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One of my favorite quotes from A Course in Miracles is, “rest comes from waking, not from sleeping.” Isn’t that wonderful? It’s SO TRUE!!!
When I was much younger, I needed nine hours of sleep per night and if I didn’t get it I didn’t feel well and that really bothered me in so many ways.
First of all, I was often fearful that I wouldn’t get my full nine hours and then I wouldn’t feel well. I worried that if I got six or seven hours a couple of nights in a row, I would get sick. And of course, what you think about you bring about and I frequently got sick with colds and things like that.
My other worry was that I was wasting so much time sleeping when I could be doing much more productive things. I was wasting my life!! I had so much to do! My worth was based upon my doing and sleeping wasn’t doing and so my value was not being maximized! Oh, NO!!!!
The extra stress and worry about sleep weakened my immune system and made me even more susceptible to getting ill. Being sick was another huge waste of time. Oh, no!!!!
When I was in my mid-twenties, I even tried a sleep experiment. I tried sleeping 15 less every day to train myself to need only seven hours and I just ended up drinking a lot of coffee, feeling exhausted and, ultimately, getting sick.
What I’ve found over my fifty six years of living this life is that, it’s extremely valuable to honor the way our body operates and to work at the level of the mind to change things. The only way to make a truly positive and lasting change in anything is to be more loving. Love is our healer.
When I began to practice non-judgment with a deeper commitment and I began to really deepen my spiritual practice, I began to naturally need less and less sleep. I quickly went to needing only seven hours and many nights I only sleep for six hours.
Sometimes, I am working and traveling and only have time for three or four hours, five or six hours or not at all. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and know that I’m to pray for someone for several hours and then go back to sleep. I don’t ever feel less rested.
I’ve learned that spiritual practice restores. Rest comes from waking, not from sleeping. It’s wonderful to really know and apply this – it makes life so much easier! It takes the stress right out of sleeping or not sleeping.
I’m so grateful I no longer get stressed about sleeping or not sleeping. It’s such a relief! Which is exactly what spiritual practice brings – relief from suffering!
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