Is Bedtime a Nightmare?

As a child my bedroom was in the attic, and being from the north, we had a basement, which was where the only television in the house was located.  My mom would tuck me in every night and say, “g’night, I love you, sweet dreams,” to which I would reply, “g’night, I love you, sweet dreams,” to which she would reply, “g’night, I love you sweet dreams,” to which I would continue to yell at the top of my lungs until she made her way ALL the way down two flights of stairs and I could here the creak of the basement door open.  Bless her heart!  She would patiently play that game with me night after night after night.  Now screaming these words was probably ANYTHING but peaceful for my mother; the illustration demonstrates the significance of leaving the conscious world to enter the unconscious world of sleep filled with love and sweetness.  

As children it seems inherent for us to make bed time special, filled with all sorts of routines and rituals, bed time stories, lullaby’s, special blankets, stuffed animals, white noise makers or filled with the sounds of flutes and waves and crickets.  Yet, as adults we may have a tendency to make our departure from the day…..mundane, unceremonious, thoughtless, OR maybe so FULL of anxiety ridden thoughts that would turn any notion of ‘love’ and ‘sweet dreams’ right into a GHOULISH NIGHTMARE filled with enraged bosses, annoyed spouses, and tumultuous family members (and here comes *vikalpa!)  

As humans, one of our BASIC needs is sleep, yet this basic need, can be anything but basic.  For some of us, this time, alone, with ourselves and our thoughts can be terrifying and the inability to stop the thoughts can feel OVERWHELMING, like they are being hurled at us, one after the next from a faulty pitching machine in the batting cage of our mind.  On the contrary, we might use sleep in abundance, to disengage from our waking reality, when reality feels more like a nightmare, and you are tired of the characters, especially the main character, YOURSELF.

The quality of your existence is dependent upon the quality of your choices.  There is so much that we cannot control, BUT there is so much that we CAN.  We can choose to eat whole, organic foods, we can choose the company we keep (for the most part….we’ve all got that crazy aunt that’s going to show up unannounced wether she’s invited or not!), we can choose the cleanliness of our homes, we can choose the physical and mental disciplines that we practice on the daily, we can choose to create rituals around sleep and food and relationships.  We can even choose to continue to scream “I love you” all the way down to the basement, or maybe more appropriate and as my mother says to me now a days…..”all the way to the moon and back.”

*Read more about Vikalpa

Andrea Behler