In a TED talk called How to Make Stress your Friend, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal cites studies that demonstrate that believing stress is bad for you is actually worse for you, than having stress itself.
So, it feels pretty important to be curious about: what might this mean for our relationship to sleep?
When we look at all the well-meaning sleep hype right now –
the sleep revolution, the products, tips, tricks, hacks, gadgets and measurement tools, and all the latest studies about how important it is, and how bad it is for us to lose it –
it seems highly likely and even critical that how we think about sleep, what we believe about sleep – the way we language and speak about it – impacts our experience of it.
What if you could allow your experience to be an invitation, an invocation, a fresh conversation with sleep?
Remember the Power and Soul of sleep – a universal natural heritage –
This magic, the soul of sleep, embodies Grace –
it doesn’t require achieving anything.
No performance pressure, no attachment to outcome.
It’s the part of you outside of linear time, space and logic…beyond definition
This is a practice of returning to your larger, deeper Self as your #1 authority…
All humans experience multi-dimensional tiredness,
built into natural rhythms and creative cycles…
but often we are taught to fight that.
What’s possible if we don’t?
Human beings, impacted more than ever before by bright lights, screens of every description, excessive stimulation and information, cultural and digital timing that clashes with natural bio-rhythms, systems of oppression that relentlessly tie self worth to external appearances and productivity…tend to be radically and chronically under-rested.
Collectively, we carry a massive rest and sleep debt that mirrors the economic/planetary energy crisis and the unsustainable insanity of constant, perpetual growth.
Think for a moment now about our communities.
If each of us is not well rested, how can our families, cities, countries be at their best? What decisions are being made on a health, finance, environmental, relational and political level by people who desperately need to slow the f*** down, maybe take a nap?!
Now back up even more.
This planet that we are blessed to call home aches for us to notice the magnitude of our artificial buzz and burnout.
The stars that cannot be seen, and the plants and animals that are negatively impacted thanks to excessive, unnecessary junk light are calling – can you hear them wish for us to take back the night, and our natural birthright of free, wild rest and sleep?
The fullness and magic of rest, sleep and dreaming – the multi-dimensional, deep nourishment to us individually, for communities and for our planet is truly under-utilized and mis-perceived.
How can something so natural, so innate and essential to our well being on so many levels – become so mechanical, or an ‘enemy’, or viewed as ‘lazy’ or worse, a waste of time?
Waking-centric culture can tend to robotically over-emphasize the spiritual role of ‘waking up’, missing the soulful wisdom that awaits us through the deep waters of sleep.
It reminds me of chemicals being sprayed on dandelions and other wild foods and medicines seen as ‘weeds’ – when in fact they are more potent, powerful and life affirming than most people could possibly dream up!
Anxiety and sleeplessness
are stealing from this land
that used to be
A wild and pathless place to rest,
A secret forest of repair,
A private lake of restoration,
A hidden place of refuge to restore
within the wild diversity
of restful sleep and dream.
Now ecosystems of our sleeping cycles are destroyed,
and disrespect for rest
the rhythms of sleep.
Addiction to the wakeful states
denies all reparation,
distances from wisdom
and disconnects from dream. ~ Uma Dinsmore Tuli
The work I offer operates as a messenger for the healing mystery of rest, sleep and dreaming.
This generally involves embodied practice, writing, education, recording artistry, mentoring, and intuition.
I also create visceral, direct experience sonic sleep tonic in the form of guided Yoga Nidra, as well as other liminal space meditations and invocations that are designed to be a portal to imagination, and a healthy downward/inward spiral that offers an embodied experience of liberation – like “trust falls” with the universe. 😊
My rest and sleep tracks are rather beloved on the popular world-wide community meditation app, Insight Timer.
Interestingly, the most popular one, “Yoga Nidra for Sleep” was recorded over 11 years ago in a small closet, and I never dreamed more than some of my local students and clients would hear it. Now, it has been heard around the world many multiple million times!
I specialize in inviting magic from ‘down’ states and different flavors of tired, helping people widen their rest and sleep horizons, restoring their place in natural rhythms, honoring tired-ness and exhaustion as a sacred doorway into depth and love.
All my work re-connects individuals to that power, and offers potent, quiet gateways into the receptive genius that comes uniquely through turning on regenerative rest-and-digest powers.
Helping humans slow down and feel not just permission to rest, but whole-hearted celebration and integration of rest – is one of the things I am most devoted to.
I expand upon this work through my signature 10 day micro-learning course, “Your Guide to Deeper Sleep”, which, despite its micro-approach, begins to go beyond the usual externally guided practices into uncommon sleep education, communication and deep trust with your inner guidance.
I also support people one on one virtually from all over the world.
My purpose is not only to help humans rest and sleep better in service of individual well-being and the renewable energy it bestows, but also for the collective ‘positive climate change’ it creates, and the global cooling anti-inflammatory medicine it spreads…for ALL beings. 🙂
Rest and sleep challenges are not just an individual problem – we arrive at this exploration not only with our own personal stress, but also the impact of ancestral trauma and collective suffering, environmental and animal degradation, systems of oppression and colonization, in our bodies.
Dominant culture likes to pretend that we can rest in peace when we’re ‘dead’.
But how do we know death is only about that?! Why not rest in peace – NOW?