Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A Meditation on Sleep

Sleep is a precious commodity these days, especially since Sam went into a bed and is no longer content to lie in his cot until I lift him out. A little voice pipes up outside my bedroom door, "Mummy I want to go downstairs" at approximately 5.45 every morning.

I don't mind, I love being woken up by this amazing little person but sometimes I am so tired and grumpy that it is quite a struggle to deal with such a ball of energy so early in the day.

Part of the deal of being single parent means I get to do this every day without respite. Very very occasionally my Dad will get up with Sam and let me lie in but this amounts to a few times every year. I do get to stay at other people's houses or even once in a while in a B&B or hotel, so I really can't complain. I am very lucky.

There are times when it is hard to catch up and sleep deprivation kicks in and recently I have been going out of my mind with tiredness. Any parent will tell you what this is like- and there is nothing like it.

My tutor suggested getting an alarm clock and gradually setting it later and later to train Sam into getting up at 7am, and I am going to give this a try. I tend to think that this is a phase that will change as the seasons do but there is no harm in helping him along a little bit. After all he's going to be waking up to an alarm clock soon enough, more's the pity. Makes me think of the t-shirt I saw with the slogun: "Alarm clocks kill dreams". I am very much a 'slow and steady wins the race' sort of person about this kind of stuff.

Last Friday, after a night at the cinema seeing Inception (I could have drifted off half way through the overly-complex plot but stopped myself), I stood outside the car park which was closed at midnight and swore at the top of my lungs out of pure tiredness and frustration...I blame the overly-long Hollywood blockbuster!

So, by arrangement with my Dad, this morning I got to lie in and he took Sam to nursery. I got to sleep in my own bed until mid morning, only disturbed by the next door neighbour choosing this morning, of all mornings, to mow his lawn.

A good night's sleep these days feels thirst-quenching. I feel rehydrated. I can see better, concentrate and be more focused and productive. I am more patient and happier. Not quite such a cantankerous old bag as usual.

Of course, this wonderful state of affairs is about to slide away but all in a good cause. Preparations for my 40th birthday are being made and I am very excited.

Strangely, and unusally, I have been having some sleepless nights because of nightmares as well as Sam's early starts. No doubt these have compounded the sleep depriavtion symptoms. I think it might be adrenalin. There is so much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks that the anticipation is keeping me awake!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Love is a Verb

I spent one day at the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury. This year the theme was the Goddess as Lover. I returned, as ever, from that place with plenty of food for thought.

The two quotes below are from the article Love, Self and Sacrifice by Stephen Howard MD:

"To care for one’s self is to care for one’s capacity to encounter, to connect, and to love. The impoverished self can love only poorly, while genuine love flows from the nurtured self. When I am tending to myself and not being sacrificial, I can choose to give. Then my giving is an act of generosity and love, springing from a full heart."

"Love is customarily thought of as a feeling. But feelings are in the area of emotion, and if we relate to someone only emotionally then we relate as partial persons. Loving is an act, an act of the whole person, of the self, encountering and connecting and committing.
When we speak of encounter, of love and spirit, many of us speak of God. It can only be the self, the fully experiencing person, which connects with such a God. If God’s primary manifestation in the world is love, then for the self which is full and nurtured love indeed is boundless. The limits of nurturing and of our own spiritual capacities can be exhausted; love itself is inexhaustible."