Patrick Fuller is a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School's esteemed Division of Sleep Medicine. In answer to my questions, he shared his insights on the importance of good sleep hygiene, how our brain's clock is connected to our overall well-being, and the problem with sleeping pills.
The world we've created is governed these days by two unquestioned principles: commodify and dominate. And it's chewing up the resources that used to belong to every occupant of the planet. It's the opposite of the philosophy that what we do as individuals we do for the good of the whole, and, indeed, there is no separation between the individual and the whole.
A yoga instructor recently encouraged our class to practice our most difficult poses with the understanding that all things come to an end. It's a bittersweet truth, and one easily lost under 108 inches of snow. But she's right. All things -- even this terrible, now officially historic winter -- do come to an end.
The truth is, you already have all the answers you will ever need. You simply need to (re)learn to listen to them. The hustle only really works when it's matched with the ease of your inner voice.
Here's a challenge: name the word and/or action that will get you through your own slump. Write it down (and share it below!). Put it where you'll see it. Look at it again and again. Take it in. Own it. Complete it. Be it. Repeat it. When you do, you'll blow beyond your negative self-perceptions and external projections, fixing your gaze instead on powerful truths inside you.
Our "sense of self" is as unique to us as our fingerprints. It represents an accumulation of beliefs -- conscious and unconscious -- about how we perceive our relative worthiness, lovability, and personal power. Based on trial and error, we unwittingly and automatically estimate our rank in the pecking order and how attachment-worthy we think we are.
I know that if we get really honest with ourselves, we have access to self love, contentment and happiness, it just takes a bit of work. It takes getting a bit uncomfortable to make changes.
There is much noise that clouds this reality sometimes. But at the core of this life, this is my ultimate and only reality.
Becoming more skilled in the process of getting complete is a great way to break the habit of avoidance and one of the best things that you can do for your relationship. There is a learning curve to the process, but it doesn't take a genius to master it. You might as well go for it. You've got nothing to lose but your incompletions!
I have a proposition for you: Be yourself and go all way. There is no room for half measures. If you're going to shine your light, do it brightly in a loving and courageous way. Be an original, not a copy of someone else. The hardest thing you will have to face in a world that expects you to meet others' expectations is to be yourself and trust yourself.
By taking the time out for myself and doing these simple acts of self-care you, I am no longer unfulfilled, exhausted, running around in a frantic state or on auto-pilot. Instead, I am present, I feel connected to myself, and those around me and for the first time feel like I am living life on purpose.
I often make plans with friends for a night in the future, and then as the day approaches, if there's been radio silence on the event, you start to wonder, is it still a date? Or you make what you thought were very "soft" plans with someone, only to be thrown off when they text "Where you are? We're here." You think, "But... I never got a confirmation! I didn't know it was actually happening."
I am apparently guilty of one of the last social offenses against humanity: I am aging while female. I plead guilty. I am 65 and a few months ago had that day that everyone eventually has -- the one when you look in the mirror and see a stranger, a stranger who looks much older than you feel.
I cherish more deeply my longevity in yoga and meditation and honor my body with greater awareness of my limitations. I no longer hold on to the perfect. I am simply grateful that I have so much mobility at 70. Like life, a yoga practice is constantly and perfectly in transition.
Taking care of oneself is a learned act that requires purpose and patience. As a college student, I have had to develop tactics to successfully navigate being in a stressful environment. Ultimately, I've learned that taking care of yourself and listening to what your body needs is rule number one.
Forget about your "boundaries," there are no limits, only those that you created in your head. You don't need them anymore. But if you give up on yourself, you will become a prisoner in your own life suffering from all those missed opportunities that were in front of you, that you should have just had the courage to realize.