Recently a friend was describing to me how he invites sleep after he lies down in bed. He thinks of each of the roles that he has in life, and then imagines casting them off, like “habits” or clothing. My image is of shedding the apparent personality, so the ease of pure awareness can shine through.
The moment I lie down, my mind jumps into activity–either chewing on this or that, or considering some aspect of writing that I’m working on. Over the past seven years or so, I don’t fall asleep nearly as easily as I did when I was younger. For the last few months, I’ve had to go to sleep on my back–my least favorite sleeping position–to ease the stress on my painful shoulders. Sometimes sleep evades me for a couple of hours. So I decided to give this habit-shedding a try.
Some of my daily roles are woman, wife, mother, real estate agent, writer–these are the hats that I take on and off throughout the day. For the last week, as soon as I settle down prone, I visualize pulling off layers of these roles, returning to the simplicity of no-thing, to the truth of what we are. Occasionally a habit seems to stick, and I have to pull it off more than once.
Amazingly, I’ve been falling asleep within five or ten minutes, and sleeping a solid six hours without waking. I get up, toddle out to have a glass of filtered water, and return for another couple of hours of sleep.
Yet another way to return to the home ground that we never leave. Gratefulness abounds.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013