Insomnia: Gift or Curse?
I woke up this morning at 3 a.m. My brain was alive with ideas. After about a half hour of trying to force myself to go back to sleep like so many other nights, I decided to do something different. I went with it. By 3:57 a.m. (a significant angel number for me, I’d like to point out) I had filled myself a big glass of water with lemon juice, put on my wizard robe (it’s not actually a wizard robe; it just has stars and constellations on a deep blue fabric so it feels like a wizard robe), a pair of pink fluffy slippers that I have to eternally hide from dog and had sat down in front of my computer.
I can answer that question and it has some deep roots in a feminist belief and a little bit of science too.
We get comfortable doing the same things over and over again even though those things may no longer serve us or make us happy. Our brains get trained to just automate certain things, the robot side of your programming kicks in and you just do over, and over and over again. To do something different would be to majorly rewrite your neurological programming and that takes a lot of work and let’s face it, most humans are work-averse. We biologically, systematically look for ways to streamline our lives all the time in every way possible. So having the instinct to rewrite that programming, goes against evolution. This is a big factor in why so many people stay in bad jobs, bad relationships, repeating the same bad habits. This is where mindfulness comes in to play, because it invites you to do just what we’re talking about here. Stop. Be in the moment. And identify why you’re doing what you’re doing, feeling what you’re feeling, thinking what you’re thinking and then you have the opportunity to course correct so that your actions, your thoughts, your feelings can be more aligned with your authentic self.
Let’s be real, women adapt our schedules, needs and wants all the time to match that of men. And we do it without even thinking about it. Just because going to bed at 9 p.m. and waking up at 5:30 a.m. is ideal for my husband, does not mean it’s ideal for me. And just because he and most men I know find the mornings to be their most productive hours and he winds down around 4 p.m. (again that’s classic male biology) that is not what the female body does at all. And yet…. And yet, the entire working world and society has constructed itself around the male internal clock. Well, I say no more. If you’re intrigued by this concept by the way, I have a book on my reading list called “In the Flow” that you should definitely check out.
I want to point out that I do meditate, pretty much daily, but what I’ve discovered is that even when I meditate, two things happen. I usually have an agenda or am doing some type of guided meditation and after the meditation concludes I move on right away to the next agenda item on my daily planner. So when I say that at night, my brain is truly free to explore without boundaries or parameters, I mean that. It has me wondering if I might enjoy using a sensory deprivation tank? If anyone has done that, please let me know! I’m curious to try.
So to all my fellow artists, night-souls, starwalkers and dreamers out there, I encourage you to listen to your bodies and to intentionally carve out time during the day to be still, silent and open, because maybe then, our brains won’t always be waking us up at 2 a.m. with an idea it is just too excited not to share!
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