The Power Of Prayer For Many Things

I really suck at sleeping through the night.

My mind has difficulty completely shutting down so I tend to wake up frequently and very rarely feel rested. 

I think a lot of people have this problem and regardless of how much I read before I go to bed, how long my electronics are aways from me, how exhausted I might feel; it really doesn’t matter because a good night’s sleep is a very rare occurance.

Last night was particularly irritating because I couldn’t fall assleep either, which is not typically a problem for me, but I seriously tossed and turned for an hour thinking about who knows what, trying not to crawl out of my own skin.

Then I remembered the one useful tip I ever took from yoga.

(I personally don’t care for yoga and feel very much like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love when she was distracted by building her own yoga room, the entire duration of her meditation…ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I have trouble staying quiet.)

Anyway, this yoga teacher I met during one of my stays in treatment, told me to use this mantra, which sounded like a soothing lullaby, and gently press the tip of my thumb to each one of my fingers as I sung it in my hear or out loud in bed.

Apparently the combination of these two things was supposed to be calming, and one night out of desperation I tried it.

“Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…”

I methodically touched my fingers to one another and continued the verse for a few mintues.

That was all I remember because I fell assleep shortly after!

So that is definitely one trick I have been using to aid with my sleep issues recently, but the method I prefer most often is prayer.

I apologize to God almost daily because I typically fall asleep during my nighttime ritual, but speaking with my higher power is something I have done since I was a little girl.

When I started, sitting next to my Mimi after she read me a bedtime story, I had a standard prayer I said every night; “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

But now I tend to talk to the Lord as a friend, and I find it so calming it puts me to sleep.  (FYI, I found out God doesn’t really care when you pray, so sometimes I finish up in the morning, while taking a walk, driving, whenever…)

Perhaps it is because my mind is on happier things…not necessarily worrying about all the aspects of life I normally do in a day, but it is really comforting to confide in someone who I don’t feel is judging me in a negative way, and who accepts my faults as they are.

The reason I bring this up today is to serve as a reminder for me, that on nights when I wake at 3 am and cannot sleep, I do have skills that are positive and might do the trick to cure my insomnia. <—Last night I just spent an hour being annoyed and staring at my ceiling.

But also, and probably more importantly, to combat the New Year’s resolutions I am so sick of hearing about on TV.

Even my beloved Today Show harps on losing weight and exercising more as the best options for NY promises, and of course those are great, but there are other things people can adopt to improve upon, as well, and I feel like we, as a society, lose sight of them this time of year.

I won’t do the cliche New Year’s Resolution post and then recap it at the end of the month, and forget about it the other 11 months of the year, because I am hoping my aspirations stick for the rest of my life.

So instead of a resolution, I prefer to think of these as daily goals, for now, and then hopefully just good habits:

1. Continue improving my relationship with God, since it definitely fell by the way side in the depths of being sick.

2. Be a better family member, friend, and person.

3. Have more patience with people, my animals, and myself.

4. Volunteer more and appreciate the things I was blessed with, rather than being so mopey about things no one really cares about but me (um, poor body image should not be a reason to stay in my house all day and be sad…no, I should be thankful I still have mobility and use of a lot of my organs…)

I want to feel good about myself as a whole person, and a lot of why I was abusing my exterior was because I was not happy with my interior; where true beauty should lie.

I am not going to be one of those people who tells you appearance is not important, because let’s face it, in today’s world, it really doesn’t hurt to be attractive, but that means nothing if you are boring, mean, and miserable.

New Year, new me?

Not quite, but hopefully a better me 🙂

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Out Of The Box And A Fantastic Friday Giveaway!

I did it.

I tried yoga.

This may not sound like any significant feat but this is coming from the girl who said she would NEVER do yoga.

“It looks boring, my mind will never be able to shut off and actually get any benefit; it is not even a work out just a waste of time…”

I said all those things and more for as long as I can remember, even though every therapist, treatment center and friend has tried to get me to a class.

A few months ago I did kind of get the itch to make an attempt but the new thing that held me back was fear.

Shocker, right? Me…SCARED?!

I was so concerned that I would look like a fool that I avoided even the sessions where I knew the instructor, but I started reflecting upon past experiences; particularly ones where I was initially terrified, and realized none of those instances turned out so bad so perhaps yoga would be similar.

I have probably explained the cross-country ski story before, when my husband and I took our first getaway together, alone.

Neither of us had ever cross-country skied but we were in an old castle, where activities were included and the weekend we were there the mountain got hammered with snow.

Beautiful, fresh powder just waiting to be explored.

We did a group snow-shoe tour and thought it was ok, but not nearly as exhilarating as our bodies wanted, so Ryan suggested we grab 2 pair of skies.

Uh…

I was hesitant and wanted to say no at first, but since I obviously wanted to win his heart, the word, “SURE!” came out of my mouth before I even knew what I was doing.

After a few falls, you couldn’t part us from our new favorite winter sport. We spent HOURS on the trails taking in the scenery and just enjoying being together.

It was absolutely fabulous and one of our favorite memories of all time.

I tried to channel that experience when I asked my friend Brielle if she minded me coming along to her yoga studio.

I have to admit I was pretty excited all day.

I was stepping out of my box, which always makes me somewhat proud of myself, and I was getting to do it with someone I really like to be around.

The ninety minute aspect of the class intimidated me, but hey, I can do anything I put my mind to, and that is exactly what I did.

I tried to focus on my breathing, concentrate on correct form, and ultimately just BE.

I’ll tell you honestly, even thought the teacher asked us to look at ourselves in the mirror or use a reference point based on our reflection, I couldn’t do it.

I have a hard time with mirrors and I just couldn’t stare directly at my physique without looking away almost instantaneously.

Perhaps that’s my goal for next class because between that and actually lying still on my back, I found those components the MOST challenging of the entire hour and a half.

Overall the experience was fantastic; between the instructor being gentle, helpful and engaging, the studio having a very inviting feeling, spending time with a friend and actually FEELING my body rather than trying to completely disassociate from it, I definitely want to try it again.

Maybe even this weekend since my pass is good for 7 days 🙂

When I got home I was pretty darn exhausted, NEEDED a shower in the worst possible way, and was actually excited about snack.

Why?! Because I had ONE more Gnu Bar left and I threw it in the freezer before I left to enjoy with a little frozen Vanilla Chobani.

Peanut Butter Gnu, frozen Vanilla Cho mixed with some unsweetened vanilla Silk.

Yup, that is the snack of champions!

And guess what!?!

YOU CAN HAVE THAT SAME SNACK TOO!!!!

Ok well, I can give you the opportunity to have 1/3 of that snack, at least 😉

My awesome friends at Gnu foods would like to provide one of my readers with a 16 pack of their delectable bars!

All you have to do is:

“Like” Gnu Foods on Facebook.

Post a comment stating WHICH type of Gnu Bar you would most like to try. (This is a seriously tough question, I know!)

Gnu will then send the randomly selected winner their prize of which flavor they mentioned in their entry.

Easy, peasy, right?!

Winner will be announced next Wednesday during the WIAW post, so hurry up and enter!!!

Thank you Gnu for being such an awesome company!

Happy Friday, Friends!!!