I've been having some back pain for a while now - right between the shoulder blades on my spine. It seems the way I sleep at night is affecting that. "You need to stop sleeping curled up like that," I've been told. But how do you convince your unconscious self to stop sleeping the way that it has your entire life?
Here's the answer: get kicked in the shins HARD.
Yesterday, while playing for my intramural soccer team, I got a swift hard that hurt enough that I immediately subbed out and had to go walk off the pain for a while. When I got home, I iced the wound and a friend advised me to sleep with my leg elevated to help alleviate pressure on the large knot on my shin. It was a bit of challenge to try to find a comfortable way to sleep with the reminder that I can't sleep a certain way to avoid pain in my back but also with my leg elevated.
The result was this:
I had a dream in which I talked with a friend about my sleeping habits and my back pain. She told me that the way I slept signified how I felt about the way that I was living my life. The fact that I slept curled up (and subsequently felt back pain) was due to the fact that I was feeling restricted in my life. If I wanted to alleviate the back pain and the cramped way I was sleeping, I needed to allow myself to breathe and be more free in my awake life. I needed to take time to "stop and smell the roses". It was absolutely critical, she advised, to let go of the need to be in control of everything in my life and stop worrying about the consequences of every minor decision. If I let myself "roll with the punches", I'd improve. So I spent the rest of my dream trying to just enjoy life - I went on a walk and watched the sunset, I spent a quiet day out in nature in quiet thought, I watched some folk dancers. And then when I went to sleep that night, I slept differently, and my back pain subsided.
Apparently, the thought of trying to keep my leg elevated was enough to convince my subconscious to analyze my sleeping habits and their causes while I was sleeping. Funny thing is, my subconscious might be on to something.
Then again, this was my other dream last night:
I also dreamed that I was with a middle school friend and we were performing in a choir for some special game/announcement for Hasebe's team. As we walked around in our soccer gear and I nervously asked her if she ever experienced butterflies before performances, I also spent my time looking for Hasebe. I spotted him at one point but he was too far away for me to talk. And then, his coach came up to me and started asking me all sorts of questions about who I was, where I was from and asking questions about my church until I found myself giving him a copy of the Book of Mormon and sharing my thoughts/feelings about it. The entire time, during the dream, I kept wanting to call him Felix Magath but I knew it wasn't him. It wasn't until I woke up and thought about it for a long, long time, that I realized that the person I had been talking to was indeed one of Hasebe's coaches - Steve McClaren, a former Wolfsburg coach. The English accent should have tipped me off but didn't.