Do you ever feel like you just need time away from it all?
It might be a favourite sacred place.
Going for a drive in your car.
Or sitting quietly in a green space near your home.
One of the things I talk about in Answers In The Dark (and learned to do during one of the most difficult times in my life, which I talk about in the book), was learn to embrace the time I was awake at night. Not in the sense that I would do chores (because no one needs to do those at 4am), but to appreciate the quiet, and use the time to relax.
When your mind is taking you, as I call it, “down the plughole”, it might seem impossible to lean in to time that should be spent asleep. But with practice we can learn to create personal spaces of stillness, even just lying in bed.
Here’s what might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Find Your Sanctuary. Have a think about what that place might look like for you right now. For some people it will be going to a favourite holiday destination (although I know that’s difficult with flights as they currently are) or just enjoying a quiet cuppa when everyone’s gone to bed. it might be sitting under a tree with a book (the shade from trees provides welcome relief in this heat), or going round to a friend’s and watching a movie in their company.
Sanctuary doesn’t always mean quiet though. For you, going to a concert might provide the respite that you need, or watching a football match down the pub. It might be sitting reading a magazine in your favourite café or inviting all your family round for a meal.
Sometimes though, we may need some sanctuary in our minds and this is where mindfulness can help. If life has been particularly busy of late, or if worries of “what if”, and thoughts of “if only” aren’t helping, finding ways to bring your mind back to centre can be helpful. Over time, you can learn to train the mind in paying attention to what is, rather than what we think it should be.
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You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.
© Delphi Ellis 2022