Sweet, Sweet Sleep

Hiya, There are so many people I know who cannot sleep or don't sleep soundly in the night.  (The hilariousness of this entry is that directly after writing the first sentence I lay my head down and passed out for a couple of hours.)  I am not one of them.  My sophomore year in college I once woke up on my couch with a note pinned to my shirt.  It read, "Aina, I really think you should get your narcolepsy checked out.  You fell asleep mid-sentence."  I don't actually have narcolepsy, but I can pass the f*ck out in a moment's notice.  Sleep is something that almost never eludes me.  I have the ability to shut off my mind or put into it exactly what I want.  I daydream and meditate.  I can get into a deeply relaxed state in a flash and be up and ready with the same speed.  This isn't the way it is for many people.  

For so many sleep comes in fits and starts.  You may be really sleepy and then try to go to bed and not be able to fall asleep for hours.  You may fall asleep right away but have trouble sleeping through the night.  You may have night terrors or sleep apnea.  All of the disturbances in and around your sleep may lead to a life that feels more like a slow death than a vibrant fun experience.  Sleep is as important as breathing.  You need it to live.  

Now, for those who don't know, the pineal gland secretes melatonin when it detects an absence of light and is inhibited when the retina detects light.  Production of melatonin peaks during nighttime hours and helps create changes in your body that would promote sleep, such as decreased body temperature and rate of respiration.  Now receptors for melatonin are found in the pituitary gland, ovaries, suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), blood vessels and intestinal tract.  I will let you know that melatonin affects women's menstrual cycles, mating cycles in some mammals, skin color in amphibians, and has anti-aging properties.  The part that is key for me to communicate to you is how your diet plays into your sleep… after all there are receptors to melatonin in your intestinal tract.  

What we eat affects everything in our lives.  How we think, what we think, how we communicate, dream, feel.  Food is the chemical/fuel/stuff that keeps us running.  We put a lot of things into our bodies, these beautifully made machines, that have no value outside of entertainment.  If you have sleep issues there could be a myriad of problems and you could probably get some relief without changing your diet… but if you did decide to change your diet, you would surely see a difference in your sleep patterns.  You would also see a difference in just about every other area of your life that you may not be happy with.  Food is true medicine.  

Sugar, artificial flavorings and preservatives , processed foods, caffeine and any other sort of stimulant reduce melatonin secretion in the body.  Chronic stress decreases melatonin secretion.  Too much light in your bedroom will also reduce the secretion.  Here is a challenge for all those experiencing sleep disturbances:  1) cut out sugar.  2) cut out processed foods 3) cut out caffeine 4) exercise 5) hydrate well throughout your day 6) make your bedroom as dark as you can.  Cutting out all lights from alarms and phones and from the outside and 7) meditate.  Meditation can be a powerful sleep inducer.  Forget that you are supposed to stay awake when you meditate.  If you have issues sleeping and meditation gets you into a state of deep relaxation, then use it.  There are many guided meditations you can use if you aren't a meditator already. 

There are so many other things you can do as well, like turning your phone off, keeping animals off the bed, keeping the temperature in your bedroom cool, having an orgasm (through masturbation or not) or cutting out all noise with some sort of white noise machine (on your phone there are apps or you can buy one).  Because the list goes on and on let's just start with the first 7 I mentioned.  What do you have to lose except more sleep by not practicing my suggestions?  If you do accept the challenge, let me know and comment on how it went.  

Now, time for bed.. :)



Lovin' Life

Howdy, So much has been happening in my life, so much amazingness that sometimes it is hard to breathe.  Everywhere I look there are opportunities for my dreams to come true.  In some cases so much goodness and yumminess is available that I feel like it is a feast of abundance.  Yet, this is also my life.  My experiences, my universe and my joy.  I realize everyday, more and more, how lucky I am.  I have friends that adore me, family that I love (some of them, definitely not all, just sayin), work that fills me up and allows me to grow and expand daily.  I look at my life and realize that I have made it.  I am where I want to be. 

Now, don't get me wrong, there are days I am not pleased, moments I am not ecstatic and people who I end up ejecting from my world.  It is just that I don't spend time imagining these days, moments or people into existence.  I put my focus and energy on the things I love, that I am grateful for and let everything else go…  What you focus on gets bigger, so I focus on love, laughter, joy, happiness, cool people, beautiful animals and myself.  I focus, mainly, on myself.  This is what most people don't understand.  The work that is most important to complete or at least to engage in, is the work of learning and loving ourselves.

When you are able to spend time focused on what you love and loving who you are, even when that part of you isn't going to stick around, you have an easier time overall.  When you allow and accept yourself to exist without harsh criticism and judgments life becomes less of a struggle.  When you see yourself as doing your best, you do your best.  When you approve of yourself it is easier to approve of others.  When you let go of there being a right or wrong  way for you to be and embrace doing what makes sense for your soul, for your higher purpose, you begin to find compassion for others in a way that others can feel.  You begin to radiate energy that brings love to you, safety to others and peace all around.

Are you loving your life right now?  It isn't going to change without movement.  You will need to figure out if you want the change to be brought about by love or pain.  Either you will make things happen because something is hurting you or something is loving you.  Love is a way more fun motivator than pain…though we sometimes choose to ignore this fact and wait until shit hits the fan before we do anything differently.  You have all you need to make your world whatever you would like it to be…  your call, your choice, your life.  What's it going to be?



What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.  

This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Tabitha, my favorite baby girl kitty.

Drugs that put my Tabbers out of misery quickly.




There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Losing someone you love is so f*cking annoying.  I remember when my nephew died I just couldn't believe it.  Then it was that I couldn't believe nothing could be done to reverse the situation.  Then it was just what the f*ck??!!  Losing Tabitha has been this frustrating thing for me.  I just had no desire for her to be gone.  I am simply not in the mood to lose my baby kitty.  Life isn't about waiting for your mood to be just so, however, and it isn't always what you would want to happen that happens.  Nope, sometimes you are literally just observing shit.

I am in a place where I don't yet know why she passed.  I don't know what the universe wants me to know about her leaving.  I know that it was her time, it was destined on some level for her to be gone now, but what am I to get out of it… well I think I may need to give it a few more days to settle and then maybe the reasons will begin to flood in.  

There is one thing, I believe, this has done for me.  I feel fearless on some levels, once again.  When Miles passed I remember feeling like the worst thing that could happen had happened, so what did I have to worry about ever again.  As time has passed the feeling of Miles' passing isn't as intense or raw and my feelings of fearlessness aren't as dramatic.  With Tabbers leaving I am feeling like all bullshit in my life (Imean all people who are full of it) need to get to steppin'.  Seriously.  I believe, at this very moment, Tabbers being gone makes me want, even more fervently, quality in my world.  She was the top of the top of animals.  Beautiful, smart, funny, loving, crazy as hell, sneaky, super quick, Whodini kitty (as one of my best friend's pointed out) and mine.  Her being gone makes me realize, even deeper than I live it, how important having quality in my world is.

You and I deserve the best, period.