Adult Napping and the ‘UM’

Adult Napping

So I had a client yesterday who I was discussing the Unconscious Mind with and how powerful an effect the influences you expose yourself to can have on it, (in a non flasher mac kind of way). Influences for example like: TV shows, films, radio programmes, reading material and naturally the people you spend time with.

Cut to this morning and I very gratefully woke up (kind of a consistent feeling now I am post-breast cancer), however I woke up especially thankful because I had been having a nightmare about my youngest daughter going missing, and the suspicion was that she had been taken by someone. Talk about horrendous!  

The sheer terror at the what ifs? The feeling of gut wrenching loss, picturing her cheeky grin throughout all ages and her very definitive curly mop of copper curls (aka ‘Ginger cloud’). Imagining no more hugs with her, well, understandably, it crushed me.

It was grief, pure and simple.

The minute I awoke I called out for her and she came and laid down on the bed beside me whilst I gently sobbed with relief and hugged her so very tightly. Inbetween breaking off to talk with each other, we kept going back for more reassuring hugs until she revealed that by then her cornflakes would probably be very soggy waiting for her.

Dreams and nightmare plots are the creative work of your Unconscious Mind (‘UM’). You may or may not be under the illusion that this is the only time it puts on a show for you, by which I mean when you hand over control, as if it is the Assistant Director. Kind of a reverse ‘Lights, Camera Action!’ Where you have actually killed the lights, put your camera (phone) away and plan to take no action whatsoever until you wake up.

Plot spoiler alert – your UM is your um, well boss. You are the Assistant.

I mean you still get your own chair with your name on it and everything, in fact your name is on both chairs technically speaking and yet you only consciously sit in one at a time don’t you? Have you ever tried straddling two Director Chairs at the same time? Those wooden arm rests are a barrier to comfort! Besides which, your UM is always in that seat, calling the shots, just with the megaphone on mute. A megaphone up your backside would also be rather unpleasant. So side by side we sit.

You’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV or at the cinema right? It is a speciality of mine, much to the chagrin of my family.

Yet watching the screen, is like your director watching another director at work. It’s hypnotic and pretty effortless isn’t it? To hand over that responsibility to someone else is so appealing, so addictive, so all consuming. So stimulating yet also relaxing. In short, it puts you into a trance like state.

Lately my UM has been collaborating with Jason Bateman (JB) and Danny Boyle (DB).

Together we’ve created this mini drama that was aired behind my closed curtains last night.

If I missed ‘Trust’ which is the Getty Family Saga on BBC1 (DB) and stopped watching Netflix’s ‘Ozark’ then my UM’s partnership with JB and DB would end in theory; although it would take a while for my UM to collect its box of stuff off the two sets and it is likely I would occasionally pop back in every now and then. Because well, you know, I left on good terms and security won’t stop me at the gate.

Seeing as both of these dramas entail tales of danger to children’s lives, kidnapping and violence, likewise my UM is representing i.e RE-PRESENTING these themes in a context relevant to me and casting me and my daughter in major roles. Thanks UM but um… no thanks!

Seeing as I am now utterly engrossed in both programmes I am feeding my UM with these messages and as long as I continue to watch these themes, so my nightmares potentially will pervade. Oh the dilemma! I can make a conscious choice whether to switch on JB and DB’s gripping work, as long as I am conscious that unconsciously my UM will choose what to repress or present back to me.


Your UM doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined experience. It will still respond on a mental and physiological level as if dealing with it there in the moment. Whilst you won’t necessarily jump off the sofa and run to hide when you see a frightening antagonist on the screen, you may well get so scared you choose to hide your face in the neck of your jumper or behind splayed fingers.

So, I’m off to binge on Grand Designs, TED Talks or comedy today as an antidote for my UM’s stress. After that, possibly Peppa Pig? I just have to hope that George is safe and well.

Have a good time, just watch what you watch.

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