of an adolescent moon
beams a mischievous hello.
Play with me.
Leave your slumberland
and see my stars.
Don’t miss the dawn!
The night’s deep sleep
welcomed with gentle meditation.
What is outside of you?
Calm the raging
inside your head
bungee from the gutter
and meet the ground
in gay abandon
Drizzle bedazzles the darkening leaves
(we need the rain).
The rain’s foot soldiers hit the ground
feed the earth,
burrow to her heart,
find the motherlode.
Deeper streams carry
the watery infantry home
to the sea.
(The good ones get called up again).
Obstreperous wind, never one
to be left out
Turns earth and fauna
into night music.
Frogs croon in many voices
Even the generator next door
(banning silence and darkness and peace)
is a sweet kind of music.
It is without.
Mother Nature’s beatbox
backs the vocals
of bugs and frogs and bats and nightjars
and foxes (whatever they may say)
and the gentle nightmusic
lulls me to sleep.
God’s own lullaby.
The moon is a mischievous Loki
to the sun’s giant blonde
Naughty, playful little sister.
(“Stop sleeping” she whispers
in her tinkling silver voice).
Stars tumble off her tongue
as she laughs
at my sleep-bedecked eyes.
“Be awake! The night is far spent.”
And I’m up.
of silver night
and fiery dawn (I hope)
and deep velvet silence
before the day’s song starts …
and morning pages …
I am no match
for their powers of seduction.
I am awake.
In this pursuit of happiness we call life, there are those (myself among them) who would argue that the absence of stress and sickness is not the same as happiness. Well, yes. But being sick and stressed does make being happy something of a challenge. Most would agree that not being stressed and sick is a good to start towards being happy.
But are they right?
Are we stressed out and miserable because we face so much stress and fear, and get so little sleep? Or are we stressed out and miserable because we believe ourselves to be so? Regardless of what you believe about the millennia that have led to the point we now inhabit in time and space today, the fact is that stress has always been a feature of our lives. So why has it only started killing us now?
Health professionals, particularly those focusing on mental and psychological health, are starting to share research data that speculates that a large part of the danger in both stress and insomnia is our perception of the inherent danger in both stress and insomnia. Did you get that? It’s so bad for us … because we think it’s so bad for us.
That is the theory behind Kelli McGonigal’s much-watched TED Talk, titled “Making Stress Your Friend”:
It is also the theory shared in this fascinating report on just how much sleep we actually need. Research shows that “a healthy eight-hour sleep” is a mythological theory with little supporting evidence. It’s hard to see where such theories developed, but the pervasiveness of our belief in the truth of this theory means that when we don’t get our eight hours – whether we work late, wake up early, or find our sleep interrupted in the middle of the night – we believe the effects will be bad … so they are.
In other words, whether we think stress and sleep deprivation are bad for us or not, we’re right. It’s what we think that makes us ill.
Tomorrow, it will be one year since we started SCD. Our goals included the following:
- Fewer headaches (especially for Goldilocks and me);
- Fewer stomach cramps (especially for Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood);
- Better concentration (esp. Papa Bear and Goldilocks);
- Fewer mood swings (all of us);
- Better skin (mainly me);
- Fewer allergic reactions (all of us but especially Papa Bear);
- Fewer nightmares (Red Riding Hood);
- Better sleep (all of us, but esp. Papa Bear and me);
- More energy (the Big Bears again); and
- Better focus.
One year in, we have achieved a lot. Papa Bear isn’t taking part, but the girls and I have had 10% success in all areas except mood swings and skin. In fact, the mood swings are significantly improved, and I am sure the imminent onset of puberty isn’t helping hat’s left of them.
As for skin, which I discussed a little while ago, we seem to have found both the cause and a solution. Apparently, severe stress coupled with averaging about 5 hours of sleep a night and a marked zinc deficiency have conspired to cause very bad skin. I’m taking zinc supplements and a natural antibiotic from the health shop, as well as hypericum (St John’s Wort) for the stress. I’m treating topically with Cetaphil and Melaskin, and the results are dramatic. We’re not there, but I think the end is in sight. Fingers crossed!
– By Vanessa Davies – daily discovering Joy on a Shoestring.
Have you tried SCD or paleo? Has an other eating protocol worked for you?
Here we are again, at Monday. How did the last seven days shoot past so fast?
We’ve been studying the history of South Africa as part of our attentiveness unit. We’ve learnt about Strandlopers, Bushmen (San), Hottentots (Khoi Khoi) and early Nguni people. It’s fascinating stuff. The girls have drawn cave art and labelled a map of South Africa and Africa. They love Geography almost as much as I do.
Last week we finished reading the railway children and have just started on the life story of Louis Braille, aimed at children. It’s well written and they’re enjoying it thoroughly.
I, on the other hand, have hit that overwhelming slump that seems such a feature of my life at the moment. The combination of too much work, too little time, too much chaos and very little money at all, it sneaks up on me at random and unexpected moments, leaving me utterly paralysed.
I’ve just restarted my wellness plan, which may be contributing to my funk as my body detoxes itself. I expect to feel bright, focused, energetic and motivated in just a few short days! In the meantime I’ve made rearranged the house on paper, only to be bed-ridden at the thought of trying to find space for everything that doesn’t fit into the picture. I’ve cancelled a meeting, paid a bill, read the news online, and consigned the kids to play in their room. Their token “schoolwork” for today has been feeding the dogs (a first for them).
I’ll have to rouse myself from the depths in a few minutes to make lunch, then do enough work to bill enough to get paid enough to pay the rent. Please pray for me!