shedding habits

ponies in sweatersRecently 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
photo credit

8 thoughts on “shedding habits

  1. Just a suggestion…I keep a sport bottle of filtered water on my nightstand to avoid getting up at night. This way I can fall back asleep quite easily.
    Sweet dreams!


  2. Hon I’m slacking. I gave you the Liebster Award last week actually and am just now getting to tell you. I was told we could skip the rules in this one so I didn’t post any rules. If you want to follow them…..tell 11 things about yourself. 💚


    1. Thanks very much, and these awards take way too much time, so I prefer not to get them. And you are not the slacker–(hanging head) I completely forgot. But for you:
      Favorite dogs: Irish wolfhounds and Scottish deerhounds
      Favorite books: memoir
      Favorite treat: dark chocolate with sea salt
      Favorite starch: parsnips
      Favorite ice cream: Breyers mint chelate chip ice cream
      Passion: writing
      I’m a compensating introvert–can tolerate being with people pretty well, but then need quiet time alone to recoup.
      I live in black jeans
      And comfortable clogs
      I’m generally too cold and wear long underwear
      I lost eight pounds in January doing Whole30!
      #12 I have been happily married for 23.5 years


      1. I absolutely agree with your favorite books, treat, ice cream, and I too have a passion for writing and often wear black jeans (am now, in fact). Compensating introvert – never heard that term, but yep… me too. 8 pounds down – well, maybe in February… It’s great to discover your blog.
        I’ve got an idea for your shoulders. (Check our our website at

        Blessings and hugs, Tricia Clark-McDowell


  3. Susan or Jock Wright

    body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}WordPress.comDo you remember Miss Brestel suggesting that we were a bag of sand and she’d snip off a corner so that the san would gradually slide out? I still try that sometimes but now I’ll try shedding roles! Thanks for the suggestion By the way we are /have moved to San Diego. Jock deals with the moving van today but I fly to Berkeley to be with Becca who just had her second son, Wesley. Yes, I know we will see each other soon because of visiting Becca -but this time I have to get to SD asap when Becca no longer needs me,. Reunion for sure!Love, Snoo


    1. Hi Snoo! Closer, nice! Safe travels.
      I won’t be at reunion because of all things, I have meetings that conflict. I’m disappointed by that, but so it is.

      Yes, Berkeley is only an hour away. Came to the warmth, eh?
      Lots of love,


  4. That’s good advice, I might try the layers approach. I keep my cushion and mat near the bed and meditate before bed most nights to do much the same. I remind myself that the day’s activity is over and for better or worse there’s nothing more I can accomplish – so let it go. It does lead to generally better sleep.


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