As we come to terms with the increases in COVID19 cases, a resurgence that was inevitable unfortunately. We can still find solace in reading stories. Our choices can be a variety depending on our state of mind. These are some of the benefits of reading.
Reading as an escape – we can forget the ‘real’ world and ‘live’ in a fantasy, a thriller, a romance. Or we can plunge into a ‘end of world’ tale, that is far worse than what we are experiencing. It is personal choice.
Reading helps you sleep better – to be immersed in a story – preferably with no backlight to activate our brains – the act of reading settles our mind, gives us focus on a make believe world. It also rests our minds and contributes to a relaxation that enables us to sleep.
Reading makes us more compassionate to others as well as ourselves. A new perspective on the world makes us empathetic and give us new understanding of those around us. Perception of how others react to the social situation increases our awareness.
Reading for stress relief – to have our minds concentrating on something other than the constant flood of ‘news’, we are able to physically and mentally relax. This in turn has a physical consequence of lowering our blood pressure and heart rate and reducing the ‘fear’ hormone.
What have you found to be your genre of choice during COVID19?
As I am participating in National Novel Writing Month my reading time will be reduced. However, I am enjoying this novel. It is a clever device to inform the reader of the consequences of current decisions in the ‘management’ of water sources. Set in the future by way of diary entries, we come to see what may happen.
I also bought a couple of books that will be research for my NaNo project, which is a detective trilogy.
The technique of ‘leaving’ your body has been around for a long time. With practice and being careful to adhere to the safety guidelines, anyone can experience a ‘journey’ outside their body.
It allows you to float around the astral plane, exploring the cosmos and being free of your physical body for a while. Out-of-body occurrences have been reported by people dreaming, through mediation and near-death experiences.
***These steps are not to be taken without serious study of the technique, safety guards in place and a conscious decision to limit the time you are in the mental state.***
Choose a quiet place you find relaxing, either indoors or outdoors, just ensure your are comfortable. Also make sure you won’t be interrupted the most common time for these experiences is in the morning at 4:00am-6:00am. Trying these techniques late at nigh will probably result in you falling asleep. Next find a comfortable position, whichever is your preference – sitting or lying down. Many people choose to lie down on their backs, however be forewarned temporary sleep paralysis is likely in this position, if you do fall asleep. These occurrences may consist of dark figures, ghosts or other ‘beings’ you fear entering your room even though it sounds scary do not fear them, they cannot physically harm you because they are your mind’s creation.
This step is the most important, you must affirm to yourself that you are going to have an out-of-body experience. Repeat over and over “Mind awake-Body Asleep” or “I will have a lucid dream.” until it is the only thought left in your mind.
Now close your eyes and relax your body clear your mind of your external surroundings, thoughts and ideas. Meditation techniques can bassist with this while still remaining focused and aware. Allow yourself to almost fall asleep – drift close to sleep while concentrating on being conscious of your sensations and mental state.
Method 1 Controlling Your Vibrations
As you relax you will become aware of what’s happening inside your mind and body rather than the room around you. Feel the vibration of your body, the pulse of your blood and rhythm of your breath to the individual movements of your cells. Sounds may become amplified like a tornado/wind. The urge to move will be tremendous, especially if it’s your first time, but just relax deeper and deeper until the sounds passes, but avoid falling asleep.
Now slow the vibration, visualizing the movements of your body slowing and the sounds and sensations of vibrations getting fainter. Until everything is completely silent and your body is still. Let your body become paralyzed. This sensation has been likened to being covered in a lead blanket. You may realize you can’t move your arms or legs, now is not the time to panic. Forcing yourself to move now will wake you up, however, you can still move your eyes, mouth, nose, and face, so try moving those slightly instead.
Method 2 Leaving Your Body With the Rope Approach
Once you are completely relaxed visualize your hands grasping an invisible rope but do not actually move your hands or visualize the rope. This “rope method” relies on an imaginary feeling of the rope, not a mental image. Focus on the ropes texture, thickness and heftiness. Feel the tension in your arms between the strength of the rope and the pull of your weight.If a rope image is too difficult try using a ladder instead.
Now using the rope pull yourself up and start ‘climbing’. Feel your muscles contract when you pull and your body moves upward. Don’t visualize: imagine your actions in pure darkness. Keep going up. Soon you will find yourself out of your body, triggering the “projection reflex.”
If you experience vibrations as you climb, relax more, or you will lose energy and it will become harder. Climb up as you inhale and rest when you exhale. This method is a more practical variation than the iconic technique of visualizing yourself floating up, which is more of a ‘movie’ representation.
Once you know you are out of your body, open your eyes – your astral eyes. You should view your room from the side of your bed, looking at your body still lying there.
Method 3 Leaving Your Body Using the Point-Shift Approach
Take a good look at your surroundings before you lie down then visualize every detail of the space. Once you are relaxed try to recall and feel your location, the shape of every object in the room, as it looks from where you are resting and then from a different point of view. Now shift your perspective to try to as though you are standing over or near your body. You should already feel like you have left your body, so rise from your body to the spot you were visualizing from. Stay relaxed, but force your will to gently bring yourself to that point. Feel yourself moving up and over to that space, and visualize your perspective changing. Then open your astral eyes.
Method 4 Leaving Your Body Using the Interrupted Sleep Approach
Set an alarm for the middle of your sleep cycle. When it goes off, shut off and lay back or if you prefer sit in a comfortable chair. Envisage ‘falling’ very close to sleep then mentally ‘pull’ yourself back awake. Try to feel falling into the mattress or cushions as you near sleep, then pull yourself back up to near awake.
Repeat this near awake and close to sleep several times Eventually when you pull yourself back to nearly awake, you will actually pull yourself up, out of your body.
This character is Doze the Dormouse. The story is for children and is about woodland sprite’s that look after the forest animals.
Over the past few days Doze had managed to build up his nest with extra leaves and grasses, making a warm and comfortable place for his winter’s sleep. To one side he had buried a cache of hazelnuts and pushed more leaf litter toward the logs entrance in the hope it would deter intruders. The wind was icy cold when he crept out the following evening and he shivered. He resolved that it would be his last foraging expedition for the year. By morning he had eaten his fill and gratefully curled up, ready for a long winter’s sleep. Nestling into a tight ball, his feet tucked in to his belly and his nose buried in his fur, Doze closed his eyes and began slowly his heartbeat. A few moments passed then a few more then a lot more. Why wasn’t he drifting into a deep slumber? Doze moved his position and curled up again, closing his eyes even tighter and making himself breathe slower. After eight different positions and many, many moments he was annoyed and frustrated. Whatever is the matter with me? I never have a problem sleeping. Doze told himself to concentrate on slowing everything down, breathing, heartbeat and curling tighter into a furry ball. No matter what he tried sleep would not come and eventually he heard night creatures scurrying about above and around him.
“Well this will not do, winter is for sleeping.”
Thoroughly fed up with himself, Doze ran outside thinking one more meal might do the trick. Burying himself nose first into a pile of leaves he sniffed the forest floor debris for the scent of hazelnuts. He found a few that he quickly consumed and then continued on. Hidden by thick clouds the moon’s light did not touch the trails Doze raced over, if he dallied in plain view an owl could easily grab him. He had been foraging for quite some time when a big yawn overcame him. Happily he ran back to his nest, maybe the day’s wakefulness would help him sleep. Again he curled up tightly tucking his feet into his belly and slowed his breathing but sleep did not come although he yawned time and time again. When he heard the chorus of morning, Doze felt totally defeated. However, would he get to sleep now? That was when he remembered the healer sprites. Maybe they could help him? Nervously, Doze crept out of his shelter looking side to side and upwards. It would be a long journey into the center of the forest but he did not have much choice.
I’ll keep writing and polishing this NaNoWriMo novel.