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Posts Tagged ‘Sleep’

You must match your energy, your vibration, with that of the universe, bringing it to a higher frequency where it synchronizes with the object, person, or situation you require.”
Stephen Richards   

“Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.”   Lawrence Block

I have been laid up in bed, more than a little irritated at everything in general and myself in particular. It’s all a rather fruitless exercise. In other words, a glorious waste of time. What made it worse, at least so it seemed to me, was I lost my “mojo” or I thought I had, as a dear friend called it in her blog, “Lost your creative mojo?”.

The strange thing was, I couldn’t  sleep, at least not at night. As soon as the lights went out my eyes popped open and I felt like a proverbial owl, gazing steadfastly into the dark hoping for – well something to happen. Now, I’ve been in this little pickle before, and there is little use fighting it by counting sheep. All it succeeds in doing is putting me off lamb for a while. (Apologies to any vegetarians, but in actual fact I eat little meat anyway).

I had, over a period of many hours, used all of my meditation tapes, CD’s, chants, visualisation, and I wasn’t having any joy. So, I decided that I had to change tack. The very thing which was causing my nocturnal interruptus was going to be there in the morning and it wouldn’t let me rest until I made a decision. Yet making that decision was giving me a migraine and an ulcer. You’ve probably worked out that the “problem” was family oriented. It’s the one which usually causes the most angst.

Diversionary tactics were called for. After a decade I picked up my crochet and started that.  This in itself was a huge thing for me and was part of my ” 2013 Creative Challenge“. By itself it was a huge help and I enjoyed it immensely. The satisfaction of seeing this fragile mat take shape under my hands was uplifting. However, I was conscious of not overdoing it, since it has been more than a decade since I had been able to do anything, thanks to a ‘minor’ accident. This was my finished mat a few days ago. It has taken me two days to get it onto my blog….

One Pineapple mat - for Mum.

One Pineapple mat – for Mum.

After the crochet I went for my trusty Kindle and read until my eyes felt as though they were hanging out of my head on stalks. I’m quite sure I could have auditioned for a sci-fi movie without any prosthetics required. By this time I was feeling somewhat surreal, staggering around like someone who had been on a three-day bender and I hadn’t had a drop!

image from ereaders.venturebeat.com

I’ve managed to find a super little book light which makes reading at night a breeze. Once again, my accident over a decade ago had stopped me reading until late last year. My love affair with books has been rekindled… pardon the play on words.  Most of my books are heavy-duty tomes and I want to make sure that when I finally pick them up it’s not going to cause any problems. The Kindle has sorted that out beautifully. Once again, thanks to Ray.

Yet eventually, pounding headache, eyes hanging on dry stalks and a raging backache also put a stop to that. Then came the journal.  In my heyday it was called a diary… how’s that for dating things! I used to keep one regularly. Nearly slipped up and said religiously, but I don’t want to cause offense to anyone. Yes, you may detect that I am feeling lethargic, tired, slightly slow in the thinking department, in short all the signs and symptoms of the sleep deprived. Yet, despite that it served a tremendous service.

image from my.opera.com

As has my foray for a picture to break up my meandering. I’ve written volumes but haven’t thought to add pictures or any of my scribbled drawings before this.  My journal has now been given a new lease of life.  Each dawn I grab a few pictures as the world, down in Australia at least, wakes up.  I listen to the beautiful serenade from the rainforest birds and the general waking up of the local wildlife whilst I wind down. I do my final meditation of the ‘morning’ for everyone out there and then lay down again. In my own way I wind up my day/night with thoughts of the world and my prayers and wishes for a better day for everyone wherever they may be.

Perhaps that’s what causes the final flourish of the magic wand. After this meditation I drift off to sleep, only to wake two hours later in excruciating agony as all the muscles in my neck, head and back let me know they have seized up. My body has betrayed me yet again.

My dear, sweet, long-suffering husband, helps me to the bathroom, since I look like a question mark and he worries  about whether I can find my way there and back again and I am ensconced in the spare room, which has my old bedroom suite in it. I have learned that sleeping alone in a water bed when your back and so on are protesting, is not a good proposition. As I doze in two hourly increments throughout the day, he supplies me with tea, coffee, toast, all the supplements to help me and a strong arm to get me to the bathroom and back. My angel in truth.

So there we are. The three things which are keeping me semi sane: My Crochet, Kindle and Journal. Is that Synchronicity or Serendipity, I really can’t decide. Now the cotton wool filled brain appears to be letting up a little, I may have another string to my bow – my blog, which despite my challenge to myself to blog every other day, has gone awry this week. I don’t think the tapestry will make it into the bed as it may prove too uncomfortable for my husband. He is generous enough at sharing the bed with everything else. (I wonder if a puppy will have any luck?)

And,  there we have it. The reason for my absence. I have been thoroughly pumped at receiving my Award for my blog, and since I felt somewhat better, decided to let you know why I was MIA. I will try to stay on track, although a specialist appointment mid next week may throw me off. That, and my brothers, which is another topic for another day.

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image from duskyshadow.blogspot.com It’s hard to see the light when you feel oppressed by the darkness.

Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”   J.D. Stroube, Caged by Damnation

There are twelve days to go until Christmas and I have  begun to reflect on the past year.  It has been a crazy year, at times a crappy year, sometimes insanely fabulous, filled with enormous highs and unplumbed lows, this year more lows than highs it seems. There were times when I didn’t think I would make it and yet, underneath all that, I knew I had to, I had no choice. I have several very important reasons why failure is not an option, why the ongoing struggle must continue no matter what, and they are and have been constant for many years now, but I will admit it becomes harder and harder each time I feel knocked to the ground again.

Last Christmas I was in a state of total overwhelm.  I was trying to pack, look for a new place to live (at Christmas of all times), continue to work in a cramped space and get everything ready to produce that once a year treat, Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, lots of love and of course gifts.  There were difficulties with getting money paid which was owing to us, knowing that if it didn’t make it in time it wasn’t going to come through until well into the New Year.  The fact that it was a substantial amount, dragging on for months, didn’t make the situation easier to handle.   It was not an auspicious way to bring the New Year in, but I managed to keep that from everyone and we had a fabulous day. I simply collapsed after they left. A four-hour visit after a marathon effort – who decides if it’s worth the effort? Broke and needing to move, not able to physically move much, I questioned my sanity on a daily basis. Of course, there is much more to this story, many more things which added to the mounting stress, and there were times I felt I would have sold my soul to have someone to talk to. It’s all the other “stuff” left unsaid which pushed me to the brink.

image from christmas.lovetoknow.com The ultimate indulgence. I wonder what it is really like?

Of course, as my doctor warned me, stress and tension are no good for me – or anyone else, and my back was telling me just that, thanks to the car accidents I had  been involved in.  Movement of any kind was agonising, bands of intense pain lanced through me each time I moved. Even trying to rest in bed was impossible, since stillness simply allowed the muscles to seize completely. I questioned the sanity of continuing the struggle, disgusted with my ‘failure’ to overcome this obstacle, so I continually searched for some enlightenment or explanation which might help.  I was lost in a dense forest, dark and lonely and desperate for answers. I was drowning under the weight of the circumstances and exhausted from fighting to find a way forward.

image from deborahswift.blogspot.com It’s not the night which is dark, it’s the despair in your soul. The despair comes from the deep longing to find that light at the end of the tunnel.

I was planning my wedding, struggling with unpacking, trying to work and get all the arrangements in place for May. I had chosen my mothers birthday since she had passed away and I knew it would bring her closer to me at that time.  It is still a raw wound, one I have no idea how to begin to heal, my mother, my best friend, and when I believed I had finally found my corner of heaven she wasn’t here to share it with. Oh, I know, in spirit they were here, but their physical presence, the ability to talk things through with them….Time, a great healer I am told, is scant comfort.

Perhaps I’m too stubborn by nature but failure was not an option and I had no-one I could call on to help. In this day and age it seems strange to admit that. It was a beautiful day. My dress was all I could have hoped for, my daughter, as my attendant was beautiful and my son gave me away – looking so strong and tall. The groom and his son (best man) were just as resplendent, but then I am biased. It was the only highlight of my year.

Avalon Gardens

So what happened after that?  The ongoing struggle financially began to erode my self-confidence and despair crept in.  I found  the blog of someone I admire greatly and I took it to be a sign, the one I had been asking for. It became a challenge to read her blogs every day. How on earth did she manage to write every day I wondered when some days I couldn’t string together two coherent thoughts?

Some days I found it hard to get myself together before mid afternoon. What incentive was there to do otherwise?  I thought no-one would want to read my “dark and twisty’ thoughts, and they were all that consumed me, all that I could see.  I followed a gratitude challenge and kept going.  It had started to life that dark cloud and I was  grateful for all it was teaching me, mindfulness, being present, unconditional love, amazing insights each day. A way out of the dark labyrinth I thought.

I started blogging a long time later. It began as a challenge for me, since I didn’t believe I could do it, and ironically, I didn’t think anyone else would want to hear what I was saying.  I needed an outlet for what I was thinking and feeling. I was tired of the never-ending struggle to sleep, wake, find that motivation to do something, even an interest in doing something.  I needed to feel what I was doing was making a small difference somewhere, in some small way. It was an attempt to find the light inside me and share it with others. I’m not sure if I have been successful with that yet.

image from bloggergeeze.com The urge to blog

Christmas is so difficult. My father passed away on January 2nd and that last Christmas was so hard. Sitting by his bedside, alone at the end was something I will never forget.  Then, the cycle repeated with my mother and my last anchor was gone. Now, I had to be the sole “stanchion” in my family, for the sake of my children and my brothers. The cracks appeared. I could see them, feel them, but I had become very good at “painting on my face” and putting on a good front, papering over the cracks.  I was told I was “unemotional and cold” because I couldn’t cry at her funeral. My tears were dammed up inside.  They still are in large part. Perhaps the truth is that the dam is finally breaking under the strain.

So, once again, what happened to the fairytale?  So much and since it’s not just “my story” it makes it difficult knowing what to write. There is so much it would be another blog in itself.  Although it is a part of why I’ve lost my tenuous grasp on who I am and why I’m here. Whatever the reason I’ve slipped, my roller coaster has fallen off its rails and the forest has enmeshed me in its thorny bushes and if I cry I’m not sure I can stop.

Sometimes, honest people are hard to find, especially in the finance game.  Licensees can be pariahs and this one is withholding thousands of dollars. Money which was earned after a lot of hard work, money they take 10% off the top of and then almost $2000 a month for the privilege of being under their license. Why? Because they can under a pretext and here we are again, after a hard years exhausting work,  “on the bones of our asses” trying to find money just to pretend Christmas is still Christmas.  I’m not sure if we will even have anywhere to live after the next couple of weeks. I’m tired of the never ending struggle.

image from proactiveinvestors.com.au

I desperately need to hear another voice, someone to let me know I’m not really insane, we will “make it through the night”, but I’m terribly good at scaring people off.  I’m even better at not asking for help, a lesson someone taught me many years ago when I was young and impressionable and found that asking for help gave them the power to use that to hurt you more deeply that you thought possible.  Of course, the one person who matters most I can’t ask. Well I can and have but I knew the answer before it came.  I need an outside perspective, but is that possible? I don’t know the answer to that any longer either.

image from funnycutestuff.com Everyone needs a hug

At the end of the day we must, I must, believe in something. I choose to believe this!  And this is the closest I can come to my tenuous hold on life. I crave to feel the warmth and love from “my puppy”, to love unconditionally, who will always be there, always loving and never hurting. My last dog passed away at age 17 and a half.

My logical self is telling me this is the wrong time to post this. My heart tells me I have to. I apologise for the hopelessness I feel flowing from these words.  I hope someone out there is listening.

Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.  Karl Von Clausewitz

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dreaming lady

image courtesy of waking-up.org

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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I am so very grateful for my dreams as they bring me solutions I cannot find when I am awake and hopes and plans for the future I want to make.  They bring light and life, colour and hope when things seem dark and bleak. They reassure me that the morning will come and all things are possible to those who dream, even day dreamers.

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There are so many people who with absolute certainty, will tell you that they do not dream.  What they are really saying is that they do not remember their dreams. I’m certain of this because the sub conscious is never asleep, it continues to process everything which has happened, not only during the day just past but also from days long gone. As our subconscious tries to find solutions or explanations for whatever has occurred during that day, it draws on the vast store of information we have accumulated.

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Our bodies are amazing organisms. In the course of one hour, let alone one day, millions of processes are performed to enable us to do what we want or need to do.  The powerhouses of these processes are the heart and the brain. Without one the other cannot function, a brain without a heart dies, a heart without a brain, a breathing but unknowing organism.  Without dreams, we would go insane.  It’s like a master computer mainframe on a maintenance pattern,  if the backup is incomplete the computer malfunctions.  Not an analogy I like but it seems apt and accurate.

brain as a computer

image courtesy of shinyshiny.tv

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Tim Berners-Lee said: “Let’s use the internet as a giant brain”.  

So the idea is hardly new.

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So what happens when someone either cannot sleep or whose sleep is so interrupted they cannot reach that deep  rem pattern where dreams occur?  In extreme cases I’ve heard of people going insane.  Insomnia is the bane of modern society as the pressure of doing more in less time stresses so many that they lose the ability to relax.

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At present I almost envy those who are able to meditate easily, relax at will and sleep soundly with the peace of small  children.  I say almost because I realise envy is a useless emotion, gaining no-one anything.  Yet I cannot help but dream of finding out what it feels like to relax, meditate with ease and sleep the sleep of the innocent.

meditating in bliss

image courtesy of wedharma.com

This is one of my favourite pictures of someone blissfully meditating in a beautiful place. It’s one of the places “I go” to meditate and relax, or at least try to.  Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes it slips through my fingers like drops of water into a pond, unable to be held.

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Today I need my blissful retreat and have found only droplets of water trickling through my fingers.  It feels as though the “weight of the world” lies heavy on my shoulders and whilst I know this is an exaggeration, it is hard to find that “attitude of gratitude” I’ve been cultivating like a tender seedling for so long.  What disappoints me most is that it should disappear so easily. I will bounce back, I always do, and I will continue my gratitude journal since I have found so many more things I had previously not considered to be grateful for. This is a beautiful thing.

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“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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I am designing my order for a delightful dream. I will start it off before I fall asleep and my subconscious will embroider something far better than I could have imagined.  My “Dream Catcher”  hanging over my bed will keep those unsettling thoughts far away and tomorrow will be a bright, new and optimistic day.

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I look at the beautiful orchids my husband brought home for me, without words saying “I love you, I’m here for you and I will slay the dragons if they appear in your dreams”.  Love is such a wonderful and powerful gift. I have been truly blessed.

image courtesy of someone dreaming
image courtesy of  hweiming.com

“The appearance of things change according to the emotions and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty really are in ourselves”- Kahlil Gibran.

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unable to sleep

image courtesy of youngwivestales.wordpress.com

He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Clean Well Lighted Place

There is something so frustrating about not being able to go to sleep, or perhaps worse, continually waking after falling asleep. Either one will leave you feeling tired and irritable the next morning and there is nothing known (not that I know) which can give you back the lost hours of sleep.  I have counted sheep and found it totally irritating. I have warmed milk and sipped it. The effort of getting up and warming it has seemed to wake me even further.  I have decided to get up and read for a while until my eyes are heavy enough to close.  Feels successful until you lay down again and those eyes which are burning to remain closed and let you sleep, pop open once more.  In fact, frustration really doesn’t do the feeling justice.

The irony is, there isn’t always a reason for it happening.  Sometimes there will be a thorny problem which you cannot let go of and it runs around your brain seeking a way out. If only a door could be found it would be a wonderful way to exorcise that scenario!  However, this time there was a quite reasonable  explanation. Just as I was drifting off to sleep I heard what sounded like a loud crash, something rather substantial being broken, outside near the patio.

broken flower pot
image courtesy of noaz.blogspot.com

A search didn’t reveal too much, the lights don’t really cover the area very well. All appeared to be okay and I couldn’t see any stray cats, dogs or possums hiding in the corners, nor anything out-of-place.  Still, I could hear the possums cavorting across the roof the next time I laid down and had almost fallen asleep. Hmm – the likely culprits?  I love the little things, okay, perhaps not so little, and definitely not to be tangled with if you don’t want to be scratched or bitten, but cute all the  same.  They sounded, at times, like a herd of rampaging bull elephants charging over the roof.

We have tried to keep the branches  far enough away from the roof so they can’t easily get across, and have had a fair degree of success until last night. Obviously the foliage grew faster than our vigilance of the garden.  Since they were having fun and I was well and truly awake I decided I would try to get a nice photo of them.  Further frustration ensued. Even twisting myself into a human pretzel I couldn’t see over the roof to get a clear sight of them.  When they escaped into the trees they were too far away with my puny torch to light up the area where they were. I could see them but the light simply wasn’t enough for the camera.  So they sat there ‘laughing at me’.

ring tail possums in tree

image courtesy of timpanogos.wordpress.com

So, here I sit, wide awake, temporarily, since I can feel my energy levels finally running on empty, finishing my little tale of woe of broken sleep.  I would be delighted to watch possums or any other nighttime creature – before I go to bed!  We will have to fix the branches which allow them to gain access to the roof. I really don’t want them in the roof, or breaking the tiles, especially if we have rain forecast, as we currently do.  (Murphy’s Law).  Now that I think about it, – the brain is slowing down so sleep must be near – I wouldn’t be too keen on bats visiting me during the night either.  I’m not an avid bat fan even if I do like vampire movies.

So, since the ‘sun’ is up and the possums have retired, I’m heading to the land of nod for a few hours of well deserved sleep. Despite feeling tired I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a blessing seeing the animals around the property, and we have been blessed with a wide assortment of wildlife from birds, possums, owls, to a very quiet carpet snake.  Fortunately for me, he was much smaller than my friends resident carpet snake, who, after what may well have been a possum dinner, was so huge I doubt he could have retired to her ceiling where he normally lives.  I guess my luck was running good there!

So I hope all the slumberers from my neck of the world had a restful night and I wish all those on the other side of the world a restful night to come. Goodnight !

peaceful sleep
image courtesy of sleep.lovetoknow.com

“Arousing from the most profound of slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Yet in a second afterward, (so frail may that web have been) we remember not that we have dreamed.”

– from “The Pit and the Pendulum” Edgar Allan Poe

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