Jasper Doest:Natural History Museum

I had a really beautiful breakthrough recently.

I was having a hard time falling asleep. Although I had gone to bed around 11pm, it was now well past 2am. I had allowed myself to think about schedules, dreams, relationship issues, health issues and even thought about some of the cable shows I love to watch. But sleep was still being elusive.

It dawned on me that I was becoming more and more agitated as the night wore on. My whole body was restless. If my body could say “UGH” it would have.

I was fully immersed in the experience of not being able to fall asleep.

But then in a flash of insight and surrender, I thought, “Why am I forcing myself to lie here when my body and mind clearly don’t want to? Let me listen.” As I listened, the first thing my body wanted to do was the cobra pose, a back stretching yoga pose. I did it 3 times, right there in bed. It helped to release some of the agitation. Then I did the child’s pose, draping my chest over my folded legs and resting my forehead on the bed. It seemed to restore a sense of cohesiveness within me.

I continued to watch and listen to my body and thoughts. I saw that my mind had become crystal clear and was in deep repose. I was amazed.

My mind, now unshackled from the force of my will to go to sleep, was absolutely still and as beautiful as a full moon on a clear night. I loved being in that energy.

I sat up and allowed myself to be present to the profound realization that I didn’t have to sleep because it was night time. I didn’t have to be worried about getting enough sleep or that I would be exhausted the following day. Instead, I could choose to be awake. Not just in the sleep sense, but in terms of consciousness.

Being awake that night in that way has opened a door within my being. I saw that even though I live my life according to my own rules, (I am an entrepreneur after all!) there are still pockets of my life where the old programming creeps in.

Looking back at my life, it is pretty easy to spot the origins of the programming. It went something like this from the start of the day: “Wake up, you have to get ready for school.” To ringing bells at the beginning and end of each class, recess and lunch times. To the final refrain of the day from parents, “Time to go to sleep”

Very rarely did any of those rhythms fit in with my rhythms. What happens to our own inner clocks? Our knowing of the right time for us to eat, rest, play or sleep?

Let’s be honest here, time is a precious commodity. Wouldn’t you rather use it in a way that makes you feel connected, happy and fulfilled? Isn’t it yours to use?

For quite some time I have been working on reestablishing my relationship with time and the freedoms it creates. Some days it feels like I am swimming against the current of collective timekeeping that I’ve internalized over almost five decades eg it’s midday, time to eat. It’s nighttime, it’s time to sleep.

And on other days, it feels like I am edging further and further away from society’s ideas of what I should do with my time. I allow myself to feel the freedom a full 24 hours can offer when not brimming with schedules and obligations of when to eat, work, sleep.

I am consciously breaking apart an outdated code, not just when it comes to time but also when it comes to conversations about success, goals, love, living and dying. I feel like I am in this grand experiment that posits the idea that once I am in tune with my own internal clock, feelings, and wisdom, I will experience more of the beauty of this life.

I have made a promising start and I continue to experience a tranquility and clarity that I am going to say stems from being in-sync with myself, staying true to my values and timelines.

This week, if you find yourself unable to sleep or restless, take a moment to listen to what your inner clock is saying and what you are yearning for most in that moment. Then give it to yourself.

Happy travels.

Have you broken out of some habitual way of you seeing yourself or life recently? What changes did you make? Are there pockets of your life that feel out of synch with you? What does your own rhythm/clock feel like?

Please share your story and insights with us in the comments below. If you would like to have an eye opening, code breaking conversation with me, click here to set up a time. In the meantime, enjoy your days, nights, hours, minutes, they belong to you and are your precious resource.

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