I’m leaving tomorrow morning! To be exact, in 8 hrs. Haven’t really gotten a chance to get to bed. This is when the mind really likes to fly around. The feeling of air, and lightness is prevalent. Think about the last time any of you had to go on a trip, or had something very important to do the next day, do you remember how hard it was for you to fall asleep? The mind actually has a way of continuing at full blast causing a quality of ungroundedness. Although the eyes are tired when the eyes close, you only see, everything, what’s happening tomorrow, what happened today, what may happen during the week, etc. This is the place I’m currently living in. The advice I’m about to give, is not what I’m actually doing, I’ll do my best to follow my own advice!
First of all you have to create boundaries, like what time do you want to actually go to bed, optimally. Stick by that time. When that time arrives, turn off tv, computer, if possible even ipod, radios, cds. If complete silence freaks you out, then some mellow tunes will do. Why this is important is so that your brain can let go of any external stimulation, you already have so much going on, choose to have the courage to quiet the exterior to move deeper within. Make sure now, to set your alarm for the next day. Take the time to give yourself permission to let go. You’ve done everything you could do, there is nothing else you can do, take a deep breath in and exhale fully. One of my favorite things to do now is read either one of my favorite magazines, or one of my philosophy/theology books, the magazines so the mind can move to lighter things and the books so the mind can get weighty. Depending on your feeling before you go to bed, are you feeling more anxious, fearful? The books will do. Feeling wound up, touchy (agro) the magazines will do. Once you feel the mind cool and get heavy let yourself step into sleeping mode. You may find that as you do this, your friend inside your head will once again let you know that you are not sleeping just yet. Try these little strategies. Rub Sesame oil on your feet, and your lower legs. For those of you who want to know why, ask me in the comments. Lay on your back and make yourself as comfy as possible. Try even doing your full Savasana position, widen your legs a bit wider than hip width apart, turn the palms of your hands up, move your shoulderblades in and up, so your heart stays open. I’m sure most of you have the bonus of a pillow, so make sure that your place your head in a way that optimizes you comfort. Once you are in this pose fully, begin to elongate your breath, concentrating especially on lengthening and deepening your exhalations. Feel your forehead begin to soften and even allow your eyes to move back into their sockets more, encourage your brows to smooth over, and let the root of the tongue let go. Don’t think too much about what you need to do but just enjoying the rest of the breath. Continue like this, until you feel yourself being breathed. If you feel that you can’t let go like this, try noticing which one of your nostrils is most engaged, meaning, can you feel which one of your nostrils is dominant, drawing in the most breath. I bet that your right nostril might be a bit more active. If that’s the case, and even if it’s not, a position that is most helpfull for chilling out is curling onto your right side. When we lay on the right side it sends a message to the breath to now shift toward the left nostril, which in turn is most cooling, like the moon, gentle, quiet and soft. When we breathe through the right nostril more, there tends to be a more active energy coming in, more heated, more engaged, ready, so of course we would like to experience this, in the morning! Try laying on your right and letting yourself move with your breath, see if it helps. My last little piece of advice is repetition of mantra. My most favorite is praying the Rosary. When I pray it, I usually fall asleep so fast, it’s crazy. The repetitive aspect of it, helps the physical, mental, and spiritual bodies meld into one, thus fascilitating optimal release. See if there is a prayer that you love, or a deeply meaningful poem, mantra, or saying that you know speaks to your soul. Turn into That which is Bigger than you and offer yourself to it. Often sleep arrives as the return gift, if not, the heart, the next day, will be full of brightness and light.
Let me know if any of these little hints help you. Try them out. Explore and play. Make more meaning.