My 5-year-old recently asked me to read her a book that turns out, belonged to my husband when he was a kid (that explains the yellowed pages). In the book, There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer, a little boy tells us how he handled the nightmare in his closet.
The boy was afraid to even look at his closet, but one night, he decided to get rid of the nightmare once and for all.
The boy shot the nightmare, who began to cry. The nightmare wouldn't stop crying, so the boy took him by the hand and tucked him into bed.
And the nightmare stopped crying and fell asleep next to the boy.
Of course, I couldn't help but see the parallels between the boy's nightmare and the thoughts that keep us up at night. And just like the story, when we fight and struggle with our fears and think they shouldn't be there, they persist and get louder.
In Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach, refers to the "dragons" in our minds:
Women have always known how to deal with the dragons hiding under beds or lurking in closets. We turn on the lights and reassure worried souls with love. We need to slay the dragons in our minds the same way.
So instead of trying to get rid of your worries & fears, get to know the nightmares and dragons who are just doing their job. Shine your flashlight on those thoughts and see them for what they are: words and pictures in your mind. Love and thank your mind for being normal in its endless production of worries. Show yourself compassion for caring about your life and the people in it. Then the dragons won't bother you as much. Then the nightmares will fall asleep. And so can you.
What keeps you up at night? Is it money worries? Work stress? Feeling like you are wasting time? Relationship problems? Uncertainty? Not knowing what career to pursue? Too much to do? Over-analyzing the day's interactions and wishing you could change what you said or did?
I really want to know because I want to use my coaching knowledge & experience to help us all sleep better. Comments welcome below or here on Facebook.