13 7th Street S, Sauk Centre, MN 56378
BY Heather Zollman
1:00 AM Mindfulness
March 4, 2019
I haven’t been feeling the greatest lately. Right now is a time of looking for answers and allowing myself to be taught SO MANY lessons along the way! PATIENCE being top on the list many times.
I feel like I may have a fear of bedtime. A fear of not falling asleep. And if I do, I’m up a couple of hours later. I know I’m not the only one. I have a long list of people that have said, “Hey you are up for hours in the middle of the night too? We should totally hang out by messenger or texting!” Other business owners, friends and our good family friend…a guy who is a few years older than us that falls asleep in his chair every night. He wakes up in the middle of the night and finds himself folding laundry to pass the time. I should totally message him when I’m done writing this! I have struggled with sleep my whole life, in waves and in different forms of course as I age. I am not a person that likes taking medications. The neurologist recommended taking something for pain and for sleep with my current stuff. Well tonight I found out that the things I took did not mix well. I woke up after about an hour of sleep, I’m not even sure I actually did. I felt numb everywhere and this strange pain/numb/tingling/WTH feeling that has been happening in my leg every night. Thought bubbles before and when I feel like I “should” be sleeping look like this…”Here we go, another sleepless night about to happen.” “Am I going to be too exhausted to teach again tomorrow?” Do I set the alarm or not?” If I don’t get the number of consecutive hours of sleep I am supposed to get in a night, is it making my current health situation worse?” “What the hell is wrong with me?” Well, here’s what I decided tonight…SCREW IT. That’s right SCREW THIS!!! Not like screw sleep, or who the heck needs it anyways. I am going to take the advice my doctor gave me a while back. She told me that we put too much pressure on ourselves to get a certain number of consecutive hours of sleep a night. She said segmented sleep is a real thing people practice. It sounds an aweful lot like mindfulness. If they wake up, instead of laying there for hours not falling asleep, they get up and do something. They listen to their bodies. She said that’s how they used to do it back in the day. Would we all love to get 8 hours of sleep…in a row…and feel refreshed in the morning? Uh, yeah! Does it always happen…uh, that’s funny. What if instead of stressing about it, which makes the present situation worse, I go with what my body is saying? What if I listen instead of laying here in bed waiting to sleep like I did last night for 6 hours? What if I get up, do legs up the wall pose against my bed with a cold pack for my sore back and read a while? And then get my thoughts out in a journal, and then maybe in a public place so that maybe others in the same predicament can feel like someone understands what it feels like? What if I chat with God for a while and then listen to see what comes from that conversation? Okay, since the other fearful, anxiety ridden, stressed out version of how this night could go has not been fun at all the last how many weeks…I’ll go with this. So, here I am. I did a little yoga. I read a few things. I wrote in my journal. I got my concerns and gratefulness out on paper. I had a bowl of raspberries. I am writing this. And after a pause, I SMILE. I have never done things the “normal” way…whatever that may be. So why do I feel like my nights need to look or feel a certain way? Why not go with the FLOW? Why not ask my body what it needs. Guess what? I feel a hell of lot better in this moment, getting my thoughts out than I did when I was lying in bed nervous, fearful, numb, frustrated and ready to cry. Now I can breathe and smile. It’s 2:09 now and I’ll probably do a little more reading. I hope I get sleep. My body could certainly use it. But worrying isn’t helping a darn thing. So in this moment in the middle of the night, I find mindfulness. All the moments leading up to this one are in the past. I have no idea what is coming. Fearing it does me know good and it feels crappy. So right now I am going to take this night moment by moment. In a devotion I just read, it referred to the Bible verse Luke 12:25-26…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?...Amen Bible guys! I am reading he most amazing little gem of a book at the moment called Ikigai The Japanese Secret to Living A Long and Happy Lifeby Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. In this particular section of the book, they interviewed elders in a community on their philosophy (ikigai) and secrets to longevity. One person was quoted…”The secret to life is not to worry. And to keep your heart young—don’t let it grow old. Open your heart to people with a nice smile on your face. If you smile with an open heart, your grandchildren and everyone will want to see you.” How simple and amazing is that? Smile with an open heart. Don’t worry. Hard to do sometimes. But I’m going to practice that when worry creeps in. Someday I want my grandchildren to want to see my nice smile. It’s now 2:27 am and I’m getting a little sleepy. I am grateful for this time to get my thoughts down. We will see what the rest of the night has in store. I will take it as it comes. I hope to sleep. Maybe I’ll check in with my awake friends first. Tom is probably folding socks and Alise may be up reading. And right now that makes me smile :)