I haven't been sleeping well for weeks. If I'm really honest with myself though, it's been months, or perhaps even all year. I call it the Great Insomnia of 2020.
I know all the tricks to apply to regulate my sleep/wake cycle. I have a medicine cabinet and toolbox full of essential oils, nutritional supplements, restorative yoga postures, and guided meditations. I know my body's limits in terms of sugar and alcohol, and its needs for adequate exercise, etcetera etcetera. I am disciplined about living a lifestyle that protects my circadian rhythms.
That said, as an empath, I'm no a stranger to various levels of insomnia. Most of the said tools listed above are in regular use because I have experienced fits of insomnia throughout my life. In fact, I have been known to live quite comfortably on 3-5 hours of sleep when I've been woken with creative inspiration that cannot be ignored for something as trivial as rest. Most of the time when I lose sleep to tend to the creative creatures in my cranium, I don't miss the sleep one bit the next day.
But, this kind of sleeplessness, this Great Insomnia of 2020 is completely foreign to me. This isn't my usual kind of sleeplessness. My mind isn't racing about a zillion different worries or concerns. Nor are my lower limbs kicking in endless restless leg syndrome. I just stare at the ceiling. Wide awake, in a sort of meditative state (but not in a good way). For hours. No creative bursts. No physical issues. No mental monsters. Just awake. I spend much of the evening and night applying all my tricks and tools: And still, I stay awake, merely dozing in spits and spurts throughout the night. And the next morning, I get up and go about my day...tired, fatigued, exhausted.
I could blame all kinds of things. For example, a few weeks ago I dog-sat for a couple of geriatric greyhounds who liked to get up and pace through the night. My own dog Sukha had a similar spat for awhile as she fought a UTI. Perhaps my system just hasn't adjusted to the several days of a strange bed and strange circumstances. But seriously, I lived for over a decade bed and couch hopping as I traveled nationwide to teach yoga for weeks or months on end. Maybe it's the excessively loud window air conditioning unit, or my honey's tendency to keep it a few degrees lower than my comfort zone. Nah, my weighted blanket easily muffles both those problems. And again, if I'm really honest with myself, none of these are the real reason I'm not sleeping.
Which leaves me to one final explanation. I'm an empath. Or as my friend Gary says, I'm the empath of empaths. I feel the feels, especially those in the greater energies of the atmosphere and environment, way more than most. There's a reason my older brother used to hold me down and wiggle his fingers a few inches above my tummy taunting me with "I'm not tickling you" yet I felt it like he was actually touching me. I feel disruptions in the air-space that others don't.
So yeah. The Great Insomnia of 2020.
A global pandemic.
A massive political presidential race.
A crashing economy.
Growing civil unrest.
And every human on the planet facing their biggest stresses and deepest shadows.
No wonder I'm finding myself awake in a meditative state unlike anything I've ever experienced before in the darkest hours of the night. This shaman healer empath has got a shit-ton of massive energy to hold and move and shift. Being mindful of this simple fact somehow makes it almost tolerable.
I know I'm not alone.
If you're with me, working hard in this Great Insomnia of 2020, raise your hand, and make a comment below. As we thread our work together, we will build a spider-web of silken energy around this planet that not only holds, but heals all those issues listed above.