I have a night-time routine.
Around 10pm it's bunny bedtime. If we're running late on giving the bunnies their bedtime treat, refreshing their hay and cleaning out their litter trays... well... rest assured little Forrest will come over to gently remind us.
After the bunnies are fed, watered and settled for the night, we head to bed ourselves. Every night for a number of months now I plug-in when I go to sleep. I plug-in to a selection of visual meditations that I listen to on repeat while I sleep.
At some stage during the night I then waken up for a few seconds, at which point I turn my meditations off and go right back to sleep for the rest of the night.
That's the normal routine. And it works pretty well most of the time as I waken up in the morning feeling calm and ready for the day.
But last night didn't follow the normal routine.
Everything was going as it usually does until I woke around 1am to turn my meditations off. Only this time my mind started to go into free-fall:
"...What am I doing? ...What if I've made a mistake? ...What if I fail? ...What if no-one likes me?"
You see I recently closed down my skincare business. And it went really smoothly. I had expected to struggle to sell my remaining products. I had expected that I would grieve at coming to the end of a business I'd had for a number of years. But that just never happened. Instead all my products sold out in a matter of days. And when I finally closed the doors and started the transition to my new life, I could feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders.
But that all changed last night.
All of a sudden at 1am, 'reality' kicked in. And I didn't know how to stop my mind free-falling and plummeting towards the abyss.
All of a sudden I started to question the sensibility of my recent decisions.
Even though the Universe gave me some really clear signs that it was supporting my decision to close my business and move forward, to let go of an energy that had been dragging me down for quite some time but which I was too afraid to let go of, to finally say 'no' to struggling and feeling I wasn't moving forward. Even though I knew I had done the right thing, at 1am it's difficult to make sense of everything, and things always look so dark and scary.
In the past I've gone through spells of sleepless nights, resulting from one anxiety or another (though mostly money worries). And it's horrible. You lie there in the dark all alone, not knowing how to shut down your over-active and very pessimistic night-time thoughts. Sometimes I would go into our spare room to read to try to quiet the voices of negativity and doubt in my head because the more I lay in my own bed, the more fidgety and irritable I would get until sleep would become a distant memory.
Last night, however, I did something different.
I knew I couldn't retreat to our spare room because it's being used by my husband as a make-shift greenhouse for his latest batch of seedling plants (it may be late Spring, almost summer, but it's still too cold outside for young plants to survive). In other words, it's like a sauna in there! I never have the option of moving to the living room as the bunnies sleep there and don't like to be disturbed during the night (it frightens them and I think it unfair to disturb them). So I had no option but to stay in bed and 'ride it out'.
As I lay there, I decided to, this time, see if I could do anything that would enable me to get to sleep. So I started off by focusing on my breath. I would breathe slowly in and slowly out, right into my belly, so I could begin to relax my body and, hopefully, my mind. After a short while, my body started to relax but nothing could relax my somersaulting and noisy monkey mind.
So I decided to turn my focus to the angels.
I chose not to go down the route of panic that my mind was encouraging me to follow. Rather I tried to remain calm and I asked the angels "will I be okay?" repeatedly. Asking the question in my head gave me something to focus on and started to quiet the ramblings of my panicked mind. At the same time I kept seeing the word "trust" in my mind's eye. And I took that as a comforting message from the angels and my spiritual team.
I'm not sure how long this all lasted, it couldn't have been too long, but eventually I felt more relaxed and just asked the angels to let sleep takeover for the rest of the night. And, before I realised what had happened, I was asleep until morning.
Why share this with you?
Well, I guess I want to share with you that we're all similar. Our worries may be different but inevitably we all go through times when, in the darkness of the early hours, we lose our sleep to worry, panic and a mind that just won't quiet.
And I want to share with you a tool I have discovered that successfully calmed my body (through breathing) and began to quiet my mind (through connecting with the angels) so I could slide back into sleep without spending the rest of the night awake, and leaving the next day feeling like I was wading through mud.
As for today? Well I have the same energy and focus as I did yesterday, after a full night's sleep. So I feel my new-found tools worked and I got the sleep my body (and mind) needed.