A well-known Zen proverb says, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul! You have a body.” There can’t be more truth revealed in this world, than the truth that lies behind these words.
Indeed, you have a body. A vehicle that helps your soul experience the busy life on this planet. Our experiences should be much more and deeper than this.
To do this, we need these bodies, and they need to be well preserved. Because… well, because what is life like if your body doesn’t function well?
Of course, there are so many methods and ways of living that help you maintain a healthy human body. From all of them, there is one that is the easiest, the most free, and the most relaxing.
Have you guessed it? It’s called sleep.
Most of us are trying to handle a busy life and manage its challenges in many ways. But… how many of us pay attention to our sleep time? I mean… pay real attention!
First, from all the sleeping times, the best is during the night. There are many considerations for this statement and we will come back with future articles to talk about them.
The main is that the night has a special energy, and we should take advantage of it.
Let me tell you a short story… a personal one.
Several years ago, while I was studying a very old science and wisdom, my sleeping pattern was not very good. Not that I couldn’t sleep… no way… I always could sleep very well but… the online lessons were starting at 3:00 am daily, and they lasted until 6 am. In the day time, I have my regular job, my family needs me also, and, for this reason, it never crossed my mind to sleep while light was still outside. Knowing that my daily lessons starts so early and never wanting to miss them, I tried to readapt my sleeping pattern. Therefore, I decided to go to bed each evening very early, and this varied between 8 and 9 pm. I would wake up at 2:45 am to be fresh for my morning studies, before leaving home to go to work. You can guess… much like you… I was a very busy person. 🙂
Well… I was always healthy, so my body helped me function this way for a long time… until one day when I started to feel bad… then worst… and then even more. The doctor’s conclusion was that I suffered from hypertension, so they gave me lots of pills to take. Like a very good girl, I intended to take them but… lucky me… the idea to read what was on their prescription, hit my brain. I couldn’t believe my eyes what I saw there… right in front of me, on the prescription paper… It was written that one of those “medications” was prescribed to people who are in their last phase of heart illness, who had a maximum of two months to live. You can imagine how I felt. Of course, that medication flew directly into the trash bin. But I continued to feel bad. And of course, I continued to study and wake up at 2:45 am each night.
This went on until one day when… a very good friend who is a doctor and who was also studying but not the live lessons as I did, called me. After we had a nice conversation, she asked me how I am feeling, so… I told her about my health condition. Being a good friend and a doctor also, I was expecting her to start giving me lots of medical advice, which of course… by my stubborn nature, I knew I would refuse to follow. But… surprise! No advice was given that day. My friend started to laugh when I finished crying on her virtual shoulder. I was stupefied about her reaction. I let her stop, and she probably felt my internal reaction when she continued, “MC, I am laughing, and I can barely stop. I’ve been watching you for several months, and I was curious to see how much time your body will resist following this draconic schedule. Well… it seems that I was right, and it’s your time to learn your lesson.”
You can imagine how curious her words made me. She didn’t give me too much time for a good reply, and she continued, “Did doctors tell you that you have hypertension problems? Well… I know the cure for this. It is an instant cure.”
She seemed to be so serious and so sure of her knowledge, that I was eager to know what she has to add. I, therefore, asked about the secret cure, which no doctor told me about.
My friend, the doctor, told me while still laughing… “You need a good sleep. And after this good sleep, you need to sleep well each night. Do you want to be a wise dead person? Continue to sleep and study like you are now. Do you want to be a wise and living person? Sleep during the night and study in the daytime. The wisdom will not run away.”
Well… this was somehow a shock. Or better said a cold shower for me. My friend can be soft but also cruel at the same time. Those words were accompanied by a cold voice… better said an icy voice. It was that kind of voice that obliges you to listen and act.
So, did I? Refusing to take any pill, I told myself that it will be no harm if I will listen to my friend for several days. The next night I slept like a baby after canceling the alarm clock. I did the same thing the following night and so on… probably 5 or 6 nights in a row. I was feeling great when one day I decided to measure my blood pressure… what a surprise! I could go directly and apply for a job as an astronaut.
Starting from that moment, I felt drawn to study not only the ancient wisdom, but also the sleeping effects. I told myself that one day, I will write a book about this.
Why? Because… if busy people would know how much harm they are doing to themselves by not paying attention… real attention to their sleeping patterns… their lives would be considerably changed in a very good way.
Today… because I just mentioned the cold shower that my friend applied to my brain… we will talk about… a ritual. Does it sound weird? Well… it’s not about magic or tribal rituals. We can even call it a habit. A habit that helps anyone have a great night sleep.
It is called “The Energy Bath Ritual”.
Who invented it, who practiced it, and who studied its effects… all these are going far back in time. But what matters most is … how it makes you feel after doing it.
To go from the daytime energy to the night time, sometimes we need a small transitional ritual: a bath at a maximum 102°F (39° C), in which we add ten drops of lavender essence oil. Why exactly 102°F (39° C)? Because according to the studies done, a higher temperature will make you tired and will also weaken the blood circulation.
One of the details that you must take care of is to… turn off your phone; landline or mobile doesn’t matter which one… all that matters is to turn them off. For 30 minutes, the bath tub will be your space in which no one will forcibly enter. 🙂 It would be great if you would also adjust the light intensity… not to make it dark but not too bright either. Make it exactly as soft as your eyes would feel comfortable with, knowing that it will not make you sleepy. Of course, our intention is to help us sleep also but for sure not while we are lying down in the bathtub.
To feel even more comfortable, you will prepare a cocktail that is a natural anti-stress recipe: 10 ml of orange oil essence, 10 ml of lavender oil essence and 10 ml of clementine oil essence. Put some drops of this cocktail onto a small plate or bowl and place it near a source of heat. It can be a radiator, a stove or a flame. Whatever you have handy.
Lay down in the bathtub while you let the water fill it. Let the water touch your body while you are increasing its temperature. In this way, your body will adapt easier to a higher temperature.
When the bathtub is filled, close your eyes. Take a deep breath, contracting at the same time your legs’ and arms’ muscles. As you exhale, relax them at the same time.
Repeat these actions three or four times. Focus your attention on your feet, then after this move to your ankles, knees, thighs, and so on… as if an ascending wave of energy is covering you.
Easily and profoundly inhale and exhale, without forcing anything.
You will relax this way, and you can also meditate for a while.
When the water starts to cool down, get out from the bathtub and after you’ve dried your body with a soft towel, it’s the moment to do the next step from this ritual.
Now go to bed! I assure you’ll be Zen!