Sleep and Shoulds

Sleep and Shoulds

I’m writing this at 3:30 AM on a Tuesday morning. The reality of the situation is this: I woke up at 2:00 AM, and being unable to fall back asleep, did my Reiki self-treatment. When I was finished, I was still alert and aware. And now I sit at my desk, writing.

So, what stories can I tell about these facts?


One story is that this morning I am suffering from insomnia. My sleep is disturbed by a restless mind and racing heart – cortisol is flooding my system and my adrenals are forcing me awake. Because of this attack against myself, BY myself, I will have a miserable day – tired, desperately seeking caffeine, unfathomably grumpy by day’s end. As a life coach, I’m obviously not very good, because I can’t even relax enough to fall back asleep. There’s no way I’ve gotten enough sleep already, and my body is simply punishing me for something – a negative outlook, fears about my business, stresses of motherhood. The fact that Reiki did not relax me into unconsciousness means that I am terrible at Reiki. The fact that after almost 10 years of contemplative practice, I was unable to calm my monkey mind means that I am a failure when it comes to meditation.

In short, I am a failure, and not only am I going to suffer through my entire Tuesday, I am probably going to fail in my business as a life coach and Reiki practitioner, as well as in my spiritual life as a Christian.

Is there another story I can tell?

YES! As I lay in bed, praying, doing Reiki, and listening to the calm, slow breathing of my 2 cats and sweet husband, I thought of another story.

Once upon a time there was a woman who was playing big. She created retreats for women to come be safe and laugh together. She brought hope, love, and new ideas to individuals who needed transformation but didn’t know where to go. She created a world where she got to spend as much time as she wanted with her daughter, a world where she was able to create a warm comfortable home for her husband, and a career that fulfilled her deepest longings and highest hopes. She was constantly learning new skills and practicing her craft: the craft of listening, healing, and encouraging. She overcame huge obstacles, and instead of hiding her struggles, brought them into the open so her life could be a story of hope for others. And one night, her body got all the rest it needed by 2:00 AM. Her spirit was ready to go, ready to start a new day of bringing light and hope and love to the world. Her inner critic tried to stop her, telling her that she “should” sleep another 4 hours, warning her of dire results if she failed. But instead, she listened to her inner mentor, the Holy Spirit within her. And she got up.

Which story do you like the best?

I’ve been reframing my personal stories for years now. It is by far the skill which brings me the most joy and freedom in my life. And as you can see, it’s not about denying reality. My head is not in the sand!

I can teach you this skill.

Are you ready to look at the stories you’re telling? Are you ready for freedom? Come to my September Retreat, and learn how to escape the “shoulds” in your head by re-telling the story of your life.


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