The restorative power of deep rest

A primitive type of jellyfish called Cassiopea, which goes to sleep nightly, is seen on the floor of their tank at Caltech in Pasadena, California, U.S. in this image released on September 20, 2017. Courtesy Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

“It’s in the morning, for most of us. It’s that time, those few seconds when we’re coming out of sleep but we’re not really awake yet. For those few seconds we’re something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then…and then — ah — we open our eyes and the day is before us and … we become ourselves.” 
Jerry Spinelli

 

Don’t you just love the image of the sleeping jellyfish? It’s the sort of whimsical possibility my mind constantly entertained when I was a child, although I never imagined that they might sleep upside down!

I was lying on my acupuncturist’s treatment table yesterday as he felt my pulse and tut-tutted in his mad professor way at the energies within my body, the colour and texture of my tongue and his many other diagnostic tools. He knew it. I know it. The past couple of weeks of family illnesses and drama have exhausted me.

Hmmm, he said. Deep rest. That’s what you need. Deep rest, and rice and beans and sprouts. Warm foods. Warm liquids. No stimulants. No spices. Deep rest. Sleep.

I know he’s right. A good deep rest now and I’ll be back to normal. For me, deep rest is not just sleeping. It’s also quiet time. Time pulled back from the needs and demands of others. Time stepped back from work and busy-ness.

The alternative? I’ve been down that path, and I know you have too. In fact, I know some of you are walking it right now. That’s the path of pushing. We’re tired but we keep getting up. We’re exhausted but we fill ourselves with caffeine or sugar or both, and we force ourselves to keep on going. We bribe ourselves, pep-talk ourselves, bully ourselves and trash-talk ourselves to get our bodies upright and responsive. We push, push, push. And then we break.

All the while we think that we are okay to keep going. We’re not. We’re barely in our bodies. We’re drunk on lack of sleep. Our innovation and enthusiasm, our ability to bounce back, to laugh it off, to create with joy – all of that is missing.

It can be found again through deep rest.

That’s what I’m doing right now, and will be for the next few days. I’m doing a disservice to myself and to you if I don’t.

Today I’m asking you if you’re okay. Do you need to rest? Do you need to step back for a moment? We can’t help others sustainably nor keep on creating if we are not looking after ourselves first. The energies of 2018 do not support push in any form. If you’re pushing, it won’t be working. Look for another way. Your best solution is most likely to be taking a break, refreshing yourself, and then starting again.

Gentle hugs and much love, Nicole  xx

 

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 <3 xx

A Not-Unexpected Delay in Plans

2015-05-06 18.20.47

“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