Sleep, Play, Glove: Baby Knows Best

We must attend to ourselves, like a babe in arms. Babies are super tough in their own way. They take in SO much, put out so much, & are instinctively wired for sleep… & play. Growing like weeds, we pull on the garden gloves to tend the field; rubber gloves to clean up spills; oven mitts to protect from burns; & Kid Gloves for loving care. In any scenario, the cycle of life seems to be: Approach & retreat, rinse & repeat.

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These days, our baby within gets no respect. In the U.S., for instance, our Protestant work ethic coupled with a greater divide between rich & poor has spread far & wide. This is making life unbearable for lots of folks including actual babies, & children of all ages. With the unprecedented pressure cooker we live in, all age groups are starved for a break. The new crop of burgeoning adults, our teenagers, are especially at risk. They are sorely lacking in this department, at the time they need it most. The older crop is burning at both ends & also needs a dowsing of downtime.

There is no substitute for sweet slumber. For example check out All Things Considered featuring Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, professor of neurosurgery, discussing how it is that our brain cleanses itself while we are asleep. Sleep is mighty. It is highly underestimated & undervalued in our so-called ‘modern’ society. This is counter-intuitive, given how critical it is for the regeneration & repair that we so desperately need, & that cannot happen unless we are in a sleep state. This is relevant, no matter our age. Sadly, many of us are so out of balance that we can’t even give into it if we try &/or are so deprived of it that we literally, & figuratively, risk falling asleep at the wheel. Getting through the day without stimulants? Unheard of. Getting through the night without relaxants? Unheard of. I worry about us, collectively, as a species.

For we humans quality AND quantity of sleep has been, & still is, a non-negotiable requisite for survival. Check out the TED Radio Hour featuring a discussion of Psychologist Abraham Mazlo’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. According to Mazlo’s hierarchy, sleep is the most important survival basic (for memory, judgement, immune system, physiology, & protection against infection, to name a few). Surprisingly, it is usually the first thing to be sacrificed, with subsequent bragging rights. There’s a certain status that comes with being so busy that one doesn’t have time for such lazing about. Some of us have no choice but to stock our shelves with multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Whether we’re trying to stay ahead or just keep up with the race, it’s a problem that doesn’t discriminate. Rich or poor, sick or well, young or old, we must find a way to achieve some sort of balance, even if it’s just 5 minutes 3x a day to ‘hit pause & set refresh’, in any small way we can. Stop, stretch & stare out the window (not at your phone). Enjoy a tall drink of water. Nibble a handful of protein. Close your eyes & go to that happy place in your mind’s eye. (I’ve heard it’s just as valuable as physically being there). Take a walk around the block. Dawdle, or doodle. The more balance we achieve during the day, the better off we’ll be in bed, when it comes to rising & setting.

Doesn’t my doodle just scream, “Creative Play”?? LOL.

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In addition to sleep, nothing can replace the release we get from uninhibited fun & creative expression, which of course varies based on one’s idea of such. Nothing can replace a hearty serving of divested downtime (a.k.a., wild abandon), where there is no agenda, no pressure, competition or restraint. Nothing can replace the freedom of oft overlooked SIMPLE PLAYTIME. It doesn’t have to be messy, OR neat. It’s whatever constitutes a comfortable digression from your normal routine. The point is to lose one’s self in fun & creative play that disengages us from stress & engages a unique part of our brain. Playful fun is a state of mind with which you approach the mundane. It doesn’t have do be formal. It can be spontaneous…dancing around the living room in your pajamas; making a joke or hearing one & having a good belly laugh; goofing around with your kids or your pets in the backyard. This process of loosening our grip actually improves our sanity, helping us to be better problem solvers & to be more ‘productive’ in the long run…in all those other ways upon which society demands/requires. Check out what Sociologist Christine Carter had to say on Forum with Michael Krasny, discussing her new book The Sweet Spot ~ High Productivity & Low Stress.

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The Universe projected itself into my not-so-clean back porch, with a smiling rainbow. 

So no worries… Creatures of habit that we are, I’m here to pass along the Encouragement Reminder: Today’s the day to Re-Create! It’s never too late to reconfigure. You are still being productive even while you’re down (for a nap) & out (playing). Life is a juggling act, for sure. This chef cautions you to feed yourself by focusing on just one plate at a time. Many dishes, one plate. As I always say, everyone’s circumstance is different & everything has its time & place in the big scheme of things. In that vein, honor creativity as your life-blood, your birthright. It’s the spice that makes life palatable, & extra-ordinary. So season well, with gusto. Try new taste sensations. Carve out a little space & go ahead…play with your food! Don’t waste it.

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with wild abandon or not at all. ~ Harriet Van Horne

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The Creative Force is the Source. Don’t outsource your Force!

The importance of rest & recreation is especially true if you are in the process of deep-healing, &/or other life transitions. As a Fundamental Field® Therapist, I see this in my Energy-Balancing Bodywork practice all the time. I share the opinion that stress & its effect really is our primary downfall. Check out Stressful Lives: Components, Causes & Solutions, from the website of my mentor, Dr. Richard Metz. I’ve learned to honor & encourage rest & recreation in myself & others, ways both solitary & social. When one is experiencing deep-healing & major life changes, personal energy reserves & coping capabilities are at risk. If you are in such a state, an individually tailored energy evaluation/session is recommended, for extra support & nurturance as well efficiency! I know that there are many contributing & complex factors regarding these topics, that’s why I don’t usually give blanket advice. But sometimes we just need a blanket, not a total remodel. It’s empowering to be a do-it-yourselfer. Therefore, I came up with my first test-case of blanket assessment & advice, as follows.

As with our deep-seated issues, most surface strain can be attributed to issues of excess &/or depletion.  I’ve noticed that when clients come to me presenting with everyday stress, I tend to concentrate on Fundamental Field reflex points on the head & feet which usually have to do with Ether & Fire elements in the Positive Pole (Conscious Mind), as well as in the Negative Pole (emotional warehouse of the Unconscious Mind). In addition to other qualities, these energies have to do with physical & psychological interaction, boundaries, order & organization. In addition, I work  Air in the Negative Pole which has to do with speed, mental acuity/support, & the immune system. I usually gravitate towards working Ether, Water & Earth elements in the Negative Pole to connect clients with relaxed creative expression & play. In addition to other qualities, these energies have to do with expansiveness, self-expression, flowing yet grounded. Stress & work-a-day life is especially depleting to these & all energy centers, on top of whatever other life issues (chronic or acute) with which we make be dealing.

Since this is such a common problem I came up with an antidote, two mini-treatment Protocols for you to sample. Self-care is not selfish.  Just as the common example of the flight attendant who says in their safety talk as you’re preparing for takeoff…the best way to come to the aid of others, especially our dependents (pets included), is to help ourselves first. We set the standard & relieve them of taking on the needs projected by our unbalanced energies. Thus, when we interact with others, we are better able to address their needs from our own more balanced state. The following recipe for self-care is designed to help you deal with stress, thus inducing sleep/relaxation, which feeds back to foster your creativity. If it doesn’t put you to sleep it should help you feel more relaxed, in compensation for its lack; &/or it may address deeper issues behind your surface stress.

So here we go:

Ideally the 1st Protocol would be completed ~2 hours before the 2nd. You can do it while meditating, listening to music, watching TV, or my favorite…while steaming in the tub.

If you’re unable to do the 1st Protocol ~2 hours in advance of the 2nd, you can squeeze it in sooner. The least amount of pause would be 5 minutes, between the end of the 1st Protocol & start of the 2nd Protocol.

If you can’t do both Protocols, at least do the 2nd, which can be repeated throughout the night/day, if necessary.

Ok, I think we’ve covered all contingencies. Lol…

 1st Self-Care Protocol: Pre-Bedtime (Hold each step for at least 30 seconds):

  1. Place palm of right hand vertically between eyes, while left hand held to throat.
  2. Grasp left index finger with right hand.
  3. Grasp right index finger with left hand. 
  4. Ideally you would do this one while sitting cross-legged yoga-style:  Simultaneously clasp together, & grasp, big & index toes on each foot with hand of opposite side (i.e., right hand to left foot, left hand to right foot).  If you can’t manage that, an alternative would be to reach for & contact one set of toes at a time with one hand, while contacting forehead with the other. To do so: Lay down with knees bent (or sit in a chair cross-legged), clasp together & grasp left side big & index toes (with left hand), while placing palm of right hand vertically between eyes. Repeat with other side. Each side for 30 seconds, or so.
  5. With palms of hands, simultaneously massage sides of head at temples, circling up & forward.
  6. With fingertips, simultaneously rub temples slowly up & down.
  7. With fingerpads, simultaneously hold temples gently still. 
  8. Place palm of right hand vertically between eyes, with left hand over belly button.
  9. Simultaneously place index fingers inside ears, thumbs clasped behind ear lobes, with remaining middle, ring & pinky fingers resting at each temple.

2nd Self-Care Protocol: At-Bedtime (Hold each step for 30 sec, or as you like):

  1. Place palm of right hand vertically between eyes, while palm of left hand to throat.
  2. With palms of hands, simultaneously massage sides of head at temples, circling up & forward. 
  3. With fingertips, simultaneously rub temples slowly up & down.
  4. With fingerpads, simultaneously hold temples gently still. 
  5. Simultaneously place index fingers inside ears, thumbs clasped behind ear lobes, with remaining middle, ring & pinky fingers resting at each temple.

Most of us have trouble turning the off switch on our obsessive thoughts. If you’re struggling with this, try focusing on body sensations as you move through the steps; &/or the stillness between your eyes where the energies of the spiritual & physical body ‘meet & greet’. Deep breaths will come naturally as the subtle energies move & balance. If they don’t come naturally, it wouldn’t hurt to coax it a bit…

While taking an inward breath you can say to yourself, “Breath is Life. Yay, Breath is Life.” On the outward breath, “Breath is Life. Breath ends all Strife. 

The Key is to not force anything. (Now there’s some blanket advice for you). 🙂

If you’re already on sleep medication or supplements, I recommend taking them about a half hour before you administer the shorter bedtime Protocol. For best results, follow the entire recipe with consistency for at least 1 week before reaching an initial verdict. Please do let me know if you experience a shift, or not. I’m interested in any constructive feedback you may have. (Of course you realize that this is not a substitute for medical advice from your own doctor, rather a suggestion based on my own knowledge & experience).

*And in case you didn’t notice, the title for this post was chosen in homage to one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert & her book:

Eat, Pray, Love.

(Last edited 8/21/16)

About The Spirited Soul

Valuing The Creative Force In All Its Expression: Arts & Culture, Personal Growth & Healing. Offering Advanced Energy Medicine: Tailored Sessions Honoring Each Uniquely Spirited Soul.
This entry was posted in Holistic Healing Life-Energy, Maggie Begley Energetic Evaluation & Bodywork and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sleep, Play, Glove: Baby Knows Best

  1. This post has been edited since the original post date in May, & again in September, based on feedback. Thank you!

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