Change While You Sleep…Really!
I know. It sounds way too good to be true. When I first heard about Quanta Change, I thought, “Yeah, right. Whatever.” But, I was intrigued enough to explore it, and 13 years later, I’m telling you from personal experience and having watched it happen for so many clients…change during sleep is not only possible, but sleep is actually the key to deep, lasting change.
Collectively, my clients have done it all. Various kinds of therapy, self-help, personal growth, healing work, coaching…you name it, they’ve done it. So, every one of them has been skeptical that this process could really produce a different outcome. Could it even be worth it to try one more thing? But, they all say the same thing once they start experiencing Quanta Change. “Wow, I feel really different.” (Sometimes, they add, “This is really weird!” That’s always a sign of big change.)
So, why is sleep such an important factor in deep personal transformation and healing? Sleep is the time when your brain is most open to change. That’s because your wall of resistance to change is shut down while you sleep.
Let me back up a little. Early in life, we absorb the feeling that there is something wrong with us being just the way that we are. This Learned Distress becomes the source of all of our negative moments and situations. As we absorb this negative feeling, we also develop a survival mechanism to help us move forward in life, despite the presence of Learned Distress. When I say survival, I really mean it. We feel at a deep level that we need to be this certain way in order to stay alive on the planet. As a result, the brain develops a wall of resistance to change that protects our survival mechanism. This is why we can’t think our way out of Learned Distress.
You might know that feeling like you’re not good enough or that you need everyone’s approval or that you have to rebel against all the rules doesn’t serve you and isn’t healthy. But, no matter how well you know that and how much it would make sense to feel a different way, you still feel the way you’ve always felt about this, right? Even if you try to talk yourself out of it daily, right? This is your wall of resistance to change in action.
So, back to sleep. Sleep is our natural renewal time. During the deepest sleep, when our brain waves are slowest, our physical body is recharged and cells repaired. During a middle layer of brain wave activity, our mental capability is renewed and rejuvenated. And, during the fastest level of brain wave activity during sleep, REM sleep, when we dream, our sense of self is recharged. The sense of self is our storage bank for how we feel about being human, and from that storage bank, every moment of our life is generated automatically.
So, at this time that the sense of self is getting renewed, we can gain access to it in a completely different way than when we’re awake. The wall of resistance to change is disabled, and the brain will actually let us remove layers of Learned Distress permanently. Three integrated elements of Quanta Change allow for this by working with the brain during sleep. As layers of Learned Distress peel away permanently, natural well-being expands to take up that space, and it becomes the predominant generating force in our lives.
So, how is this change different from what other processes and therapies lead to? At the most basic level, what people say is that they feel different. At times when they might have reacted in a certain way—anger, anxiety, fear, hesitation—they find themselves either not reacting at all, or responding from a joyful or empowered feeling, automatically. It’s not that they think differently, make a different choice, etc. It’s that their knee-jerk reaction is just different. They find themselves saying things automatically that they have never said before, doing things automatically that they’ve never done before. It even extends to how people around them respond to them. They’ll say things like, “I never thought that person would say something nice to me at all, and they just treated me like their best friend. It was completely out of the blue. I didn’t do or say anything to trigger this different behavior from them.”
With the biggest changes often comes a bit of the survival mechanism trying to get back in control. One of my clients recently said she just couldn’t believe (and neither could her co-workers) how calmly and un-angrily she was responding to a challenging situation at work. And while it felt good, it was also so foreign to her that she found herself trying to get angry, because that was her comfort zone. But, the anger just wouldn’t come. Another client just described a conversation with a friend where my client was saying that she was describing her anger about her recent divorce. Her friend said, “Um, you really don’t sound angry and you’re not describing anger.” My client realized that she felt like she should be angry, but that she just wasn’t. Again, it was so odd that she tried to find the anger within herself, but no matter how hard she tried, it just wasn’t there. She said she just felt at peace.
Quanta Change is not for everyone. The thing about our wall of resistance to change is that it won’t even allow us to engage in this process unless the pain or dysfunction caused by Learned Distress is so great that we feel like something has to change now. As long as the survival mechanism is still working, the brain will keep protecting it. But, for people who feel that they are at some kind of breaking point in their lives, tremendous change really is possible.