Let There Be Sleep!

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
~ Leonora Carrington

 

My conference here in Cebu is drawing to a close.

Last night we finished the formal activities with a White Party on the beach. A fabulous night, and I shall post photos just as soon as I am able. I need a little more sleep first. Do you know how long it has been in my life since I have been able to string together so much work and so much fun in one long run of days? Decades, my friends. Decades.

Truth be told my health has held up well (except for the pants of shame night, best explained in a separate blog post!) but I am unaccustomed to so much partying and so many big days and late nights.

Dawn on the beach was perfect for my morning meditation but now I am sneaking back to bed, because it is officially a holiday today and I can.

I may even sleep in tomorrow.

Hugs and love to you all, Nicole xx

Sneaking Back to Bed

“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolic, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”
~ Alysha Speer

 

I’ve had a big few days, lovelies.

A big month actually, between having intensive IV therapy to combat my superbug, and doing a load of readings and coaching for clients, and of hand-holding souls at the end of their lives, and of supporting people I care about through hard times.

This morning I woke up after a restless night, did my healing meditation for the world and all my loved ones (that includes you!) and then thought I would write my blog and get onto my avalanche of unanswered emails and messages that keeps growing while I have been busy attending to more urgent matters.

But I changed my mind.

My husband is sleeping in a dark, cool room. Harry dog has snuck up beside him.

And I am still tired.

So I am going back to bed for some more sleep and cuddles with my loved ones.

Because that’s what self-care looks like.

I hope you are looking after yourself too!

Hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

A Not-Unexpected Delay in Plans

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“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.” ~  Mark Buchanan

 

There has been a lot of resting going on in our house just now.

Harry, home from the vet and minus his big broken molar, needs plenty of rest. He’s content to lie on the couch or the bed or the floor, or wherever else I am. He’s sore, and tired and not quite right.

I’ve been resting too.

I’m on new treatment for lyme, and it has knocked me for a six. I can feel it working, but it’s left me unable to get my head off the pillow for more than an hour at a time.

So Harry and I are resting together.

There is no mad running through the paddocks saying hello to the cows, there are no chasing games or chewing on bones for young Harry.

There is no work or being upright much for me.

Everything will wait. The work, the games, the life, the fun – it will all be there when we are ready and feeling better. Healing is big enough work for us, and it’s taking all our time.

For now we will nap, sleep and rest, keeping each other company. It’s not so bad. Cuddles and friendship and love always make us heal faster. And this bed is very soft, and the pillows smell of sunshine and lavender…

Image from pinterest

Image from pinterest

Me, right now!

Image from miriadna.com

Image from miriadna.com

“Even a soul submerged in sleep
is hard at work and helps
make something of the world.”
~ Heraclitus, Fragments

 

Forgive me, but I’m sleeping. It has been a big week.

Clever wordpress let me write this before I even went to bed, and it shall post itself as I sleep.

I’ll be back tomorrow, once I’ve caught up on some shut-eye, all the puppy kisses, a little husband and me time, and a bit more napping.

Love you!

Sorry, Lovelies, but I let myself sleep in!

Image from Dolls of India

Image from Dolls of India

“Sleep is my lover now, my forgetting, my opiate, my oblivion.”
~ Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife

 

Goodness, what a night I had last night. After a day of psychic appointments, and on my heavy new lyme drugs I was tucked up in bed and asleep by 7.30pm.

So I was startled to be woken by my phone a little after ten. A long-standing client had called my mobile, desperate, because her daughter was acting strangely and was suicidal. What could the mother do?

I spoke with both of them for hours, and eventually convinced them to call an ambulance. This morning the daughter is in a locked ward, safe and well-attended, and the mother and I will finally be able to talk about the elephant in the room – her daughter’s drug addiction.

It’s a terrible thing, this secret her daughter has kept these past few years, but now it’s all out in the open she can get the help she needs.

And me? I went back to sleep at about two. So I thought you’d cut me a little slack in being late to blog this morning.

Life. The texture and weft of this tapestry we’re weaving is so rich, isn’t it? So many stories, so many journeys, so much pain, so much love…

Be well today. Treat yourself and others kindly. Bless xx

The Blessing of Sleep

Sleeping Beauty by Foxfires

Sleeping Beauty by Foxfires

“Even a soul submerged in sleep 
is hard at work and helps 
make something of the world.” 
~ Heraclitus, Fragments

 

No proper blog today. Something miraculous happened last night. My friend Sally came over yesterday afternoon and brought me a rock she’d found for me in Nepal. As she left a gentle rain began to fall, and I began to find myself getting sleepier and sleepier.

Still clutching the rock I hopped up onto my bed, listening to the soft fall of rain on the tin roof. Effortlessly I drifted off to sleep.

And only woke up now. Fourteen hours later.

So, I’m still all sleepy and half awake, but feeling deeply revived and calm after some amazing nocturnal adventures, which I shall blog about tomorrow.

Have a beautiful day.

Hugs and Blessings, Nicole xx

 

My Sweet Poison

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“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.” 
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.” 
~ Mitch Albom

 

What is there to say if we cannot be honest with each other?

Let me show you something.

Saturday morning. Sitting in a Byron Bay cafe, unbidden tears rolling down my cheeks.  I was there with my ever-patient and supportive husband Ben, who had managed to rouse me from my coma-like state long enough to get me out of pyjamas and into some street clothes that still somehow resembled pyjamas.

So there I was. Weak latte at one elbow, a pile of unread weekend newspapers at the other. Harry the cafe dog lying on my feet, while I drew strength and grounding from his reassuring presence.

These new drugs I am on are a nightmare. I count every day that I must take them. Two weeks, four days to go.

They are my sweet poison. I can literally FEEL them working from just after they enter my body. For the first two weeks I experienced massive body pain, insomnia and complete exhaustion. My brain was numb. I was numb. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t think. Couldn’t connect to anything during the day. Couldn’t sleep at night, when all of that disconnect would dissolve and leave me stuck in this misbehaving body.

I was so not like my usual self. Empty headed. No ideas, no ability to converse or articulate my needs. I would get one good hour, sometimes less, each morning between when I struggled out of bed and when I began the regime of drugs and herbs that are making me well. Thank god for that one sane-making hour. Then it was back to the place of disconnect.

At least in that space of disconnect I was feeling the pain, but often from a distance, during daylight hours anyway. Anyone who has taken Valium or other such drugs will know what I am talking about. If the house had been burning down my thought process would have looked something like this:

‘Oh, look. Flames.’ Observes them licking across the bedroom ceiling. Observes them set the curtains alight. ‘Boy, it’s really taking hold.’ Turns over in bed and readjusts the pillows.

At night my bed was burning, and I was still in it. But this time I knew it, and I couldn’t make it stop…

Image from Sodahead

Image from Sodahead

So after the trauma of no sleep and endless pain Thursday and Friday brought me two straight days and nights of sleep. Sweet sleep. Sleep with rich lucid dreams.

One good thing, though. My brain is waking up and kicking into gear although I don’t yet recognise the landscape.

I wake long enough to drink some water, take some tablets, go to the toilet. All in a shuffling half-awake space, like a turtle breaking the surface for a sip of air before returning to the depths and those crazy seem-real dreams.

It was in one of those cresting moments of wakefulness on Saturday morning when Ben magically transported me down to Byron.

Sitting there at an outdoor table with my coffee, music in the background, soft rain falling and friends stopping to say hello, I was overwhelmed with sensation almost too much to bear.

The muted sunlight seemed too bright. The background music so loud. Conversations washed over the top of me and I struggled to catch those shining bright words one by one in my clumsy fists. By the time I had captured enough and threaded them into some sort of meaningful order the friends were on their way, their questions unanswered, their faces kind and perplexed. Sorry, I want to shout after them.

But already I was forgetting what for.

On Saturday morning I sipped my latte, holding it carefully in both hands as a child would do. I am shaky and weak, and my spatial awareness is awry. I find it challenging to get food or drink neatly to my mouth. I hope no-one I know saw me as I put my breakfast toast in my nostril and fed coffee to my chin.

At meal’s end I insisted on paying, shuffling into the cafe to hand over my money. My balance is poorer than I remember and I lurched forward like a drunk. This was not one of my better plans. Cafe Friends who we met through our mutual dogs, looked up in alarm as they watched me surf on wobbly legs to the counter. They do not know I am ill. I am aware that I am walking like a Thunderbird puppet right now – all jerky clumsiness and startle reflexes. It’s not just my friends who were staring that day.

They whispered to themselves, shocked, and although I would have liked to go over and have a quick chat, assure them I’m okay, that this is just a bad patch on the way to being well, I knew it was too much to explain and anyway, there were so many steps between me and them.

Home again, to pyjama land. But not to sleep. Not yet. Someone had shoved a pitchfork in my skull and they were twisting it for all they’re worth. The pain? Exquisite.

I slept away the rest of Saturday and much of Sunday.

So how is my Monday? If I were a pirate I would make pain walk the plank and feed it into the grasping maw of a giant shark.

Meditation is the only thing that gives my waking hours real relief. Sleep is better. Sleep is pain-free, and my dreams entertain me better than any book or movie. I like to think that while I am sleeping I am also healing. That glorious battles are being fought in my name and that good work is being done. That these wretched bacteria inside me are dying in droves and my cells are bringing out the dead as the meat wagons travel through my veins.

Image from MOCpages

Image from MOCpages

I wish I could feel normal. I would like to be baking something. I would like to be walking my farm or going for a swim, or working on a book. But sleep is clawing at me, and I can feel myself turning to sand beneath those insistent fingers. Am I even awake? Was Saturday’s breakfast real or just a dream?

Please, when I finally wake properly from this, let me have morphed back into myself. Meanwhile, I’ll keep taking my sweet poison. I’m planning to kill all these bacteria before they kill me. It’s the best plan I’ve got, and anyway, I’m winning.

It really is true. That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

So my question to you is this: What medicine do you need right now? Even if it doesn’t taste good, if it’s what you need, chug-a-lug babe! This is our year of making things better.

Bottle of Poison by Julie-Chantal

Bottle of Poison by Julie-Chantal