Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When you fall asleep

The only real valuable thing is intuition.
-Albert Einstein

Two nights ago, my daughter was getting ready for bed and telling herself an amusing little story about bumblebees. I could hear her giggling to herself alone in the bathroom. When she came to her room to be tucked in, she said she knew what she was going to dream about when she fell asleep. She said that her mommy would be flying with bumble bees and drinking honey from roses.

As I shift my focus in the month of October to intuition, it is moments like this that make me pause. I vaguely remember someone giving me advice as a child to think about a problem before I go to sleep and than I will wake up with a solution. Haven’t tried that in many, many years. But no one told my daughter she could chart her own course for where she will travel in her dreams. Is that the same concept?

In Walter Issacson’s biography on Albert Einstein, he keeps referring to the famous physicist as intuitive. Not sure if Issacson is referring to the philosophical definition,  prior knowledge or experiential belief, or the psychological definition, acquiring beliefs in ways that bypass ordinary justification. In the book, Einstein would lose himself in playing classical music on his violin than suddenly be struck with an idea that sent him rushing to the drawing board.

Expert in the psychological study of the unconscious mind, Carl Jung published a theory in 1921 that described intuition as “perception via the unconscious”. He went on to say in an article in the Psychological Times, that intuition is “using sense perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of blocked situations, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

Einstein kept in touch with the fertile mind of a four -year old through music. I can’t play a note, but there may be other practical ways of tapping into that magical perceptiveness. This month, I am going to try and go to bed earlier, with all lights and electronics in my room turned off. I am going to keep a notebook next to my bed and write down an intention before I fall asleep. I will write down my thoughts first thing in the morning when I wake up. I will identify an activity that I can practice (like playing an instrument) that allows me to lose myself in the moment. In other words, something that requires my full attention but no real conscious thought. 

How do you get in touch with your unconscious?


  1. Love this post Tracey. I have the utmost respect for Einstein because of all his amazing quotes and insights. Did you know that when he went to bed, he held a rock in his left hand over a bucket. When he was drifting off to sleep, his hand would relax, and the stone would drop into the bucket and wake him. He would write down everything that came to his mind! Brilliant, simply brilliant. He knew that this was the point where the right side of the brain kicks in with the intuition, emotion, and imagination.
    Your daughter sounds incredibly intuitive, as most children are, if it is encouraged by caregivers.
    There is also a wonderful dream book by Alice Anne Parker called Understand your Dreams. It is hands down the best book I have ever used for analyzing my dreams. I highly recommend it.

    1. Hi Susanne. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I did not know that about Einstein. Hope they talk about it in the biography. My neighbor who is an artist said Salvador Dali used a similar technique. My post today explores how my neighbor/friend captures images from his subconscious by drawing while dreaming. It is all so fascinating. He does it by the way with his left hand, which he says expresses your right brain creativity/intuition that you mentioned. Thanks for the book recommendation. Will look it up! Enjoy your day and your sleep!


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