The month is almost over and I haven’t yet wished you a Happy New Year. My apologies – pouring my words into book 3 (due for submission on 29th January) has left me a little stingy with my other precious commitments.
So now I’m wishing you a year of deep restoration and joy. It feels as if we need it – it’s been an intense start to the year and we need our sleep. Not just any sleep but sattvic or pure sleep. The sleep that replenishes on every level – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – so that we awaken with the energy for the Real Work of Life.
Life is messy. It can be tough and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. But it can also grace us with so many moments of joy – if we’re just prepared to notice them.
This is my favourite tree. I run along the river and often find myself standing underneath her – especially when life is challenging. She’s rather bare at the moment but still beautiful, still majestic. I lean against her trunk, imagine her deep roots and I feel comfort. I’ve also been reading ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ which has been a truly joyful experience. The magic and wonder of trees and of nature all around us.
Do you know that even trees sleep? Scientists in Austria, Finland and Hungary, using sophisticated infrared laser scanning techniques, have taken pictures of trees sleeping. Their results show that the whole tree droops during night and they measured position changes in leaves of up to 10 cm for trees with a height of about 5 metres.
To sleep deeply is a natural and innate ability that is encoded in the DNA of our trillions of cells and has survived many millennia of evolution.
But our sleep has become so worked on…measured, medicated and medicalised.
Pure sleep is an innate ability which follows an in-built rhythm that is in sync with all of nature around us – the periods of light and dark, the changing of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, the movement of tides. But we’ve become so displaced from our natural selves…
According to Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, we are of nature and we come from nature. When we return to our true nature, then we reclaim our innate ability to sleep as all of nature sleeps. But our world has become so fast and noisy, too-bright, and information-filled and this has muddied this natural tendency. We have become restless and sleepless, living on the surface of life, always sending our attention outwards.
It’s time to turn the TV off, put down our electronic devices and draw our attention inwards. It is time to send our roots deeper; to live life deeply so we can sleep more deeply.
And when we sleep deeply – the pure sattvic sleep that we need and deserve, then we will also start to notice and feel those moments of joy…even in the most mulchy of circumstances.
With deepest blessings for your year.