Superhuman Mind: How to Unleash Your Inner Genius which gives even more examples.
Knowing this, one can take it one step further by adding Spirit to aid with problem solving while we are sleeping. One way to do it is to start with spiritual journaling by day, and add the intention of solving the problem while sleeping. Simply date stamp the page and write the current struggles or concerns, hopes and dreams. When any of these items are written in a space where we also ask Spirit what else we should know, there’s an opportunity for out-of-this-world solutions to come into play on how to solve these problems or move in the direction of our dreams. Why not then double the ability, and while the body sleeps, set our brain in motion with the help of Spirit to solve problems? Knowing that the brain with Spirit can handle the task overnight, can lighten the load that we feel when trying to solve all our problems right then and there by day. The trick is to have that journal ready the next day to write down what has come during the night.
Whitney Hapler, Communications Director at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being wrote a 2017 article subtitled How to Recognize Spiritual Messages in Dreams. She breaks the types of problems where Spirit may help us into specific categories: guidance with creativity or with problem solving, bringing issues to our attention, including the need for healing, or providing encouragement.
I, myself, connect the quiet time with Spirit during journaling time with the stillness with Spirit during sleep. One example of this is that I write gratitude lists in my spiritual journals, look back at one of these lists during the day, then sleep on it until the next morning when I expect to write a poem during my journaling time. Essentially, what I’m doing is asking for Guidance by setting an intention that I will write a poem that comes from gratitude, expecting Spirit will aid me in my sleep. Many of these poems are now published and the Spirit in them can be felt.
Now, it’s your turn. Put your mind to work. Journal what comes. Consider a problem or issue that hasn’t yet been solved. Let it be whatever it is, in whatever category it falls into (unresolved needs for healing, quest for inspiration, interpersonal dilemmas, unrealized dreams, etc.). Secondarily, invite Spirit in to your sleep time.
A. What can you give your brain to do tonight while you are sleeping? Be very specific, write out the problem and what you’d like to accomplish.
2. What does Spirit want you to know about this (ask directly by writing in your journal, “Spirit, what do you want me to know?”) Sit somewhere in stillness and write what comes or use a tool.
Tools include meditation or angel cards, a daily devotional, or a spiritual book. If you’re not sure what to use, let Spirit guide you. It could be something completely random like a magazine on a coffee table or a children’s book. Just open to a random page. Don’t pass judgment and just choose it!
Tool of the month: Nan Merrill’s Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness. For this book, Nan Merrill rewrote the Psalms utilizing modern day language. The interpretations make for good conversation between oneself and Spirit because it’s contemporary and doesn’t include the heavier language used at the time the Psalms were placed in the Old Testament.