Lately I've had alot coming my way all at once. I wasn't getting around to processing everything during the day.One way it showed up is waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulty getting back to sleep. Some challenging feelings were getting touched, then thinking, conscious breathing, hand on my heart, other hand on my belly, soothing, reassuring myself. Still awake...
After three or four night of this I decided it was time to make a change.
Here's how I'm making a new pattern:
1. Before going to bed I got myself up and onto my yoga mat. Seriously, this was the hardest part of what I'll describe. It could have been on the rug, or Pilates mat. It could be something else that helps your body digest the experiences of the day.
Get up - mobilize - do something
2. Then I let my body tell me how it needed to unwind and release any places of too much thinking in my day. Explore some super simple movements that you know are safe. Choose ones that are calming, not energizing for this time of day, but that help you connect with yourself. It might feel nice to gently lengthen your low back, or freely move your arms and shoulders.
3. Next I paused and let myself feel what it was like to settle back into my body.
Incorporate one pause or pause often. Pause before starting; pause between movements; pause when you transition from standing to being on the floor.
4. Really pause when you pause. Don't be on to the next thing already. Stop. Notice this present moment. Thoughts, sensations, longings, concerns, all of it.
Where do I notice relaxation in my body? Relax and feel that peace inside. For 1 or 2 or 3 breaths.
5. At the end I followed a simple way of breathing. I sat up and made the exhale deeper than the inhale. For me, about 1/3 deeper. It calms the rhythms of the heart, steadies the mind.
Breathe in. When you breathe out, make the exhalation last longer. At night I might breathe in to a count of 4 or 5, breathe out to a count of 8. The ratio (length of your counting) in and out should be comfortable. If you effort it may have an energizing effect instead of soothing.
Then get thee to sleep and rest well.
I'd love to hear how this works (or if it does,) and please share your remedies for sleepless nights.