I am writing this post about the power and possibilities of sleep while drinking a large cup of Valerium tea, having already given myself a calcium bentonite facial mask and a very warm salt bath -- all in preparation for an uninterrupted full night's sleep (seven to eight hours). This is my ritual.
I have been an entrepreneur my whole life, founded a few businesses where I worked non-stop. I used to say that sleep was overrated and that I would sleep when I was dead -- lovely!
Now, I know and have experienced the many benefits of a full peaceful night's sleep: vitality, clarity and perspective. Fundamentally we all know how good it is for our bodies, minds and spirits to sleep -- but the key is to sleep well, sleep deeply, sleep restoratively. I am suggesting that we all look beyond the "wind down bath" to allow for this kind of sleep.
What is going on in our lives during the day can profoundly effect the quality of our sleep at night -- our thoughts, concerns, fears, unfinished business, and more. Here are some areas of life you may want to inquire in to, as well as some effective practices that can alter your sleep and life experiences:
Your relationship to yourself. How do you feel about yourself? Is there anything about yourself you are not dealing with that causes you to have repeated negative thoughts? It could revolve around your health, such as your eating or exercise habits. Or It could be about how you treat others. Is there a behavior or habit you know no longer works for you, that you are not proud of, yet you still do it? This is not an call to compare yourself with others or even to conform to what is considered "right" by our culture, but merely that which would have you be at peace with yourself.
For example, I feel best when I eat well and work out at least three to four times a week -- which includes yoga. This is what I need to feel good about myself and clear minded. It is such a personal choice what fulfills a person. Another example, if I get impatient with my children or clients, I would have a "tone" in my voice. You all know what I am talking about. I was not proud of how I sounded, nor of how it made others feel. I took on being conscious of what I wanted to say, how I said it, what I needed, how others felt. I asked: are we both heard and understood? I did this until my conversations were fluid, effective and loving. This makes me proud of myself.
Take a look at one thing you may want to take on in the first month of this new year, this new decade that would alter how you feel about yourself.
Honesty Log. A commitment to honesty always leads to peace of mind, love for yourself and others and a great night's sleep. The honesty log is something you can keep daily or weekly, whatever feels right for you. Write down all of the ideas that you need to communicate in a notebook. They might be thoughts that you need to clarify for yourself or ideas or issues that you need to resolve with someone else. You can describe events or people whom you want to acknowledge to show proper appreciation. You can also write about things that bother or upset you. You may also want to recognize things that you have left unattended or "messy" -- bills to pay, a conversation you never completed, or a book you never returned to a friend (even though you promised you would). The log can address whatever is currently on your mind and so much better to begin keeping the log than rolling this "list" in one's mind when trying to fall asleep or being woken up by the "mental" log. When you read through this log, you can see which actions you need to take to feel at peace with yourself and with people in your life. This is also a great exercise to do with your intimate partner, business partner, staff , teams, children-family on a weekly or monthly basis to ensure that there is no buildup of assumptions, resentments, disappointments, hurt feelings or misalignments -- all sleep interrupters.
A fine tuned body can cause a great nights sleep. Do you wake up at certain times in the night, and are they the same times every night? This can be a sign of various organs in our bodies needing support, not working at optimal capacity. For example, if you wake up at 2am consistently, that points to the lungs and 4am points to the liver. There are many things you can do that can address these signals. Here are a few I have found most effective: One is doing a "liver cleanse." The liver is the main organ responsible for distributing and maintaining the body's "fuel" supply. To learn more about this powerful tool to optimize your health, check out the book "The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush" by Andreas Moritz. It has made an enormous difference in my physical and emotional well-being. The liver also is related to the emotions of anger and resentment which would be great for all of us to "cleanse." This journey can also be supported by regular colonics, acupuncture and a healthy diet including "live foods," quiet time, meditation and regular exercise.
Lastly, don't forget to check out your dreams, lots of great messages and clues to understanding ourselves even better, being true to ourselves and others. This kind of access to our peace of mind allows us to soothe ourselves into a great night of rest.
Sogni d'oro, sweet dreams!