… we wouldn’t go to sleep each night if we weren’t willing to give ourselves over to the protection of the universal flow of energy and give up our human concerns in favor of the sleep of the innocent. Patrece on behalf of P Systems (PS52, Series 11, Week 21)
I love this idea linking innocence and courage (or at least an absence of fear) to sleep. Upon reflection, it makes sense to look at laying our head on the pillow each night in this way: trusting the universe enough to let go. We rest. We sleep. At least that’s the design: end a cycle, rest, begin again.
I’m blessed to sleep really well almost every night. It’s my practice to fall asleep in a sea of gratitude (actually, in my world it’s more like a dense forest of gratitude, or sometimes a prairie of gratitude grasses gently swaying in the breeze). I create this field by saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you for this day’ as soon as my head meets the pillow. Many nights that’s the last awareness that I have: feeling and expressing gratitude to me (for my choices, my learning, my body, my awareness, my care), to my environment (my home, Cool Hand Luke, nature’s beauty and her messages, the flora in these woods, the creatures who made their home here long before me – and who, mostly, graciously share), to the infinite Universe for its order underlying the chaos of this school, Planet Earth, and for the guides that gently support me along the way.
Sometimes I linger and make it through the entire list. Sometimes I chat with my body, reminding ‘it’ (that would of course be me) of its ability to guide me in showing what it needs as well as to heal. I tell it that I do my best to listen … and, that ultimately I’m in charge. The cells are listening and I want to make amends for any conflicting, contradictory, or confusing input I may have put forth during the day.
Ending a cycle, letting go is like that, offering a time for course correction and redirection. What a gift to stop, rest, and begin again.
In a world where we so often strive to control, it can be challenging to surrender to ‘the sleep of the innocent’. I love that phrase, don’t you? Take a moment to say it out loud to yourself. Give it a moment to sink in. When you lay your head on the pillow, imagine entering into that protected, sacred space. Trust that in sleep, as an important part of healthy living, you are protected.
I look to Luke for inspiration in this regard (he’s in the sleep of the innocent just behind my chair as my fingers fly across the keyboard). Ever alert and using all his senses when awake, he just as naturally and easily curls up and is fast asleep. Guru!
If you live in the camp of bragging that you don’t need much sleep, think again and do a bit of research on its importance. If sleep doesn’t come easily, begin to practice gratitude (‘count your blessings instead of sheep’ as an old song says) and gently remind yourself that in sleep, the protection of the Universe is yours. It IS safe to let go, end the cycle of this day, knowing that you will begin again tomorrow.