Yesterday I woke up at 3:00 a.m. Yep. And that was it for me; not one more moment of sleep after that. Mercy! As life, in its relentless nature, would have it, yesterday was the day I was taking my car in for service and it could not be rescheduled. I sat in the waiting room feeling like a ball of fuzz. They provided me transportation home so that I could at least wait in comfort and privacy. I rested and felt slightly less fuzzy. Everything was taken care of and I picked my car up and hoped the hours would pass quickly until I could go to bed.
Does this sound familiar to any of you? Did I have something important on my mind? No. Was there a problem that needed to be solved immediately? No. I just woke up and stayed awake. I used lavender essential oil. I meditated. I rested. Nothing returned me to sleep. At least I have learned not to go crazy when this happens and I am profoundly grateful I do not have to go to work after an early wake-up like that. Been there, done that. I have also learned that, for me, reading or getting up and doing something is counter-productive. It only teaches my body and mind to wake me up every morning at that time.
These experiences have been quite profound in teaching me to go with the flow of life and simply be in the moment. There are times when I drift into a deep and sweet meditative state similar to yoga nidra. These times are restorative and the day is easier. Other times I find myself drifting in and out of precious memories of loved ones no longer in form. I am still tired that day but wrapped in the warmth of having been loved throughout my life. Then there have been times when insights I have longed for drift into my mind and heart with simple clarity and I am grateful beyond words. There are also times when my mind is determined to review every uncomfortable, unwise, and embarassing choice I have ever made in this lifetime. It is so relentless, I end up whispering to myself, “Oh fine, just go ahead and run the movie of my misadventures. I am too tired to fight you or try to change this.” My teachers have said it is just residue being released so I choose not to dwell in any one memory or try to interpret a meaning or purpose for the experience. I just let the movie run as though it is about someone else while holding the intention and image of smoky residue burning off and floating away from me.
The day that follows is an opportunity to nurture myself with love and compassion. My mantra is often “Welcome to the human race, Catherine Ann.” We all have these times. It is okay. It is what it is. No one ever has said we are designed to sleep perfectly any more than we are designed to be awake and live perfectly every day, all the time. Right? Right.
It keeps coming back to love and compassion, doesn’t it? Toward myself and others. Acceptance of what is. Love of myself and you. Compassion for myself and you because we share so many common experiences. We need to know we are not alone even in this. I am not the only one who has sleepless nights and fuzzy days. Either are you. When you see the bags under your eyes in the morning, smile and say to the person in the mirror, “I love you even when you look like you feel. I love you.”
I love us, you know? Namaste.