Friday, March 25, 2011


     I cannot effectively handle the challenges and activiies of my life without enough sleep. I sometimes think I can get away with four hours, or six, but the truth is that too little sleep drags me down. I have heavy limbs and thick thoughts. I am not crisp and clear. Early to bed, as Ben Franklin suggested, is a demonstration of wisdom. And eating well is another, and a daily dose of silence. And body movement matters too. I have to stay physically loose and limber. I need my physical strength. I need to walk and stretch and move my spine in arcs.
     It's so easy, too easy, to let my self-care slide. I can pretend that none of it is particularly important. I can eat sloppily and push myself too far burning the candle at both ends. And sometimes I can manage for a few days that way, but it catches up with me and life loses it's pleasure. Small things become overwhelming and my emotions become flimsy and see-through like tissue paper. I rip easily. I cry easily. And I get frustrated that I should be so fragile.
     If, on the other hand, I make healthy choices, I get fruitful benefits. I feel good and life is fun and easy to take, full of humor and adventure and beauty. So it's worth it to me to do the right things, even if they might seem "boring" on some level. There is a high cost for rowdy living, and it's far easier to keep up with good sleep and good food than it is to catch up.
     I want the good life, but it's not what I once thought. It's not wild party nights and questionable bedfellows. It's steady and reasonable progression to ever higher levels of care, for my body, my mind, and my spirit. The rewards are inner richness and calm assurance and the ability to handle anything life presents with courage and grace.

I will take good care of myself today. I will eat well, move a little, sit quietly, and get enough sleep.