Friday 4 December 2020

Pictures, not Words: Candle Magic to Help with Sleep

A lot of people seem to be suffering from difficulty in sleeping at the moment. This post written by Jane Mortimer offers some suggestions.

I thought I'd share a little procedure I use when my brain is too busy to let me sleep, which I've finally got round to adding to my Book of Shadows as it's in a 'wellbeing' phase at the moment. This is something I do when my mind's racing last thing at night, and I'm unable to fall asleep. It's hard to switch off when there's a constant monologue playing in one's head. It's invariably in form of words, as if an inner voice is narrating it. If I'm having this problem, this little routine can be a great help.

First embed a birthday cake candle in a large bowl of damp sand or similar so it's safe if you fall asleep. Put it somewhere you can see it comfortably from the pillow, and light it. Go back to bed and get comfortable with the candle in view. The next thing is to shout inwardly to yourself: "Pictures, not words!", and let the mental drama play on in pictures only, like pressing the mute button on the TV remote. It's easier to avert one's mind's eye from something visual than it is to stop hearing it, so the sound has to go. Imagine the mental movie is going on to your right or left, so you have to hold your head in an awkward position to watch it. 

After a while it becomes an effort to keep on paying attention to the pictures, and it's much easier to switch off by mentally pressing the standby or off button on the remote. Then you can sink your head back to a comfy position and focus on the candle flame instead. It won't be long before it goes out, then hopefully, Zzzzzzzz.....

Note: Although the damp sand in a large bowl is a good safety measure, the usual advice is not to leave lit candles unattended or to fall asleep with lit candles around, so don't try this with anything larger than a birthday cake candle. An alternative is to use an electric nightlight on a timer.

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