Night time. The sun sets. We move through the evening towards sleeping once again. In times of transition, such as the passage from wakefulness to sleep, I am finding it profoundly helpful to craft rituals to find ground within the shifting.
This was not always clear to me. For years I would stay up late, online, bathed in the blue screen stimulating my awake circadian cycle, to enjoy a glass of wine and the quiet of everyone else asleep. Yet when I would go to bed, I would have a hard time falling asleep, and a hard time staying asleep. Alcohol and the computer both stimulated and exhausted me.
It is a relief to offer my system what it actually needs to ride through the twilight into darkness. Dim lights, soft music, a warm bath with aromas I like, warm tea, candlelight in the cool air of the bedroom, while I rest into quiet before turning out the light.
Transitions. And Rituals. To find ground within the shifting.
My daughter, who is seven and a half, this evening: over tired and over stimulated. Lost in her activation. Warm hands on her hands, and the invitation to play a gentle, silly peanut/butter interactive attachment game: I’ll say peanut and you say butter with the same intonation I used, okay? Amazing how this playful connecting game reached right into her dysregulation and found her, immediately offered an anchor into the here and now of silly and loving togetherness.
Tears turned to laughter.
Followed by familiar soothing songs in the darkness and gentle kitty snuggles, the vibration of the cats’ purr offering a reminder to relax and let go into sleep.
“I feel content, now, mama”. She said
Transitions. And Rituals. To find ground within the shifting. How do you tend to this pathway from wakefulness into nourishing slumber?