Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sleep Cycles, Metamorphosis and Other Little Thoughts

Sleep is not something I take for granted. I know far too many people who struggle with the ability to sleep at night (something that comes as easily as sitting still does for me).

Then I had my Sleep Injury. Basically, I (think) I hurt myself by sleeping too much. The mathematical precision in which I laid out my pillows each night after my 'injury' was ridiculous. Rolling over was a feat unto itself because it entailed rearranging all of my pillow support before I could settle back into a state of slumber.

The cure arrived each morning, when I simply woke up and started moving. My symptoms only presented themselves when I was sleeping.

Eventually I went in search of my Dream Pillow. And I found it. Quite literally, because vivid dreams started the moment I started sleeping more soundly.

I woke up this morning and realized just how much the quality of my sleep has evolved since the acquisition of my new pillow. I used to wake up (what felt like) a bazillion times, as I tossed and turned and kept moving out of uncomfortable sleeping positions. These days? I may consciously remember waking up to roll over only a few times during the night.

Is it just the pillow or is there more at play here?

At long last, I have become actively involved in my own life. I do not turn on the TV (nor an episode of the Gilmore Girls) the moment my evening becomes my own. Sometimes, I do. But it is becoming a rare event. I have been grabbing a book instead. Or engaging in 'life' in some form.

I am whittling away at long term goals. I am living life (a little more) outside of my own head and home. I have been pushing myself out of the safe and comfortable rut that I worked oh-so-hard to find again and I feel like a butterfly that is finally strong enough to break out of its cocoon.

I can actually visualize the 'end goal'. I see where I plan to be four months from today. I know where I will be, how I will get there and I can already feel the sensation of gratitude and relief to have finally overcome the hurdle that has been challenging and taunting me for far-too-long.

Which came first? The ability to sleep and therefore function better during my waking hours? Or making the most of my waking hours which resulted in a deep and restful night's sleep? The chicken or the egg?

I am not going to ponder that little conundrum any longer than it took for me to write that sentence. The ability to sleep soundly and live loudly are a very good combo. It is harder to attain than one may believe. But it is another example of the yin and the yang of this thing called living.

Teetering back and forth, between the balance of all that life has to offer, is a very delicate and precarious act. You know when it is right. It is like something clicked and locked into place. The harder part is knowing how to get from 'A' to 'Be'. My fingers subconsciously typed the word 'be' instead of the letter 'B'. I do believe that is an answer unto itself. All we can do is 'be' present within the life that we are living. Just show up, do your best, let yourself off the hook and give yourself credit for 'being' there. In whatever form you are presently in.

Does a caterpillar know what life has in store for it when it spins its cocoon before its metamorphosis? Or does it simply feel like it is succumbing to the pressures of the world and hunkering down for a good, long rest? When it wakes up and feels life stirring within, does it find itself  suddenly flying around its brand new world or does it have to work hard to break out of its cocoon? It is the act of breaking out of its cocoon that strengthens the butterfly's wings so it is strong enough to fly once he breaks free of all that is restraining him.

If you are struggling right now, put yourself in the place of that little caterpillar of life. Where are you in this cycle of life?

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly. 
~ English Proverb

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