From Gratitude Girl Carolyn
This morning, like many others, I was awakened at 4am. It is not unusual in my experience over the past few years to be awakened at this early hour. What has changed is my reaction to my awakening.
Many times in the past I have resented the early wakefulness and I have worried that there was something wrong with my health, or worse yet my mind, when I have been awakened morning after morning at this unseemly hour. Sometimes I have laid in my bed, letting my ‘monkey mind’ take control. Swirling thoughts, uneasy meanderings through the dark hours before dawn have kept the sleep I craved at bay. And the more fixed I became upon that which was not present (sleep) the more elusive it became.
Sleep is one of those aspects of our lives that we seem to have little control over. It comes when it needs to come, but not always, and leaves us at its own pace. As I have gotten older it weaves its way through my night in erratic fashion. In and out, with no discernible pattern.
Yet, I have also discovered that if I give heed to the urgings I hear in these wakeful early morning moments, I can experience an uninterrupted conversation with my guides, or myself. The urgings usually encourage me to “get up, grab your pen, listen and write, here’s a good idea, hear this, write it down”. And in my reluctance to heed the urgings, I have in vain tried to coerce my body back to sleep. I have attempted to ignore the urgings. And usually, I am still awake and unsatisfied two hours later and exhausted with the struggle the next morning.
But what I have discovered, much to my astonishment and delight, is that when I just go ahead and get up in response to the urgings I hear in my head and grab a pen, or sit in meditation, or open my laptop and start typing, my wakefulness is easy, full and peaceful. It feels as if I am linked at this early hour to the more essential, more spiritual part of me. It feels like I have a more direct pathway to the creative essence of life. As if the blocks that I have erected during the day somehow fall in the midst of my sleeping and I am pulled awake by the forces that govern the universe. And they urge “get up, listen, write”.
When I follow the urgings, I usually meditate, listen and/or write for about an hour. And then, peacefully I am returned to sleep. But the sleep is different now. Now that I have honored the deeper urgings. I have listened, responded, given heed to my more basic nature, and my reward is insight and then restful slumber.
Interestingly enough, I began to respond to the urgings I heard to get up about a year ago. I tried to reason out why I was being urged to get up, to listen, to write in the middle of the night. And what I found was that my listening and writing, if I did it without resistance, seemed to be more clear, more rooted in spiritual essence than I experienced during my waking hours. I began to believe that, perhaps, I was finding a lost secret channel to my own connectedness.
Then, last month in Tricycle magazine, the cover article “Green Meditation”, was about the very phenomenon I had been experiencing. The author cited research that showed we drift from deep sleep into a semi-awakened state during our natural sleep cycles and when we are allowed to sleep in our most natural cycles, the periods of semi-wakefulness tend to allow (in the author’s estimation) a meditative access to deeper consciousness.
So, we can rest knowing that the half-waking cycles we have been worrying about are natural, peaceful and connected to our expanding consciousness. What a relief! So when you are lying half awake in the middle of the night, relax. It is all good. It’s all natural. And it is really something quite extraordinary. For that I am grateful. Namaste.