I used to try to meditate. I knew it was good for me. I knew that it would calm me and quiet my noisy mind. But like I approach some (many) things good for me, I didn’t meditate until I HAD TO.
I had to because I hadn’t slept more than 3-4 hours a night for over a year. And I’m a sleeper. It’s part of my brand. I’m a don’t-wake-me-until-I’ve-had-eight kinda gal. At least I was.
Anyway, I could tell you about my insomnia. I could share a bit about my dark nights of the soul. Or the time that I accidentally tripped out on nutmeg (yes, it’s a psychoactive) because it was the only thing that helped me get some rest. But that’s for another time.
The best advice I received during that time was from a kind hypnotherapist. She told me that if I can’t sleep, then just do a simple meditation: Focus on my in breath and focus on my out breath, over and over. If my mind wanders, know that it’s natural, and just gently bring my attention back to my breath. And if it wanders again, just bring my attention back to my breath.
AND HERE’S THE MAGIC last thing she said about it: If you just stay in bed and focus on your breathing like that then YOU WILL FEEL RESTED.
All the pressure melted away. Because my mind could relax knowing that there was something that I could do to be in control. And that was to NOT THINK. Ha ha, mind! And my mind could do something other than worry and TRY to fall asleep, which, of course, is futile. Sleep comes when you’re not trying.
On some magical nights, I actually fell asleep while meditating. Some nights I just meditated for hours, kind of in a half sleep state. But I did feel more rested. Most of all, meditation helped quiet my mind so I could know and hear what changes I needed to make in order to feel at peace. And I did. And it took awhile. But now the sleep is back and that’s a very, very good sign.
And meditation now is my forever friend.
I came across a beginner’s guide to meditation that you might like. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. What I like about the book and the free guided meditation audio files it is that they break down meditation so that you never feel like you’re failing. It literally is as easy as breathing. And, did you know, you don’t even need to TRY to breathe.
It’s a light read and the voice talent used for the audio meditation is soothing and never annoying. Check out the free meditations from the book and let me know what you think! Or comment here about meditation programs, classes, tips, etc.
See you in my dreamzzzzz…