One of the things I immediately do when arriving at a holiday destination is to take my watch off. Yes I will put it on now and then, and yes the mobile phone is often with me. But what a luxury to forget about time and just be.
I like forgetting about time when not on holiday too. I have noticed that knowing the time can trigger a lot of undesired thoughts – especially in the middle of the night. For a few years now, when I wake up in the middle of my sleep, I don’t check the time. Thoughts such as “Will I manage to fall asleep again? How many hours have I slept so far? What will this mean for tomorrow?” are not helpful for falling asleep. Instead I decide to trust all is good. I choose to feel lucky that I have more time to sleep as it’s still dark outside! I can go to my breath and follow it coming in, going out, and enjoy feeling alive and safe.
Sometimes I start thinking that I have stayed with my breath for a very long time and it is really about time I fall asleep. Then I remember I can choose to accept the moment as it is, and feel grateful for having so much time to be with my breath. The clue is really to bring acceptance to the present moment instead of fighting it.
Last night there was thunder and lightning for most of the night. My dog gets very scared when that happens. My bedroom is on the second floor and my dog prefers to stay downstairs – not ideal in such a situation! After 1) three or four times going up and down the stairs to calm him 2) each time ending up lying in bed with a blurry mind hoping for no more thunder, and staying tense for maybe having to go down again 3) not checking the time 4) I finally got it: The solution was to accept the situation as it was and act from there. I brought a few cushions and a blanket downstairs and laid down next to my dog. The need to get back to my bed was gone. The need to fall asleep “now” was gone. I could relax and follow my breath coming in, going out. I could send out calm vibes to my dog! I could pretend I was on a plane and accept that it was ok not to be super comfortable. I fell asleep in no time. I don’t know when 🙂
Wishing you well, and a good night’s sleep! Annette X