I once read a teaching from an Eastern guru that was eye opening. Literally. He asked the question to his students: “Who did you wake up with?” It got my attention, not for its possible sexual implications. He was talking about something much different than that – my relationship with myself, the changes I go through when I’m asleep and how differently I feel when I wake up.

The thoughts and problems that were in your mind before you got into bed are not necessarily the same ones that you wake up with. For me, it’s a good idea to take a moment before I get up to see who’s here. How do I feel today? Is it different from yesterday? I’m taking the opportunity to see myself as a brand new person. Or to see a partner in the same way. He or she is not always the same person you went to sleep with.

During slumber, the subconscious mind works out a lot of twisters and problems. It shows you images, connections and symbols that you might have missed when you couldn’t make up your mind or settle on a solution that felt right. It gives you a chance to start over and see thiangs in a another way. That’s why we say, “Before I decide what I’m going to do, I’m going to sleep on it.” The very thing that was confusing or upsetting before we went to bed may be crystal clear in the morning. It could be as simple as wondering if you should buy that expensive handbag or pair of shoes. It could be as complex as deciding if it’s time to end a relationship or purchase a new home. Whichever it is, giving ourselves a moment to let go and dream and become restored is a healthy way to face decisions that could have implications on your life.

Meeting myself every day as a new person gives me permission to start over, to make choices based on the NOW instead of how I felt yesterday or how I think I might feel tomorrow. It gives me the space and time to change and grow and recognize that I’m different every day. With that in mind, if I don’t stop to check in with myself when I wake up, I’ll probably take the same course that I took yesterday and face the same stumbling blocks along the way. I can avoid this by taking a pause when I open my eyes and say, “Good morning, Andrea. How are you today? Who are you today? How do you feel? What do you want or need?”

In our current chaotic and isolated world where outrageous politics and deadly pandemics are the order of the day, we’re all looking for some peace. Some love and compassion. Some time to breathed deeply and assess certain situations. So why not start the day by giving it to yourself, to the person you woke up with? When you allow ourselves to be enriched by your own thoughts, it’s easier to find solutions and to trust yourself and others, however challenging and frustrating that might be. When we see that we can be renewed and refreshed overnight, it removes despair and dread, If we just give ourselves some time, some understanding and some compassion, we can see ourselves with new eyes and ideas every single day.