Bring on the sheep….

Today’s post was going to be a conversation about something quite different, but given I am open to writing about what shows up, it now seems far more appropriate to write about the nourishment of sleep.

This is top of mind because this household is deprived and therefore fairly undernourished this week. The dog has ears full of very itchy hair (the sorry plight of a schnauzer), my other half is on some kind of odd sleep pattern due to recent projects and workload and I, who can normally sleep anywhere at pretty much anytime, through anything, am now suffering intermittent sleep patterns; primarily due to the constant floor drumming of a scratching dog!

So to rectify this, the dog has just returned from an ear pluck at the vets and Marc is planning some physical exertion in the garden later on today and I feel I will benefit from both…

But what other methods might help?

I have been taught in my meditation studies that for optimum recharging it is recommended that we sleep with our heads to the north so we are in alignment with the electromagnetic field of the earth and that we should lie on our right sides to minimize pressure on our hearts so it doesn’t have to pump so hard… you can read all about it in Joel and Michelle Levy’s book ‘Simple Meditation and relaxation’, however facing north and remembering to lie on my right side just doesn’t sound so simple so this is when I turn to self-hypnosis.

I actually lightly hypnotized a friend in a hotel lobby the other day…not because I was abusing the training but because she was very keen to know if she could be hypnotized (she could..). Frankly most people can, it is all about ‘suggestion’ and if you have ever watched a great film, been really into it and believed in the characters and shared their emotions, you are already very open to the power of suggestion.

This brings me to the concept of counting sheep. It works, but there are nuances that vary its efficacy. Hypnotherapist C. Roy Hunter has a variance that goes as follows; firstly he believes in counting backwards instead of forward, and feels that you can imagine the numbers anyway you want, actually printed on the sheep (or any other animal of your choice, our dog would surely choose bunnies), or maybe the numbers have a friendly character in their own right as they jump that fence, pass you by, or fade into the distance. He then states that at the point where you feel yourself ‘drift’ you can either ‘help or hinder’ sleep, so here is the recommendation….get comfortable, take three very DEEP breaths and continue to breathe deeply as you use words similar to these….

“As I count backward from 100, one number per breath, my mind just wishes to drift off to sleep…100..(take a deep breath)……………..
I can imagine seeing or hearing each number just before I say it to myself…99…(take a deep breath)
As I imagine this peaceful place with pleasant sights and sounds and feelings the numbers start to get farther away………………………98…(take a deep breath)
As the numbers get smaller and smaller I get sleepier and sleepier………………97..(take a deep breath)
My mind starts wandering as I wander closer to the realm of deep sleep, getting sleepy.. ………..96…..(take a deep breath)
The more my mind wanders the sleepier I get………….. and my mind wanders away from remembering the numbers………………………95…(take a deep breath)
The numbers are easier to forget..or difficult to remember…and I get sleepier and sleepier……………….94…(take a deep breath)
When I forget the last number, or skip the next number or repeat a number, it doubles my drowsiness……………… #….(take a deep breath)
If I take two breaths between numbers or forget to remember a number my mind just wants to go to sleep……… #…(take a deep breath)
The numbers are getting farther, smaller… deeper and deeper into my sleep…………next #…(take a deep breath)
I try to stay with the numbers but my mind wants to wander… or drift…and wander… to sleep…next #…(take a deep breath)”

If you are still awake at this point take two deep breaths between numbers but apparently it is incredibly rare for anyone who is lying comfortably and breathing deeply to get to the last number when following this kind of suggestive script.

I can hear some nay sayers amongst you now worring about having to learn this script… and what I say to you is that it is the ‘essence and suggestion’ of the script that is important, so just read it through a couple of times and try it… well not right now….it would be nice if you finished reading this post!

Here come the words of caution… some sleeping conditions have physical causes, so if you have a ‘knowing’ that might be true for you go see a physician now and stop the suffering. If you are already on medication for insomnia also talk to your physician to educate yourself on how self-hypnosis may or not work for you BEFORE trying it!

So tonight, depending on the result of the ear pluck and the likelihood of the laptop actually being put aside this evening in trade of some physical exertion in the garden, I may well be teaching both the dog and my man to count soft gentle, number carrying, smiling sheep that fade and slip so peacefully into the distance so tomorrow we may all feel nourished once more….

Sweet dreams
– For more self-hypnosis exercises check out “Master the power of self-hypnosis’ by C.Roy Hunter. It teaches about subconscious programming and is full of scripts targeting many areas of your life where you may want to attain ‘health, wealth and happiness”.

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative

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