Trying to get to sleep as a parent

Trying to get to sleep as a parent

I had one heck of an insight last night that I wanted to share with you.

Sleep is important. We are parents – its really really important, precious and easily stolen. Usually it is our children yelling in the middle of the night for water/food/hugs/toilet/monster-catching that keep us from our precious slumber. But not always. Those quiet peaceful nights, when not is peep is heard, it is our minds that are keeping us awake. They may be replaying an argument from the day, going over the to-do list, figuring out a work problem, or even going over a movie plot line (just how did he get out of the spooky cabin in time??).

Before last night, my counsel would have been: just realise it is your thinking and that its not real. Feel the yummy duvet and pillow, know where you are and drift off to sleep. The problem with that is that we have a tendency of treating our mind like a toddler, and tell it to calm down and quieten down whilst trying to mentally push unwanted thoughts away. That sorta works. Sorta.

Last night I had a real break through that I am going to attempt to put into words (note: attempt).

I was thinking about a particularly yucky TV series scene (too gory to discuss – and yes, I am going to stop watching it now!). I realised what I was doing and tried to stop thinking about it. Then I realised that by trying to stop thinking about it meant I believed the thought to be real! Not the movie scene (a lot of red dye and sugar gunk must have been involved!) but the actual thought. The thought seemed real enough to try to make it go away. But it was just a memory of something that wasn’t real in the first place! How ridiculous! Then I didn’t need to dismiss it, as I could see straight though the thoughts, which didn’t need to go anywhere as they had totally lost their grip on my mind.

The only thing close to explaining what this is like is the new smart glass, that turns from transparent to opaque at the flick of a switch (see film below). The nature of our minds is to be clear. This is the transparent glass with the power turned off (hint: it looks like normal glass). When a troubling thought has a grip on our mind, it is like someone has turned the power on, and the glass is now cloudy. My mind was cloudy (and full of gore) last night. Then, when I had this insight into the nature of my thoughts, the power was turned off and my mind returned to clarity. And I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face!

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