Saturday, January 10, 2009

An observation in the dark

3:00 a.m. If it's possible to truly dislike an hour of the day, this one gets my vote. I'm awake far too often at this hour. Is it my changing middle aged body clock? Is it habit? Is it just the delusion that I'm still young and can go without sleep without paying for it? I don't know.

I do know that this is a still and silent hour. Those are states that I normally embrace, but lately I've been running from them. I've always loved silence because in its emptiness, I heard what I needed to hear. Silence provided the conduit to creativity, to recharging my batteries, to connection with God/dess. Now, in the silence, I hear nothing but a squeaking treadmill of old, destructive thoughts. I'm convinced that escaping the contents of our minds is why we so often turn on the noise.

That distraction isn't working for me, and neither is silence. The challenge then is to find a new way to find what silence once gave me. I'm a creature of routine, an if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it kind of girl, and I don't want to admit that my silent ways of reaching my better self and my Creator are broken. I also wonder if even though I'm not turning on the noise, I'm still holding back from entering the silence.

One of my favorite meditation images has been floating in a beautiful pool of water. It's outdoors and surrounded by trees and other greenery. The temperature of both the air and the water are perfect, cool enough to be refreshing, warm enough to be soothing. There's a soft breeze, and it's blowing leaves onto the pool. Those leaves are my thoughts, and as they get closer to me, I gently blow them away until the water and I am still again. I think I've reversed the process. I'm inhaling, taking in and holding every thought, letting them choke me.

Through difficult times, I often have to remind myself to take a deep breath. Filling my lungs with fresh air gives my body part of its essential survival fuel. It's time to remember to exhale. Anything you hold onto either too long for the wrong reasons eventually turns stale and rots.

3:00 a.m. It's quiet and still, and I've been reminded to empty myself to renew myself. There has to be room for the silence to enter me. This night, this morning, this is an hour to enjoy.

This entry is cross posted at Sorting The Pieces.


alphawoman said...

I am awake at 3am also. What is whih that witching hour?? My mind fills with every fear I can muster up. I almost want to cry for sleep to return. I have a rosary that usually works until lately. I use to count backwards but that is boring! This past night I called to mind the bedroom of my youth and slowly re-discovered it. And sleep returned. The empty myself would be a relief, but I am unable to do it.

alphawoman said...

My fingers are not keeping up with my thoughts! ha! I meant "what is with.." and I meant "To emty..."


alphawoman said...

See I did it again!

JACKIE said...

Fot me, it's five am. Too early to get up,unless it's high summer and you can go outside and chase weeds. And too late to go down good deep into sleep. Just right for you mind to chase it's tail. Arghh!

Lisa :-] said...

Happily, I don't find myself awake at that hour too much lately. I may wake up five or six times a night, but I can generally throw off the covers, wait out the hot flash and go back to sleep.

I like your observation about inhaling, but keeping stuff inside too long. I know I do that...