I Want a Black Eye… from Falling Off the Bed.
I have one question:
In the last five years, while sleeping, have you fallen off the bed?
Of course you haven’t. (Drunken escapades and wild sex scandals not included.)
I’ve spent the last two weeks playing step-mom to a five-year-old who has a kick-ass black eye — from falling off the bed. And I have to say, I’m jealous.
I envy the lack of control.
What happens to us as we age that even in our sleep we fall shockingly shy of reckless abandon?
Once asleep, I can literally swing this little man around by his ankles while blasting Bon Jovi, playing the triangle (my instrument of choice from the ripe age of eight when in elementary school, my teacher rewarded the musically-challenged with a steel three-sided magical fairy bell) and making a banana smoothie (yes, this is my nightly ritual), and there won’t be a budge of an eyelid. Gone.
Where do kids go in their sleep that adults are no longer privy to?
I have this vision of a land of giggles, flailing body parts and shrieks, where a tall giant with a pudgy nose, friendly eyes, and stubby fingers stands guard. No one may pass who has any sense of nightly body or psychic control. Too stressed? Out! Too worried? Out! Too inhibited? Out! Too distracted? Out! Too uptight? Out! Out! Out! Final test. He presses a large fart-button — if you wake up or don’t laugh… O. U. T. Out!
Instead, we adults are outlawed to the land of the beck-n-call-boys. We walk around. With beepers. No running allowed.
We are occasionally granted magical dreams to remind us of our own imaginative depths that we have kept in a dusty box, with our crayons and dragons, under our Mac.
Moral of the story: we have shut ourselves off from the depth of rest and dreams that comes with a body and psyche void of daily strain and must-be-in-control programs.
Adults don’t fall off the bed. We have been trained.
We wake up at the first faint, incessant and annoying Ding of an incoming email on our iPhone, which we have snuggled and tucked in nicely next to us. It somehow, somewhere along the way, replaced our stuffed unicorn.
I want to start a new catchphrase in the art community. When an artist gives in to raw creativity and reckless abandon, we can now say: she just fell off the bed. When a dancer exhibits complete bodily inspiration: he fell off the bed. When a poet paints words that pierce with a stirring beauty: yep, fell off the bed.
There is a place we go in creativity where we lose touch with the world. We reverse our normal modus operandi.
Adults: Must. be. available. at. all. times. (the mantra of fear and control)
Kids: Peace. out. (the mantra of abandon… and true artists.. and renunciates)
Obviously, this article is not aimed at getting you to once again literally fall off the bed. This is a feat few will achieve in their adult lifetime. Though if you do, please send me an email immediately. I will most likely get it in the middle of the night and reply with a note of congratulatory praise. I may even send you my stuffed unicorn. At least a digital rendition of it.
So how do we regain access from the pudgy, friendly giant? Here are three keys to the dreamy kingdom:
1. No. Electronics. In. The. Bedroom.
Zero. None. Zilch. Period. No iPhone. No computer. No TV. No robot-vacuum. Try even turning off your Wi-Fi at night. First of all, whatever you believe about the impact on your health, electromagnetic fields are real and disruptive. Second of all, contraptions are evil. They inhibit rest.
They dominate your day. Please do not allow them to dominate your dreams. If you are worried about waking up, buy an old school alarm clock that plugs into the wall. They still exist, somewhere.
2. Review your day.
Before you sleep, take a few short minutes to review your day, as a peaceful observer. Try not to attach or worry. Just observe. When we bring certain aspects of our behavior and life gently into our consciousness, it clears some of the emotional charge.
It begins to allow the river of the unconscious to flow. This is the river that will take you, on the back of an enormous rainbow-scaled fish with huge lips, to the pudgy, friendly giant. (Remember to laugh at the fart-button).
3. Clean your aura.
Whether or not you believe you have an energetic field around you, you do. At least imagine you do. We often go to bed with a myriad of thought forms and stress energies in our subtle body. A great nightly ritual is a salt bath.
In addition, just before you lull away, imagine a cleansing light moving from above the crown of your head, slowly down to your feet. Form the intention that the light removes all congested, used-up, and negative energies from your energetic field.
Then, be on your way. Skip, lightly, to the gatekeeper. Frolic a bit. Don’t be too serious. You are bound to dazzle.
Now… we just have to practice falling off the bed… for real.