scared to sleep

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I’ve not been sleeping well recently. It’s certainly related to the 21 different beds I’ve slept in – or tried to sleep in – over the past 12 weeks. Granted, that’s all part of the glorious adventure that is my life right now. But for a very light sleeper, what might sound like a glamorous travel schedule is starting to feel more like a relentless forced march.

By the way, I’m completely aware that “I’ve been travelling so much I can’t sleep and it’s starting to get tiring” encapsulates a lovely set of #firstworldproblems. And still, there I am – awake in the early hours of the morning, listening to the clanking of my nervous system as it churns bravely on, way past both our bedtimes.

As I sat with it this afternoon, I felt past the cover story of “I’m more sensitive now and the city is intense and it’s keeping me awake at night”. While all that is probably true, it’s not the root cause. What I could feel deeper down, beneath that story, is real terror at the prospect of fully relaxing – either into sleep or (especially) into the embrace of my soul. The fear is held in my body and my nervous system… and it’s only partly conscious.

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It feels like an iceberg, with the majority of its bulk concealed beneath freezing blue water.

This may simply be a new layer of some very old physical trauma working its way to the surface of my psyche. I’m trying not to formulate a story about it, because it’s not necessary to understand this fear in order for it to leave my system. I just need to take the first step, which is to acknowledge it – see it clearly, feel its presence and allow it to be here.

I’m only now starting to realise how strongly my instinctual responses urge me to do the opposite. After a lifetime of using distraction to deny and turn away from fear, this feels like the important work for me right now… deceptively simple and far from easy, but powerfully effective. Just noticing that parts of me are even scared to sleep – and letting Her hold all of us, as we lie awake together.

7 Comments

    • Your honesty gave me chills – actual goose bumps all over my body. Thank you so much for this! Your courage has been an enormous inspiration to me since the very beginning of our retreat. And the bags and dark circles under my eyes today are an empathetic nod to your lack of sleep. Sending you lots of love and wishes for sweet dreams…or enough sleep to get to dream.

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  1. s_k_84 says

    Oh that pesky fear iceberg B!!
    Maybe that’s one good thing about the glaciers of the world melting – it’s energetically encouraging us to do the same with our very own. Love love xx

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