I’m writing this in the quiet of the night. One would think that the silence of an island would enable one to sleep longer but this has not been my experience. Wide awake after only four or five hours of sleep is becoming my normal.
At first I fight it, “Just go back to sleep” I tell myself. But when this doesn’t work I simply get up and go about my time as though it were really morning. I’ve learned to run with this ‘awakeness’.
I’ve always been able to gauge low-grade depression through my sleeping patterns. When I was young and working as a baker with very early mornings I was much the same way as now, needing only a half-dozen hours of sleep at most.
Some years later as I became less congruent and authentic in how I was living life I found it more and more difficult to get out of bed each morning. When what I wanted and what I was doing was in discrepancy I slept and slept.
Sleep has proven a very useful barometer of how truthful I am in my inner core. When I am engaged in activity that is peripheral to my true purpose I become tired and lethargic in my spirit and I sleep so much more. When I am living out of my purposeful core, in authenticity about my life, I sleep less.
During some of my worst years sleep was a drug. If I could sleep longer my days would be shorter. Less boredom, less frustration, less sorrow; there is less of everything when we sleep our lives away. In contrast, living out of my inner core my body resonates excitement and purpose and I no longer need sleep as a drug.
My body tells me what I need to know about my life and the way I am living it. Our bodies, after all, know what we do not know. The internal state of our hearts and minds shows through in our bodies if we will just take the time to listen and learn to read what our bodies are telling us.