In The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown speaks of our culture of deep scarcity. I resonated with her example that we think to ourselves in the morning “I didn’t get enough sleep” before our feet hit the floor. She goes on to say that our last thought as our head hits the pillow is “I didn’t get enough done.”
I have been told that when I was a baby I slept during the day and was up at night. I relish these sacred late hours when the world around me is quiet and I can burn the midnight oil in peace and solitude. I have developed a habit of squeezing every moment out of a day, using the wee hours to complete a thing or things I had yet to accomplish. This is my way of going to bed (sometimes as late as 3:30 am) feeling I did all I could do.
As part of my Personal Pivotal Need of True Health in my DMP I have described waking deeply rested. That never happens with my current erratic schedule. I have been playing with going to bed early for some time now with varying degrees of success. This week I finally realized it was time to obtain some specialized knowledge and come up with a plan of action that had substance to it.
I like the word ritual so using that word to frame my nighttime routine was most pleasing. I decided to commit to not only not looking at a screen an hour before bed but also dimming the lights to lovingly allow my body to produce the melatonin it naturally makes to support my rest and rejuvenation. Without the artificial lights I have been surprised to find how utterly exhausted I am. I have been yawning as early as 9:30 pm! I read that setting a bedtime schedule and sticking to it was a key factor in a successful sleep routine, so reluctantly I chose 10 pm as my time to turn in and lower the lights.
Last week I received The 5 Minute Journal as a gift. I transitioned into using it before bed as it encourages the writing down of both 3 gratitudes and 3 amazing things that happened today. I have appreciated the happiness amplified in my life through daily feeling grateful and reflecting on a key moment. As I was running low on index cards- this gift came at the perfect time!
An essential oil blend in the diffuser for quieting my mind has been soothing and supportive.
I stumbled across the words “marinating the subconscious mind while we sleep” which refreshed my memory of a purpose of reading my DMP and POA before turning out the dimmed light.
I have been trying to find a guided relaxation/sleep meditation to listen to after “lights out” with no luck. Today when I figured out what I’ve been looking for- 15 minutes of calming music/sound with positive words spoken in a soft voice I realized I could record myself saying my affirmations in exactly this way!
It has been extremely helpful to both have a plan of action and a clear intention behind every action.
Haanel writes in 15:5, “We cannot obtain what we lack if we tenaciously cling to what we have.” I am working on letting go of the attachment to the identity of night owl. This is painful as it is something I have been tenaciously clinging to for dear life for my whole life!
The upside of going to bed earlier has resulted in getting 1-4 more hours of sleep (obtaining what I lack) each night. However, I am not to the point where the additional sleep feels like enough. I have yet to manifest waking deeply rested.
The many “extra” hours I am now missing at night has meant not only have I left things unfinished- I have also not prepared in advance for the next day. I have been feeling a bit of I didn’t get enough done ironically not when my head hits the pillow but upon waking. I am initially in a bit of a panic feeling I am behind the eight ball and I don’t have enough hours in my day ahead to catch up. What a way to start the day! Fortunately I am able to use the law of substitution to shift into a place of peace rather quickly.
I am one of those people who want to live a long life but have not been taking the best care of my body. I have made great strides in meditating, eating healthier, and exercising. I know this is the next step. Right now I am feeling the millstones. It is not a comfortable step but I have come to see for me True Health is about loving and valuing myself. I am not interested in crushed wheat. I know this discomfort is a natural part of the journey and flour is on its way!