the magic of the 12-minute nap

After two weeks of testing and timing, I have discovered that I can take a 12-minute nap and feel sufficiently rested enough to continue working.  There are a couple of disclaimers:

  • This failed miserably yesterday. I suppose it loses its effect when you try to use it 11 days in a row.
  • My naps usually occur at 7:00 p.m. so that I can continue working into the evening. If I were not me, I wouldn’t suggest that this is a good idea at all.
  • The true victory in all of this for me is in my ability to meditate. I have used a method of five stages that I have stretched into seven. To accomplish these 12-minute naps, I have found that I can skip all the way to Stage 7, which is a complete clearing of the mind. I’m proud of myself that I can do this because my mind operates at hyper-speed all day. So, to shut it off so that I can fall asleep, sleep and wake up rested in a 12-minute period is pretty awesome. But, it also took me about six years to be able to successfully do Stage 7 at the end of the entire meditation.

All of that being said, this 12-minute nap business is a whole lot more economical than the hour and a half naps that I used to take last year.

I’ve seen better…

days? Or is it weeks?

I don’t know. I consider myself to be a strong person. Actually, I pride myself in being a strong person. I often say, jokingly with a huge smile, to my good friend, “Half the people I know couldn’t do what I do for one day let alone every single day.”

Okay. So, that statement is usually a profanity-laced tirade, but that’s the gist of it.

Part of my strength, I think is that I know when I’m worn. And at this point, I will very willingly say I’m not only worn out but weary.

I spent last week’s three-day weekend in a silent meditation. It was an evaluation of sorts. Of where I’m at. Where I’d like to be. I made some decisions, thought logically about things, and put a plan into motion.

The weight of two days hit me on Wednesday afternoon as I could quite literally feel that I should not be driving as my arms and legs shook from the sheer exhaustion.

And the entire week hit me today as my now good friend walked up a short flight of stairs with me, saying that we should create a YouTube show. As she listed all of the things that are funny about our cosmically intertwined lives, I started laughing–a laughter that faded into another moment where the weight of the week fell upon me.

“When you say it like that–all in one little space–all in order, it sounds really, really awful.” I think my voice was so quiet, I scared her.

The strange thing is that at the exact same time, I became acutely aware that I’m damn good at what I do. It is so apparent to me that all of my hard work actually pays off, and that’s a good feeling. So I’m torn with labeling this as a “bad” week. It was fulfilling in its own right, but that fulfillment was positively exhausting.

But really…I’ve seen better weeks.

on faith

I read something today that I have thought a lot about. It was a discussion on the concept of “stuckness.” The gist of the discussion was that only when we are stuck are we able to see what is really causing us to feel that way. That made me think about a lot of things. In some ways, I feel “stuck” right now. In other ways, I feel very free. So, it’s interesting. And it made me think that perhaps the aspects of my life that make me feel stuck are what are freeing me in other areas.

I watched “Religulous” with a friend tonight. Bill Maher was exceptionally bitter in the film, but I kind of expected it and was able to laugh. It’s strange because all it really did is made me more firm in my beliefs. My friend’s husband said something very interesting and that was that Maher was wrong about one very important thing. Maher says in the film that he doesn’t think than anyone possesses the ability to understand or know something that he does not. My friend’s husband said something that I agree with. He said that through meditation and prayer and practice some people do have deeper understandings and deeper feelings toward things and people. That simply set me on my way home with the thought that my meditation practices certainly need to be strengthened.

And the last thing. I was driving home with the windows down to feel the cool air. I have always held that deep breathing is a prayer so that was very nice. I looked up and saw the moon. It’s a pretty clear night so I could see the craters, and I remembered the first time I really genuinely looked at the moon. I don’t remember how old I was, but my family was on a camping trip. My father and I were sitting by the campfire when all of a sudden he told me to look up at the moon. I did, and I remember the words he said to me: “There’s no way you can look at that moon and tell me there is not a God.”

And I couldn’t then. And I couldn’t now.

Sanskrit & Sleepovers

There are some people in my life who brim with such positive energy that I can’t help but feel a little more complete when I’m around them. I have started to realize that my desire for some sort of internal balance that I have not been able to name thus far is starting to be a sticking point.

This all started with imaginative meditation I did on a silent retreat now four years ago. It completely opened up this floodgate of desire to slow down and find balance. This retreat came after a spring of recurring dreams of the desert. It was almost violent in its effect at the time. I felt that I was genuinely being tortured with a mystery that I was not understanding.

When I realized that the desert was the manifestation of God in my life, everything started to fall into place.

I said that to Nicole on Thursday night. She’s the one of a few people who can call me up and request a sleepover, and I can respond with the excited-ness of a teenager who is being allowed to play with a friend till 2 a.m. She has such a beautiful spirit and energy about her that I can’t help but feed off of it when she’s around. Our conversation turned to God and spirituality as it often does. I told her about my trip to Sedona, and she told me about becoming a certified Reiki practitioner. That is the most perfect thing for her because I don’t think she even realizes that she always shares her energy with people.

The very next day, what was supposed to be a four-hour subsitution job turned into an 11-hour day that was remarkable in its own right. I have always been somewhat in awe of Danae. She has such an amazing presence about her. I love talking to her, and had such an amazing time talking to her about spirituality.

She introduced me to someone who is studying Sanskrit, and he gave us both exercises for meditation. For the first one we both sat under huge Styrofoam domes. I have to say that the energy around it was pretty amazing. It was instantly relaxing. What followed after was something Nicole had also brought up—Sanskrit. amen2

It was almost as thought the writing itself was healing. I have Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit writings of the word “Amen” (that is “so be it”).

I was thinking today that the meditation over something as simple as “so be it” is incredibly powerful. It is completely giving into knowing that you cannot control anything in this life.

So simply, let it be.