Some of you will know this however, for those of you who I have only just met or do not get to see very often or at all, you wouldn’t know that for the past five years I have been chronically sleep deprived. It started off with the birth of little M who was a really crappy sleeper for for the first two years of his life. When M turned two I was pregnant with my third son. I have been effectively a stay at home mum for the past five years. I have loved every minute of it. However, because I haven’t always had time pressures or cognitive pressures to ‘perform at my best’ at a formal/paid place of employment, I have been able to get away with functioning at sub par level.
Over the past five years, my switch-off-contemplative-time to myself became very narrowed and limited having a teenager, a toddler and a newborn. Up through the night with the little one’s, awake early in the mornings when they wake up and then engaged in conversation and listening to the demands of a teenager when he returns home from his shifts at his part-time job at nights. Somewhere in that mix I started to crave the hours between 10pm and 1pm to myself. Awake and being creative and left free to let my mind wander and contemplate…to re-center myself and reconnect with me. This time before midnight, the most effective restorative sleep time for the body, I have been using to recover or retain my mind, lol!
Over the past 5 years I have felt very focused on being there for my children, however I have also needed something for myself, to replace the work role, the need to feed my mind and soul. I have had the opportunity to reconnect with that creative place in me that we all have but are often shut off from. But what I haven’t had is the luxury of time. I have had small snippets of time during the day or weekends when hubby is home, but mostly I have had to use the time when the rest of the country is asleep. I have produced a lot of wonderful things during this time, however the greatest gift from staying awake to all hours was something I could never have anticipated.
Inadvertantly, I had/have subjected myself to an extended period of chronic sleep deprivation. A kind of accidental science and social experiment on myself. I have functioned and interacted through my day, in the normal world on the fringes of an altered reality. Outwardly, for all intents and purposes I have looked like any other mother going about her day. Inwardly, it has been a very different story. You see, when you become and stay sleep deprived, your view of life and other people become vastly altered. Your perspective shifts, you think differently, you actually have a whole different group of thoughts that pop in out and through your mind. Your filters drop away. All your goodness and all your shadow aspects come out to play. They interact with your world. If you are an active social media interacter as I am on Facebook, there is NO filter at times between your automatic shifting thoughts, your keyboard with that of your reader…your family, friends, customers and acquaintances. There is a REAL inherent risk here. Some might say that I have at times bordered on social suicide on Facebook, some view it that I have shared pearls of wisdom, some view it that I am a bit whacko-the-diddilo or just quirky and some will just judge in whatever way their own filter is hanging at that point in time. Do I care? Does it bother me that I have perhaps committed social suicide to my own Facebook profile? No…not really. I used to think that I should care because in the past I was all about approval. Not wishing to upset others, wanting everyone to like me. Now I am clear for myself on the fact that Facebook, social media, the computer as a portal into the ego mind, is never going to be a true, well rounded portrayal to people of what makes me, me. See, as humans we are all too busy thinking about ourselves within our small radar of local world about us. We are always making assumptions about what other people think of us. We can never know what somebodies take on us is from one minute to the next. The saying, ‘what others think of me is none of my business’ is so apt, so true and it should be. The ONLY person’s view that matters in all of this is ours…in what we think about ourselves. Are we a good person? Are our intentions honest, well meaning and kind? Are we mindful enough to learn new perspectives about ourselves? Facebook for me is a limited platform for interaction, but whatever interacting I do, I mean for it to be raw, authentic and real. Some people will not like the ‘me’ that is interpreted from their end of the screen. I am okay with that.
I am planning a new social science experiment on myself in the coming weeks. It’s the polar opposite of what I have been doing so stay tuned…could get interesting…might not too. It could be really boring, lol!
Suffice to say that this trippy trip over the past five years has been very illuminating. This past week of not getting to bed before 1am every night and only having 5 hours sleep when I am a 8 to 9 hrs + kind a girl, has brought it to a head for me.
We are what we think. Our reality is created by the quality of our thoughts. We need to be very strict with ourselves on which thoughts we permit to give air time to and the one’s we decide are no good for us, we need to quickly examine them, learn about them…from them and then cast them off. We can choose to feel good at any given moment by choosing self loving thoughts. Those self loving thoughts then translate into loving thoughts and then loving actions towards others. This then becomes self fulfilling and creates a life joyful of living. I have seen the worst of me in the past few years and it’s not so bad. I am good, kind and loving. I realize that my shadow aspects are only stemming from earlier, deep seated fears based on thoughts I interpreted and placed meaning on as a young child. When those fears are pricked, I used to react. Now, if I’ve had a good sleep, no one can rattle my chain. I have the power not to let them. It’s all in our thoughts and a good nights sleep!