Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sleeplessness or Wakefulness?

I found this piece, written by Alison Rose Levy, and it makes me think. Don't 'cha love it when something can do that? Here's a bit of what she says:

"Biochemically, psychologically, and spiritually, each one of us has to make our own peace with sleep. But why the epidemic of sleeplessness? Is unrest merely your or my personal problem? Or is it a pervasive societal symptom? Is there something about our world that keeps us up at night?

In the world as it is now, there is too much to do every single hour and every single day to save the planet, to care for those suffering, not to mention peddle hard just to stay in place. Has the fact that I've given a donation, checked off my to-do list, made a few hearts happier or wiser, laughed with a loved one, shared my craft, gotten exercise, or survived another day really made a difference?

Beyond the numbers of my blog comments, twitter followers, or investment holdings, who am I? Do my hundreds of Facebook friends know the real me? And does my individual awareness matter all that much when an earth in tumult can wipe out a country in a minute? How can I sleep when so many don't know that we are all connected? How can I sleep when I don't always act as though we are all connected? How can I sleep until everyone's awake?"

I have for several years experienced sleep — what do we call it? — disorders, malfunctions, problems? I prefer to think of my sleeplessness as a sort of arrhythmia, a symptom of the increasing energy frequency in my body and the planet. I am often buzzing inside when I peel away the distractions of television, mystery novels, email, and telephone. When I first feel this buzz, or hum, it can feel disturbing, as though something's "wrong." How quickly the mind jumps to that label! Eventually I stopped telling myself it was wrong to be awake at 3am, and reframed it to be: "I am trying to show myself something about life by being alert at this extremely quiet time. What am I aware of in this moment?" And I'd let things spontaneously surface. I'd get up, meditate, or just walk around in the dark, feeling the silence.

I came to see that I was showing myself how to be awake, and peaceful about it, during a time when so much else is asleep. If I could do it at night, perhaps I could also do it during the day — wake up while I'm awake. After all, most of us who are walking around with eyes open, are also asleep to life's nuances, beauty, and love. The practice of imagining the quiet of 3am while it's 3pm and I'm at the computer, or running an errand, or speaking with a client, has helped me connect with my inner guidance. Now I drop into the moment, feel the quiet below the surface, and say: "I am trying to show myself something about life by being alert at this fairly noisy time. What am I aware of in this moment?" And just as I do in the wee hours, I allow something to spontaneously arise from the silence and spaciousness and present itself to me. I do this a lot now, all day. And guess what? I am sleeping through the night.