Why can’t I be kinder to myself when I need extra rest? Sure, I let myself take naps in the afternoon. And I’ll let myself sleep in on the weekend. But if I sleep past 11 a.m. guilt takes hold of me. It lives in my throat, tight and hot and I start to think thoughts about “wasting the day” and even “wasting my life.” It all swirls around inside of me, and less than 5 minutes after I’ve woken up I’ve convinced myself there’s no point in even trying to make anything of the day. Or my life. I am obviously a failure.
I want to be done. Done beating myself up for needing extra sleep. Whether it’s due to not enough sleep the night before, or too much sun, or maybe my body is going through a hormonal shift and it takes a lot of work, or I’m fighting the end of a lingering cold, or just too many days of doing life at full speed until all hours, or perhaps I have processing intense life events that just keep piling up like dirty laundry for weeks. And I a couple days to recuperate. A couple of days. To rest. And not be telling myself I’m wasting my life every twenty minutes on repeat.
I’m ready to tuck myself in with sweet bedtime stories and lullabies and the special pillow. I want to let myself luxuriate in repose. I want to let myself idle away an afternoon with a movie, or my markers, staring out the window, and yes, even scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for a while and not tell myself I should be unloading the dishwasher or going to the grocery store or writing a masterpiece blog post.
I’m ready to be able to say “I’m just not up for going out tonight” and stay home and watch bad TV and not tell myself I am wasting my life.
I’m ready for sweet, sacred, bountiful rest. I want to celebrate rest with cool showers after hot afternoon naps and watching Pollyanna for the first time in 30 years, in bed with ice cream and extra pillows. And not feel bad about it.
I’m ready to slip somewhere between meditation and sleep in a comfortable chair while flute music lulls my brain and incense gentles my surroundings. And then ask my tarot cards how I can good care of myself.
I’m ready to honor the ebb and flow of my every shifting energy, my wonky biorhythms, and my exhaustible adrenal glands.
I’m ready to build myself a nest, sprinkle it with rose water, fluff up my pillows and enter the dreamtime. To join the collective consciousness. To find the hidden messages, to live in archetypes and imagery, to fill my basket with lessons and memories from the dead and the not yet born.
I’m ready to sleep until I wake up and my eyelids don’t ache with heaviness, and my dreams don’t call me back. To wake at whatever time it happens to be when I wake and know that by letting myself fully rest, I am taking the best, most excellent care of myself that I can.
I’m ready to remember that I am worthy of this care, and that this kind of care allows me to do the beautiful, sacred, meaningful, joyful and important things that I want to do in this world. Like make my art and do the dishes.
When I am rested.