And now – it’s time to move into sleep. Time to begin to let go of the day – and any concerns you have by day. Time to let go of time, and let things begin to – slow down. As you bring your body and your mind into a state of relaxation – to enter into rejuvenating rest. Into deep sleep and dream.
It is easy to do. You need only give yourself a space of time – and bring your attention to your body and your breath. Maybe you have entered into restfulness, relaxation, many times. If so – that’s powerful, because each time you consciously let yourself relax and dial down the vibrancy of the day – you get better at it. That’s right. Relaxation is like a muscle – the more you work out with it – the more you consciously take your mind and body into relaxation – the more quickly you are able to relax. And the more deeply. So if this is your first time – know that as good as relaxation feels, and however deeply you relax – you will be able to relax even more deeply, the next time, and the next. And if you are familiar with bringing your attention to your body and your breath to relax – welcome back, to this time of ease and rest.
As you relax, here in these beautiful surroundings you’ve chosen. And noticing what changes when you listen to my voice – and the suggestions I make. Knowing that all the choices here are yours – whether you listen to my voice consciously or unconsciously. Whether you choose to enjoy relaxation and enter into sleep and dream in good time – or whether you choose to relax and enter into sleep even now –
Relaxation: counting down
Slipping into sleep, bit by bit. Like those counting games you played as a child – one potato two potato, or “on the count of three…”. Those things you knew as a child, about how to have fun, and relax. And sleep. You can choose to count down into deeper relaxation right now. I’ll count the numbers down from five. And you may hear the number in another part of your mind, like an echo. Or see it in your mind’s eye – like a number made out of smoke or fog, that just dissolves before you, dissolving in the air – and if you want, you can breathe out when I say the number and you repeat it in your mind. And breathe in again – when the sound of it in your mind fades, or when it disappears in the air, or just whenever it feels right –
So beginning now – Five – exhaling completely – ….. hearing the number five echo inside your mind, and allowing your head, your scalp and the area around your eyes – and your jaws – to just relax completely. And maybe seeing the number five in the air – and then seeing it fade and drift into air –
Four – exhaling – there – the echo of the number in your mind, the way it appears before you – feeling your neck also relax, and the relaxation moving down – your shoulders. Your arms and hands – relaxed and heavy and maybe a bit warm. Letting go –
Three – breathing out, and noticing the echo in your mind, or the appearance of the number three in the air – relaxation flowing down to your chest – along your back, your spine – your belly – and relaxing your belly. A relaxing calmness, as the number disappears and you continue to breathe – breathe –
Two – the relaxation spreading – as the number echoes in your mind – down into your lower back, your hips, your thighs – all relaxing and so heavy – and did you remember to let the number appear before you? No matter. You can just let go of any need to try at all, and let this relaxation happen for you, exhaling when it is right for you –
One – relaxing all the way down, to the calves of your legs, and around the curve of shin and ankle, across the arch of your foot, and out your toes – much deeper, letting your whole body relax. Any remaining tension melting away. Completely relaxed and at ease.
Anchor phrase: “drifting down into sleep and dream”
Allowing yourself to drop into deep sleep, now, or later in this meditation. And if you like, you can choose, right now, to drop into deep sleep at the end of this meditation. If that’s what you’d like to choose – then just remind yourself, right now, to remember that when you hear me say the words: “Drifting down into sleep and dream” – then you will immediately drop into sleep, and if you’re asleep already, you’ll fall even more deeply asleep. You can choose to do that, right now – and ensure a restful, rejuvenating night’s sleep.
Noticing that time seems to be slowing down. And bringing your attention to your breath. Just however your breath feels right now. How it enters your body, and the temperature of your breath on the inhale. How the body warms it, and noticing the temperature of the breath on the exhale. Feeling the temperature of it, just a bit, on your upper lip, as you breathe in. And breathe out.
And it isn’t like you need to think about your breath. Because, of course – you know how to breathe. You’ve been breathing since the day you came into this world. You’re good at it! And you may remember, when you were younger – it may be your breath was deeper then. And that’s very relaxing. You can try it now, breathing as you did when you were a child, even if you don’t remember – taking a long, slow, deep breath, and feeling your belly rise as you inhale. And filling up with breath – and then taking a tiny sip more of breath, so that it feels like your breath is filling your whole body. And then blissfully releasing the breath, on the exhale. There. Do you notice that you feel relaxed? There’s an intimate relationship between body and breath. And deep breathing is so relaxing.
You knew that, when you were a child. And you may find it’s easy to remember that, now – and breathe that way again.
Body of meditation: Sleeping like a child
Just breathing, and tuning into your body, noticing how your body and your breath are connected. Another thing you knew as a child – to be aware of your body, of how the breeze felt on your skin, how it lifted your hair at the nape of your neck. And the feel of the trunks of trees, and the smell of dinner cooking when you came into the house – aware of your senses, and how your body responds to senses. That’s a wonderful way to tune into the body. Right now – the beautiful surroundings you chose to explore. Of course, you can’t feel how the air feels, or the scents that the wind carries – but actually, you can. On the next breath, let your imagination tell you – what is the temperature in this place, where you are? Warm, or slightly cool? Is the air moist with coming rain – or is it crisp and dry? What scents, what fragrances, come to you, in this place? What sounds, made by the wind or other creatures here?
And that was something you knew as a child, too – how to imagine. How to make your world rich with detail and sensation, with what you imagined there. And you know – all those things made it easy to sleep deeply, when you were a child. That’s right. You know how to sleep, deeply and well. And you can remember what you know, and sleep that deeply again.
And of course, as a child, you didn’t have the concerns you have now. But really – those things may belong in your daytime life. But here – as you move into night, and rest – here, they really have no place. And you can choose to return to the mind of yourself as a child, with nothing of any great concern other than who you would play with the next day, or whether the weather would be sunny or rainy, so you could be outside. You can let your adult concerns go, now, and be in the mind of the child, easing into sleep. Naturally, with deep breaths that comfort your body and your mind.
And if those other concerns that don’t belong here seem to get in the way – you can just pin them to a cloud, in the big wide sky. Do you remember when you were young, laying on the ground, looking up at the sky and all the clouds floating across it? If any concerns slip into your awareness now – just pin those concerns to a cloud. Pinning any concerns to a cloud. And watching them pass slowly across the sky.
And of course you may not always have slept well when you were a child. But here, in this place – it is easy to return to the times you did sleep well, and know you are safe here, in this bed, this night, and let your child’s mind – and everything you know about sleep – continue to take you – down. Deeper into relaxation. So ready for sleep and dream to overtake you, in their own time. Never forget to remember, now, how much you know about sleep. Dream. Rest.
Affirmation: remembering how to relax and stay calm
Tomorrow – you can take these remembrances of what the child in you knows – into the day. And that ability to relax more completely, more deeply, each time you practice? You can take that into your day too – remembering how to gracefully manage any unexpected challenges – now that you remember everything you know about relaxing. Breathing. Inviting calm to come in, and stay.
But for now, continuing to enter into child-like rest … sleep …. Dream. Getting just the right amount of REM sleep and dream. With no effort at all. Sensing how natural it is to just continue to drift – down – as though answering a call to come home, to sleep and rest. Safely. Easily.
Anchor phrase to end: Drifting down into sleep and dream
Just drifting. Drifting down into sleep …. And dream.
”Relaxation is like a muscle – the more you work out with it – the more you consciously take your mind and body into relaxation – the more quickly you are able to relax.