Hi all!!!! Hope you are doing ok and finding ways to connect with others for support as well as fun. I have heard so many people say they are waking up in the middle of the night, their mind racing and they are having trouble falling back to sleep.
I wanted to share three tools that have helped me get back to sleep. Whether it was marital stress, pregnant hormone sleepless nights, baby brain, having teenagers or menopause, these tools have worked for me. The first one is from my childhood and it still works!!!
1. When you wake up and your mind is off and running lay on your back and close your eyes. Start at your feet. Squeeze only your feet. As hard as you can, hold your breath for a count of 10 (if you can) or 5 and build up. Then release. Move up to just your knees. Isolate and squeeze just your knees. I know it is hard to squeeze just your knees. That is part of the mental challenge, isolating your muscles. Continue isolating each part of your body. Your calves, quads, hamstrings, stomach, chest, hands, bicep, shoulders, neck, face muscles etc. When you have done the whole body part by part then inhale and squeeze the whole body, really tight, hold the breath, count. Release. Do the whole body 3 times. You should be exhausted and relaxed physically. Let yourself drift back to sleep.
2. The second way works for me if I have a specific worry, a worry that has been with me for some time and when it pops in it, likes to take over. I physically get up. Sit on my meditation cushion and do a meditation for 3, 7 or 11 minutes. I am usually ready to easily go back to sleep after that. You can use either of the recent meditations I have shared. The one for the negative mind or the one for the heart. I have used both for middle of the night mental clearing! You will find the negative mind meditation at the end of the yoga class that is attached to this email (we are on day 14 of the practice as of this newsletter). Jump in and join us if you haven’t already.
Do it. Just start! Try to do it everyday!!!! I promise you it is a habit that will serve you for the rest of your life. The meditation for expanding your heart and protection and projection is posted on my Instagram on my IGtv. If you need help finding it please reach out.
3. The third thing that helps me get back to sleep is to write. Keep your journal next to your bed so you don’t have to run around looking for it. Just get it all out on the paper. Everything that is flooding your mind. It doesn’t need to make sense or look good on the paper. Just cough it all up as we say in coaching. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation. Just let it be stream of consciousness. Whew, it will feel good. You will feel so much lighter and ready to drift back off.
Here’s to better sleep. It is so important. It is fundamental for mental health. We need to rest our mind and body so we stay healthy. Sending you all love.
I know I have said it before but there has never been a more important time to be able to master your thoughts. The only thing we can control is what is going on in our own head. We must take this opportunity, being shut in, to truly go inside ourselves.
Even when things go back to “normal” the ripple effect from the current events will last possibly forever. A new “normal” is being born. Paradigms are shifting in education, healthcare, financial institutions, the environment, politics . . . things that have needed a shift for decades are now going to shift and we must begin with ourselves.
If it is challenging for you to do the meditation that is in the class I taught (posted on home page). Then just do it for one min. A few times a day. Try to build your ability to sit muscle. To focus on your breath. This calms the nervous system down. It calms the amygdala, the primitive part of your brain. Now is the time to uncover and dig deep into your brain to discover those parts that we haven’t tapped into yet. Evolution is screaming at us to evolve, to evolve past the caveman way of thinking into a greater capacity. It starts with just simply being willing to do this. To sit. To bring your right hand into the palm of your left hand at your heart center. To look into your palms. To inhale through your nose bringing in with that inhale all the fear, your negative, catastrophic thoughts and then blowing them out with the exhale through your mouth.
It is like taking your garbage to the curb. If you throw away all your trash but never take it to the curb it will just overflow in your house. All your trash cans will be overflowing. You have to take it to the curb. Here, you have to bring in all those thoughts so you can blow them out. If you keep them hiding, they will grow and get louder.
It is a practice. Not time consuming but something that needs doing every day. Repetition is the key. Just like we have to tell our kids thousands of times before they get it. Our brains are the same. They have been operating like this for thousands of years. We need to practice every day. Small steps, small bits of time but every day!
Life is all things. Good and bad. Up and down. Light and dark. Gorgeous and ugly. It must be so. With everything exists the equal and opposite. The good news about that is that if it is rough going you know the other side to the situation exists. So within all this chaos and turmoil there is calm and quiet.
When we were in Florida it was 85 degrees and when we flew into Los Angeles is was raining. Somewhere it is sunny and somewhere it is raining. Our job is to be able to pull back from the micro to the macro . . . so we can see the situation from above. That enables us to look at it for what it is, maybe see both sides, then choose the way to go. This past weekend when we were traveling back from Florida during the rather chaotic Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to wear a mask. As we drove up to the rental car return we started seeing a lot of people with masks and it was very crowded. We unloaded the car, got our stuff ready to go and I put the mask on. It was very strange. Hiding most of my face it felt very uncomfortable. I like to connect with people as I pass by. I smile or give eye contact. I always have. While I was wearing the mask people wouldn’t look me in the eye or they would and it would be a judgmental glare.
Wow!!! I was shocked. Oh, I wanted to take it off because I didn’t like what I thought people were thinking -- how is that for monkey minded people-pleasing. Risking catching some cold or something because I was worried people were judging me. Wow. I left it on. Took a breath and told myself it was none of my business what they thought of it.
Then I had a question for the airline check in person. As I approached her, she too gave me that look but I just continued on. Excuse me, could I ask you a question? She laughed, “if you get rid of your mask” I was kind of shocked and then started to defend it, “I am wearing it because I am immune compromised and I have . . .” I stopped and realized I didn’t need to defend my choice to wear a mask. I plodded on. I got over it and was grateful to have it as I witnessed so many people coughing.
My take away was to extend even more compassion, kindness and love for those all around us. People are scared and stressed. Most people are helpful and share the same needs: to be safe and healthy. When you see people in masks and you form opinions please remember that everyone is doing the best they can and trying, hopefully, to be smart, safe and stay healthy. On the other side of fear is strength.
For some great tips and tools to help get you through: sign up for the Mom summit. It starts today and it's five days of really helpful presentation -- my presentation is on Wednesday and: "Keeping it simple. Ways to manage your monkey mind with meditation and action." Join here.
And the group coaching membership is starting soon!!! Join in. It will be an amazing way to use this time of isolation and quarantine to breakthrough the fear and jump into our strength, to get coached by me, supported and have community.
The times we are in call for much greater mental discipline. Not less fun or more seriousness which we often think of with discipline. No, I mean mental focus. To keep what is important to us, what we hold sacred (which is unique to each of us) at the forefront of our mind. The reason for this is to not allow the waves of pandemic thinking to take us over. This age of too much information.
The old days of just turning the TV off are over. Information is almost unstoppable. So what to do about that? What can you control? Only your mind. That is the challenge of this time. To do whatever it takes to keep us healthy, mentally and physically and to not be swept off into news, fake or otherwise. Get educated. Yes. Research. Yes. And then shut it down. Close it. Get outside. Connect to what is real. There is a tree, dirt, flowers, snow, sticks and weeds. Please do something to neutralize the energy that is swirling around this planet; the virus, politics, the hate and fighting, the racism, the sexism, the climate crisis and more. Sit and simply breath. Take even one minute when you wake up to focus on your breath. Listen to it. Feel it. Be grateful for it. The more you do this, the easier it will be to redirect your mind when something hits you, an unstoppable piece of information. This is the times we are living in. Mastering your mind has never been more crucial.
Happy Tuesday. Let us rise above the frequency that is swirling so we can see it for what it is. Then we can consciously act and not react. Love you all!!!
When you have this beautiful, juicy idea that you really want to work on what stops you from doing it? That awesome idea is a dream, a thought creation. It is what we call in coaching, “visionary reality”. When we work on bringing it into the physical reality that is where the rubber meets the road. That is where the effort and challenges happen and that is where we can just stop.
Thoughts like this pop up:
Ugh, maybe it isn’t meant to be
This is too hard
I can’t do this
I don’t know how to do this
How will I ever do this
It will take too long
It might never happen so why try.
Looks ridiculous when you list it out but feels so real when it is happening in your brain. So, what can we do to step through this frustration, resignation, or cynicism?
Go girl go!!!!!!
Happy Tuesday !!!
Courtney Gebhart, Life Coach, Kundalini Yoga teacher, and Human Being.