You know you’ve reached a new level of sleep deprived when you’ve started tracking your sleep on an iPhone app.(No, seriously…I’ve been TRACKING my sleep on an iphone app).
I’ve tried everything from not drinking coffee (haha, jk, neverrrrrr), to yoga, to going to bed earlier, to guided Sunday night meditations. Alas, I have simply not been able to sleep for oh, I don’t know, about two months. I even started writing down my thoughts before getting in bed at night and upon waking up in the morning to see if there was any correlation between how I was sleeping and what I was thinking about. Maybe if I could figure out exactly what was on my mind, I could get a better feel for where my brain was at.
What I realized was that between relationship stress, social stress, work stress, money stress, and everything in between stress, a lot goes on in my dome piece. Perhaps one of the most interesting “findings” was how inwardly hard on myself I was being about not sleeping. I was actually beating myself up for not being able to sleep – which was probably wasting a ton of mental energy itself. And for what gain?
Often times the best way to solve a problem is to drop it entirely.
To stop making it a problem.
So, at 10pm last week, I decided to drop it all.
I crawled in bed at 10pm and turned out all of the lights. Usually I stick a movie or show on at night (ok, I’ll come clean, it’s almost always “Friends” or “New Girl”) but this was something entirely new and foreign. I had intention. In a moment of desperation, I lit a candle on each side of my bed, put on some soft music across the room, shut my laptop, turned off my television, crawled into bed in my underwear (it’s getting real, I just said underwear), and something happened.
As I lay there in my glowing room, free from my smart phone, free from my television, free from my planner, my google calendar, and my sleeping apps, I felt myself breathing differently. I placed one hand on my heart and another on my stomach, and I felt the gliding rise and fall. It felt like months of weight and energy that had been bouncing around inside the walls of my body had finally found a place to go.
I didn’t think, or move, or speak, out of fear that the feeling of complete peace would go away. I just lay there in the dark for fifteen minutes in solitude.
Sometimes the feeling of being alone is a scary thing, but damn it felt good.
So, with one of my new favorite bands playing in the background (Penny and Sparrow – check ‘em out) I blew out the candles, and dozed off.
I know – this is actually just a post about falling asleep, but I think it’s important. It’s bigger than the fact that I NEEDED to not feel like a zombie. (But, guys, I NEEDED to not feel like a zombie). It was more that I needed to just feel okay. I needed to be a little friendlier to myself, to accept that I was so tired, that thinking about being tired was actually more tiresome. And I did – I reached a point of self acceptance, where I could just acknowledge that a lot was happening, but I was allowed to be alone on my room in the dark and feel good about myself. It had nothing to do with success or failure at work, with success or failure in relationships, or any type of success or failure. It also had nothing to do with tracking what I was feeling, watching, reading, listening to, drinking, eating, and onward – because that’s just taxing.
It felt good just to exist and be kind and gentle with myself.
So let’s all just try to be kind and gentle with ourselves this week.